Monday, March 28, 2011

A rambling post about motherhood

I read something last week that said, "Bearing children is a faith-based work."

Jeez, I needed to hear that. Because sometimes it doesn't all make sense. I keep asking myself, How do I make my house more peaceful? How do I help my kids get along? How do I stop all the whining!?! Feel free to leave your brilliant answers.

Anyway, Ella, Kate and Dash are growing up! And there are so many things I need to teach them. It weighs on me. I think about their total education daily.

For example, I want to homeschool but can't quite get comfortable with it. Private schools in the area are out, and public schools have some real drawbacks. For example, sometimes I feel like our nation can't agree on a general moral standard. But how do you teach history or social sciences or any discipline that requires context and nuance if you can't agree on a few things that are right and wrong?

I want my kids to be excellent, and not because I care about ego or prestige but because I know they are capable of excellence. I wrote down these things about a year and half ago and they are the benchmarks I am using to make decisions.
  • Excellence
  • Discipline
  • Kindness
  • Humility
  • Integrity
  • Innovation
  • Delight / Joy
In addition, our family has some goals.
1) Enjoy our work
2) Experience nature / recreation
3) Live below our means
4) Live beautifully and simply
5) Cultivate health
6) Love passionately
7) Laugh often
8) Help others
9) Make a life

I look at this list often and it has been a compass for us as we have made some big decisions the last two years.

But part of being the mom and carefully thinking about these things is that you have to have time to implement them. I have to have time to study the things I want my kids to know; I have to have time to laugh at silly things and wrestle on the floor and not worry about deadlines and the clock so much. That is the rat race that adulthood brings and kids deserve their time in the innocent land of childhood.

So I have quit freelancing. I have been canceling projects and phasing out clients. And although it has taken me years to come to this point, I am finally there.

Although my brain is constantly racing with ideas and projects and creative energy, right now, I am devoting everything I have to the faith-based work of motherhood and infusing my home with joy and comfort and love for my family and those who walk in my door. Wish me luck because as many of you know it is not easy but hopefully will be worth it.

More from that article:

Live the Hope of Eternal Life

Parents, teachers, and leaders: live in your homes, in your families, in your marriages so that youth will develop hope for eternal life from watching you. Live and teach with so much clarity that what you teach will cut through all the noise youth are hearing and so that it will pierce their hearts and touch them.

Live in your home so that you’re brilliant in the basics, so that you’re intentional about your roles and responsibilities in the family. Think in terms of precision not perfection. If you have your goals and you are precise in how you go about them in your homes, youth will learn from you. They will learn that you pray, study the scriptures together, have family home evening, make a priority of mealtimes, and speak respectfully of your marriage partner. Then from your example the rising generation will gain great hope.

To read the full article, click here: Teaching the Doctrine of the Family

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Where the living is easy . . . .

I was so tired today I almost put the kids to bed at 5:00 p.m., but I dug deep and took them outside to fly Grandma Anne's kites. I don't think the pictures do it justice. It turned into a perfect hour of childhood happiness.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Switching it up

Some pix taken from my cell phone.

Sometimes I forget how much kids love dirt. At least my kids. They love it. They roll in it. The dirt completes them.

We miss Tahoe like crazy but this beach is in front of our house and pretty fun. It was only like 60 degrees but Kate had stripped down to her swimsuit within 15 minutes and they had a blast.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yummy recipe

Yummy salad dressing:

2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3 Tbsp sugar
1 16 ounce can of pears

Blend until smooth. Adjust the sugar to desired sweetness.

Works perfectly with baby greens, sliced apples and pears, candied pecans and gorgonzola cheese . . .
Or strawberries, bacon and parmesan cheese.

Funny kid happenings I need to record:

Kate: "Mom, sometimes when you're not around, I say bad words quietly under my breath. Sorry about that."

Kate: "The boy in my gymnastics class told me he loves me. His name is spider man. He calls me spider girl."

Kate: "Mom, I can't believe you are making us go to bed! Don't you love your children!??"

Ella: "When you tell a lie, there's a hole in your heart that gets bigger and bigger, until you tell the truth, and then the hole gets smaller and smaller."

Ella is being recognized in the school assembly today for being a star student with good behavior.

Dash: Insists on carrying his golf clubs everywhere. He has a real putter, driver, and wedge. Is out golfing in his pajamas as we speak. Yells, "Awesome!" when he has a good hit.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Happy B-day, Dug!

My dad is the man! He works hard, plays hard, and is always up for a good time.

10. Speaks "cinema" fluently
9. Gives gifts months in advance (Christmas in July is fun!)
8. Still works and plays like he's 20
7. Always willing to lend a hand
6. Helped me grow up with confidence
5. Helped me learn to trust in the Lord
4. Taught me what was really important in life: PEOPLE
3. Eats at least 2 hamburgers a week, every week (Apollo is King)
2. Has a soft spot for troubled kids and animals
1. Makes his family, grandkids and everyone around him feel loved

Have a great day, Dug! Love you!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Why we love February

Ella and Brit: Feb 18
Anne and Kate: Feb 20

I still think it is amazing I get to share this month with my favorite people.

Kate told her gymnastics class that she was turning 7 (she's 4). Ella told me she wanted to take her entire school class to olive garden. Dash decided it was a good week to start potty training. Good times!

Birthday fun all week long. If Ella looks tired it's because we weren't able to open the girls presents until late at night. We spent the weekend remodeling the office so the new toys doubled as a handy distraction for the kids while we worked. Before and after pix coming soon.

The grandmas all sent their fun presents, including a cute apron from Janie, which I hope to start using soon when I resume my cooking responsibilities for the family.

Also, after a long day I came home to a super surprise from my reno girls. Homemade orange rolls (DELICIOUS!) and a bundle of treasures that hit the spot. Ladies, you don't know how much your love and service keeps me smiling.

We are still basking in the glow of grandma anne's visit. I don't let my kids watch sponge bob so grandma anne bought them a sponge bob cake, cause that's just the kind of rebel she is. They loved it, or course. And I frankly didn't mind either cause they were happy as clams.

Kyle and I also booked our birthday/christmas/10th anniversary/optometry graduation/all-rolled-into-one trip and i must say even though it is weeks away it is all I can do not to pack tomorrow.

Anyway, must go fold laundry. Love you all!