Friday, December 19, 2014

Hirchak Weidmer Christmas Letter 2014

Christmas 2014

Dearest Family and Friends----
        I hope this letter finds you all happy and healthy and anxiously engaged in your typical greatness.  As we continue in our quest of making lemonade out of life’s lemons, I have to say, we are becoming masters of the trade, and the drink just gets sweeter and sweeter.  2014 has definitely been a year of growth, in the Hirchak Weidmer home.  And, I’m not just talking about the hundreds of ziplock bags we use, or the truckload of granola bars or fruit snacks.  I am not talking about the tower of cereal we go through each week, nor the mountains of laundry.  I am talking about real growth.  Braden is now taller than I am!  Sean is not far behind.  Garrett will always be a spiritual giant.  And, Karmen can now purchase shoes in the women’s department.  Amber has almost outgrown high school and will graduate this summer.  But, the real growth I want to share, cannot be measured back to back, nor with a yard stick and the door trim.  It is the quiet growth that goes on within each of us.  This year, I will not spotlight a first place pinewood derby race, nor the outstanding GPA of a child.  I will not share the excellence that has occurred in our family, this year.  I think social media does a great job at keeping us informed and making us feel inferior.  So, I decided to approach this year’s Christmas letter a little differently, and share the growth that cannot be seen, and that often occurs after lots of blood, sweat and tears.  But this growth means the most and is worthy of every Facebook feed.
          We have all grown together!  One more year of family dinners, family chores, family events, family games, family prayer, family scripture reading, and yep, every Monday night, Family Home Evening.  We are blessed to have Braden, Sean and Karmen every Monday night.  I know this is not an accident.  He is in the details.  We have seen kids learn to conduct this meeting and stand with confidence.  They have learned, through participation, to speak in front of people, to share tender thoughts, experiences and even testimonies.  We have all been touched as prayers are said, and those missing are mentioned by name.  I can honestly say, and No, this is not the making of a new Mormon Message, but these Monday nights have been the catalyst of amazing growth within each of the kids individually, and for us as a family. 
          We have learned the importance of compromise.  Compromise is more than sharing or picking a have way point to end an argument.  Compromise is truly learning where someone else is coming from, and deciding to do it his way or her way, their way or my way, just because we’re family! Compromise can be just scrapping the whole idea and creating a new celebration, game or tradition.  Compromise is when the past is put aside for the moment, trusting the future is worth the change, and love and the desire to be a family matter more than who’s right or wrong, or any toy, game or event.
          Some of the greatest growth can be the result of weakness.  When we notice an area of the garden that is not thriving, we water it meticulously and take even greater care to nourish that part of the garden to optimize our harvest.  With people, we tend to do exactly the opposite.  Especially in families, we tend to see the weak, and poke, prod and draw attention to failures and magnify mistakes.  We have learned to apply our gardening principles inside our own home, the perfect greenhouse! We have learned what amazing results are seen and felt, when we work together to nourish where we are weak, take extra care when things are down, and weed out the negativity and replace it with just plain kindness. This year we had a garden.  This year we grew a family! 
          Our hearts have grown.  We have learned to love others as our own.  We have learned how each child and each other likes to give love and receive love.  For one, it may be a note of encouragement.  For another, to prepare a favorite dinner or snack.  For some, it may be to do their chores for them on a busy day.  And, for another, to follow up on a homework assignment.  For another, it may be taking time to create a cardboard school project in the final hour and have fun doing it.  And, for another, it may be an outing for some fries and chicken nuggets, even when your budget says, “NO”!  Our hearts have grown as we have learned to love each other BECAUSE of our differences not in spite of them. Our love has grown as we have put each other and family first.  Our love has grown as we have taken time and been willing to invest it in our future realizing the past is important, and the present creates our direction.
          2014 will always be remembered as the year we became grandparents!  On April 12th, we welcomed Addy Grace to the family!  She has brought all of us together with her contagious smile and mighty spirit of love and divinity that is felt by all.   Addy has taught us all that it doesn’t matter how much money you have, what kind of car you drive, or how you look.  Addy shows us daily that it’s all about smiling and how you make others feel, that really makes a difference.

This year, we grew a family, and we thank our Savior, whose birth we celebrate this Christmas season, for making up where we fall short and for bringing us together! He is the gift, of this we are certain!  May 2015 be another year of great growth.  May we all decide to uplift, to strengthen and inspire those around us.  And, in honor of Addy Grace, smile more, is our prayer! 
We love you!
The Hirchak Weidmer Family

Friday, December 12, 2014

Bad Day - Good Day! Praise changes everything!

I was headed to my youngest son's basketball game.  It had been one of those weeks that I felt like I was being pulled in a million different directions.  I was a little bit late, burned dinner just a tad, and helped the kids finish some of their homework.  Needless to say, I was a day late and a dollar short, and ready to burst into tears!  As I watched the game, a conversation began between some old friends and I.  We talked about hard times and challenges that seemed to have filled both of our homes and hearts, over the past few years.  We talked about how hard it is being parents, the challenges of marriage, and how we had coped.  We commiserated about our failures and recognized each other's successes.  In between boxing out and three-pointers, we managed to continue our discussion for most of the game.  Just as the score board rang in the end of the game, my friend leaned over to me and said, "Debbie, you know, in spite of so much challenge and change, you have raised some amazing kids!"  My down-trodden spirit looked up and made eye contact and with my head hung down, and I sheepishly responded, "Serious"?  The buzzer rang, kids began to flurry.  I gathered my coat and bag, rounded up my flock of sheep, and began the long walk to the car.  However, my trip out of the gym was much different than my walk into the game.  I felt lighter and brighter and there may have even been a little skip in my step, that night.  We got home and began the bedtime routine.  Then, down came my 17 year old, decked out in her scrubs and ready for work.  Here she was, worn out I am sure, from a full day of school and grueling basketball practice, all dressed and ready for work.  She works as a CNA at a local rehabilitation center and she loves her job.  The clients and staff adore her and so do I.   I looked at her and thought to myself, "what an amazingly dedicated and diligent young lady------ I DO have amazing kids!"  I asked my beautiful daughter if I could take her picture.  I wanted to remember this moment and this feeling!  I took this picture to always remind me that happiness can be found in the darkest of times...... you just need to know where to look.  And, that I am a woman of strength, talent and positivity and no one can ever take that away from me, unless I let them. And, this picture reminds me that maybe, amid the chaos, heartbreak, loss and change, her mother has done her very best turn obstacles into opportunities.......and ultimately succeed. Bad day to a good day, just from a little bit of praise.