Saturday, October 29, 2016

October, there is sunlight in your hair...

The children woke up cold a few days this month so they got out the winter wear.
B took a nap with P and it was all kinds of cute.
lP and M got this store all set up in the firepit.  While they finished many details, I played recorder and the cat piano and they slipped me money to spend at their store.
We went to the corn maze today.  In college I went to the corn maze and had a terrible, cold, lost experience.  So I never was interested in going.  I decided we could go for the homeschool day which was half price.  Then it rained like crazy that day and we went anyway, but they gave us rain checks.
So today we went back and spent 4 hours!  I'm just not a 4 hour anything kind of person so this is fairly amazing.
We did the maze which had signs at helpful intervals with pages from the story about Spookly the square pumpkin.  I loved that.  It kept the kids moving, and reassured us that we were not just lost.
Batman was everyone's best friend today.
L even got some play time.  I never particularly want to own one of these mini play structures, but I wouldn't mind renting one for a week at a time!

It was a gorgeous day.  Now we're off to decorate for the neighborhood party and to the Ward trunk or treat, then back to the neighborhood for trick or treating.  This is such a fun and crazy busy time of year.

Monday, October 24, 2016

be grateful for you kids, as they are

Humble brag; my kids are smart.  They are precocious.  The challenge that comes with this is to teach them to work hard because a lot of things are easy for them.  And because it's fun to be "superior" it's easy to forget that being good at things is not the same as being good, and definitely does not make you better than other people. 

I have some acquaintances whose little girls are also precocious.  They've mentioned on several occasions that they "Almost wish" their high strung girls were dumb.  It was funny-ish, in the way that you later regret laughing along, the first time.  But since they've mentioned it to me more than once, it becomes part of their shtick. 

Thanks to my habit of reading the Hax advice column, I know that I don't have any place to bring this up to them.  If they ask for advice on how I have managed my early reader, late emotional intelligence, super star, I guess I have a chance to say something.  But mostly I think I'd say, blah blah blah.  I don't know!  I often recognize myself as the major problem in my relationship with that child.  She is adorable and helpful and willing.  She feeds off my stress, sadly.

I got to go have the children's pictures taken recently by a professional photographer in the woods!  I love good pictures.  This same photographer took the amazing halloween photo 2 years ago.  It's a gem!  The children were promised a chocolate if they smiled and didn't pout for the pictures.  They all got one, except the baby. 

B has been obsessed with the computer lately.  He knows how to turn them on and get to the games.  It's been intense catching him on the computer 10 times a day.  I've tried to just always stay in that room.  I've been pretty successful at inviting him to come read a book with me.  Hurray he'd rather read a book with me.  But he also needs to learn boundaries.  So tonight we made a "computer" chart that has yellow paper dots that move off the "computer" when I catch him on there at the wrong time.  I really hope he can learn to control himself.

I've been reading "The Marshmallow Test" and it's great!  Hurray for Popular Science.  This book has a lot of good advice for training myself and the children to have greater ability to delay gratification for later rewards. 

I gave a lesson on Sunday about Patience.  I learned that yet another major idea has missed me my whole life.  Patience is not just waiting.  It is waiting without anxiety, complaining, fear and all that junk that makes it harder to wait, and doesn't accomplish anything.  So that's a rather amazing revelation for me.  To be patient with the kids, I have a lot of work to do. 

Yesterday night I noticed that G's hearing aid was missing.  The 2.5K loaner hearing aid that he got just before the hurricane 2 weeks ago.  Missing.  "You won't have any birthdays if we have to pay for that."  "No computer time until it is found."  I declared. 

G responded by praying fervently and muttering about being a bad scout.  Late into the night he was crying that God hadn't answered his prayers.  I turned on the light to tell him that God answers prayers and that it was wrong to blame this on God.  This morning G was reading and when I told him to keep looking he said "I already prayed and God didn't answer!"  Ohhhhh.  So we had more discussion about works, and "after all you can do..."

I kept looking and looking.  I eventually did find it and I'm not sure I'm not the one that stashed it away in a safe place.  G was never wearing it because it had a strange earmold that gave a lot of feedback, and since it wasn't waterproof, it was a huge liability.  So knowing he never wore it, I may have put it in this little jar and put it up on the shelf in the travel bag for his CI stuff.  I feel bad for making him so stressed out about it.  I wish we'd never borrowed it. 

Each of my children are amazing and incandescent.  I feel so blessed to be their mother.  I can't believe how good P is to me and how incredible it is that we have this beautiful life and these wonderful children.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Keeping it Holy

Today we are involved in hurricane clean up efforts.  P went to the workers sacrament meeting at 8.  I took the kids to the combined meeting at 9:30.  After the combined meeting we got to help unload a Red Cross truck full of supplies and a pick up truck full of Little Debbie snacks. 

I'd arranged with another family to watch their small children earlier in the day while they went out with work crews.  Then at 2 my kids went to their home to be watched by a teenager.  And I went out to help clean up a home that was flooded.

When I returned at 5:30 to take 3 of the combined assembly of kids to choir practice, they were watching Nanny McFee and had apparently also watched Zootopia.  G commented to me, somewhat happily, that this day was feeling just like any other day.  Yes G.  If you do the sorts of things you might do any other day, and watch the media you might watch any other day, there is nothing special about the Sabbath.  It is a gift to us and we get to set it aside and make it Holy.

Friday, October 14, 2016


I can't stand it when my kids are playing tag with kids that play by their own rules. 
-no tag backs
-it doesn't count because I'm invincible
-all the girls are it, permanantly

Today M and lP were it for 15+ minutes and I told them they couldn't play with those boys and explained why it wasn't ok.  So I'm turning mean boys into the forbidden fruit.  Great!  I hope next time this happens I can teach my girls the words to say.  "OK, I've been it for a long time.  It's your turn."

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Not OK

I'm talking with each of my children individually to make sure they explicitly understand what is no OK and that they can always tell me.  We don't trust anyone because it can be anyone.  And we are not protecting our children by not telling them.  Toddlers are molested.  We protect our children by teaching them to speak up and have ownership of their body.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


We left for G-town when the Hurricane was coming.  We learned after we had left that we were in the mandatory evacuation zone.  Yay.  I'm so glad we left.  We spent 6 days in G-town hanging out with Grandma and aunties.  The children had a great time.  We visited a new playground downtown that was amazing.  B and lP got very adventurous and spent most of the visit up Grandma's cedar tree.  We found a really nice bike at a thrift store and G, M and lP spent a lot of time taking turns nicely. 

We came back tonight after cleaning up from Hurricane Grandkids and visiting the awesome park one more time.  Fortunately Hurricane Grandkids did not leave any damage to Grandpa's house, just debris that had to be cleaned up.

I thought P had met an ill end when he hadn't come home at 2am when I'd expected him home at 10:30.  It turns out that he forgot his shoes and had to go back to S. A.  P went back to S. A. often to help with the clean up efforts.  He is the EQ president and checked on many homes.  He is now on a 3 day work conference where he will be presenting for 4 of the 8 sessions!  What a superstar.  I'm glad he did not die last night.  My cell phone delivered the message about his shoes today at 5:11 pm.  It's not what anyone would call a reliable way of getting in touch with me.

We got back in the dark and I'm staying up late because...crickets....  Even in the dark I can tell that the limb that fell down has left a huge hole in the canopy of our front yard.  The whole tree may need to be trimmed down big tome.  There is another limb that broke but did not come down so we need to have a professional take that down rather than having work crews from our church handle it.

Sitting here at my computer it's easy to imagine that nothing even happened.  But tomorrow I'll be able to see it for myself.

Monday, October 3, 2016


Today G and lP got to experience failure.  We did the marshmallow test during FHE and lP convinced herself that the goal was to eat the marshmallow.  She was so adorably dejected.  G raced through a math exam and didn't write out any of the work.  He was so surprised by the failing grade.

Failure is a natural part of life.  We cannot be perfect.  That feeling of failure is hard, and if we learn to use that feeling, to motivate us to try harder, then failure is good for us.  It is important to learn from our failures and know that as children of God, we can do better. 

I love my children.  I am so grateful for how they teach me to be better.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

someone has to teach them

Being a homeschool/stay at home parent can be frustrating.  Sometimes it feels like nobody is teaching these kids manners or coping strategies but me!  Well, that's because I don't send them to school or daycare.  So if they are rude and ungrateful it's my fault.  If they are smart and beautiful, that's just genes.  But if I can train them to work hard and be neat, heaven is now.