Wednesday, November 18, 2015

God Only Knows

Each of my children seem to be growing taller and more capable every time I blink my eyes.  It is a little terrifying and yet incredible to witness.  My demanding, often bossy little two year old will play outside by himself now and even stay inside the fence and keep the rules.  I didn't know if that would ever happen.  My adorable little six month old got onto his hands and knees yesterday and started rocking back and forth.  I suspect he will be crawling in the next few days.  He got shots today and didn't even cry.  He whimpered and then stopped.  I am pretty sure he is far tougher than I am already.  These boys will truly do amazing things in their little lifetimes.  I know that because they already have.

My four year old, Matthew, is a bundle of energy.  And by energy I mean like a typhoon ready to take you down.  Literally.  His goal is to see how many people he can tackle every day.  It is exhausting trying to keep his energy at a less than boiling temperature.  You are only safe from him when he is sleeping.  He really wanted to go to preschool this year.  A real preschool, like his big brother went to last year.  Even though it costs quite a bit of money, we were planning on it.  But something kept bugging me about it.  I felt like he shouldn't, he needed more time at home.  So we found a co-op group of moms that were doing a preschool together and so that is what we have been doing for little Matthew.  He is only gone a few hours a week and I am really grateful.  It is nice to have him be the big kid at home most of the time and to get a few more hours with him than I would have otherwise.

I was thinking about this today as I watched him color at the table.  He would have been at school during that time if he went to the "real" preschool.  But instead, I got to watch him dance around as he picked up crayons from around him, perch them by his lips as he studied the paper, and then stick his tongue out in concentration as he made a few marks on his picture.  Then the process was repeated.  I could tell he had a vision of what he wanted to create.  I could also tell he had some song or beat going on in his head as he moved around to the rhythm I couldn't hear.  And I was so thankful.  Maybe the Lord had lots of reasoning to keep Matthew home more.  I'm sure there were lots of little things, and maybe many more that I have yet to discover, if I ever will.  But if it was just so I could see this one moment and realize that Matthew has a passion for coloring that I hadn't noticed before and that he is growing up so much that his coloring actually looks like something and not just scribbles and shapes.  I needed that moment watching my little buddy.

Life changes people so quickly, especially our little people.  The Lord knows that.  He also knows just what we need, what we don't need, what we will want and how to give us that.  I am so thankful that He is a God that is involved in our lives.  He lets us make our own choices.  And He is ready to tell us how to make the right choices that will make us happy, if we will just listen.  I am so thankful for His presence in my life and for giving me the glimpses and moments that make me remember my purpose here.  Try to recognize something in your life today that only the Lord knew you would need...and be grateful for it.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Boys and Boogers

Boys can be very gross.  They toot (I hate the word fart for some reason), they burp, they pee anywhere and everywhere just because they can, they think every weird joke is insanely hilarious.  Like this one Josh told us the other day:

Why didn't the toilet paper cross the road?

Because it got stuck in a crack.

I know, I know, I almost shot water out my nose because I was trying to keep from laughing.  That didn't help, it only made me and all the boys laugh harder.  It is not easy trying to teach boys what is and isn't appropriate, when sometimes not very classy things, are downright hilarious.

Another thing boys have a fascination with is boogers.  I HATE boogers.  Like I have a psycho phobia of them.  I know I have boogers.  Everyone does.  But they can be taken care of discretely.  I do understand to some level how they are cool.  Especially when little babies get them and they almost completely block their nasal cavity they are so big.  It is kind of rewarding to finally unlodge it.  I guess I can in some way see that appeal.

But once it is out, throw it away, don't look at it, don't flick it, and do NOT eat it.

Well, you can imagine how unheeded that directive goes in my house.  But at least I am not the only one that suffers.  My sister has been coming over a lot lately.  I still can't quite understand why she wants to.  She comes here to sleep and relax of all places.  How she can and chooses to sleep in a war zone of toddlers, I will never understand.

Anyways, she was over today and Matthew climbs up next to her to snuggle.  She glances over at him and this is kind of the way things went down from there:
-Oh gross, Matthew, don't pick your nose.
-Matthew, seriously, don't do that.  Why don't you go get a tissue?
-I don't need one.
-Oh no way, that is such a huge booger, go get a tissue---no, no, don't eat it!
Munching and smacking.
-That is disgusting.
About 30 seconds goes by.
-How are you still chewing it?
Matthew gives a charming dimpled smile only Matthew can give and then you hear a gulp.
-I always eat my boogers. They are so tasty.
-Well, that's gross.  Don't think about giving me kisses anytime soon.
Matthew seems completely undaunted and quite pleased with himself with a smirk and smacks his lips.  I just sat on the opposite couch trying not to think about it and enjoying the fact that he had another girl to torture for the moment.

I am really grateful the Lord gave me boys, but man, they sure can be disgustingly adorable.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Watch Out Pacifists

Boys are crazy, especially when they get with older boys (ahem, certain uncles) that are crazy too. My Matthew is for sure the craziest of them all, so when he gets together with Uncle Ammon, major rough housing ensues.
Matthew: "Let's have a pillow fight."
Ammon: "I can't, I'm a pacifist. "
Matthew: "That's ok, pacifists are easy to kill!"

Words of wisdom from a four year old. So take a stand. :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I wrote Mom!

Raising a child is far from easy, but there really are moments where you think, yup, totally worth it.  I had one of those moments on Sunday.  A lot of my family and friends were sitting on couches in our basement with my little family, watching the LDS General Conference broadcast.  My husband and I have always taken notes of spiritual impressions we have received.  Over the years our boys have pulled out their journals to draw pictures and our oldest began taking notes this year too. It is really sweet and I am thankful that at least in one thing they follow my example and it is a good thing. Haha

So I look over at my little Matthew, who has stolen my journal so he can "write" things. Mostly it is practicing the letter m. Totally fine. Then all the sudden he says "Mama, look, I wrote mom! Just like in my lessons, I remember this word, mom, that's you!"

I cried.

The first word he wrote, that I know of, is mom.

Of course then he proceeded to fill the page with lots of mom's and moos and Matthew's (thanks to my awesome mom sitting on the other side of him teaching him how to write his name).  

I am so thankful that I got to learn from my amazing mom. That she taught me to read and write and was endlessly patient with me showing off those skills, even with permanent marker on her beautifully expensive dresser. She taught me to be a mom that cares about the important things. Thank heavens we have mothers. 

And I am so thankful I am Mom to five amazing little creatures.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Changing Habits

I love sleep.  All day long I look forward to the feel of the smooth sheet and the comforting blanket on top of me and the pillow under my head.  And the quiet, oh, I long for the quiet.  And the time to recharge.  What a wonderful time of the day.

But once those little kids finally drift into dream world, it is like my energy spikes.  That is when it is time to party!  I don't want to sleep, because as soon as I sleep, it will feel like just seconds and then another day is upon me.  I love my little boys and love being with them, but it is nice to have those few hours of when they are slumbering.

It is a problem though, because I stay up later and later and then the next day I am exhausted and cranky.  Which makes me a not so nice mom, and the kids get more on my nerves.  So then I can't wait for them to go to sleep and then I stay up to enjoy it.  Thus leading to an endless cycle of not very happy home and exhausted mama.

Plus, my hubby has a really hard time getting out of bed in the mornings since his work out buddies have moved and there is no one he has to get out of bed for.  So he feels cranky without that time in the morning too.

It finally hit me yesterday that this has got to change and I need to be the one to change it.  I can't just expect it to get better without me doing anything about it.  So I am changing my habits.  And this is not something easy to do...and since I am not being very coherent, you can tell it is going to take a few days for my body to adjust.

I am waking up early.  That way, my handsome man has a reason to get out of bed.  And I get some alone time and a early start on the day.  And hopefully this makes me feel like going to bed earlier tonight.  I REALLY hope so.  It is funny, the boys aren't awake yet and I have already accomplished a ton of the things that usually take me a few hours to accomplish every morning.  Plus, Tyson and I have already had a little bit of time to talk, which we hardly ever do, so this may work out great.  I am really hoping.  :)

So really, why I am writing, is to say that people can change.  We are creatures of habit and it is for sure difficult to change the way we have always been.  For me changing from a night owl to an early bird will not be without repercussions I am sure.  However, it is still dark out, I can still hear the crickets, so it is kind of like it is nighttime anyways.  Except bonus, I feel like accomplishing things instead of munching.  So wow, win win.

You feel like there is something in your life you want to change?  Go for it.  You can do it.  If I can wake up before dawn, anything is possible.  :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Thank You for My Eardrums

“I just want to poke my ear drums out with a pencil,” is what I tempted to post on Facebook yesterday.  It had been one of those days, after many days building up on me, of vacuuming and then as soon as I roll up the cord and put it away, I have a toddler sprinkle cracker crumbs as he jumps around on the floor to the unknown drummer in his head.  It was the millionth time of stepping in a gunky chewed up and spit out banana piece and trying not to be too grossed out as it oozes between my toes.  

It was the “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy”
“Watch this!” as he proceeds to chew his food. 

Why do I have to watch him chew his food?  

And then as soon as I glance away to clean up a spitting up baby, or help with a math question, the “mommy, mommy, mommy,” chanting continues.  

It was the little meltdowns and battles that seem so petty to me.  It was the phone calls and visits from other people wanting me to listen and decide things for them when I just want to tell them the truth about what a jerk they are, but instead just smile and hold it in because how will my outburst help them really? 

It was pulling stuff out of fridge to make dinner amidst chaos and realizing I forgot to buy a main ingredient, so instead I make something that of course certain children think is disgusting and they never in their life could handle putting even a drop of it to their lips.

It was one of those days.

So, just before I posted that thought about eardrum pencil piercing, a thought flitted across my mind: “How sad it would be to not be able to hear.”

I was stunned.

I thought about all the things I would miss out on if I couldn’t hear.  The crickets chirping in the summer evenings, the whoosh of the diesel engine of the school bus pulling up telling me my buddies are home, the click of the door opening when my hunk gets home from work, the sizzle of frying butter, the giggle of kids getting tickled, and yes, even the incessant “Mommy, mommy, mommy.”

I am so lucky I can hear.

And I am so lucky to be picking up food off the floor all day long, because it means we have food.

And I am so lucky to have carpet all over the house, even though it is hard to clean, because having a carpet means I have a house, which means when it rains, I stay dry and when it is really hot outside, I stay cool.

And that really annoying washing machine that gets unbalanced every other load and shakes and thumps across the basement floor, leaking water if I don’t sprint to catch and stop it, well, I am really lucky to have that.  It means I have a way to clean my clothes.  In my house.  Without having to do it by hand.  And that I have clothes.  Lots of clothes.

And that tiny bathroom in our house where I slam my hip into the doorknob at least once a day, well, that means we have indoor plumbing and the privacy of a door that locks.  Also, I get the excuse to squeeze around my hubby when we brush our teeth and act like I don’t mean to invade his space. J

And those little kids that stress me out and make me feel completely crazy and tired and stressed and like taking a pencil to my eardrums.  I am really lucky to have them.  Because how lonely I would be without them.  I can have children.  As many as I want.

And I am doubly lucky because I get to stay home all day with them.

Not only that, they want to talk to me.  They want me to watch them.  That feel important when I look at them.  

They love me.

They love me.

Last night I became conscious of the fact that my greatest trials (and I recognize that they are really so trivial and “petty” to others), they are my greatest blessings. 

You can bet that this is about how my prayers went last night,

“Thank you Father, for carpet, for eardrums that work, for tiny bathrooms, my clothes and the ability to clean them, for messy little fingers and a house that looks like a hurricane just went through it no matter how hard I try, and thank you for the people I love most.  Thank you for giving me the life I always wanted.  And thank you for putting up with me complaining about it all the time.  Thank you for being eternally patient.  Please, help me be more like you.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Girls Say Ew and Boys Say Cool

About a year ago I started babysitting two little boys, and then occasionally I would babysit their two older sisters if school got out early or something like that.  Although I am female, very little of my life is spent with other women, and like never with little girls.  So it has been a HUGE learning experience for me.

It also has been a huge learning experience for my boys.  However, they learn differently than me.

What I learn:
-girls are actually very dramatic, people weren't kidding about that
-girls are REALLY bossy and overboard motherly
-they are really picky about smells
-don't leave babies near them unless you want them to be carried by people that aren't big enough.  It doesn't matter the age, girls love babies.
-girls will give you an update of everyone in the whole house every few minutes, so it means you have to check less on the kids
-they care when babies cry, they will bring you the baby to get it to stop crying.  Boys are doers, they plug the pacifier back in and then ignore it.

What my boys learn:
-girls don't like smelly things, so make sure you make the house stink
-don't try to be bossy with girls, it won't work
-they are almost positive about this one: girls love to be bugged
Ways to bug girls: poke them, take their toys, make annoying sounds, stare at them, try to read their diaries, and eat weird food

Yes, babysitting has been very interesting as of late.  I love all the kids I watch and I just adore these little girls.  They make me laugh like crazy.  They are just really different in some ways than what I am used to.

One of the ways my boys torture the girls is by eating their food in gross ways.  And since they can only eat what I give them, they blend them to make...interesting concoctions.  It all started one day when Matthew ate a peanut butter cracker with a raisin on top.  One of the girls said, "Ew, that's gross."  Totally benign in my opinion, but hey, she was probably just trying to bug Matthew.

So then Matthew says, "Girls say ew, but boys say cool."

And so it began.  Now they do the grossest things.  Like eating bananas dipped in ketchup.  Yup, they did that.  I can't think of the other combos right now, but they have been pretty interesting.  So I had to take a picture of Andrew dunking his banana in ketchup...and loving it.  Boys really are weird.  But man, I love them.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Dinner: Mother Tested, Children Approved

I LOVE food.  Like we have one heck of an intense relationship.  Everyone who loves me knows that all I really want for gifts or presents or special moments, I need food.  I don't know what it is, but it is an obsession.  We are working on that, so it simmers to a strong like rather than a NEED every second of every day.

One of those steps is eating healthier.  It is amazing how just one healthy meal can change so much of what you feel.  I don't feel as hungry or cranky, I feel lighter and better about myself.  I am still working on that huge sugar craving right after the meal, but I keep telling myself, the craving is like a mosquito bite.  If I ignore it long enough, I won't notice it is there.  Then maybe I can get to the point where I actually enjoy the treats I eat, rather than shoveling them down to my gut and then not even being able to recall the taste.  It is so sad.

So yeah, but eating healthy meals while having 5 fairly picky kids (they actually are pretty good, but it isn't easy pleasing all of them at every meal).  Tyson is very supportive, but he is a lot like me and would much rather be eating pizza or popcorn.

However, last night we had an AWESOME  meal.  Like for real.  It was stuffed full of veggies, but tasted like a dip, so everyone was happy.  Plus, it was a crock pot meal, so I did all the work (which really is just cutting up a few veggies) in the morning during the baby's nap and then voila, it was done at dinner time.  I heart crock pots, like, so much.

Find this deliciousness in recipe form: HERE

Everyone all actually ate a bowl...which is unheard of, especially for a certain 5 year old that claims soup is disgusting in all forms.  So I had to share in case you are wondering what to cook, how to get your kids or yourself to eat carrots, spinach and tomatoes.  This is the recipe for you.  :)

Andrew even had 3 bowls and kept wanting more...until he licked the bowl clean and in the process got soup in his eye.  Here is proof.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Boat Calling

Joshua: "beep beep beep..ring ring...calling Mom"
Me: cradling my hand (aka my phone) to my ear "Hello?"
J: "Hey Mom!  It's me, Josh."
Me: "Oh hey buddy, how are you?"
J: "I'm good."
Me: "Cool, what are you doing?"
J: "Oh, I'm just packing to go on a trip in my boat."
Me: "Wow, where are you going?"

I look across the room and he is lounging in a giant box filled with pillows, staring at the ceiling talking into a plastic phone.

J: "I think I am going to go visit Martin and Chris, you know, see how they are."

For those of you who don't know, those are the guys from the show Wild Kratts, the boys' favorite show.

Me: "Oh cool, cool, how long are you going to be gone?"
J: "Um probably like 4 days or so."
Me: "Well, do you have enough food packed?"
J: "I have a giant barrel of water, so I'm good there, and we will just catch fish and stuff as we go."
Me: "Don't you need to cook fish?"
J: "No, it's fine."
Me: "Okay, well, that's good, sounds like you have it all planned."
J: "Yup, just wanted to let you know."
Me: "Awesome, well be safe, I love you."
J: "Love you too Mom."

This was probably my favorite part of today.  I haven't been the best about actually playing with my kids.  They entertain each other so well, what do I really need to do when it comes to play time?  But I have been realizing that they are kind of just falling to the background of my life.  I take care of them, but I don't really care for them.  And that should never happen.  So I have been really working on changing that around.
1. Pray for them. I have been praying for them, each of them, by name.
2. Pay attention.  I try to listen to them.  This is super difficult because holy cow, they talk a lot.  In this, I am a work in progress.  A real work in progress.
3. Play with them.  Kids love it when adults, especially their parents spend time to get in their world.  It is hilarious and I love it.  It isn't easy, but I love seeing their giggling faces and knowing that just for a minute, I am their friend.  And maybe as I get better, I will be their friend minute by minute until it is all the time.

That way, they will call me when they are on pretend boats, wishing they were on a boat, or actually on a boat.  I want them to call, "just to let me know."

Friday, July 31, 2015

You Should Never Be Alone

I have a bit of a temper.  What mom that is exhausted and works to clean and cook and clean and cook some more doesn't?  It has been quite a challenge learning to temper it, haha.  But for real, it truly has been quite the task for me.  So why my children can possibly forgive me so quickly for my cranky moments, I have no idea.  They truly are the closest things to perfect beings.  Funny that we have to try to become like we were originally to become perfected isn't?  Be like a little child and all that.

Well, I don't think I have been particularly angry lately, but have had my bouts of cranky.  I have been trying to look at my children when they talk, really hear what they say.  I find it especially difficult because that encourages them to say more, which is wonderful, but also even more exhausting.  But I love it, and am learning to love it enough that I don't tell them to stop talking like I did the first few times.  It isn't easy trying to be better.  :)

Well, anyways, I have been noticing lately that Matthew, my 3 year old, has been kind of attached to me his whole life.  I never noticed it because he isn't clingy or demands my attention too much, he is loud, but kind of under the radar.  Middle child stuff I guess.  But I was looking back on life and realizing just how often he was nearby, not hovering, just nearby.  And he would often say things like, "When I grow up, I am going to live with you Mama, because you need me."  Stuff like that.  Really quite adorable.

Today I was folding clothes and he comes running up and hugs my arm and protectively says, "Mama, don't worry, I'm here."
Me: "Um, thanks Matthew."
M: "Yup, you should never be alone."
Me: "I can be alone Matthew, I'm fine." (I'm thinking, it would be nice to be alone every once in awhile, like when I go to the bathroom for instance)
M: "No, Mama, you are special, you should never be alone."

And then under his breath he berates his older brothers for not doing their duty and leaving my side.  So I am not sure where he got the idea that I need their, I take that back, I do know.  Tyson is very good at teaching them that they are to help me and when he isn't around, they have to be men and be like he would be.  What a gift to have a father that teaches them so well, and for me to have a husband that cares so much that my little boys know that they are to protect their mother.  They are going to make some girls very happy someday.

I wanted to write this down because as little Matthew was gripping my arm today and glancing around like someone might attack me and he had to be ready to save me, I didn't want to forget his little face.  Someday he might forget about how much he loves me now, I hope not, but he will become a teenager and tough and probably with those dimples, quite popular.  It might be easy to forget about mom.  But I want to remember that he never wanted me alone.  Maybe so I can remind him and torture him, but also, so I can look back and smile as I think about these days where I am never alone.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Twilight Velvet

Tonight the sky is deep blue in color, I think I would name it twilight velvet, and the moon is almost rounded and full and shining it's white light as the cicadas lull you in which their constant hum.  The moisture in the air is enough to make your skin feel sticky, but not so much so that you feel like you are breathing water.  It is nights like this that make me feel like writing, like a poet again.

And then I walk back in my home to check on my little ones and they looked like they collapsed mid-charades, which they probably did.  Their limbs either flop over their bodies or are draped over pillows or dangling off the mattress.  Their little faces are so round and soft when they are still.  It is so different from when they are awake and the constant chatter almost numbs my brain.  It is then that I barely see them because they never hold still and I am constantly multi-tasking: cleaning dishes, prepping meals, answering questions, glancing up just in time to "watch this Mama!," remembering to change that poopy diaper before he gets a rash or before we all die from the fumes.  It is nice sometimes for my heart to stop my brain and body just long enough to catch the special moments, the ones I know I won't want to forget.

Like my little Joshua, who is so not little anymore, crouched on the floor of his room, flipping through a book and muttering to himself.  About ten other books are cascaded around him and I wonder what on earth he is thinking or doing.  Then he glances up and gets this adorable grin with his hilarious giant front teeth that are slightly crooked and gapped.  His eyes are smiling too and they are just filled with love and happiness.  I know he knows I love him, but I tell him anyway.

I think of my Creator, the one who made my children, and me, and the cicadas and the beautiful night sky.  How good He is.  Then that reminds me of Caleb's question to me today:

C: "Mom, if dinosaurs existed for a really long time before people did, but Jesus made the Earth and then right after that put Adam and Eve on it, how does that work?"

I told him that I had no idea, I had wondered that too, but that if Heavenly Father really wanted him to know, then Caleb should pray about it and Heavenly Father would tell him.  And Josh was wise enough to add,

J: "But then you need to listen, so you can hear his answer."

I think I taught them, but I know I learn more from them that I have learned from anyone else in my lifetime.  I love my children.  I love the evening sky.  And I love God.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Birds and The Bees

My boys are getting old.  It is bizarre how fast diapers, feeding, constant care turns into sports, hikes, eating, smelly feet, and giggling about fart noises and burping.  It is disgusting, but completely hilarious at the same time.  I love my boys.  It is bitter-sweet for sure to see them growing up so fast.

With all the growth spurts and the quick paced world we live in, I know it is only a matter of time before my boys have friends or they will hear in school or TV or something about sex.  And I didn't want them to not know about it from us first, the way it is supposed to be taught.  I have been thinking about it a lot lately, especially with gay marriage being legalized.  How can I teach them about that and how that fits (well doesn't fit) in the Lord's commandments, if they don't even understand the basics first?

I counseled with my husband about what to do, and he said, "let's talk to them about it."  I am freaking out, probably getting ulcers about it, wanting to do tons of research on how to say it best.  Thankfully I married the best man out there.  It was no big deal.  After our bedtime routine, he sent the younger three to bed so that we could talk to the older two.  It was the cutest thing, seeing my older boys perched around their dad, listening so intently to everything he had to teach them.

Tyson explained how our bodies are sacred and how we have special parts that Heavenly Father gave us so we can make babies.  We need a guy and a girl to make a baby.  We (okay he did, I was still freaking out inside) taught them about the technical terms:

T: "Us boys, our sacred part is called a penis.  And girls have special parts called a vagina, uterus and ovaries."
C: "Kind of like overalls?"
T: "Um, no, nothing like overalls, but good try."

(In case you are wondering, we laughed a lot.  It is so easy to not be too serious with these boys.  It is difficult to not get too giggly, but we did pretty good.)

We also discussed when and with who using our special parts was okay.

T: "So we use our special parts to make babies.  Can you guys think of when it is not okay to use our special parts?"
C: "Like, at a dance?"
T: "Very good, we wouldn't want to do that at a dance."
J: "At a restaurant?"
T: (trying to gulp for air he is laughing so hard) "Very good, I never would have thought of that.  For sure not at a restaurant. When else?"
C: "At a store?"
T: "Yes, yes, very good." pause to get control of himself "What I was getting at is that we only use our special parts when we are married and with the person we are married to."

We also talked about how boys can marry boys and girls can marry girls, but Heavenly Father has taught us that marriage is only between a man and a woman.  That way children can be born into a family that has a dad and a mom that love them and take care of them and teach them to do what is right.  These people aren't bad, they are just making some bad decisions.

T: "Some people like people that are the same.  Like some boys like boys.  Josh, I think you like girls right?"
J: "Oh, I like girls.  Yes, I like girls." (with a giant goofy grin)
T: "And Caleb, you like girls because you have a girlfriend right?"
C: "Yup, I don't have more than one girlfriend yet, because I haven't found another one yet."
T: "Hmmm, yeah, you will."

(Obviously, I have more to teach them about how we should only have one girlfriend at a time, but I don't think single dating should start yet...)

It was a very interesting conversation and I am so amazed by how intelligent yet simple Tyson handled it all.  The boys had some questions but weren't shocked and totally grossed out.  I think it was a success.  The Lord's plan for us is so perfect.  I love that my littles have their daddy to help them and teach them and train them.  I want my boys to learn what the Lord wants them to do, then pray about it and act how they feel they should.  I hope their questions, which will come all too soon, will be something I can answer.  I need to make sure I am capable of being humble enough I can hear what the Lord wants me to say.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fortune Telling

Josh and Caleb are sitting at the table coloring and I overhear this:

Josh: Caleb, what are eating for breakfast tomorrow?
Caleb: um, I don't know.
Josh: Heavenly Father knows!

It is hilarious how the boys apply gospel learning into their life. So what are you eating for your next meal? :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mom, What's Adultery?

Often I have been telling people that I reached the "acceptance" phase of grief.  And it is a silly thing to grieve over, not having a girl.  I am in no way sad about having another boy though.  The other night, I went to go rub little Caleb's head because he is my snuggly touchy feely kid and must have attention from me at bedtime, or usually an hour or two past bedtime.  You know how that goes.

 Well, I went back to their bedroom (all four of them sleep in the same room, it really works great even if it is insane sometimes) and the three older ones were laying on the floor all in a row, and totally asleep (well, Caleb was too five seconds into the head massage).  Andrew was just a few feet away in his crib, probably fell asleep wishing he could have been on the floor too.  And I just sat there and stared at them all.  All these boys.  They are such good friends, all sprawled out like baby tiger brothers.  They are my boys and I can't wait to see all five of them fast asleep with these little slumber parties (which consist of playing pirates and yelling and screaming and jumping until I finally yell at them and then 10 seconds later they are all passed out looking perfectly angelic).

So I have really been soaking up my renewed mom happiness.  It is funny how you realize you haven't been particularly happy with your life and you think, "What the heck is wrong with me?" and the Lord blesses you with a shift in perspective and you see life through a grateful light.  It is a much better way to see the world.

Well, my Joshua is renowned for his curiosity and the massive amounts of questions he asks about EVERYTHING.  He really is a carbon copy of his daddy, but with his own special flare.  And Caleb, although not in the same way, is also very curios and interested in learning new things.  I find them asking me lots and lots of questions lately.  Most of them I have no idea how to answer.  But I try.

There has been a few families that we know that have gotten divorced in the past year or so, and between that and Josh learning about the ten commandments at church, the topic and marriage and how it falls apart has been a lot on Josh's mind the past week.  It makes me happy that Tyson and I are so happy and secure in our marriage that the boys cannot possibly understand the word divorce and why you wouldn't stay married.  But it also makes it really hard to explain.

For example, one of our friends just got remarried.  I was excited for their happiness and so I mentioned it to the boys how their friend had a new dad.  It didn't go over well.

Josh: "Mom, why would they have a new dad?  What happened to their old one?  I thought he just moved.  I don't understand.  How do you just get a new dad?"

Then later.

Josh: "Mom, what's adultery?"
Me: "Uh, where did you hear about that?"
Caleb muttering: "adultery.  adult-ery.  adulllll-tary."
Josh: "It is one of the commandments.  Thou shalt not commit adultery.  I figure it is something only adults have to worry about since it is adult-tree.  Is it something about adults and trees?  Can adults not have trees?"
Me: "Oh no, adultery is just a word, it doesn't have anything to do with trees.  It means that you need to always be faithful to your spouse, like your husband or your wife."
Josh: "What does that mean?"
Me: "Faithful?  Oh it means....(looking at his face I realize he doesn't really know about sex, so that would freak him out way too much) means you only kiss your husband or your wife.  Adultery means you kiss someone that isn't your spouse."
Josh looks horrified: "WHY WOULD SOMEONE DO THAT?!"
Caleb (who also looks stunned and shocked, but also a little smug like he would never make that mistake): "When I'm married, I'm never having adultery."

The conversation went on for much longer than that, but that was for sure the highlight.  I am so thankful that my boys can't imagine me and Tyson ever wanting anyone other than each other, because I don't ever see that happening either.  Not saying we are perfect, but we work really hard at making our marriage great and there is no one in the world as wonderful and nice and patient as my Tyson guy.  He really is and becomes even more so every day, my perfect fit.  So although it is awkward and I worry I don't always teach the right things, I am thankful that my little ones challenge my knowledge of the universe and the principles that I try to live by.

What a wonderful gift to raise boys.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Adam, Eve and Steve

Every night we read scriptures with the boys.  We usually read a column a night since their attention spans can't take much more yet.  It is really fun to explain the stories with the boys and have them learn about the different prophets and hear their testimonies. 

A few nights ago we were reading about Alma and Amulek teaching about our spirits and our bodies and how the Atonement saves us not only from physical death, but also from spiritual death if we repent. 

Tyson and I try really hard to keep things spiritual, but with four little boys, things don't usually go down like that.  Tyson is also really great at helping the boys understand and apply the scriptures to themselves.  So this is kind of how the conversation was going:

Tyson: "Okay guys, how many times can we die?"
Older boys: "2!"
Matthew: "Oh, yeah, 2!"
Tyson: "And what are those ways?"
Older boys: "Our body and our spirit."
Tyson: "Good, and what are some ways our bodies can die?"

Well the boys LOVE this question because well, they are boys, and therefore horribly gruesome.  I guess it is just born in them.  Their usual answers have been, "poked with swords," "drowning," "burned alive," you know stuff like that.  Well during this whole scripture reading time, Andrew was surprisingly quiet and it was because he had found the iPad and was pushing the on and off button over and over again.  It is mostly because he loves to hear Siri's voice.  Well, he had pushed down on the button and it was recording what was being said, and it just happened to be for Tyson's last question.  So before any of the boys could give their horrific answers, Siri says:

"Oh, that is a great questions, here are some ways our bodies can die."

It was great to have Siri join our scripture reading experience, too.  :)

Then a few minutes later, we were talking about the Garden of Eden.

Tyson: "Who was in the garden of Eden?"
Caleb: "Oh, I know!  Some guy..."
Tyson: "Well, there was Adam and Eve (and then of course because Tyson has to add in something funny) and Steve."
Caleb: "Oh yeah, Steve, that is his name."
Tyson: "Caleb, who is Steve?"
Caleb: "You know, the snake."

We sadly had to explain that the snake was actually Satan, but we thought calling him Steve was funnier.  So just so you know, Adam, Eve and Steve were all there in the beginning.

Scripture reading may someday be spiritual and a great learning place for our kids and us, but for now we are just striving for consistency.  And hopefully the good stuff sinks in to their little spirits.  It can be really funny, really frustrating and such a blessing to have this time as a family.  You should try it out, great memories are made.  :)

Siri "here are some ways our bodies can die:"

Adam and Eve and was Steve in the garden too? Yes! He was? He was the snake!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Life is Fair

Life really is the most fascinating thing.  The most common phrase I probably said as a kid was "it's not fair!" because life so rarely seems fair.  And I can totally tell my boys feel that way often.  It is hard to make things fair for them.  Even splitting a cookie so perfectly in fourths is the challenge of a lifetime. 
"He got more than me!"
"His piece has more chocolate chips than mine!"
"It's not fair because he had three cookies earlier and I only had two!"

Who know how it goes.  Then of course there is the additional they are different ages so things really don't seem fair.  Josh can stay up later sometimes and it is okay, but the others are still too little.  Or Caleb gets a treat for doing his reading lessons, but Josh feels that is unfair because he doesn't have lessons to do, because he already did them all.  But I don't know how to make that fair.  He already did them, he already got the treats a year ago.  But it probably really does feel unfair to him now, so I totally get how he feels.

Life is like that for adults too, but we are like kids, it is hard for us to see how things are actually really quite fair.  It is hard to break life up like a cookie, God has a hard job to help us see that things are fair.  Some get some things, some get other things, and they come at different times, some are more grateful than others so they feel like they get more than the other person that is less grateful even though they actually have "less."  I don't know how He puts up with all our whining all day long and not take everything away.  Because that is totally my fall back.  "You think this is unfair?!  Fine, you get nothing!  Now you know the meaning of unfair!"  Yup, totally don't know how he doesn't take everything away, every day.  He really is infinitely patient.

Tyson and I LOVE our boys.  They are adorable and crazy and full of life and spontaneous and terrifying.  They make us laugh and cry and pull our hair out and gasp for breath and cringe and plug our noses, they are our lives.  But it is hard to not want what you don't have.  It is plastered all around us.  Cute little bows and frills and daddy-daughter dances, the way you see the Dad's melt when they reach up and take their hand.  There are the ADORABLE shoes and the cutesy names and nail painting parties.  Not to mention making a little person that actually looks like you and acts like you, whether that is a good thing or not.  :)  It is hard not to want it.  Tyson and I really want a girl.

So with each pregnancy we keep thinking, this one has got to be a she.  Each time I try harder and harder not to daydream.  But those blasted thoughts sneak past my defenses and little glimpses of a tiny person sitting in front of me letting my play with her hair will hover in my dreams.  I don't know how to explain it without sounding like I don't want my boys or don't love them.  It isn't that at all.  No weddings to plan, and all the babies my boys' wives have, I will be the mother-in-law, the one that isn't right there when things happen, the "other" mom.  That is a wonderful job and I am really close to my mom-in-law, but she knows too, her own daughters are different than me.  It just isn't the same.  And every girl knows that there is nothing quite like your own mom there.  Your own mom can say things and do things for you no one else can. 

Everyone tells me, "be so thankful because girls are so much drama," "boys are so much easier," "girls cost so much," it goes on and on.  But people wouldn't keep them if they weren't worth it.  And why is it that some couples and families want so much for a boy and keep having girls, when there are people like us that so want a girl and keep having boys?  Why are their couples that want so desperately to just have a baby but never can, when there are tons of unwanted babies born all the time?  Why are there people that struggle with health and breathing and would give anything to be without sickness, when others are so healthy even though they take horrible care of themselves?  Can you see why it is hard to see life as fair?

But it is!  I don't know why we keep seeing this image on the ultrasound:

I don't know why I don't appreciate more when there are people that would give anything to have an ultrasound!  Or live in a place that had this kind of technology so their children could have a greater chance of actually surviving.  It is so easy to get caught up in our little bubbles of the piece of cookie that is ours and only see all the other cookies given out, when we don't notice how awesome our cookie is or how great it tastes or how maybe it will be our last so just enjoy it. 

So, yes, as much as I fought it, I so wanted to find out today that I was going to have a mini me, a little Cami, a girl for my sweet Tyson to have wrapped around his finger.  Oh I SO wanted that.  I have a whole box just full of little girl ribbons and bows and cute dresses and books that I was so excited to share with my own daughter.  Knowing I won't get that is heart breaking.  The chance of me being able to go through pregnancy again is really slim.  This time has been hard enough and I am only halfway through.

But God knows everything.  He knows the whole picture.  He knows what I need, He knows how blessed I am to have the piece of the cookie I have.  And I am SO blessed.  Why he trusts me with boys, I doubt I will ever know.  I still remember the first time I tried to help Josh pee in the toilet and I just about died.  I know so little about the priesthood and scouts and boys emotions and anatomy and the way they think.  I am completely in shock and terrified most days at their need to create fires and war scenes and weapons and farting and burping and display their buggers or tell me about their poop.  What the heck am I doing with boys?  But He knows.  And He apparently trusts me.  Not with just one, but with five.  Five.  Five boys.  I am going to be a mom to five boys.  That is a huge responsibility.  It scares the crap out of me.

But maybe it is because there are so few guys like Tyson.  What a man.  And what a man to teach them how to be men.  So few boys out there have great role models and my boys have the best. 

If you find yourself also surrounded by boys and a little daunted or reluctant at the task, maybe this will help.  My mom sent me a list of the top ten reason to have five boys, here are some of my favorites:
-easy for hand-me-downs
-no special bedroom arrangements are needed
-I'll never have to pay for a wedding
-I have 20 years of people complementing me on my courage
-I should be able to get a mileage out of the "I need some girl time" excuse to get out of the house
-I will never have to mow the lawn or change a tire
-Tyson will never have to buy a gun :)
-My makeup and jewelry will always be my own

She is pretty awesome huh?  So I have a lot to be grateful for and I really am, so grateful.  I just have to shut that box away for awhile until I am ready to give that stuff away.  And then be done and move on. So I may not ever get to have girls nights with my own girls, but that's okay.  There are plenty of things to make up for that.  Like the fact that I have yet again to go stop my boys from playing some mash up of spider man and pirates and minecraft and get them to lay down in their beds, again, so there won't be any ER trips tonight.  Because we all know we have a lot of those in our future.  I will consider it a miracle if we don't.  :)

So in case you didn't figure it out, we got an ultrasound for baby #5 today and he is adorable.  His little feet were kicking and he was yawning and stretching, less than two pounds of perfection.  So we are very blessed with that.  I know I have moments of whining and wallowing, but I am trying to look up and say "Thank you Father for this wonderful life that you have given me.  Sorry I don't always see everything great about it and I am often jealous of others, but I am so very thankful."

I will just keep looking at this picture and that helps me see how perfect life is.