Sunday, February 5, 2017

2017 Skiing

We have had record snows this year and Scott has been dying to go skiing.  Every week, amidst downpour rains and floods and snow storms, we told him that it is not fun to drive or ski in snow storms.  We finally had a nice day that both Danny and I had off, so we got a babysitter for the baby and headed to Dodge Ridge.  Dodge Ridge takes a little over 2 hours to get to and is like our little secret. While everyone heads to Tahoe, we head to Dodge Ridge.  There was nobody on the mountain, the staff is so helpful and friendly and we had a great time!







I was in a shirt most of the day, which means it was hot because I am always cold.  It is great being out in nature, hanging out with the kids on lifts and watching them ski down the mountain with smiles on their faces.  Scott loves challenges and likes to go off with Danny and ski.  Tyler gained so much confidence in his ability to do harder runs and had more fun instead of being hesitant.  Blake flew down mountains, fearless and determined.  Kira was scared the first couple of runs, always wanting to be by me or Danny and gained confidence as the day went on.  These past two years she has become so much more cautious and scared.  Not really sure what triggered it, but she did great nonetheless. We ventured to the back side of the mountain with the little kids and they did great.

It was nice to enjoy lunch, take off my boats and lay in the sun as the kids played in the snow mounds by the lodge.  We had an open spot right next to our car, I put down a blanket and had a great, relaxing lunch.  Life without a baby is something I am not that familiar with, but it was nice and peaceful.

We skied until the mountain closed and everyone had a great time!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Judo and Taekwondo

Tyler is doing Taekwondo and Judo at CYC and Blake is doing Judo.  Tyler really likes Judo and blake asks everyday if it is judo day.  We thought it would be good for Tyler and help pass time while Kira was at gymnastics.  They come to the CYC and hang out together, play games together and then go to class together.  It is really great to see Tyler helping his brother and taking care of him because at home Tyler doesn't usually take on the role of caregiver.  The first couple of pics they were making silly pics at gymnastics, for warm-up they push a towel on their knees.  Tyler loves a game called jump the river in which they can surprisingly jump pretty far.  The last two pics showed Blake choosing to verse Tyler in a game and Tyler went so easy on him, pushing back just a little.  It was great to see them interacting and getting along so well. 










Friday, December 30, 2016

There were helicopters back then?

I was playing some music videos for the kids, among which was Phil Collins' Easy Lover.  Scott's like, "This was made a long time ago."

I said, "Yeah, the 80's."

"There were helicopters back then?"  He asked.

"You're funny,"  I said.

"No, seriously,"  he started.  "There were helicopters back then?"

Nice.

I feel I need to educate the kids on quality music.  They already like Coldplay, so that's cool.  Tyler wants to learn some of their new stuff on the piano, so tonight we went over Hymn for the Weekend.  Then I did Paradise for Kira.  It's her favorite song.  Yeah.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Contentment

I have been thinking about doing a simple remodel for our kitchen.  I am not willing to spend a ton of money at this stage of life for the mere fact that I don't want to worry about things getting ruined.  Friends have installed ikea cabinets, I looked at them last time I was at ikea and liked how they looked.  They seemed perfect for what I was looking at.  Granite is simple enough which could be done in a day or two and lastly new appliances.

Well, I was going to start the project, then I realize I just want to do it.  I would rather have my kitchen in one piece.  I would rather have that time to spend on the kids.  I would rather not drag Danny through something that I am certain he doesn't want to be a part of.

So i realized I was perfectly content and it was such a nice feeling. I am even content with my family room that is simply good enough.  It isn't decorated exactly how I want but Kira is starting to turn our home into a mattress jumping trampoline zone so realize that is a great room to do that.  It serves our families need and function.

This brings a sense of peace that I get to spend time doing the things that I want to do and love. Spend times helping and enriching my kids lives, spending time with Danny and have some spare time in my day to work which I love.

I will never have the most fashionable home and that is totally ok.  I have decorated my home to make it functional and good enough that if feels like home and makes me happy and that is a great thing and realization at this stage of my life!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

I'm a great parent

I'm a great parent.

At least in my head.

In the eyes of the kids, I'm the worst parent.  Compared to other parents, I think I'm in the 50th percentile.  My latest endeavor was a program to teach Scott to clean up his clothes from off the bathroom floor.

Sometimes I throw them in his bed.  Once I put them in his backpack so he took them to school.  I was hoping that he'd open up his backpack, see his dirty choners and be so embarrassed that he'd never leave them on the ground again.  But that failed.

This time I told him that if he didn't pick them up that I'd hide them.  He shrugged and said he didn't care.  So I hid them.  After two days he started asking where his clothes were, and he had apparently missed the laundry cut-off.  I told him he could buy back his clothes for a dollar each.  I wanted him to feel the pain of losing money to a lame cause but he said, "I have a lot of money and I have a lot more coming to me."  Wow.  I know his tooth fairy and I know the other sources of income he has, and I was taken off guard at his confidence in his own wealth.

He showed me some of his twenties and I said something to the effect of, "If you keep leaving your clothes out you won't have any more money."  I'm sure Heidi would disagree about this strategy but I'm humble enough to know that some of my kid-raising strategies have been failures.  But I also know that you can't try the same failure again and hope for a different outcome.  Albert Einstein said that is the definition of insanity.  Plus, Thomas Edison had thousands of failures before he got the light bulb to work right and he said, "I just learned a thousand ways that it didn't work."

By the time I get this all figured out, the kids will be out of the home and have kids of their own.  Then I can sit back and chuckle.  I'll be like, "Got any twinkies, Margaret?"

The end.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Home schooling

I have spent the week researching home schooling the kids.  I have the most amazing friends who took time out of the busy days to talk to me, to meet with me, to just answer questions or let me talk and process my thoughts and ideas.  The past couple of months I feel like I have been so much more home bound than usual.  I used to love going to the gym to work out and talk and process ideas and life with friends.  Since I started working, I have spent the mornings with blake and parker, cleaning the home, prepping dinner.  I think some of it is that I get social interaction at work or outside the home. Sometimes I think it is dealing with the emotions of my parents deaths and the toll of caring for them.  Sometimes I wonder if staying home is a form of depression.  Probably.  The funny thing about life and emotions is you never quite know why your body reacts or craves certain things.  But getting to the gym and being with friends in the morning was so healthy for me.  Something that I love.  I am soo blessed with amazing friends.  Women from all different aspects of my life who I just feel are the most amazing women.

Some women have a certain group of friends who is there circle of friends.  They go on vacation together, they always get together with the same women.  I don't have that in Brentwood.  I feel like I have women who I can call on at any time who are true, genuine amazing friends but not a part of a group of clique.  And I really love that about my friendship circle.  I feel like my mom was the same way.

Anyway, I talked with two this week, who I have always looked at as amazing women and who I just love being with and realized that this is the village I would love to raise my kids alongside.  I yearn for the time with my kids to just sit and read a book.  I used to have that with Scott.  Life was simpler when they weren't so involved in sports and after school activities.  I read with him for 30 minutes each day in 1st grade.  I have maybe read to Kira 5 times since being in 1st grade.  How sad is that!!  I want that time again.  The thing I LOVE about her gymnastics is the quality time we get in the truck together.  We get to talk, play games uninterrupted.  She comes to work with me and gets to be a part of my work.  She is welcomed, loved and just hangs out.  It is quality one on one time and I have seen it change her, bless her and fill her.

I had that with Scott when we went to the pool.  It was amazing.  He loved it.  I don't know if he realized he loved it but it filled him and it filled me.  We would go and get sodas when we filled up the truck at a certain gas station and talk about life. There weren't other distractions, just the two of us.

It is funny how I questioned driving 30 minutes away to work and how it has turned out to be quality time with my kids.  I had to make some adjustments of not working with the seniors to include Kira in the journey, but once I did, I felt peace and balance.  I was blessed for putting my family first.  I miss a couple of days of dry land but it is ok.  It all works out.  It is amazing how the Lord truly has blessed and balanced my life.

And the blessing of the truck.  The world is focused on material items. I drive this beat up, small, clunky old truck of my dads.  It has been a blessing that I didn't even realize I had.  In it lies the greatest blessing of being able to sit and talk with my kids.  I love that life lesson.  Sometimes when we forget what the world says is important and focus on what really is important, miracles can be seen.  That truck has brought me blessings that my cars could never have brought me.  How I love that little tuck for that.  In some ways I feel like it is symbolic of a lesson that my parents instilled in me and my sister.  That family is the most important.

So my search and pondering continues for home schooling, but my heart is starting to see and yearn differently than it once did.  I leave it to the Lord to continue to guide me and open up my kids heart to feel and see what He wants as well.  I know as I continue to pray, we will be guided.  How grateful I am for that.

Sometimes I see areas where I feel like I was wiser months or years ago and need to improve.  But one thing that is evident in my life is that I trust in the Lord more than I used to.  I still have a ways to go.  A long ways, but I trust more than I once did and that leads increased patience and peace.  I had to make a decision for work, I made appropriate phone calls, was open in my dialogue and did all I could and then left the decision in some ways to others and the Lords hands.  Praying that it would work out how He wanted.  And it brought peace.  When we include prayer and the Lord in our lives, it really does increase peace and faith.  I know He is aware and will bless my family and my life regardless of the outcome.  I love that!

An update.  A day or two after writing this, I went to a multi faith Christmas concert to watch Danny sing.  After 3 hours of church, the last thing that you sometimes want to do is go to another 1.5 of sitting and quieting kids to listen but I knew that it meant a lot to Danny and would be a nice event to at least give a go.  We lasted through a couple of songs and then the baby and Blake became restless.  I don't have kids that will just sit.  It is not in their DNA.  We work on it and eventually they get better but man am I sometimes envious of those babies or toddlers that just sit.  But at home I am certain I would not be busy enough.

So I go into the hall and a couple of minutes later the other kids come out and the sweetest lady came into the hall to talk to me.  She said she just felt like she should see if I wanted some help since I was alone.  So sweet.  I was good, the kids were pretty good.  I thought she was someone else and so asked her if she homeschooled, which she did and she talked and talked and talked about her experiences and listened and was a sounding board to my ideas.  Then another friend came up who used to homeschool and it was such a great conversation.  I am aware the Lord listens, provides guidance and people as sounding boards.  She was so good at not suggesting, but instead just sharing with me to pray and seek guidance and trust.

I called the charter school the following day and they have one kid on the wait list and said most certainly Scott would be able to get in at the semester, so I am 90% sure I am going to try it with just him.  The one thing this mom said was to just do it with Scott in the beginning to get used to it and that is something that a couple of people have said and I feel good about.  So I think just Scott and I are going to give it a go and see how it goes.  If it isn't something he wants to keep doing, no big deal and if it is, then I think it could have a lot of great things come out of it.

Jaredites

I have been studying the Book of Ether this week for Gospel Doctrine.  The past couple of months I have gotten lazy with preparing.  So this week, I really tried to repent, improve and study.  It is just incredibly amazing how the Lord opens up the scriptures to you when you truly study them.  The book of ether actually talks about crying unto the Lord and I feel like that is a lesson that is so powerful.  When we cry unto him either in prayer, or by how we ponder and dive into the scriptures, he can speak so much more powerfully and clearly.

The book of Ether has so many lessons in it.

It is another testament of the book of mormon.  It is incredible to me how the Lord truly testifies through the mouth of witnesses.

It is about a journey to the promised land or a life back with him.

It is about building vessels to get there.  We are the vessels.  What we must do, how hard we must work in order to return to him.

Ultimately, it is a story of the constant need of a Savior.  The theme time and time again is that the brother of Jared can only get so far without the Saviors help.  And it takes crying unto the Lord.  Not just asking or praying, but crying and crying from a prophet.

It is amazing how much symbolism in the book of mormon. When I just read it to read it, I miss it.  When I read it to study and ponder and pray on it, the spirit teaches and I get a little bit more each time.  I get some of the symbolism.  Unfortunately, so often I read the scriptures just to read them, instead of really delving into them.  I am going to do better with that.