Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm a mean mom

I'm not a big fan of video or computer games. I detest the mind-numbing, sedentary-ness, and noise of it all! Let me illustrate how strongly I feel about this: When Jon Kerry was running for president, his wife revealed in an interview that while raising her children, she would only allow them to watch TV for 30 minutes a day. They also had to write a report on the program they watched. I have been VERY tempted. As it is, I do monitor what my kids watch, how long they watch, and when Laci is in school the TV won't be on during weekdays. Children need to be running, playing, exploring, learning. Not sitting on a couch or chair for hours on end, engaging in brainless activities. TV, video and computer games, in and of themselves aren't bad. But, I just don't want to provide an opportunity for turning into a slave of the TV/computer.

So, even though Laci is almost 5, I haven't allowed her to play video or computer games.

...until recently.

My mom, having worked in the primary for several years, told me about THIS. It's the Friend magazine online. Laci loves the scripture reader section, doing puzzles, and coloring the temple. She especially loves the primary music that plays in the background. I even let her do it on Sunday as a reverent activity (since those can be hard to come by and we don't let our kids play outside).

So, then I explored around a bit, and she can go onto the Disney and PBS websites. She loves the Disney Princess section, and I'm all for developing reading skills! I monitor how long she plays on it, so it's not ALL she does. And, I have to say, it's been a fun discovery for the both of us.

But, I'm curious: what do you think about the subject? (Am I too extreme?) What are your favorite websites for your kids? Do you recommend other educational websites?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

a little miffed

So, I took the kids to the community splash pool today, which we've done every week this summer - minus a few when I was potty-training Jacob. The kids have a blast. I enjoy having a free place to take them and a reason to get out of the house. I always shoot for 10am, but usually don't get there till around 10:30 or 11. We actually made to the pool at on time...for the first time this summer. I even packed a small picnic so we could stay a little longer, if the kids wanted to. Having accomplished this - as many of you know, is no small feat - I was feeling pretty good about myself. When we arrived, my satisfaction multiplied when I noticed I was the first one there.

Oh, this excitement was quickly dashed when I was approached by the pool watcher (apparently, he's not a lifeguard; so I'm calling him pool watcher.) He's essentially there to make sure we have our pool cards and - as I learned today, that children under the age of 3 have a swim diaper AND plastic cover over the top. Okay, as a fellow parent, I can appreciate the gesture. The last thing I want is for one of my kids to be swimming in a pool when another child has a #2 accident (because let's be honest, here, every child pees in the pool). But, I started to get little annoyed when I told him that Jacob is potty-trained, and the pool watcher responded that he's still under the age of 3. And, I got really annoyed when he told me I could purchase a diaper cover for $10. Ten dollars! That's the same price as a whole pack of swim diapers! I enjoy the splash pool, but not that much.

So, I packed the kids up and we went home. They weren't too disappointed when I suggested a bubble bath with their swimsuits on. They played in there for almost a full hour! Note to self, arrive late at the pool from now on so that the pool watcher will be too busy to notice my 2 1/2 year old without his $10 swim cover!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


If you've already read my previous post, you may have noticed my error. Bruce R. McConkie did not write Jesus the Christ; James E. Talmage did.

*Leave it to my scriptorian hubby to pick up on my mistake. :) I'm glad he did!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


My heart is so full today. Full of love for my sweet children, full of wonder as I gaze into my new son's face, full of awe for the miracle that he is, full of joy for the beauty of today, full of gratitude to my Father in Heaven. I feel like I could just burst! How does one store so many feelings at once?

Maybe they're not meant to be stored.

Today is a day where I feel like I can give, and give, and give. Endlessly give to anyone and everyone who enters my path. That in and of itself is a gift. There are some who have this gift always. President Monson is a good example. How in the world did he visit 86 widows every year (until they all passed) with the demands of work, family, new (increasingly heavier) callings?

My mom is another good example of this. I often wonder how she does it all -- raise 10 kids, often holding multiple callings, cooking from scratch, keeping a clean and organized household, serving others at the drop of a hat -- how does she find the capacity to keep on giving, how can she continually put herself and her needs aside for everyone else?

Selfless. 100%.

It's so simple for them as they emulate and follow the perfect example of our Savior ---

the Giver of all gifts.

Nowhere in the scriptures does it say that there is a limited supply, once it's run out you have to wait your turn for a refill. In fact, over and over we're taught to "come unto me; seek ye the best gifts; ask, and ye shall receive." Elder Eyring states in this month's Presidency Message, [The needs of others] "may be visible to you only if you have prayed for the Spirit to give you eyes to see into hearts and have promised to lift up the hands that hang down."

James E. Talmage teaches in Jesus the Christ that our Lord and Savior was born with the veil placed upon his mind, just like the rest of us. He "grew in wisdom and stature." And, as He turned to His Father in prayer, it was through personal revelation that He learned of His foreordination and divine role as the Savior of the world.

My Savior.

Your Savior.

Even if it meant saving only one.

He was perfect because he had the fullness of the Spirit with Him always.

Doesn't He command to "be perfect even as I and my Father in Heaven are perfect?" This is obtainable only as we draw nearer to the Spirit, and come to understand what our spiritual gifts are, what we were sent here to do, believing that we'll be given the capacity to use each gift to its fullest.

Gifts like today - where my heart is so full I feel like I'm going to burst - don't have to be just a sweet memory. I shouldn't be waiting for people to enter my path. I should be actively seeking them, as I draw nearer to the Spirit and allowing it to guide me to them. growing "in wisdom and stature" until I become even as He is.

Friday, July 2, 2010

mach speed

Do you ever feel like you're running in a million directions at a million miles per hour - and have very little to show for it? If you don't know that feeling, then you've never lived, my friend! You see, reaching impossibly high - as always - (I do sometimes ask myself, why are you doing this to me? And, I always answer, because you love it!), I decided that I wanted to fill our summer schedule with fun activities (because apparently, feeding a baby every two hours isn't demanding enough): splash pool once a week, library once a week, lake/park once a week, grocery shopping once a week (not too fun for the kiddos, but it has to be done), go to GG's (great-grandma) every other week. I will soon be adding swimming lessons for Laci (not free, but getting a great deal from sis-in-law), and I've heard about designating one day a week for photography - adding that to the list! And, whatever fun - and, more importantly, FREE - activities that may present themselves.

We were doing really well up until last week and then it all went out the window when I had the flu Monday and Tuesday. (Can we say, RANDOM!) Then, on Wednesday, completely fed up with buying diapers for two, I decided to try my hand again at potty-training Jacob. The 3-day potty training is a miracle-worker, but the child absolutely must be mentally and emotionally ready -- meaning, they cannot be deathly afraid of the toilet! It's difficult enough already that Jacob is my child who very much despises any kind of change, so transitioning to anything new for him can be tricky. But this time, a small toilet insert/cover + an older and wiser Jacob = success! By day 3, he took off and hasn't looked back since! I'm so proud of him!

This Monday we made it to GG's house, and had a blast! And, now this is where the not-so-much-to-show-for-it part comes in: Laundry. Piles of it filling my basement...not a good thing when you have a newly potty-trained child running around! What can I say, accidents still happen with miracle-workers. And, you wouldn't think 1 little baby would add that much more laundry, but if you're like me and wash all their clothes separate for the first year (because I just can't mix their sweet-smelling, even the poop-filled clothes give off a sweet odor, with our older bodies, sweat-filled clothes), then it does! And, going almost two weeks without doing any laundry is hazardous for everyone's health -- and underwear supply.

Poor Jacob had to sleep two nights in one of Laci's night shirts and would have had to borrow a pair of her underwear, too, on the second night - but she was wearing her last pair! So, he had to go without. It was then that I realized just how far behind I've gotten...

And, there you have it! Two days of laundry catch up, then next week the kids and I will be so happy to resume our high-speed, activity-filled summer routine.

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