Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Mommy, there are numbers on David's Face!"

David has had a rough few weeks. He has had more than his fair share of sickness and been a little trooper through it all. What started out as a cold went sour and ended up with as an ear infection. After 7 days on the medication he broke out in hives. Big red welts all over his body that made him swell up in addition to the raccoon mask he had over his face. At first we thought it was something we gave him on Thanksgiving that we shouldn't have. After talking it over with the doctor she called for an immediate ceasing of the amoxacillian because it is a common allergen. As David began to clear up the welts turned into rings. That morning Gabe yells to me across the breakfast table- "Mommy, David has numbers on his face!" Numbers on his face? "Which numbers Gabe?"(Gabe) "Eight" (Me) "Any other numbers?" (Gabe) "Zero". Low and behold, he did have 8 and 0 on his face, poor thing. I guess all that work with numbers is paying off, I wasn't sure until his random spotting of numbers. Gabe also spotted the letter "B" in his corn flakes as shown in the picture. (David has cleared up nicely and is back to his cute self. The ear infection, however, did come back and we had to give him a azithromycin instead- a slightly more expensive alternative to amoxacillian.)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

On Agency

This is a talk I gave today in sacrament meeting on agency. Zach wanted me to put it up, so I let him (This is really Zach!):

Most simply put agency is the freedom to choose between good and evil. In Moses we read that God told Adam and Eve, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee.” Agency is the power to act for yourself, to make decisions that affect your life’s course.

We had this magnificent gift of Agency before we ever came to earth in the pre-mortal life. Satan said he would bring all of us back to our father’s presence, but he would have taken away our agency. He would have forced us to be obedient. When his offer was rejected, he rebelled and was cast out of heaven with his followers. Think of your gut reaction to the words “freedom” and “choice”; now reflect on your feelings about the word “force”. We are happier doing things when we have made our own choices.

We all used our agency in heaven to follow Christ and come to earth to obtain a body and be tested. One purpose of earth life is to show what choices we will make. In Abr.3:21 Jesus Christ says to Heavenly Father, “We will prove them (meaning us) herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them,” If we were forced to choose the right like Satan wanted, we would not be able to show to God or ourselves what our choices would be.

I would like to discuss three principals relating to agency.

1. Agency is not free. Our power to choose and make mistakes was paid for by the Savior.

2. We cannot control the agency of others

3. Using agency wisely creates freedom, it does not limit it.

Principal 1: Agency is not free

“Free agency” is a misnomer. Rather it should be called paid agency, either you have to pay or let Christ pay. As Lehi says in 2 Ne. 2:26-27, “And the Messiah cometh in the fullness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall.” He goes on to say, “And because that they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given. Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life through the great Mediator of all men, (in other words, by following Jesus Christ) or to choose captivity and death (by following Satan).

The mistakes we make, or sins we commit, using our agency must be paid for. I’d like to compare it to an agency credit card where the balance must always be paid. Satan’s ploy is trying to convince you that your purchases (or sins) now do not have any real consequence. You can pay later in that illusive future when you are loaded with money. Satan says to enjoy now and pay later. If he has really worked one over on you, you believe you never have to pay or that no one does.

Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the seventy said in this past conference, “One of the most popular and attractive philosophies of men is to live life your own way, do your own thing, be yourself, don’t let others tell you what to do. But the Lord said, “I am the way” He said, “Follow me.” He said, “What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am. Don’t think you can’t… unlike every other experience in this life, this is not a human endeavor. It is rather the work of God … Therefore while the Lord’s invitation to follow him is the highest of all it is also achievable by everyone, not because we are able but because He is, and because He can make us able too.”

Christ suffered for my sins and your sins that we may exercise this wonderful gift but knowing we would make mistakes He prepared a way to repent and come back to Him. If we will let Him, He has already paid the price of our agency. Brothers and sisters, He is willing to pay your huge credit card balance.

Agency is not free. Our power to choose and make mistakes was paid for by the Savior.

Principal 2: We cannot control the agency of others

We all love autonomy and choice naturally. I’m much more likely to get a positive response from my 2 ½ yr old son Gabriel if he has a choice between peas or lima beans, walking or being carried up the stairs to bed. It makes us feel we have power over our situation.

It seems obvious at first that we cannot control the agency of others, yet most of us have tried to do it in the past. We would like others to act in a certain way, and it may even be with good intention, we try to manipulate their actions. It could be friends, peers, co-workers, family, politicians or anyone we have meaningful contact with.

I learned this principle recently as I pondered and prayed about how to help Gabe be more obedient. The thought came to me that if I would be more patient he would seem more obedient to me. I thought I had a righteous prayer, but I was praying for the wrong thing. The Spirit reminded me that my decision and my agency and my responsibility lay in my parenting and my reaction, not in his action. As I choose to be more patient with him, he does seem to be more obedient, whether he is or not. He is naturally more compliant when I try to guide more and force less.

Does that mean we do nothing to help our children choose the right? No, we like God, are supposed to persuade, direct, and encourage good behavior, but just remember we cannot force it. Gabe may have just needed a little more time to respond or a little more convincing in or order to make the right choice. As parents we may use a variety of methods to try and help our children use their agency for good. Like Heavenly Father we may warn of punishment for disobedience, explain inevitable consequences of unhappiness that follow sin, let them know of the blessings and happiness that follow making right choices etc. We don’t just throw up our hands in the air and say there’s nothing I can do, he has to make his own choices.

Elder Bednar said that parents are to do everything they can to help children understand the “range of acceptable options” and not just say that they don’t want to interfere with their children’s freedom. As in the case with a boys decision to go mission, like Elder Ward here, it is the parents’ job to help their sons remember the decision they already made to obey and serve as a missionary in the pre-mortal existence.

We cannot control the agency of others, we can only try our hardest to influence for good. And often, as in my case, the best place to start looking on how to change our situation is in the mirror. Our righteous decisions will have an effect on others but we cannot control the use of others’ agency.

Principal 3: Using agency wisely creates freedom, it does not limit it.

Power is a word that I have found closely connected with the word agency: power over our own situation, power over the future, power to be increasingly happy as we make right choices. When we choose to live according to God’s plan for us, our agency is strengthened. Agency is not simply to choose whatever you want but to choose righteousness. Right choices increase our power to make more right choices. In Doctrine and Covenants 58:27-28 it says, “For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves.” And in vs. 27 it tells us how to use our agency, “Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;”

We think of everyone as having the same amount of agency, the same ability to choose, but that simply isn’t the case. After Adam ate the fruit his freedom to stay in the garden disappeared. A drug addict’s ability to choose diminishes with every hit or drink that he takes. A parent’s temper becomes more automatic every time they yell, and the window to choose is shortened, the same thing with road-rage. A person that just has to watch “their shows” increasingly gives up agency over the use of their time to be productive, get needed rest, or be of help to others. If it is a less than totally uplifting show, which most of them are, we give up the agency of pure thought later on when those words and images come back to our mind. A teenager has a great deal of agency before they get in the car to go to the party or drive off to a secluded location with the opposite sex. Once at the party they no longer can choose what manner of sin they are subjected to. Once alone with their date their agency and power to make the right choice decreases with every passing minute. Agency is a mater of degrees and with poor decisions we decrease the power we have over our selves, our life and our future both here and in eternity.

Elder Bednar said, “Agency is much more than choice. Choice is only a part of agency. Agency is the capacity of independent action.” He goes on to say, “The gospel plan is one of giving increasing amounts of agency back through covenants.” And that “obedience is joyful.”

In review: Agency is not free. Our power to choose and make mistakes was paid for by the Savior. We cannot control the agency of others and Using agency wisely creates freedom, it does not limit it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful Poster

In the spirit of gratitude, we have a few Thanksgiving traditions in our home that we would like to share with you. On the first Family Home Evening of the month we talk about gratitude and start a Thankful poster where everyone gets to write down a few things they are grateful for. Throughout the month anyone is welcome to add to the list until the big day arrives. This year we included pictures for Gabe's sake so its the illustrated version with some excellent artwork from yours truly.
Another tradition, of course, is a great big meal around 2:00 pm followed up a few hours later by a dinner of pie, which Zach is very grateful for. After we have wrapped up at the table our family likes to go for a "Thankful walk" to make room for some of that pie. We go through the alphabet and say things that we are grateful for. Zach gets to start because he is grateful for Alana and I get to end because I am grateful for Zach. We try to be creative and think of meaningful things in our lives. Whoever is with us is welcome to come on the walk too which has included siblings and parents in the past. So here's to Thanksgiving and being grateful!

(For those that can't see the fine print so well some of the things we were grateful this year included NPR, Books, Church, Family, Wrestling, Kisses, Friends, the Museum, Birthdays/cake, Candy, naps, Book of Mormon, water guns, Cats, dogs, playground, pies, walks, cold weather, baby brother, climbing, fall leaves, rain and books on tape)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Two more Good Gabe-isms

This post is an addendum to the previous one

A few weeks ago we read Gabe a children's book about Louis Pasture and how he found the rabies vaccine. He really likes this book and we have read it several times since. Some times he goes around saying- "Louis Pasture, the man who believed in himself." The other night at prayer time as he was praying he says, "and thank you for rabies." Uh- I think we better read that one again and explain it this time.

Today was the primary program at church where all the children get up and sing and give short statements and talks. This particular program involved about half the primary having to get on and off the stage every time a song was sung. The sound of boisterous children going up and down the steps was quite loud. Gabe asked me "What was that noise?" and answered his own question, "Oh I know, elephants." Yup, might as well have been, the elephants probably would have been quieter.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Halloween Fun and Gabe-isms

By popular request I'm putting up more funny things that Gabe says:

Mom H. (aka Mimi) sent Gabe a short letter telling him how beautiful the leaves were where she lived and I asked Gabe what Mimi had sent him; he excitedly exclaimed "Fall, Mimi sent me Fall." Yes indeed Gabe, Mimi sent you fall. (Those beautiful dried leaves are still on our refrigerator.)

At Amy Jo's house Gabe stood on top of their log pile with a stick in one hand and his favorite blankie blowing in the wind as a cape and called out "I'm the king of the logs, and dad, you're the prince of the logs." "Hey Gabe whats mom, is she the queen?" "No, she's just the mom." On the trip back from Amy Jo's house Gabe says to us from the back seat of the mini van, "Mom, this is a fine trip." I agree Gabe, this was a fine trip.

Every day with a little boy is like an adventure from the Discovery channel. Recently Gabe found a small garden snake in the grass. "Mom, I found a snake, Fancy that!" (I didn't think it was so fancy, but it could have been worse, it could have been a cockroach.)

Two days a week Zach works from home in the office and has to lock the door so that he doesn't have constant interruption. Gabe doesn't like this arrangement but its the only way Zach can study for any length of time. Gabe has a spare keyboard that he uses as a toy and the other day he told Zach, "Dad, I'm working. You can't come in my office." All's fair I suppose, what goes around comes around.

One funny episode with David. Recently we have been trying to get David to sleep all the way through the night so for the most part I've stopped feeding him when he wakes up. At 2 AM the other morning he wanted to suck on something and a pacifier wouldn't cut it so I let him suck on my chin so he would stop crying. It was only for a minute or two but in the morning I looked in the mirror and discovered a big reddish purple bruise on my chin- a "hicky" I guess you could call it. Of course it had to be a Sunday morning I made this discovery so I just went like that to church. Nice flare to my church outfit. The bruise is gone but I'm a little more wary of letting him suck on my chin.

Enjoy the videos of our Pumpkin carving fun.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Just Dang Cute

Pure Joy

You were thinking that I was going to say something about eternal life or the joy of service. Nope. Although those things bring joy I'm talking about a much more simple happiness of that on a child's face when they take a ride at the fair for the very first time. Gabe, 2 1/2 years old, is now tall enough to ride the kiddie rides at the fair. He had the privillage of taking a spin on three of them a few weeks ago at the NC state fair. Its probably just as much fun to watch him ride as a parent as it is for him to do the ridding. Everything is new all over again when you have small children.

Other highlights of this magnificent yearly event: a bar-B-Que turkey leg, giant Kosher dill pickle, giant prize winning produce, gourmet candy apple, feeding the animals at the petting zoo, arts and crafts, and hanging out with my sister Amber and her family. As the slogan says: "Take time to have a great time," excepting for the aching knees and feet from all the walking, we did just that.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New Minivan

Yes, it is official. After four and a half years of marriage Zach and I have become dual car owners with the recent addition of a used minivan. Some people have inquired about it so I thought I'd share. We have been saving up for quite some time for a minivan and one VERY good deal recently fell into our lap. A lady from church had this 2000 Toyota Siena that she no longer needed and she gave it to us at a price no one could refuse. (This person wishes to remain anonymous) Its been wonderful to have a second car while Zach is gone at school and on trips. We recently took it up to West Virginia to visit Zach's sister Amy Jo and quite enjoyed the extra space. It will be nice to have a bigger car especially if we have another child in the next year or two. This has definitely been more than a bite sized blessing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Silver Lining

Doctrine and Covenants 122:7
And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee;...know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

Since this blog is more or less centered around the blessings in my life I'd like to dedicate this post to the blessings that are sometimes disguised as trials at first. The "billowing surge" is hardly conspiring against us, but sometimes it feels like that, doesn't it? This is about that good old silver lining. A few of the highlights this month:

Gabe waiting to till after we got home from the baby sitter's house to throw up all over the floor. Much better than at someone else's house, and much better than the carpet.

My mother has been sick for the past two months and in her bed much of the time. She has had a variety of symptoms that no one would envy but one of them has been little to no appetite at all. As a consequence she has lost 10lb with little effort on her part.

Last week I woke up at 3:00am, not due to my infant son, but as a consequence of chills and a raging fever. Not to be confused with the almost chronic illness as my mother; this only lasted 24 hours. It came on the perfect day. The day AFTER Gabe got over his stomach bug and the day BEFORE we were to leave to visit the Schenewarks in West Virginia. Thankfully I don't think I passed it on to anyone.

The trip up to Amy Jo's started at around 10 am and ended at 4 pm. If anyone has driven with two small children they can attest it is a lot of work to keep them content for that long, much less in a cramped space like a car. The silver lining was that it took place in our new minivan where I could sit in the back seat and see the kids in the middle, hand them snacks etc. The van has already been a huge blessing in our lives. (The visit was fantastic too by the way, a definite repeat. It was fun for our boys to have other boys to play with for a change. No trial there, just blessing)

With all this sickness going around in our house I'm also grateful Zach, our bread winner, and David Hyrum, my angel baby, have not as yet been effected. Hopefully they will not be. I can honestly say that I'm grateful for these small trials in my life including some others that have not been mentioned. It seems easier to see the hand of God in my life.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Piles of togetherness

Monday was one of "those days" in our house. Two sick children, the baby with a double ear infection, a sick mother, shopping, cooking for the family and my grandma, and laundry that was full to overflowing. After working myself bone weary Zach offered to help me fold the mountain of laundry and even cheerfully said (as the 7th load came out of the dryer) "Oh good another pile of togetherness time". It made me smile so I share it with you and all you helpful husbands out there looking to serve your wives.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Zach and I- like warm cookies and milk

"And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh;...Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh."

Genesis 2:23-24

Zach and I recently had the opportunity to be part of a discussion panel for the youth in our church geared towards helping the kids want to strive for an eternal marriage. To make it fun, it was set up like the newly wed game where they asked the couples questions about their spouses to see how well they new each other. Zach and I represented the mid-range couple having been married 4 years with small children and we were batting at about 80% I believe concerning important questions such as "how many pairs of shoes does your spouse have". The real newly weds who were married last month and the couple that had teenagers were both about the same. Then it was open to question and answer and one of the kids asked how we knew we were supposed to marry our spouse. That was fun to hear other people's experience and then recount my own. Not many people have heard me tell it, but I felt I received a pretty clear message in a dream to break up with the guy I was currently dating and then unbeknownst to me, Zach came home from his mission the very next day. I prayed about marrying Zach and the Lord told me that if I married him I'd be happy. Four and a half happy years later, here we are.
I've always thought Zach and I balanced each other out like peanut butter and jelly, a little sweet and a little salty. As we have spent more time together our personalities have naturally become more similar but he is still the calm to my stress and I am still the comfort to his long day. When I told Zach about this blog he suggested I use the analogy of Cookies and milk instead. I teased him about being the milk- tall and white and me being the cookie- golden brown, small and sweet. He took it good naturedly. I am very grateful to have someone to spend eternity with that has a good sense of humor. I've heard it said that God created man and woman differently not to compete but to complement eachother. I believe that our stregnths and weaknesses really do help eachother to grow. In the 7 or so years I've known Zach he's definatly help me grow and change for the better. He has said the same about me in the past. Zach is my blessing I'm remembering for the day- but definatly more than just bite sized.

(Notice in the scripture how the woman doesn't have to leave her parents, that's why we live with my folks instead of Zach's :o)


Pedeothermaphobia: An unnatural fear of your children being too hot or too cold, especially at night. Fear of them kicking off the covers or sweating underneath them. A common symptom is the urge to go check the children at least before you go to bed if not multiple times a night.

I would be the pedothermiac- any other sufferers out there?

(P.S. This is a made up word- Zach teases me about it but its not an actual diagnosable condition.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cute things they do and say : Second Installment

Psalms 127:3-5 "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord...happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them."

From time to time I jot down things that are cute and I've been wanting to post them on my blog. Since Gabe is both more verbal and mobile there was more to write about him. For a time I was waiting to get more things about David Hyrum so that he too could get fair representation but my husband let me know that that was silly and a very mom thing to do. No one would think that I loved Gabe more if I put more things about him up. Upon taking his advice here we go:

Gabe loves to be with mom, when given a choice of who should give him a hug, or a bath, a story and especially a punishment he always chooses mom. (I'm such a pushover) Mom however has nothing on play time. Gabe covets Zach's attention when they are outside playing together. About six months ago, as soon as he could put complex sentences together, when I tried to follow them outside Gabe (20 months) told me, "Go back in the kitchen and make dinner mommy." It was too funny for me to be too offended. I felt like those TV wives where the husband says "woman, go make me a pie." I obliged that time, but sometimes I just stay and usurp dad's attention.

Since my mother is a big part of Gabe's life she has taught him words like "rapscallion" and "lazybones". When Gabe's younger cousin Owen was here to stay Gabe would take him by the hand and say "Come on you rapscallion" or "lets go you lazybones" and lead him off to the next activity. Owen would gladdly comply.

David Hyrum often gets up before his older brother and so we have some one on one time together. One morning while I was reading the scriptures David Hyrum got ahold of an Ensign and ate one of the corners. I looked up and laughed at his big smilely face and told him we were both "feasting on the word." He's a quick learner that David Hyrum.

My father in law, Ken Hutchins aka Pop Pop, enjoys a good game of scrable- or rather trouncing on other weaker scrable players. Not myself mind you, he has pity on my inferior vocabulary and scrable skills so often helps me when we play. That aside, Gabe found a scable pice in our home (in north carolina) and brought it to me and said, "This is Pop pops, you should give it to him." Scable and Pop pop are inextricably linked in Gabe's mind.

David loves Gabe. Zach and I are pretty sure its his favorite person. Zach and I can make David Hyrum smile if we catch his eye or tickle him etc. but all Gabe has to do is be alive and its funny. David will follow Gabe around the room with his eyes for long periods of time just watching him play and laugh at who knows what. Its just fun to see his hero in action.

In this time of rapid learning Gabe makes millions of mental connections that we aren't even aware of. Sometimes they come to the surface and are quite interesting. When he was about 16 months he saw a manual can opener lying on the counter in the spread out position and he said air plane. I looked at it and sure enough it had two wings and a propeller. He has also asked to sit on my triangle (my lap when my ankle is on my knee) and told me the food goes down his tunnel. Its fun to see him learn and say things in a non conventional way.

DH has become my little pisbury dough boy. He is very tickleish in the middle and his eyes light up when you "nuzzle him" in his tummy or chest. I'm ticklish myself but unlike David Hyrum, I don't care to be tickled. Zach and Gabe just aren't that ticklish.

Its easy to have joy when it runs around you and through your legs or sits upon you lap and laughs.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do next week

This is a principle that I'm definitely having to grow into. It takes time, money, planning, and a commitment to rotate as opposed to many of the commandments that you can obey immediately. I understand the prophets have been urging us to store food for many decades now but when you are a kid your parents do it for you. I'm sure anyone who has their food storage in place is grateful they were obedient when food costs were lower, now that prices are on the rise.
So far we have gotten our two week supply of water for our family under our bed that has been put on risers for just such storage. We recently changed out the water when we moved but it was time to do it anyway. The food part is not so simple though. Since we moved in with my mother I've had to do an inventory of what she has and compare it to what we need. As far as long term storage items (wheat, milk, sugar, salt, beans, pasta etc.) she still has much of the 4 person supply of food storage that she had when I lived here before so that is wonderfully convenient. She also has many quick-use canned items under the beds which include tuna, soups, peanut butter and canned vegetables. To my understanding we are to have 3 month's supply of items that we use on a regular basis such as the canned goods, cereals, and baking mixes. My mom also has a supply of toilet paper and paper towels and we have extra diapers under the crib/ Gabe's bed. I can't forget the 20 quarts of salsa I canned that is vitally important to our health and well being. Its good, especially during this hurricane season, to feel prepared. In a pinch we could get by and even help our neighbor.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Three's company

This week while my sister Amber and her husband Robbie took a much needed short trip to Bush Garden's we kept their almost 2 year old, Owen for 3 days. It was quite an adventure. Since Gabe is only about 5 months older they had a blast together. When Gabe was awake and Owen was not he would want to go in and get him up to play with. For me however it was an exercise in patience and endurance. I knew there was a reason the Lord has not blessed me with twins yet. Owen has a very happy disposition but is a willful little bug and comes with more energy than the energizer bunny. Mostly though I think I just wasn't used to having 3 little boys all at once for any great length of time. My mom helped out, and Zach helped after work but it sort of opened my eyes up to what I can expect after our third little blessing comes (and no, that is not an announcement. There is no bun in this oven yet.) Toothpaste tubes squished out, shared colds/runny noses, lots of squealing, three sets of diapers and clothes to change,and mud puddles that met their match with Gabe and Owen together. It was fun to have him here but I have a new respect for women with twins. Oh the blessings of motherhood/aunthood.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cute Things they do and Say

I've been keeping a little journal for each of the boys of developments, funny things they do or say, and anything that I'd like to remember or I'd think they would enjoy reading about themselves when they are older. Here are some of the ones I've written:

I like to call David Hyrum my 'baby bear' not only because he's the youngest but because when trying to communicate more often than not he growls. Its a cute growl and sometimes you can get him to go back and forth with you doing it. Zach can sing tenor, David can sing bass, and I'm just hoping Gabe can sing.

When David Hyrum was born the first thing Gabe (21 months) told me in the hospital when I let him meet his baby brother was "Mommy, put him back in the crib". I guess he was done looking at that toy.

Gabe's favorite song right now is "Old McDonald". Sometimes he'll sit up at the piano and play and sing it (in a slightly monotone voice) to himself. He requests that we sing it at every family home evening. He's not restrained by the conventional animals that belong on a farm though so we have dinosaurs, fish, tigers, crocodiles and many other assorted species that visit our song.

About a month after Gabe had joined nursery we asked him who had been there that day. He replied "Jesus". Zach, replied "Oh, thats where he must have gone, because he wasn't in Elder's Quorum today".

As mentioned in another post, David is my contented little baby and if he's not hungry will stay in his crib for quite a while without crying. To keep himself occupied however he uses the mattress as a thumping board and will kick it for repeatedly. I let him do that for an hour once (between 4am and 5am) thinking he would eventually either fall asleep or cry. He never did so I eventually had pity on him and went to get him. I was rewarded by a big smile, a laugh, and a final excited thump of the mattress.

Gabe is very possessive of his blue sports blankie and one time I used it to cover David. Gabe promptly came over and informed me that David didn't like the blankie, that he liked another one better and made the trade.

Before Gabe turned 2 he was sitting on my lap and he said "Mommy you have 'owies' on your legs"- I hadn't shaved in a while and he was right- I did have "owies" on my legs. He'll also tell me something is "too lame" if he doesn't like it. "I don't want to read that book, its too lame mommy".

I'm not exactly where Gabe gets all his phrases from, but once I asked him if he would like me to change his diaper and he replied "no thank you my dear". I'm pretty sure I changed it anyway.

More to come on this topic I'm sure.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Trip to Boston.

Recently Zach, Gabe, David Hyrum and I took a summer trip up to see his family in Boston. It was great fun and always relaxing. Its always wonderful to see mom and dad, the siblings and the nieces and nephews. One or two years makes a big difference when you see kids again. This was the first time they had met David Hyrum and the first time we got to meet the Schenewarks youngest boy- Miller. Enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Night and Day

Its fun to see how my two boys are so different. They look like brothers with the same gray blue eyes, the same dirty blond hair, the same tall lender build but their personalities are so opposite, even at this young age. Gabe has been the my bright star but demanding from day one. An obstinate 5 days late, I chose to be induced and then after 11 hours the doctor got the forcepts and decided to help this child enter the world. (I remember still not feeling like my old self 3 months after labor) After brining home our bundle of joy I didn't sleep for more than 1/2 an hour that first night and then not more than a few hours the rest of the week. It seemed like he was constantly awake and needing attention. A little motion junkie, he wanted to be bounced, walked, held and moved around. After only a month and a half he could not sit still and needed to bounce or wiggle all the time. He wanted to see the world, all before he was one. Sleep was a chore for this child, waking up constantly at night, and we fought this battle till he was at least 10 months. It was every two hours for a while. He was however, highly motivated to roll over, sit up, crawl, use baby signs, talk, and walk fairly young too. He is a very quick learner and is always saying funny things but needs constant activity. He was speaking in sentences by 19 months so at least it was not a big challenge to communicate with him. Being the main source of learning and entertainment for my little star has been a blessing as well well as a challenge.

In contrast, David Hyrum has been my easy going baby. He is my angel. He came a blessed two weeks early and as far as labors go, his wasn't too bad- 4 1/2 hours with no complications and not that much pushing. He still wakes up once in a while at night but its only to eat for 15 minutes and then just fall back asleep. I get more sleep now with two children than I did with just one baby. David Hyrum is happy and content just to be with you and sit on your lap. He's five months old and has recently learned to sit up pretty well. He still doesn't roll over however. Sometimes I forget he's in the room. I can take a whole shower and not hear a peep out of him while he plays with a toy. I take him to piano lessons with me and usually there's no problem. When David drifts off to sleep he often smiles and I wonder if he is still seeing angels. Part of the difference may be that as the second child there is more to see with a busy older sibling around. We are hopefully a more experienced parents too, but I know these my boys came down from heaven with personalities all their own. What a joy it is to be a mom.

Piano Students

I teach 6 beginning students piano on a weekly basis. I really enjoy all of my students in different ways. As anyone with children knows, each child is different and fun to be with because of their unique personality. I have one student in particular that makes me laugh. She just turned 8 but likes to look her best and so is some what resistant to trimming her nails. She often conveniently forgets or lets me know that she trimmed them, but they just grew back. She does it in such a cute way though its hard to be upset at her. The other day I gave her mom a pair of low healed shoes that didn't fit me and her mom exclaimed that they would be cute with jeans. The 8 year old daughter said "What, you told me I couldn't wear high heals with jeans!" where her mom said that was different she was 8. It made me laugh. They both looked at me like I was the deciding factor in the argument and I said that it wasn't up to me, but I tended to side with her mom. I look forward to when my children are school aged.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Good Things of the Earth

Doctrine and Covenants 59:17-20

17Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden
the heart;
19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen
the body and to enliven the soul.
20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion

For some time now I've been a grumbler about the heat down South. Summer has traditionally been my least favorite season. A triple digit temperature reading is plenty of reason to stay indoors and be grumpy. But this year, I'm beginning to change my mind. This is due in no small part to the milder summer temperatures we have enjoyed and the rain that has blessed our area and my garden. Alas we sadly had to move at the climax of tomato picking season, but we enjoyed other produce and will be back for the tomatoes. Owing the majority of the garden success to Heavenly Father's great designing, there is a great measure of satisfaction in seeing a tiny seed you plant in a tray back in March turn into a beautiful tomato plant in July.
In addition to my first official garden, this has been a year of berries. Since the drought has let up we have gone strawberry, blueberry, and blackberry picking. The strawberry and blueberry picking were dates Zach and I escaped to. The last of these three, blackberry picking, involved dangerous adventures through a forest overwhelmed with insects and bushes laden with thorns. Gabe joined me on one such blackberry picking romp and he picked probably two berries, ate ten, and received about twenty mosquito bites (despite the hat, pants, long sleeves and bug spray I put on him). He was a trooper though and never complained. I spoted him the other cups or so we needed in the kitchen. The blackberries eventually turned into jam, the strawberries into smoothies, the tomatoes into pasta and salsa, and the blueberries a delicious topping for cereal in the mornings. While I still don't care for the heat and much rather see snow flakes than sprinklers, I'm counting my blessings this summer as we enjoy the good things of the earth.