Monday, October 25, 2010

Gotta Love that Mikey

We're driving to church yesterday, on a beautiful winding road lined with autumn-colored trees. I was enjoying the view, and the rare peace within the car, when I heard Mikey share my reverence for nature's beauty. He said, "We sure are lucky to have so many trees..." (I was thinking, "Awww, what a sweet thought")
" that we can get lots and lots of paper!"

Way to be practical, Mikey.


A truly successful day, by my standards, is when I haul a basket of laundry to the basement, wash and dry that laundry, then fold AND put away all the said laundry...before any more laundry piles up on the floor where the basket should be!!

Let's just say, I have not experienced success in a long, LONG time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Best $3 Ever Spent

Trevor loves anything with wheels: cars, motorcycles, tractors and busses. He calls them all the same thing: "Kaa". Lately he's developed a greater love for busses because we walk his big brothers to the bus every morning and pick them up in the afternoon. And Trev gets to see lots of city busses driving around (and he squeals "Kaa! Kaa!" from the backseat every time we see one). I found the Score of all kid-toy-scores a couple weeks ago at a consignment store: a Little Tykes Bus, complete with passengers and battery-operated sounds. Trev has been inseparable with the bus ever since I bought it (over 2 weeks ago).

At the dinner table...

Along the lines of Trevor loving anything with wheels, he was thrilled to discover that his PJ's can hold several cars.

At a recent apple orchard visit, Trev wasn't at all interested in the apple-sampling or the warm apple turnovers. He ran right up to the tractor-trailer, sat down, and waited until it was time to go on the tractor ride. Mind you, he's never been here before, but he instinctively knew that the tractor ride was for him!

Date With Mikey

Mikey loves Kindergarten, but like his older brother, the transition to full-time school hasn't been entirely smooth. It's pretty exhausting for this tough-guy, and we've had our share of meltdowns after school. I felt like so many of our interactions were negative (me disciplining him, or prodding him to hurry up for school), and I've missed cuddling up with him to read or talk every day; there just isn't always time after school when we have homework, extracurriculars, and a 7 pm bedtime. So when I heard about a "free Friday" at the "local" (1 hr away) zoo, I jumped at the chance to have a date with Mikey. I took him out of school early and headed out to see the animals. We had a lovely time. Lots of giggles and cuddles. I'll cherish this date for a long time (especially during those "meltdown" moments!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mikey's Gone Pro

We had one of Jaron's friends over for dinner the other day, and he was admiring Jaron's handiwork on his skate ramp. He asked Mikey, "Do you like to skate on the ramp?" To which Mikey responded, "I'm not bery (very) good at skateboarding, but I'm a PROFESSIONAL at tying shoes!!" (with much emphasis on "professional"!)

After years of velcro shoes, I finally broke down and got him a pair of lace-ups. We had a couple of shoe-tying lessons during General Conference (2 weeks ago), and look at Mikey now! Way to go Mikey!!

Family Race

Forgive me for bragging a little: (after that last "spiritual" post I want to remind all my loved ones how prideful I can be!) Last weekend, the boys and I ran a race. I ran the 5K, and the boys ran in a Kid's Race (a sprint around the track), competing against their age-groups. Here's the brag: Spencer, Mikey and I each finished first in our age categories of our races! I love being in the "Over 30" age-group b/c I don't have to keep up with those young-bucks to stand out! I was so thrilled, that I vowed to keep running until I'm in my 80's just so I could always come in first place (and only place!)!

It was also a great bonding moment for the boys and me (Jaron had to work). I loved sharing something that I love so much with them, and for them to actually experience the stress and exhilaration of a race for themselves. They talked for days about how fun their race was (and how FAST their mom is--just kidding!!). Sadly, my camera ran out of batteries after taking only one (blurry) picture, so I have nothing to show!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Bit of Heaven on Earth

Heaven is manifested all around us--the beauties of nature; the kindness of a stranger; the wisdom and thoughtfulness of a friend; the unconditional love we receive from family; moments when we pause to listen to and connect with the true Source of Light and Love.

We got to do some connecting this weekend, during General Conference (aka "Jennifer" conference, if you're Mikey). I made some delicious food (if I do say so myself)--cinnamon rolls that were to DIE for, and some scrumptious Cafe Rio knock-off dishes--to tempt my family to cozy up with me and listen to 8 hours of talks from inspired servants of God. Not that they needed much bribing--the kids have come to look forward to the bi-annual General Conference weekends as special time with family (crafting, eating, coloring, drawing), and and even a little listening to the inspired messages.

We have a tradition where, at the start of each talk, Jaron or I will pick a word (like "families), and every time the speaker says the word, the kids can get a candy from a bowl up by the computer. It keeps them (and us) from falling asleep (which is no easy feat after all that good food and cozy-ness!), and helps them stay at least a little attentive to the speakers. This year, we kept forgetting to mention a "keyword", so the kids just took the initiative to reward themselves with a candy whenever they thought they deserved one. The candy bowl emptied pretty quick this year.

The weather was also gorgeous here, so in the mornings before the sessions started we'd go for a "bike ride" (mom huffing it on foot to keep up with the youngsters on bikes), and then settle in at 11 for some good food and inspiration from the internet. Jaron also took advantage of the before-and-between session time to paint his skateboard ramp. And can I just say that I am SO grateful for the internet?? When I was a child, we'd go to the church to watch the satellite broadcast of Conference. Since the church building was 25-ish minutes away, we never had time to go home and relax or eat in between sessions, so we'd haul our food to the church (sandwiches again...yum), and of course be in our "Sunday best" (which really means "un-comfortable") all day. I much prefer cozying up on the couch in my sweats and slippers, cuddling all my boys while I watch and listen.

There were a lot of powerful, peace-inspiring messages given. I'm glad I can go to the LDS website and re-watch or listen to all of the talks, so that I can really let them sink in better. But I wanted to share on this post something I liked that President Monson said:

"My counsel for all of us is to look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. The lighthouse of the Lord sends forth signals readily recognized and never failing. I love the words found in Psalms: “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; … I will call upon the Lord … so [I shall] be saved from mine enemies.”3

Add a Note

The Lord loves us, my brothers and sisters, and will bless us as we call upon Him."

I agree wholeheartedly with what President Monson says--that Heavenly Father is the God of ALL His children, and that he'll nourish and guide us more abundantly than we probably recognize. I have had too many specific, heart-wrenching prayers answered in clear and powerful ways to ever deny that God is Real, Present, and Ever Ready for us to seek Him so that He can bless us. May we all seek Him a little more intently, because surely He is all around us and has the power to open our spiritual eyes to recognize Him.

I also came away from this Conference weekend filled with love for others and desire to serve others better! Let me start by saying that I'm SO grateful for all your friendship!! I feel like I'm the luckiest gal because I've always been surrounded by good, fun, inspiring friends. If you're reading this blog, you can be sure that you've touched my or Jaron's life in some way, and from the bottom of my heart, I (and we) thank you!