Month: November 2018

Job chart revisions, again and forever

Job chart revisions, again and forever

This fall we all downloaded a great app for doing jobs. “How’d that work for you?” “I didn’t.” (BTW, I just noticed the total numbers are wrong at the bottom of the chart after I revised it. LOL. Guess I will fix those!) It really 

The Little Red Car (NOT free)

The Little Red Car (NOT free)

My sister-in-law called me today asking for some book recommendations for a toddler for Christmas. I told her I wish I could find a copy of The Little Red Car by K.K. Ross, which was Sarah’s favorite when she was tiny. It was so loved that 

BOOK (free)

BOOK (free)

If you sign up for free on familius.com–a publishing company whose mission is to help families be happy–you get a free children’s e-book, Book. Now I don’t prefer e-books to tangible books that you can smell and hold in your hands and hear the sound of turning pages, but Book is a delightful reminder of the wonderful gift that paper books are: you don’t have to charge them, they can’t get viruses, and they can magically transport us again and again to “a place that only you can imagine.”

I love that thought: no one’s imagination of what a story looks like in their heads is quite the same as any one else’s!

Familius prints some really wonderful books. I recommend taking a look! (Plus, you get a free e-book each month!)

(Note: I don’t advertise on my blog. Anything I recommend is simply because I think it will help strengthen women, children, or families.)

To learn other ways to get free books, go here. (Or visit your local library!)

Sugar-free, savory sloppy joes with sugary homemade rootbeer and homemade doughnuts

Sugar-free, savory sloppy joes with sugary homemade rootbeer and homemade doughnuts

Last Friday, Anna wanted homemade rootbeer, Peter wanted homemade doughnuts, and I wanted sloppy joes without ketchup in them. We made all three, and Anna ended up going to a play and not getting to be home for the rootbeer. Peter headed out to a 

Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice

Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice

Today I began to fulfill one of my dreams, the Raising Amazing Children Friendship Library Project. This project involves sharing books we have loved found inspiring that we want to share with others. I feel so happy! I feel the same kind of satisfaction I 

The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth

The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth

Once upon a time I gave birth to Sarah. I had wanted a natural childbirth, but only attended one Lamaze class with Lane. We were young, busy college students and didn’t go back.

One class wasn’t enough preparation to deliver naturally. My water broke, and Sarah was posterior, causing discomfort with the back labor during contractions. After some time, I asked the nurse if I could have something to help with the pain that wasn’t an epidural. She said I could try “Nubain,” a narcotic that caused me to be so sleepy that I could hardly stay awake. I hated it.

Feeling drugged

I was able to deliver Sarah after nearly 8 hours of active labor (including more than 2 hours of pushing). I decided that the way I felt during this birth experience due to the medication was not one I wanted to repeat. I set out to learn more.

I went to the library and checked out whatever I could find on childbirth. I learned about something called a “doula,” or childbirth coach. Then I learned that Lane’s cousin, who was studying to become a midwife, was a doula. We contacted her, and she generously offered to be our doula for free!

Finding a doula

My second childbirth experience was so much more empowering! I had read quite a bit and was more mentally prepared. When Nathan came 9 days late, and my water broke again, I was ready to have Marianne guide me through the experience. She did a phenomenal job helping me with guided visualization and other techniques, and Baby Nate was born about 4 hours later. I left the hospital just 12 hours later, feeling so much better and so much happier!

When I was pregnant with Julia, I hired a doula who helped me through all but one of the rest of my pregnancies and childbirths. (She was out of town for Anna’s birth, but had a wonderful back-up doula that we loved as well.) I also attended natural childbirth classes. Over time, I was able to have 5 natural childbirths. The other two births (my fourth and sixth births) were an emergency C-section and another back labor, that I decided I did NOT want to do without some relief. I had epidurals for both.

Training to become a doula

When I was pregnant with Rebecca, I decided to train to become a doula. That was also a wonderful experience. During that training, I discovered this book, The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin, which I have lent to multiple expectant mothers over the years. It is a wonderful resource to help a woman learn what she can to do have a better birth experience, including how, with the help of another person (husband, doula, friend, etc.) alleviate some of the pain of childbirth and deal with the stress involved in this beautiful yet intense experience.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I am not against epidurals! I just believe that if you don’t need medication, why take the risk and spend hundreds of dollars for something you don’t need?

Learn more; become empowered

Knowledge really is power. I encourage all new (or not new) expectant mothers to learn more about pregnancy and childbirth and actively plan how they can have a positive birth experience. I believe that sharing this book as part of our Friendship Library Project can help more mothers do just that.

If you receive this book from a friend as part of the RACFLP, we’d love to hear what you think! Please comment below. If you’d like, please tell us in which state or country you live. If the comment form below doesn’t work, you are welcome to email me: liz (at) raisingamazingchildren.com. Thank you!

Over and Over by Charlotte Zolotow

Over and Over by Charlotte Zolotow

When Lane was a child, his mother read this book to him. I think when we got married and had Sarah, Lane’s mother gave us a copy. It has been read and enjoyed so much that it was falling apart. I was delighted to find 

Do you have to smile when you feel sad?

Do you have to smile when you feel sad?

I substitite taught in a first grade classroom this week. One child asked me why I was smiling. I responded to her question with “Because I’m happy!” She asked me if we have to smile when we are sad, and I told her no. I 

Everyday strong, together

Everyday strong, together

I liked this video and these thoughts that I received from one of our schools today, from United Way of Utah County, that if we can meet the needs of our children, they will thrive. Needs include not only physical, but emotional needs as well.

They suggest asking this one questions everyday:

What can I do to help my child feel safe, connected, and confident today?

Here is the Everyday Strong Resilience booklet that United Way produced that you can download with more information on how to nurture your children to help them feel safe, connected and confident. What a great resource!

And here are some of my thoughts on the topic:

I think that creating a home where the Holy Ghost can dwell helps answer those great questions. If the Holy Ghost is in our home, then there is peace. There is love. People feel loved, calm, safe–all things that help us feel safe, connected, and confident.

The Holy Ghost can be in our home when we are trying to live the gospel of Jesus Christ:

  • Praying together (as a family, parents and child, or siblings, husband and wife)
  • Singing together
  • Eating together
  • Working together
  • Playing together
  • Studying the scriptures together
  • Resolving problems together
  • Serving together
  • Learning together
  • Repenting together
  • Worshipping together
  • Exercising together

I notice that TOGETHER is the key word in all of those activities!

Last night was Family Night, and so we did a little service activity. I noticed that everyone was happier when we came home than when we left. It’s that simple! It didn’t take any preparation except a few texts. We gathered what we had, went and shared and visited, and came home.

I had many individually connecting times this past week that strengthened my relationships with my children and husband and helped us all feel safer, more connected and more confident: going to lunch with Peter; driving up to Salt Lake with Anna to visit Sarah and attend the temple together; swimming and running with Lane; talking together in the car after church with Eliza; going to a musical with Rebecca; going on a date with Lane; listening to and enjoying a song that Peter wrote that he shared with me after school; watching a musical with Peter, Eliza and Lane; crying over the phone to Lane as I encountered a challenge; making homemade rootbeer, sloppy joes, and doughnuts with Eliza; emailing back and forth with Julia from her mission; reading a paper of Nate’s for school; texting back and forth with Sarah about Bryan Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy; chatting with Rebecca on the phone about the future; praying over the phone as a family with Lane when he was out of town.

All of these daily occurrences bring us opportunities to connect, to help each other feel loved and safe. Of course we can do better, but I think the main idea is that when we watch out for each other and interact with love and respect, these kinds of daily occurrences help our children feel safe, connected, and confident. It doesn’t take any special training. We just have to keep trying to be like the Savior in the way we listen, are calm, positive, praising, wait patiently, help gently, assume the best, etc. It’s the Christlike attributes and actions that make all the difference in the world!

The Living Christ Memorization: Update (and 2 week review chart)

The Living Christ Memorization: Update (and 2 week review chart)

Our family finished memorizing “The Living Christ” document over fall break. Some of us are still getting the words in our heads, and so until December 25, we will be reviewing each paragraph–one paragraph per day–as well as reciting the entire document in 2 week