Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sometimes Big Blessings Come in Small Orange Packages

I was making pancakes this morning and as I was puting in the baking soda, I glanced at all the household uses for it and thought, "hmmm, I really should keep that stuff in mind as I clean around the house. Within the next 5 minutes, I opened the fridge to grab the mild and......................CRASH! The BIG pickle jar along w/ a few other things fell to the ground. The only thing that broke though was the pickle jar. And man do pickles stink. Amadeus was quick to grab the broom and help me get the big stuff up and after I had used the paper towels to clean up the majority of the wet mess. I quickly grabbed the baking soda and sprinkled it all over the area. Within seconds the smell was gone and after we were done with breakfast, I put Lil Red in his playpen and mopped the floor with a wet rag. And wa la! My floor was clean and fragrant free! As I set there cleaning the floor, I thanked God for blessing me to read that before the accident happened, otherwise, it would have seemed a bigger trial than it was. Three cheers for baking soda! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! HIP HIP HOORAY!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mom's Voice

These are my three gifts from God. As their parent, I am faced with challenges everyday. From frustration because someone still won't stay still during their diaper changing, to please find something positive and uplifting to say, to how in the heck do I motivate you! Over the last year I have really been seeking to find a way to be a better parent. I started with personality profiling thinking that if I could just understand my kids better that things would be easier, and it helped but it still wasn't what I needed to keep me from snapping with things got to stressful. Over the past weeks with my middle son it has seemed to me that things have escalated again. And I kept hearing myself saying things like, "I just can't handle this anymore!". And it was true. I couldn't handle the fights that would leave me feeling icky and like crying, because of course there was never a winner except satan. And I'm for sure not going to let him win and yet... I was. So I started doing more pondering and more scripture reading and more praying because I knew that somehow I had to change. I can't change my kids atleast I can't force them, especially the older ones without dire consequences, but I know I can develop better control of myself if I could just change my paradigms. It helped me to come to this roads since I had read "The Peace Giver" and "Bonds that Make Us Free". Both books had already helped me to take ownership for my parts in conflict. I just have been struggling on how to break patterns. Well I've also been trying to do more missionary work and so I've been focusing on being more Christlike. So when I went into the bookstore to get a book on developing your conversation skills and couldn't find it....Well the book, "Christlike Parenting" by Dr. Glenn I. Latham jumped out at me. It literally jumped into my arms and walked out the door with me, after I payed for it of course ;)
I went to the temple right after that and found myself reading a passage in Matthew that is talking about recieving the Lord's annointed but at the end talks about recieving his little ones. I'll come back to that in a minute. I had to pick up my older boys from their Dad's after that and of course my middle child with in minutes had turned the radio on to rock in roll. Now after the peace of the temple and the calm evening...listening to that stuff was not my first choice and normally I would probably have said something that would have caused him to turn sulky or a big fight to ensue, but I decided I would hold my tongue as long as we kept the music decent then I wouldn't say anything. My oldest, in trying to battle his insomnia, has taken to asking me to come in and sing a song to him before he goes to sleep. It's usually a primary song but sometimes a song that is special to us but always soft. My middle one surprised me that night by coming in to listen. So I started reading the book and low and behold within the first chapter, I can see myself, the parent that just wants to be appreciated. It was embarassing reading some of those quotes and seeing myself in them and yet it helped to remember I wasn't alone and atleast I didn't want to be that person. I want to let go of all of those feelings and change. Change into a more Christlike person where peace could rule our home. Yesterday, I read a quote from President Hunter in the book that says, "Please remember this one thing. If our lives...are centered upon Jesus Christ...nothing can ever go permanently wrong. On the other hand, if our lives are not centered on the Savior and his teachings, no other success can ever be permanently right." This goes hand in hand with my focus of late which has been that we need to do everything in our lives only after first dedicating our performance to Christ so that it can be a blessing to us! This so excited me. It's not new none of the concepts in this book our new, they are just bringing together principles that I already know and love and applying them to parenting. The other thing that really struck me was in Chapter 2 it talks about how if you asked a teenager if they loved their parents they will usually say something like...'yeah, I guess, but' and from a parent about a teenager, 'yes...but'. But if you ask a parent the same thing about a baby, the response would more likely be a quick affirmative. My thoughts flew back to that scripture that I read in Matthew in the temple, and I realized that that was what I needed to change. I needed to stop looking at my kids as challenges. They aren't problems to be solved. They have problems they need help solving and they bring challenges to my life, but they are still my children that God blessed me with. No matter how old they get or what stage of life they are in; they will ALWAYS be my children. And I should love them with NO 'BUTS' in the way. If you think about it in relation to a gift, like if I recieved a shirt from somebody and they said don't you just love it and you basically did but there was this bow on the bottom that bugged you and so when you said that 'yeah you loved it'. Your whole heart wasn't in your voice because it wasn't completely true. How could I do that to my kids?! I realized that if those stupid 'buts' were there; there would be times and probably had been alot, especially lately when they didn't feel the full force of my love. I have never felt so ashamed. So now that I know. I have gotten to work and I have done homework in line with the things that he talks about. I'm taking it slow trying to make sure that concepts sink in. But I had my first real win/win last night. My middle son came in and was angry b/c he wanted to play playstation and couldn't find the controller. He naturally blamed the baby since he is always walking around with them and started being ugly. I remained calm and asked him if he would please sack up the garbage for me while I started looking for it that I was sure we could find it. After looking everywhere we couldn't find it. He was getting more ugly. I told him that he needed to not be mean to his little brother b/c it looked to me like maybe his older brother had taken it to his Dad's over the weekend and forgotten to bring it back. Of course at that point his wrath turned to his brother. I stayed cheerful and said "well the way I look at it you have two choices. You can either stay angry and alienate everyone or you can find something else to do". Well he mumbled something negative, I chose to pretend I didn't hear anything so I would maintain my calm and give him space to exercise his free agency. Oh my gosh! Within 5 minutes I heard "Star Wars" going on in the living room and he and the boys' friend who was over were having a great time discussing all the nuances of the show. Later I noticed that he had also gone the extra mile and put the new liner back in the trash can for me and I made sure to tell him I really appreciated it. I found something to thank both of them for through out the night. When it was time for bedtime, both boys insisted I come and sing. I offered to come to the middle ones room after but he said he was content to come in and sit and listen with the older one. I hope as time goes by and I continue this path that Mom's voice will become a boon and that the days of nagging and harshness will be drowned out by the softness of the sought out lullabyes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Twirling Recital

Okay this is the last half of the routine. Douglas didn't think about using his phone camcorder till they were almost done. But that's okay I was so nervous I didn't even bring my camera. And I thought it was cool that he even thought to do it. Thanks Honey! So here it is the end of the routine. Wish you could see their outfits better. They were so cute! They rushed a couple parts of the routine, but atleast they didn't forget anything :)
Also I have my first for sure scheduling of summer lessons. So here's crossing my fingers that I get atleast one more, Then I'll only need three for August.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Great Movie: Henry Poole is Here

Spoiler alert! I plan to talk about the feelings that this movie brought out in me, so I might tell a few things that would spoil the movie. It is a movie where a loner who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, moves back to his childhood neighborhood to find his depressed solitude infringed constantly by his neighbors and especially after one neighbor finds what she believes to be Christs face in a water stain on the stucco of his house in his backyard. First of all, I loved the persistant caring of these people. He is rude time and again, but realizing that there is something behind this anger and sadness, they refuse to take offense. I think that is true in most of life's encounters. This is the true form of charity, looking beyond the offense to the person and loving them anyway. I also loved the priest, who offered to listen to his problems. Poole says, "I don't want to talk about it". He replies, "yes, you do. Or you wouldn't have brought it up". That is so true! I hear Poole's words echoed all the time in my middle son. I have found with a little patience and persistance, he always spills all to me. Poole didn't want to be alone and to bear his burden alone, but being a loner he didn't know how to talk to people about it. And I think he was also cynical when it came to believing that anyone could care. I believe this aspect is reflected daily in our lives. Heavenly Father brings each of us to places where we can find people that will help us to grow. Poole, sees time and again, people exhibiting their faith. I love in the end, how after he has destroyed the face and had the house fall on him, lol, and landed himself in the hospital. The ladies that have become his friends tell him that he doesn't have any illness anymore, and he says, "I was never ill?". It reflected where he was at. I think that many people who are learning to have faith, begin that way. They explain away a miracle or a sign after it is given and then later on after many more life experiences look back and admit. My Dad was an example of that. As a young man, and after a particular trying experience, he looked up and the sky and it being an extremely overcast day and seeing no star in sight, he said, "God if your really there then let me see just one star in the sky". He looked around for a second and didn't see anything and said, "see I knew you didn't really exsist", in that moment he looked up and directly over head the clouds parted and a bright star shown down above him. By the time he walked into the house he had explained it away as a coincidence. But obviously deep down he wanted to believe and in later years after having had more experiences that brought him closer to God and building his testimony of the exsistance of God, he knew that that was a sign and a miracle that God gave him in that moment to let him know he was there and he cared. I don't think this movie was just about this man's struggle to have faith. But a movie that portrays that God puts us where we need to be because he cares and loves us and wants to help us grow and be happy.
"Adam fell that men might be. Men are that they might have joy." 2 Nephi 2:25
God wants us to be happy. But we can only find that happiness through having faith and interacting with others in a way that is uplifting and strengthening.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yay I cut Amadeus's hair!

And I did a good job! Tell me what you think? Amadeus said it was "ok". He didn't feel the need to get it fixed or wear a bag over his head, lol. But he would have preferred it to be not sooo short. Actually I thought I left it a little long, lol. The first pic is my favorite. Such a silly guy!

I should have taken some before pics. He had a major afro! He hadn't had a haircut in almost 2 months! There was soooooooooooo muuuuuuuuuch haaaaaaaiiiiiiirrrrrr! It looked like I'd sheared the sheep! But now, oh there's my kid, for a while I thought I had a werewolf for a son, he he.

Leaps of Faith

Next year I need 12 twirling students in order to pay for fencing, guitar lessons and Amadeus's private school. I've been asked if fencing and guitar lessons are really a need. The answer is a resounding, "yes!"! Both of the boys schools don't offer a physical outlet and fencing not only meets that need but the need to be able to be flexible in their competitions so they can spend time with their Dad. Plus their coaches are so wonderful and supportive. Definitely the environment that they can grow in. As to Isaac's guitar. Well I know enough music wise to work w/ Amadeus on the trumpet on our own. But I have no idea when it comes to the guitar and Isaac has shown real aptitude and a desire to stick with something for once. He even practices without me telling him that he needs to! Amazing! So in the boys developments, yes these are needs. I was counting on my students first recital to make a big splash and generate some excitement. And I think it did some of that. But because they split up the recitals there wasn't as many parents in attendance as I would have hoped. But my girls did awesome! They caught 2 out of 3 of their partner tosses. They were in sync on the important parts of the routine. And two of them caught their back catches. They were in short, very impressive :)
So hopefully with the buzz of their performance and the flyers that I just put out in the classroom, I'll get the response that I need. If I don't, well then my next step is to advertise on Craigslist. So keep us in your prayers.