Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Raising Children, a Family Affair

Tonight I am going to go with Dick to the church because while they are in their meetings, I will be with the R.S. sisters who are having a special celebration of the Birthday of Relief Society. We will be having a really nice dinner and talks, plus a demonstration of something to do with color and personality given by one of my best friends, Lee Child. I have heard her do this before and it is really fun and entertaining, so even though I am not feeling much like going out, I'm just going to do it as I wouldn't want to miss all the fun and socializing. I have been away from the scene way too long as it is. I wasn't able to go to church for the last four weeks!! I'm beginning to think people might feel like I'm apostatizing or something.

We are also going over to another friends for dinner on Saturday evening. She corns her own beef for corned beef and cabbage. We have been going there for Saint Patricks day for years and even though she isn't feeling so great, she is doing it again this year. Just goes to show that if you make up your mind to do something, even though you feel lousy, you can usually do it. She wouldn't even let me bring dessert, which I offered to do. She'll do the whole thing by herself. I think she is a great example to me, because if she can do it, I can do it.

My daughter, Sue, just called and she is doing the program for her ward on Easter Sunday. I would absolutely love to be there for it. She is writing the program and using some of her poems and she called me to get my input about having a violin accompaniment along with the piano for a new song she found on the internet that sounds absolutlely beautiful. The soloist is very good.

She also heard a duet (The Prayer, which I truly love too) at the wedding ring ceremony that Dave conducted for some newly weds. and she is having the two of them do it for Easter Sunday also. I haven't even said anything to Dick about it, but oh, how I would love to go. There is nothing more I love than to go to a beautiful musical program and Sue's ward has so many of those.

Well, I still haven't even started the subject I had chosen to write about today. I was reading Sue's blog today and I got the idea as she had guest written on one of her bloggers blog and it was about rearing children and mom's making a special time for themselves just for them. It is a wonderful concept and I got to thinking about how very fortunate I was to have had my children spaced the way they were. It certainly wasn't planned. Quite the opposite. I had dispaired of ever having children and I so wanted to have a large family. We were married almost six years before I had a very spiritual experience. We were living in Wilshire Ward in Los Angeles and we were walking down the hall when our Stake Patriarch who lived in our ward, told me he had a special blessing he wanted to give me. We followed him into one of the rooms and he gave me the most beautiful blessing, assuring me that we would have children both by adoption and conception. I was stunned and so thrilled, because we had been trying for so long to adopt a child and we had our names on lots of lists, but so far, nothing. It wasn't long after that that my father in law's girl friend (yes, he was one of those men that always had a girl friend on the side and my mother in law chose to just live with it) but anyway, she had a girl friend who had come to live with her so that she could have her child adopted through the same Catholic agency that she had used for her first pregnancy. That poor girl lived for years with this same man whose wife wouldn't give him a divorce as she was a strict Catholic. My father in law met her at his girl friends house and when he heard what she was planning to do, he told her that she just couldn't do that as his son and his daughter in law needed to have this baby. To make that long story short, he actually talked her into it, so she went to my doctor for her delivery and we paid for all her expenses. I was always so afraid that she would change her mind, but she didn't and we took our little Nancy home from the hospital when she was three days old. Let me tell you, there is no difference in the love you feel for an adopted child from the ones you have the hard way. We hadn't bought one single thing for her in the time we knew we were going to get her until she was born, because I was so afraid she would change her mind. We had to buy something to take her home in and when we got her, we stopped and bought a crib and things we would absolutely need to take her home. She went on that shopping trip with us and was as good as gold all the time. Needless to say, we were one happy couple and we so thrilled to tell our dear President Norberg about his first part of the blessing coming true. Then when she was eight months old, I got pregnant. I was so surprised, I just couldn't believe it. All went well with the pregnancy and Sue was born just 9 months later. They are just 17 months apart. Of course, Pres. Norberg was the first to know. He wasn't even surprised. I was sure this was all I would have and I was. satisfied with that. Then six years later we had Nikki. She was a true surprise and Jayne and Rich were born after Nikki, just two years apart.

It was really so easy for me. Most people were so surprised that our children were so good. We would take them out to dinner every week, even when they were really small, and people would come up to us and tell us that they had been really concerned that their meal would be hopelessly interrupted by unruly childen and ours were so good. They never ever got out of their seats and they were quiet the whole time. Why? Because if they were not, their dad would take them out and give them a spanking and they knew what they would be in for if they didn't behave. He was a pretty hard taskmaster, but they learned to obey. The same thing would happen in church. They never made a peep or the same thing would happen. They wouldn't be taken out to let run around and play. Oh no, they got the same spanking. He did not believe in sparing the rod. It used to bother me a lot, but fortunately the kids seemed to thrive and they didn't hate him for it. They actually loved him and respected him a lot and he also gave them a lot of love. But the thing that REALLY made it easy for me was that they were spaced so that Nancy and Sue each took one child under her wing and did everything for her. Nancy took care of Jayne, Sue cared for Nikki and I managed the baby, Rich. So it was relatively easy for us to get ourselves and our special child ready for church and they would sit with their big sisters and I would take care of the baby and all went well for us. I had plenty of time to do my practicing on my violin and almost everything we did was as a family. Still, the older girls did get to have plenty of friends and activities as I was always ready to take over the three whenever they were away. It really did work for us. I would never have made it if it hadn't been for Nancy and Sue. They never seemed to resent their responsibilities either. I will say, we were VERY organized. And now I am going to have to get ready and go.

I left it to edit when I got home and when I did it and posted it, it didn't post. In fact it was completely gone. At least the original was still there, so I had to edit it again, really quick tonight. It is what it is so. now I will try again. Til next Tuesday then...............


  1. What a lovely story Darlene. You have indeed been blessed.
    It's nice to hear that you are getting out to have a great time with your friends. They will energize you and you will be glad that you went. . Have a good day. Hugs JB

  2. Good morning Darlene
    So glad you posted this story. I had hoped when I came by this morning that you had written a post.
    Can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this about you. Isn't it such a blessing that you were able to start your family with little Nancy and then so quickly here comes the Sue that I now know and love. I could go on and on about how much inspiration I found in this post.
    When you spoke of not wanting to go out but knew you should reminded me of me. Just this morning I was invited out to lunch and I really don't feel like getting out but after reading this I am going to go.
    Hope you had a nice time and thank you for writing your story.
    Oh I enjoyed Sue's story too when I went over to the site she was a guest on.
    I pray you get to go to Sue's for Easter. That would be awesome

  3. I have to agree that you had very well-behaved kids! ;) And to be honest, I only remember being spanked a very few times (I'm a fast learner!).

    It's interesting how times change. In those days, spankings were the norm in parental discipline. Whenever a friend got in trouble, we would ask, "Did you get a spanking?" It was just commonplace, but today it would be considered child abuse. To be honest, I never felt abused in the least. I only got spanked when I had been very, very naughty. And I KNEW I had been very, very naughty. The spanking was always preceded with an explanation, and we always had a long talk and hugs afterward. (And by the way, it didn't turn me into a person who hit others.) I am quite harmless. ;)

    Even though it's not PC to say so, I'm not sure spanking was such a bad thing. Kids were more obedient back in the day, and I don't think our emotional health was damaged at all. In fact, baby boomers are a pretty healthy and productive generation in my observation.

    Of course, I went along with the time out thing in my own parenting...but I can remember my husband spanking our kids two or three times. Frankly, I think it made our time outs more effective knowing that there was another option on the table, even though we so rarely used it.

    JMHO, of course.

  4. Loved the story! Our kiddos were always well behaved too. They knew Jack meant business when he did the "throat clearing" sound that indicated the "first" warning! What a wonderful blessing you received...remind me to never go into a room with a Stake Patriarch! (just kidding!) Your family sounds great and I love hearing all about your life. I already know Sue is awesome! I want to go to Sue's for Easter Sacrament service too...it sounds wonderful. I just thought of a story about my family when my kiddos were little. We were traveling and I accidentally spilled my root beer at the restaurant. Jordan, our youngest, quickly scolded me by saying: "Mom, you are embarrassing our family!" They were better behaved than me at dinner!

  5. What a very special story about how each of your children came to be. I really enjoyed reading that. And what a brave stake patriarch to the have the courage to act on his promptings. I have a friend who tried for 6 years I think it was, adopted a baby and then 2 months later found herself pregnant. I wonder if it is common for this to happen in that order.

    Have a wonderful St Patrick's feast at your friends' house!

  6. I just love your stories, Darlene. You're such an interesting woman! It was funny to hear about the spankings. I think I got one spanking in my whole life, and I didn't like it much, so I guess I didn't want any other ones. My oldest son and his wife spank their kids occasionally, but I have to say they are the best behaved kids, and so polite! So I don't think it's done them any harm at all. They get lots of love as well so it all more than balances out. I hope you get to go to Sue's for Easter. Heck I wish I could go to Sue's for Easter!! It sounds like it will be wonderful. Keep blogging Darlene - I love it.

  7. We have four children (they used to be children :-) ), but I don't remember ever having spanked them. It is illegal here, anyhow. Still, they have grown up to be quite nice people, if I may say so myself.

    PS Thank you for the nice comment! In fact, it was so nice that Blogger claimed it was spam! I think they have to do something about their systems. There are other things going around in the comments that no one wants.

  8. Wow, that was such a delightful post. I loved hearing about your blessing, the family that came and thoughts while raising them. I had a somewhat similar experience. I had our two boys and then couldn't get pregnant for 4 years and then I had four each about 2 years apart. It was also due to a beautiful blessings by our Bishop and my husband. I actually don't like spanking; but it was used on occasions. I feel that perhaps children of today could use a little more discipline. I don't think it really hurts at all. I worry about how parents don't discipline there children much.
    I hope you had a delightful time at your social and the St. Patrick Day party. Keep enjoying all these wonderful moments with your friends and family.
    I can just imagine how wonderful the program was that Sue did. She is so talented and I know you are too.
    Sending out love and hugs to you!