Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It Takes a Village

I think that this blog topic is good for me. I find myself reflecting the day, almost every day, even if I don't post it. And everyday, I really can recognize the Lord's hand in my life, even if it is isn't something grandiose.

Today was one of those regular days... one of those days I really have to ponder and think about in order to recognize His hand in my life. So- this is what I thought of:

I took the kids to swimming lessons today. I figured I better sign them up for lessons because both Andrew and Sara are afraid of the water. I have tried to teach them how to put their head in the water, how to float... and they just freak out. I was worried about how they would react to a swim teacher having them put their head in the water. I can see them either refusing to do it or try it then get water in the nose, freak out, jump out of the pool and refuse to ever try again. I guess I can see Andrew doing that. Sara would just cry. They are both stubborn in their own ways.

Luckily, they got a very sweet girl to be their teacher. They love her. She's so positive and makes everything seem fun. Today they both went under the water without plugging their noses and were so proud of themselves. So far they think swim lessons are great. (Tomorrow I'll try to remember my camera so I can post a picture of them with their teacher.)

This young girl has been able to help my children when I couldn't. It made me think of the saying,"It takes a village to raise a child." Isn't that true? I can think of several times when people have been able to help my children in ways I couldn't, just like others have helped me. Thank goodness we aren't in this alone.

Thanks swim teacher! You are my blessing of the day! (I guess I should learn your name)

Friday, June 26, 2009

First Birthday!

Mac and his turtle cake
(I know, it's a sad looking cake; I'm no decorator obviously.)

It was Mac's first birthday this week (June 23rd). How could I not post on one of my greatest blessings? We love Mac. He's so good natured and sweet. I don't know what we ever did without him.
It made me think of the day he was born. It was a long day- 16 hrs of labor. Who has 16hrs of labor with their third baby? Wasn't expecting that. Yea- it was a pain... got sent home from the hospital...pain...pain...pain... that's what I remember. But he was worth it. He weighed 6lbs 14oz and was 19 in. long- a healthy, beautiful boy.

This is what we like about Mac:

Andrew says, "What I like about Mac is that he loves people, and he likes to climb on me with my blanket on me, and we like to wrestle."

Sara says, "I like that he rubs me." (He pats her head)

Tavish says, " I like his sniffing face he makes, his smile, how he chases after people crawling... and lots more."

I say, "What I love about Mac is that he is happy and makes others happy. He loves people."

We went to the park for his birthday.

Grandma Sue spent a few days with us just for his birthday. I love her; it was so nice to have her with us!

Andy and Sara swimming in the little pools at the park.

"What the heck is going on?"

Mac seemed a little confused as to what was going on, but he devoured the cake. He loves sugar! I guess he takes after his mom.

Here is my mom teaching him how to show how old he is.

We had a nice day. I love my little Mac and feel so blessed to have him as part of our family!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Family Night

Every Monday, well most Mondays, we have family home evening. Our kids love family night; I'm sure that will change over the years, but right now, it's good family time.

So, this Monday by dinner time, the kids were way hyper- giggly and silly- I couldn't get them to calm down. (That's what's happens when they don't get enough sleep). For family night we just decided to read scriptures and get them to bed. As we read, the kids calmed down and we had peace- Ahh. My mom, who stayed with us for a couple of days, said, "I think we should have read scriptures earlier today!" It's always nice to have the spirit back into our home, even if it only lasts for a short while.

Family night almost always brings us closer as a family and brings the spirit into our home. I also think both the parents and children are able to gain inspiration and needed insights for their lives. So, I think I'm going to include our family night lessons on here once in a while, just so I have it and anyone else can use the ideas too- if they want.

This was the lesson we did last week for fathers day; the kids liked this one. I think I might do something like this when it's the kids' birthdays too.

Fathers Day FHE

Opening Song: Daddy's Homecoming

Lesson: Give clues about Daddy to have everyone guess who we are talking about. When they guess, put a crown (we just made one out of construction paper) on Dad and have him sit in the King's chair.


Scripure Stories:

1. Tell the story of Nephi and Lehi and their relationship (Nephi's respect, obedience, Lehi looking out for the family and faith). Read the Scripture "I Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhoat in all the learning of my father..." (1 Ne 1:1).

2. Tell the story of Alma the younger's conversion, and his father praying for him (Mos 27:14).

Discuss positive qualities of these fathers, then discuss what we like about our dad.

Game: Each child pick a question about dad and see if they know the answer. If the children answer the question correctly, they get a point. If they are wrong, Dad gets a point. You could make your own questions. Here are some that we made:

Who is your favorite super hero?

What if your favorite movie?

Who are your favorite kids?

What did you like to do as a kid?

What place would you like to go visit? (Sara guessed that Dad would like to visit the park or the dentist)

What is your favorite number?

What is your favorite breakfast?

What do you want to do when you grow up?

What is your favorite treat?

What is your favorite toy?

What do you want to do when you grow up?

Are you special?

(the kids came up with some of these)

Ending Activitiy: Have the kids think of some service they can do for Dad this week, and make coupons for it.

Treat: Dad's choice

We Love Dad!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fathers and Sons

How I recognized the hand of God in my life this weekend:
This weekend was our ward's Fathers and Sons camp out. Andrew was excited to go with his dad; I think part of his dad was a little excited too. I was looking forward to some girl time with Sara, and hopefully a little more sleep, since Andrew wouldn't be there to wake me up. I was only worried about the weather.

It had been raining all week... Utah isn't supposed to be like this. So, I decided I better pack extra clothes, blankets... everything for them. Tavish kept saying, "It's only one night..." I guess we're the typical man and woman: women pack their whole house and men just pack themselves. (I did pack extra for Andrew though :))

That night Sara, Mac, and I rented a girl movie and bought pizza . I kept telling Sara how worried I was about the boys getting cold and wet. Sara finally said, "Mom, we should pray that they don't get cold." So, we prayed for them at dinner, at family prayer, and in our own prayers. It made Sara feel better, I think I was scaring her by worrying so much. After we prayed at dinner for the boys, she was sure they would be alright.

All night I tossed and turned and worried as I listened to the rain and thought about all the possible things that my little Andrew was going through... hypothermia, getting stuck in the mud, not sleeping, getting lost... Do all moms go through this torture or am I just paranoid?
Anyway, they came home the next morning totally fine. They weren't even cold at night! (We have some nice sleeping bags). They didn't get much sleep, but that's to be expected.

So, what did I learn from this? Our prayers were answered, and my little Sara has more faith than me. I hope I can someday have the faith of a little child. I'm working on it :)

PS- Andrew is holding a bug vacuum that his dad bought for the camp out. Apparently it kept him occupied the whole time.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Socially Speaking

How I saw the hand of God in my life over the past few days:
I'm a fairly reserved and quiet person. The whole 'being social' thing is something I've struggled with for years. I worry too much about what others think, about bothering them, saying the right thing to them... Sometimes I actually feel all panicked and sick in social situations. Is that social anxiety? Feels like it. Luckily I've been blessed with children who are the opposite, especially Andrew.

Anyway, the other day my kids were out playing outside. They asked me if they could go say Hi to the neighbor (she doesn't have children), and I told them that they could, but would have to come right back so they wouldn't bother her. After a while, I looked out the window, and saw that they were sitting on the porch swing with her. Being the nervous person that I am, I worried that they were staying too long. I went over to get them and bring them home.

While we were there, she invited us to come over on Wed. to roast hot dogs and marshmallows on their portable fire pit (I don't know what to call it). Anyway, we went over yesterday and had a nice time while our husbands were busy working, doing church callings... I think I need to spend time with adults to keep my sanity after being with children all day.

Andrew also got me to bear my testimony on Sunday, a rare occurrence:). He insisted on bearing his testimony, but wanted me to walk up with him. Of course I asked him, "Are you sure you want to? Can't you go up by yourself?..." I know as a parent I shouldn't discourage my children from bearing their testimonies, but I was being selfish and thinking that I didn't want to go up in front of everyone. He gave a sweet testimony from the heart and didn't tell any embarrassing stories :).

So, thinking of all this I decided that not only did God bless me with good neighbors, but also children who are strong where I am weak. I think God sent these little spirits to me for a reason, and that just may be one of them.

Here's a pic of my grandma at Andrew's Kindergarten graduation

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thanks Grandma

It's a little harder to think of how I've seen the hand of God in my life when it has been a frustrating or not-too-exciting day. I can always think of blessings that I have, but I mean something specific. I also keep thinking that no one really cares what is going on in my head or what happens here during the day, but it's good for me to reflect on the day. Just stop reading this if it's a bore.

Anyway, I've been pondering the positive events of yesterday... There has to be something right? I had one of those "The kids are driving me crazy!!!!" days (one kid in particular). It felt like we were having battle after battle... argument after argument. It's sad when I wish school was back in when it's only been out for a week or two. So, I called my grandma. We ended up talking for an hour and 1/2 while the kids ran around like wild yay hoos. What a relief it was talking to an adult, not just an adult, but someone who genuinely listens to me and loves me no matter what. She helped rejuvenate me.

My grandma and I are actually good friends. She comes over to play games every so often, calls to chat, and we visit her when we're in the area. I think it's not too often you can find two people in two totally different stages in life becoming good friends. The nice thing about my grandma is that she is friends with all of her grandchildren. How blessed we are to have her in our lives.

Thanks Grandma! You are my blessing of the day!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Camping Out

How I recognized the hand of God in my life this weekend:
Friday night Tavish (my husband) and the kids, excluding baby Mac, decided to camp out. It was cold and windy, so they decided to set up their new tent inside. Needless to say, the kids were very excited. I knew this would be fun for them, but a sacrifice for Tavish. I know how the kids roll all over the place in the night, and sleeping with them is no fun. (Notice I didn't volunteer to do it.) :)

To fully understand the sacrifice Tavish made, you have to know my son Andrew. He is an early bird. He's one that never, ever sleeps in. It's something I don't understand. Why would you want to get up at the crack of dawn when you don't have to? I think he has slept in past 8:00 AM about 10 times in his 6 years of life, and most of those he was sick. It doesn't matter what time he goes to bed, he gets up between 6:00 and 7:00, sometimes 5:00. So, I knew he would be up early, especially because of the excitement. Sure enough, he was up around 6:00 AM (I'm actually surprised it wasn't earlier).

So what I take out of this is that I'm blessed to have such a wonderful husband who is trying to be the best dad he can by creating positive memories for his children. It also made me think of the times we slept out in our back yard with my dad under the stars. He told us stories, discussed life, and I remember seeing shooting stars. I didn't think then that he probably wasn't having quite as much fun as we were. I have been blessed with a wonderful father, and so have my children.

Dad, taking a morning nap after a long night with the kids

Camping indoors, notice Dad is missing

Friday, June 5, 2009

I went to lds.org to find a clip or link to Pres. Eyring's talk and lo and behold there it is right there on the home page. :)

My Blogging Decision

I've been thinking of starting a blog for several months. I keep thinking what a great opportunity we have to create something and share it with the the world (not that the whole world will read this, but you know what I mean). So, what to blog about? I have been thinking and thinking... I'm one of those people who think and think before I do. The problem with that is I tend to think and think and think... and never do. So- that being said, I'm finally doing. Even though you probably don't care, I'm going to lead you through my thought processes on deciding my topic of blog. I looked at several blogs for ideas. I thought about my interests, hobbies, talents, things of importance to me, and made a mental list of possible blog themes. Here is my list:

Family events and photos
- I figure I use myfamily.com for that
Random Thoughts- I'm not a great writer, and I think I would have too many thoughts along the lines of.... "What are we going to have for dinner?" "Why is there water on the floor? (I hope it's water)" "Peek-a-Boo!" "How do I clean thow up out of a car?" and ----------- (that's a blank- no thought at all, a vegetative state)
Poetry- I'm not a poet, but my mom is. I think she should share her hundreds of poems she has written
Photography- not a photographer either. My dad would do a great blog with photography.
Music- I play the piano. I love playing the piano, but I'm no professional- wouldn't be too interesting
Literacy- I like children's books, teaching reading (phonics, comprehension, all that), but I think this would take too much research and time. In other words, I'm too lazy for that.
FHE Lessons- I like making Family home evening lessons, but they take a lot of time... again, too lazy for that.
Gospel Study Insights- Ok, I need to be realistic. How often do I really have good gospel study? It would be a blog rarely updated. Sad but true.
Homemaking- I've seen many blogs of moms sharing their homemaking tips, crafts, recipes... very cool stuff. Unfortunately, my homemaking skills wouldn't be very inspirational to others, more comical.
My Mission- A very valuable experience for me, but I'd like my blog to be mainly in the present, not the past.
Fashion- I'm kidding- didn't even consider that one

This is getting too long, so I'll get to the point. There was a conference talk several months ago that has been weighing on my mind. You know how every conference there is a talk that really hits you and makes you think that it was just for you? Well, that was how one of Elder Eyring's talks was for me. He said that he kept a journal every day writing one instance where he recognized the hand of the Lord in his life that day- a blessing, a piece of inspiration... I'll try to post a video or link to his talk; I'm still trying to figure this out. I'm an avid journal writer. When I heard this talk I thought about how much bla, bla, bla I have in my journals, and how much negative venting I have in them. So, I'm going to do something simple. I'm going to post one instance where I see the hand of God in my life; I think it is a way for me to count my blessings, focus on the positive, and maybe inspire myself to be a better person.