Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Their approaching birthdays have turned me to pondering on my long period of parenthood, and I have compiled a short list of lessons learned.
1. Only those with no children or small children know all the answers. Have you noticed that? You will be sitting in a class and the teacher will ask a parenting question and the first people to raise their hands are almost always the ones with little experience. The rest of us know we don’t know.
2. Those days you thought would last forever—the ones where all your kids were small and just meeting their physical needs demanded most of your time—now seem to have passed much too quickly, and you wonder why you didn’t appreciate them more.
3. Because . . .when they get older they still demand most of your time, but now you are worrying about their social, spiritual, educational, and emotional needs as well--and fervently praying for their safety.
4. Agency sounds like a good idea when you are the one exercising it, but not so great when your children think they should.
5. It is never a good thing to say, “My child would never . . . “ because they probably are. I can’t tell you how many times I heard parents discuss problems they were having with their children and thought how grateful I was not to have those same challenges—only to find out I did.
6. Just when you think you know what you are doing, the next child comes along.
7. There is a big difference between boys and girls. If I ask my daughters what they have been up to they look at each other, giggle and say, “nothing.” My son, on the other hand, would come in late at night and say, “Wow!! That was so cool! We found this old couch in the desert, and we poured gasoline on it and started it on fire and then took turns jumping over it. Do you want to see the video?”
8. Some of the best times to talk with your kids, will be inconvenient, but worth it. One of the best things I have done as a parent is wait up for my kids when they are out at night. It has been tiring, but has also proved to be critical. I wanted each of them to know that when they walked through the door they would have to look me in the eye and tell me about their evening. But I learned there were other benefits as well. My quietest children always had a hard time talking with me during the day, but their tongues seemed to be loosed after midnight. I have had many nights where I went to bed after two in the morning, due to late night chats. And I wouldn’t trade those talks for any amount of sleep.
9. Letting go requires faith. I am excited to see my kids get older, make good choices and have new opportunities, but it is also a bit scary when your sixteen year old drives off by herself in the car, or your eighteen year old tells you she is going on a road trip with friends. You just take a deep breath and pray a lot.
10. You aren't doing your kids any favors by not teaching them to work. Lazy kids will often grow up to be lazy adults, so for Heaven's sake teach them to do their own laundry, make them do the dishes, sweep and mop the floors, clean the toilets, take out the garbage and weed the garden. I am always shocked at how many parents don't make their kids do house work. I have had mothers ask me how I get my kids to work, and I tell them. I say to the kids, "Here are your jobs. Do them." Of course a stern scowl from their father doesn't hurt. :-)
And here is my most embarrassing parent moment.
One night my son came home and told me he and his friends found an old shopping cart in the desert. For fun, they tied it to the back of a truck, put another friend in it with a helmet on (thankfully!) and dragged him at 50 mile an hour speeds through the sage brush.
The next morning was Sunday and the mother of the poor dragged boy was teaching relief society. She commented on how grateful she was for her son’s friends, especially my son, because she knew if her boy was with mine, he would be safe.
As other mothers turned to me with looks of "Oh, that is so sweet, " I about slid to the floor.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
-To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
-To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
-To make all your friends feel that there is something special in them.
-To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
-To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
-To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
-To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements of the future.
-To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
-To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
-To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
Another post that also has good advice that I am sure you will want to check out is Nature Girl. Loved it!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
But this week has been different!! With it being spring break, I have forced myself to stay in bed until 6:30--most days.
And the results? Oh the things you can do with just a little more sleep!
1. Watched a BYU-H basketball game. Unfortunately they lost which was oh, so sad, especially since my husband already bought a plane ticket to what would have been their next game in Massachusetts!
2. Went for a five-six mile bike ride. Which taught me that I really am in as bad of shape as I thought I was.
3. Had my son and his very cute wife over for dinner TWICE!
4. Cleaned out the kitchen mail box!
I forgot to take a "before" picture, but imagine all those boxes stuffed with papers. It took me a good hour to clean it, and some of the papers I found were dated back to 1998!
5. Cleaned off the top of my fridge. All of those items have found a new home now.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Wendy sat next to me. Bold, courageous, resilient Wendy. From Wendy I learn determination, perseverance, and optimism. I learn the importance of getting back up, no matter how many times life knocks you down and how to face each day head on, no matter how daunting.
I first met Wendy when I was assigned to be her visiting teacher. Following a divorce she moved to Hawaii for a few years, and had just come back. We quickly became friends, so I was sad when our ward divided and she was on the other side of the division. But fate intervened and she moved back into our ward boundaries. Without even missing a month, we were back together. A year later our ward divided again and once again Wendy was on the other side of the division, but also once again she moved and was back in my ward.
Wendy graduated from high school early and had a college degree before most girls her age were settled into dorm life. She is smart, sassy and athletic. She rejoiced in making the US Olympic swimming team only to have her dreams dashed when it was announced the US was boycotting the Olympics. Her life since then continues to be filled with successes and setbacks. Yet despite the trials, and despite the challenges, she looks forward to each day with optimism. I love that!
Across from me sat Christy. I met Christy when she was a new convert to the church and a young blushing bride. From Christy I learn about facing life with faith instead of fear, and turning to the Lord in prayer and scripture study every day--- especially when life gets the very darkest.
Christy lost a son nearly two years ago in an accident that occurred in my front yard. A tree now stands in the spot where dear, young Ben slipped from this world into the next. Christy has faced many additional challenges since that day, but I have watched her quietly face each one-- day by day, scripture by scripture, prayer by prayer. You can not be in her presence without feeling the power of her spirit. She has gone from being the new convert, unsure and unknowing of the gospel, to having a powerful spirit and deep knowledge of spiritual things. When I asked another son who his hero was and he said, “My mom” I thought, “She is my hero too.”
Next to Christy sat Michelle. Of all the women at the breakfast table that morning, I have known Michelle the longest. We met when we were both fairly inexperienced in marriage and motherhood. I gave birth to my second child just a month after she gave birth to hers, and yet she drove across town to visit me in the hospital and bring me a baby blanket she had made. Other than my husband and my mother, she was my only other visitor.
We moved from our apartment into our house in another city and I lost track of Michelle. Eleven years later, we moved again. Then one day I learned she had moved into our stake. Later she moved into my ward and we were assigned to be visiting teaching companions. Twice. This is the second time.
From Michelle I learn about having a kind and compassionate heart. Michelle is tender and sweet. She is quiet and thoughtful. She is wise and hard working. After raising her own five children, she and her husband adopted a young boy and have taken many foster children into their home to love. Currently she has four foster boys, a new puppy and her adopted son. She serves in the relief society presidency, is taking college courses and trying to start a business. I don’t know anyone who is busier than Michelle.
And yet from her I also learn the importance of selfless service, and to be willing to stop whatever I am doing to help someone in need. One day I hurt my back and was down in bed. I had made plans with my daughter to take her to lunch, so she had not taken a lunch or money to school. Michelle was at a friend’s house helping sew table cloths for a wedding reception when she learned of my situation. She left that friend to run some money to my daughter for her lunch and then ran back, finished the table cloths, cooked me dinner and brought it to my house.
She is always the first person to volunteer to help and the last to leave when help is needed.
I love all three of these wonderful women. I am sure that through all eternity I will be grateful for the blessing they have been in my life.
And to think they are in my life because of Relief Society!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Also on Friday we went to dinner with Wes' brother, two sisters and their husbands at a very fun Mexican restaurant in Chandler, AZ.
Unfortunately Dan forgot his glasses and had to borrow a pair from his wife.
Very Cute Dan!
AND . . .
Today is March 14!
I gave these balloons to my husband exactly one month ago and they are still floating.
Proof that my love is ever lasting.:-)
Overheard at church . . "I love all my children, but sometimes some of them shine brighter than the others. And I like to go where the sunshine is."
Friday, March 12, 2010
Open it up!
See the first day?
Look in the middle column--the12:30-1:30 time period.
Scan down about 3/4's of the way.
See the class called, "The Work of Creating Something Beautiful"?
Notice the first presenter for that class--Terri L. Ballstaedt.
THAT'S MY SISTER!!
Probably the most creative and gifted person I know.
I wasn't planning on going to Women's Conference this year, but now I am!
I am so excited!
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Then I got married.
My husband's idea of a variety of vegetables is potatoes prepared several different ways. And don't even think about giving him cauliflower, egg plant, or Swiss chard.
Whenever I would try to introduce a new vegetable to my kids, Wes would say, "Okay, if I have to eat this, so do you." He would then gag down a bite, and the kids, convinced I was the wicked witch dishing up poison, would turn up their noses. Occasionally they would take a bite and usually gag, but often I would just find the item wrapped in a napkin or hidden under their plate. (Yes, Ryan, I am talking about you.:-) And so I gave up and limited their vegetables to only those on the Wesley Approved List. (Wes has expanded his tastes to include corn, peas, green beans, and carrots. )
As some of the kids got older and moved out of the house, they discovered many wonderful vegetables on their own, but my husband and youngest daughter are still unconvinced.
And so yesterday I proposed a veggie challenge to our veggie challenged family. Between now and March 31 I am going to serve 15 new vegetables. These can come in soups, stews, sandwiches, salads or just plain, but one way or another, they are going to eat them , and hopefully like them.
However, if anyone has any suggestions for your favorite vegetable or favorite recipes, I would love to hear from you. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Here is the picture of the happy couple with their grandparents in front of the Mesa Temple.
And here is my favorite picture from the wedding. The little groomsman, all dressed up and cheeks filled with animal crackers! (And not really happy about having his picture taken)
The prom was held year at our stake center. Numerous people put in countless hours to make the evening a success. We went over earlier in the day to check it out and were amazed at how beautiful it was. The room was designed to be an Italian piazza, with little cafe tables and chairs around the edges and every inch of the walls covered in murals. It was so beautiful! I wish my pictures did a better job showing how impressive it was.
They even had a market!! So cute!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Megan looked incredulous.
"Do they really make dresses like that?" she asked.
"Not enough of them" I grumbled.
I hate prom dress shopping. There are so few modest dresses and the ones you find are rarely very cute. So we usually end up driving to Mesa (a two-hour round trip drive) in hopes of finding something there.
But on Friday we decided to check our mall first, and then make the trip to Mesa in the morning.
AND . . . Thirty minutes later, we had a dress!!
We walked in to one department store that had two modest dresses hanging on the wall. Both were cute, and one looked very cute on Michelle.
So we bought it. Done. Half an hour.
That has got to be a miracle!!
I wanted to post a picture of the dress on my blog, but Michelle didn't want me to show everyone in advance--and before she could look cute in the picture. So--here it is a bit disguised.