Monday, April 27, 2009

The Power of Prayer

This sweet little thing is one of the greatest joys of my life. My home is full of the sounds of her contagious laughter and made up songs and jokes. I am continually in awe of her intellect and budding creativity. My walls are adorned with her beautiful artwork. I am constantly amazed by her endless energy. My heart melts as I see the love she has for her younger brother and sister. How I love this precious child.

And yet, she knows how to test her limits! This child of mine seems to personify the age old nursery rhyme "There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. And when she was good, she was very, very good; and when she was bad, she was horrid." It seems there is no middle-of-the-road in her emotions or her behavior. No ambiguity. No mediocrity. She is either charming, loving and obedient to a fault, or else beligerently testing the number of ways in which she can simultaneously defy my authority and laugh my rules - and me - in the face. Though I haven't kept a tally, it seems that, most days, the good moments outnumber the bad....but some days I'm not so sure. In my heart of hearts I believe that, deep down, she is an amazing, talented, wonderful human being, but I often find myself wondering where I have gone wrong in teaching her love, respect and integrity.

Yesterday, while the Mr. was putting the baby down and I was reading stories to Angel and Grins, I asked Angel to please keep her noise level down. After my second warning she proceeded to look me squarely in the eye and scream at the top of her lungs. I calmly picked her up and carried her to the back deck, where I explained that her loud behavior was only acceptable outside, and that she would need to remain on the back deck until her father had finished putting the baby down (about 5 minutes lest you deem me a negligent mother). She laughed and I left, thinking some less-than-charitable thoughts about this child I nurtured in my womb. When the baby was asleep, the Mr. retrieved Angel from the deck and deposited her into bed. To my surprise, she requested I be the one to tuck her in for the night. As I stood at her bedside, I told her how much I love her and that I was sorry if I had seemed angry, but that I was simply trying to teach her acceptable behavior. She replied, "Mommy, when I was out on the deck, I prayed. Twice. And then I felt better. I forgive you. I love you." Holding back the tears, I held her for a while, then kissed her goodnight. When I told the Mr. of this, he tearfully replied that he knew; when he had gone to let her in he'd found her kneeling in prayer on the deck.

Will love and goodness prevail in this sweet, headstrong little girl's personality? I, too, am on my knees every night, pleading that it will.


My brother-in-law just came up with a great idea; a way for people to list a side-by-side comparison of two 'competitors' or 'peers' (ie - Costa Vida and Cafe Rio) for others to get the 'quick and dirty' comparison. There are a couple of entries I'm thinking of submitting - one about Physician Assistant vs. Nurse Practitioners, and one about different methods of sleep training children - because those are really the only topics I know anything about - but I don't know how interesting they would be to anyone else so we'll see.

Anyway, I think it's a great idea, and it's just in the beginning phases so it's definitely open for submissions if there are any comparisons/bridges you have to offer! Check it out here!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (on Saturday because I'm just so organized!)

The past few months have been such a whirlwind I've neglected my meal planning. I'm going to start back up again and would LOVE suggestions for kid-friendly vegetarian meals. Although the Mr. is easy to please, the kids are a bit more difficult, since their ideal meals are KRAFT macaroni & cheese (I don't like the homemade kind, Mommy!), chicken nuggets (at least they'll eat my homemade sneaky chef version!) and hot dogs (ugh! I don't know how these got on the top 3 - they've had them all of one or two times because I don't buy hot dogs; they are against my religion... well, against my own personal value system.)

Saturday - "Friend Party" for the kids; chicken nuggets, carrot and celery sticks, apple slices (the Mr. and I will finish off the week's remaining leftovers)
Sunday - dinner at our friends' house; we'll bring Gooey Butter Cake for dessert! :)
Monday - sweet corn chowder, mixed green salad, crusty bread...sneaky chef brownies with a dollop of soy dream for FHE treat
Tuesday - The Mr. has class - homemade mac 'n cheese and sweet peas for the kids, I'll pop a vegan quickie meal in for me
Wednesday - homemade creamy chicken-pesto and tofu-asparagus pizza (2 separate pies!), pear goat cheese salad, fresh fruit
Thursday - cheese fondue with crusty bread, carrots, celery, apples (any other ideas?)
Friday - I work; the Mr. is in charge! I love to see what he comes up with! ;)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Escaping Adultitis

AGES ago I posted about wanting to rid my life of "Adultitis" - "...a common condition occurring in people between the ages of 21–121, marked by chronic dullness, mild depression, moderate to extremely high stress levels, a general fear of change, and, in some extreme cases, the inability to smile." ( Then, Kim & Jason (learn more about them here) were kind enough to send me their Escape Plan manual, to enable me to do so. Unfortunately, due to 2 moves, the birth of my third child, and a few other small but nonetheless time-consuming events, I have procrastinated reading said manual. Until now. A few days ago I finally opened the book and how I wish I had started sooner! It is an easy read- takes just a few minutes a day - and it has truly started a change in my life! I am only a few days into it, and already I'm feeling more "free". I obviously still have a ways to go - about 36 days to be precise - but I am really enjoying it and want to recommend the book to anyone who feels a little weighed down with the pressures/cares of the world which we all face. I intend to keep reading and I'll keep you posted as my journey progresses!

By the way, check out - they have a very fun website with TONS to do!! :)


So the Mr. has been attempting to grow sideburns for a week or so but with very SLOW progress. It has finally started looking like slightly more than a spot he missed while shaving, but today Angel noticed it for the first time. She was sitting in his lap when she suddenly reached up and stroked the growth with her hand, with the most quizzical look on her face. "What is THAT?" she wondered aloud. "Daddy's trying to grow some facial hair" I responded. "Why?" was her only response. "So he'll look cool." "Huh?" she replied. I know, my dear. I know.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Woman's Tear

If you haven't heard this, I thought it was worth sharing: (author unknown)

A Woman's Tear

A little boy asked his mother, 'Why are you crying?' 'Because I'm a woman,' she told him. 'I don't understand,' he said. His Mom just hugged him and said, 'And you never will.'

Later the little boy asked his father, 'Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?' 'All women cry for no reason,' was all his dad could say.

The little boy grew up and became a man, wondering why women cry. Finally he put in a call to God. When God got on the phone, he asked, 'God, why do women cry so easily?'

God said: 'When I made the woman she had to be special.' 'I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort. 'I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times
comes from her children.
'I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining.
'I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances,
even when her child has hurt her very badly.
'I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her
from his rib to protect his heart.
'I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.
'And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use
whenever it is needed. That tear holds more then men could understand.
'For a woman's tear is full of unconditional love, power,sacrifice,beauty,pain,and compassion, all ten fold of what a Man is able to feel.'
'She's my gift to the world; she's an Angel on Earth. Love her and praise her, for there will be no other here on Earth that will Love you like I do than your Mother.

'You see my son,' said God, 'The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.' The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Celebrations

Easter weekend was beautiful; though a bit on the chilly side, at least it didn't snow, and the sun even graced us with it's presence for a few hours!

Saturday, the Mr. was at the hospital (what's new?) so I took the kids to a local Easter Egg hunt. The sign said "10am sharp" and they weren't kidding - they had all the kids stand behind a ribbon at at 10:00 on the dot they cut the ribbon and let 'em all loose. I'm not sure how many kids were there, but the hunt lasted all of about 90 seconds - if you blinked you probably missed it. Lucky for us we were on time for once. The 'big kids' were fast, seasoned 'egg-hunters' and therefore scored most of the goods but fortunately my kids were content with their 3 eggs each just for the novelty of it all. (I'm glad they aren't yet to the stage where everything has to be exactly "fair"!) The thing that thrilled them most of all was the real, live bunny someone brought (on a leash!) - Grins was convinced it was the Easter Bunny himself! Wiggles enjoyed the hunt because I carried her in the front pack and let her have her binkie the whole time; she was in heaven!

Sunday, the children woke up before dawn even thought about cracking (a new trend these days....super!) Because it was a holiday, and to allow myself a shower, I let them watch "He is Risen" which they of course enjoyed since screen time is such a rare treat. We ate a quick breakfast and then donned our easter finery and headed off to church - the only TRUE way to celebrate Easter, I would say, it symbolizing the Resurrection and all.

We came home from church and found that the easter bunny had left some 'goods' which the children were of course thrilled about! Then we headed to Oma and Opa's house for Easter dinner. For dinner, we made 'easter tomb biscuits', in which you wrap a marshmallow inside a piece of biscuit dough and then bake; the marshmallow symbolizes Jesus' body, and the biscuit is the tomb. We also sprinkled butter, cinnamon and sugar on top, symbolizing the oil and spices with which Jesus' body was annointed. When an uncle asked why we were adding spices, Grins answered "So the body doesn't STINK!" After baking the biscuit, you open it to find the 'tomb' empty. Angel and Grins were a bit disappointed that their favorite part of the biscuit had disappeared, despite our reminding them "He is not here, but is risen!" Finally, Grins got it and said "Did Jesus melt?" We got a kick out of that.

I've decided that, with my little loverlies around, there is never a dull moment! I truly don't know what I would do without these sweet little angels in my life! I am SO grateful for Easter and what it means to me to know that, because Jesus was resurrected and lives again, death is not the end. That knowledge is truly the greatest gift I've ever known, and I can't imagine living without it - especially now that I have such precious children whom I so dearly love!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Draper Temple Open House

My kids, especially Angel, were SO excited to attend the open house of the Draper LDS Temple. (for more information on LDS temples click here.) Since this is a rare and special occasion for us, we all got dressed in our Sunday best and made the (somewhat long) drive out there. The children thoroughly enjoyed the tour, which is a 'silent' tour with minimal talking, and crowds just walking through quietly, pondering in their hearts the beauty surrounding them and the feelings within their hearts. The Mr. and I exchanged more than one tearful glance as we thought of what temples mean to us, and reminisced on our most special day in the Portland LDS temple nearly 8 years ago when we were married and sealed for eternity. We were pleased with how well each child did - considering the whole ordeal took a few hours (an hour in the car, a half hour at the church, waiting for the bus, a few minutes on the bus, then another hour or so in the temple, WALKING, not running, being QUIET! - not the way our children usually spend their afternoons by any stretch of the imagination!) Then, as we neared the end of the tour, we took a moment to sit in one of the larger and, in my opinion, most beautiful rooms of the temple. We asked the children to think about how they were feeling so we could discuss it later. We all sat for a moment until I suddenly noticed, in the corner of my eye, that our sweet little Grins was jumping on the couch!! Stifling a laugh at our spirited child who was rejoicing in the spirit of the temple in his own little way, the Mr. and I quickly grabbed him and held him close so as not to preserve the quiet, reverent nature of the room and building. Right after that, we proceeded to the last room of the tour, where a sweet 'mature' couple shared their memories of their own temple marriage many years ago. As they spoke, our little Wiggles proceeded to FILL her diaper. Very loudly. Very obviously. Very smelly. We found it interesting that she would wait until that very quiet moment to clear her bowels. The Mr. and I could barely contain our laughter and were relieved when the couple finished their remarks so we could quickly remove ourselves from the building and let loose. Some may find us irreverent, but I know that there is a special place in the Lord's heart for sweet little children, and, in my heart of hearts, I think he just may have been laughing with us.

David after Dentist

So, I'm too computer illiterate to figure out how to post a you-tube video on here (I'm sure it's incredibly easy but I'm just clueless - feel free to clue me in and I'll update it!) but, if you haven't already seen it, you should really watch "David after Dentist" on YouTube. The original, by booba1234. I don't usually laugh out loud but this one had me crying. Seriously. If you're stressed it's some great stress relief. And if you're not, it's just plain funny.