Friday, April 30, 2010

...They're Ba-aack

There are a lot of people who said kind things to me via Facebook about how I am not a complete idiot for doing this.  People are so kind and try their best to remind you that everyone does dumb things sometimes.  In that post I shamelessly suggested that maybe our stick figure family would be replaced for Mother's day.  That same day Jeremy came home from work with an envelope in his hand with a brand new stick figure family.  A good family friend, who happens to be a co-worker of Jeremy's surprised us. 

Today I took advantage of the good weather and the clean window (The car has not been washed for over a year!) and applied our family.  Haylie and Hannah were seriously concerned about loosing our car and not knowing how we will find it.  I explained that with the remote we just make the lights flash on the car it is that easy!  They were not pacified with that at all!  Now they are satisfied!

As a secondary story, on Wednesday I was rushing out so I could be mostly NOT late for working in the class room, and both Haylie and Hannah were turned around watching the garage door open.  When it was fully opened they  let me know that I could pull out.  When we successfully pulled out of the garage Haylie said "good job mom, you learned patience!"  How is that for a lesson!

Thank you Cindy you are the best!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Love moments like this

Jackson's first day walking home from school.
Not to be confused with Jackson's first day.  I love the little memories that I capture to prove how much the kiddos love their siblings!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordfull Wednesday: Equal Partners

Being Equal Partners, What does that mean to you? "In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners." (Family Proclamation, paragraph 7)

I feel this topic is a little redundant in the inital thoughts I have had.  I have talked about the roles I feel the fathers have and those that the mothers have, and how Jeremy and I are in our relationship.  This topic made me search a little deeper into the topic and seek other ideas.  I think it will help the way I look at my marriage.

I came across a talk "Crossing Thresholds and Becoming Equal Partners" by Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Seventy.

It starts out with this scenerio:

His house key is in the lock. He’s home from work and about to step inside. In the kitchen, real life is scattered all around. The baby is crying. The three-year-old just poured milk—not in a glass but all over the counter. The seven-year-old needs some daddy attention. And dinner isn’t ready.

With a deadline at work tomorrow, a head buzzing from rush-hour traffic, and a Church meeting tonight, he’s hoping she will greet him with some relief.

Hearing him come in, she is glad a relief party has arrived! But when she sees his face fall as he looks around, she defends herself: “Look—I work all day too. I’ve been with these kids nonstop, and I really need a break. Will you please fix this macaroni and cheese and help with the kids?”

In the heat of her request, his hope evaporates into exasperation, and he is about to react.

At this crossroads of their busy day, these two have some choices. Will they use this moment to practice being the kind of companion each has covenanted to become? Or will each one default to past conditioning—familial and cultural? Certain attitudes and ideas have crept into the very air they breathe, challenging them as they try to work with each other rather than against each other.

This is our house almost daily, although Jeremy is the one to roll up his sleeves and dig in and I will continue trying to get dinner on the table, which has become more of a struggle sas of late.  I believe on Monday we were actually eating dinner at 8:15pm when he walked in the door from a late night at work.  It was totally my fault not his, but I think he was glad to at least have a meal with his family.  It makes the hardships of the day more tolerable!

It is at these times when you are both at your wits end and just need relief that you can tell how equal your relationship is.  If one is alway throwing their hands up in the air and saying it is your turn.  There isn't an equality or respect for their partner, I am not aying which one.  It could be the one who constanly dumps on the wife or the wife who is never rolling up her sleeves and digging in.  I think it is out of respect for me that Jeremy comes into the home after a long, grueling, stressful day at work, with the simple desire to relax and enjoy the one thing that matters most to him, that he ALWAYS gives me a kiss and gets to work.  By doing this it allows me time to get dinner prepared and cool down and we get to enjoy a meal together where we are all relaxed and most at ease.

Later in the article it says:

Temple marriage covenants do not magically bring equality to a partnership. Those covenants commit us to a developmental process of learning and growing together—by practice.

You know that saying if it is not worth working for it isn't worth it, this is just like that.  When you get married, it means that you have the initial love for each other (earlier in this article it states that "love is not a possession but participation," that means WORK!).  Marriage is about communication, commitment, and work!  It is through the hard times that your love grows and the bonds of marriage are stronger.  I feel Jeremy and I are blessed to have the marriage that we do, I try not to take it for granted and make sure he knows how valuable I know he is to me.  I know he is far wiser than I am.  I have always been similar to a tea kettle (I think I have said this repeatedly!) I simmer, simmer, simmer, where no one can see, then the steam blows and lets out a nice powerful whistle.  That is what I do and from the beginning, I don't know if it was wisdom or fear from my startling response, Jeremy has always let me blow off that steam.  After that I could talk about it AND do so reasonably.

The article ends with this:
If our young couple could only know that this love is what they could feel and understand at the end of their lives, what wouldn’t they give! They’d listen more and choose better, over and over, day after day, crossing after crossing. They would learn, by patient experience, that “work is love made visible.” They would realize as the years pass that their marriage is helping them become better disciples of Jesus Christ, even becoming a little more like Him. Then they would understand as they cross the final threshold of mortality that the extent to which they have become one with Him is the extent to which they are one with each other.

So in the end it is about having an equal partnership of three, you, your spouse and a loving Father in Heaven.  The more each person in the marriage tries to be Christlike the stronger the marriage will be and you will be able to see that equality of partnership shine through.

I am grateful for the opportunity to put some thought into this topic.  I am far from a perfect wife and I would be lying if I didn't say that I feel, at times, Jeremy didn't exactly choose wisely when he married me.  I feel like I am dropping the ball most days when the never ending list of chores lay untouched but my leisure book is read, and I am caught up on my blog reading and emails for the day.  Yet I remain stressed that the house is a mess.  Jeremy knows I try and that I love him, when times get tough, he knows I am always here waiting to support him in all things and that is what matters most.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stolen from Facebook...

A friend posted this video on Facebook and I thought it was awesome.  The end is the best part.

Anita Renfroe is a christian comedian, popular by The Mom song then with the response to make it fair Dadsense.  Another funny song is Don't Breathe (Faith Hill's Just Breathe) about a husband's stinky breath!

I have to add on those days when I am saying I need to get away from here, Jeremy is excellent about making it happen. I am so glad I married my Romeo!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A surprise from Kabul Afghanistan

My step dad, whom we lovingly refer to as Papa, is working as a civilian electrician for the military.  He gets to go around and do inspection and make sure all is well.  This year Logan's class read Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown.  As part of his school project he gets to send flat Logan to someone he knows and that some one gets to take him on an adventure.  So here is Flat Logan all dressed up in his Camo gear.  Logan chose to send his flat counterpart to his Papa in Kabul, Afghanistan that is 11916 kilometers or 7405 miles or 6434 nautical miles.  Kabul is 12 hours ahead of us.  So right now it is really early tomorrow morning...kind of weird to think about it.  We sent flat Logan to school and then he was mailed off.  The project was supposed to be done in three weeks, but it took this guy 3 weeks to get to Papa.
It would be awesome if it was the real thing but Papa was excited to have a visitor from back home in the states.  He took Flat Logan to work, to meet heroes, of course a little shopping and site seeing and we can't forget the mess hall.
They got to work right away inspecting electrical panels and that kind of fun stuff.

Flat Logan got to sit in on a briefing with 3 Star Admiral Harward and General Martins.  I tried to look at what exactly that means, and all I can come up with is that these guys are pretty important and have given many years of service to our country.  To top it all off they took the time to take a picture for my boy's school project.  These men are missing their families back home and the things their children are doing.  These are the type of heroes I want my boy to look up to!  (His Papa is one of them.  He served in the Navy for four years, correct me if I am wrong about the length).

Then Papa took him on a special assignment where he got to learn about some of the vehicles.  Flat Logan was really impressed with the weapons they get to use, they are big and powerful.  In this picture he is holding a grenade launcher.  I know these men and women hope they don't have to use them but do so in defense of our freedom and safety.

After all the touring and hard work they finally sit down for dinner.  Steak and Lobster.  It must have been a special night since Flat Logan was in town, ha-ha!  Flat Logan enjoyed his trip.  Papa sent him back carrying gifts from Afghanistan.  There is a picture in the slideshow that is of Papa and Flat Logan picking ut 3-D Logan's Scarf!

Papa put together a PowerPoint presentation for Logan's Classroom.  It has lots of pictures of Flat Logan's adventure.  He can't wait to show his friends that his Papa is super cool!
Here is the PowerPoint presentation if you are interested:

Flat Logan’s Great Adventure
NOTE: If you click on View Full screen then arrow through the slides.  It worked that way for me! I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One of THOSE days!

Wednesday was one of those days that I had a few things going on and I was getting it all done!  Amazing.  It is a rare occasion when I am actually running on time.  I got home from working in the classroom (I was late) well not exactly working, I got to scoop ice cream for Miranda's class' "Bana-plication- Party" since they all mastered their multiplication facts, WAY TO GO!

I needed to call Miranda's Orthodontist because I FORGOT about her appointment yesterday.  So I called to schedule and she said can you come down now?  Of course I messed up so I said I will take whatever you offer.  I woke Jackson up from his nap (it had been about 20 minutes boo-hoo!) put him in the car and headed out.  We got Miranda's retainer in and it fit pretty well though it sounded like she had a mouth full of cotton at first.  Then back home.  Thirty minutes later we headed out for Miranda's Achievement Days (A church activity that is twice a month for girls 8-11 ).  I dropped her off ON TIME, then headed back home.  I knew dinner needed to be in the oven before I left so I quickly put that together, got a poopy diaper changed and rushed the kids back into the car 35 minutes later to get Miranda ON TIME.  Logan was being a little slow and I was being a lot little impatient.  I opened the garage door, started the car and backed out, trying to emphasize the point that I was in a hurry.  That is when my perfect day crashed and burned, well just the car actually.
Yes, this is what happens when you try to back out of the garage without allowing the garage door to open all the way!

So back in the house shaking an crying.  I went to call Jeremy who is VERY BUSY at work.  I couldn't get him on the phone so I tried the next best thing instant messaging.  This is how the message went.

April: I need you to go pick up Miranda now.
April: I broke the back window of the car and bent the garage door.

Jeremy: Nothing
one second later:
Phone: Ring!

Yes he called right away as he left a line of waiting employees outside his office door and quickly got Miranda.  Luckily, Miranda was in good company and they enjoyed having her stay for the extra time.  (Thanks again for that!)

Now our car is fine, the garage door is a little bit bent, but we were able to lengthen one of the rollers and get it back in the track and it works perfect, and lastly our bank account has a bandaid. 

The new glass is the only clean thing on our car.  The kids are worried that we won't know which car is ours since it no longer has our stick figure family on the back.  We hope to remedy that soon...maybe for Mother's Day or something? ; o

Monday, April 19, 2010

The final cut

The girls started something, which I tried to finish, and a friend had to really finish.  That's right the end of the latest hair vs. scissors!  My friend Jana is a great stylist, hair cutter person.  She is my go to girl.  She is also expecting a baby and needs to stay off her feet.  Being the kind person I am, I call her and ask her to fix the girls' hair.  Not to mention this is pretty much the day after returning from a vacation!

She was a trooper and here are some pictures.  I finally bought a can of hairspray after about 6 years, just so I could really do up their hair and take some pictures.

Before (this picture was taken in February 2010 you can kind of see how long their golden lacks are)
I am not sure you can really see how bad the damage was, kind of like a mullet on one side.
The front, aren't they so beautifu1?!
And the back, which is my favorite part because it gives me hope that they will have ringlets again soon!
It seems like yesterday they were getting into my makeup and having Logan cut their hair.  Now they are doing it all by themsleves.  Oh how time flies!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wordfull Wednesday...or Friday: Mothers

Last time the topic was fathers so to be fair this weeks topic is Mothers, which I happen to think are awesome.  In the Proclamation to the Family it says "By divine design...Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children." (Family Proclamation, paragraph 7).

Before Jeremy and I got married we talked about future plans. We knew our plans had to align with the major topics.  One that I have found is a big hurdle in some marriages is being a stay at home mom.  There is always this "war" of stay at home mom vs. a working mom.  I don't think if you are one of those it means you are automatically bad if you are the other.  I do however feel that it is the mother's roll to care for and nurture her children.  On that Jeremy and I have always been unified.  I did work part time for the first 5 months after Miranda was born.  I was lucky enough to take her with me, but at the same time, I was no longer able to give 100% to my job, nor 100% to my child.  She would get fussy and I would have no choice but let her cry so I could just finish my work and be mom again.  It was a struggle.

This maybe funny to those of you who really know me, but I did want to be a mom of exactly 2...eventually.  I wanted to be a successful career woman, then when I was done, be a mom.  (This was completely opposite of Jeremy's plan for a wife ; )  I never liked babysitting and really had little interest in holding other babies.  Granted they were cute but really I had no desire.  I would have never come close lo labeling me as a baby person, or that I had the makings of all-star mom (I still wouldn't qualify as all-star!)  By the time Jeremy and I were on the marriage track together, I was tired of school, tired of work, and just wanted what my sisters had, I wanted to be a mom.  Now I have 6 kids and a lot to learn, but I know how important I am to my kids and how important they are to me. 

A couple of months ago I had Jury Duty.  It was 5 days total and most of the time I was home within an hour of the older ones getting home from school.  On my last day Logan and Miranda were so happy that I didn't have Jury Duty the next day.  I realized how much they treasure me being able to stay at home.  Just knowing I was available made them happy, even though they don't need me on most occassions.  Staying at home is not without some sacrifice, but it is a decision we both stand by.

I am always amazed at how much a mommy's kiss can make a boo-boo all better.  One little kiss can stop the tears from falling and heal anything quickly enough that they can continue on their merry way.  I love having that power.  There was a story that was shared at conference this past month, hopefully I won't botch it.  I can't even remember who shared it or which session.  This man shared how he was telling a story to his child.  He used one of those books that doesn't have words just pictures, so everytime it really could be a different story.  As he was telling his child the story he would use a word like coat.  The child would interupt and say no it's a jacket.  He gave an example or two more.  A tad bit frustrated he asks "How do you know that is what it is?"  The boy quickly responded "because mommy says so."  He put the book down and says "Well who is the boss?" again he responds quickly "You are..." long enough for the dad to say "Uh-huh."  Then adds "because Mommy says so!"

Mothers have so much influence over a child.  They are the ones that get to make the hot cocoa and make things in the home safe and comforting.  I love that I get to be that for my children.  Miranda said to me the other day "Mom I still love you and think you are the best, even if you are mean to me sometimes."  Boy it hurt to hear that but it is so true.  Whether it is unkind comments or pulling away when she wants to hang on me (I am really working on that!), she still loves me.  She knows I am always here.  I am so grateful that Jeremy knew I could be a mom to 6.  It isn't always easy but I always enjoy it, sometimes it just happens to be after bedtime.  Right this minute I can not picture a bad day without a funny story that accompanies it.  That is not to say there aren't any I just don't retain them.

I have been so lucky to have many great examples of mothers in my life, whether it is because they serve, love uncondionally or fight to protect their children in all things as well as many other qualities.  I can only hope that I have a little bit of those attributes.  I know that my job as a mother is so important.  I am helping shape generations.  The children I raise are the ones that will influence generations to come.  That is a little bit of pressure.

I love this quote from President Hinckley (the former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)  He says "May I suggest that you walk with prayer and faith, with charity and love.  Our Father in Heaven has endowed His daughters with a unique and wonderful capacity to reach out to those in distresss, to bring comfort and succor, to bind up the wounds and heal the aching heart."

I can not argue that this is not true, I know it is and I have been blessed with this capacity.  The best part is I know it isn't just me it is all women, all mothers!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Braceface no more!

Here is Miranda at the biginning of her journey.  She got her braces on because of having a crossbite.  It was definitely weird to see such a pretty smile and watch it transform and wonder if we made a mistake as her teeth were moving.   It is easier and less painful to do this when her bones are still growing.   This next picture  is after she had her expander on for a while.  The gaps in her teeth were getting quite big!

Today she was very excited to be getting them off.  After about 10 months of braces she was really looking forward to this.
As a congratulations the Ortho gave her a bucket of microwave popcorn and a $10 gift card to Blockbuster.  She felt very spoiled.  She gets to go back in a week to pick up her retainer.  Woot!  I can't believe how fast things are going!  Oh and she has two loose teeth and lost two while her braces were on!

Just remember...

In case you can't read this it says "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."

I think this is now one of my favorite quotes.  I have siad this on my blog a lot recently "If we can just get through this week."  Usually it isn't because of bad things just lots of things.  Dancing in the rain has such a romantic and fun image.  Not that I really desire that now but I had fun moments as a child splashing in the puddles.  I think this is such a fun reminder to enjoy the moment, don't just live life by trying to get through it.  We will miss out on a ton of good moments like this one: 
Lauren is precious and wants to be just like me. And so the torch gets passed to Lauren. Haylie and Hannah were the first to go "there." Aww those sweet memories!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Eternal Companion

I feel so lucky to have married into a wonderful family.  They are a close knit group in a lot of ways.  We woke up this morning, business as usual and then Jeremy got the call that we expected just not for a while.  Jeremy's almost 93 year old Grandma, we lovingly call Grandma June, passed away this morning.  It feels a little silly to find out the news and then run to my blog.  I feel a little torn, like I should wait but this is usually where I pour out my heart.  The day of Grandpa's funeral, a little over two years ago, she found out that she had cancer.  She fought through chemo and surgery and got as clean of a bill of health as you can get after having cancer.  Earlier this year she found out it was back in a different form.  She had more she wanted to do and went through her first round of chemo.  She then decided it would not prolong her life and she would be uncomfortable either way.  She decided it was enough and discontinued chemo.  This last week was a rough one.  She had been to the emergency room at least three times.  Yesterday she came home and Jeremy and James helped her get into the house.  He then gave her a blessing, that alone has been a wonderful treasure for him.  That is the sad part, watching some one's life on the outside deteriorate, while on the inside their mind is so young and vibrant.

The awesome part is that all our children got to meet her.  She is a woman who I think all would be lucky to have as an example in their lives.  She is a woman who testified of having faith.  She and grandpa lived their lives according to the Gospel and their family is what mattered most.  I have seen her heartbreak as she was talking of struggles of her grandchildren.  These last years have been hard on her hearing but nothing brought her more joy than watching her great grandchildren play.  One of my favorite pictures is when she was going through chemo yet she is still reading stories to my children.  That is definitely a legacy that has been passed down from generation to generation, the love of a good book! 

There are so many ways that I would love to be like her.  Her love as a mother, grandmother and great grandmother was abundant.  She was one who loved to do many things.  I met her later in life so her crafty abilities are stories that have been passed on to me, but I hear tell she was a pretty crafty lady.  She was talented with material and thread.  I have images of her making applesauce (which wasn't all that long ago) and taffy pulling from years ago.

One story that keeps coming to mind was soon after she and Grandpa moved here from Utah.  (I will probably botch the story but hopefully the idea is the same.)  They had received a check, it may have been from the sale of their previous home.  She knew it was valuable so she placed it in a very secure place.  When it came time for her to need it she scoured the house and could not find it.  She didn't know what to do.  She finally decided that she had enough faith to ask for help.  She sent her four kids to the pool so the house would be quiet, after all the spirit speaks in a still small voice.  She knelt in prayer, she asked Heavenly Father to help her find the check.  She said she felt a little silly to "bother" Him with such a trivial thing yet it was a big thing for her.  No sooner did she say "amen" then she was prompted to check a drawer she had checked numerous times.  She found the check.  She was defnintely a woman who relied on the Lord.

She loved, LOVED LOVED family history and geneology.  This is one of the passions that I saw the most.  She was so proud of her ancestors and was thrilled at any opportunity that she got to share a story or two.

Another story that I recall shows the love that Grandma and Grandpa shared.  It was a particularly trying day and the children were being a little rough on Grandma.  She had all she could handle and left the house for a breather.  Grandpa sat all of the children down, I am told with a tear in his eye, shared how much he loved that woman.  He then told those kids that they were never to treat her in a way that made her feel that she  needed to leave their house.  Again this story is from my hazy memory of hearing it retold.  I still think of this example and know how much they love each other.  This is what I want my marriage to always be like.

She is truly an amzing woman, one who I love very dearly.  There was no doubt in my mind that she accepted me whole-heartedly into her precious family.  For that I am extremely grateful.  I am grateful for the temple and being able to be sealed together as a family forever.  Our time apart will be short.  One more happy thought is Grandpa welcoming her back into his arms.  I am sure it felt like it was too long that they were apart and what a happy renuinon it is!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Conference Talks

It is here once again and we got to see/hear most of the first session this morning.  The kiddos are getting older now so they are learning to play quietly in another room, as well as not getting into too much trouble.

If you click on this link you can already go back and listen to the talks given to us today.  There was lots of talk about family and our responsibilities.  Wehn you get there below the screen there are little squares that you can click on to hear individual talks versus the whole conference at once.

From that AM session the talk that stood out the most was the talk given by Boyd K. Packer.  He talked about responsibilities of the priesthood.  He also pointed out that as a priesthood holder you have to take care of your wife to recieve the whole power of the priesthood.  This doesn't mean that you have to give her everything she wants but you need to provide and respect her (this is according to my understanding).  It was neat how he pointed out how many worthy fathers and husbands who have the ability to give their family blessings but are too afraid because of their lack of experience.  He shared a couple of stories where the fahters were not going to participate in blessings.  In both stories he insisted that they participate.  In both instances both the father and the recipient were edified from the experience.  It goes to show that woman are not the only ones who suffer from the "I could never be good enough" syndrom and that we need to have faith in our Heavenly Father, that we know we have what it takes to do what is required of us!

As for the afternoon session, I really enjoyed Jeffrey R. Holland's comments on true and pure love.   He talked about love, the kind that lasts forever, that you will shout from the roof tops for all to hear, the kind that you KNOW is FOREVER. Versus lust, the kind that is wishy washy and it comes and oes and leaves you looking for more after the initial onset has worn off.  It is dangerous and a home wrecker.

David A. Bednar gave a great talk for parents raising their kids with advice fora all ages.  His three main points were 1) read and study the Book of Mormon; 2) bear your testimony the dinner table, when ever you can share a truth that you know.  Being spontaneous is sometimes the most effective and memorable. and 3)Teach your children to act not be acted upon.  teach them to use their agency.  He likened it to the addage "If you give a man a fish he will be fed for one meal, but if you teach a man to fish he will be fed for all meals" (I think I muttled that but you get the idea!)  What great advice!

There were so many good talks.  I look forward to listening ot them again really soon to get the full messages without the interuptions and distractions of our little ones!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Conference Activities

Every 6 months the emails go around about Conference activities.  I didn't know there was a link from that has a page of different printable activities.  If you are in the market check it out. Conference Activities for Children.

Oh by the way don't forget Conference this weekend, it is always an inspiration.  I love the counsel received as well as encouragement.  There is not doubt these messages are inspired.  It is fun to watch and learn.  I love listening and trying to figure out what is going to happen in the next six months, kind of like preparing for what is instore.  There are four sessions broadcasted via the internet.  Some cable companies do broadcast it as well, you would have to check your local listing.  If you want to watch via the internet click here.  The links should be there starting tomorrow (saturday).  The sessions are at 10:00am and 2:00pm cmt (That's Utah time) on Saturday and Sunday.

Have a great weekend, enjoy your family and most importantly remember our Savior and the best gift he gave us!

Was there a conference talk that really inspired you or a message that you wished the whole world was able to hear?  Comeback and tell me what your learned!

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