Sunday, December 26, 2010

Joy to Everyone

My brother, Percy shared this on his blog and I hope he doesn't mind me copying it onto my blog as well. Different Christmas messages speak to different people in different ways and this one definitely speaks to me. It's a 4 minute video and well worth every bit of it.

Joy to Everyone

Friday, December 24, 2010

One of the many perks of Christmas

(Luke reporting to Santa on his good behavior that day at school)

I'm a little worried about what I'm going to do after Christmas is over to blackmail my kids to behave and do their chores every day. Santa's upcoming arrival with gifts for all of the nice little boys and girls is such a handy little weapon for a mom to have in her back pocket. When the kids are acting up, I tell them sadly, "Well, Santa's going to be sad to hear that he's going not going to be able to bring you one of your toys away this year." Then I pick up the phone, dial Dennis' cell phone number. When he answers, I say, "Hi Santa, this is Camden and Luke's mom. They are having a hard time getting along today and I've had to remind them all day to pick up after themselves. I know you like to keep track of who's naughty and who's nice. I just thought you'd like to know." The boys start hollering in the background and try to grab the phone away to tell Santa that their mom is making things up. That shapes things up real quick. I highly recommend it.

On the days they've done particularly well, or like on the day Luke's teacher called me to tell me how great he had been doing, I call Mr. Claus again and inform him that he can go ahead and put their presents back in his sleigh because they've been doing so well that day. I'm impressed with how well Dennis can disguise his own voice with a deep, booming Santa voice.

Easter is till a little too far away and Cupid and leprechauns aren't known to be as abundant of gift givers and seem to be more partial to the naughty than the nice, so I'll need to get creative.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Things I Wish I Would Have Known

I know I've said this many times, but I'm always amazed at how much motherhood teaches you on a daily basis. There are so many things I wish people would have told me before I had kids. Who knows though, maybe they did but I just wasn't listening or I thought I knew better than they did. I was thinking the other day of all the things I wish I would have known, even if just a few months ago. If I could give some advice to new moms or moms-to-be, here's what I would tell them.

-Even if other kids seem so bratty and out of control, just you wait. You'll be right in their parent's shoes some day- wrestling a screaming, thrashing child- no matter how good of a parent you swear you're going to be. You may look at others kids and think only morons could produce kids that wild, but sooner than you think, you're in the moron club right along with them.

-Don't ever introduce "The Wiggles" to your kids...ever. You'll never hear the end of them and you'll fall asleep at night to songs stuck in your head about chewing your food and fruit salad. (This one is actually what triggered the whole thought process)

-No matter how piping mad you are, don't ever tell your husband his head is up his butt while the kids are in ear-shot because later on your son, in pure innocence (and probably a little disgusted), will ask him what his head was doing up there in the first place and then your husband will have some explaining to do about his mother's temper.

-Even though you swore up and down you'd never "sound like your mother," I guarantee you will someday. Kids will do that to you.

-Avoid giving your children sugary cold cereals like the plague. Once you go down that road, there's no turning back.

-If you have more than one child, it's nearly impossible to do all the things consistently that the experts claim are essential to a healthy child's brain development like reading one-on-one for 20 minutes every day; giving them the proper amounts of vitamins, fiber, dairy, etc that they need; 1 hour of exercise per day; avoiding excessive television; and the list goes on and on. Don't beat yourself up about it.

-Not all children who are picky eaters are products of parental negligence. Anyone who knows my kids knows why I'm writing this. I never in a million years thought I'd have picky eaters because Dennis and I are human vacuums.

So there you have it. If you have any others to add to the list, I'd love to hear them.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Favorite Quotes of the Week

Here are my favorite quotes of the week with a little bit of a background story on each of them:

  • Camden told us he wanted to be in charge of the lesson for family home evening last week. He was so excited to teach us about water and air pollution, and taking good care of the earth that Heavenly Father made for us. To begin the lesson, he asked us what we thought water pollution was. As we gave our answers, he nodded politely and then decided to give us the real answer. "Well actually, it's when you're riding on a dolphin's back, you pick your nose, and then clean the boogers off in the water. That's water pollution."

  • Lauren is such an enthusiastic little dancer but really only has one dance move- the knee bob with the occassional hand clap thrown in, so I've been trying to teach her how to shake her booty. She looks like Elvis Presley with prosthetic legs when she does it, but she's trying! On Saturday morning after Dennis got home from playing football with the guys, she was showing him her new dance moves with the radio cranked up as he was changing out of his rain-soaked clothes. Luke was watching the whole thing and came to report, "Hey, Mom! Your favorite grown-up is dancing in his underpants!" (Followed by his Mr. Evil belly laugh.) He has never referred to Dennis before that way but I'm glad he knows who my favorite grown-up is.

  • Finally, I came across this C.S. Lewis quote that I love. The more I think about it, the more true I know it is. "The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career."

On a separate side note, I've been feeling the baby kick for the last couple of weeks. I began feeling definite baby movement at about 12 weeks. It's been fun to feel movement so early on in the pregnancy, much earlier than my other kids! Feeling the little one move inside is by far my favorite part about being pregnant.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


This post is a little different. I would like to pose a question to which I would love to hear your responses and how you've dealt with similar situations, if you have faced them as well. This question has perplexed me for quite some time, but especially very recently.

I've always been surprised at how different people can receive completely different spiritual revelation or strong impressions as to how they view a situation, or how they should react to it. Often I'll observe polar opposite reactions coming from good, God-fearing, spiritual people, earnestly seeking to do what is right while staying true to their internal moral compass.

Here are a few examples (and I sincerely hope no one takes offense to these or feels singled out, it's just open, solicitous pondering):

-I was recently in a situation with some people in which I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and love for the people I was with. In fact, I had a hard time leaving, as I wanted to stay there and bask in the sweetness and sincere goodness I felt coming from them. Someone very close to me told me that she had been in an identical situation with the same people and she felt as though she had literally "walked into hell." She felt this with the same tenacity with which I felt their goodness. We discussed it at length and couldn't come to a middle ground on the topic.

-At times, I have felt a distinct, strong impression that a certain course of action should be taken at home, work, in my church calling, or in any given situation just to have someone tell me they also had a distinct, strong impression that the exact opposite direction or action should be taken. Then it seems to become a battle of who received the strongest impression and who's more in the position to receive it.

-There is someone in my life that I feel with a strong conviction should remain close to me, my family, and the lives of my children. Another person, also close to me, with an earnest desire to do what's right, feels as though this person should not be a part of their families' lives. With the same conviction that I feel that this person should be a part of my life, this person feels that this person shouldn't be a part of theirs. A middle ground also cannot be reached.

I begin to wonder, how is it that the Spirit seemingly speaks so differently to different people, often sending them in opposite directions from each other? It leaves me confused and questioning my own internal receptors.

The hardest part is when someone else's spiritual revelation or impression "trumps" yours and you are left hog-tied, unable to outwardly act on your own impressions.

Like I said, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

By the way, I apologize if this is too personal of a subject for your taste.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Recent fun

Here are a few random pictures from recent events.

Celebrating my 29th birthday with a few friends. Stephanie made an awesome chocolate silk pecan pie. We just sat around and talked and laughed. Exactly the kind of quiet evening I wanted to have for my birthday! It was one of those great birthdays were I received many phone calls, letters, and birthday wishes. I felt very loved that day!

Lauren showing off one morning in her pj's. She's such a ham. With her hair in her eyes all the time, she reminds me of one of those little dogs that has hair completely covering it's eyes (I don't know the name of the breed but I've always wondered how they aren't constantly running into walls). She has to walk around with her chin tilted back so she can see out from underneath the curtain of her hair so I decided to try to save a few bucks, borrowed a pair of hair-cutting scissors from Holli and trimmed her bangs myself. Ummm... yeah... Not such a good idea. In this picture the bangs have grown out a bit from when I first cut them, but when they were freshly cut, it was quite comical, actually. Every time I've taken scissors to my kids' hair the results haven't been good, to say the least. I really need to learn my lesson and leave her haircutting to the professionals before she gets old enough to care.

What the heck, it builds character.

We've had some crazy snow lately. Snow like this is really uncommon in southwestern Idaho, but we seemed to have been getting quite a bit the last few years. On this particular day school was cancelled so Dennis took the day off from work and spent most o f the day outside with the boys pulling them around on the sled, building a snow cave, and throwing snowballs at unsuspecting neighbors. It was the perfect day. It was a bummer when we woke up the next morning and had to get back to real life.
Lauren experiencing her first day out in the snow. She wasn't too sure about the sledding but thought it was fun to watch the boys go up and down the street. This is her watching them in open-mouthed awe as they went by.

Thankfully the way I've been feeling has been improving. I've had the energy to start exercising again and the insomnia at night seems to be getting better. I still have to nap every day but at least it's easier to make it through the day if I can just get that nap in. Luckily my two youngest still nap consistently and Camden is good about staying busy and quiet while I try to sleep. Thank goodness the first trimester of pregnancy doesn't last forever, otherwise I think this world would have a lot more one-child families.