Blog Posts

My Talk

I gave my first talk today. This is it.
Hello, my name is Elijah Anderson. My mom, Sara Anderson, is the bulletin and midweek coordinator. My dad, Jared Anderson, used to be the Webelos scout leader. I have two brothers and a sister, all younger than me. My second sister is due in Febuary. This is my first talk. I have been asked to speak on how doing my duty to god booklet affects my life. The first thing that came to my mind is that it helps me live better, makes me feel more peaceful and loving. David L. Beck, the young men’s president said that it would help us build spiritual strength. It helps me learn things I should and shouldn’t do, and it helps me be kinder to my brothers and more respectful to my parents.The intro in the booklet says that it is to help us “strengthen our testimony of God, to learn and fulfill our priesthood duties, and to apply standards from for the strength of youth.” I learn more about this gospel. I pray more often, think to pray when I am troubled or need help, and read my scriptures a little more, it actually telling me scriptures that do with certain topics. Robert D. Hales said ”Duty to God requirements are not just lengthy lists of items to check off. They are personal goals set by each young man... to help them become worthy to receive temple ordinances, serve missions, enter into eternal marriage, and enjoy exaltation.” This is saying it will help us live our whole lives worthily. Henry B. Eyring said that “It will strengthen the testimonies of young men and their relationship with God. It will help them learn and want to fulfill their priesthood duties. It will strengthen their relationships with their parents, among quorum members, and with their leaders.” These are all blessings I know most Priesthood holders want. I know that the duty to god helps me learn, Bear Testimony.
In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Hell Week

I lovingly refer to the last few weeks of every quarter as Hell weeks. The 2 weeks before Winter Break are probably the most hellish. We go to the school 5 nights during this time. We have the Ward Christmas Party and Cub Pack Meeting. We did the Temple Lights with the Baileys and I did Handel's Messiah with Maxwell. And we have to sufficiently celebrate Xander's birthday in a non-Christmasy way.

So it began on Saturday with the planned annual Temple Lights with the Baileys. Despite our hectic schedules this is a tradition that none of us would give up. I offered to make the cinnamon rolls and with a head count realized I needed 2 batches. I was tempted by the Pilsbury Grands at Costco but opted to make them from scratch. Carey brought her delicious hot white chocolate with whipped cream and butter peppermints. Elijah calls them "marshmallow mints". We were able to arrive at the Temple and enjoy the Visitor's Center, Chandler Children's Choir, and some of the lights.

We even had the drama of "losing" 5 of the kids for a time. We couldn't find Elijah, Maxwell, Xander, Seth or Brigham. It was pretty stressful for awhile. Elijah was where he was supposed to be but was hard to see in the crowds despite Uncle Todd and I both looking for him. He had his super blond hair covered and I just didn't see him.
The other boys had decided to watch Luke II without asking any of the parents. They enjoyed it. The Baileys had also had a crazy day but I am still glad we were able to get together.

On Saturday I also needed to make the cookie dough for the cookies I needed for Handel's Messiah. Sunday I finished making those cookies and Maxwell and I enjoyed ourselves.

Monday we had Xander's band concert. They have improved a bunch since their first concert. Xander played the cowbell for one song and the snare for another. He did an excellent job with his cowbell rhythm. I really hope he gets to keep it up.

Tuesday was Xander's birthday. I think he felt pretty special and pretty excited about his presents. The brothers got him a Wii game. And even though we told him originally that the expensive running shoes would be his gift if that is what he chose, we gave him more. This is because once the doctor deemed those shoes medically necessary and he wasn't allowed to run in them, we gave them to him early and the fun was taken out of them. They are a pretty awesome pair of black with silver Brooks' Running Shoes. We gave him my old phone that broke cellularly but still works as a P.D.A./MP3 player and money for music for his new "phone". He also got his email address and he had to immediately email his friend that moved to Mexico.

The "phone" gives us a chance to test his responsibility before we even consider purchasing him a cell phone and it gives him the ability to keep up with his email and calendar all on his own.

I ran out of time to make the requested lemon birthday cake so on Saturday or Sunday we will finish celebrating Xander's birthday. Jared and I took Xander to lunch at Red Robin's during the school day. We had chicken cordon bleu, roasted broccoli, and cucumber slices for his birthday dinner, and mini lava cakes (from Costco) with peppermint ice cream for dessert.

Tuesday was hectic and Elijah had turned a light on in the van while we were out last minute birthday shopping. Usually I double make sure all the lights are off in the van for the night but I didn't check this time. There have been several catches of lights on because of the kids in the short time we have had the van. This time I wasn't so lucky and that light ended up being on 22 hours before I needed to leave to go get the kids from school Wednesday. The van wouldn't start. I know it's shocking. I told the boys via Elijah's cell phone to head to the library. I let Jared know what was going on. He was stuck in important meetings, well at least meetings that were important to his upper level bosses. Jared and I agreed that I would call him at 5 if I still needed him to get the kids and I started working on fixing the problem.

The first problem I had was that our jumper cables were in Jared's car (they are now in mine). So I had to find someone at home with a vehicle and jumper cables and the inclination to come over and help me out. My neighbor, Dave was home, but in a hurry to get to a dentist appointment. He still was willing to help me out, but neither of us knew enough for it to work. It sparked really bad when we attached the cables which made both of us nervous. I was already nervous to use his cables because they had exposed wires and I couldn't find Jared's stash of electrical tape (his favorite tape ever!). My other neighbor/friend that was home had the same problem I had. Her jumper cables were also in the other car. The last person I tried, I was just asking for jumper cables because although she drives a Prius (which can't jump a regular vehicle), her husband drives a truck. I figured he was still at work, which he was when I first tried to get a hold of her, so I was just hoping for the jumper cables. I again tried to get her before my 5 pm deadline and she was able to come over with the truck and the cables and we were able to get my car started with no sparks. I then went to get the kids and we hung out by their school until Elijah needed to be there since I was scared to turn the car off while I still needed it.

Last night was Elijah's Summative. It was his first Middle School Summative. He and his group had to create their own nation and they seemed to be pretty successful at it. Elijah was the group's technology go to which I thought was great.

Tonight we have Elijah's concert and Xander is getting his Arrow of Light and Webelos badge at his Pack Meeting. Tomorrow is the Ward Christmas Party. Hopefully I will find some happy, non-clingy Amelia time to update more.


Handel's Messiah

Sunday night our Stake hosted their annual Handel's Messiah with orchestra, soloists, and audience sing along for the choruses. I have always wanted to go, both of our last two Stakes have held similar events and both of our last 2 Stakes have enormous musical talent. I never went before now because of time, babies, or having no one in the family that wants to go with me. A few weeks ago we forgot Maxwell's Team Pizza Party and he was hugely disappointed. I felt really bad and Jared and I promised to find a way to make it up to him.

When I saw the flyer for Handel's Messiah, I asked Maxwell if he wanted to have a special night with me and if it would make up for the missed pizza party. He was excited to go. I volunteered to bring cookies and Maxwell wanted to help me make them. I was on the hunt for the perfect Maxwell cookie recipe. I ended up combining and changing a few recipes to get what I wanted and Maxwell thought they sounded perfect. We made Cranberry Cream Cheese Thumbprints. Maxwell is the only person I know whose love for cranberry sauce rivals my own. We had a lot of fun making them together.

Sunday night, December 9, we went to the Stake Center and Maxwell was almost giddy with excitement. He loves music and always has. He is after all our singing baby. He would sing along with us when he was weeks old. I told him how happy I was that there was someone in our family that I could enjoy these sorts of things with. A few times he asked me if I thought maybe one day he could sing like that. I hope so.

The first solo brought tears to my eyes. It was sung by a man from our ward who has the most amazing voice I have ever heard. His singing is what all the great singers wish they sounded like. Maxwell and I enjoyed singing the Hallelujah Chorus and laughing at ourselves during many of the really complex choruses. The orchestra had an oboe, bassoon, bass, trombones, trumpets, and was really diverse and enjoyable. I hope Elijah decides to do it next year.

Stinks for Xander

Today I took Xander to the podiatrist. Unfortunately for him I was right about the problem and even worse I was right about the treatment. He is not supposed to run or jump or do any activities with heel pounding for a long while. He can't play sports in the spring. He is supposed to wear shoes around the house. He got special inserts today for his shoes and will get fitted for orthotics in 3 weeks. So basically Mr. Active can't participate in recess, P.E. etc for the foreseeable future. He wasn't happy about it. Bright side, he can still do Disc Golf since that is walking which he is still allowed to do. Also, he can do all the sit-ups and push-ups he desires. The risk if he continues to run on his sore heels is that he will break the loose part that kids have and end up in boots with a longer time of no sports. As a kid your heel is two separate pieces that eventually grow together. His pain is a growing pain caused by this and the growth plate.

He is a reminder constantly that good health is a gift from God because if he had any control over his health he would be completely healthy.

On the other side of things, Maxwell is very healthy. I took him to the dr a few weeks ago because I was worried about a really slight cough. Xander was on antibiotics and steroids for this illness and I didn't want Max to get sicker. Maxwell was fine and I found out he hadn't been to the dr for 4 1/2 years since he got his tonsils out. Maxwell is a testament that sometimes a tonsillectomy is the best medicine. He was often sick as a baby- preschooler.

If only Xander's cure for everything that ails him was so simple.


Holy Schmoly. Elijah leaves me out of breath and exhausted. The kid is way over scheduled. But it is of his own doing. We talk to him about what he can drop when he is feeling worn out and he is unwilling to give up anything. He loves band, baseball, scouts, church responsibilities, and taking all honors classes. Tonight he has his last practice. Thank heavens. Thursday is his first tournament game.

He manages his school work excellently. He rarely has to do school work at home since he spends the hour he is at the school after he gets out and before his brothers get out working on it. Basically he just has to practice trombone once he comes home. I think he will also really enjoy his 2+ month break from sports. Hopefully he will get some of his scout stuff done.

He also has a girl that he likes. I enjoy watching his reaction whenever I drop her name.

He is a sweet, good kid despite his love of pestering Xander and Maxwell. And his adolescent smart mouth.

In the spring he plans on trying out for the school baseball team. He is also doing Little League.


Xander's band career may be short lived. In 1 1/2 quarters he has lost his music book, $20 to replace; a music stand that attaches to his bells, $20 to replace; a mallet which his band instructor hooked him up with a replacement for and now he has lost his practice pad that will cost me about $40 to replace. I am still hopeful that he will find his practice pad and am giving until Friday for it to be found. I am just grateful that he has one of the cheaper rental instruments. If he loses one more thing, he will have to drop band and switch to Spanish or choir.

A few weeks ago Xander had a Skateland social for 5th and 6th grades. He had a lot of fun but he decided to leave his wrist guards at home. I wasn't happy about this and I reminded him that he doesn't get to choose whether or not to wear wrist guards for quite some time. I am still paying for his stinking arm.

He is still having sinus issues. I need to take him back to the E.N.T. who said the next step would be an MRI or CAT scan to check out his structure. I might take him to an allergist first for food allergy testing but food allergy testing is so unreliable. Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, halls, and multiple nasal sprays have failed to help him. We started yesterday with what I plan to be daily neti pot use.

His last game of the season is Friday and his last practice/End of Season party is Thursday. He will miss soccer but he has been missing free play these last several months. Our lives have been: get home from school, school work, dinner, sports or scouts Monday through Friday. He has days where he is just begging to get outside and there hasn't been time. Basically I think he'll survive and even enjoy the 2+ month break from organized sports. After the spring season he is hoping to try out for the tournament team.

Xander likes girls and likes one girl specifically who he has known since Kindergarten. He scribbles odes to her all over his notebooks and everything. According to Xander the boys like like girls in his grades at school but the girls aren't interested in boys yet. This is really disappointing to him.

Well Crap

I accidentally erased my so far very long blog entry. That sucks. Things don't write well twice generally but I guess I will try. That is really annoying. Amelia is obviously not very patient with me "working" on the computer. So let's see how far I get now.

Maxwell is crazy blind. His prescription is stronger than +5 in each of his eyes. We got him sports frames this time because he wants to be able to wear glasses when he is playing. We never have to remind him to wear his glasses. His pinky finger still bothers him a little bit, but I don't think it is so bad that we need to worry about it.

Maxwell went to a Cub Scout Day Camp on Saturday that he really enjoyed. He made a comb harmonica that he was concerned about being able to maintain. He asked me if we own wax paper and was relieved to find out that we do. He also learned how to cook pancakes. None of his friends were able to go and he was okay with that. I warned him ahead of time that Dillon wouldn't be there. He just loves scouting so much.

Maxwell is having a hard time with math. He skipped 4th grade math. I have been tutoring him and he seems to get things really quickly and easily. Every once in a while my method of explaining doesn't work and I enlist Jared to help. I think he must have a one dimensional math teacher. I never thought of being a math teacher because I have a hard time coming up with more than one way of explaining things. He has had a different set of math teachers than Xander had when he skipped 4th grade math successfully.

Maxwell's first tournament game is tonight. It is a single elimination tournament that culminates on Monday. He has improved in baseball over the season which is a relief. His batting is still a struggle though. His last game he had two at bats and was walked both and he swung at every strike so I was happy with that. He was hit in the helmet and the face during a previous game's two at bats and since that game he has been a bit awkward at the plate. Jared and I have both asked Maxwell if he wants to continue with sports and he does. He will do baseball in the spring and then he thinks he wants to try basketball out in the fall next year. He would love to try basketball this spring but with the new baby we need to keep our activities as close to home as possible. I am hoping Jared will practice baseball weekly with Elijah and Maxwell until the next season starts.

Maxwell's Finger

I was surprised it wasn't broken, so was the doctor. It is very swollen and bruised from the tip into the hand. The thing the doctor said about surgery in a month is that if the finger is still bothering Maxwell in a month we need to see a hand specialist to get his ligaments checked out. All of this took 4 1/2 hours at Urgent Care to find out.

I have decided to bubble wrap the kids until they turn 18.

Common Sensical Rules for playing Football

Common Sensical rules:
1.Only tackle on grass and soft surfaces
2.Have bounds beforehand
3.Don't play on sewer irrigated fields while they're still muddy
Now we all know there are hard ways and easy ways to learn things.
Rule 4.Try to learn things the easy way.
Yesterday I was playing football with my friends and brothers(see where we're going?). We went to the park instead of playing on the street. So we walk over and set the bounds without scouting them out. My brother's team punts it, and stops us right away. My team starts the next play, and I run to get open into mud. I say we should find new bounds and we do. I receive the punt, then am stopped. I catch a pass, start running, and run into super slippery mud. I slip, while the defenders hop away or keep their balance. So I'm all muddy. And guess what. That fields sewer irrigated. I rush home to change and shower. Then we play on the street. Much better.


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