Thursday, May 29, 2008

Slacker Mom

I just read a very short, simple book today called, "Confessions of A Slacker Mom".  I really related and thought it was a fun, humorous look on child rearing.  I have a tendency to do for my kids, whether I want them to do things "right", for them to not look bad or for me to not look bad as their mother, I don't know.  I'm sure it's a mix of the three.  

Especially with school stuff I probably over step my bounds as a mother and do too much.  The charter school that the kids are at really emphasizes the importance of the kids being in charge of their work and keeping their things organized.  It's been really good all around and the kids really have done great this year telling me about homework or projects and being in charge of just coming home and getting their homework done (no more homework fights).  Before, it really was me hovering, checking with teachers, reminding them every minute,  helping them with their projects (so they looked great) and/or checking all of their work.  I'm learning how to let them succeed and fail so they can learn to be proud of and take responsibility for their work.  At times it's still been hard for me to let go -- I want to be a good mom or at least look like one.  Anyway, this book gave me a perspective I think I've been looking for or at least gave me an explanation as to why it's good to do or not do certain things.  For example: kids don't need every toy in the store, it's ok to share a bathroom (my heart bleeds for Morgan), it's ok for the kids to save and earn money for things they want, it's ok that I haven't scrap booked every picture that I've taken, it's ok to fall down and get hurt sometimes and to learn from mistakes/accidents.  

I haven't signed the kids up for any classes this summer and I told them this week all I want is some chores done, music, a little weeding and an hour or more of reading every day, then they are free (oh, no TV, computer, video games before noon -- hopefully not at all).  I couldn't decide if I was being lazy, if I was burnt out or if I was punishing the kids for something by not signing them up for camps and classes. Then I read this little book and it gave me comfort.  I'm happy and even proud of my decisions to let go of a lot of the structure and classes.  I'm really hoping the kids are at the point they can read the summer away with me, all selfish I know.  I do hope we have a productive, creative and fun summer ahead of us  (and that Troy has a lot of patience with us!) Who knows what the house will look like by the end of the summer, jk. Love ya, hon. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Take me out to the ball game

The Kindergarten classes had their program yesterday and they all did an awesome job.  Amazingly it was an hour long and the kids sang, danced, recited poetry, etc for 50 minutes of that time!  Their teacher, Mrs. Huber, is just amazing.  So here is Ethan in all of his glory singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game.  Maybe he can make it as an Umpire one day.  Note: He is wearing a Jazz Basketball hat (it was a tough decision between that and his BYU hat) he didn't understand wearing a hat with a baseball team logo on it.  What is there besides the Jazz and BYU?

Ethan's part

10 kids had lines they recited for part of the Kindergarten program.  Here is Ethan speedily cruising through his part.  "The Amazon River through South America flows, there are monkeys, parrots and sloths move so slow".  

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Magnifying the Priesthood

Grant spoke in church today and did a wonderful job.  I thought I'd post his talk for posterity.  He gets so nervous, but once he's up there he looks up and talks into the microphone and does a wonderful job.  You would never guess he has jell-o legs, as he puts it.

            Magnifying the priesthood

           There was once a family of frogs that lived by a pond.  There were all sorts of good, healthy bugs there for them to eat at the pond, like crickets, flies, mosquitoes and water skippers.  Some of the little frogs, however, liked to eat ladybugs.  The ladybugs were easy to catch, and the red and white shells were sweet like candy.  But this wasn’t good. The ladybugs were friends to the frogs and helped keep the pond free of pests.  Plus, the ladybugs weren’t very healthy for frogs to eat.  

The father frog was very worried, and he thought long and hard about what to do.  Then, he had an idea.  He smashed up some red berries and gathered some white dust.  With it, he painted himself to look like a giant ladybug, and he hopped around for a week with a sign that said: “Don’t eat our friends the ladybugs.”  The little frogs were amazed at this and realized how important the ladybugs were to their father.  They never ate another one.

 You can see that this father frog magnified his responsibility to teach the little frogs by making sure they understood what was right.  Magnifying one’s calling means to go the extra mile in fulfilling your responsibilities. Now you will see I obviously had a hard time magnifying this talk.  But we need to work diligently and very hard on magnifying every calling we ever get. Prophet Gordon B Hinkley once said. 

            To every officer, to every teacher in this Church who acts in a priesthood office, there comes the sacred responsibility of magnifying that priesthood calling.” 

            He also refers to magnifying as looking through binoculars and how they can enlarge and improve any object. But when we don’t magnify our calling it is like looking through the other side of the binoculars. It makes it farther away and doesn’t improve or enlarge an object. But shrinks it and makes it harder to focus.

             When I received the Aaronic Priesthood a few months ago, there was a lot I didn’t know about what I should be doing.  Luckily, there were experienced Deacons in our quorum who showed me the ropes on the basics, like how to pass the sacrament and collect fast offerings.  Now, I need to magnify my calling by helping teach other new Deacons and being as good an example as I can for those in primary.  But the most important thing I can do to magnify my calling is to build my own testimony.  The better I understand the gospel, the more I will understand how I can contribute to the important work of the Church in whatever way the Lord wants me to.


 In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Who doesn't love dirt?

With Troy in India for a couple weeks I figured I was safe to have a pile of dirt delivered.  For those who didn't know Troy really hates a dirty garage, car (his, he doesn't care what mine looks like) and/or driveway.  Numerous times he has had to put up with all three because he married me.  True Love.  So, yesterday we moved a lot of dirt and got the garden in and planted and moved some bushes around.  The kids, and neighbor kids, were extremely helpful filling buckets with dirt and dumping them in the garden for me.  As you can see after they were done dumping they turned the pile of dirt into a bike ramp.  At one point we had 12 boys over riding their bikes through the dirt.  I told the neighbor we just need to bring in a pile of dirt every summer and the kids will be happy all summer.  Who needs water parks, vacations, Lagoon for that matter if you have a huge pile of dirt?  A couple of boys are trying to find ways to convince me not to use the dirt.  I've told them to just enjoy it, they have another week, then it's got to go.  It will all be going to the back yard.  We are raising the back yard a bit so we can put in a playhouse... hopefully the huge pile of bricks on the other end of the driveway will be gone too before Troy gets home.   It is a little tricky to get in and out of the garage.

Mother Daughter

Thursday night for Activity days/Mother's Day we had a mom and daughter spa night.  We made these cute flip flops and did each others nails.  We took cute mom and daughter quiz's and it was really fun to see how much we actually knew about each other.  For instance I knew that if given the choice Morgan would rather eat at a restaurant than at home, but I didn't know her latest favorite candy bar had changed to a butterfinger.  As for me, she knew my favorite color, favorite candy bar and that I would prefer to stay in a hotel than a tent on vacation.  I'm glad she didn't know that my favorite TV shows are Bones and CSI.  It was fun to have a girls night out.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Ok, so I couldn't just put one song on!  I just love listening to her and have to share.  Again not the greatest recording, but I loved it.  This MS benefit is really great, 5 artists play guitar to raise money for MS at the local high school.  Kat's done it with Mike Murphy, man/teacher who started it all, for 8 years now.  Sorry, Kat I didn't have enough camera space to record all of your songs and forgive me that I posted this with your little voice crack.. Trish told me that was mean, but I love to watch you play your songs, as you can see my kids love it too.  Love ya!  This is her song Undone, which she was inspired to write after reading Stephanie Meyer's Twilight.  



My little sister played at a MS fundraiser last night and she was awesome as usual!  This is my favorite song right now (next to Undone, the Twilight song).  Please ignore my terrible recording, I was just holding my camera and leaning to the side to get around peoples heads so it's a little shaky and so-so video quality.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What is Poetry?

The 3rd graders had to write a poem or paragraph on poetry and this is the poem on poetry that she wrote.

What is Poetry?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Idaho Weekend

We headed up to Idaho this past weekend so that Grant and Carlin could have some dental work done.  Grant had to have 5 teeth pulled to prep him for braces this summer.  We are hoping to avoid some of the chains and headgear Carlin wore for the same issues.  After all was said and done we were still coherent enough to go on a bike ride.  We just couldn't pass up the flat terrane that surrounds Klint and Betsy's home.

On our drive home we stopped at the sand dune(s) just past Mountain Home.  There is one large dune and a few smaller dunes that all surround this little lake in the middle of nowhere.  It was really amazing and we climbed up, over and around the smaller dunes.  It was like playing in a giant sand box.  The sand was very soft and smooth, but it was a lot hotter on back side where the sun had been shinning all morning.  The wind was always blowing, but every now and then a big gust would about blow us away, especially at the top of the dunes the wind was really blowing.  Still, we dug tunnels in the sand, ran and jumped down the face of the dunes and got sand in our ears, pockets and throughout our hair.  We looked beautiful when we stopped for lunch.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Who needs sprinklers?

We don't have our sprinklers on yet and we went from rain and snow to 80 degree weather this week (today we are back to rain).  Our poor lawn looked like it had dried up and was ready to blow away.  So I sent Ethan out to water the grass and flower beds while I pulled some weeds.  He spent the entire hour doing a word by word play of how to blast all of the bugs out of the yard.  Not much lawn got watered but I don't think their are any bugs left around our house.  I tried to sneak a picture of him and he ended up "blasting" me with the hose a few times (thus the cut off head in the picture).  I didn't dodge quick enough and ended up soaked.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

So I learned a lot about Cinco de Mayo these past few weeks.  My Mexican neighbor, Alma, informed me that it's really only celebrated here in the USA, because we view it as Mexico finally becoming independent, but they celebrate their independence in the fall sometime.  Anyway...  We made some empanadas (more Argentine than Mexican) and the kids all enjoyed them, so now we're going to have to make them more often!  That's ok, because I've found a place that sells the dough -- that's the hard part for me -- and the woman at the store spoke very good english.  Then in Ethan's kindergarten class we had a fiesta and made tissue paper flowers, ate fried bananas, learned the Mexican Hat Dance and broke a Pinata!  Talk about crazy fun.  What a great day!  

Monday, May 5, 2008

Looks like we found a home

We finally found a place for Brady and Jaime to stay when they move out here next month!  We are excited to have them move to our neck of the woods.  Hopefully Brady will adjust to the little bit of the commute that he will have for the next couple years.  They will be 5-8 minutes away from us, but it is in a nice neighborhood with a great back yard where Jaime can turn the kids loose!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Dance Performance

On Wednesday night I had my dance performance.  I took a Jazz dance class this year and our dance was a Harry Potter dance.  I looked like this: white shirt, red and blue striped tie, blue jumper, black cape, blue tights and black jazz shoes.  We wore our hair in a pony tail and my mom barely got my hair in one, she used lots of bobby pins.  The good thing is our dance costume is the same as my school uniform so I get to wear my costume to school tomorrow!

Women's Conference

I've been a bit spoiled these past couple weeks.  Life has been a touch hectic and I was sick last week.  But Troy and Grant have just stepped in and taken care of stuff.  Troy even came home early last Monday to sort kids when I was sick and I hadn't even asked him too, a pleasant surprise.  

Last month I signed up to go to Women's Conference down at BYU on Thursday, May 1.  I wasn't really sure if I could make it for the whole day, but Grant was very happy to help watch the kids after school, even if he couldn't go to flag football, and Morgan promised to do her best by not missing the bus that day, yeah!  Then Troy would have everything covered until I got home, by 8:30 pm, so he could attend his stake meeting.  I moved everything else to Friday, awesome, I was going to make it to Women's conference... we were thinking 7 am - 6 pm.

Thursday morning I woke up to snow and a little thought in the back of my head... did we really want to drive in the snow?  But Kris picked us all up a little after 7 and we headed South.  Lori O'Toole, Jolynn Hughes, Kris Clark and myself.  We are all neighbors, but hadn't really done much with each other before and we all have kids in different walks of life right now.  As soon as we got on the freeway the snow quit and the roads dried up and we had a very pleasant drive down to "the hottest spot south of the U", chatting about who wanted to go to which classes.

We got down there and Sheri Dew was the opening speaker and gave a wonderful talk on "Influence" and how much influence we have as mothers.  It was a wonderful talk and was similar to the talk on "Influence" that she had given at our Stake Women's Conference.  How spoiled we are to live in an area where we are always hearing from great women like Sheri Dew, Sharon Larson and Sister Smoot.

She went on to say that it is not possible to not influence those around us and we are greater than we think.  She asked us:
Are we women on a mission?
Are we the women God needs us to be in the latter days?
Are we teaching of Christ?
She quoted from a talk President Kimball gave as a Prophet and he said that the women of the church will lead the women of the world in the latter days.
She went on to talk about making our lives a ministry and doing what the Lord needs us to do.  We should ask every day what the Lord has in store for me today.
We also need to pass on what it means to be a woman of God.  We need to speak up and reach out.
Things we need to do:
Choose holiness and purity over the worldly.
Pray about who the Lord needs us to be.
Pray always to deny Satan.
Take more time to be a little more holy.
Make time to ask & hear.

The first class I went to was called "Loving the Praise of God".
Both speakers did a nice job, but the second speaker, Marie Hafen, had her daughter-in-law talk for half of her time and she did a wonderful job.  She started by saying that her 4th child, out of seven, was triplets.  She talked about simplifying and what changes they made as a family.  She related it to choosing the path we want to follow and what we want to carry in our pack as we take that path.  She said as life changed/simplified she realized that the path they were on hadn't changed and would never change, but the things they were carrying in their packs had changed.  She had thought family, church callings, volunteer work, etc were all a part of the path, but as they simplified she realized they were all things in her pack that she was carrying.  As they took piano, sports, volunteer work out of the pack for a time so they could focus on the family she found the Lord sometimes adds things to our pack for our own goodor because He knows we need them (even though we may not agree at first).  Things like: gifts and talents, abilities, challenges, etc.  We also are able to choose many things we add to our packs and Satan is always tempting us to add things we don't need to our packs and he often starts simple.  Missing just this one Family Home Evening for a soccer practice.  Also material possessions add a lot of weight and time to our packs.  Be wise.
Her mother-in-law ended with a couple things I thought were wise.  Mothers and Grandmothers give kids experiences, especially ones that build testimony, rather than always giving things.  Learn to say no to yourself - be content with what you have.

Lori and I attended one on adoption, it was mostly stories, but talked about acknowledging differences.  You can use their differences to show love, help them learn of themselves and can help them have pride in who they are and find the good in them.  I thought these were all things that would be good in any family since siblings are all different.

The last work shop we attended was "We are as the Army of Helaman" by Brother and Sister Nadauld.  They spoke on raising boys and they did a really wonderful job.  They talked about letting boys be energetic, be patient and find good ways for them to be rambunctious.  Even though they are a little more rowdy they still need to receive tenderness from both their mother and father.  They also love food... more so as they get older and if they know you fix breakfast and dinner they will always come home or be home (be up) for a meal.
They talked about building confidence and five main points were:
Work: they need rewarding work to do.  yard work, house work, anything with a motor...  You need to work with them side by side (some boys a few times and they can do it on their own others 50 times before you can turn them loose).  Comparing them to a garden you have to be constant and consistent.  If you aren't always watering and weeding your garden will die or become over run...
Responsibility: this is a process... little boys your teaching to get up, brush teeth, eat your food... as they get older you teach honesty, telling truth...  older: save, tithing, and spending money and how to set and achieve goals.  Don't spoil or overindulge.
Respect:  Need to respect mothers and sisters so they will be good husbands.  Open doors, be kind, let girls go first (showing respect to Heavenly Fathers daughters).  Women need to set the tone by using kind words and speaking kindly.  Teach them to respect life, body, authority.
Expectations:  They have a great desire to please you, expect them to get up, keep curfew,  do chores, be to church on time, etc.  Expect them to go on a mission, college or vocational school, etc.
Reverence: they see you pray, take the sacrament, feel gratitude, go to the temple.  By you doing these things (and more) they will learn reverence.  They will be proud to wear a white shirt and pass the sacrament when they see the joy in your face, etc.

Brother and Sister Bateman (used to be Pres. at BYU, now temple President at the Provo Temple) gave the closing remarks on attending the temple and modeling your home after the temple.  Some things we can do are:  
use a soft voice
take time to teach, train and assign children responsibilities (all temple workers are trained)
every shift begins with prayer, begin and end your day in prayer
treat others with kindness and serve others
order (everything in proper place demands respect from children)

Then we hung around campus a little visiting and finally realizing it was getting late went down to Los Hermanos for dinner.  It was starting to clear up a little, but it was full of women obviously from Women's Conference.  I called Troy to tell him I'd be a little later than planned but definitely would be home by 8 pm.  At 8:15 pm Lori asked if I needed to call Troy, we had totally lost track of the evening.  Troy was a good sport and had found a ride for Grant to football and waited for him to get home at 8:30, thus being a little late to his stake meeting.  After we all checked in we ended up visiting for another hour and didn't get home till after 10 pm.  It was really wonderful to sit and visit about the classes and life and just hang out a little.  By the end of the night we decided we'd do it again next year, but spend the night and attend Fridays classes also!