Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our Family Plan

For the past couple of family nights we have been making a family mission statement. That might sound a little odd, but you know- I read it in Covey's book. I get things stuck in my head when I'm reading something. So, my whole family suffers through it. When I first started reading about it I thought, "We don't need to do that." Then I kept reading and decided that it wasn't such a bad idea, and that it wouldn't hurt to try it. (I realize that you, the reader, may not be interested in any of this, but I'm planning on printing this into a book for our family history someday, so just don't read it if it's dumb to you :)
So, here is what we did:

1. Intro: We talked about how builders have plans when they build houses... I asked them whose house would be better: one built by a guy who planned it out, or one who just put things together as he went... Then we likened that to the family. Do we want a family plan or just do whatever as it came?

2. Answered Questions: I gave all of us some cards to write answers about the family on it. Tavish recorded our information. Here is what we came up with:
(I would put this as a link or whatever to click on, but I don't know how and don't have time to figure it out. I just coppied and pasted, you can skip all this if you want)

1.) What are some characteristics of a good family?
a. Listen to each other
b. Treat with respect
c. Help others (Have a good attitude about service) (Do nice things)
d. Have fun together (Have fun) (Play Together)
e. Can talk about stuff
2.) How should we speak to each other and treat each other in the family?
a. Control our tempers.
b. Give the benefit of the doubt before accusing.
c. Give Compliments (Focus on good)
d. Talk and treat each other nicely.
e. Speak Nice and not yell at each other and not be mean to each other.
f. Speak polite and without anger.
3.) What are some of our favorite things we do together?
a. Watch Internet TV
b. Lay in Mom and Dad’s bed in the morning and talk.
c. Family Vacations (Swimming in Bear Lake)
d. Trips to Grandma Sues House.
e. Family Night.
f. Go on Bike Rides.
4.) What is most important to us?
a. Gospel. (Going to Church) (Going to the Temple) (Following Commandments)
b. Education.
c. Loving Each Other.
5.) What kind of feelings should we have in our home?
a. We should feel Comfort
b. We should feel Security
c. We should feel Loved
d. Good Feelings
e. Nice Feelings
f. Peaceful
g. Happy
h. Acceptance
6.) What are we good at?
a. Communicating.
b. Education. (Reading Books)
c. Dad’s good at farting.
d. Being Nice to others.
e. Andrew’s good at riding a scooter.
f. Sharing with Others.
7.) What kind of values do we want our family to have?
a. Forgiving
b. Friendly
c. Clean
d. Cautious (Not talk to strangers)
e. Altruistic
f. Honest
g. Serving

I was surprised how Sara was really getting into it. (She's usually in La La land when we have family discussions in FHE) She was really thinking about it and writing her answers with real words. It was so cute. (We did this for 2 weeks)

3. Made up a plan: After discussing our answers and priorities... we came up with this mission statement:

Our family values the Gospel, Education, and Service.
We strive to be Honest, Kind, Forgiving and Accepting of Each Other.
We desire our home to be a House of Order, Peace , Happiness, and Love.
I thought it was just perfect for us (as long as we actually think about and act upon it during the week:). I think what made these family nights good was that the kids were putting their own imput which makes them value our plan more than if it was just me and Tavish making it.

I've got to tell you that Andrew and his dad were having a powerstruggle over something just before family night, so Andrew had some attitude at first. He didn't like the service part. He said, "I don't want to serve my family, I just want them to serve me." At least he's honest. He got over his bad mood as family night went on, so it turned out nice in the end.

I love my little family!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Healthy Again

I think we don't really appreciate our health until we have sickness. Andrew got sick last week with croup and a fever that lasted for 6 days. Tavish and Sara got it next. So, last week I felt like our life was on hold- no school, playing outside, going places... just rest and worry.

I think the three hardest parts of being a mom of young children are 1-sick kids, 2- no sleep, and 3-potty training. I was getting pretty worried about Andrew. Who has a fever for 6 days?

On Sunday we went up to the inlaws and Tavish and his dad gave Andrew a blessing. On Monday I took him back to the Dr. and he gave him an antibiotic. On Wednesday Andrew's fever finally broke and was acting much better. Ahh- what a relief. On Wednesday morning I was talking with Andrew and told him, "That medicine must have really helped you." He said, "Mom, it was the blessing, not the medicine!" Faithful Andrew- I'm grateful for faithful children and our health!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Be Proactive

I was at my parents' house a few weeks ago and started reading "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families" by Stephen Covey. So out of curiosity I started reading, since I liked the original 7 Habits book but don't remember it. I took it home to read. Anyway, the first habit is "Be Proactive". He basically says that we have the power to choose how we react to things... (something my dad always taught us growing up; I think he and my dad would be good friends). Since I've been reading I've been trying to be a little more proactive.

I think the natural man (Mosiah 3:19) is lazy. Well, at least my natural man is lazy. My natural man wants to just let things happen with out work on my part. So, since my top priorities are my family and living the gospel, I've been trying to be a little more proactive in those areas. Just so you know, which you already know, I'm not perfect. I'm not going to tell you all the ways in which I haven't been proactive (there are plenty), just the ways that I've actually tried over the past 2 weeks. Here they are:

1- Made a leveled library: I was tired of trying to find, in our many books, books that were just the right level for Andrew and Sara to read. So, crazy me decided to level my books. It took a while finding their levels on the computer (some I just had to guess), and there were books all over the floor for a few days. I made a big mess on top of our already big messes, but I finally got it done. I think I'm a little nuts because I look at their leveled books and think, "Wow, that is so cool!" Now, if we can just keep it that way. So far it's helped in our reading time.

2- Took the kids to a carnival: Santaquin had a carnival set up by the school. We drove by it when we took Andy to school; they were setting it up for a few days. Everyday the kids would plead to go to it. Of course I just thought "Ugh". I'm not really into carnival rides and crowds, but I want my kids to have fun memories and experiences, not just memories of staying inside the house. So, when the day of the carnival finally came, Tavish said that he could only go to the carnival if he worked all day Saturday. I didn't want that, so I just decided to be proactive and take the 3 kids on my own to the carnival. Hardly anyone was there, so the kids went on all the rides as many times as they wanted. They loved it.

3- Took my vitamins and tried to stay on Weight Watchers better: It's hard to be proactive when you're fat and tired.

4- Read my scriptures: I've read my scriptures a few days in a row now :) I know this is really sad, but I went a few weeks without reading much of the scriptures at all. On Sunday I would think, "Where's my B of M? Oh- it's where I left it last week." Bad, bad, me. I'm trying to do better.

5- Signed Sara up for Tumbling: Ok- this is one of those things that I've talked about doing forever. I finally did it. I think she needs something while Andrew goes to school, and she loves doing gymnastic-type things. So far she likes it. She asks me everyday how many days until Thursday (she goes Thursday mornings).

So there you go- that's how I've recognized the hand of God in my life: I think he's helped me feel guilty for being a lazy bum and strengthen me to be a little better.