Sunday Best in Utah

Here’s a quick picture I took on Sunday while we were visiting Mammy and Pappy in Utah. If you look closely, you’ll count one extra member of the family. That’s Haven, our 9 year old cousin (and Kit Kittredge look-alike). She and Emma had a grand time together over our vacation. As did all of us with the whole bunch of cousins. More details to follow.

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Hunter the Baker

Hunter wants to earn some money this summer, and has really become interested in baking. So he decided to combine the two and have a bake sale.

He sent out an email and received so many orders that we were baking for two full days to fill them in time. He learned a few things about business- he needs to pay Mom for ingredients, he needs to pay his assistants, time is worth something, and what seems too hard can be done.

His new hobby has made him some money and really sabotaged my chances of losing any weight this summer. But how can I discourage such talent?

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Summer Vacation Day One

  • The kids built blanket forts in the family room
  • We had a family meeting (except for Rob, he was at work) and wrote on the calendar the things we want to do this summer
  • Drove 27 miles each way to get a pair of glasses left at a water park on a field trip
  • Had a discussion about consequences with my son regarding why I was making him pay me gas money for the trip there
  • Stopped at Barnes & Noble to pick up their summer reading program for the kids
  • We looked around and wrote out titles of books we like in preparation for a trip to the library tomorrow. I could never afford to buy enough to keep them busy all summer.
  • Mailed back a Netflix DVD
  • Got my Mother’s Day present from The Vintage Pearl. I love it! I’ve been wanting a mother’s necklace for years and Rob gave me a card on Mother’s Day that told me I should order up the one I liked.
  • Ate lunch – pizza tortillas
  • We all read and rested
  • Washed three loads of  laundry
  • Brought Emma to a swim activity
  • Decided it must be allergies that are making Hannah’s eyes water and making her feel sick.
  • Gave Hannah some Benadryl
  • Made the kids clean up their forts and did chores
  • Listened to lots of fuss from a certain youngest child
  • Vowed that tomorrow we will work first, and play later
  • Hunter sent out emails for his “Bake Sale.”  He’s making, selling, and delivering yummy treats.
  • Made stroganoff for dinner
  • Welcomed home Daddy
  • Decided maybe it’s not allergies, because after a nap, Hannah still has a tummy ache
  • Watched some Veggie Tales with the kids

Bedtime now, and we’ll see what tomorrow brings

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Mothers And Daughters

Today I went Visiting Teaching and was in charge of sharing a lesson. Since April was General Conference I got to choose the message. So in honor of Mother’s Day I chose the talk by Elder Ballard, Mothers and Daughters. After reading the talk and then presenting it three times this morning, I just had to share some of my favorite parts.

It’s hard to find our place as women in the world when so often we are berated for standing up for morals and values. Elder Ballard reminds us of the sacred role we play in Heavenly Father’s plan and of the respect the priesthood leaders of the church have for women: “It is, unfortunately, all too easy to illustrate the confusion and distortion of womanhood in contemporary society. Immodest, immoral, intemperate women jam the airwaves, monopolize magazines, and slink across movie screens—all while being celebrated by the world. The Apostle Paul spoke prophetically of “perilous times” that will come in the last days and specifically referenced something that may have seemed particularly perilous to him: “silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts” (2 Timothy 3:1, 6). Popular culture today often makes women look silly, inconsequential, mindless, and powerless. It objectifies them and disrespects them and then suggests that they are able to leave their mark on mankind only by seduction—easily the most pervasively dangerous message the adversary sends to women about themselves.”

My mom with her reunion committee last summer

Message I most want my daughters and nieces to hear, because it’s so true. I can see this clearly now about my own mother, but I wasn’t always so sure (love you mom!): “Love your mother, my young sisters. Respect her. Listen to her. Trust her. She has your best interests at heart. She cares about your eternal safety and happiness. So be kind to her. Be patient with her imperfections, for she has them. We all do.

For all mothers of daughters and sons this is crucial. Everything we say and do goes into their heads and is processed. As my dear friend recently reminded me, they may not seem to be listening or watching, but they are; So we should fill their heads with positive things: “Let me assure you that even when you think your daughter is not listening to a thing you say, she is still learning from you as she watches you to see if your actions match your words. As Ralph Waldo Emerson is believed to have said, “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”

With Sabrina and Hannah after The Three Bears

Some reminders of the things Mothers can do to raise daughters of faith:

  • …avoid the temptation to gossip or judge one another
  • A mother-daughter relationship is where a daughter learns how to nurture by being nurtured.
  • …(teach) the importance of making covenants, and then show them how to keep those covenants in such a way that they will desire to live worthy to go to the temple.
  • Immodest, unchaste women are glamorized and all too often celebrated and emulated….You need to have frequent, open discussions during which you teach your daughters the truth about these issues.
  • …learn how to recognize the presence and the voice of the Spirit.
  • Point them to the scriptures.
  • Give them experiences that will help them cherish the blessing of priesthood power in their lives.
  • God will truly hear and answer their prayers.
  • if needed, teach them how to repent and how to remain pure and worthy.

The thesis for Elder Ballard’s talk: “I hope you are listening and see a pattern and hear a steady, consistent message that in these last days it is essential—even critical—that parents and children listen to and learn from one another. These are not just ethereal concepts about which I have been speaking. They are the essence, the center, of God’s plan for our eternal happiness and peace.”

Me and the big kids on New Years

Hunter graduates from primary soon, and we enter the world of  “the youth.” I hope and pray that this is a time of learning and growth for him, and his parents, as he figures out the man he wants to become: “…the home is the most important place to prepare the youth of today to lead the families and the Church of tomorrow. It rests upon each one of us as mothers and fathers to do all we can to prepare our youth to be faithful, righteous men and women. It is in the home where we must teach the gospel by precept and by example.”

The Mutual theme for 2010 applies to our youth as well as to all of us: “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9).

My family

Our family at Cabrillo Tidepools

Elder Ballard closes with this beautiful quote from President Joseph F. Smith that reminds me why families and motherhood are so important: “…We form associations and relations for time and all eternity. . . . Who are there besides the Latter-day Saints who contemplate the thought that beyond the grave we will continue in the family organization? the father, the mother, the children recognizing each other..? this family organization being a unit in the great and perfect organization of God’s work, and all destined to continue throughout time and eternity?”

To listen to this talk click here.

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Cast Buddies

So, let me just say up front- This is not a joke. Although I seem to laugh when I talk about it because the timing of it all seems so unbelievable. Poor Hunter broke his arm on Saturday! He was riding his scooter down the hill and got going so fast that he missed his turn onto the grass, flew out into the street and crashed. This time Rob took him to urgent care and got the x-rays. He has a large break in the big bone, and a smaller fracture in the little bone. The doctor compared the break to what you would get if you took a green tree branch and bent it until it snapped. Hunter has been brave through it all, and took just one day off of school.

On Wednesday I took Sabrina to get a follow up x-ray and she still needs another two weeks in her cast. Our hurdle to overcome now is getting her to walk on it. She is very hesitant, although she made some good progress when my friend who is a physical therapist came to visit and pushed her a bit. Now that Tonya’s gone and it’s just Mom and Dad, Sabrina is trying to avoid walking.

On Thursday I took Hunter to get his cast on, and it will be four weeks until his follow up appointment, and six weeks until he’s allowed to do regular PE activities. That means he’s out of PE for the rest of the school year. He was pretty excited about that.

We had friends from Orange County visiting when this happened and the rest of the weekend was great fun. We were able to catch up with our friends, play, hike the canyons by our house picking up trash, watch an impromptu performance of Cinderella where the step-sisters ran wild, Cinderella sang, and a three-year-old prince chucked Cinderella’s slipper at her and ran away. It was super cute.

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An Historical Family Trip

The Mormon Battalion Museum in San Diego was upgraded and recently reopened. We made a family outing out of the opening day. It was very crowded, so we didn’t see much of the museum itself, we’ll have to go back another time and take a better look, but there were a lot of activities that we did enjoy. As a little background here are some passages from the article linked above:

About 500 men enlisted in the Mormon Battalion, and about 80 women and children traveled with them. They began their journey in the sweltering heat of Council Bluffs, Iowa, on 20 July 1846, leaving their loved ones behind. The battalion completed one of the longest infantry marches in American history—about 2,000 miles (3,220 km) through what are now seven states and into Mexico…

[In the museum]“They will find out about the major contributions by the pioneer Latter-day Saints in the settling of the West. They were instrumental in building part of the transportation corridor from San Diego to Salt Lake City where Interstate 15 now runs. In 1847 San Diego’s first courthouse was built by members of the Mormon Battalion from bricks they had fired.”

I showed Emma all I know about panning for gold. We did find a few gold specks!

I forget what this game is called, but Hunter could keep this thing going for hours if he wanted to.

The girls all made pioneer baby dolls that were authentic to how they would have been made by the pioneers.

We were all given some biscuit dough to wrap around a spool of wood on the end of a stick. Then we held it over the coals for a while to bake.

Sabrina thought they were pretty good! Too bad we found out after we ate them that there was also hand churned butter and homemade jam to put on them. Oh well.

Hannah took a turn at washing some laundry with a bucket and washboard.

The extra pioneer activities were part of the reopening and are not offered on a regular day, so it was a special treat to experience some history!

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