Monday, October 24, 2011

An Odd Place to Find Inspiration...

So one of my very favorite TV shows is Biggest Loser.  Its one of only two reality TV shows I like.  The other is The Amazing Race, but that's neither here nor there...  Anyway, I love watching BL.  It's such an inspiring show, and I love to see the contestants whose lives are TRULY changed because of their time on "The Ranch."  Now, I know I just said the show was inspiring, but the inspiration I recieved last night was not of the physical weight loss variety.  It was more of a spiritual nature.  And, though I love this show, its one flaw is the language... not very spiritually connected...

So I was watching last Tuesday's episode last night, and something was said about losing weight that I got to thinking about. Bob Harper and one of his contestants, Sunny, were given the opportunity to travel to Sunny's home for a week.  When she got home, her family was over the moon cheering and laughing at how good she looked.  Later, Bob took Sunny to a local gym for a workout, and she became upset because last time she went to her local gym some punk kids were laughing at her size.  It embarrassed her so badly that she never returned to the gym.  Bob pretty much called her out on that.  He said (I am paraphrasing, here), "Do you remember the reaction your family had when they saw you? You need to remember THAT.  Not those kids who teased you. Your family deserves you being healthy.  Come to the gym for them."

This brought to mind a time a couple years ago when someone in my ward (local church group) had said some pretty terrible things about me and my family to just about anyone who would listen to her.  I remember I was getting ready for church when Joe came home from his Sunday morning meeting to ask me what had happened between me and this girl, since he was under the impression we were friends.  He had been confronted by the bishop (our local church leader) about something that had been said, and Joe was stuck defending himself and me about something he knew nothing about.  In truth, I knew nothing about it either, and her words blind sided me since I had no idea she was saying things about me to others...  I was upset, and hurt, and beyond embarrassed.  Though I am sure there is a grain of truth to almost everything she said, there was also a whole lot of pure fiction.  Once again, this info is not the point so I will skip ahead a bit.  I was MORTIFIED by what had been said about me.  I remember walking in to my ward building and wondering how many women in there had heard these stories, and thought ill of me.  How many of them saw me taking the sacrament each week and thought I shouldn't have been.  How many of them hated me without even knowing the real me... I was near tears for MONTHS at the thought of going to church activities and spending time with other ward members...  I was so embarrassed, and for the first time in my life I could understand how someone could be too embarrassed to go to church.  How someone could hurt you so badly that rather than defend yourself, you would prefer to hide.

Eventually, I got over it.  It helped when the accuser moved out of the neighborhood, and therefore out of the ward.  I still have no idea who has heard the rumors of me and my family, and I also have no idea how many of them believe it.  What I do know is that there are still plenty in the ward...  I still struggle from time to time with this, and though I have been doing my best to rise above it, I don't always succeed.

I have forgiven this girl for how I was treated, and I have worked very hard to not put myself in such a vulnerable position again.  I am working toward being over this whole ordeal, and though I am no longer struggling with the embarrassment, what Bob said to Sunny struck a cord (chord?).  My family deserves to be with me in church.  I deserve to be at church.  I can't reach my full potential without His help, and I can't get all the help I am worthy of without church attendance. I shouldn't put my church attendance on the shoulders of those who would scoff at me.  I should go because my family knows the true me, and they are the ones that matter.  God knows the truth.  Christ knows the truth.  My husband knows the truth.  I shouldn't avoid church because some people who are not eternally significant might judge me for something I may or may not have said or done.  I am so glad I chose to keep going, because after I heard Bob last night, I think the guilt may have gotten the better of me if I had chosen to let strangers and would be enemies keep me from my eternal purpose.

Just something to think about...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Annoyances...

I was doing my grocery shopping last week (as in October 3rd) and look at what I saw on the shelves at Walmart...



NOT COOL.  Its barely October!

This last weekend I made Cinnamon Rolls.  I made two trays.  One for us, and one I WAS gonna give to neighbors.  But then Matthew (in all his cute glory) found the tray of rolls...  and this is what he did:


Kinda hard to see in the first shot, but almost ALL of the rolls have the centers picked out of them.  And three of them have more than half of the roll missing from the inside out... Darn cute kid. Looks like we have  A LOT of rolls to eat ourselves.

Lacey!

Lacey is at such a fantastic stage of life right now.  Just about everything she does is funny...  Or cute.  Or both.  

Some Lace-ism's for ya:

LACEY: Mom, where are we going?
ME: To run errands
LACEY:  Oh...okay.
(at the first stop, a neighbor's house to drop some stuff off the neighbor opened the door...)
LACEY: Are you Erin?
ME: Huh?
LACEY: Mom, you said we were running to Erins!
Lacey comes to me in the kitchen
LACEY: Mom, can I have the last of the juice?
ME: No.  The juice in your cup is your last.  There isn't much left for everyone else.
LACEY: Okay...
Lacey returns to the backyard and yells to Lilia,
LACEY: Lilia... Mom says the last of the juice is for ME!

My sleepy girl...



Lacey loves Tangled.  The other day she was eating a peach when she took two of the slices and did a little "Tangled" reenactment with them (with her own little twist).  One peach said to the other, "I want to leave the tower" in a high pitched voice. Then the other peach said, " The outside world is a dangerous place.  You can never leave this tower!"
Then, the first peach said, "I will go anyway!" and proceeded to leave the tower.  After a minute of "walking" across the table Lacey said in a deep rough voice, "Gotcha!" and took a bite of the Rapunzel peach.  
The other peach said, "Mother knows best!"


I was online shopping when a sidebar popped up with women in skimpy dresses (I wasn't buying dresses- just shoes) Lacey saw all the models wearing the dresses and exclaimed, "Oh! Look at all the Barbies! I want one of those Barbies... I want the Rainbow Barbie!" (pointing at one of the girls dressed in a multi-colored SHORT dress)  Seems barbies are associated with scantily clad skinny models...



Lacey's recent hair cut...  Back view before:


and after:

Front before:

and after:  (the pictures aren't the best, but we added layers to give her curls and hair more body) 

There is a picture of a globe in blue and white that takes you to the "Browser Properties" page online. It takes you off of your current webpage (read: game).  Lacey was running her mouse along all the different programs on her desktop, naming them off one by one, and when she crossed this one she cryptically whispered, "The Evil Egg of DOOM."

I was getting ready to make jam with my niece and told her, "Okay- I will put Matthew down for his nap, crank up the AC, and we will be off!"  
Lacey looked at me with a horrified face and said, "Crank up ME?!  No!"  




 The same noodle place that our family loves, this is how Lacey eats her noodles...

Lacey: Mom, you need to fire the candle before we eat the cupcakes! (Light them) 
Me: (looking at the cupcake) You're FIRED! Eat up Lacey.  

(Okay so that last one was more a funny on my part- at least my neighbor and I were laughing at it...)



Matthew!

I just have to share with you the cuteness that is my youngest as well as some of his funnies from the last few months... 

When I sing Old McDonald with Matthew and it get's to the point where you choose a farm animal, he always says "Dog Dog!" and then woof's the rest of the song.

Now, I am not a highly politically interested person.  I try to keep up with what is going on, but I don't usually voice my opinions about politics and I am not a fan of debating politics either... but I do have to share this one cause he made me laugh... Somewhere in the middle of babbling the other day Matthew said quite clearly "Obama" (or maybe oh, ba, ma)
Me: Obama?  What about him?
Matthew: Uh oh

Matthew used to have a thing for Dora the Explorer...

If you ask him, "who do we ask for help when we don't know which way to go?" he will respond with "ma-!" (map!) If you tell him, Say it louder!" he yells "MA-!!"

On the show there comes a part where Dora and boots start singing, "Where are we going? (clap, clap, clap) ______________!" An they fill in the blank with their final destination for that episode (each episode is different).  IF I ask Matthew, "Where are we going?"  He claps three times and expects me to fill in the blank.  

He used to wander the house singing, "ba- pa-, ba- pa-... ba-pa-, ba-pa-..." (backpack, backpack... backpack, backpack...")

Everytime he sees Swiper on the screen he yells "BAH!" not sure why really, but that is how he says Swiper.   To go along with that, when its time in the show to say, "Swiper NO swiping!" he yells, "No Bah-bee! No Bah-bee!" and puts his hand out in a stopping like fashion (just like they do on TV).  My favorite part though?  If his sister's try taking something from him he yells, "No Bah-bee!" and puts his hand out to stop them.  


And his other favorite TV show, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse...

When he wakes up in the morning I pull him out of the crib and the first thing out of his mouth is, "Mick mouse?" or "Mimi Mouse?"   

He also wanders the house sometimes saying, "Oh too-doo!" (Oh toodles!)

If he wants to watch the show he will ball his hands up into fists, do a little happy dance and say, "Dig-ee dah?" (Hot Digity Dog)

A video of his doing the hot dog dance...  Don't mind me shushing Lilia :)
video

His reaction to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV:

He loves Bananas


He was mad at me and hit his head on the ground hard enough to leave a scraped up forehead and bruise.

Matthew loves his cereal in the morning.  He also loves drinking the milk after he finishes.

And the stuff that spills on the table needs drinking too...

What a ham! He saw me taking pictures and had to smile for the camera.

My mother has some Polly Pocket stuff at her house for the kids to play with.  One item Matthew loves is the yellow Polly Pocket chair in his right hand.

He is trying to sit on it.  He puts it in place...

Backs himself into position...

And sits down!  (See the legs of the chair just under his back side?)  Man I love this boy!

Fascinated with the neighbor's daughter.  He crawled across the table to see her a bit better.

He was eating fries and fry sauce when I went to snap this picture...  just as I took it he flipped the sauce upside down for the perfect shot of him making a mess...



One of our family's favorite restaurants.  Matthew sure loves the noodles!

When Matthew wants a kiss he puckers up like this:


Blowing kisses to his sister at the store...

Lilia!


Lilia is getting to be so big..  I just have to share with you the adventures of this cute oldest child of mine...

Some  fun Lil-isms:

Mom, I was born in your belly so that means you're my mom.
(Lilia hiked the arches in Moab with Joe)

The girls were fighting and I was trying to get them to stop... 
Me:  Someday you two will be best friends, you should start acting like it now.  You know Lil, Lacey was born so you would have a friend forever.
Lil: No Lacey was born to annoy me.

(Lilia climbing the rope at gymnastics)

My niece Stephanie (13) was drinking a Coke and offered me a drink.
Me: No thanks, Steph. 
Lilia (whispering): Yeah mom, that's good that you didn't drink it!
Me: Oh?  Why is that? (Hoping for something about caffine being bad for you)
Lilia (dramatically whispering): Because Coke has you know... {ALCOHOL} in it!

And our latest adventure:

9 months ago I took Lilia to the dentist and after the appointment he announced that her two bottom teeth were loose.  He also discussed with me the need to pull one of her top teeth.  Fast forward 6 months to her next dental check up.  Her bottom two teeth are still in her head and considerably looser, and that top tooth is finally scheduled to be extracted.  Her top tooth was dead from an accident when she was a baby and had stopped growing and was not moving down with the other teeth.  her adult tooth was moving around it so we had to remove it to make room for the eventual adult tooth...



So... fast forward 3 more months to last Friday.  Lilia has been scared to pull her loose teeth because she is afraid it will hurt.  We went to my mothers for dinner and Lilia was complaining about eating something because it was too hard to eat with her VERY VERY loose bottom teeth.  When I looked in her mouth this is what I saw...
BOTH of her bottom adult teeth have popped up BEHIND her adult teeth.  :S  The tooth on the right was so loose it was barely still in her mouth!  So Joe got mean. :)  He told her Saturday morning that if she doesn't pull it, he will.  So she went in to the bathroom, and came out a minute later with the tooth in her hand.  She admitted it didn't hurt too bad and has decided that loosing teeth isn't too terribly traumatic.  Hopefully that other baby tooth will come out soon!  In the meantime, the tooth fairy is now in business at our house! (Gotta love that face... I told her to show me her missing teeth...)


Now if only I could convince THIS child that the tooth fairy will not be coming to our house to PULL all her teeth..


At any mention of the tooth fairy, Lacey runs away with her hands over her mouth.  :)  Poor girl! Her post is coming soon!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Personal Revelation


General Conference time just ended for those of us in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Every 6 months our prophet and other general authorities within the church speak to us from the conference center, and give us valuable advice and direction. My husband and I were discussing last night whether we felt there was a theme to this year's talks. Usually you will hear an overriding theme mentioned in many talks, but this time round neither my husband nor I heard one. I have been looking at other blogs to see if anyone else caught a theme or heard something repeatedly, and found many different topics mentioned. It's funny to me how different people hear different things. What stood out to me as mentioned at least twice through the sessions was the concept of things being worked on "Line upon line, precept upon precept." Not sure who it was that said that the Holy Ghost speaks all truth but doesn't give all the truth all at once (Paraphrasing here). I know one of my biggest weaknesses is going all gung ho about something and overwhelming myself with it. I have been working on the line upon line bit for a while now. Instead of making my family perfect up front, I am working toward perfection slowly.

A while back our children were very young (and less in number) and we didn't really DO Family Home Evening or family scripture study or family prayer. Slowly I have worked us up to it. We started with family prayer. For about 6 months I focused on us praying as a family each day/night. Once that became habit, we added in family scripture study. After another 4 - 6 months that too, became a habit, and we have added in personal prayer for the kids (we now help the girls remember each night before bed to pray on their own, and help Lacey with her prayers). Now that we have added that as part of our daily routines, I am feeling like its time to really focus on FHE. This one is hard for me as it has never been a regular habit with Joe and I before the kids, but I know I can do it.

I also know that a lot of these habits are about flexibility, and doing what works best for you and your family. For example: I am well aware of the fact that many family's chose to do their family prayer and scripture study in the morning. And The Church sets aside Monday night as Family Night. But neither of these options work well for us, so we have adjusted some... My husband gets up at 5:30 most mornings, and is gone to work by 6:30. Instead of having my children wake up that early, we have decided to do our family prayer and scripture study at night. After dinner, but before bed. For now, with kids too young to be at work or on a date after dinner, this works for us. So that's how we run it. Also, with Lilia's gymnastics, it really makes FHE on Monday's near impossible. She doesn't get home from gymnastics (and therefore we don't start to eat or usually even MAKE dinner) until 6:45pm. With bedtime at 8pm and family scriptures and prayer, along with the usual bedtime routine, that leaves about 15 minutes to get in FHE. Sooooo we are moving FHE to a different night. Most likely Tuesday night.

There were two talks back to back Saturday afternoon that stood out to me. Elder Andersen spoke about parenting, and Elder Ardern spoke on time management and technology. I am kind of combining the two to bring up this last point for me. Elder Andersen mentioned a Christian woman's blog on motherhood. The author of the blog said (and was quoted by Elder Andersen):

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.

I looked up this blog and went on to read (as not quoted by brother Andersen):

The question here is not whether you are representing the gospel, it is how you are representing it. Have you given your life to your children resentfully? Do you tally every thing you do for them like a loan shark tallies debts? Or do you give them life the way God gave it to us—freely?
It isn’t enough to pretend. You might fool a few people. That person in line at the store might believe you when you plaster on a fake smile, but your children won’t. They know exactly where they stand with you. They know the things that you rate above them. They know everything you resent and hold against them. They know that you faked a cheerful answer to that lady, only to whisper threats or bark at them in the car.
Children know the difference between a mother who is saving face to a stranger and a mother who defends their life and their worth with her smile, her love, and her absolute loyalty.”
Wow. Talk about a bold statement! Do my children know where they stand with me? I bet they do... Now, do they know they rank above the computer, above my cell phone, above my own personal needs? I sure hope so... But just to be safe, I think now is a good time for me to back off of many things I spend too much time on. Most importantly, Facebook. Though I am not going to delete my account, I am going to tune it WAY down. Though I love Scrabble, (or as called online, Words with Friends) I don't think I should spend so much time playing games. For all those friends I am currently playing, congratulations! You win! I am resigning from the games and blocking the game (to avoid being tempted back into it).
I have so many better things I could be doing with my kids. Just a few days ago I spent 30 minutes chasing my son around the house and tackling him to the ground and smothering him with kisses and tickles. He couldn't stop laughing and kept running away, then stopping, and turning around to see if I was following him. That pure laughter from him was so good for my weary soul. During one of the conference sessions, I cuddled up with Lacey. I spent the whole two hours listening to prophetic council and brushing her hair, and hugging her tight. She whispered she loved me, and I whispered it right back. She makes my heart light. I sometimes am given the opportunity to watch snipits of Lilia in gymnastics. She is so amazing, and she is so GOOD, and she is so talented. And I fill with pride (the good kind) when I see her working hard and achieving her goals. I find myself wanting to tell everyone in earshot, “That's my daughter. The one who just did that perfect ___(fill in the gymnastics move here)_.” She brings a big smile to my face. In the car, I frequently look in the rear view mirror and catch Lil's eye. She smiles, then holds up her hand in the classic sign for “I love you.” I hold my hand up for her. Except I have tweaked it to show our own sign of “I love you too.” (The ring finger is the only finger left down- “I” is the pinky, “Love” is the first finger and thumb, “You” is the pinky and thumb, and “too” (two) is the first and second finger”). Man my kids are amazing. And I want them to know that I know it. Here's to hoping...