Days 2015

Days 2015

Friday, February 29, 2008

They give Federal Funding for 2-Year-olds, right?

The Boston Disaster list (current edition)
1. A few days ago: He snuck out of his room while we were downstairs and thought he was asleep. He went into our bathroom and smeared his entire pajama suit with a gloppy coat of toothpaste. We don't know why he didn't try to paint anything else, and since we figure this was an extremely easy cleanup, considering, we called it a good day.
2. Day before yesterday: He fished my unplugged, recently used curling iron out of the basin of the sink where I thought it was safely cooling, out of reach. Yes, we had hand burns.
3. Today: After I came out of my room from feeding Cooper, I saw an empty Dimeatapp bottle with the lid off and Boston swigging out of Leslie's water cup in the bathroom. Luckily, the cup had water in it before he mixed this little Grape Cooler for himself. He said, "Mom, look! I do it myself!" We called poison control and they said it was no big deal even if he had drunk half a bottle of that stuff, which he didn't. I guess that's a good one to keep around the house!
4. As we were watching for possible side effects, I looked out the window and noticed a lake in my garden and yard. I thought it was from the quickly melting snow until I saw the geyser coming from the faucet out there. Apparently "somebody" had been fooling with the spigot sometime this winter when they were out playing and since everything was frozen and unresponsive, considered it not worth turning off. I dashed out there in my galoshes with the baby flung into the carseat (you think I'm dumb enough to leave him alone with Hurricane Boston????) and turned it off.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I think I've finally figured it out...

I went to an awesome presentation Saturday morning and wanted to share what I learned. (Also so I could write it down to save it for myself, sorry if it's a little personal.) This lady, Sylvia Allen talked about scripture study and I perked right up because that was one of my goals for the year was to improve that. She was a single mom to 4 boys for twenty years and has recently remarried. After her husband left her she found out that her youngest was mentally retarded and two of her other children were handicapped. Her one garden variety is now serving in Iraq. So while she was going through all these trials, not to mention working and going to college at the same time, she was really desperate for a little help from above. She went to a fireside given by a stake president/professor who had just completed his thesis on a twenty year study of how we study our scriptures. She decided to try his way out and has been successful ever since. And I thought, okay, if this poor lady can put in the time and effort, I definitely can. I have been doing this since Saturday and have been actually quite amazed at how well it's been going. I'm excited to commune with the Spirit and feast instead of feeling guilty for forgetting to put in my four minutes to read a chapter before I turn out the light. My brain has been picking things up so much better and I actually feel instructed and guided.
So, the handout mentions that this is not a "system" or a "method", it is the Lord's way of study. It should include these things. I'm going to number them but they didn't.
1. A place to study where you can have privacy. I would add, enough privacy where you could pray aloud if you wanted. You also need to be at a table or desk instead of in a lounging position if you are going to accomplish all this stuff, I would add. That's been a big thing for me.
2. A time to study that you can be consistent, alert, and unbothered. She quoted Pres. Hunter's scripture study talk on this where it says something like, an hour is required, half an hour would still be substantial, and in fifteen minutes maybe you would still accomplish something. She dove in headfirst and to try for an hour, and the first time she actually went almost three hours without hardly noticing, the kids missed the bus and she was late for work. I've been very easily doing between 30-40 minutes. She wakes up at 5:30, even if she's been up in the night with her kids having seizures, etc., and it has worked for her. There's no way (5:30!) for me, plus my day is not that strict, so I've been going down to my very quiet and private basement after I feed Cooper in the morning at about 7:30. Mark always gets up with the other kids anyway and gets their cartoons going and their breakfast, so really, my services aren't really required until I have to do Leslie's hair at about 8:25 or so for her to catch the bus. We kind of got into that habit so I could sleep in after being up with the baby all night, but now he sleeps through the night and so do I. I do have to wear sweats, wrap up in a blankie and sit in the sunshiny window spot to help it feel cozier, though. I figure on doing it later in the day during Cooper's nap (and plugging Boston into the animated babysitter) when Mark has to go to his breakfast meeting or the gym. The Lord has really helped me have an easy time getting up. I guess I just needed to show a little faith.
3. Start with prayer to ask (lots of ask and ye shall receive scriptures here...) for help with whatever problems or questions you might have, for guidance from the spirit or about what you should study. Also stopping and praying at anytime during study when prompted to do so by the Spirit.
4. Searching. She shared a funny quote about Satan's greatest tool against studying the scriptures is reading the scriptures. Sequential reading is fine if you are trying to get an overview or cover material quickly for a class or something, but usually it is not the best way to study. (This has been good for me to change.) They suggest that you do topical study, pursuing promptings and interests, using the topical guide and other tools, be flexible and use various materials like dictionaries, commentaries, teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith, conference talks and your patriarchal blessing.
"Scripture study is highly personal." and "As we sincerely study the scriptures in the Lord's way, we are given more and more of the power of the Holy Ghost. It is through this power that we are given more and more faith and hope and charity and more and more personal revelation." were some of their quotes.
5. Pondering. Stop often to think and feel. Do you remember that talk by Pres. Eyring about getting personal messages from the book of Mormon? She also shared a story about Pres. Kimball. He asked a bunch of missionaries if their minds ever wandered while they were reading and what they should do about it. One missionary suggested that you try to focus and keep reading. Pres. Kimball said that's the last thing you should do. He suggested that you write down your thoughts because they might be the spirit instructing you on a completely different matter than you were reading about. Pres. Hinckley said, "I like to just think, meditate a little, underline, and write out in longhand some of the things that I read because I remember them better if I write them out in longhand." Which leads us into our next principle.
6. Writing. She talked a lot about this part. She says that if you really want this to work you CAN'T leave this part out, even if you think you hate writing and will have nothing to say. I actually read a cool scripture this morning that said we are COMMANDED to write (2 Ne 29:11). Get yourself a scripture journal right away. I actually got myself a "tender mercies" journal after Elder Eyring's last talk, so it has made a smooth transition since I can take a little of my time to include that stuff, anyway. Have it out and highlighter and pen ready to go. At your private study table spot. The handout says, "Writing down inspired feelings, insights, discoveries, and personal applications. As we record personal revelation we send a very important message to our Father in Heaven. The message is: "I do care about what you are saying to me.""
7. Thanking. Pray again, expressing gratitude for the Spirit you've felt and the things you've learned.
Their diagram of these principles have arrows going back and forth, so if you feel like studying more after you write, or however, go for it.
That's basically it. She kept saying, "Oh, I am so excited for you guys tomorrow morning!" Like it wasn't studying but more like an appointment with our Heavenly Father. She does this presentation a lot and has people send her their success stories about how they finally learned how to do it right after struggling for thirty years, or how they conquered addiction., etc. She has an amazing collection. I was excited myself and thought about it all day long.
I know that my "tomorrow morning" was fabulous and very individualized.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Tall Drink of Water

I had my first official parental "burning of the ears" at Leslie's basketball game last night. She got matched up with the coach's kid, a short little pistol who had been making an awful lot of baskets for someone his age, and his family was sitting in front of us. The mom was giving her commentary. "Oh, look who he got paired up with! She is SO TALL!" (She was the only girl on the court at the time, so I knew they meant Leslie.) "She's sure not going to let him get a shot. Wow, look at her guard him! Her arms are SO LONG! This is for six year olds, isn't it?" To my pleasure, Leslie stuck to the kid like glue and totally looked like a little Amazon out there, arms straight up and everything. He had to pass the ball. Then, my lanky nearly six foot sister Brooke who had been smirking right along with me got up to go help Boston get a drink. I think they figured it out.
Brooke had spent the night with us because her husband was in Virginia. So yesterday we made some freezer meals. I was teasing her that it was actually cooking lessons after she had completely finished her Italian chicken soup and I asked her if she had shredded the chicken yet. "Chicken? Oh." It was still in the fridge. We nuked it and added it post-simmer.
Leslie taught Cooper to clap his hands yesterday. SO cute.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Front tooth mithin'? Thatth FIIIINE for Kithin'!

After much blood, sweat, and tears, Leslie has joined the ranks of the toothless wonders. Her lisp is so adorable. And I think it may be no coincidence that she has recently learned to whistle. Mark and I took turns trying to yank it after Leslie had exhausted her resources. I won. Mark says it's because I'm the mean parent. I'll take that as a compliment.
This morning I made Mark and Leslie some heart shaped Valentine's buttermilk pancakes with homemade carmel syrup for breakfast. (Mark always has a breakfast meeting on Thursdays, so today was my only chance.) Boston got a Mickey Mouse shaped pancake complete with chocolate chip nose and eyes since he couldn't care less about the whole heart thing. (Actually, Mark probably couldn't care less either, but it made me feel cute and he appreciated a hot breakfast.) Let's just say everyone felt loved.
To add to my Mrs. Cleaver persona today, I've been sewing some lovely curtains for Mark's new office. I actually got a man (yes, it was Mark) to go into the Home Fabrics store with me yesterday, and HE picked out the fabric and style. His new office has two walls of windows, and the decorator suggested that curtains would fancy it up a bit. I agree. I'm also no dummy. I'm only sewing the outer panels (two). The inner panels are coordinating and very store bought. To buy a standard 7 ft long curtain set costs about $40. If you want 8 ft long it's $450. I think we spent about $85 bucks yesterday to cover 24 feet of window. So, wifey saves the day and I must say the curtains are looking great. (And I got to go shopping in the middle of cabin fever season.)
I hope everyone was able to hear the worldwide broadcast about the family on Saturday. Mark and I were both very impressed and motivated to have better patterns in our home. By the way, if we end up with six kids, no one is allowed to call me crazy. I am to be "celebrated."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Prancing down the Court

We did much better at Leslie's game last night (it wasn't during dinner). She seems to really enjoy herself although she has yet to make a basket. My favorite part is watching her skip, gallop, or prance to the other side of the court instead of just running. What a GIRL! Of course, I have vivid memories of my tomboy sister Darcy galloping about everywhere she went, so I guess there is still hope for some kind of sports skill.
She turned seven on Sunday. I'll post pictures later. After her outrageous party last year (she got more toys from her friends than most kids get their whole childhood) I told her that she only gets a party on the even years, and the odd years we would celebrate with a modest family party and a family adventure. The family adventure was way fun. We decided to go to Soldier Hollow on Saturday (where they held the triathlon in the Olympics) to their tube run. Man did I feel lazy getting towed up the hill on a tube. It was great. I would highly recommend as a family activity. (We did leave Boss and Coops with the sitter; Boss hates sledding right now. This could not possibly come from my side of the family.)
Boston managed his revenge, though. On Sunday when Leslie got done with opening her gifts (mostly books and clothes this year--sigh, she's growing up) we looked around for Boston. While we were distracted he had pulled a barstool up to the counter where the sprinkle bedecked chocolate bundt cake was waiting on a platter, just for him. Oh yes he did. Hands flat on the counter, licking off all the frosting like a little puppy. One of my friends later asked if he got in trouble and I realize that he didn't. We just cleaned him up (and the cake.) We were laughing too hard to discipline him.