Monday, November 28, 2011

Thoughts 11/28/11

I enjoyed quite a bit of relaxing time over Thanksgiving. I was so happy to not have to set the alarm and get to sleep in. But we also had sick kids for a few days, which also made a more relaxed mode. My kids are getting bigger now, but especially when they are sick I am reminded of how much they need and love me. Seth fell asleep snuggling on me a few times. Rand had a bad dream and was sick and came and slept with me. Those are tender times to hug them as they grow. I also decided I needed to give my kids a little more individual time and also do something constructive with them in the afternoons to try to hedge off some boredom which then often led towards tackling/wrestling/sword fighting/craziness. So I picked a novel to read with each kid and I take a few minutes just to be alone with them. It has been a welcome different activity. I love my kids. I am so grateful for the family that we have.

Finally, I just wanted to share this quote from Pres Benson. I was doing some reading to prepare for my Relief Society lesson next Sunday and came upon this talk to the children that he gave. One of the things that made me so happy reading this was that, at the time, I was one of the kids he was talking to. I would have been 11 at the time he spoke these words as prophet. And now I am the mother reading these words again:

"Dear child, you are God’s gift to your parents, and the gift your parents can give God is to bring you back to Him sweet and pure and faithful.

He expects your parents and leaders to teach you, to walk beside you, and to be shining examples to you so that you will know the way you should go. They must spend time with you and love you and pray with you and for you."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ahhh...the smell of throw up in the morning...

Oh how I wish I could have recorded Seth's story to Steve of his massive up chuck this morning. He had woken up earlier being sick and going out the other end. Then he started feeling sick again just when we were waking the other kids up to get ready for school. Luckily I got his head turned so most of it went all over his bed sheets with a waterproof cover on the mattress so it is easier to clean. But it really did go everywhere. I was cleaning up Seth in the bathroom while Steve took on the boys' room. I guess Rand said that looking at the throw up was making him want to throw up. Well at least for now the mess has stopped...Here's hoping we don't all pass it around.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thoughts 11/13/11

Mmmm...BBQ!

Yesterday we went over to a friend's house for a BBQ. A REAL Texas-style, slow cook the meat for hours overnight, delicious BBQ. It was so tasty. Living in Austin we had it so good, especially our last apartment up in the arboretum area right across the street from Rudy's. The meat there is so tender and good and smells fantastic, the creamed corn is the best and I can eat a ton of it, it was pretty cheap, it is awesome that you eat off of paper towels and part of the building is a gas station...typical good Texas BBQ.

We tried lots of places out here in Tucson and were always sad. I just can't do bad BBQ - the fatty meat makes me want to gag. We did find one good place, but it is far away and in a resort so it is pricey. So yesterday was so delicious. He had a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker to slow cook the meat, both beef brisket and pork shoulder. We may very well have to get this grill at some point in the future.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Music in the Mall

Last week Rhianna played the piano in the mall. I think this was the first time she had really felt nervous playing. She is playing harder and harder pieces and now in front of others she doesn't even know. She is excited now that she can start playing Christmas songs again.
video 
This first song is called Evening Song.
video
 This song is called Scottish Fling.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Reading Group with Rand

I like being able to go help in the elementary school. With the new GATE program they are doing at the kids' school, the teachers get extra units to add to their curriculum. So Rand's teacher, knowing me and that I used to teach, asked me to take a reading group on Fridays and teach them. This was a huge unit all using books written by Cynthia Rylant. So I got to pick the books and come up with fun enrichment ideas to do with them. Rand liked having me come and often he and Seth would keep going with the activity once he got home. So here are a few things we did:

Bunny Bungalow & Let's Go Home - We did a compare/contrast chart with the books and talked about our houses.

This Year's Garden - After reading the book, the kids made their own garden on paper. Rand and Seth really liked this one and worked on theirs for hours.

Night in the Country - After reading, we talked about words that make us think of sounds. Then I played different kinds of music and had them dance or move (marches vs ballet) or think of what the music sounded like (animals, spooky houses, aliens, lullabies).

The High Rise Private Eyes: Case of the Desperate Duck - We did this for a few weeks. We talked about sounding out words. We talked about sugar cubes, tasted them and built with them, and did other puzzles.

The Relatives Came - The kids love talking as we read through a book. Then they drew pictures of them with a relative. Rand picked his fall off the trampoline and Brian coming to his rescue.

Tulip Sees America - We talked about maps and marked our own maps while they traveled in the book.

It has been fun to volunteer and get to teach just for this short time. I also get to stop in on Rhianna for a little while and help if I can.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thoughts 11/7/11

In the past week, two of my friends have had someone very special and important to them pass away. It makes my heart sad for them and the family they will now miss - even while I have faith and hope in the resurrection and the chance to be with our family eternally. Today I was looking at some pictures of Christ and some of the captions from scriptures that go with them - I will not leave you comfortless...the tender mercies of the Lord...

A few years ago I remember reading on another blog a person's feelings about how Christ had helped to carry her burdens. Her words were beautiful and so perfect and heartfelt. They stuck with me and I think I remember the scripture she talked about. It was from Mosiah 24. In this case the people were in bondage and suffered difficulties. Our hard things are different than theirs, and different at different times of our lives. But these are the words from the Book of Mormon:

And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage. And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

So the people were still in bondage, still had hard things - but the Lord promised that he would ease the burdens. I feel quite blessed in my life, but I do know some things are hard. I have felt the Savior's love for me and know that he does comfort us and understand us.

A few funny moments

Yesterday putting Seth to bed he was calling for me to come back. He wanted me to lay down by him. I told him he was a big boy and he could do it and I would just sit on his bed for a minute. Then he said, "I am not that big of a boy. I am only 4." In the sweetest voice with a bit of sadness. So yes I snuggled with him.

Then this morning he woke up after we had all eaten breakfast and came running out saying, "Is it Christmas?" It was chilly and cloudy and rainy (and actually did snow a little up the mountains) so I guess he thought it was Christmas.

And then tonight I was in the middle of saying our bedtime family prayer. He kept saying, "Mom." And I kept going. Then he said, "Mom - I have to go potty." I ended the prayer in a laugh.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

Rhianna/Hermione Seth/Power Ranger Rand/Iron Man

It has been a full week of treats around here, starting with Seth's birthday. Our ward had a Halloween party on Wednesday night. The favorite game is always to eat the mini donut off the string. Rhianna and Rand are getting good at it after all these years. Rhianna was so quick I didn't even get a picture. The YM and YW also had learned the Thriller dance and performed for all of us.

Then on Halloween we did a loop around the neighborhood. Nearly every house was giving chocolate and Seth kept saying, "I got another chocolate!" so excitedly it made it really fun. Rhianna and Rand are even getting pretty good at regulating their own candy intake. Seth, on the other hand, loves that chocolate way too much. Yesterday they split up the candy and made it all even. For now they can have a few pieces a day. I think eventually we will still call an end to the candy and either give it to Steve's students or save it for a New Year's pinata (but then that means I have to control my candy eating...yes I love the candy too!)