Kemi, like “chemistry”

Random Musings of the Misunderstood

The Wrath of Kemi June 27, 2010

Filed under: Church,kids,parenting — Kemi @ 3:13 pm



If my children bother you during church, and there are adults on both sides of them who don’t think their “disruptive” behavior is at all problematic, it’s not okay to lean over the bench and threaten my kids with making them come back to sit with you from now on, especially when we are sitting right there.  (And you wonder why they shy away from you when they see you in the halls…)


WE are the parents, and WE will deal with our children accordingly, when we feel like there is a problem that needs to be addressed.


YOU? Are not the parents, and have no business disciplining our children for us.


Next week, and from now on, I really hope you’ll choose a new seat.  Because if this happens again? WE WILL HAVE WORDS.  And they won’t be nice ones.


Thank you.


All (good?) things must come to an end, eventually. August 16, 2009

Filed under: Church,Enrichment,Kemi,Mormon, LDS,Relief Society — Kemi @ 9:26 pm

     I was released from my calling in the Relief Society Presidency this morning.


     After nearly four years of (barely-attended) Enrichment activities, welfare meetings, Sunday lessons, planning sessions and a whole (WHOLE!) lot of murmuring– Bad Kemi, I know–, I am done.


     Yesterday, before I knew it was coming, I thought I’d be elated.  It turns out I loved it more than I realized, because today I can’t seem to stop crying.  I choked up when I got off the phone with the Executive Secretary this morning.  I sniffled through our RS lesson on (how fitting!) the organization and history of the Relief Society.  I cried when we gathered up the tablecloths and decorations for the last time.  I sobbed when my name was read over the pulpit, and the tears just kept coming during Sacrament Meeting, at least until Anthony wet his pants on the padded bench and I had to take him out to the van for a complete change of clothes.  (It wouldn’t be Sunday without my family providing comic relief for the ward.  Also, do you know how hard it is to quietly blot urine out of upholstery when you’re sitting on the FRONT ROW and your kids keep asking, Did Anthony have an accident?  Eeeew!  No one sit there!  Anthony peed his pants!)  The new presidency is going to be wonderful, but a little (big) part of me wishes I could start the whole calling over again.  (I KNOW!  I am clearly MENTAL.)


     In the five years and three months we’ve lived in this ward, I’ve gone a total of two weeks without a calling.  I feel like running a side bet to see 1) Which new calling I’ll get, and 2) How long it will be before it’s issued.  (Feel free to leave your guesses in the comment section, but please understand that if you guess Gospel Doctrine teacher, we will no longer be friends.)   😀


And the heavens opened, and we were sore afraid. (Mostly irreverent.) June 14, 2009

Filed under: Church,kids,weather — Kemi @ 11:55 pm

     We were sitting in Sacrament Meeting this afternoon when the clouds rolled in and it started to pour.  Anthony was sleepily cradled in my arms, and at the quietest part of the meeting, we saw a flash of light through the windows and heard a loud clap of thunder.


     Because we’re idiots  Because it’s a habit we started ten years ago, we sit on the very front row in the chapel.  Imagine the delight of the rest of the ward sitting behind us when Alex and Kendra heard the thunder, giggled gleefully and Alex jumped to his feet and pumped his fist in victory.  Hannah shrieked in mock terror, and Anthony opened his eyes wide for a minute, before smiling a drowsy grin and saying, “Awesome.”  Loudly.


     That was pretty much how my kids spent the remainder of the meeting– listening for thunder, watching for lightning (or “strips of bacon”) (yeah, don’t ask), giving the occasional high-five when the rumbling was particularly noisy, and giggling –loudly– about how cool it was. 


     It was cool, even I have to admit.  (I don’t remember ever being in church during a thunderstorm, so it was a new experience for all of us.)


     It was also embarrassing. 


     My kids are heathens.  😀




Father’s Day June 15, 2008

     I had to speak in Sacrament Meeting today, which I was really looking forward to.  My subject was Fathers, naturally, and I spent hours preparing for it.  I was told to plan for at least 20 minutes, but after the Primary kids sang and two speakers went before me, I was left with just ten.  Half the time I was prepared for.  I had to cut out the whole middle of my talk, and I was very disappointed.  I felt like my words were disjointed and lacked connection.  I knew it wasn’t a really great message, and it made me feel bad because I knew I had prepared something so much better.  Oh well.  I have a feeling that no one will even remember it next week.  I am totally okay with that.


     After church we went to celebrate Father’s Day with my parents and siblings, and I haven’t laughed that hard in ages.  We were reminiscing about toys and games we played with when we were kids, some of which we had kept.  My brother Konnon pulled some of his out and we taught my kids the joys of “Run Yourself Ragged” and “Cat’s Eye”.  At some point someone decided it would be funny to secretly take all the yellow marbles out of the pot and assign that color to poor Hannah.  My sweet, patient girl kept pumping out a line of marbles and dumping them back into the middle, never making any progress or realizing that her uncles had tricked her.  When they finally came clean, she rolled her eyes and laughed her loud, shrieky laugh, then asked to play again, but with all the marbles this time


     We had a wonderful dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes and homemade gravy, corn, rolls, jello, a vegetable tray and fresh watermelon.  It was like Thanksgiving, only without all the stress.  My mom had even ordered pies (FIVE!!!) for Kenny and my dad, and my two unmarried brothers.  We had a good laugh about the strawberry pie, which was a crust full of whole strawberries, with a little glaze poured over the top. When Kevin pulled out the whipped cream to dress it up a little, the nozzle was clogged, so it flew out everywhere, like silly string.  My poor sister even wore some in her hair.


     My mom brought out a Father’s Day card for all of us to sign, and my brother Konnon started to sign his full name (he’s a notary, so it’s a deeply-ingrained habit).  We teased him about it all night, and naturally we all signed the card with OUR last names, you know, in case Dad forgot who we were.  *grin*  When it was my turn to sign, I signed “Smith”, which set everyone else into hysterics, because I have not been a “Smith” for thirteen years now.  I don’t know what I was thinking!  After that, the “I’m a dummy” badge was passed from my brother to me.  I wore it proudly, with mascara streaming down my cheeks that ached from laughing so hard. 


     By the time we’d finished our pies, my mom was ready to send us all home and find a quiet corner of the house to curl up in.  We all had such a great time, though!  (Even my mom.)  It was the perfect way to celebrate fathers and families.


     Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!  I hope you had a day as great as mine.


Love at home? Today it’s barely-concealed tolerance… June 8, 2008

Filed under: Church,dads,family,husbands,parenting — Kemi @ 11:58 pm

     It all started when the alarm went off this morning at 7:25.  I lifted my arm to hit snooze, and the motion sent waves of nausea through my body.  I lifted my head from the pillow, and I kid you not, my hair hurt.  It took me a minute to realize it, though, because of the unceasing throbthrobthrob of pain in my head.


     Migraine.  Wonderful. (more…)


Children and Testimonies March 28, 2008

Filed under: Church,kids,Mormon, LDS — Kemi @ 10:04 am
Tags: , , ,

     My sister sent me this e-mail yesterday, and after reading it, I had such a bad case of the giggles, I knew I had to pass it along.


     If you’ve never sat through a Mormon testimony meeting, let me paint you a picture:  on the first Sunday of every month, during our congregational meeting, the pulpit is opened up to the members of the ward who wish to bear their testimonies of God, of the prophet, and of the gospel.  Ideally this would be a short, succinct declaration, but most are not.  That’s okay.  Sometimes it’s nice to get a little background, and honestly, hearing others’ testimonies helps to strengthen mine.


     However, and I mean HOWEVER, there are members who stand up each month and either a) mumble incoherently through their sobs for a full five minutes absolutelyeverysinglemonth about the exact. same. thing. or b) talk about everything under the sun, none of which has anything to do with religion.  And then you have the children.


     They come in hoardes to the pulpit;  whole families of children who all want to take their turn at the microphone, who stand thisclose and shriek loudly into it.  (The squeal of feedback does tend to wake up those who’ve dozed off.  I can remember at least one occasion where I was sitting next to my sleeping dad.  Upon hearing the trumpeting blast of – I’ll call it “sound”, for lack of a better descriptor – he was startled awake and yelled out “Good HELL!” in the middle of Sacrament Meeting.  It still makes me laugh, twenty-five years later.  To the extent that I have tears running down my cheeks.)  Well-practiced three-year-olds are “helping” their 18-month-old siblings.  Eight-year-olds stand next to the microphone and direct the parade of brothers and sisters.  Occasionally you get a desperate “MOM!” whispered urgently into the microphone when a sibling is being particularly difficult.  It’s a riot. 


     Their testimonies almost always start the same:  “I’d like to bury my testimony, I know the church is true, I love my mom and dad…”  and then this is where they get creative.  One little girl in our ward stood up and told the congregation that, while her dad was a member of the bishopric, he didn’t act very religious at home.  They didn’t even have family home evening!  (The congregation roared with laughter.)  Her poor dad, stuck up there behind the pulpit, was red-faced for the remainder of the meeting.  It became a running joke for him to keep us updated on their family activities, including FHE. 


     There’s the “I love my mom and dad, I love Sprite, and I hate my brother” testimony, the inevitable only child who professes love for brothers and sisters, just because the other kids do, and the well-meaning child who exposes family secrets such as, “My parents love each other so much, they even take showers together!”


     So that brings me to the e-mail.  For clarification purposes, a bishop (and his two counselors) are the leaders of a ward.  A Stake President (and his two counselors) are in charge of several wards in an area, called a stake.  Being a Stake President is a big deal in the LDS hierarchy. 


   Okay, here we go:

   At a recent testimony meeting, a five-year-old little girl stood up and bore her testimony. After mentioning everyone and everything she was thankful for, she ended with this: ‘I am especially grateful that our house has been much happier since our family stopped using the ‘S-word’ and the ‘F-word’.”


As the little girl proudly walked back to her seat, nobody could say a word. Needless to say they were a little shocked by what the stake president’s daughter had just said.


Quickly, the red-faced stake president stood up, smiled shyly, and went to the podium. ‘I feel I should make a clarification as to what my daughter meant. In our house the ‘S-word’ is ‘stupid’ and the ‘F-word’ is ‘fart’.” 


     And this is why my children have yet to bear their testimonies.  We have secrets, and I’d like to keep them!  (kidding…)



Easter Sunday March 23, 2008

Filed under: Alex,Church,clothes,kids — Kemi @ 3:26 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

     Here is our gang, all decked out in their Easter finery.  Since the two oldest both celebrate birthdays next week, I’m going to round their ages up to the nearest year.  (What a teacher thing to say!  LOL)


     We had a nice Easter morning.  We did baskets and “Easter toast” yesterday, so there was less stress and rushing to get out the door for 9:00 AM church today.  The three oldest kids all played a part in their Primary opening exercises:  Hannah gave the scripture, Kendra read an Easter-themed talk, and Alex prayed.


     Alex gave a beautiful prayer, thanking his Heavenly Father for Easter, for Jesus, for resurrection and for the opportunity to attend church on such a special day.  Just when I was going to give myself a pat on the back for all the focus we placed on the TRUE meaning of Easter, and how readily all the kids accepted it, I heard Alex say, “And bless us to have fun with all the toys the Easter Bunny brought us.”  In church.  In his prayer.


     I was mortified. 


     So here they are, looking quite adorable and sweet, just minutes before we left for church, and, as I am going to remember it forever, “The Great Betrayal“.


     I hope you had a nice Sunday.  Happy Easter!


     Easter 2008



Alex   9



Kendra   8



Hannah   4 1/2



Anthony   2 1/2