Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What's a Mother to Do?

Yesterday, Marianne had a little friend over to play after school. While they were playing, I heard Marianne use the Lord's name in vain. You know the one...the one kids hear EVERYWHERE; "Oh my".....yeah, that one. Well, the first time I heard it, I wasn't positive that that is what had come out of her mouth, so I put it to the back of my mind. Well, the girls were cleaning up the playroom before her friend was about to leave and she said it again. This time there was no mistaking it. So, I quietly told her that we don't say that. Then, after her friend left, I told her that we only talk about Heavenly Father in a nice way and we only use his name when we are talking to Him or about Him in a nice way. I told her that we don't use Heavenly Father's name when we are angry or frustrated, the way other people do. She seemed genuinely sorry that she had said it and said she was sorry. I told her that if I ever heard her saying it again she would get her mouth washed out with soap. So, tonight, we were brushing teeth before bedtime and she said it again. The thing that bothers me, is that it almost seemed like a habit. She just said it so flippantly. How long have I been missing this? Anyway, I took her downstairs to the only bathroom in our house that has a BAR of soap and Justin helped me wash her little mouth out with it. She wouldn't open her mouth, so I basically ended up making her bite it. Yuck! She was crying and crying and my heart was breaking! When we were done, I had Justin try to explain to her why we don't use that phrase; why we don't use our Father's name like that. She continued to sob all the way to her bed. Well, when she got to her bed, she didn't want to say her prayers. I told her that she needed to tell Heavenly Father that she was sorry for using His name the way she did. She just cried and cried and didn't want to have to say her prayers. I was really struggling to keep it together at this point. I told her that she would feel much better after saying she was sorry. I told her that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and that if we choose the right, we will be. But, using His name the way she did was not something he wants us to do, so she needs to tell Him that she is sorry. How do you explain forgiveness to a four-year-old? Well, after about five minutes of coaxing, I finally got her to say a prayer. She asked Him for the things she needed; to be safe, to have fun, to sleep well etc. Then, I helped her to tell Him that she was sorry for using His name "mean." When she got to this part she could barely speak through her sobbing. I could completely tell that she felt sorry for what she had done. She asked Him to help her to not do it again then closed her prayer. It took everything I had to not break down into tears. I never want to see her hurt like that again! What am I going to do if and when she makes worse choices and makes bigger mistakes? How will I help her to understand the beauty of the Atonement? How will I help her to understand that Heavenly Father loves her no matter what she does? Tonight, I had a very eye-opening experience. It made me realize that no matter what I teach my children, in the end, they will make their own choices and all I can do is love them and try to help them understand that our Father in Heaven loves them as well. It made me realize that repentance is not easy. Sometimes it is difficult to tell our Father in Heaven that we are sorry. But, if we can do it, we will be happy.
After Marianne finished her prayer, I laid by her for a few minutes. I told her that sometimes she does things that make me angry or upset, but that I will ALWAYS love her. No matter what! I think if I can help her understand that, I have begun to be a good parent. If I can help her to understand that whatever she does, that just like me, our Heavenly Father will love her unconditionally, I am doing even better. I pray every day for the strength to be a better parent and for my children to know that I love them and that our Father loves them. I only pray, now, that that is enough to carry them through and help them to overcome those trials, large and small, because right now, that's all I can do.

Friday, November 21, 2008

All I Want For Christmas is a New Vacuum

I have always thought that THE worst possible gift to give a woman on any occasion, whether it be her birthday, anniversary, Christmas etc, would be a vacuum. Well, I am officially changing my opinion. After months of vacuuming with a vacuum that gets clogged at least three times while I vacuum my house, I am asking for one for Christmas. Now, some of you may argue my opinion, stating that a vacuum should be a purchase for the entire family, but I will share with you my argument.
I am the only one that vacuums at my house. I am NOT complaining. My husbnad works very hard at his job and this is the life that I have chosen; to stay home with my beautiful children and keep a home neat and tidy. Well, I am a woman that is easily frustrated, so when I have to declog the "joints" in my vacuum after each room is clean, I get very frustrated; mumbling under my breath, snapping at my innocent children, and slamming the vaccum down as hard as I possible can to get whatever is clogging it out. So, needless to say, I am NOT a happy mommy, let alone a happy camper. If I had a vacuum that worked, just think of the frustration that would be absent from my otherwise perfect life! I would be happier. Plain and simple. Also, I would have more time to spend doting on my sweet children, which I love to do. How, you ask? Well, instead of taking me 30 minutes to vacuum the house, plus the 20 minutes I spend cleaning it out, I would be done vacuuming in less than half an hour, with a brand new vacuum. What would I do with all of that extra time each week? Oh, one can dream, right? So, if you still think that asking for a vacuum for Christmas or any other special occassion where gifts are involved, please, by all means come and vacuum at my house, with my vacuum just once. I promise you, that is all it will take. So, for anyone that has an opposing opinion, I welcome your thoughts on the subject. If you agree with me, please, I am begging you, plead with my husband to give me the gift that keeps on giving...a new vacuum. Thank you, and goodnight!

(p.s. Yes, this post was written immediately after an hour of vacuuming just the UPSTAIRS of my house! Urgh!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Not a political blog

This is not a political blog, and will not be used as one in the future. However, I'm so frustrated with how far away we seem to be getting from the Constitution and our founding fathers that I want to share just one thing. This is a quote from Samuel Adams, and it perfectly sums up how I feel, and how I wish our politicians would act. Feel free to comment if you would like, but I promise this will be the only political-ish post on this blog:

"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Well, Halloween came and went, and boy, was it fun! This year I made the kids costumes (again) and they were Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I have to say, I think they turned out fantastically! Here's how our day went!

Marianne was Goldilocks, of course. I was able to take Bo and Rachel to Marianne's school for the last 15 minutes to watch her Halloween program. Here she is with her class marching around the table in a "Costume Parade."

Marianne singing a few Halloween songs with some of the kids in her class. Everyone sang, but I spared you on the pleathura of pictures I took. They were so cute!

Marianne posing before school. Look how beautiful her curls are. I wish they would have stayed all day, but as you will see in later pictures, it just didn't.

Here's Golidocks and the Three Bears on Grandma's front lawn. Allison was Mama Bear, Bo was Papa Bear and Rachel was the Itty Bitty Baby Bear. Cute, huh?

Here's all the kids with their Daddy at his work. The kids got to trick-or-treat around the cubicles at Justin's work and they LOVED it! Everyone there thought they were adorable, too. Well, of course!

Rachel posing at Justin's work. Isn't she the most adorable Baby Bear you've ever seen?

Allison loved spinning on the chairs at Justin's office. What a sweet Mama Bear!

Marianne hiding under one of the desks. Notice how flat her curls were by the time we got to Justin's work. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get ringlets to stay, I would love you for it! She is still the prettiest Goldilocks on the planet!

Bo hiding in his make-shift cave under a desk at Justin's work. I have to say that the dark brown costume made his eyes look so amazing. I love my little Papa Bear!
We had a great Halloween. We started out going to Justin's office and showing off the cuties there. Then we headed to my parents' house to have some yummy soup and get some great big treats. We then headed to our own neighborhood to do some trick-or-treating. Our bishop's wife and another mom were making homemade donuts with hot cider. Another couple of families had a grim-reaper rigged to fly across the street to scare people. One of our Rock Band buddies had his garage transformed into a haunted house with smoke and scary music. Justin's brother and sis-in-law had goodies and Rock Band all night at their house, too. It was a fun night, but when Justin and I got home and put the kids to bed around 9:00, we wanted to stay up and watch a movie. We got one started but neither of us made it through. Halloween wore us OUT!!! But, is was a ton of fun! See all you ghosts and goblins next year!