Saturday, January 30, 2010


Alexis came and asked me the other day if we were part cowboy. Hmmm. I could see her asking this if we had lived any part of the cowboy world. As of that moment we had never owned a horse or a cow of any kind. Hayeck, we didn't even have one pair o' cowboy boots or e'en a hat.

We still don't.

I had to know the reasoning behind this crazy question. So I asked.

Alexis: Well you know, I just thought that because Grandpa Gooch lived on a farm growing up and he always has a big garden and now he has chickens...

Me: Ohhhhh...(understanding dawning), you mean are we LITERALLY part cowboy! {Insert mental fit of laughter while keeping a straight face}

Alexis: Yeah, in school we were talking about cowboys and they asked us if any of us were cowboys and I raised my hand. Do you think I should have?

Me: Shure thang Miss Bessy Lou!

Now I know where the urge to build a little farm came from. It is thick in the blood.

Facebook=No Blog Family

Wish I had not pressured family into joining facebook. Before facebook we had lots of family fun with our blogs. Now there is little more than a high five here or a poke there in facebookland. Now they just eat and run. Maybe they don't even eat, just run.

Private reflections--Men are that they might have joy.

So I had an epiphany last night. I was reading in The First 2000 Years. If you ever want to gain a better understanding of Heavenly Father as a person, or how his plan is so perfect, you should take a glance at that book. Amazing! I was reading about one of the reasons it was necessary for us to come down to this earth and gain a body. Joy. Here is the first thing I learned. In the preexistence, we were able to feel joy, but only to a degree. It would not be until our spirits received a body that we could truly feel joy right down to the very fiber of our beings. This was one aspect of gaining a body that excited us so much that we would shout for joy as the plan was put in place, so much so, that we would follow that very risky plan to come to this earth, knowing our eternal fate would rest on the shoulders of our Savior, and that if He failed, our ability to ever be truly happy would be naught.

Down here on earth those desiring that joy may seek it out in destructive ways, either through drugs and alcohol, immorality, overindulging in any form, _____, but aside from the actual physical responses of those things, their acts of irresponsibility bring only the opposite of what they were seeking out. It has been said that those who followed Satan and did not gain a body, tempt us to use ours in destructive ways so they can try to feel that joy through our body for a moment.

There was something else that dawned on me and I would love your thoughts on this. If our spirits need our bodies to truly feel joy, what happens when we die? This truth that the spirit needs the body to truly have joy would suggest to me that when we do in fact pass from this world, that capability will be as it was before coming here, limited. Yes, there will be peace/rest/Paradise for those who lived a good life and a lesser _____ for those who did not, but will we truly be able to feel that joy like we did here on earth? As I understood it, no. That will, however, come to us again when our perfected spirits reunite with our perfected bodies in the resurrection, and then, not only will we be able to feel that true joy again, but we will be able to feel the pure joy as our Father in Heaven does.

Sadly, I have not caught the vision of this truth until now, and before this moment, I have merely endured. Until now, this earth life has held little value to me. (I came, I got my body, I learned the gospel and am doing the things I need to, I have my family and they are mine for eternity.) I have been one that clings to the knowledge that this second estate is but a moment. I want this test to come and go so that I can rest and be happy.

But wow! To think of the joy that comes from this life, this estate. When I think of joy, I think of serving others, jumping in the old blue truck and taking a ride around town with my sweetheart, entering the temple and performing the work for ancestors who have passed on and did not get to do that work for themselves, doing family history work with my mother, playing gotcha-last with the kids, eating a chocolate brownie that got whipped up by my daughter with a sweet tooth, sitting out in the sunshine on those first spring days after being sunshine deprived for the last 3 months, seeing my dad and his dog everyday after his walk, signing off from work after a LONG grueling day, hearing my boy teach himself to play the piano, cooking something that makes my family go "WOW!," watching the kids play with their dad. I could go on and on. That is true joy.

This may just be the gospel according to Bonnie, but I don't want to waste anymore time just enduring life. I want to spend my time truly living it!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Down on the farm...

In the spirit of self reliance and teaching our kids how to work hard, we have started planning some fun spring projects. Rob has been Googling, mapping and listing the things he will need.

Project of most importance: Greenhouse. We are hoping to get this done ASAP so that we can start growing plants. We will grow what we need for our garden and let the kids tend and sell some plants to anyone else who wants them. Feel free to place an order...I am sure they would love to fill it.

Project 2: Chicken coop. We have really enjoyed fresh eggs from grandma's/pa's and Heather and Cody's house. I am sure the chickens will come in handy when the grasshoppers are out of control again this year.

Project 3: Nothing like home grown bacon. Never raised a pig before, but thought it would make for a great adventure. Who knows, maybe the kids can enter them into the fair. Rob assures me they will not stink and will not be racketous. Permission granted; 1 set of pens in the planning. I am sure if we had enough room for a cow and a horse, we would do that too...(but we wouldn't eat the horse).

Project 4: Rabbit cages: Shhhhhhh, don't tell the kids. If we can work it out, the Easter bunny will have a great surprise for them. We won't eat the bunnies either. If anyone knows a of a good place to buy any, please let me know.

Project 5: Grande garden. Can't wait for this. I love a big garden. When work was slow last harvest season, I took that opportunity to put up as much garden stuff as I could. What a great feeling of accomplishment!

Project 6: Potato pit. We have heard of burying an old refrigerator. Does anyone know if this would be considered disposing of one illegally?

Not sure if it will happen this season or not, but we want to get some fruit trees, berry bushes and grape vines established.

As of yet, these are just plans, but we are hoping to make them a reality. While I have dreams of it looking something like my sister's farm, I can settle for the humble little farm (if you can really call it that) we have planned. I am hoping when it is all said and done, we will still have neighbors who will claim us.

I just love the spring and I have the fever BAD. I wish I could just go to sleep like the bear I am in the winter and not wake up until spring.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Much needed night out

Somehow I need to get back in the habit of taking pictures so I won't have an excuse not to blog about the Smith happenings.

Pictures or none, just wanted to post about our family night out. I can't even remember that last time we took the kids out to dinner. We keep thinking we need to do it and tonight we put everything on the back burner and went. I wasn't sure if we were going to have Jordan with us as it WAS the last wrestling match and she really wanted to go. To our great delight, she chose to come with us. We took them out for Chinese and had a wonderful time laughing and joking around. It just felt good.

After that, we drove them past the site for the new Payson temple. Even though the temple was not even there, we felt like we were already on holy ground. We each pictured that bright beautiful building standing against the dark sky and we smiled. We drove slowly away and could not take our eyes off the site.

Next, we stopped at Maverik and got a frozen yogurt and drove around our old neighborhood in Santaquin. We miss our neighbors there so much.

What a great night!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My current read:

I took a break from fiction long enough to get some enlightenment on the Old Testament. If you are like me, you appreciate anything in Layman's terms. This is a super great companion to the Old Testament, which is being studied in Sunday School this year. This man knows how to make it not only easy to understand, but also entertaining.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What time did you say?

I have this funny little quirk about myself. Whenever I happen to glance at the clock and it says:

I wish myself happy birthday.

Don't ask why.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My daughter, my friend

If you had told me last year when I wondered if I would ever make it through these teenage years, that I would cherish them this year, I would have told you you were crazy.

I L-O-V-E my teenager.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but Jordan seems different. She seems genuinely happy. She can rise above those moments when everyone in the house is crabby and she can laugh at those moments. She can walk up to her brother who was just giving her a bad time and give him a hug. Her little sisters who vowed to never be like her, are looking at her with new eyes.

She RARELY gives me a bad time when asked to do something. She genuinely asks Rob and I questions and seems to trust us to tell her the truth. I have watched her blossom and grow by leaps and bounds spiritually. I can feel her testimony lend strength to mine as I watch her earnestly trying to keep up with her scripture study every day. I know her siblings see her doing those things and they too will do them because of her.

Rob used to tell me that we acted more like sisters than mother and daughter. I feel so bad that we spent so much time when she was little butting heads, because I feel like I missed out on so much of HER. She is amazing and I want her to know that she means the world to me. More times than not, when there is much contention in the home, she is the first one to give, and I find myself being humbled by her actions of peacemaking. I know Heavenly Father gave her to me so that I could teach her, and I hope that in some way I have been able to do that, but I also know He gave her to me to teach me and I want her to know that she has. I look up to her and her positive attitude. I aspire to be more like her.

Monday, January 18, 2010

How strange!

We are celebrating King day the very best way we know how; cleaning the house from top to bottom. This doesn't happen very often because I am usually working when the kids are home. Today I wasn't. And they were home. And my house is clean. Thank you Martin. Thank you kids.

While Brooklyn was "going the extra mile" and cleaning out a drawer, I heard her exclaim, "Mom! I found something very strange."

Hmmm. What could that be? I kind of remembered seeing them when I was a kid.

When I told her it was an old cassette and that was the way we used to listen to music and stories, she was disappointed to know there was probably not a device left on earth to even check it out.

I wonder what things our kids are using these days that will be foreign to their kids someday.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Brother Like That

One night before Christmas, we were reading a Christmas story with the family. I was very touched by this story as the narrator told of his friend, Paul, who had received a new car from his brother as a pre-Christmas present:

On Christmas Eve, as Paul was leaving his office, a street urchin was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it.
"Is this your car mister?" he asked.
Paul nodded. "My brother gave it to me for Christmas."
The boy looked astounded. "You mean your brother gave it to you, and it didn't cost you anything? Gosh, I wish..."
He hesitated, and Paul knew what he was going to wish. He was going to wish he had a brother like that. But what the lad said jarred Paul all the way down to his heels.
"I wish," the boy went on, "that I could be a brother like that."

Indeed I have felt that very way on many occasions. As I reflect on all the people who have touched my life by their selflessness to me and my family, some even anonymously, I truly feel as this young boy did...I wish I could be, and I hope I can be, and I am trying to be:

a friend like that.
a wife like that.
a leader like that.
a mother like that.
a Secret Santa like that.
an aunt like that.
a daughter like that.
a neighbor like that.
a sister like that.
a blogger like that.
a visiting teacher like that.
a stranger like that.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Private reflections -service

Giving is living the Angel said.
Go feed the hungry sweet charity's bread.
And must I keep giving and giving some more,
my querulous question ran.
Uh, no said the Angel, his eyes pierced me through.
Just give till the Master stops giving to you.

A few years back I read a quote on the bulletin by my bishop's office. I wish I had written it down for I only remember it in a nutshell. It said that charity was not only meant to teach the giver to give, but the receiver to receive.

I have been feeling the need to take inventory of myself and what type of servant I have been for my Heavenly Father to all those around me. I have been blessed with many great examples that have crossed my path (I am sure not by coincidence) to help lift me up through some of the toughest times in my life. Even though I do my duty to my family, help a little here and help a little there, I had a realization hit me pretty hard, smack in the face it seemed, not so long ago.

I. need. to. do. more. But how? Serving takes time. This busy old world has made sure I don't have much of that to throw around. Serving takes money. No comment. Serving takes foresight, being in tune to the spirit. I can work on that. Serving takes selflessness. No comment. I could go on. Serving takes confidence. "What could I possibly have to offer them?"(I think this is my biggest one.) My point is...I have a lot to work on.

How do I pull myself out of my own little world and really see the rest of the world through Christ's eyes? How can I be more like the multitude of people sent into my life to lift and help me up through the toughest times of my life, for they were definitely NOT in short supply and each person was more Christlike than anyone I have ever known. I am grateful they didn't use all my excuses to keep them from reaching out to me. What is so frightening about asserting myself more for the benefit of others? I am generally not a pushy person. "Can I help with anything?" "No." "Okay," and even though I would have loved to help and I know they would love the help, I cannot bring myself to push for it.

Even now, I realize I cannot sit back and wait for Heavenly Father to bless me with each of these attributes before I can be a better servant for him. I will start by praying for opportunities and and the confidence to do them.

No, you don't have to brush all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep

I am trying to come to terms with the fact that my kids seem to have inherited cavity-prone teeth, and try as I might to warn them of this malady, some of them have not yet figured out that their pitiful attempts at brushing and flossing are not helping, and usually results in less than perfect checkups.

My sister came up with a great idea to bribe her kids to take better care of their teeth deny the dentist the great pleasure of sucking the life out of her pocketbook. She told her kids that if they have no new cavities at their next dentist appointment, she would give them each 20 bucks.

Liking that idea, I promised my kids the same thing. This way my kids get a reward for taking better care of their teeth and I have just saved myself an obscene amount of money that I can use to pay the next pocketbook sucker. (I really do love my dentist. He takes great care of us!)

Each night and morning when I send them off to brush their teeth, I remind them of our new motto, "20 buck for no cavities!" This has caused some excitement and I can see improvement in their efforts to be better brushers and flossers. The other night, however, Brooklyn was asking if I had money and I couldn't figure out why. I was only halfheartedly paying attention until the end of the conversation.

Brooklyn: Mom, do you have any money?

Me: Umm hmm.

Brooklyn: How much?

Me: Not much.

Brooklyn: Like not even 100 dollars?

Me: Probably not.

Brooklyn: Like 19 dollars or something?

Me: Yeah, something like that.

Brooklyn: Oh boy, guys. Don't anyone brush or floss your teeth tonight. Mom doesn't have enough money and she would have to give you 20 dollars. So. don't. do. it.

Way to protect the bank account kiddo!

I just wanted to crawl into her little mind and check out her child-like reasoning. I don't think she grasps the idea that money comes and money goes. Sometimes I wish my understanding of life could be so simple.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What's the difference?

Sometimes I have to laugh at some of the differences in my marriage. Some are not so obvious while others are blatant and some are just plain expensive. Even as I sit here, there are two opposite forces eating up my power bill.

While he sleeps, he has a fan going. While I work, I have a heater blowing right on my legs.

I'll walk into my room and be hit with a force of cold that will save the polar ice caps from global warming. He'll walk into my office and start choking as the heat singes his lung hairs.

In the summer he lives for the winter. In the winter I live for anything but the winter.

His ideal job would be in a freezer somewhere, anywhere. My ideal job would be in a bakery where I could crawl into the oven with the buns and get all toasty warm. (Not really. No more bakery for me.)

I become more intolerant of the winter every year. If I do not have socks, blanket and heater on my legs, then the cold will set into my bones making me crave a nice 30-minute HOT shower. Nothing better than a great excuse for a longer shower right?

Rob says opposites are great for keeping the balance. I happen to agree. When I cuddle up close and put my ice cold toes on his HOT legs, everything is all better! ...AND he lets me.

What are some of your marital differences?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Count your blessings

Brandon was trying to share the love last night, even if it was for his own benefit.

Brandon: Hey Megan, are you in need of blessings tonight?

Megan: I am not feeding your dogs.

That did not discourage him and many more techniques were tried. I have to say they were pretty persuasive, but Megan was not feeling the love.

As he put on his shoes and coat and readied himself to trudge out into the arctic cold night, to Megan he asked one last guilt-provoking question: "I wonder what blessings you could have had..." No bite.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Out of the mouth and into the archives

Having 2 girls in Achievement Days can have it's drawbacks. Somehow Alexis always answers the phone when the call comes for the next gathering. She dutifully takes down the messages and passes the info onto Megan. When that call came tonight and Alexis conveyed the message, Megan wondered why they never asked for her when they called. "Oh well, it must be because I am almost in Young Women's."

True that. This very October in fact!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bedtime Story

Our current bedtime story of choice...

Alexis got it for Christmas. When I saw it in the bookstore, I could not resist. I remember sitting mesmerized with this story in grade school as my teacher read it each day. It is great to see my kids loving it as well.

Speaking of bedtime, if your household resembles mine, you must know there are nights where patience is a thing of the past, charity never faileth fails and bedtime cannot come soon enough. After the hundreth time of getting up for one more drink, or one more hug and kiss, the promise of a chore will usually keep my kiddos in their beds.

Restless kid 1: Buuuuuut MOOOOM! I am thirsty.

Mom: You already had a drink, 3 to be exact.

Restless kid 1: But it wasn't enough. PAAAALEAAAASE.

Mom: Go right ahead, but unload the dishwasher while you're up.

Sometimes they're desperate and sometimes they're not...

Keeping them in bed is usually not as difficult as getting them there. If you you despise this nightly ritual as much as me, I am hoping you will not judge me too harshly for some of my get-the-kids-to-bed techniques.

Bribery... "if you can be in bed with your teeth brushed and flossed, pottied, jammied, bedtime drink, hugs, kisses and prayers (makes me fatigued just writing about it, no wonder they fall to the ground in tears, kicking and thrashing about as if their world has just ended) in 15 minutes then we can read a chapter from our book... and for a bonus...if you can pull this feat off in 10 minutes, I will read until you beg me to stop!"

A good ole challenge...If that doesn't do the trick, you might hear me someone holler out, "last one in bed is a rotten egg!!!" The bedtime tantrum mentioned above has nothing on the rat race of all rate races that this one simple challenge generates as they each scurry down the hall, pushing, pulling and shoving to be the ones saved from THAT title, but hey, it works like a charm. Of course, then I have to lovingly pull the unfortunate rotten egg into my lap and love her and rock her and wipe her tears all the while trying to calm her poor little self, promising that she really isn't a rotten egg and that she beat dad so HE must be the real rotten egg. The sniffles then turn into giggles as the Rotten Egg's baby climbs down out of my lap and runs down the hall setting the record straight and hoping to be welcomed into the circle of victors.

The "hearing aid"...I am sure you have heard tales of the "hearing aid" used at the Gooche's house. It took on many forms, usually Dad's belt, or a wooden spoon, or a willow stick, but mostly anything close enough to grab. It was RARELY put to physical use. Usually it only took "hearing" the dreaded warning, before we were up and out of range of the lesson that object could teach. My kids must have inherited my fear of the thing because their hearing becomes all too keen with the mention of the "hearing aid."

To ease my own conscience, I have a fund set up in any of my children's names for their future psychotherapy needs. Feel free to donate to any or all.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Braggin on kids

Megan sharing sucker with friends, gave her last one to girl she did not like

It's all in the evidence

With my absence from blogging, there has been many great stories left untold. Funny things, sad things and even spiritual enlightenment. As I was looking through my drafts, this funny story brought a smile to my face almost as as big as the first time, if that is possible.

Ever since 1st grade, Brandon has always had a thing for science. I am not sure if it is because his teacher was mastering in science and her classroom was right out of the rain forest. She was amazing. They were always involved in hunting for bugs, or growing a garden right in her own room, in which the students got to make a vegetable soup at the end of the year, or tending to the many various snakes and lizards (until one escaped into the school and was banished forever). She had an assortment of dead bugs and arachnids displayed in many ways. She had many dead animals she had preserved in small jars, one of them being a two-headed cat. She taught them to truly question the world around them. Brandon scored an A in that subject. He always wants to know why, how and if.

If you look closely on his left arm, you will see evidence of one of his latest curiosities. As he was walking past the bathroom one day, the hot curling iron sitting on the counter was certainly cause for much curiosity. Looking down at that hot iron with the heat setting all the way to 20, he thought to himself, "I wonder what 1 feels like?" Without wasting time, he quickly switched the setting to 1 and tested it the first place he thought of, right on the most delicate skin of his arm. Result? A nice 2-3rd degree burn. Lesson? The number 1 is NOT, I repeat, is NOT equal to 1 degrees.

This volunteer science experiment will go down in the books as tested, tried and true. Knowing I will never have to experience that for myself brings me immense relief. By what name shall this experiment go down in history?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Do you hear what I hear?

With all the social networking, texting, chat and email technology flying around these days, I think there is an abundance of miscommunication going on. For how do we really convey emotion and intent through the written word without facial expression, body language and voice change? Some of the more skilled texters have their own language that seems to help, but really, unless you have taken 4 years of college on creative writing, how is Mortimer going to know that you were not really serious when you joked about your dog playing with plastic?

My communication with my supervisor is through chat and I am SCARED to death of her. Is she really as tart and impersonal as her replies to my unskilled questions make her seem?

Bonnie: This dictator put in this worktype. Should I change it to this worktype?

Supervisor: Why would you do that?

(This is where I wished I had never asked).

Bonnie: Um, I understood that she does not use that worktype.

Supervisor: That is incorrect. You should never change the worktypes yadda, yadda, yadda...

Paper or plastic?

Now that I am blogging again, I find myself walking around with blogs formulating in my head as if they owned the place. With work being completely out of jobs already today, I find myself needing to take a break to release the flow of blogarama from my brain. But first, I made myself get up and finish the housework from this morning. I was putting away dishes, so I could throw in the second load for the day. The first was done by Megan this morning and let me tell you...she is the Master Dish-Washer-Loader. When I tried to tell her so, she insisted that she doesn't want to be the Master because then she would be a target for the Head Dishwasher in the family. Psh! For real?!?! Tell me, would I ever really do that? Besides, I am sure if you asked Jordan, she already claims that title.

Nonetheless, we are a big family (by the world's standards) and we use a lot of dishes every day; 7 x 2-3= 14-21 plates, bowls, forks, spoons, cups (actually not cups, my kids probably use about 6 each). That does not count all the pans, bowls, serving utensils, etc. that are used for each meal. So yes, there are plenty of opportunities to fill the dishwasher every day. Is there really ever a time when all the dishes are done? Not often. Oh, they might look done, all put up in the dishwasher and skillfully hidden down in the sink and what not, but they. are. never. REALLY. done! This was the feat I was trying to accomplish today and imagine my surprise when I was putting away the last load of dishes only to find that there is just not enough room in my cupboards and drawers for them all. No wonder the last load always stays in the dishwasher.

Speaking of dishwashers, one hard lesson we have yet to learn is don't leave a partial load of unclean dishes in the dishwasher without starting it. I understand all about being energy efficient and saving the earth from too many half loads of dishes, but the dirty truth goes something like this:

Mom: Alexis, please set the table for dinner...

Alexis: Are we using plates or bowls?

Mom: Plates will do.

As we are eating, dad wonders about the uncleanness of his plate. The question is raised about where Alexis got the dishes. Why from the dishwasher of course!

Anonymous Head Dishwasher Loader: NO, NO, NO, NO! They were not clean!!!

Protests go up all around the kitchen! Somewhere across the table a child gags as she realizes she has been using glasses from said load of dishes all day! The rest of us are suddenly not hungry, except the almost thirteen-year-old teenage boy who does not concern himself with such worries. The dogs will not be getting his dinner.

All in all, this should not dissuade you from joining us for supper. We'll gladly pull out the paper just for you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

To blog or not to blog...that is the question

Goodness me, it has been so long since I blogged, I scarcely remember how. Even now, as I am utilizing the posting service, that old familiar excitement is welling up inside of me. I am sure what few followers I had have long since given up on me and moseyed on to greener pastures, so if you are within the sound of my keyboard, please do not be alarmed. There is news and pictures (exciting and not) forthcoming from the Smith house. (Do I sound like I have been reading a few too many 18th century books for my own good?) (Or maybe I have spent too much time living among my ancestors from the 16th to the 20th century for the past 4 months.) On either account, I have forgotten what manner of language to use in the 21st century I have slacked and for that I am sorry. I have a faithful sister blogger who never fails to blog and was even contemplating giving it up. If she only knew that I follow her every word. So glad to hear she never gave it up.

To those of you who have wondered if I still have it in me...the answer is, I am not sure, but I am willing to give it another try. To facebook, I find you much easier/faster/convenient/friend concentrated/ecetera, ecetera, but apparently, you are just not detailed enough. So if I can do what I have never been able to do, ( just get on here and post something without having to summon the creative gods to help me deliver that which is not naturally in my brain to deliver) and sit down and post our exciting life in less than 10 minutes, you may have hope for me. Over and out...

P.S. If you are lucky enough to follow me on Google Reader, you got bonus features from CLEAR last year that for some reason NEVER got posted. So never fear, I am not the second councilor in the RS again.