Friday, December 21, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
There is a GREAT offer right now from The POwer of Moms! They are offereing a free program for anyone as a gift for Christmas. It is only until this Friday however. So hurry quick an dhead over HERE to get your free program!
Friday, November 16, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Here is a Mormon message about Chris Williams' story:
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
What are your opinions on the Bumbo recall or marriage or school uniforms?
Thursday, August 9, 2012
My kids have been attending our local public schools and doing quite well. We live in the 5th largest school district in the country. I have loved our school which is literally around the corner from us. The huge majority of our teachers are amazing and doing their very best to educate and love the children they have been entrusted with. We have been so fortunate and feel so blessed to have had the interaction with the teachers we have over the years. Please know my frustrations with our educational system have very little to do with teachers. I think teachers are amazing and do so much for our kids with all the restrictions put on them.
What's your opinion about recess, school policies etc??
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
We are on a family vacation and we spent some time at Grandma and Grandpa's cabin. It is a wonderful place filled with lots of places to explore, sticks to find, dirt to dig in etc. But the most beloved place at the cabin is far and away the river. Fishing is a huge activity at the river and nearly all the kids, regardless of age participate. My 2 year old could have stood on the bank and thrown rocks in FOREVER. Another favorite activity is tubing down the river. The river is usually calm and slow moving and not much of a danger. Above is a picture of my husband and 2 sons before they went tubing this past Monday (2 year old had to show off Dad's fly rod in the photo as well).
The boys wanted a longer tube ride than normal so they hiked up a ways above where they normally put in. I decided a few minutes after they left to walk up so I could snap some photos of them. I was walking with my two little ones and we were having a great time on a little nature walk. All of a sudden I heard my husband's voice, it had great desperation in it. All I heard was "Garrett...GRAB THE TUBE! GRAB THE TUBE!" With those 7 words dread entered my heart and I started to panic. You see Garrett didn't have a life jacket on (I know...don't judge) and while he is a great swimmer (thank you swim team), I knew he was no match for a swift river. I ran to the bank thinking if he was coming downstream that perhaps I could grab him. But when he didn't come and I didn't hear anything more from my husband I started to panic. I picked up my 2 year old and ordered my daughter to run. We got to where the boys were just as I saw my husband and 7 year old getting out of the river. My son was wet from head to toe. My 13 year old was emotional.
I asked what happened and heard this story. Nathan (my oldest son) went down first on the river. He went around a bend where he was sucked into a tree. He was fine and upright, but couldn't move. Then Garrett went down, that same current that sucked Nathan in, sucked Garrett in too, except it capsized his tube and sucked him under water. He was pinned underneath Nathan. Nathan felt totally helpless as he knew his younger brother was under there, but he couldn't do a thing to help him. Dave said he watched this as if in slow motion. He got off his tube and ran down there, but couldn't see Garrett under the water. He then stepped toward Nathan and stepped on something. That something was Garrett. Dave pulled him out of the river by his ankle. He was going down stream. He was underwater for about 30 seconds.
I started to cry as I was hearing this. It could have been a tragedy. It could have turned out so much worse. I am so grateful that my son is just fine and it wasn't his time to go. I am so grateful my husband stepped where he did. I am so grateful Garrett was able to hold his breath for 30 seconds (thank you swim team...in spite of Garrett kicking and screaming to go everyday, it probably saved his life this week). That morning my cute 4 year old daughter had said our morning prayer, in that prayer she asked that we would all be protected that day. I am so grateful that prayer was answered.
I asked Garrett what he was thinking when he was under the water. He told me he thought he was going to die, but he wasn't scared. I asked him if he prayed and he said, "Not really, all I kept saying in my head was HELP! HELP!" I told him that was a prayer and it was answered.
Friday, June 15, 2012
However I have learned in my 13 years of parenthood that I have eaten them MANY times because I was the perfect parent before I had children.
Here are a few examples of my statements over the years:
- My child will NEVER run around in just a diaper (this 2 year old is vehemently opposed to clothing)
- My child will NEVER have crusty boogers all over his nose
- My child will NEVER throw a tantrum in the middle of the store.
- I will NEVER go out of the house
without a bra on,in my pajamas.
- I will NEVER yell, scream or spank my child.
- I will NEVER have a nasty toilet with dried urine on the seat and base (4 boys...enough said)
- I will ALWAYS read my children bedtime stories and sing them lullabies before bed.
- I will ALWAYS bathe my children every day.
- I will ALWAYS have a clean car and NEVER allow for there to be nasty crumbs and garbage throughout the interior.
- I will ALWAYS have a nice yard and NEVER allow for weeds and grass to overtake it.
- My children will ALWAYS sleep in their own beds.
- I will ALWAYS breastfeed my children until they are a year old.
- My children will ALWAYS nap until they are three years old.
You see what I mean? It is a teensy bit dangerous to make such generalized statements because these statements are usually made before one is in the circumstance. They can also be dangerous in that they can be used to judged others.
It is also dangerous to use them with your children. In fact this morning my son got out chocolate chips and asked if he could have them for a snack. He started to open them even after I said No. I said to him...."If you open that package and disobey me you will NEVER get to eat chocolate chips." Yes in his whole life he will NEVER eat chocolate chips if he opens that package. Wow, a shining moment in my mothering.
The longer I parent the longer I realize how things are constantly changing. Each of my 5 children have such distinct personalities that what works for one child will not work for another. Something my 13 year old would NEVER have said or done 5 years ago has certainly changed as he hits puberty. Most of all I think we need to be kind to others, ourselves and our children and not generalize or judge a situation we aren't in.
There are two NEVER and ALWAYS statements I can say with conviction:
I will NEVER abuse or neglect my children and
I will ALWAYS love them fiercely!
What Never and Always statements have you said and look back on and laugh?
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
My kids get out of school on Thursday. I am so ready! I am ready for a break from packing lunches, and school projects and last minute..."Oh Mom I have this massive project due tomorrow" conversations. The last few weeks of school are absolutely nutso and I have felt like a chicken running with her head cut off lately.
We have a summer packed full of things to do. Each child is taking a class of some sort to improve their talents and keep their bodies or mind active. We have tennis class and art class and swim team and dance class, plus piano lessons which happen year round. It will be lots of running to and fro, but it will also prevent lots of time in front of the TV or Wii.
I downloaded a "do it yourself summer camp" from Power of Moms that gives some great ideas of giving a bit of structure to your summer. Each day they earn points by doing things such as reading, writing (a story, starting a blog, in a journal etc), chores, practicing a skill/instrument etc. At the end of the week they can earn rewards if they have earned so many points. As a whole they can earn big rewards like bowling or going to a movie in the theatre etc. I am excited to have something that rewards them for doing these good things.
Not to mention that we will be swimming and playing with friends and learning to sew pillowcases and quilts and learning to cook and building forts, and camping and hiking and a family vacation and yes there will be some TV, movies and video games as well. I CANNOT WAIT!
People are telling me I am crazy and that I will be running to and fro too much and that I will be going crazy (already there people dontcha know?). I say bring it on! You see our last 3 summers have been less than stellar. Three years ago I had a miscarriage at the beginning of the summer and at the end of the summer I was pregnant with Drew and was high risk for another miscarriage. Two summers ago I had a preemie baby who came home from the hospital 3 days before school got out. He was on an apnea monitor and had severe reflux, we didn't go ANYWHERE, my kids watched TV and played video games constantly. It was a really bad summer. Last year my preemie was much better, but still needed two naps a day and hated the water.
This year my baby is 2 and sometimes takes 1 nap for an hour or so. He still doesn't love the water, but does much better than he used to. He is happiest when we are busy and out and about. So maybe it's crazy and we are packing too much into summer, but I cannot wait to play with my kids and watch their talents grow and develop and keep them active and healthy. There will still be lots of down time for them to play and create and be "bored".
What are you doing this summer?
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
You can see an example of it in the picture above. I trace a hand and then write something down for each family member. We do it either at Sunday dinner or at FHE. I present everyone with their award and then they go around and high 5 everyone. We cheer and clap for each person.
It is a fun way to reinforce the positive things that are happening with my kids and it also helps me look for the positives during the week (so easy to focus on what they aren't doing, instead of all the good things they are doing). Instead of trying to come up with something on the spot, I have been writing down things I notice and then pick one or two to put on their hand. But I do share with them the other things I noticed as well.
What do you do in your family to acknowledge the positive things your kids do??
Friday, May 11, 2012
Apparently the article is about attachment parenting. Hey I am all for creating healthy attachments because bad things happen when kids don't feel attached to their parents. But THIS photo does not depict healthy attachment IMO. Talk about the ultimate "helicopter parent" who can't let go?? In my opinion our job as Mothers is to teach them that they don't need us anymore. From birth our job is to "wean" them from being dependent on us. What do you think?
I have had a CRAZY few weeks! Whew! The end of the school year is always full of programs and projects. It was one thing after another and it was a bit stressful. Today I had a day where I didn't have to go anywhere! It was SO nice. I cleaned my house! I cycled and folded and put laundry AWAY. I sat on the floor and played with my kids.
I am a MUCH better Mommy when I am not going 100 miles an hour. Other women like life at a faster pace and do better that way. That is not me and I am soooooo okay with that. I like a much slower pace. I am a homebody, I like to be home more than I like to be out.
I am learning that it doesn't matter what works for other people. It doesn't matter what makes other Moms work, what matters is what works for ME and my family. Be the best Mom I can be, not what I think others expect.
I learned at the retreat the three C's you should never do...complain, criticize or compare. Especially that last C is so easy to do to ourselves as women. And I do it and have especially done it in the past...."Oh man look at her, she has 6 kids and is skinny and beautiful and wears cute clothes and runs marathons and owns her own business and her house is clean and her kids always look perfect." (please tell me you've done something similar). It isn't healthy and it isn't nice to ourselves.
My baby (he's 2...not so much a baby, but he's my last one so he'll forever be the baby), is not wanting to nap these days. AAAAGH! I am a big fan of kids naps. All of my kids have been GREAT nappers and have done so till AT LEAST age 3. Some of them napped till 4 and beyond. I don't know what to do with a kid who doesn't nap at age 2! I get nothing done during the day because he is SUPER busy and active and jumps off tables and stuff like that. Any suggestions for getting a non-napper to nap? I can take him for a drive and he will fall asleep, but he doesn't usually transfer inside and stay asleep. I don't have the $$ to drive around for 2 hours everyday and waste gas!
Mother's Day....it's always a double edged sword. So nice to be recognized for all I do and pampered a bit. But sometimes the "Mommy guilt" rears it's ugly head in force on this day reminding me of all the things I'm not doing that I should be. Any suggestions of how to have a great Mother's Day?
Friday, April 27, 2012
This week was our week of "the flood" as it shall hereafter be referred to. One of my children made a bad choice and ended up flooding a bathroom which in turn flooded into the downstairs and caused about $2,000 in damage. Surprisingly enough I stayed extremely calm through the whole thing. I didn't scream and yell, I didn't spank his bum. I am thankful for prayer because I said a prayer that I could respond appropriately. Later after the situation had calmed down, my husband and I did hand out various consequences that we felt were appropriate for him. The specific consequences need not be discussed, let's just say that he will be doing extra jobs for a while.
What was interesting to me is when I told people about it their reactions ranged from "Oh that boy should be glad he doesn't live in my house." to "I would have come unglued." to "How did you not beat his bum?"
Let me just say that in every situation all of us will respond differently. All children are different and respond differently. This blog post is not to laud my parenting choice in this situation, heaven knows it was a shining moment in many non shining moments in my 13 years of parenting, although I am certain some think I wasn't hard enough on him or harsh enough with the punishment. This post is also not intended to judge others choices as far as parenting goes.
All parents and children are unique. Individual circumstances vary and personalities are too numerous to count. You have to find what works for YOUR individual child and for your personality. I know this particular child better than anyone and I know that screaming and yelling at him would only make things worse and would breed resentment and more bad choices.
I truly believe that parenting is a huge refining process. It definitely shows us our greatest weaknesses. If we let it, it can make us into better people. It can help us become more like our Father in Heaven by having unconditional love and showing kindness even when we feel our child doesn't deserve it.
Recently, I have recently made a conscious decision that when it comes to situations with my children (this child in particular) that I do not want to react. Reacting to a situation is most often a knee jerk reaction to the situation. The definition of reaction is this:"Respond with hostility, opposition, or a contrary course of action."
This talk by Thomas S Monson is amazing, it talks about the right, responsibility and results of our actions.. It is our choice. I want to be able to act and not feel acted upon. For my children screaming and yelling and spanking don't produce desirable behavior. In fact I feel a bit out of control when I am reacting like that. I want to be in control. I don't want my children's behavior to dictate how I act. I want to choose for myself.I want to teach my children how to respond to a less than ideal situation.
I am so imperfect. My first reaction most times is to punish and scream and yell and sometimes that still comes out. But for me personally I want to do better. Yes I am raising 5 of God's most amazing spirits, but they are helping me become better and are teaching me far more about myself than I am certain I am teaching them.
Monday, April 23, 2012
I was fortunate enough to attend a "Power of Moms retreat" this past Saturday. It was truly amazing. If you ever have a chance to go, I would highly recommend it. It was inspiring and uplifting and recharged me. I learned so much and want to share it with so many people! I believe strongly in their message of empowering Mother's and building families.
- I want to not just survive Motherhood, I want to THRIVE
- "Having enough (or being enough) is as good as a feast"...Mary Poppins
- No is a complete sentence.
- Thinking of what I want my family to be in 30 years and working toward that goal helps me with the drudgery of the every day stuff like laundry, wiping snotty noses and potty training.
- Motherhood is about relationships....what do I want my relationships with my children to be like. Preserve the relationship at all costs.
- What do I want my children to remember about me when they are grown and telling their children about their childhood. I want them to know I loved being their Mom and treasured them. Treat them accordingly.
- Never, ever treat your child as an annoyance. If I expect respect from them, I need to give them the same respect.
- I am painting the picture of my motherhood experience, I need to be in control and not just let it happen.
- Enjoy motherhood NOW.
- Working together is a chance to build relationships. It's not about the yard work or the clean house, it's about building our children and nurturing the relationship.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
My baby boy turns 2 today. So many memories are going through my mind as I think about the last couple of years. It has changed me. Having baby #5 was completely my submission to God's will for our family. I was happy and feeling stretched as thin as I possibly thought I could be with 4 children, and yet here I am stronger and more filled with faith in my Father's will for me. I can't imagine our life without the experience of my pregnancy and Andrew's early birth, it has been one of the most profound experiences of my life.
You see my body did not like pregnancy the 5th time around and I developed pre-eclampsia. In spite of best efforts he came 8 weeks early and weighed in at 3 lb 14 oz. I only got to give him a quick kiss before he was whisked off to the NICU where he was ventilated so he didn't have to work so hard to breathe. I didn't get to see him for 24 hours after that due to some medication I had to be on. I remember my husband wheeling me into the NICU and I was looking around for my baby, I thought I would recognize him. I didn't. Dave wheeled me up to his isolette and the tears started to fall, he was so much smaller than I expected and he was hooked up to so many lines and wires and he was so tiny and helpless.
Then I realized I couldn't do much for him, I couldn't hold him, I could barely touch him due to his immature nervous system. Preemie babies are a whole different ballgame than full term babies. He started to cry, the tiniest little cry you have ever heard, I leaned down to him and started to sing. His tiny head turned to me and he calmed right down. He knew me.
The picture above is the first time I was able to hold this little one, he was 3 days old, it was one of the happiest days of my life. It was only for 10 minutes and I had tears the whole time I was holding him. He was so little, his thigh was as big around as my thumb, his head was the size of a medium orange. It's hard for me to even remember how tiny he was. He ended up being in the hospital for 6 weeks, it was so hard. I was torn wherever I was. If I was home I wanted to be with my baby boy at the hospital, when I was at the hospital I was thinking about my 4 kids at home, hoping they were doing okay without me.
But look at him now! He reminds me everyday that miracles happen. He is the cutest, happiest, smartest, funniest little munchkin ever! Happy Birthday to my miracle boy, thank you for changing my life!
Friday, April 13, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
I just saw this challenge on another blog. I am doing it! It is to run/walk/exercise 100 miles in 3 months. It started April 1st so I am a bit behind.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Husband of 15 1/2 years: