Monday, July 28, 2008

Amen to this

Read this, then we'll talk.

Wasn't that a good blog?
After years growing up, just waiting to get out and start my life, to the super-fun years at college, to the all-important years of mothering, I'm now spending a lot of time wondering if I'm up to it. I love my family--I'm extremely blessed, and I know it. But doing the dishes? And doing them everyday? Potty training? Cooking everyday? I know these things are important, but feeling their importance is another thing. And we all know how women like to feel things. Sometimes I think that if I could just do something really well--like gourmet dinners every night or perfectly behaved kids--then it would be worthwhile. If I was actually good at disciplining or potty training, then doing these things would have more meaning. But doing things that I don't feel particularly good at, day in and day out, can be very tiring.

Yesterday at church a speaker mentioned something about the love she felt for her children. My mind jumped topics completely to the Visiting Teaching messages from a few years back (probably the last year I diligently did my visiting teaching) on feeling the love of the Lord in various ways. I struggle day to day feeling the importance of what I do and feeling that with all my faults, the Lord still loves me. What the speaker helped me do was connect the love I feel for my children with the love my Heavenly Father might feel for me--in greater proportion. He has blessed me with a greater capacity to love them than I thought I had--and I think its because of His great love for all his children. With all my frustrations with my kids, I still love them, very much. How much more so might our Heavenly Father feel for His children, even with all their faults? I think part of the gift of motherhood is this great gift of love.
Maybe if I remembered this more often, I could do a little better from day to day.

Help!

I hate potty training. Its possibly my least favorite part of parenting. And--its training time for Nathan. He's three years old, and I can't justify waiting any longer, especially with the girls' school starting again in a few weeks. So-- suggestions? advice? We're on our first day-no successes so far--and he's ready to give up. I'm determined that this will be the week. What has worked for you?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Reminiscing

It's nearly August, and I've been thinking about peaches. When we lived in Provo, we used to head down to Allred's Orchards and buy a big box of peaches. We'd can a few, and eat as many as we wanted. I don't think I've had a good peach since then. Thinking of peaches led me to reminiscing about the places I've lived and the things I like most. Just thought I'd share.
Washington: the way it smells!, beautiful coast, shopping with friends (its been literally years since I've done that), being a little crazy with buddies (driving to Canada to eat at Denny's at 3:00 am...etc.), my siblings
Provo, Utah: feeling smart (while at BYU), game nights, Christian's family in Salem, fun young wards, dry heat and that real summer feel, our strange little green house (with a real greenhouse in the backyard, 3 different kinds of green carpet-yes, one was shag-, and 17 kinds of wood and fake wood decor and matching 60's furniture) with great neighbors
Owings Mill, Maryland: being a perpetual tourist--so many places to visit!, the perfect combination of rural and city, the best Relief Society I've ever been in, with great Enrichment meetings and fabulous Moms, living close to Alexia and Marc & Marcy and being a stopping place for family and friends, and trying to figure out that unique accent
Shelby, North Carolina: Ummmmm? (just kidding) I miss the Christoffersons, the Mulls, and my Young Women--the first calling I have had where I really felt needed, and, of course, the fun accents. I also loved having a home with room for visitors--and making use of the guest bedroom!

We really like living in Michigan and hope to be here a while... but with our track record, that isn't likely. We are loving the schools, our home (!!!), our neighborhood and all the kids, and watching our kids grow up. We feel so blessed to be in a ward with so many good people, many of whom are bending over backwards to work with Rachel and help her be included. And there's this accent--I can't quite figure it out, but I want to be able to imitate it before we leave!

Water works

The same hill that was so perfect for sledding last winter works well for the summer slip 'n slide:Nathan didn't actually like the slip 'n slide--we had to push him down, and he wasn't very happy about it. But Hannah had fun--she usually does.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hannah's Hairstory

Never make empty threats--that's one of the first rules of parenting. I should have remembered that before I threatened to cut Hannah's hair if she didn't stop chewing on it. Really, cutting her hair hurts me more than her.
Cute hair moments:
6 mo.


And now:
She looks nervous-- She knew I wasn't pleased with her, even if she didn't really mind the punishment. Daddy teased her that she'd look like a boy, but afterward, she said she looked like a tennis-girl...and wants to take lessons.The chin length cut.
The aftermath
And the happy girl:Of course, her new 'do is cute. I actually really like it. I'm just taking a moment to mourn the loss of her beautiful long hair. I need to remember all the times she's screamed and cried as I've tried to comb her long hair, and the frustration of watching her chew on her hair and make it sticky with food.

This has been a bit traumatic for me--can you tell?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Old Photo


Since this blog is mainly for journaling...
I found this old photo of Christian and me. It would have been our official engagement photo, if it had been developed in time. My sister-in-law, Annelise, took our picture, and I love it. Don't we look young?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's not Girl's Camp without...

I really do love working with the Young Women. It isn't the easiest calling to have with four young kids and a hubby who travels a lot, but I'm fortunate...There are some super sweet girls in the group who seem to love my kids and are quick to help out.
Last night we set out on the 5-mi "hike" the girls' needed to certify for camp. There I was, with all my kids and a double stroller... the YW were very helpful to carry, care for, or push my kids (in the stroller) to help out. We took a fairly easy hike--it was even paved about 1/2 the distance. Even so, the mosquitos were awful and no one brought bug spray, and halfway through, we noticed the huge rain clouds. We jogged as much as we could to get ahead of the storm, but ended up walking the last little bit in a downpour. I seem to remember it raining every single year I went to Girls' Camp as a kid, and even last year as a leader...(that's 3 three different camps, three different states--you'd think I'd catch a break!) The real camp is in two weeks, and I'm only going for two days, so maybe I'll have a dry experience.
(Christian comes home in 3 hours!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gone again

Christian is in Sagine (spelling?), Texas, for the next few days, so here I am, on my own again. Fortunately, the kids are doing really well. He's been gone all of three hours, and I'm doing well. That's something, right!
The girls are taking swim classes in the mornings, Mon-Thurs for the next two weeks and absolutely love it. Rachel throws major fits when class ends, but she'll learn. Nathan is a little bummed that he isn't in class, but he is very forgiving.
Yesterday we enjoyed another one of those near perfect days. After a busy day, Christian came home and BBQ-ed burgers for dinner (so the kids actually ate--no fighting!) and afterwards we played Red Rover and soccer for Family Home Evening before letting the kids play with the neighbor kids while Christian trimmed the lawn and I read a book (hey, it was a really good book!). Such a gorgeous, sunny warm day--and happy kids!
We got rid of our cable-- the rate was going up, and I was getting tired of the Disney-chanel attitude Hannah had picked up. But we still have Netflix! The kids' new obession is the 1st season of the old cartoon, Ducktales. Cartoons were so much better when I was a kid!
Just one more thing--I've been working with Rachel, trying to teach her to be more obedient and comliant. Needless to say, she's been spending a lot of time in time-out lately (I send her to the corner). Last night, as we were getting her ready for bed, she told me (signed to me) that her horse had hit her bear and had to go to the corner. After waiting an appropriate amount of time, she let her horse out of time out and went to bed-- but I guess the horse still didn't learn her lesson, because Rachel sent her to the corner of her bed, and wouldn't let her out all night!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Finally done!


I started this quilt for Rachel last February, and I finally finished it! It doesn't look anything like what I intended, but I feel pretty good about it--and I think Rachel is pleased.Check out the fabric on the back--Christian picked it out. He loved it, but I said I wouldn't use it on the front. (It says, "I heart Daddy, I heart Mommy..."). Rachel enjoyed reading it tonight before going to bed! Christian says he wants these blankets to last until their college dorm!

Critters













When we came home from vacation, we found a duck's nest in our rose bushes. Four eggs had hatched, and two were remaining. The kids loved seeing the eggs and feathers. Unfortunately, it looks like the two remaining eggs aren't going to hatch--we might have scared the mother away!

My kids remind me of critters sometimes. Aaron does what we call the "stink bug" crawl, where his knees don't touch the ground (I think they are a little sore from crawling places he doesn't belong, like the sidewalk). And last night, I found this in our kitchen... its either a large rodent, or a little Rachel who thought this butter was cheese.

Tag...this might be fun

At the risk of having Christian teasing me, I'm taking Amy's suggestion for a tag: Memory Lane...the tag that gets everyone involved.
Here are the directions: 1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember! 2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Baby Shower

My sister-in-law, Marcy, is having a baby girl! We're so excited for her. She and Marc have done so much for us, especially when we were living near D.C. at the same time, and when she came to help out when Aaron was born (my Mom couldn't come). So, we gave her a baby shower. We wanted to include Marc, so we made it co-ed.
Jennie and I found a wooden paddle (for spanking) at Michael's and decorated with the words "Rascal Raiser" and printed phrases around the edges, "If you're not crying, I'm not trying," Behavioral Therapy," Pain is temporary, obedience is forever..." and painted the letters of the baby's name. I had a hard time parting with those... they looked so cute! We played a matching game with candy bar prizes (thanks, Sarah), and a frozen strawberry cake-ish thing for dessert. I think even the guys had fun.

Finishing up Cape Cod


DeAnn, Jennie, and Alexia have all posted great pictures and stories from the trip. Here are just a few last pictures I liked.











Monday, July 7, 2008

Greens love the Gummi Bears

The theme song from our vacation would have to be the song from the cartoon, Gummi Bears. Listen closely and you can hear the adults singing along...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Worcester, a.k.a. Wooster

Adam and Jennie are so fun! Our kids haven't seen each other very much--Hannah's only memory of Jacob was from Thanksgiving a few years ago, when she didn't like to play rough. Altogether there were 8 kids, and they all seemed to do well together. Nathan and Andrew (two and a half years old) especially became great buddies. Sam has learned from his brothers--he and Aaron "bonded" by wrestling--meaning, Sam would sit on Aaron and take his bottle. Sam also taught Aaron to climb stairs. The older boys were so good to Hannah, and they enjoyed learning ASL and using what they learned to include Rachel as much as possible. Jennie and I used the time shopping for Cape Cod, planning a baby shower for our sister-in-law, Marcy, who has done so much for me (more on that later), and, with our husbands, doing the Biggest Loser work-out video. We spent one afternoon picking strawberries and playing on the playground and tractor and another whole day making fabulous freezer jam. I feel like such a crazy Mom, and its so nice to have someone to talk to during the day. Jennie's the kind of Mom I'd like to be. So thanks for sharing your home!
We spent Nathan's birthday on the road, so we postponed the celebration-- On Sunday, we had a cake and shared with with Andrew, who was celebrating his half-birthday (the real one, of course, is around Christmas-time). Keeping it simple, we gave Nathan a dinosaur (it walks and growls) and some hotwheels, which we didn't actually give him until the drive home.
We also had one other little mishap (in addition to our Canada woes)--we got a flat tire on Sunday, and it ended up requiring four new tires plus some repair work. In the spirit of counting blessings, I have to say that I'm glad it happened in Massachusetts, because if it had happened on the road, we'd have had real trouble, and if it had happened before we left home, we would have had to cancel the trip... so here's to good timing!

Jo(e)y and Adam: Good times!


Can you believe it? I haven't seen Joy in nearly 3 years, and we didn't get any pictures together. It was so good to talk and catch up on those years! Christian and I get to claim some responsibility for helping them get married--and vice versa. Nathan and their son, Adam, seemed to have fun together, and they had a great kiddie pool--such a good way to spend the morning before getting back on the road! Thanks, guys!