Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How to eat an avocado...

Esther wanted to eat an avocado and mom was occupied, so she decided to help herself. She came up with a unique method: she stuck a screw-driver into the avocado to make a hole, then squeezed to get squishy avocado flesh out to eat. Ah, the ingenuity of two-year-olds...

The End of the Road

This baby will be coming soon! That thought is on my mind constantly lately--my due date is about two weeks out, which means...well, all it really means is that I'll probably be having a baby sometime in the next four weeks or so. Sometimes I really wish the timing were not so uncertain! People keep asking me if I'm "ready"--I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean. What is being ready for a baby? I've got plenty of things in mind I'd like to do before the baby comes, primarily getting my house in better order. Some will get done, doubtless many will not. In the end it won't matter--we'll have a new baby to love a cherish and brighten our lives. How could I not be ready for that?
Of course, I've got to get through labor first...

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Memory...

Have you ever noticed that American money has a distinctive smell? I don't often carry cash, but I want to try a cash budget for a change (as a way of actually making myself stick to a budget!), so Saturday I went to the bank and brought home a couple of week's worth of expenses in cash. As I pulled those paper bills out of my purse this afternoon, I caught of whiff of a scent that immediately took me back to corn-selling season when I was a child. Our house sat at the edge of about 25 acres of fields belonging to my grandfather, and a couple of those fields were always planted with sweet corn which we would sell from the back of the pickup-truck or a tractor trailer parked by the road in front of the house. I remember "helping" sell from the time I was very small, but the summer I was 8 was the first time I was allowed to take responsibility myself for minding the sales. We used to keep coins from sales (and for change) in a muffin tin; cash and checks were taken inside regularly and kept in a tupperware type container on a shelf of the bookcase just inside the door. Those are the images that come to my mind when I catch the scent of a dollar bill. Corn-season must have been hectic from the adults' perspective, but the memories that come back to my mind are of the excitement and pleasure of being a contributing part of a family enterprise.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Lily has demonstrated her ability to play multiple roles recently, here are a few examples from yesterday...

My new dietician:
Yesterday I took the children to the library booksale and let them each pick out a couple of books. Lily chose a book on pregnancy and childbirth, which she carefully perused in the car on the way home. This morning, she informed me that we needed to make hard-boiled eggs for breakfast; apparently the "pregnancy diet" section of the book recommends eating a hard-boiled egg every day.

The Tooth-Fairy's Secretary:
Lily lost a tooth yesterday--her 8th, I believe; she seems to be on the fast-track in tooth development! Last night as we were all getting ready for bed she overheard me saying I hoped sleep well. She quickly reminded me that I couldn't sleep ALL night because the tooth fairy had to remember to come during the night!

Luke burned his toes--not a serious burn, but he was rather noisy about it. Believe it or not, the culprit was hot pizza; I was cutting the pizza, and apparently a piece touched his toes. No, I was not cutting the pizza on the floor--his toes were on the table, and I had not noticed them there! I admit to being less than sympathetic about the injury, but Lily jumped in to rescue her brother: she brought him a bowl of ice-water for his foot, then made him up a nice bed so he could recover!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gratitude goes a long way...

Moment of honesty: I'm tired. I can't remember the last time I got a really decent night's sleep. It seems there's always something to interfere--a late night, sick kids, baby kicking, or just no comfortable position for sleep with a watermelon for a belly. Whatever energy I start the morning with is gone by noon, and I feel like I am just dragging through the rest of the day. But one little incident this evening showed me how far a little bit of appreciation can go to lighten our load and brighten the day! Esther was sitting on my lap at dinner time so I could help her eat; in between two bites of spaghetti she turned her sauce-covered face to me and said "Thank you mom, for giving me food."
Suddenly I felt a lot happier and not nearly so tired.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mormon Monday: Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

Our church holds a General Conference every 6 months, a time when thousands gather at church headquarters in Salt Lake City and millions watch and listen in via radio, satellite, and internet broadcasts around the world to hear messages of inspiration and instruction from our church leaders. The messages are always inspiring and often convicting, and are a spiritual highlight of the year for me. Unfortunately I have not yet discovered a way to get three small children to sit and listen quietly through a combined 8 hours of conference sessions over a two-day period! We try to catch as much of conference as we can, but I'm sure I wasn't able to really listen to more than 1/4 of the talks last month. Fortunately, they are all available online--you can find them here.

One morning last week I was having a hard time motivating myself to clean the kitchen (that seems to take an enormous amount of motivational energy--I'm sure it deserves its own Law of Physics!) I decided to jumpstart myself by listening to conference talks on my MP3 player, and randomly selected this talk by Neil L. Andersen. His words struck me powerfully, and I have been thinking about them ever since. Here is a part of his talk:

"We hold in our arms the rising generation. They come to this earth with important responsibilities and great spiritual capacities. We cannot be casual in how we prepare them. Our challenge as parents and teachers is not to create a spiritual core in their souls but rather to fan the flame of their spiritual core already aglow with the fire of their premortal faith.

This afternoon I wish to emphasize the plea of a child from a Primary song:

Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear,
Things I would ask him to tell me if he were here.6

In our world today, each child, each young man and young woman needs his or her own conversion to the truth. Each needs his or her own light, his or her own “steadfast and immovable”7 faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, independent of parents, youth leaders, and supportive friends.

The stories of Jesus can be like a rushing wind across the embers of faith in the hearts of our children. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”8 The stories of Jesus shared over and over bring faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strength to the foundation of testimony. Can you think of a more valuable gift for our children?"

Because I have chosen to homeschool my children, I spend a lot of time and energy researching and pondering educational goals, methods, and curricula. I wonder if I am giving sufficient thought to my children's spiritual education? I am sure that question is one that every parent could ask themself. Do we think more about whether our children are learning to read than we do about whether they are learning to love the scriptures? Are we more concerned about their mastery of mathematical facts and operations than about their mastery of right and wrong choices? Do we get more excited about a first soccer goal than about a first independent prayer? Do we spend more time and energy helping them prepare for their first piano recital than for their baptism? Are we encouraging their expanding knowledge of the workings of the world through science but neglecting to guide their understanding of the Creator of the Universe and their own place and purpose in it?

Once again, I find myself needing to realign my expenditure of time and effort in regards to my family with my true values and priorities.