Friday, January 28, 2011

Mundane Becomes Enriching

NOTE: Picture has nothing to do with post. And yes, that is duct tape on my children's mouths. Awesome.

You know how the everyday mundane chores kind of get boring? Dishes, sweeping, folding laundry, ironing, putting away groceries, etc. We all know we have to do them - it's just a fact of life.

Lately, I've been listening to general conference talks while I do this stuff. Today, I listened to 4 different talks while the kids slept. I had it open on the laptop and put it on the counter top in the kitchen while I did the dishes and cleaned up the mess from last night (Book club!!). I then ported it to my bedroom where I set it on my nightstand while I folded several loads of laundry.

I love this for a couple of reasons.

1. I get to re-listen to talks that I may not have paid attention to during conference because of little ones.

2. With a quiet house, doing my mommy duties, I felt peaceful. All of a sudden, I was glad that I was doing those chores, instead of dreading them. The spirit was present, I was enriched, and the house was somewhat cleaned up.

I feel a sense of renewal of being a wife, mother, and home-maker while I listen to these talks. I chose this life - I should be proud of it! I've also had a few friends really struggle with their faith. Questioning the things they have felt were true since they were small, because of outside influences. Our homes are sacred, and I want to foster the testimony of my children, as well as actively preserve my own. It can happen to anyone at any time, and it starts with tiny questions and doubts. To keep those at bay, I must do all that I can.

....Speaking of being proud of decisions.... I have decided to cut out most meat. I'm not going to say I'm a vegetarian because I might order some chicken at a restaurant or something like that, but I am going to stick to a meatless diet. I did a lot of research into foods I could eat that would give me protein, as well as the energy I needed from the right carbohydrates. With all of the hormones and additives that go into meat these days, I just felt like it was time. If I do cook meat, it's organic free-range chicken, or organic grass-fed beef.

NOTE: Today's enlightenment here, here, and here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Showers in January

Only in Arizona is it 70 degrees, beckoning to two sweet girls to turn on the water and bask in the glory of the sun. Jealous??

I love where we live. I love these two girls. I love the sunshine. I love being a mom and watching them grow. As I was watching them play, and overwhelming feeling of satisfaction and contentment came over me. Moms love being moms. Whether you're a member of the church or not, whether you're in snow or in sunshine, we all are doing a marvelous work.

Friday, January 21, 2011

2011: I Know The Scriptures Are True

This is our family theme this year.

We rang in this year's theme with a party, celebrating our family and the scriptures. Each member of our family had a crown, a fancy glass, and plenty of sparkles to go around.

Each person was celebrated, and got to share their feelings about the scriptures. There were several in attendance this wonderful night:

(LOVE his profile - so handsome.)

With our family theme, the scriptures will be at the forefront of our discussions. We'll read every day, we'll talk about the stories, and we'll refer to the scriptures when doing everyday things (such as the word of wisdom when creating a healthy meal).

We love you, 2011, and we are ever grateful for the scriptures.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Flying Spirit

That's Sariah's Indian name. She's a flying spirit, and your life will be enriched by encountering her energy, optimism, creative stories, and assertive opinions.

Lately, she literally became a flying spirit, complete with painting her face:

NOTE: That scratch is NOT from her jumping. She scratched her tummy about 2 or 3 weeks ago, and has nothing to do with her jumping. Lest you think that I just stand by and watch my daughter fall to her hurtful tummy, please know that this injury is totally unrelated to any strenuous physical activity. It was an accident. =)

NOTE 2: That's eyeliner on her face. She didn't scratch her face all up - she's put on warrior makeup!

Wearing only a loin-cloth:

And jumping from anything she can. She doesn't gingerly jump - she takes a huge flying leap. Think "flying squirrel."

NOTE: It looks like Sariah is jumping right onto rocks and the brick edging. Don't be deceived! She's jumping far enough out to land, safely, into the grass. She's like a cat - always lands on her feet!

She makes it look so easy, doesn't she?? I think it's time to sign her up for gymnastics!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Business is GOOD

Mischief is my business
And business is GOOD.

This is what James' shirt says today. And to be honest, it's completely TRUE. My little sweet boy has turned into a toddler. He gets this twinkle in his eye as he turns and darts away from you, because he knows it's time for his bath. But then...

Last night, I was sitting in the stake center waiting for my turn to finish renewing my temple recommend. One of the neat (yet frustrating) things about living in the stake that you grew up in is that you see people who knew you when you were a baby. As I was sitting in foyer, I saw several people who have known my family since before I was born, pretty much.

I also sat with this woman, whom I adore. We were talking about our children, and she was asking me about mine. There were other moms in the room, and we laughed about raising children. Each of us were at a different stage in our lives, so I was getting all the advice I could in a few short minutes!

The conversation turned to my son, who is 19 months old...almost. Entering the "terrible two's" with a FURRY. I was commenting about how he was such a mellow, easy-going, enjoyable baby. But lately, he has turned into a HOLY TERROR. Tantrums - fierce ones. Throwing things. Hitting. Screaming. Kicking. Being a little boy.

She simply smiled, nodded, and said, "It won't be like that for long." At the moment, I knew she was talking about the tantrums stage. I knew she was saying, "He won't be like that for long. Soon, he'll be out of the terrible two's and back to his sweet self."

But as the night went on, I thought and I pondered. And I have been thinking about her comment all day. I took it a step further, and she's right - it won't be like this for long. Because before I know it, he'll be a boy. Then a teenager. Then a driver. Then a missionary. Then a husband. Then a father. And I'm going to think back to when he was this ornery little boy. Well...recently ornery little boy.

In the words of Darius Rucker:

"It won’t be like this for long
One day soon that little [boy] is gonna be

All grown up and gone
Yeah, this phase is gonna fly by

So, [I'm] tryin’ to hold on

‘Cause it won’t be like this for long."

I am going to enjoy every stage, because each one is important. Sure, he throws some mean temper tantrums, but he gives some amazing hugs and kisses. He often stops what he's doing to come over and give me a hug, and then run back to whatever task he was doing. There will be times when the only person he wants is ME...and I love it. So where did my sweet, mellow, charming baby boy go? He's still in there somewhere. It's just disguised right now by the thought of knocking down his sister's tower. He'll reappear again soon.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Superhero Dreamer

(NOTE: This is James' 2T Spiderman Halloween costume from this year.)

Keep dreaming, little girl.
Right now, at 3 1/2 years old, you're dreaming about ponies, babies, painting, and colorful tights (because those are your favorite things).
But since you're in your superhero costume, you're probably fighting
your baby brother, your mom because you don't want to take a nap, and broccoli.

Be strong, little girl.
Because one day, you'll be dreaming about ear piercings, makeup, and boyfriends.
Driver's licenses, grades, and dating.
But then, you'll be fighting drugs, pornography, peer pressure, and boyfriends who want the wrong things.

Daddy and I will teach you how to stand your ground when everybody's giving in
(We won't be perfect, but we will try our best!).
Scriptures. Prayer. Family. Testimony. The Lord.
Be strong, little girl, and you will be a superhero in a different light.

But for right now, stay in your superhero costume,
Dreaming about ponies, babies, painting, and colorful tights
Because that's what's important right now.
I love you, little superhero dreamer.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Welcome, 2011!

Welcome, 2011! We hope you are good to us. I'd like to put my order in for some change - a home with another bedroom to accommodate our family a little better, maybe a minivan/SUV with a third row for the same reason. A little padding in the savings account so we can buy our own home, and a little less padding on my body would be GREAT!

So far this year, 2011 has brought the following:

An unusual attachment to apples, courtesy of James. He will take a whole apple and carry it around with him almost all day long. He will eat the whole thing, too!

You have also brought a hew haircut for this sweet boy, and we can now do his hair Mohawk style!

And for miss fancy pants, she continues to dress herself, which blossoms with creativity every day. Lately, she will close herself in her room and close the door. When she is dressed, she will hop out (literally) into the living room, and bedazzle us with her wardrobe of choice. Her outfit would not be complete without the fuchsia purse that she got for Christmas from Grandma Wilkes.

And last, but certainly not least, our new furry friend. He's temporary, but has come with a good heart, a short tail, and love for the children. Here he is, sharing the floor with Sariah. Even laying in the same position! Thank you, Stubs, for being kind, gentle, and loving our children so.

2011 is sure to be a wonderful year! I am not a person who makes New Year's resolutions because I don't want to feel guilty about not getting them done. But I do have some goals in mind, and the New Year is just kind of a fresh start to get them going. Don't you think? Stay tuned!