Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Fourth Time

#4 decided to climb out of his crib.

You know what that means? Big boy bed. We have plenty of twin mattress around here so that was no problem. He is too big for the crib but won't stay in the bed. Do you remember that routine? We got to do it last night. Today I have a MONSTER on my hands.

A friend told me last week that during adolesence they revert back to the old toddler ways. I believe the way she put it was if you had a sulky toddler, you get a sulky adolescent. When this guy gets to adolescence I am getting a prescription for valium. Or maybe I will have DH build me a treehouse that I can hide in...as long as it has internet access I can IM them all their assignments. Right?

He is a screeching, whiny, crying, unreasonable, obstinate, naked person who is insisting on drinking sugar drinks all day and that I make cake.

I have done this before and I will do it again.

Now to decide-wemon, spice or chocweey cake?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I have made a discovery

I am a pretty good housekeeper when there aren't a whole bunch of kids making messes around me day in and day out.

#1 and 2 are gone to day camp this week. It is quiet and not nearly as contentious around here. I can handle corralling the babies if the big guys don't leave stuff out for them to make a mess with.

For example: this morning after making their lunches #1 and 2 left the makings, fixings and packaging products on the counter. As soon as they left, the 2 year old decided to empty that 150 count container of sandwich bags. Then dump the Kool-Aid they made on top of them.

Guess who gets to mop the floor when they get home?

Ponderings of a SAHHM*

This weekend I had the wonderful privilege of leaving my home sleeping, shopping, eating whatever I wanted (within reason-and german chocolate cake was within reason) and doing it with a friend.

Like every mom, there are seasons in my life I have more concerns about my role as a wife and mother. You know the questions and statements that go through your mind-is it really making a difference? someone else could do this so much better. why can't I have enough discipline to get things going first thing in the morning? should I send them to school? are they socially well-adjusted? are they excelling academically? or just holding to the grade level they are supposed to be? am I just insane? why can't you be more like ....? you are just not the fun mom.

I was getting discouraged.

It is hard not to get discouraged when you are constantly bombarded with questions about socialization, academic (are they really reading well? how do you really know? don't you have them tested? you mean the state doesn't monitor what you are teaching?) (any that I missed?), the children's personality quirks and the constant questioning of myself of if they are doing enough (maybe they should be in tae kwon doe? art lessons? piano? violin? Lego league? OM? Scouts?).

Then there are the regular logistics of running a family. Keeping a house with all these BrownHeads in order, relatively clean and a place where we like to be. And food. Must not forget food. Or laundry.

DH was on the phone this weekend talking with a brother at church. The brother wanted him to do something and DH had to respond that he couldn't. He had all the kids and I was out of town. You know that built-in babysitter? She was out of town. The man just grumbled, "You just need to put those kids in school."

Apparently, in his mind the whole idea of homeschooling is my idea. My DH has nothing to say about it? To be honest, DH has held to homeschooling more than I have in the last year. I was ready to enroll them a few times this past year. I guess I should put it out to the masses or make a t-shirt for us to wear to the next field trip that says, "We prayed about homeschooling. God wants us to do it." The back could read, "Yes, you read right, God." or "yes, we pray in our school." Maybe I should rent a blimp for the next major sporting event.

I recently have been trying to grow spiritually. I need the peace. I have been reading scriptures and talks given by the prophets and leadership of the church. The Holy Ghost whispered to me right before I left on Friday, "print out all the talks by Sheri Dew." I did. I read two wonderful talks by her over the weekend. I found the answers to my prayers in these talks.

The one that struck me the most was entitled This is a Test. It is Only a Test

From the talk:
It is only a test—meaning, that's all it is. Nothing more, but nothing less. It is a test of many things—of our convictions and priorities, our faith and our faithfulness, our patience and our resilience, and in the end, our ultimate desires. In the long run, as Alma taught, whatever we truly desire, we will have. "I know that [God] granteth unto men according to their desire . . . ; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men . . . according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction" (Alma 29:4).

The firmer our faith in Jesus Christ, the clearer our vision of ourselves and what we can ultimately achieve and become.

"Where there is no vision, the people perish," Solomon proclaimed (Proverbs 29:18).
And perhaps nothing is more vital today than having a vision, manifest by the Spirit, of who we are and what we can become, of our intrinsic value to the Lord, and of the unparalleled role we must play in these latter days. We are literally the offspring of God, his begotten sons and daughters, with the potential of exaltation (Acts 17:29; D&C 76:24). "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:16-17).

But how do we get a clear vision of who we are? How do we gain an eternal perspective compelling enough to move us to action and to govern our choices and priorities? From whence cometh the vision?

Light is a key to vision! And Jesus Christ is the ultimate Light, the "light which shineth in darkness" (D&C 6:21), the light which chases "darkness from among [us]" (D&C 50:25). Faith in Jesus Christ is the key to vision, to seeing ourselves as the Lord sees us. So to improve our vision, we must increase our faith in and connection to the Savior.

Why is it vital that we as LDS women have a clear vision of who we are and what we are about and have a bedrock faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Sister Patricia Holland said something that I find profound: "If I were Satan and wanted to destroy a society, I think I too would stage a full-blown blitz on women" ("‘Many Things . . . One Thing,'" A Heritage of Faith: Talks Selected from the BYU Women's Conferences [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1988], 17).

Satan wants us neutralized, because he knows that the influence of a righteous woman can span generations.

See if any of the following techniques sound familiar.
1. Satan tries to blur our vision of why we're here and get us preoccupied with this life. He would have us distracted by and involved in anything and everything except what we came for.
2. He wants us to feel insignificant—that no matter how hard we try, we'll never make much of a difference. Oh, sure, our work is necessary but not very important. This is a big fat lie. It is a diversion designed to keep us so focused on any perceived injustices that we completely overlook the opportunities and privileges that are ours, that we underestimate the vital nature of our contribution, and that we never come to understand the power we have to change lives.
Elder Henry D. Moyle said: "I have a conviction deep down in my heart that we are exactly what we should be, each one of us. . . . I have convinced myself that we all have those peculiar attributes, characteristics, and abilities which are essential for us to possess in order that we may fulfil the full purpose of our creation here upon the earth. . . .
" . . . that allotment which has come to us from God is a sacred allotment. It is something of which we should be proud, each one of us in our own right, and not wish that we had somebody else's allotment. Our greatest success comes from being ourselves" (Improvement Era, December 1952, 934).
3. Satan tries to wear us down by creating the image that there is nothing glamorous in enduring to the end.
4. The adversary encourages us to judge and evaluate each other—a practice that is demeaning to both the person who judges and the one who is judged.
5. Lucifer whispers that life's not fair and that if the gospel were true we would never have problems or disappointments.
6. The adversary attempts to numb us into accepting a sliding scale of morality.
7. The adversary promotes feelings of guilt—about anything. Pick a topic. You can feel guilty for having a large family—how can any one woman possibly care for eight or nine children? Or for having no children at all—you're not doing your duty. For working outside the home—don't you know what the prophet has said about mothers who seek employment. Or for choosing to stay home—what's the matter, no ambition?
Guilt does not originate with the Savior, who invites us to step to a higher way of living and a more ennobling way of thinking, to do a little better and perhaps a little more. Promptings that come from him are hopeful and motivating rather than defeating or discouraging.
8. Lucifer works hard to undermine our innate tendency to nurture and care for others. His object is to get us so busy and caught up in the "thick of thin things" that we don't have time for each other.
9. The adversary would have us hung up on perfection and stymied by the commandment to become perfect.
10. Lucifer would have us so busy—with family, friends, careers, and every soccer league in town—that there's no time to live the gospel. No time to fast and pray, to immerse ourselves in the scriptures, to worship in the temple—all the things we need to do to "study" for our mortal test. In other words, he wants us to be a little more concerned with the world than with the gospel, a little more interested in life today than in life forever.
11. He delights in portraying religion as something restrictive and austere rather than liberating and life-giving.

This talk helped me. It gave me peace.

And just for all those people who question me and DH-I am working on a really zingy comeback. So, POSITIVE messages is all I want. Got that Grannies? POSITIVE messages? Got that grumpy guy at church? POSITIVE.

*Stay at Home Homeschooling Mama

Thursday, June 22, 2006

DON'T say it

This was my response to #3 this morning.

He comes up to me and asks, "Mama? What is for dinna?"
"I don't know yet."
"Weww, can we go to CiCi's Pizza?"
"I doubt we are going to go to CiCi's Pizza for dinner tonight #3."
"Weww, I want to go to CiCi's Pizza. Cause I get fuww thewa."
"Well, you can get full at home too."
"The food at CiCi's pizza, I wike it. And youwa food"
I interupted him.
"DON'T say it-you will hurt my feelings and you will spend lots of time on your bed."
"Weww, I want to go to CiCi's pizza for dinna."


Maybe I should have told him we would go to CiCi's pizza "when this house eva gets cwean."

Old Fashioned

I hired a personal trainer for a few months. I spent the Christmas money my grandmothers sent to me and used it on me. Only me. It is something I rarely do and I am not incredibly comfortable spending money only on me. Guess that is a mother thing.

My trainer was nice and personable. Blonde. Perky. Heading off to school. As I would sweat and she would say, "Come on only 15 more." we got to know each other better. She was amazed at my stories of the BrownHeads. I was amazed at her new relationship with her boyfriend. Oh, wait. Maybe he isn't a boyfriend. That would be too committed.

She thinks she loves this man. She can see having a family with him. She sleeps with him. But she can't tell him that she loves him or that he is her boyfriend.

So, here is me climbing onto my soapbox. (hopefully it doesn't involve a lunge)

How in the world can you think that having ahhhhmmmm with someone isn't a commitment?

Once you have ahhhhmmmmm with someone you are committed. You are committed to the responsibilities that come with the act and the outcome.

I know I am old-fashioned according to some. Is it so wrong to save intimacy until after the marriage? Honestly, I think the fact that DH and I waited is a strength in our relationship.

Climbing down now....

Monday, June 19, 2006

Discipline

There must be discipline!! There must be discipline!!

No, I am not talking about the boys. I am talking about myself. sigh.....

The boys and I have red fingertips

We were blessed to purchase organic strawberries. I picked them up last night (Father's Day). Today we have about 30 pounds of strawberries in the freezer for the next 6 months.

smoothies, mush, shortcake, yummmmm

Saturday, June 17, 2006

You remember those clown cars in the circus? Where they just keep coming out?

My dear daughter loves vegetable barley soup. She will eat two bowls of the stuff. She has also decided to stuff pieces of the corn, peas and barley up her nose. Yes, up her nose. We have never, ever in the history of Brownheads have one do this.

It is not like she has a big nose. She has a Brownhead little nose (honest, my kids have little noses-ask Cindy).

It was truly like watching the clowns come out of the circus car. How many things are really up that little nose? DH pulled one kernel of corn out, then another, then another, wait! there is more up there and a barley too. 4 kernels of corn and barley.

This definitely comes from His Side of the Family.

My sister never put cashews or cherries up her nose.

His did.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Found: a note on the desk

As I was cleaning the desk I found this note written by Aubrey:

I was spitting over the edge of the trampoline. #3 said, "You can't do that. Michigan is public and you can't do that in public. You can't burp in public either. And you especially can't fart in public.

Monday, June 12, 2006

What would life be without comments like these?

During the getting ready for the party my children did grace me with a few choice comments.

A little background on the first one...you remember that birthday we had at the end of March? Yes! that one for Mr. Wisdom, a.k.a. #3. At the time of his birthday, Grandma sent him a cool card with a $20. He was overcome with joy. Then the neighbors across the street gave him $6. He put all his money in a zippered pouch to "keep it safe." He promptly lost it. We knew it was here in the house but in a house with 2 toddlers and 3 other children things just aren't as clean as this Mama would like sometimes. Let's just face it. My boys are slobs. They are messpoopers. Everywhere they go they leave a mess. I nag and cajole and nag and yell and they are still slobs. They still leave clothes, shoes, dirty socks, legos, books and anything they can get their hands on laying around the house. It drives me slightly batty.

#3 was talking to me one day about his money pouch. He asked if I knew where it was and I had to say, "No. I am one Mama. There are five children. I cannot keep track of everyone's things. Have you looked for it?"

In his own sweet little way this was his response, "Don't worry Mama. One day when this house eva gets cwean we will find it (the money pouch)."

One day when this house eva gets cwean....

Overheard

#1 and #2 are doing science this summer. They will be doing reading and experiments. I have asked that they read Janice VanCleave's Biology and Chemistry Experiment books and pick one experiment a week. We are documenting them, photos and write-ups.

They were reading this morning and I hear #1 say, "Ooooo that is a cool erection." Yes, my ears perked up. I think, yes, that was a biology book. Did they have the right one? Do we have a bio book out on the shelves about that topic? I hear #2 say, "Wow. That is a really cool erection."

I leave the dishes. I ask, "Erection?" You know one of those questions that you are trying to not let them know how much information you really want?

#2 looks up at me, he is looking at an experiment about a carnation and food coloring and water. He says, "Oh, I mean reaction."

Erection. Reaction. Same difference.

DH's new calling

ward mission leader

Sunday, June 11, 2006

We now return to our regularly scheduled life

The party is over. The house is dejunked (mostly-have to do the garage now) and painted and clean.

You know, I did all this work on the house. It turned out to be the best day we have had in Michigan in years. It was 70, clear skies, light breeze. No one came inside.