Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Are We Raising Puppies or People?

I stopped by a garage sale the other day and got looking at some children's items when they asked me if I had kids. Yes, I told them I had four. "You look too young to have four!" Then after asking me if they were boys or girls, the woman smiled and said, "the girl must have been the last one, right?" When I told her the girl was the second, she looked dumb founded. I could see that she honestly couldn't comprehend anyone wanting more children once they had had their boy and girl. She said she would never have another, one was enough.

I can't help, but be concerned at the view point expressed. People talk about having children almost as if they were contemplating acquiring a dog. "It would be so fun!" "They are so cute!" "Maybe we'll have two and then they can play together." And then the same people look at anyone with more than two in the same way they would if someone had a house full of puppies. "That is too much." "They will never get the attention they need." "It must smell." (Okay I've never got the last comment.)

I'm not raising puppies, nor did I have children because they are cute and fun. I am raising children who are gifts from God. I am raising them because that is a big part of my mission to this earth. I will go into why children are so important on another day.

Next time I am pregnant and surrounded by my little children on every side and then get one of those comments from the entrenched in the world type of person, I want to explain this way; If a person you knew managed a small retail chain of four stores and then added another store you would think he was very successful and doing well. It is the same with me, God is giving me a promotion.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Servant or Student?

On an elist I was on one woman wrote in about how she was having such a hard time with her son who would rather play then do school. I know very few young children who prefer the latter and I have been exasperated by it with my son before. But I came upon a solution earlier this year that has worked very well and I offer my reply below.

One thing that is said around here if complaining, inattentiveness or dawdling occur during school time is that they can be a student or a servant. I know that this my not appeal to everyone as it can put chores in a negative light, but it has helped tremendously in putting school in a positive light. The first time their behavior is not what it ought I just ask in the most pleasant manner, "do you want to be a servant or a student?" The answer is always student. But if any negative behavior appears again, they get a chore to do like washing the chairs, cleaning window sills some of the non-assigned seasonal chores. It has removed my emotions from the occurance because it saves me from having to do the chores and is therefore a pleasant and not a negative thing to me, and if they complain at the chore I get two chores done=). It only occurs rarely now which has made school much more pleasant, because the children know that the alternative to school is NOT play time, it is work time.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Supermarket Hugs

We went to the store yesterday. When we were waiting in line Logan, my 1yods, began to get fussy so I took him out of his seat to hold him. He saw Kamron and stretched out his arms to him. Kamron took him and Logan gave him the biggest hug resting his little head on Kamron's shoulder. There was an audible "aahhh," from the people in line behind me. He then went to Aubrey and gave her a hug. He is such a little teddy bear.

It is nice to get positive reactions when I take my children to the store. Four children is not the norm in California. I get so many comments like- wow, you must be busy, you have your hands full, are they all yours?, and even, are you done? I find though that when I feel overwhelmed I get more of them and deal with them less well. But when I am cheerful, talking and playing games with them as we go things go so much better and I can handle the comments more easily. I am more likely to come back with I know, isn't it wonderful? Yep, aren't they beautiful and we have no news at present. After the last one I almost always get, "you want more?" To which I respond with either yes or I repeat that we have no news at present, which politely tells these strangers that it is really none of there business.

About a month ago I went to the store and an older woman smiled and asked if she could help me. I told her that we where alright but we would walk with her if she wanted. She was very pleased and talked about her 5 children, her hobbies and how excited she was to see someone with so many children. She asked me if I could come visit her at her house as her husband couldn't walk and loves children. We also found we both liked to write and discussed that. She gave me her number and then we parted to finish our shopping. When I was in line she came back into the store to find me and ask again if I would come visit her as she really would like it. So about two weeks later I called her and took the baby and did go visit her. She was so happy to see us. Her husband looked very serious at first, but when he saw the baby his entire face lit up and his eyes just sparkled. He showed Logan all of the buttons on his chair and Logan thought it was great. She later invited me to her 92nd birthday party and then began discussing her writing, saying she was old but not done yet and now that she wrote regularly for the newspaper she was going to start writing childrens books next. I said good-bye, glad that I went and a little more at ease with the whole shopping with kids thing.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Understanding Jared

In the book of Ether the brother of Jared was a prophet at the time of the tower of Babel. I've read the book many times and until recently there was one part I never fully understood. Jared obviously believed in and loved God. But whenever there was something important to pray about he would ask his brother to go pray for them. I always wondered why he didn't just pray himself, I mean he obviously had faith that his brothers prayers would be effective.

But through some experiences with my oldest son who is only 7 I have come to realize a few things. I have faith in God, I love Him and am truly grateful for all he has done for me, I trust him to take care of me and my family. But my sons' faith goes deeper and is in a way more pure than mine. He has had many experiences that I have seen and in a way make me want to get him in on the important things I am praying about. He has lost things and prayed, only to have someone be inspired and find it. He has prayed for confidence in certain things and been given it. One time we had a six month old kitten that ran away and was gone a little over a month when one night Kamron knelt down and asked Heavenly Father to bring the cat back tomorrow. He hadn't prayed for a specific time before or quite so directly about the cat. He told Him that he would be very kind and gentle with it, but just please bring him home. We had put up signs weeks earlier and I was pretty much convinced that we would never see the cat again. But Kamron had faith and the next day when he went out to play in the afternoon, there was the cat sitting on our back patio ready to come in. I was amazed and humbled as I was when he was younger and before his Dad left the church. Kamron got very sick and after awhile he asked for a blessing. About an hour later I went in to see how he was doing. When I asked him if he still felt sick, he looked at me with this look on his face that said, 'duh.' And said very seriously, "Mom, when someone gives you a blessing then you are not sick anymore."

That child has faith in a very real God, and while I have faith also, I'm afraid mine is more like Jareds' and my young sons' is like that wonderful, but imperfect brothers'.

Daddy Got a Job!

My husband had been looking for work for a few months as the work he had been doing for his dad had slowed to the point that they couldn't both make a living. He had had many unsuccessful interviews and things were starting to get tight. I was blessed with the oppurtunity to do the contracts for a Real Estate transaction that helped a little, but that money was not going to last much longer. Anyway, Kevin got a call from a recruiter who set up a phone interview for a desktop support job for Johnson and Johnson. After the interview my husband told me about it and asked if we could say a family prayer that he would get it. You have to understand that my husband is not an active member of any church and doesn't know what he believes, but these glimpses of faith reassure me that Paul's council to the wives of non-christian men is not in vain. Anyway, I said a prayer and then my husband said a prayer and then my three older children said faith filled prayers that as my son put it "Daddy will get this job and work hard and do well at it so that it can further our family."

Usually after the phone interview there is a series of interviews as a company narrows down to who they think will best work out for the job. It was Thursday when he had the phone interview so we didn't expect a call to see if he was going to make it to the in person interview until the next week. But the next day they called and said, we want to offer you the job. Just like that, without ever even meeting in person. After my husband called me, I gathered my children around me to offer a prayer of thanks. I was so grateful that we had included our children on that prayer as all of our testimonies of prayer have been strengthened.

Later we had a salesman come into our house, he mentioned that this was a new job for him. And my daughter pipes up with, "My daddy just got a new job too. We just prayed about it and then he got it." I'm so thankful to a loving Heavenly Father who gives us these experiences.

A Birthday and a Smile for Mom

Today was my daughter's birthday. She has a Bitty Baby doll sold by the American Girl company, and so I got several things from their clearance section for the doll. She was completely not expecting it as she knows the things are rather expensive. Anyway she was adorable as she opened her presents with, "Ooooh, look. Ooooh, wow. Mom, I just don't believe it. Thank you."

Later as I was helping her fold all of the little clothes and put them in a straw suitcase for Bitty (okay, I admit I still love dolls), she kept saying that she couldn't believe she had these things from the catalog and then she takes a deep breath and says with her voice full of emotion, "Mom, I think you are almost as nice as, or maybe, even some more nice than ... Kamron." The highest level of compliment this sweet daughter could give was to put me on the same plane with her dear brother. I couldn't help but smile, and when I told my husband I couldn't help feel gratitude for that beautiful relationship.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


My husband has recently gotten a new job working on the computers in one of the Johnson and Johnson facilities. This allows him to have a regular schedule and to be home a little after six each day. It has been a long time since we have been able to eat dinner together consistently. I have been making menu plans and serving full meals to my family. I am not the best cook, but I am improving. I can now cook a dozen or so dinners that are pretty good. First I make sure there are at least three different items and four is better. I always serve a vegetable and a grain product sometimes a meat and just as often fruit. I make sure that the food served is of varying colors. Picture Alfredo pasta with rolls and corn, compared to Alfredo pasta with bacon bits and parsley, rolls with strawberry jam and peas. I am glad that God made vegetables in such beautiful colors, with so much of the other food in the brown to yellow range it is so nice to throw in greens, oranges and reds.

So what is for dinner tonight? Green salad, tamales and rice pilaf.