Month: March 2016

What a sweet sixteen!

What a sweet sixteen!

Reposted from July 2010. So much changes in 6 years! Two other daughters have turned “sweet sixteen” since then… Would you like to know what turning “Sweet Sixteen” meant for Sarah? It meant celebrating her birthday for a whole week with desserts I think every 

Building a musical legacy

Building a musical legacy

Today our school orchestra and choir recorded the song “We’re Building a Musical Legacy” that I and Nathan Hoffeins wrote a couple of years ago. We recorded it so that the rest of the school can learn it to sing all together for the school Art 

Did the Easter Bunny Come?

Did the Easter Bunny Come?

When my husband and I got to church and sat down in the pew behind our son, Peter, who was helping to pass the sacrament, he turned to us and said his friend wanted to know if the Easter Bunny came to our house this morning.

After an inital answer and some thought, I told Peter, “No, the Easter Bunny didn’t come.”

When our children were little, I didn’t want to tell them things that weren’t true or that seemed ridiculous to me. (In saying this, I don’t mean to offend anyone who enjoys our United States holiday traditions.) People dressed up in bunny suits always seemed a little frightening to me! I wanted something different for them. I wanted the focus of our holiday to be on the Savior. So when it came time for Easter, our traditions have included an egg hunt on Saturday, reviewing the events that happened around the atonement, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and a new Sunday outfit for our children, which we laid out on our bed Sunday morning. We taught them that the new clothing was to remind them of the resurrection, and how

“On resurrection morning, I’ll take my body bright

And in celestial glory forever live in light.”  (“The Lord Gave Me a Temple,” Children’s Songbook, p.153)
We do have some household decorations of eggs and even some bunnies in a musical water globe that plays “Easter Parade” that we were given one year. But we tried focus our activities on why we celebrate Easter: to rejoice in what Jesus Christ did for us so we can overcome death and sin and be an eternal family. I put out children’s stories that tell about Jesus and his love and gifts for us.
This month has been so busy. We haven’t really had time to look much for Easter dresses, and as the month went along, the children had different needs besides new Sunday attire. They understand about our limited clothing budget, and so they are practical and helpful in their attitudes. There weren’t sadness when we didn’t have a new Easter dress or shirt and tie and argyle socks in spring colors. I was really touched at their flexibility and maturity.  We also didn’t boil and dye eggs or have Easter candy.  Even though these are fun traditions, the children are older and had been focusing together on other special and important activities such as a family bridal shower.
Attending church today really helped us to think about the Savior. Our church choir director had worked so hard to invite members of all ages to help with sacrament meeting. Five Primary children narrated a nearly all-music sacrament meeting. There were solos and a violin-cello trio and choir numbers all about the Savior, his atonement and the resurrection. The talk at the end about the Savior helped me to feel close to the Lord and encouraged me as I deal with my personal challenges. It was so Spirit-filled, so peace-giving. It was one of my favorite Easter Sundays ever!
When we got home, we worked together to get dinner in the oven and our special meal prepared. Then my mom came over and we visited and ate together. During dinner, everyone answered two questions: first, what is one reason the atonement and resurrection are important to you? After we had gone around the table and everyone had answered, we asked each person to share their favorite scripture about the Savior. It was such a sweet experience hearing each child and parent share, that I hope we can do this every year. We did have one Easter candy on each plate: a Reese’s peanut butter egg. We definitely enjoyed it!
And you know what? I really loved Easter this year! It was simple. It was peaceful. It was satisfying.
It was enough.
The Easter Bunny didn’t come. But Christ did. And that made all the difference. It made a difference to me, when I woke up feeling overwhelmed by some of the challenges we face personally and prayed for strength before going to church. After my meetings, I didn’t forget our troubles. I just had perspective on them again, and courage to press forward, having felt again in my heart and remembering in my mind that the Savior has been through everything and will help me through what I need to go through. I felt renewed. I felt happy. That made all the difference to me today.
Hallelujah!
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matt. 18:20)

(The Young Women in our ward sang this in our sacrament meeting today. They sang it beautifully, as does this darling 3 year old.)

 (Sorry that most of the paragraphs in this post are stuck together. I can’t get there to be spacing between the lines. Hmmm. I need to learn some html or something so I can fix stuff like this….)

On braces, trust, and wheat and sugar

On braces, trust, and wheat and sugar

Reposted from October 20, 2008. I dropped Sarah off at the orthodontist. I have the worst record at the orthodontist for a single family missing more appointments. May I explain that it doesn’t seem to matter how many notes I have made or if my 

Snapshots in time

Snapshots in time

The children looked so young back in 2010. Because they were! Oh my! (They are all 2 years apart, except for the two oldest. But these were posted in the fall, after 3 of them had had birthdays. Ironically, they turn in order, like dominoes.) 

While You Were Blogging and Prelude to a Nap

While You Were Blogging and Prelude to a Nap

This post just makes me laugh! Distracted mother. Reposted from my old blogspot blog, October 19, 2008.

While I was finishing my blog about the 5K from yesterday, the children were painting a poster for Grandpa who is in a very nondescript room in the hospital. Anna wanted to keep painting after the others left. I needed more blog time. “I want to paint my fingernails,” she asked. “Yeah, yeah, sure, whatever,” I said absently.

For tired young moms out there! Reposted from September 19, 2008.

I have just finished toweling dry the last bowl from lunch when Anna dances in. “I’m hungry,” she announces. “We just ate,” I reply. Eying the Top Ramen packages sitting on the counter, she declares, “I want soup.” “Sorry,” I tell her, “We’re not having that kind of of soup right now.” My response doesn’t bother her a bit: “Yep. That’s what I want.” I laugh, because is the most cheerfully unsatisfied customer ever.

I walk over to the computer, because it is moments like these that are so funny to me, and I want to remember them. Anna lays down on the floor and asserts, energetically: “I want to watch a movie!”

Me: “Why don’t you go choose a book you want me to read before your nap?”

A: “I want to watch a movie!”

I ignore Anna for a minute while I type. If she weren’t so cute and if she didn’t have the tiniest little voice and such an entertaining manner, I might lose patience right about now. Lucky for her! But I just have to laugh at how children this age work.

Me: “Would you like a banana or would you like to just go upstairs for your nap without a story?”

A: “I want to read a book.”

Me: “OK, why don’t you go choose one.”

A: “I want you to!”

So I pick out four favorites (AlphabaticsFive Minutes PeaceJoseph Had a Little Overcoat, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear). When we get to the end of Joseph, Anna asks if we can sing the song. We go over to the piano, and soon she has told me to stop and is asking to play it herself, which she does, crooning her delightful, impromptu little nonsensical tune. I laugh and laugh. She asks me to point with the pencil and then mark it off on her sister’s practice page. Oh, she is my carefully observant Anna.

We finish reading and on our way out the family room, she calls for a banana. I oblige, knowing she won’t sleep hungry.

She opens the banana herself, eats it up at the counter, then walks while swinging her hips over to her bike by me. “I finished my mana.” I had better finish typing this, because I can see she is getting a second wind. I better swoop her up to her nap quick! Ah! I am taking too long typing, and she has disappeared to the dollies. She reappears: “I have my baby” and lays her head on my lap. Now I’ve got to seize this moment!

 

 

Sidebar quotes, blogspot

Sidebar quotes, blogspot

I loved putting up quotes from my children on the sidebar of my old blogspot blog. (The first 8 quotes are the ones that were there when I stopped blogging on blogspot, and the rest are from previous quote posts). If you don’t already write down things 

From back when it all began

From back when it all began

On my birthday in 2006–I think that was the year–, I had an idea for a website: one in which moms could share ideas that would help them with raising their children. The idea came on the coat tails of an experience I had with 

100 posts and mortal experience

100 posts and mortal experience

sad missionary familyI was just looking at my messy laptop, covered with photos that I had pulled off of iPhoto to upload here a couple of months ago that I haven’t had time to post about. I opened up a few. I found this one from Nate’s mission departure at the SLC airport.

Contrast it with this one, from his return:happy missionary family

It made me wonder what farewells in heaven are like. Are there family members who weep when someone is sent to earth? I know that there is rejoicing upon their return.

There are a lot of analogies that are easier for me to contemplate after the experience of having a child leave for a significant time and return home. I can empathize in the tiniest way with how Heavenly Father might feel about us leaving and returning home.

Once, when my step-father was dying, he asked Lane to give him a priesthood blessing. In that blessing was a special part about how Heavenly Father was so excited to see him and had missed him so much. I was very touched to hear those very personal words. I hope Doug doesn’t mind me sharing that. I don’t think he would. I think he would want people to know that no matter how young or old we grow, or where we are in our spiritual maturity, we are still children to our Heavenly Father, and He knows us individually and loves us unconditionally, individually, and immensely. I felt that during that blessing.

I’m grateful for all of the experiences, both sweet and difficult, that we get by being a part of a family. Making home a part of heaven is a great journey. “The home is where we are nurtured and where we prepare ourselves for living in mortality. It is also where we prepare ourselves for death and for immortality because of our belief and understanding that there is life after death, not only for the individual but also for the family” (Robert D. Hales, “The Eternal Family”). I have tasted so much already about conception, birth, pain, challenge, love, growth, patience, happiness, sadness, and death. I know I’ve only tasted a very thin sliver of the collective human experience, but I’m grateful for what I’ve had. I’m so grateful I got to come to earth, that my parents chose to have me. What a gift it is to be alive!

There’s so much I wish I had time to write about! I write 100 posts in a month in my head, but I only have time to type out a few. I wasn’t even planning to write this one, but I’m glad I got that little memory recorded. Life is sacred. It’s worth remembering.

What happens in your house

What happens in your house

I was just skimming over the news from yesterday. As I was digesting a few unpleasant morsels about Super Tuesday, a quote from Barbara Bush came to mind: “Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the