Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
One of the lessons that I've learned is about forgiving. Having two very energetic boys in our house, it is to be expected that there are a lot of bumps, bruises, tears and hurt feelings. The same with any family. Of course since Curious George is three years older, stronger and a bit more lively than Jesse Bear he is usually the perpetrator of much of the damage. I've struggled and struggled with how to deal with him in these setting and have gone around in circles trying to come up with ideas. It's been difficult to say the least. I want very much to teach Curious George to get along with other people and especially his brother. I admit it makes me angry when he hurts JB and the mother bear in me wants to protect my injured child and punish the perpetrator. There have been a few precious times when I've waited instead of doing that and have seen greater lessons being taught than those I could teach. Jesse Bear will often come up and say "Sorry" to Curious George and kiss and hug him even though he was the victim. It softens C.G. so that he will say sorry back. I've wondered if I should still punish C.G. in those instances and I usually decide not to. That simple "sorry" from Jesse Bear helps C.G. recognize that he did something wrong and feel sorry about it. Then J.B. forgives, so I should forgive. That's what the Savior would do.
I'm learning that children can often work out their difficulties on their own in a much better way than we can if we jump in. I think as adults we often want justice and to make things right. We especially want that as parents for our injured children. There is a natural instinct that makes us want to jump in and fix it - to put on the bandaid, kiss it better and punish the perpetrator for his crimes. Children are so much better than us at forgiving. They do it naturally. And they forget and move on while we tend to carry the grudge with us like a load of bricks. I've decided that I would much rather teach children about being Christ-like than about justice. If our Heavenly Father put us in a "time-out" every time we made a mistake, most of us would spend most of our lives in "time-outs". Insead all that he requires is true repentance - where we recognize our mistake, confess it, try to make it right and ask for forgiveness. When we've done that, He forgives us completely and forgets that we've even made the mistake. We start again fresh as if we hadn't even made the mistake. Since He is the perfect parent, we can learn a lot by following that example. And our children can help us, it seems so often that they already know.
Friday, November 13, 2009
She's been the perfect pet for Curious George right now. He loves to pick her up and carry her around like a baby doll. He helped her develop her flying skills. He'd put her on this big rock near our house and run away and she'd fly after him. It was funny to watch. Every morning he goes out and gets her and stands in front of our house watching all the school kids go to school. He carries her around and many of them stop and point or talk to him. They all think it is "cool." Another neighbor told me that she saw him standing there holding his duck and waving her little foot at all the cars that pass. She said it was hilarious!
The "duck visitors" still come over. They play with C.G. after school and they all have a blast. I think C.G. has promised each one of them a duckling when they hatch. I'm not sure how that will work, but miracles do happen!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
We've managed to keep busy somehow. :)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Well, the other day the girl's Mom came to our house with a thank you note for C. She told me how happy his card had made her feel that day. She said that she had had a very hard week and his card came at a time when she really needed it. She said that it is hanging on her fridge and every time she looks at it, it makes her happy.
I still smile inside about this experience and it has taught me that these children can be instruments in the hands of God to bless other people. They are often so much more in tune with promptings from the spirit than we are. It also has taught me that even simple things that we do, that we think really don't matter, can bless other people's lives. Curious George's favorite primary song has been "I'm trying to be like Jesus" for a while now. We sing it for every family night and many times in between. He loves to sing it at the top of his lungs! :) I'm so proud of him for trying to be like Jesus and doing this simple thing that made his friend's mom so happy.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
1. Harvest Season - we always love our garden, but it is sure a lot of work this time of year. What to do with the excess is always the question - we usually can most of it and give away what we can't can. This year we had some kind friends give us about 6 bushels of pears from their trees. It has been such a treat eating our fill of fresh pears! So far we've been able to can 42 quarts worth. We've also canned 21 quarts of peaches, a few pints of salsa, 7 quarts of tomatoes and several dozen quarts of applesauce (the apples were provided by another neighbor). It's been a wonderful bounteous harvest!
2. Home-Preschool - We decided that Curious George needed to be at home learning this year and I'm really glad that we made that decision. He's learning to read and it's so fun and rewarding to be able to teach him.
3. Preschool Music Class - I wanted to put C.G in a music class this year and I couldn't find one in our area that taught music in the way I wanted him to learn it so I decided to teach one myself. It's been a lot of fun (our first class was today) and I'm really excited about it. C had a blast and so did I - I really love teaching music.
4. Soccer - C.G is in a little pee wee soccer league. It's been so much fun for him to make new friends and learn about teamwork. It's been fun for us too - if you've never watched four-year-old's play soccer, you really haven't lived! It's hilarious.
5. Pre-two-year-old - We're going through the pre-two's with Jesse Bear. He loves to exercise his independence and "do it". He learns more and more words every day. I'm learning that when you have more than one child, it's the combination ages that are difficult. Like for us right now, the combo of an almost 5-year-old and an almost 2-year-old has interesting challenges. For instance, the other day I hopped out of the shower and the entire box of cheerios (that was securely locked in the "baby-proof" pantry) was poured all over the floor. Now I'm sure the toddler was not able to get into the pantry himself, but with the help of a four-year-old looking for laughs- no problem! I come into the room to two boys in the middle of the pile of cheerios gobbling up fistfuls of them at once. I of course was too cheap to throw the things away (after all they were eating them off the floor anyway, right?). So we spent the morning cleaning them up and putting them back in the box. That was less than a week ago and we've had a similar situation repeated with the same box of cheerios two other times. All I can say is, I'm glad I didn't throw them away!! :)
Don't you love life? There are always new interesting phases to experience. The phase I'm in right now is wonderful - I love having little children at home. I love to teach them and I love the things they teach me. There are plenty of rain clouds when mothering little ones, but their little sunshiney spirits can usually brighten even the most dismal of days.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This story tells so beautifully the feelings I often have as a wife and mother. It was nice to be reminded that mother's important role in the family includes more than just the mundane tasks involved in caring for the children and "home-making" but also bringing joy to the ones that surround us. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
We were given two ducks to begin with. C.G. named them "Peck" and "Dot". "Peck was the runt of the litter - so to speak. He was smaller than Dot and a lot weaker. He hatched the same day we got him. The neighbor took him away from the mother because she didn't want her to kill him (ducks will often do that if they have too many). This mother duck hatch about 15 eggs I think! Here's a picture of peck when he was only a few days old. Isn't he adorable?
Anyway, we lost Peck after a week - he died on the fourth of July. He just got sick and died. It was really a sad time. The next week we got another duck to replace Peck. This one was over a week old, wild and very large compared to Dot. He ran away the minute he got out of the box and it took us over an hour to get him back. Then he ran away again and when we finally found him, he was dead. That was another sad time. C.G. cried a lot during these two incidents. It's hard to watch your kids go through these experiences, but it's really good for them. It helps them learn about life and the life and death process.
We decided to not replace that one, so now we just have Dot. C loves him. Dot follows C around like he's his mother. It's so cute to watch.
I say "he" but we really don't know if that's true. In fact, we are hoping it's a "she" so that she'll give us eggs to eat. We've heard duck eggs are good. We'll see I guess.
Dot is about 7 weeks old now. He is going through "adolescence" where his quiet little peeps are turning into quacks. It's been fun to watch. He's growing wings and getting a little more scared of people. All except C.G. He still lets him pet him and hand feed him. He's still his mama. :)
The duck has been a great confidence builder for C. C loves that he follows him around everywhere. Another good thing the duck has brought are the "duck visitors." That's what C calls them. We live in kind of a quiet, older neighborhood where there are not a lot of kids C.G's age. There are some girls down the street and they happen to love animals. When they found out we had a duck, they've been visiting almost every day since then. C.G. loves the attention and it has been a great learning experience for him. After they "see" the duck, the duck visitors usually stay and play with C for quite a while. It's been a very good thing.
So anyway, we've been working on building Dot's cage. It took a while, but we're happy with how it turned out. Here's a few recent pictures of him in his new cage.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Anyway, as we came to a point where this little boy and his dad were hiking toward us I heard the little boy say to his Dad, "wait, Daddy." Then he and his dad moved to the edge of the trail and the boy turned to us, gave us a huge smile and said, "You go first." I couldn't help but smile after that. I'm still smiling about it actually. That kind gesture this boy showed us brightened my day so much. It reminded me once again that kindness really does make a difference. Aren't children so often the best examples of this? I've seen it in my own kids too. So many times when I want things to be "fair" my children remind me that it's better just to be nice. When I find myself trying to take my fair half out of the trail in life I hope I can remember that little boy and step aside for other struggling travelers.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Was I Living the Gospel Fully?
By Carolynn R. Spencer
Carolynn R. Spencer, “Was I Living the Gospel Fully?,” Ensign, July 2009, 71
My scripture study would have to wait. All three of our sons had awakened—and much earlier than usual. The youngest, Caden, then 18 months old, was screaming in his crib. I went into his room and saw instantly that he was sick.
Thus began a Monday of one challenge after another. At one point, shortly after I had changed Caden’s clothes and tried to feed him, he flung a large jar onto the floor, spilling applesauce everywhere and sending shattered glass across the kitchen. As I was cleaning up the mess, I thought about all the things I wasn’t getting done: family history, service, home storage, missionary work.
“How in the world can I do everything I know I should be doing when I am barely managing the basic tasks of my day?” I wondered. By early evening I was exhausted, but I set aside discouraging thoughts during dinner, family home evening, and the boys’ bath and bedtime routine.
Finally, with the children in bed, I sat down to do what I had not had time for earlier. I picked up the May 2006 Ensign, which was open to a talk by President Henry B. Eyring titled “As a Child.” My eyes fell on a passage I had previously marked: “To keep the blessing of [changed natures] in our hearts will require determination, effort, and faith. King Benjamin taught at least some of what that will require. He said that to retain a remission of our sins from day to day we must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually and temporally” (Liahona and Ensign, May 2006, 17).
Immediately, I again felt that I wasn’t living the gospel fully. I wondered, “How can I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually and temporally when I can scarcely take care of my own family?”
That’s when I experienced an overwhelming feeling of divine approval. It was so clear, precise, and tangible that I knew I had to write it down so I wouldn’t forget. I could see my day replay in my mind—full of feeding the hungry, doing laundry to clothe the naked (I changed Caden’s outfit multiple times), gently caring for our sick baby, helping our five-year-old prepare a family home evening lesson on missionary work, and then discussing the power of example with my family—in other words, helping people spiritually and temporally.
The impression flowed with such an overpowering feeling of peace that I knew the Lord was telling me He had accepted my offering. In caring for my family, I was fulfilling the admonitions of King Benjamin and President Eyring.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
"Happy Father's Day, Daddy!"
Don't you just love four-year-olds?
Thursday, June 18, 2009
So anyway, it must have inspired Curious George because we were walking to swimming lessons today and he picks up this pine cone. "Hey Mom," he shouts. I look back and he shows it to me. "It's going to rain so we won't be able to go to the park." (We had planned on going to the park with some friends after swimming lessons). Sure enough,the pine cone's spikes were closed. I told C.G. that since it's been raining all week there's a lot of humidity in the air so the pine cones haven't had a chance to dry out and open their spikes. The sun was shining, and it really didn't look like it was going to rain today. Plus I was trying to be optimistic about going to the park. Well, we got through swimming lessons, the sun was shining and it was beautiful. But sure enough, just as soon as we got to our friend's house, the rain came. So, there you go. I'm outsmarted by a four-year-old again. And now you know how to predict the rain in case you're ever wondering... :)
While we're on the family history subject, Brandon and I have been trying to get back into doing some family history lately. We've been scanning a lot of Brandon's Grandmother's old family photos. We planning on sharing those photo scans with any family member that is interested. It's been a really fun project. I think it's very important to preserve these pictures for our children and our children's children so that they can get to know their ancestors a little better. If you're interested in learning more about preserving your family photos, here's a few great sites:
Monday, June 8, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
I watched this clip today and it gave me just the boost I needed. I love how it points out that we should notice the hand of God in our lives every day. There are blessings all around us, sometimes it just takes opening our hearts and looking for them. Here are a few things I'm grateful for today:
- Curious George crossed the street on his bike today in front of a car. I'm grateful that the driver saw him and he was protected.
- We met a good friend and her kids at the park today and I'm very grateful for her. She has been there for me on many occasions when I've needed her.
- We went to the Library today and I'm so grateful for it! We go there to check out books almost every week and I don't know what I'd do without it. It keeps the kids busy for a long time after we check the new books out. We love reading them together and learning new things.
- There's so many more...but speaking of library books, I've got to go read them to Curious George now. He just informed me that I've got one more minute. :) Aaaah, the life of a Mom.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Close-up View of the Animal Cages
Side-View of the Big Top with the Flying Pterodactyl
Monday, April 27, 2009
I said my goodbyes to her the last time I saw her alive. I told her I loved her. She squeezed my hand and smiled. She has the most beautiful smile. "I love you," she said. I didn't know that would be my last time seeing her in this life, but something told me to capture that memory and I did. I hope that I will always remember.
It's hard when someone you love passes on. You miss them because they are no longer with you. I appreciated the Bishop who spoke at the funeral. He quoted a scripture, D&C 42:45 which says, "Thou shalt live together in love, inasmuch as thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die." He explained that it's okay to weep when someone dies. We don't weep because we believe that's the end. But we weep because we miss them being with us and we shed tears of gratitude for their life and their teachings.
My Grandma taught me many things. She was not a perfect person, but the thing that I admire most about her was her faith. She had an unwavering faith. I remember many times sitting next to her holding her hand. She'd ask me about something going on in my life and I'd tell her of some troubles I was having. She'd squeeze my hand and smile and say, "I'll pray for you." I knew she would. And I knew that everything would work out. Her prayers were heard. She knew that and I knew it.
I know that I'll see my Grandma again. I know that although her body lies in a grave now, her spirit is alive as ever. I know that in the resurrection, her body and spirit will be reunited, never to be separated again. I'm so grateful for that.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Here's the site:
Here's a few that we've read together from Amazon:
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Next Sunday is Easter - when Christians around the world join together to celebrate the Atonement and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I would like to add my testimony to thousands of other faithful Christians in declaring that Jesus is the Christ. I know that He lived on this earth and performed countless acts of service and miracles during his earthly ministry. His teachings as recorded in the Holy Scriptures are true and will bless our lives if we follow them. I'm grateful that He suffered in the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross for me and for you. I know that when He died, His death was not the end, for He rose in the morning of the third day as a glorified and resurrected being. Because He rose on the third day, Christ made it possible for us to be resurrected as well. I know that if we are righteous, we can live with Him and our Heavenly Father again. This is the wonderful message of Easter. In the words of scripture, "...the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ."
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter and take the chance to think about the Savior and His life and teachings during this season. I love how the world renews itself during this time of year with new life abounding all around us. This rebirth in nature to me is symbolic of the resurrection. I know that because of the resurrection, I can be together with my loved ones after we have died.
Friday, March 20, 2009
“To become self-reliant, a person must work. Work is physical, mental, or spiritual effort. It is a basic source of happiness, self-worth, and prosperity. Through work, people accomplish many good things in their lives. …
“As people become self-reliant, they are better prepared to endure adversities” and are “better able to care for others in need.”
He also talks about 5 principles that can help us prepare to become more self-reliant:
- Find Answers through the Spirit
- Appraise Our Lives and the Needs of Others
- Choose between Good and Evil
- Think Straight
- Seek the Lord’s Guidance
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
So with that in mind, I just want to tell you about one thing that we've discovered that has worked well for Curious George. C.G. thrives on praise, encouragement, and attention. He loves it when we point out things he's done right and he'll often do it for us if we've forgotten. He needs constant feedback and ongoing reassurances that he's doing a good job.
After reading books, talking to friends, and experiencing a lot of failed attempts, I designed a reward system that seems to be working for him. I made a chart for C.G. that has his schedule broken down into small segments - wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed, jobs, activities, eat lunch, run errands, etc. I can change the schedule depending on what our plans are for that day.
C.G. is able to earn points for each block of time (they’re not equal blocks) during the day. The idea is to help him feel good about all the good things he does during the day. If he does an extra good job at something, then he gets two points or even more. If he misbehaves, he doesn’t earn any points for that segment, but we always reassure him that he can earn bonus points for other things he does throughout the day. One thing that is really important is to not take points away once they are earned. We use the points as a positive thing, not as a punishment thing.
We let C.G. spend his points on things like an extra movie, TV or computer time, a special family outing, an extra book at bedtime, an outing with Dad or Mom, etc. He knows that he can spend the points as long as he has done all his jobs for the day and his points aren’t on hold. We put his points on hold (and they can’t be used) when his misbehavior merits a time-out. After he does his time-out then the points get taken off hold again.
Sometimes he’s had some pattern misbehavior that is hard to correct with just the system I described above. For example, he was in the habit of throwing toys whenever he was angry. For that one, I decided to take away a toy whenever he threw a toy. He could earn it back with points. That way, I wasn’t taking away the points directly and that seemed to work for him. And it seemed to correct itself after only a few times of having to take away toys.
C.G. cares more about earning the points than he does about spending them. He might ask me once every couple of days what he can spend his points on, but he reminds me several times a day how good he is doing and that I need to reward his points. He loves to watch me figure out how many points he’s earned. It makes him feel so good to get a bonus point for something that I noticed that he tried hard to do. And I’ve tried harder to look for those things because I know he needs that encouragement so much.
Since we have put this system in place I feel like we notice so much more the good he is trying to do and we’ve tried to be in the habit of praising him for those good things. It obviously isn’t a perfect system and we still have our days (plenty of them). But I just wanted to share this idea in case there’s anyone else out there that’s struggling in a similar way. I’d love to hear any ideas you have to share also. Or any other reward systems you have found to work.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
The boys were so cute today. Curious George was helping me with the vacuuming. He loves to vacuum the house for me. Afterward he always comes and grabs my arm and says, "Look at your nice clean house, Mommy!" Then of course I have to ooh and aah at it. Really, it's not much cleaner than the way it was before he vacuumed it, but he likes to help so I let him. Today I looked up from washing the dishes and Jesse Bear was right next to his brother with one of those push-along luggage on wheels. He was pushing it just the way C was pushing the vacuum. It made me smile. Then later C went to get some blocks and J followed him and got another set. They both sat at the table with their individual sets of blocks playing together. What fun to have two little brothers that can play together!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
- The Family: A Proclamation to the World - this document defines what members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe marriage is. It also talks about why we believe that families are so important and the God-given laws associated with marriage and families.
- The Divine Institution of Marriage - This is a document produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to explain its reasons for defending marriage between a man and a woman as an issue of moral imperative.
- Other Links - These links are from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's Newsroom that explain the Church's position on Same-Sex Marriage and Proposition 8.
Friday, February 27, 2009
"We are declaring this Sunday, March 1, to be a Day of Prayer for Marriage. Proposition 8 was supported by over 7 million voters, and we call on those who support traditional marriage to pray for it to be upheld. Please ask the Lord for wisdom for the Justices of the California Supreme Court. Pray, also, for those who oppose this amendment to our Constitution, that they would understand our motivation is to affirm traditional marriage, not to offend any person or group."
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
"Love...cannot be expected to last forever unless it is continually fed with portions of love, the manifestations of esteem and admiration, the expressions of gratitude, and the consideration of unselfishness" ("Oneness in Marriage," Ensign, Oct. 2002, 40).I think that's very true. When love is fed, it grows. When it is not, it diminishes. I think that's the reason it's important to show love for those that we love. I believe that love can last forever between couples and families when it is continuously nourished by manifestations of love. Feel free to leave any ideas or comments.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Here's the before picture (actually this was about 4 years ago - since then the medicine cabinet had cracked - it was designed poorly - and the wallpaper was peeling off the walls):Here's during:These were taken before it was painted and the finish work was done:
Here's the beautiful finished bathroom!
Friday, February 13, 2009
I decided that for Valentine's day this year I'm going to ask him what makes him feel loved. Oh sure we've discussed this over the 7 + years since we've been married, but I'm going to ask him to write 10 things down that complete this sentence: "I feel loved when you _____." (Fill in the blank). I want to paste this list somewhere I'll see it often to remind me what to do to show him that I love him (in the way he feels loved).
I posted around Christmas about meaningful gifts - I've been thinking a lot about how to make gifts and giving more meaningful. I think if we show love to our spouse in the way he/she wants to feel loved, that is meaningful.
What about you? What are you doing for Valentine's Day for the ones you love? Do you think it's important to show love for those that you love?
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Well, we were playing with them today and C.G. says, "Mom, look it's pointing to heaven!" He was right. Maybe that's why I like them so much. They are intricate enough for a scientist to love, yet simple enough to point a young child upward.
Here's the website in case you're interested: http://www.wedgits.com/design/