Monday, December 29, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Christmas cards mean a lot to our family. Each night in December when Ed or I check the mail, the kids huddle around to see which family’s yearly update and picture was delivered. Some of you have even developed somewhat of a reputation for being funny, clever and creative- which just adds more fun and anticipation to the activity.
First Draft, the "Perfect Card":
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Most of the time, it never keeps me from doing what I had originally planned.
Today was not any different- although it could have changed my outlook forever.
Ed and I made plans with his parents about 2 weeks ago to attend "A Christmas Carol" playing at the Hale Center Theater in Orem. We had given them a gift certificate last Christmas which we were sure they hadn't used yet so we invited them to go with us.
Today it snowed most of the day and we ended up with 8 or 9 inches of snow (just a rough guesstimate). We traveled to the show as planned, leaving more than an hour before the show started to give us plenty of time.
The roads were icy in parts and traffic was thick but we arrived in safety. The play was excellent and we had a great time.
On the way home, probably since it hadn't been snowing for awhile, the interstate was dry and we made our way without much adaptation in driving speeds, etc.
Between the University Ave. exit and the first Springville exit, the car directly in front of us braked and spun around. It crashed into the median directly in front of us and ricocheted off headed straight for us. It barely missed us. As Ed tried to slow down to offer assistance and I started to dial 911 for help, he looked in our rear view mirror where he saw cars skidding and trying to get control. 2 cars missed us by inches- one on the left and one on the right.
I think the driver of the car hitting the median was okay but I still called 911 to give them her location. I explained that we tried to stop to offer assistance but the black ice was so slick that we were unable to stop safely.
I'm so grateful that we were protected and spared from an accident. And it humbled me enough to learn that even though you are most careful, do everything right, educated about how to drive in rough weather, accidents will still happen. And while you can't rearrange your life (especially in Utah) around the snowfall- it is still wise to be prepared and cautious.
It also reminds me, even though I had no such feeling or prompting tonight, that we should listen and give validity to the promptings we have to reschedule or cancel certain events. And that we should remain close to the Spirit so that we may receive those promptings when they will keep us out of harms way.
Monday, December 22, 2008
"Sisters, do not allow yourselves to be made to feel inadequate or frustrated because you cannot do everything others seem to be accomplishing. Rather, each should assess her own situation, her own energy , and her own talents, and then choose the best way to mold her family into a team, a unit that works together and supports each other. Only you and your Father in Heaven know your needs, strengths, and desires. Around this knowledge your personal course must be charted and your choices made."
- Marvin J. Ashton
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Here are 11 reasons why Hannah is so fabulous:
1. She is beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.
2. She is very talented.
3. Hannah is thoughtful and serves others.
4. She loves the Gospel and is always striving to live it.
5. When she feels the Spirit, she acknowledges it and shares her thoughts.
6. Hannah is very helpful around the house.
7. She loves her brothers and sister.
8. She is funny-- everyone has a good time when they are around her.
9. Hannah puts others' feelings and well-being above her own.
10. She is a great student.
11. Hannah is a very hard worker.
Hannah is one of many joys in my life and while part of me wants to stop time and keep her from getting any older, I am enjoying watching her become a beautiful, smart, and accomplished young woman. I love you sweetie!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
We will play rain, snow or shine. I'm going to bring a batch of hot chocolate and maybe donuts if you're lucky!
And family friendly means it's not just the boys playing. It's moms, daughters, sons, grandma's, dad's- EVERYONE!
Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
And thanks to Amberlyn, I am now under the impression that the only jeans I look good in or fit me are Gap ones. So since those are $50 or more per pair, I had to find a new way to find clothes that I love, look cute in, and feel cute in. As you know if you've every tried to lose weight that feeling is the most important feeling in the world to keeping the weight off. If I start to feel fat again, well, I'll just become that, right?
That's it! It's perfect. My friend told me she only buys her jeans at DI. So Amberlyn and I took a little trip yesterday up to the American Fork DI (cuz that's where the rich people are) and it was fabulous. I got 3 pairs of jeans (1 Gap, 1 Old Navy, 1 Levi's) for $6 each. I also bought a cute sweater for Sunday ($3) and a Gap jean skirt ($5) AND 1 Gap jean jacket (so cute!) for $8!
And the best news of all? The jeans were all a size 14, the skirt a 12, and the sweater and jacket a size Medium.
Oh... and I've now moved from the "obese" category to the "overweight" category on my Wii Fit.
I'll post a picture once I wear one of my new DI pieces of clothing.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
First Experience- September
Alex came home and asked Ed what nude art was. He said his teacher showed a picture of nude art and explained some artists paint or sculpt people not wearing any clothes. Alex said he felt "yucky" about it. I e-mailed the teacher (after calming Ed down) and she e-mailed back an explanation. The nude art was on the same page as another picture of art that she wanted to show the kids. She had her hand covering the nude art and explained that artists believe the human body to be beautiful so much of their artwork is depicting the human form. She apologized for her lack in judgement and realized that even though she covered it up, she should not have introduced it in 2nd grade.
Second Experience- October
I was cooking dinner when Hannah, who was reading a book from the 5th grade reading list, asked me what an affair was. 5 minutes later she wanted to know what rape was. She was reading the biography of Rosa Parks for her October Reading Project. I sent the other kids out to play and talked to Hannah. She was a little disturbed by both definitions but we had a good, candid discussion. I e-mailed the teacher and cc'd the principal this time. My position was: 1)when the school sends home a 5th grade reading list, parents think that books on the list are age-appropriate especially if nothing on the list indicates otherwise, 2) Teachers shouldn't put books on a list if they personally haven't read them and, 3) a lot of kids would not ask their parents- they would ask friends or not ask at all. This is dangerous! I also explained that if there was an asterisk by the book or something to alert me to the fact that I might want to supervise the reading of this book that I would have read it first to determine if Hannah was allowed to read it. The teacher e-mailed me back and said that she had met with the entire 5th grade staff and that they were re-doing the list and taking off any book that had not been read by one or more of the teachers. She apologized and thanked me for bringing it to her attention. Hannah now has a new 5th Grade Reading List that contains only books that have been pre-screened.
Hannah came home and asked to speak with me privately. We went into my room (bathroom actually because you know me, I have to multi-task) and she told me that they attended an assembly at school where the "safety instructor" talked to them about good touch and bad touch. The "safety instructor" went into great detail and talked about private parts- why girls have different private parts than boys and vice verse. She also showed a video of a girl who was being molested (I don't think they showed it) by her uncle. Her uncle was touching her private parts and he was making her touch his. The girl had "a secret" that she couldn't share with anyone. Hannah said the whole assembly made her uncomfortable. She said, "I only talk about this kind of stuff with you and Dad." Why are they making me learn about it in school and talk about it? She also told me that there was a 4th grade assembly that last year her teacher opted out of because he said "you should talk about this stuff at home not at school."
I called the office to set up an appointment with the Principal. She didn't call me back so while I was at the school today, I popped into the office. The Principal has had a death in the family so she won't be available for a week or so. That's totally fine. I left another message and told the Secretary to just have Mrs. Tingey call me when she was available and back into the full swing of things. I told the Secretary what my concern was. She told me I was the 3rd parent to complain today about the assembly and that they can't notify parents about those kinds of assemblies because what if the parent is the abuser? I wasn't going to get into it with her but this just got me going! Since when is it the school's job to raise our children? And we think it's going to get any better under Obama? AAAAAAHHHH! (sorry... that was low-blow political jab..... ignore it if you love him)
I believe in sex education in schools. I believe in assemblies that help educate children about dangerous relationships and strangers. I believe in children reading books about the 1960's , and the Holocaust, and all other historic events even if they are horrible. However, I believe that the schools should do all of this WITH the parent's permission, WITH their supervision, and WITH their support.
Monday, November 10, 2008
On the right hand column of the page, there are post teasers that they call "chatter". One of them caught my eye. It said, "Prop 8 Fallout: where do we go from here?" I really enjoyed the post and could sympathize with the writer even though I didn't actively campaign for Prop 8. I am grateful to the church members in California for their hard work and service and I feel that Prop. 8 would not have passed without their efforts.
The comments on the post leave a lot to be desired. A lot of the comments are from "active LDS members" who opposed Prop. 8 and want to let the world know that not all Mormons want to take away other's civil rights. Some comments talk about how it's within their right to disagree with the Prophet and still get a Temple Recommend. The comments criticize the way the church is ran and how church resources (namely $$$) are distributed.
I wanted to post so badly my thoughts on this but I knew it wouldn't come out nice so I refrained. As I read down the comments, I did read a few opinions from those that held my same opinion. I do not think it's right to openly criticize the church and openly disagree with our Priesthood Leaders.
I have struggled with doctrine in the past. I have struggled with local ward leader's decisions. And I have even been guilty of gossiping about these struggles in an attempt to win other's favor and nods of agreement. Misery loves company.
I have learned that my behavior of gossiping about it and creating contention doesn't do anyone, least of all myself, any good. Now when I question something or have a hard time, I first go to Father in Heaven in prayer. Second to my husband and close friends who won't judge me for my opinions. It's during these conversations with Ed and my friends that my heart if softened, my mind is open, and my mouth is closed. I appreciate my friends who can help me find peace with doctrine and help teach me to not feed my rebellious soul.
I didn't feel that the people who wrote these posts were trying to find peace. I felt like they were spreading contention by trying to convince others that their opposition of Prop. 8 was justified. And as I read down the comments, I felt that this contention snowballed out of control. I feel sad for those who don't agree with Prop. 8 but hope that they can find the peace and freedom that comes with obedience.
As I talked about this with Ed- he read me a passage in the book, "50 Signs of the Times" by David J. Ridges. It is long but I wanted to share it:
The book is organized by stating the sign and the category of the sign (as in "Been Fulfilled, "Currently being fulfilled" and "Yet, Future")
"People will refuse to believe obvious truth and will instead adhere to fables and falsehood. Category: Being Fulfilled
This prophecy of conditions shortly preceding the Second Coming of Christ needs little explanation. When people get sufficiently wicked and selfish, they no longer think rationally.
Indeed, wickedness does not promote rational thought. In the face of social trends and political posturing which, to the the rational mind, will obviously lead to the destruction of society as we know it, with its built-in safeguards for human freedom and use of agency, such people stand aghast at truth and moral principles. They flush in anger at those who advocate the standards of the Bible and the gospel of Christ as the basis for the survival of society.
Paul, the Apostle, prophesied in Timothy: He said, 'For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables.'
We often apply these verses to the gospel and the tendency of the spiritually blind and deaf to reject its teachings and blessings. This is certainly the case. However, no doubt these verses can be applied also to common sense and rational thought processes in all matters relating to the governing of nations and communities as well as to standards to which the media should be held accountable. The "teachers, having itching ears" and "fables" mentioned by Paul can certainly include the peers of those who would have us pass unrighteous or unwise laws, as well as the peers and fans of Hollywood and other media production centers who insist on the "anything goes" philosophy of entertainment."
I don't post this to be on a high horse or self-righteous. I post this
#1) to remind myself to stay committed to the Gospel of Christ and to not be deceived,
#2) the Second Coming is getting nearer every day and we are in the process of being separated- time to get off the fence, and
#3) to make a stand. Prop. 8 is not about civil rights. It is about the true definition of marriage. I believe that marriage should only exist between a man and a woman. I believe that by stating this that I'm following the Prophet and other leaders of the church, and more importantly, Jesus Christ.
I wonder that in the future, if the Church will make a stand that I struggle to support. I wonder if I have the strength to be obedient. I wonder that while I feel I'm on the Lord's side of the Prop. 8 issue, what will come along to make me tempted to stand on the other side?
AND.... most importantly, do I have the strength to deal with ALL OF THIS while at the same time leading, teaching, caring for, loving and nurturing my own little family?
Enclosed is a letter from my 7 year old son, Alex. He ordered “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” from his book order at school which he received today. As he sat down to start reading the book, he exclaimed, “I’m going to write a letter to Mr. George Lucas because I’m his biggest fan!”
He hand-wrote the letter (enclosed) and I re-typed it to make it easier for you. I had him add a paragraph to the typed version. I told him that he should ask you a question that you could answer if you wrote him back. I explained to him that you are very busy and he may not hear back from you.
When I asked him if he would be okay if you never replied back, he bit his lip, sighed, and nodded- which is his way of trying to be brave.
Thanks in advance and thanks for making great movies that entertain my husband and 3 boys. This way I can get more than a moments peace- 2 hours at least!
Alex's letter to Mr. Lucas:
November 5, 2008
Dear George Lucas,
Me and my Dad are your biggest fans of your books and movies. The book I’m reading right now is “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”. I’ve seen the cartoon and I’m reading the book so I can see if the book is the same as the movie.
I’ve seen all the Star Wars movies except for “Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith”. I haven’t seen this one because it’s rated PG-13 and my parents will not let me watch it. My Dad says you are going to make 3 more Star Wars movies and I was wondering if this was true. If it is, what will you call the movies?
Your biggest fan ever,
P.S. You rock! And I love your last name. I’m 7 and my Dad is 36.
And… You’re Awesome!
Saturday, November 08, 2008
However... Come On! Give us teachers a break! We're supposed to teach 45-50 minutes on a lesson composed solely of a few paragraphs of Church History and letters written by Joseph Smith to Emma and the kids? Hello!
So these are my ideas so far:
1. Copy and paste each letter from the lesson into an individual letter addressed to Emma and have participants pick a letter out of a basket to read and discuss.
2. Break into groups and have each group pretend they are leaders of 5000 women and have to write one letter to this group of women that will be read in smaller congregations. We'll make this a latter-day experience. For example, these women are living in uncertain times when men threaten to take away all that these women hold dear, including the sanctity of families. What do they tell them to uplift, encourage and give them strength?
Ya- that's all I got. I've been thinking about it for a few weeks. I know it's late notice but does anyone have any profound ideas? Before you do, glance at the lesson to see what I'm up against.
There is always a but, right?
I was assuming (since I never heard different) that Ed's Mom, Susan was doing her traditional Thanksgiving Day at Grandma's. Come to find out..... Ed and Susan are going to Brigette's (Ed's sister in WA). Which I think is great and I'm glad they are visiting her but leaves us without Thanksgiving plans. (BTW, she told my Ed a few weeks or months ago.)
So I've decided to put on Thanksgiving here and I'm looking for those who would like to join us. So if you know of anyone in the Utah County area whose family members are far away and they don't have anyone to celebrate Thanksgiving with, please let me know. I thought about inviting my ward friends but most families have other family members in Utah and I knew I'd have to get through 25 invites before finding someone who would like to come. That kind of rejection would kill me!
Out-of-staters: This goes for you too. If you know someone here in this area or a member of your own family who can't get home for T-Day, and think they would have fun at my Thanksgiving of Fun- please let me know.
I'm thinking we'll eat around 1 p.m. and then about 3 p.m. or 4 p.m., hit a movie. We're not that much into Football but we do have the one TV in the basement for sports fans.
And, we do have a guest room for any one needing a place to stay for the night or weekend.
So, come one, come 50, to the Huhtala Thanksgiving Feast of Fun!
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I got to take an oath and everything.
I thought it would be an easy, quick way to make a $100. Turns out it's easy but long hours and the money isn't so quick. I'll be lucky if I get the check before Christmas.
But it's tax-free. Yippee!
And since my grandmother was a poll worker, I feel like I'm carrying on a family tradition in some sort of odd way.
I hope somebody acts crazy and I get to kick them out or something. It will shake things up a little. Hey, I did take an oath to defend the constitution and every citizens' right to vote freely and without fear. I take that oath seriously.
Did you know that you can't wear an Obama or McCain hat or shirt? You don't get kicked out or anything but you do have to take it off. Or, you know, turn it inside out if it's the only shirt you're wearing.
Anyway- happy voting. And if you come to vote at Larsen Elementary, bring your I.D. because I can't verify your identity even though I know you.
I took an oath!
Monday, November 03, 2008
This summer, we made a lot of homemade ice cream. And if we stopped for a treat it was usually an ice cream cone.
He started out attempting to eat the entire thing, patiently licking the dripping sides. Occasionally, the scoop would fall out but he wouldn't fret. He just continued by eating the cone.
On our Disneyland trip he asked more than once a day. Finally, on the way home, we stopped at a Dairy Queen. He took 2-3 mouth fulls of the ice cream and was done.
He still asks, everyday, for an "ice pie comb". After the Beaver Dairy Queen experience, I started replying, "maybe later" to which he said, "Otay."
Today, instead of an "otay", I got, "But why?"
Are you serious? Already with the "whys?"
On the way home from Hannah's dentist appointment, she asked to stop for ice cream. Aidan was thrilled. He got 3 licks off the baby cone before the "ice pie" fell on the van floor. While Hannah cleaned up his mess, he ate the crunchy, stale cone. Yum!
Hannah and I determined that as far as Aidan was concerned, it's all about the "comb" and not the "ice pie."
Monday, October 27, 2008
I felt like it was a little early but he's been peeing on the toilet for months that I thought this was my window.
It was a good introduction so we'll try again after Christmas.
The interesting thing is the reason it didn't quite work is so different than the other kids. He WANTS to do it, he CAN do it, he LIKES doing it but I can tell it's stressing him out. He's cranky and sad.
Looking back, it probably wasn't the best idea to get rid of the crib and diapers in the same week. I know, Duh! But he's so agreeable and gung ho about everything, I didn't think of it as being too hard on his little emotions.
Enough about that...
Another thought: one of my friends posted "blah, blah, blah" on her blog. That was the title and that was the body of the post- that's it. All of the comments, including mine were like, "Yep- got it, ditto, I feel the same, etc.
I thought it was just me coming off my vacation high. But others are feeling this way too. Usually I don't feel this way until after New Years so it's not a good sign that the "blahs" have already showed their ugly faces.
I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing: Prayer, scriptures, church calling, service, trying to be a patient, loving mother. I'm even having small periods of time where I feel motivated, purposeful and happy. But then the "blahs" come back.
Why? How can we help each other? What can we do?
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Today, our outing included a quick lunch combined with a Wal-Mart trip. Being the budget-conscience mothers that we are (just recently converted, but hey, we're trying), we used a coupon to get 2 entrees for the price of one. As Amberlyn got up to go pay for our food, she gathered my cash as well as hers.
She said, "Where's the coupon?"
I replied, "I don't know. Did you give it to me?"
She said, "I set it right there on the table close to your side."
We began to pick up plates, silverware, glasses, purses, etc., when Amberlyn pulled the chewed up coupon (pictured below) out of Grace's mouth. We couldn't stop laughing!
Luckily, I had also clipped the same coupon before leaving the house just in case.
It would have been a whole lot funnier to get a picture of Grace as she was gnawing on the coupon with paper pieces amongst the drool rolling down her chin. But, I had to settle for saving the baby-muched wad of paper in my wallet until I could get home to document the damage.
Now that I soon won't have to carry a diaper bag (see earlier potty training post), maybe I'll have room for my camera. Next time, I can catch the world's hungriest baby in action!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
This one is of Ed during our Segway Test Drive experience. His experience was in no-way Extreme (see earlier post titled "Extreme Segway"). In fact, he didn't even try to hop off when I fell. When I asked him later about it he said, "Well, if you were going to fly off a cliff on a Segway and die, I knew I shouldn't follow. Someone around here has to act calm and responsible!"
Where's the fun in that, I ask?
So I tag Amberlyn, Amidey, Dawnyeil, Dawn, Dory, Emily, Hilary, Rindee, & Karin (everyone in my friend's section that hasn't previously been mentioned).
Instructions: Post the 6th picture in your 6th Pictures Folder on your computer. And no cheating!
Now if we could just get the "poo-poo training" underway... it would really help.
Any suggesetions? Never had a kid who got the #1 right and not the #2. Or if I did, I forgot.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Hannah's is South Dakota. They had several projects to choose from that they could do with their State and one of them was a 3D Map. Hannah chose to make Pumpkin Bars and decorate the top with the Capitol, landmarks, rivers, and other towns & cities. She had a lot of fun doing it and has learned an awful lot about South Dakota.
Who knew South Dakota could be so much fun?
We finished out the season with a Team Party at my house. It was fun to get all the boys together and let them play without anyone yelling, "Defenders!" My kids planned some fun games for them in the backyard and the family room and we ate pizza for lunch. We also had an awards ceremony. I made these fun trophies for them out of candy. This one is Andrew's and he got the "Dauntless Defender" Award.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
We had a party for Ryan a couple of weeks ago at my house and I was relentlessly snapping pictures. Before everyone left, I was able to get them together for a group shot. It was fun to be able to have one last party.
It's hard to sum up how I feel about working for Anderson Covers in a short, blog entry. I do not regret my decision to leave once the business was sold. I do think it was the right time for me to leave. I do miss working with these wonderful people but change is a part of life- and you have to move on. I doubt that I will ever have another opportunity quite like this one- I think that is probably the thing that I will miss the most.
Anderson was like a family to me- the people there know my strengths and weaknesses and loved me anyway. They were there for me when I had ups and downs and I was there for them. And on the business side of things- what we built was incredible. The kind of growth that we sustained year after year was amazing. I am grateful to have been a part of it.
Monday, September 08, 2008
To make one:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker. Save your mosaic and then add it to your blog like a regular photo.
Here are the questions and my answers:
1. What is your first name? Amy
2. What is your favorite food? Mexican food
3. What school did you go to? BYU
4. What is your favorite color? Green
5. Who is your celebrity crush? I'm embarassed to say, but it's Paul Walker 6. Favorite drink? Diet Cherry Coke
7. Dream vacation? Hawaii
8. Favorite dessert? Ice Cream
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Someone who motivates others to achieve what they really want in life
10. What do you love most in life? My family
11. One word to describe you. Optimistic
12. Your nickname. AIM
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
It was a great evening! The kids really look forward to their interview with their Dad. I'm so happy that they love this monthly occasion. I know they are still young and I'm sure their time will come (the rolling of the eyes and the big sighs) when they seem to hate it. But I know it will be one of those memories that comes up when we're all around the table for a family dinner in 20 years. And I love that the traditions that we have are consistent and stable.
For Christmas 2005, "Santa" left us a family journal. It's just the ordinary journal that you can find at the Distribution Center and is engraved with "The Huhtala Family". I put a copy of my Annual Christmas Letter in there along with the letters I write my kids every Christmas Eve. I also write down the main points of their New School Year Father's Blessings. Haylee was the last child to come in for her blessing. As we were waiting for her and I was reviewing her previous year's blessings, I had an impression come to me that she would be blessed to be protected and spared. This prompting didn't come as to much of a shock since I have had these types of promptings concerning Haylee every since she was born. As I have told a few of you, Haylee is the only one of my children that I cannot close my eyes and see her in adulthood. All of others, I have a feeling of what they will be, look like, accomplish, etc. I don't know why I am not able to see her, but I have always felt that Heavenly Father has been preparing me for something regarding Haylee's time on earth.
Tonight, in Haylee's blessing, Ed paused for a second. He then continued and said, "I bless you that the Spirit will guide and direct you and keep you from danger- that you will be safe." He was pretty choked up during this and the rest of her blessing. After Haylee left the room, I turned to Ed and knowing what I was going to ask, he shrugged. He did not know why he had said that but he felt the words come to his mind and then as he thought about what they meant, he could barely continue with the blessing. I reminded him of my previous feelings and my inability to see her as an adult. As we continued to talk and share our feelings, we both felt comforted by the Spirit and by our knowledge that Families are Forever.
I may not know for a very long time why Haylee was given that particular blessing tonight. And I may not know for a very long time why I'm unable to see her as an adult. But what I do know is that Heavenly Father loves me, my husband, and all of my children. His plan is greater than mine. I must continue to have faith in His plan and His Gospel. And I must be strong enough to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost- wherever they may lead.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I found myself getting irritated this morning with my children for lots of dumb little things. When I work, I don't get hung up on these dumb little things because I can see them for what they are. When I'm home and my entire day revolves around cleaning, laundry, cheerleading, cooking, to-do lists, errands and so forth - not to mention all the teaching, tutoring, reminding, helping, encouraging and counseling. I do all these things when I work as well but it's not all that I do. And because I'm trying to fit much more "doing" in a 16 hour day, I don't get caught up on everyone's moods. I'm focused, attentive and goal-oriented. All the other things slide right off me.
I guess this is one of the reasons why staying at home is more difficult for me than working. It's either 100 miles an hour (upward progress) or a dead stop (downward spiral).
I really need to figure out how to have some internal balance.
Monday, August 25, 2008
This summer went by so fast! It is already time for school to start- I can't believe it. Before school we went to breakfast. It was fun to sit and talk to the kids without the distractions of being at home. They each are so excited for the new school year.
Hannah is such a great student and so self-motivated. Her favorite subjects are writing and math. This year she has the opportunity to win the Golden Explorer Award. It is something they do in 5th Grade. There are about 30 things they must do- some of them are very challenging. Mrs. Davies said last year she only had 2 students win the award. At first, Hannah wasn't going to try it because she said it stressed her out. But after her 2nd day of school and listening to Mrs. Davies explain the specifics, she came home ready to go!
Haylee has Mr. Bradford this year. He is the famous 4th grade teacher at Spanish Oaks. He has a way of motivating the kids to learn and holding them accountable for their own work and behavior. Haylee is a great student. I was so impressed with her hard work last year. Her 3rd grade teacher told me she wanted to challenge Haylee and give her harder spelling words. My reaction was, "But she studies all week just to get the basic words down." She said that Haylee always scored 100% so she wanted to push her a little. Haylee did not back down from the challenge and kept scoring 100% even with the advanced words. I know this perseverance will pay off as she goes through school.
Alex is a natural. At everything. I never worry about him and academics at school. He is very smart. He loves to read and enjoys learning about things even at home in his free time. (For Christmas, we got him "The Dangerous Book for Boys". It is the best book ever! If you have boys, check it out!) He is motivated to do well and wants to please his teachers and his parents. His teacher Mrs. Sanders will spend some time on values and choices this year. This will be good for Alex. (I'm hoping the 2 instances of cheating last year were isolated incidents). Sports continues to be a main thread in Alex's life. He is in soccer right now and can't wait until next year when he can start playing football.
Andrew (some of you know him by Logan) is at school all day. Heaven help us! He is my only child that is not self-motivated to do well in school. In fact, he could care less about learning. He has done a good job of keeping his reading skills up this summer so I hope he will continue to improve. He has a very tender heart and I'm sure has already fallen in love with his teacher. He exercised his independence by choosing to be called "Andrew" this year. Even though he is totally a Logan and I would like to refuse to let him go by Andrew, I am proud that he cares enough about something to stick to it. I am desperately trying to call him Andrew at home so that he does not develop 2 personalities. Although if it means he is motivated and excels in school, a split personality may not be a bad thing.
Now we're down to one at home. I quit my job so me and 2 year old are spending our days together. I'm trying to enjoy it, especially since he will be a kindergartner in 2011. Sobering thought.
Aidan was cutting up paper and dropping it off the side of the bar exclaiming, "Whoo Hoo!". It was the cutest thing but by the time we got the camera out, we had to coach him to do what 1
minute ago was a spontaneous act.
We did manage to capture the gist of it and at the end you can see by the evidence of the crashed pieces of paper how much fun he was having!
Monday, August 18, 2008
This is where those of you who are in my ward stop reading if you don't want to hear my opinion on this. (Of course now that I said that you must go on...) I'm dying to share my thoughts and my only other option was Testimony Meeting so feel relieved that I chose my blog instead....
So personally, I feel like this is the best type of activity our RS Pres. could ever plan. We have like what, 1/10th of all the primary kids in the world in our ward alone? Obviously that's exaggerated but for those of you who don't know, over 50% of our ward is under the age of 12. So my point (one of them) is that how many of us get to leave our husbands and kids EVER completely free of guilt and apology? Not many. This is why so many of us are early to Enrichment.
Fortunately for me, I have a husband who is constantly encouraging me to have my own free time and get out of the house with my friends. When the kids were little and I never left, he would have to call my friends and say, "Come get her- she needs to get out and won't go on her own. I'll even watch your kids!" (On these occasions, Ed would end up with anywhere from 3 to 7 additional children to entertain - all under the age of 5 or 6)
I know that this is a rare quality in a husband and believe me, I am sooo grateful. But for those sisters who don't get a lot a free time to be with other women- this is a FREE PASS. It's a church activity.... how can you feel guilty, apologetic and all of those other sorry words when you are taking time to fill your lamp?
One of the other reasons I am so excited to go is the chance to talk to, hang out, be silly, play games, laugh and cry with women in the ward who I don't get the opportunity to be around through normal church service. I have never been in a ward where I could literally sit down with any one of the 100+ sisters and have a meaningful conversation. Seriously- every woman in our ward is that amazing.
I've heard mentioned that some of the women are worried about cliques and groups. This type of activity breaks down those walls- it eliminates them. Take Girls Camp for example. Young Women are just an earlier version of ourselves, right? I was so proud to see our YW at Girls Camp unite and serve each other. This is why the Church has Girls Camp. Because when you are on a mountain or in a canyon, the Spirit is all around. That quiet beauty that constantly whispers, we are children of a Divine Being who loves us, inspires and motivates us to become one. It is easier to love each other and serve one another when we are removed from the daily chores of our lives. When we get a chance to be with other women minus the children, husbands, homes, cars, and other responsibilities, we are more open to becoming one. Gone are the comparisons, the inadequacies, the doubts. All that's left is our open hearts.... and bad camping hair!
I really feel strongly about this (can you tell?)! We need activities like this to catch our breaths. Fill up. Recharge. We need each other to do this.
And for that 1% that might read this and go, "No- I don't need it. I'm fine." Well, then don't do it for yourself. Do it for those of us that need you.
Phew! This soap box is sagging with my weight. (But not as much as it used to!)
I happened onto someone's blog that I do not know. She posted a comment on one of my friends' blogs and since her name was Amy I wanted to see who she was. (To be honest, I really don't like it when my friends have other friends with the same name as me... I'm totally serious.... I know... issues!)
Anyway- read some of her posts... she sounds hilarious! I sooo want to be friends with her. (If she would change her name!) Sorry-got sidetracked..... she has a blogshop where she sells things. My problem is I can't figure out what she is selling- I mean what do you do with them? It's way cute stuff- I just don't know what it is.
So can you help me out? Go to Karin's blog and read Amy's comments on the State Fair post. She is the only other Amy that's not me.
So clue me in on the big secret. And get a Jacob/Edward bookmark while you're there. Also- check out her Twilight shirts - what a freak! (I mean that in a good way!)
Sunday, August 17, 2008
1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn’t matter if you know (knew) me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog.
WARNING: Do not leave this post without making a comment!
The cake isn't just good lookin'. It tasted amazing! See more of Dawn's cakes at www.dawnscakes.blogspot.com.
Thanks Dawn- you're my BFF!