Monday, January 31, 2011

A Day for the Books

Wow, what a day yesterday was. It started out normal. I woke up at 6:00. Exercised for 45 mins. Read my Scriptures for 10-15 minutes. Made breakfast. Hopped in the shower and came out and got C off to school.

Well when we got back I cleaned the bathroom, started the laundry (I knew I had a lot) and then played with J for a little while. Switched laundry to dryer and threw another load in. Then J really wanted to go on a date with me so we went on a walk around the block until it was time to pick up C from school. C's teacher said that C had a bit of trouble at school and had had to go to the office. So I was not happy about that. We walked home and C decided that he would miss out on his computer time as the consequence. Got home and I was practicing the piano when I heard fighting over toys. Sent C to his room and came back J's nose is bleeding all over the carpet. Flew him into the bathroom to clean up, dripping blood all over myself and bathroom floor (yes that I had just cleaned that morning). Got the bleeding stopped, cleaned the bathroom. Stripped off all the clothes and soaked and sprayed and soaked and scrubbed till blood was mostly gone. Threw clothes in washer. Went and scrubbed carpet. Blood stains were not coming out. Scrubbed more. Finally decided to use carpet cleaner (thank goodness for the carpet cleaner!). Vacuumed living room & hallway carpet first and then carpet cleaned over and over the spot till the blood stain finally came out. Carpet cleaned the rest of the living room and hall way cause I had it out already. Threw another load of laundry in. Made lunch for boys and sat down to eat and rest a minute. Few minutes later I hear "Mom J peed all over the bathroom." Ran in, sure enough. Clean the bathroom for the 3rd time. Stripped clothes off the culprit and threw in another load of laundry. Finally sent the boys outside to play so there'd be no more messes. Quiet for an hour. C comes running in. "Mom, I slipped on my scooter and a nail poked my hand." Great. Thoughts of tetanus and lock-jaw run through my head. Call the doctor. Nurse says he's fine since he had a tetanus shot recently. Phew. Boys go back outside for a few minutes. Boys come in for a snack. In the other room I hear, "Mom, J had another accident - in the kitchen this time." Went in and sure enough. Stripped more clothes off the culprit and threw in another load of laundry. Clean the kitchen floor. Homework time. C does homework & piano lessons. We work on a Humpty Dumpty costume for his kindergarten nursery rhyme time tomorrow. Make dinner. eat. Family Home evening. Send the boys to bed....phew.

So in summary, I cleaned the bathroom 3 times, did 8 loads of laundry, clean-up a bloody nose, shampooed the carpet from the bloody nose, Cleaned up 2 potty training accidents, bandaged a wound & freaked out about tetanus on top of all the other normal stuff. Oh and I failed to mention that in the morning some computer scammer called me to try to fix the error messages that my computer was "sending him". YEAH RIGHT! Anyway, that was quite a day. Today is much better already. How could it not be right?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


It's been a while since I've gone off on a long rant that may or may not be helpful, but consider this a warning - this post is post is it.

I want to begin by making clear that I think that entitlement in some aspects is healthy and natural. Children who are born into a family are entitled to physical care and love by that family until they are able to provide for themselves. They are entitled to it because there is nothing that they must do to warrant or pay for that care and love. I feel entitled to stay home with my children and care for them while my husband provides for us. These two examples are good forms of entitlement based on our divine roles as parents and husbands and wives.

But I think entitlement can too easily be a vice. And a vice for all of us. Elder Dallin H. Oaks said in his talk in the April 2009 General Conference:
The worldly aspiration of our day is to get something for nothing. The ancient evil of greed shows its face in the assertion of entitlement: I am entitled to this or that because of who I am—a son or a daughter, a citizen, a victim, or a member of some other group. Entitlement is generally selfish. It demands much, and it gives little or nothing. Its very concept causes us to seek to elevate ourselves above those around us. This separates us from the divine, evenhanded standard of reward that when anyone obtains any blessing from God, it is by obedience to the law on which that blessing is predicated (see D&C 130:21).

The effects of greed and entitlement are evident in the multimillion-dollar bonuses of some corporate executives. But the examples are more widespread than that. Greed and ideas of entitlement have also fueled the careless and widespread borrowing and excessive consumerism behind the financial crises that threaten to engulf the world.

I see an entitlement attitude all around me. It's apparent in people that buy brand new trucks but can't even afford to buy their own food or homes. People who go into debt to keep up with their neighbors in the latest fads and fashions. I'd even go so far to say that it may motivate people who buy a chocolate bar and pop at the convenient store every day because "they deserve it".

Now really there's a bit of entitlement in all of us, isn't there? I feel entitled to a warm shower every day and when I don't get it, I feel like I've been robbed! Is there anything that I've done on my part to deserve a warm shower? Not really. I work hard every day to take care of the kids and my home while my husband works, but a warm shower is probably not a basic necessity of life. It's more of a convenience.

I think entitlement gets to be a problem when we have the attitude that the world owes me something for being alive. I deserve more than I have and better than I've got. The government should care for me because I'm a citizen of this country.

Now don't get me wrong, I know there are people who need government care. Those with debilitating circumstances that keep them from being able to take care of themselves and their families. Let me be quite clear that those are NOT the people I am talking about. I'm talking about the people that ARE able to work and choose not to simply because they'd rather sit on their fannies and watch videos, surf the web or play video games or whatever their pet desire is. They are never satisfied with what they have and always feel like they are entitled to more "free stuff". Some of these people would find that have enough money to meet their basic needs if they cut out the fluff, but they are not satisfied with that so they seek forms of government aid to provide their basic needs so that they can have "extras". And I don't think that the internet, direct TV or cable or video games count toward basic needs.

Entitlement is selfishness. It seeks to put ourselves above others and get ahead in power, fame or wealth. Often times I don't think people realize that they even have the attitude. It's subtle, but rampant. I think the answer is to live simply. To be satisfied with what we have and grateful to the Lord for our blessings. Gratitude is so important. When we really sit down and realize what we have been blessed with, of no merit of our own, we realize that the Lord is good to us. I love King Benjamin's address in Mosiah 2:

20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—

21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.

24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

25 And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.
I think that's so true! If we really sit down and think about how much the Lord has blessed us, the entitlement attitude slips away. We realize that we are given so much by the Lord, with very little in return. I know that He will care for us and bless us if we trust in Him.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Exercise with Kids

On Saturdays we have started doing family work projects that start around 8:30 (or later if we sleep in - the kids have been sleeping in till like 8:00 now so that's nice). Anyway lately we've been just picking a room in the house and "deep clean" or "spring clean" it. This last weekend we did our room and I am so amazed at what a difference a clean room makes - it sparkles! I love it. While we were cleaning I said, "Wow, this room is really dusty!" as I was wiping off a thick coat of dust off the shelves. Then Curious George says "that's what happens when you don't clean it." :) He is very attentive to those things and he's right. We definitely won't wait a whole year to do it again! :)

Later we wanted to get some exercise, but we couldn't decide what to do. The racket ball courts were all full and we thought that would probably not be such a good idea any with all 4 of us in a little racquetball court with a ball flying around - especially with a certain individual who will remain unnamed but has a tendency to get out of control with these things... The swimming pool was being used for a swim meet. We thought jogging sounded so BORING! So anyway, we finally decided to play this penny game that we used to play as newly weds. You go to a building with a lot of stairs - a lot meaning like 10 flights or so. The building we used had 12! You walk to the top (Yes, all 12 flights - this is about getting exercise after all). Then everyone has a penny with a different year on it. The goal is to drop the penny down the center of the stairwell and see whose penny gets down to the bottom with the least number of drops and whose penny made it down the farthest. So you run up and down the stairs and don't even notice you're getting exercise because you're having so much fun. It's really fun with kids - they loved it. Jesse Bear got a little tired and Brandon carried him for a lot of the way. The poor little guy was completely worn out by the end of the night and fell asleep in the car on the way home. Both kids slept REALLY good that night! And after going up and down 12 flights of stairs 4 1/2 times my calves are REALLY sore!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Life as We Know It

Life is moving on. I sometimes sit back and wonder how I could possibly have a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old. It just seems like it goes by so fast. CG is halfway through kindergarten - the 100th day of kindergarten is next Friday!! We met with his teacher and he is doing very well. Making huge progress. He is in his own reading group. Right now he is reading the Magic Tree House series and LOVES it! He can't get enough of those books. He finished 4 just over the weekend. He loves to just sit down and relax with a book and read it.

JB is growing up too. He and CG play so well together now. They are best friends most of the time. When they aren't getting along they say, "You aren't my best friend" and storm off. It's kind of funny. J is back in gymnastics with his "gymnastics-mates", but I think he has outgrown that phrase. Today I said "Are you ready to see your gymnastics-mates?" and he said, "You mean gymnastics friends?" I said, "Oh yeah, right." sad :(

The other day the boys were playing hide and go seek with the neighbor boy who comes over after school every day. Somehow they had a miscommunication about who was "it" and they all went and hid. It was quiet for a long time...probably about 10 minutes before they caught on to the fact that they were all hiding. It made me laugh.

We took the boys bowling yesterday for C's and B's day off. I wondered how well it would work, but they loved it. C even got a spare right at the very end. J did very well too - actually I'm embarrassed to say that he was beating me for the first 5 rounds. ;) We of course had the bumpers up and the balls were so heavy that they could barely push them down the alley, but they loved it. C has been talking about how fun it was ever since. We'll definitely have to do that again.

We went sledding last Saturday with the kids and found what we thought would be this really great hill. Turns out it was a little too steep and 3 out of the 4 of us crashed and C had what Brandon calls a "raspberry" on his face. So of course we had to find another one. We ended up finding this other hill that was soooo much fun - it was like a giant roller coaster ride - probably like 1/4 of a mile long - the longest sledding hill I've ever gone on. Brandon took the kids with him on it and I went on it a couple of times too. It was a blast.

Believe me when I say that life as we know it is not all fun & games. Of course those things are the highlights and always stand out to me and that's what I like to think about and talk about. My children are definitely the hardest and most enjoyable part of my life right now. It's kind of funny how that works. Without them life would be so boring. With them life is challenging, but rewarding. The daily grind - the cooking, the cleaning, the policing, the nursing, the stress and worry and everything - is all worth it, to see my children grow up into the people that I know they are.