Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Reverence jars and Cookies

My kids are so cute. I love that they are getting older and they can help in a meaningful way.

This morning Tom was looking through the Friend magazine and found what he thought would be a fun family home evening activity. So he took it upon himself to make the copies and gather the supplies for it.

And then, even though it is Tuesday and usually FHE is on Monday night, he planned out the whole FHE of who would do what.

Charlie had the lesson and decided to do what the Diaz's did last week--obedience cookies. He taught it is as we obey (follow the recipe) that we receive blessings.

Charlie made the cookies all by himself with no help from me and they turned out awesome.

Tom had each of the kids make their own reverence jar, they colored and cut and taped. Our neighbor friend Eric was invited over, by Tom, to participate with us. He isn't a member of our church so the boys were helping make sure he was understanding everything and translating our lingo.

For instance one of the things talked about greeting your bishop and Tom told Eric bishop is the main leader at our church. We found out that at Eric's church the name for their "bishop" is pastor.

They kept calling each other "FOOF"'s friend of another faith.

Anyway, it was fun to sit back and be participant as my boys ran the show and I just did what they asked.

It just warms my heart to see them take these things to heart and see that my efforts are paying off. This is particularly heart warming to me because I am about the most inconsistent person that ever was. I do not do anything regularly, as in I really want to do FHE regularly but in actuality it rarely happens. So I am so grateful that God blesses me and my family in spite of my inabilities to be consistent.

A cute thing to share about something Tom said during morning devotional. We were reading the story of Abraham sending his servant to go get a wife for his son Isaac.

Tom turned to me and said, "mom, I want you and dad to get me a righteous wife".

"oh yeah, why's that Tom?"

"I want a righteous wife so she can teach my kids devotionals like you do with us"

Melt my heart. This is exactly what I want for my kids--that they desire righteousness. That they desire to serve God and choose to be obedient to His commands.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Jeremy

For Jeremy's birthday we had Red Velvet cake, curtesy of Costco, because they make it much better than I can.

Happy birthday Jer, we love you and we are so proud of you for doing so well in your nurse anesthesia program (only two more weeks to go).

Sunday, May 20, 2012

4 months old

Matthew is four months old.

Matthew is the sweetest, happiest baby. He is always smiling.

Matthew has very pretty blue eyes and a huge smile.

I am so thankful for our sweet, sweet boy. He is a gift of joy and love.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pet peeve

My pet peeve in house work is.....................


Living in Florida we can mostly wear flip flops and sandals, but, the kids have such stinky dirty feet if I let them just wear sandals.

So, I usually require them to wear socks and shoes, which leads to this problem.

Becca helps

Me: Becca, what have been doing?

Becca: I've dusted, and I swept, I did the floors and I danced for a few minutes.

Next time I do my chores I need to remember to add in dancing, sounds like fun.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

How happy is "happy"

Friday I took my kids to McDonalds and bought them a happy meal. They had been stinkers that morning and I sure didn't feel like they deserved a happy meal. The rare times that we grab fast food they usually get a burger and a water, for the same reason that my parents did that when I was a kid-- it's more economical

So my ornery self was saying they didn't even deserve to eat out let alone get a happy meal, but my inner child that always hoped for, but rarely got the meal with the toy, championed in favor of surprising the kids with a treat specifically in the moment of time when they least deserved it because my grinch-like heart needed to grow a few sizes (wow that was a long sentence).

The moment I placed the order at the drive-through I did feel a lightness and a release of the ogre. My children were so excited and in disbelief- really, we get a happy meal.

Although we went through the drive through I then parked the car and we ate at the tables outside.

It was a balmy 93 degrees (and yes that is sarcasm you detected in my voice about the balmy bit-sweltering is the more accurate term) and we were going to eat in the car on the way to the library, but instead of soft drinks I ordered milk for the kids, which comes in bottles with twist off lids, which is 10 times more likely to get spilled in the car and I had visions of the mess and frustration that would ensue. So that is why we sat outside to eat, in 93 degree weather in Florida, which really feels like about 108 degrees. In about five minutes of sitting outside we were dripping sweat and had red faces.

But all of that is a long tangent from the main story. After we got sat down one by one each of the kids came to me and gave me a big hug and told me I was the best mom ever and how could they ever repay me.

They were obviously experiencing the happy effect of the happy meal and I was enjoying being the recipient of their happiness.

Here is the ironic part. When I buy my kids just the hamburger they eat it all and sometimes they want another.

Somehow when you put the hamburger in a box and include a toy, the burger and their hunger is forgotten and maybe they will take a token bite or two. This confirms my theory that it is not the toy that comes for free with the food, it is actually the food that comes for free with the toy you paid for.

I told the girls they had to eat their food before they could open their toy. The boys are old enough that they usually eat all their food and don't get quite as sidetracked by the toy.

Charlie opened his spy toy from the package and saw that it wasn't the toy he was hoping for. He asked if he could go trade it and I told him he could. When he came back out with the trade he opened it and was still disappointed with what he got.

By this time the girls had eaten their token bites and were grabbing for their toy. I was so hot and ready to get back in the air conditioned car that I didn't really notice how much they had or hadn't eaten.

However, I did notice Becca's reaction to her toy- pure disappointment. I didn't let her go trade her toy- more disappointment.

Which brings us to the title of the post--how happy is happy.
Well, when you are relying a happy meal to bring you happiness you better be prepared for disappointment because happiness from a box is fleeting and short lived.

Thankfully we know where true happiness comes from--the giver of all love and life and we will turn to Him for our daily joys and for our everlasting happiness.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Must See

The Pianoguys have outdone themselves this time. They shoot music videos of Jon Schmidt and Steven Nelson playing their music, but they take it to the next level.

 This particular video is called "Bourne Vivaldi" where they mix music from the Bourne movies and from the classical composer Vivaldi. The music itself is just awesome, then add in the cinematography and it is that much better.

 My favorite is the end of the video when they are on the train - how awesome would that be to play a piano on an open train as glides gently through the mountains.



Sunday, May 06, 2012

Scripture study

I have taken to heart the importance of taking notes while studying the scriptures. My problem lies in trying to keep it streamlined and uncomplicated.

this is the stack that sits ready for study, you will notice that it doesn't even include my scriptures, I like to use digital scriptures because it is so much easier to look up the cross references. Previously I have tried taking digital notes, but I find that I prefer taking real notes, using different color pens. This process helps me focus better. Plus I love pens and I love colors. 

Not all of these books are for scripture study, they were just all the books sitting in a pile that I have used in the past few days for various things I'm working on. There really are only two that I use regularly for study.

Nice selection of pens, fine tip, medium tip, ball point. The highlighters work well for marking the Ensign.

This used to be my one and only study journal, well the one I've used the past couple years (I really don't take that many notes). If I was more consistent in my studying (and always taking notes, which I don't always) this book would have been filled by now. I've learned a lot from reading in which she teaches how to take notes, but mostly I am inspired by the pictures she posts, and by all her lovely pens. I've been working on trying to find my own groove of what works well for me.
 I like the overall idea of trying to keep things simple and have been using just the one journal, but I didn't like not being able to separate out scripture study chronologically verses by topic as well as separating studying talks and conference.

Which is why I made this journal right before this last conference where I have a tab for each of the speakers during conference where I took notes and then left the following page empty so I could have a space to write new notes when I went back to study that talk. I try to study one talk a week so that by the time conference comes around again I've reread each talk once. So I only do this once a week.

I learned a note taking technique to try to mostly write the thoughts I have and not so much the exact words the speaker says and also to put notations to the side, like the circle that indicates a "to do" item or the ! is something to really focus on.

I get the two conference editions of the Ensign so that Jeremy and I each have our own. It is so nice that they have that option to purchase the Ensign that way.

Over the years I have tried and tried to become more consistent in scripture study and each time I fail and then get back to it, I get stronger each time and get a little bit better. Sometimes it is just that I read a few verses (with possibly many a day in between of never quite getting around to it) and other times I will spend an hour or more and take notes and write down my thoughts. Someday I hope to achieve a consistency and balance between these two extremes. So although the notes and the journals may seem like an over kill they really help me focus and help me "feast" upon the words of Christ, because I am not just reading them trying to get done with scripture reading, but I am really thinking about what and why and how it applies to me and what I need to be doing or changing.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Morning with mom

This morning dad took the boys to go fishing and I took the girls to Home Depot to do the monthly woodworking craft. Today's craft was a planter box for Mother's Day.
I'm glad they already have the holes predrilled for the nails. Once i got Lydia started she was able to get the rest by herself. I almost didn't let them paint the project because it is too messy but I was brave and let them do it and it wasn't too bad.
I'm the type of mom that wants the project to look really good when done fortunately I don't let my perfectionism get in the way and I let them do it and they enjoyed the process especially the painting of it.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Little swimmer

Matthew loves swimming. None of my other kids got to go swimming at such a young age. The weather has been so nice this week and today was the fourth day in a row that we've gone swimming.
Little man was very tired after swimming today and now is sleeping soundly.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Well Hello

I'm posting this picture for Trudy since you liked the captain America picture so much, I knew you would just love Matthew's expression in this one.
I took this picture on Matthew's first time in this baby toy and he just thought it was great.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Swimming underwater

I took an underwater video of the kids at the pool.

It's not the best video footage because I didn't go underwater, I just put my waterproof iphone/camera under, and the kids were swimming too close by. Still, it is awesome to see what the kids look like swimming underwater.
Lydia is just starting to learn to swim without floaties and is getting really good. One of the most important skills she has learned is to come up an take a breath.
That is one of the more challenging skills for kids to learn. Once they have that down they are well on their way to being an independent swimmer.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Our little Captain America

Lydia put a blue bowl on Matthew's head and he took it very well. It must be payback for when Tom did it to her as a baby.

Love at home

There is beauty all around when there's love at home.
This morning after Lydia's bath she got out The hair dryer to dry her hair and Charlie offered to dry it for her. The kindness came in not just that Charlie offered to dry her hair, but that she let him. Lydia doesn't usually let the others help her, she always just wants me to do things for her.
This was truly a Kodak moment worth capturing.