Category Archives: children

Christ versus Santa

I have always struggled with the commercialization of Christmas.  Yes it is cool, fun, cute and all, but is it supposed to be ALL about Santa.

Does anyone remember who “Santa” really was?  I felt like it was all lost.

What is Christmas supposed to be?  All these questions kept going through my mind and I was really struggling with what we should do as a family about and for Christmas. I felt it would benefit our family and our children to focus more on Christ for Christmas.  I felt it would help us grow closer to Him.

I also don’t like the idea of lying to my children when we try so hard to teach them not to lye.  Princess asked me weeks ago if Santa was real.  I explained to her how he lived long ago and was a good person who helped others.  We talked about how we pretend Santa is real now to help us keep that spirit and mindset of helping and loving others.  We then talked about sometimes parents don’t tell their kids Santa isn’t alive.  They want the children to believe in that spirit he had.  We can still believe and celebrate with that spirit but focus more on Jesus Christ.  We can celebrate His life and rejoice in His birth.

Yes there are moments I wish I could say; “you better be good because Santa is coming!” But in reality I can say; “mommy doesn’t like it when you are not nice.  It makes mom, dad, Jesus and Heavenly Father sad.  Can you try to be nice to your sister?”  The latter helps them understand instead of tricking or forcing them to be good.  I feel it helps them build a relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ when we talk of them as people.  Helping them realize their actions have consequences, although small and simple, they know when they are not nice, we are sad.  Just as we are happy when they are good.  (Yes, when I tell them I’m proud of them I also tell them Heavenly Father and Jesus is proud of them.)

Christmas needed to be CHRISTmas for me.  I wanted the focus to be on the Only Begotten of the Father, the Savior of mankind, the Beloved, our brother.

Please know, we do not judge others whether the celebrate Santa or not.

This is just our personal path.

We Believe Wednesday-The Sweet Struggle

I’ve really struggled with what to say today. Hence why it is really Thursday and I’m writing my Wednesday post.

Today has been a hard. One where I wanted to shut everyone and everything out, right from the start. With teaching, we are all still trying to adjust to the new schedule. My three little ones get woken up around six o’clock in the morning, needless to say we are all overtired.

I have this little part of my brain (okay, big part) that wants everything to be perfect. Yes, I know it’s not happening soon. I want the house to be clean, no clutter, happy kids who never fight and take naps… I want to be a good wife, good mom, good daughter, food granddaughter, Continue reading

We Believe Wednesday-Sacrament

Jesus Christ sat with His apostles the evening before the atonement.  Christ knew it was time for Him to atone and die for us.  In Luke 22, we read about the first sacrament and Christ said, “this is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. . . . this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we feel sacrament is an important part of our spiritual growth and worship, as we remember and renew the covenants we make with Heavenly Father when we are baptized.  As we partake of the bread and water, we remember the atoning sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us.  We take the time, while the sacrament is being passed, to reflect on the ministry, life and Atonement of Christ, the Son of God.

The bread being broken is a symbolic reminder of His body on the cross and His physical sufferings.  It is also symbolic to ancient times when as part of the covenant, they would cut (break) an animal into pieces as a sacrifice and say “Let what happened to this sacrifice, happen to us, if we break our covenant.”

The water is symbolic of the blood of our Savior shed in extreme spiritual suffering and grief, commencing in the Garden of Gethsemane and concluding on the cross.  In Matthew 26:38 Christ said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.”  In the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:7 we read and understand, “Blood [came] from every pore, so great [was] his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.”

Jesus Christ suffered for the sins, sorrows, and pains of all people.  He is the only one who truly understands us, emotionally and spiritually.  When we get that call, your grandma has suffered a stroke and is on the way to the hospital, He truly felt the pain, regrets and overwhelming fears.  When we sin, because we all will, He felt the sorrow, fear, and humility.  What greater gift could our Father give us than a big brother who truly knows us?

As a mother, I want to teach my children of this great gift.  When my oldest, Princess, was around 12-months, I was contemplating how to teach my children about Jesus Christ and the sacrament.  Almost intuitively, as I handed her the bread, I whispered, “this helps us remember Jesus made it so we can live with Heavenly Father again.”  Then with the water I whispered, “this helps us remember we can say sorry and repent for our sis.”  As simple as these words were, they truly help us focus on the atonement, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Princess is now almost five, and I have Tiny, three; and B, one.  They each are told these same words each time we partake of the sacrament.

We Believe Wednesday-Being Modest

Well, modestly seams to be a touchy subject.  For me, it is black and white.  I teach my children that it is important to be modest.  We teach them from the time they are born on, because in my mind, there is not other option.

Why?

We respect and love ourselves.  We respect and love our Father in Heaven.  We show this by being modest in dress, grooming, language and actions.

We teach our children to keep their bodies covered.  We don’t run around showing our underwear.  We don’t pull our shirts up to have our tummy showing.  We wear shirts under dressed or other shirts that don’t cover the shoulders.  We wear dresses, skirts and shorts down to the knees, or longer if they like. We feel this is important to teach our children, girls and boys, how to dress when they are young so they can govern themselves as teens and adults.  The specifics we choose to set in covering our bodies will become important when our children wear garments as an adult.

You may be wondering what garment I’m talking about.  Many religions wear clothing to show their faith, their position in church, or as a personal reminder beliefs.  As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we wear white underclothing, similar to shorts and T-shirts, as a personal reminder of our faith and the covenants we have made with Heavenly Father. Also, as a bishop, preacher, pastor, reverend and others usually wear clerical clothing, our church is a lay ministry. As our congregational leaders have an occupation outside of their role in the church.  Wearing the garment has some of the same advantage you may draw from clerical vestments. Due to employment in different occupations, we wear ours under the clothing instead of outside.

We teach our children to take care of their body.  We bathe, brush hair, teeth and take care of our bodies.

Language can affect everything.  We strive to teach our children to be polite and gentle in their words.  Yelling, name calling and rude tones are things we strive to keep away from our home.  We all struggle at times (after all we are not perfect), but we feel it is important to respect others with our words.

I believe we show respect to ourselves, our family, our friends, and our Father in Heaven when we are modest in our lives.

If you want some tips for trendy modest clothing, I suggest you follow of these Instagram accounts: Modest Mormon Girls; Dressing Dallas; and Modest Mormon.

How are you modest? 

The Flower Confession

As much as I like to pretend to not be girly, at all.  I really have somethings which cannot be denied.

I love flowers!

I love them on bushed, trees and in fields.  I love when my girls pick tiny little flowering weeds for me.  I love flowers at the supermarket and at the grocery store.  I love seeing a vase on my table with flowers.  It doesn’t have to be any particular flower.  I just love how they change the mood.  They bring smiles to peoples faces.  Flowers can light up a dreary day.

I love seeing my girls wake up and find that mommy bough flowers at the store the night before.

Wouldn’t you like to wake up to flowers on the table?

Why is this a confession?

Well, I can’t walk past the floral department in any Krogers, without looking to see what flowers they have on clearance.  On top of that, if they have some for one or two dollars, I can’t walk away.

Tonight, that rings true again.  They had several bunches on sale for four-dollars or more, but they had one small group for only one-dollar.

Tonight’s find for one-dollar:

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Here is my previous find.  There were three bunches, all for just one-dollar:

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Tiny was too excited to hold still, so I had to help her hold them.

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Princess was thrilled to have her own “vase’ of flowers, which was just a cup.

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I’m lost

Somewhere, somehow, I lost myself. Between school, work, being a mom, a wife, graduating, all the moves and trying to “fit in,” I’ve lost who I am and who I want to be.

I went into a type of autopilot.  I stopped thinking and caring so much about things which were once important to me.  Stopped trying so hard.

When Gordon an I first were married, I was still in school. We became pregnant fairly quick. I made bread every few weeks, granola bars and fruit leathers were always being rotated through my homemade projects.  I staved to find ways to eat healthily and on a very tight budget.  We had more variety to our meals and we even planned them out.

Family Picture-10/21/09

Family Picture-10/21/09

I graduated eight months pregnant with our second, Tiny.  After Tiny was born, I was doing some at home preschool with Princess. Fruit leathers, granola bars, and bread became occasional projects.  I joined a preschool co-op with two other mothers and we loved it!  We want for walks, play groups, planted gardens, played outside and ran through sprinklers.

Princess' first day of Preschool Co-op

Princess’ first day of Preschool Co-op

Before I gave birth to B, out third child, we had so much happen, everything stopped.  Gordon’s job was in jeopardy when the company he was working for was purchased.  People were being laid off and jobs were being outsourced to India.  There were a few times, by the grace of Heavenly Father, he was put on a list to be let go and he kept his job.

Our lease was ending, we were uncertain how long his job would last, so we moved in with family.  Two little girls, Gordon and I (pregnant), all lived in a little room for a few months.  I was done.  Other than making diner (and the very occasional treat) I wasn’t doing much.  Walks stopped, play groups seemed hard to attend, preschool co-op stopped.

Gordon stated with a new company and within the first month, we found a new place to live.  We moved closer to his work to avoid the hour plus commute.  B was born and it seemed like I failed at everything I tried.  I could barely make it through the day without loosing it.  Struggling with postpartum depression and being a mom of three seemed much harder than I felt it should be.

My cute three kids-6/21/13

My cute three kids-6/21/13

I posted pictures like this (see below) so I would be able to look back one day and laugh.

Tiny stuck in the toy bins.

Tiny stuck in the toy bins.

Now we still have days I loose it, days which end in tears foe everyone, but we also have great days, days we play at the park, days we play with bubbles, days we make sunflower seed butter, days we visit grandparents and days we just spend at home playing.

There are changes ahead I am excited to share, when the time is right.  For now, we have decided to find ourselves again.  Homemade bread, granola bars and fruit leathers will be homemade and fresh instead of store bought.  We will be starting homeschooling and playing more.  We will be reading, coloring, exploring and splashing in puddles.

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Princess’s first real jump!

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Sibling puddle time

Stay tuned as I try to share our journey a little more often. 

The Blue Cookie TMI

Thursday’s grocery trip was like most others: all three kids wanting to roam the store at their will. My fix for this has always been to let them have a cookie from the bakery counter (or go in the middle if the night by myself).

I will think twice next time.

We’ve never had a problem with a free cookie. It has saved so much frustration trying to shop, after all, that is why they have them. Right?

This cookie was a round sugar cookie, mostly blue with red and white star inside each other. It looked cute and all three kids were excited when I handed one to them.

Never in my wildest imagination would I guess there would be repercussion. Before the day was over, B was not eating much and fussy. Tiny was picky, which is not like her.

By the next day they both had bright blue diarrhea that eventually turned green. Poor B’s bum is bright red. I have been putting DoTerra’a Digestzen on his tummy with every diaper change. It has been gradually getting better.

Thanks to the blue cookie that caused more trouble than it was worth.

Boundaries and Borders

I have always had a hard time with saying “no.” Several times as a young single adult, I would drive to Oklahoma just to return phone calls and say:

I’m sorry, but I’m out of state right now and unable to help.

I would drive about an hour north on I35 to Thackerville, Oklahoma. It is just over the boarder. There is a little playground there, I would play and return my hard phone calls.

Last night in counseling we discussed boundaries. We all need to have them set. We shouldn’t feel guilty about setting them and keeping them firm. We are taking care if ourselves with them.

Karen showed me one of the following videos and asked me to look up the second one. I wanted to share them in the hope it would help you as well.

Pay Attention

We are blessed to have missionaries in our home at lease once a week. As we struggle to have our small children to to sit and listen we were loosing our patience. In those moment of pure desperation came such a simple answer.

Princess, did you know they are going to talk about Jesus?
Oh I love my big brother!
Can you listen really carefully as the missionaries talk and raise your hand when they say ‘Jesus?’

And so it began. An answer to a silent prayer. Now when the missionaries give their spiritual thoughts they listen to hear “Jesus” and their hand shoots up into the air with excitement.

We have expanded this into our scripture study. As we read from the Book of Mormon, our girls raise their hands for: Jesus; Father; Lord; God; Heavenly Father and angel. Gordon will even join in on the action and raise his hand or if he is holding B, he will help raise B’s hand.

On occasions they pay enough attention in sacrament meeting and you will see little girls’ hands shoot up into the air as they whip their head around and say;

“Mommy he just said Jesus!”

You are welcome, for the added distraction in church. 

Prayer

As a parent, one of the sweetest moments is when your child does something on their own, that you have them.  Tiny has bee saying prayer so well lately.  Often she says one randomly during the day as well.  I also have one of Princess, who look so grown up.

She is so cute she she kneels that I just can’t help but to be irreverent and quickly snap a picture. Shhhhh!  Don’t tell my children.

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Sweet prayers to Heavenly Father.