Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Logan Turns 5

Logan is very proud that he was the easiest birth.

Logan is a quiet nonconformist. "Logan, what color crayon would you like?" Slowly he stands, looks the teacher in the eye, but the teacher feels as if his focus is more inward than out. Then he quietly climbs under the table and sits down, almost oblivious to the fact that the other children are coloring.

Logan is a thinker. "It is time for bed, hon," and I lean over to kiss him. He doesn't move, he is focused inside again. Then, right before I am going to scold him, he asks his question, "Mom, can I be a kid another time? Could I be a baby again?" "No, we only get to be children once." There is a pause, then he says, "I guess that is one of those things God can't do. Make me be a child again."

Logan is our overseer. "Kam, the plates are a little dirty. It is hard for you to wash dishes as good as me. I'll do it if you want."

Logan is fiercely loyal to his big brother. "Mom, if I get done cleaning the hall fast, can I help Kamron with his chores?" "Kamron is my best bud."

Logan has his own time table. "Logan, please get your shoes on." "Okay." Wander. Sit. Lay. Stand. Sit. "Logan, shoes." "I am getting them." To drawer, the shoes are in his hand. Sit. Stare. Sit. One foot in. "Mom, I have a question. What does shirked mean?" A brief explanation is given, as I push the other shoe towards him. "Oh, okay." Second shoe is now on! And he's up and running. He's in the car!

Logan is giving. Brother-"I don't want this cup." Logan takes his cup, gets down out of his chair, walks around the table and says, "here you can have mine."

Logan is a joy and Logan is 5.

Nanny got him ready for summer. He wore his cool glasses all night.

Two family parties, same kids at both parties, same type of cake at both.
Grandpa could not make either party, but came during the day and to the amazement of all performed magic tricks.

A Week of Renewal

Spring has begun and it is spring break, which means the kids are off “school.” The term gets fuzzier every day as I watch learning and life mesh more and more. On their own the kids have still been doing reading, piano lessons, dance class, political discussions, grammar lesson, piano practice, discussion for starting a business and learned about bills, laws and how common people create change, writing and drawing. They are also meeting friends to go ice skating later. They’ve asked me if we could also take summer off, except for me reading to them-sure we can be “off.”

So while we are living life this week, and I am still working I am also taking a little time for my own much needed renewal. I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately, mostly because I am not doing all the home making things I am craving. So this week I am cooking, baking, organizing and beautifying, while listening to audio talks. Today I listened to “The Biggest Gap in Education and How to Fill it,” by Rhea Perry. It can be found free here, It is over on the sidebar. I loved this! She talks about raising here children with respect and allowing them their individuality. The education should conform to the child not the child to the education, with and emphasis on entrepreneurship. Her husband was a public school teacher, and she was trained to be one. As her husband taught he began to encourage her to not send their kids to the schools. She did bring them home to learn and had a difficult time until she starting asking them what they wanted to learn and letting them lead. They moved the family to forty acres and told the kids they could do any project they wanted, but they would have to finance it and take care of it. Some awesome things resulted.

She also talks about some problem areas and how to keep the children’s hearts. I need to listen to this again with a pen and paper. This time I was baking.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Thoughts on My Home Town

We had stake conference today. Since we have moved across the freeway in our town, we are attending church in the building I went to as a child. Stake conference is where between ten and fifteen congregations meet together. This meeting was held yesterday and today in the building I went to as a youth. My children love to hear about me as a child, so I told them about attending this two story, two chapel building that even has an elevator. We used to sit with another family that had nine young children and no father. I would sit with the little ones and tell them stories before the meeting began. During General Conferences (thoses meetings broadcasted to the whole church twice a year) we would stay at the building and eat in the kitchen as it was too far to drive back home, and we had no cable then. This building is also where much of my husband's and my courtship took place and where we took our engagement pictures.

As we sat and I looked around the room I saw so many people I knew as a child. I had witnessed many of their trials and had seen much of their growth as people and in the gospel. As a child, I can remember thinking that some of these families were perfect, only later to discover that they weren't, but that they struggled and worked towards better following God just as I did and do. I can remember first attending Relief Society, (a class for women) with all of these grown up ladies, when I was eighteen, to discover that these were real women with trials and triumphs and that they were intimate friends of my mom. I sat next to her in that class and felt that they cared about her deeply, like she was their sister. That was the first glimpse of the sisterhood in the church that I received.

I listened to the speakers today, and I have thought about all that was said. One thing struck me. One speaker said "we are in eternity." This life we are living now is part of eternity. We do not need to be in a hurry for we have eternity. Another speaker talked about advice he had received once, "don't be a busy bishop." He applied this to all of us. If we appear to be busy how likely is it that our children will say, "hey, Mom, can I ask you something?" How likely is that the shy neighbor or ward member will come to you for help? This hit me, because I am busy.

How can I be less busy? How can I make time for my little ones and for others? I may need to be creative. My mother always had things to do. She had a sewing room, where she constantly was making something. It was also a room where her children were always welcome. She had lots of places we could sit and talk to her as she worked, and we did. We sat and told her everything, and she listened and didn't judge. She listened, sympathized and encouraged. She could have locked that room and declared it her room and her spot for me time, but she didn't. We were welcome, and she made sure we knew it. Oh, how we loved her for it. We also avoided a lot of trouble, because of her quietly inviting us into her room. As a youth I remember a speaker say that if we were on a date and a boy was getting a little too close for comfort to casually mention that we couldn't wait to get home and tell our Mom about the date, because we told our mothers everything. He said it in a half joking way, but for me it was pretty much true and it was because my Mom was not rushed and she had arranged her home in such a way that we were encouraged to come in and talk.

As we left the building today a woman stopped me, introduced herself and said I was her big sister at girls camp when we were youth. After loading everyone in the car we drove home and I pointed out the place my husband proposed to me, a little restaurant called "Vince's" set back off the road and closed except for dinner.

Once I wanted to move away from this town where everyone seemed to know me. "You are Ken and LaRyce's daughter." But, now, I am glad to be back. This little town has exploded into a large busy town with new stores and a lot of traffic. There are many new faces and special people I have not met, yet under it all my hometown is still there, and now it is me that introduces myself to those, who have not seen me in many years as, "Ken and LaRyce's daughter." The reply more often than not is, "oh, LaRyce! I just loved your mother." Yeah, me too. Mother meant home, but in a way so does this town.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A girl named Mary Frances

"Mommy, I got hurt!" How often do we as mom's hear this phrase? Some moms jump up with a gasp and rush to their children to inspect their injury. I, on the other hand, usually tell my kids,"aren't you glad bodies heal?" or "show it to Nanny next time we are there." My oldest son politely suggested a couple weeks ago that I learn more about how take care of hurts. I am planning a human body study next year and thought this might be a good place to start. I was also ready for a more spring-like (light and home-makey)book. What could teach us about first aid, introduce the human body and fulfill my need for a light, home centered story? Enter "The Mary Frances First Aid Book." This book was perfect! I love Mary Frances.

When Aubrey was about five we read "Mary Frances Housekeeper." It comes with paper dolls and furniture to cut out and advice on wallpapering and carpeting a home, etc. We created a little paper doll house and decorated it as each new piece of advice was offered in the subsequent chapters. Earlier this year Aubrey read "Mary Frances Cookbook: The Adventures Among the Kitchen People." She worked through many of the recipes as she followed the story. We loved the story and all of the recipes.

So, I knew the First Aid book would be just as good. In this story Mary Frances has had a birthday and her brother, Billy, promises to play anything she wants for a whole day, so she asks him to play with the dolls' house and she will show him through the play all the first aid she knows. And so the doll family begins with a runaway automobile, which has brakes that have gone out.

We spent several mornings and several afternoons reading this book-the whole thing in about a week and a half. One afternoon the children, who have no muslin squares, used their play silks to practice bandaging different parts of the body, It was rather amusing to see them with bright blue and green bandages on arms and legs, hands, feet and heads. A free online version of this book can be found here

We enjoyed this book so much that I ordered "The Mary Frances Gardening Book." We have been studying botany this year, and this book will be the perfect conclusion to that study and introduction to gardening, along with just great summer reading.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Relating to Authors

Kamron has been reading "The Aaronic Priesthood: Seven Principles That Will Make This Power a Part of Your Daily Life" by Chad Daybell. It is his first pick of what to read each day. I have been getting comments, such as, "You know Chad's list about how we know we are feeling the spirit, I have done all of those." "Chad said I should go camping at the bottom of a mountain, that would be fun." "You know those guys that almost hurt Chad by jumping over him on their bikes, it is probably good he found out how bad they were and didn't become friends with them."

When referring to authors some people use their whole name, others use last names, around here we are on a first name basis=)

Unrelated side note-my baby is gently snoring with her head on my shoulder and her little arm dangling down right now. Why do little things like that make a Mamma's heart swell?

Can We Drop This Book?

We had a breakfast discussion this morning. I let the kids have a say in a lot of their school work, so this morning I brought up my thought of dropping "Gulliver's Travels." I know it is a great book, a classic. It is also a classic I would not hand over to my kids, because I need to edit as I read. Also, to be honest we are not getting all of the political references. He is calling up the ghosts of historical figures only to find everything written about them is pretty much false, interesting, but heavy-very winter. We are almost done with his third adventure, only one more to go, but I want to read something more springish, more homemakingish, like "Little Women." Yes, "Little Women," and then "Little Men." I know my kids would love these and we would have great discussions.

So I brought up dropping the book. It took about three seconds to be firmly vetoed. Brennen said we couldn't drop it, because he had seen the movie, and that meant he had to hear all of the book. Kamron said the movie only had the first two adventures and he wanted to find out what happened in the last two, although he knows he goes home at the end. Aubrey said, yes, and we hadn't even visited the horses and we needed to hear that one. So another hundred pages of heavy reading to go. Now, I am just wondering how fast we can read those hundred pages so I can read them "Little Women."

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A Woman Wants a Little Corner to Call Her Own

"The beauty of the house is order. The blessing of the house is contentment. The glory of the house is hospitality. The crown of the house is godliness.” ~Author Unknown

I am wishing for more order, more contentment, more hospitality, more godliness. I am also wishing for a house. I'll be honest and say six children, homeschooling and working from home in a two bedroom duplex is getting taxing. So I am seeking order, soft words, and godliness. I do not really want anyone over in this place so hospitality is out for now, which probably means I should be seeking humility. Oh, how I pray for a house to close soon. I am dreaming of a home to organize, to decorate, to bake bread in, and to plant a garden.

We have offers in on two houses, which both look possible-both we offered on last year and came back on the market. One is waiting for a response from the bank, while the second is waiting for the neighbors house to close-to bump their appraisal. Pray for us to get a house, so that we can build a home.