Monday, March 31, 2008

Pre-K, here we come...

So after all the positive feedback I got about Pre-K, I decided to sign Nathan up... for half-day. I think it's going to be great. He can go have fun for 2.5 hours at school and get ready for the full day kindergarten, and we still get to have him around in the afternoons. And I think it would be easier to push a single jogging stroller as opposed to the double... see, now I'm seeing all kinds of advantages. Thanks for helping me see the light... I still can't believe I'll be sending my baby off to school.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

just some thoughts

I guess this is turning into my Sunday insights. I've actually been thinking about this more than today, but when I heard a talk today at church it just got me thinking even more. In the scriptures it talks about putting on the shield of faith to quench the "fiery darts of the wicked." In this talk today, the speaker pointed out that they are fiery darts. Why do they have to be "fiery?" She went on to answer this question. Fiery darts, as opposed to those not fiery, do more long-lasting damage. They don't just pierce you- they burn and damage. These fiery darts are what Satan is throwing at us. She went on to give an excellent talk about how to protect ourselves and our homes against these fiery darts of the adversary.
So I was thinking about what kinds of darts I was allowing to get past my shield of faith. I'm solid on chastity and good at not letting bad things come in through the TV or entertainment. But I think how Satan gets after me is through pride. I don't know about you, but one thing I'm constantly struggling with is my desire for worldly things- "stuff." I find myself wanting more, wishing I had this or that, comparing myself with others. And sometimes I lose focus of what's really important to me. How do we get out of this mindset of always wanting and trying to acquire more stuff?
Alex and I have really been struggling with this. We have chosen a career that makes significantly less money than he could be making. At any time, he could drop what he's doing now and take a job where his salary would be doubled. Our health insurance would be paid for, we'd have some flexibility financially, we could buy a new car, some nice things, etc. So why don't we do that? What's holding us back? I'm not sure, but we do feel like we're where we should be right now, the right place at the right time. We try to think about what's best for Nathan and Jared. But I can't help thinking that we could have more money, more stuff, that life could be more comfortable. I have to keep reminding myself that money doesn't make you happy. I'm trying now to pray that I will be content and grateful for the things we have.

geology banquet

We got to have a night out (sort-of). We went to a geology banquet. I was excited to get dressed up, to actually curl my hair (I should have taken a picture of the back), and sit down at a nice dinner that I didn't have to cook, without the kids. But I couldn't resist talking about our kids. I met another stay-at-home mom, with 2 little boys. It was refreshing to meet another mom who didn't want a job outside the home. There's nothing wrong with wanting or having a career, but it just seems like it's the "road less traveled" nowadays. I think I'm just lucky that I can stay at home.


Soccer season started this week! We had our first practice on Wednesday and our first game on Saturday. It was a hoot! I'm coaching Nathan's 3-4 year old team. There's 1o boys and 1 girl on our team, the "Dragonflies." The DragonFly Day Spa is the sponsor of our team, so we stuck with their name.

I thought I could handle 6 games. Now I'm wondering what I got myself into...

Really though, it's fun and I enjoy trying to teach them soccer and trying to get them to love it as much as I do. It's crazy trying to get them to line up, to get in position, to just listen in general. I figured out that you have to change drills every few minutes or they lose interest. It works pretty well to have them try to get the ball from me while I'm dribbling.

Nathan did score a goal in the first game...for the other team. But hey, we don't keep score in pee-wee soccer and he did make it in the goal. He was so excited; he couldn't stop talking about it. He was excited when anyone scored a goal. It didn't matter if it was our team or theirs. If someone made a goal, he cheered.

It was a little chilly at 9:00am, so they had their jackets and long pants on. Nathan has some little shinguards on underneath his pants. I'll have to take more pics later. This is Nathan and his best friend Garett. Garett wasn't going to play soccer this season, but when I decided I was coaching and Nathan was playing, he decided to play. I hope we make it worth it for Garett. I'm glad he's on my team, because his mom is my assistant coach. I need lots of help out there...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pre-K dilemna

So we're struggling with whether or not to put Nathan in Pre-K in the fall...
What is this "Pre-K" anyway? Do we really need it? Kindergarten is the class to get ready for school. Now we need a class to get ready for kindergarten? I actually think it would be good for Nathan and is good for a lot of kids, but I don't know if I'm ready to give him up yet. Am I selfish to want to keep him home for another year? To want to be the main influence on him? I also love the relationship that Nathan and Jared are developing, and I would love to see them play together one more year.
But, I may be pulling my hair out by the time the fall comes around. I know alot of parents want to send the kids to school for the free daycare, and I understand that. But I don't know...
Anyone else having this dilemna or been through this??

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

The easter bunny came while we were at church. I guess he decided that since we had church at 9:00am, it would be best to wait until we got home... chocolate first thing in the morning and all over the nice church clothes... probably not.

I think next year the easter bunny might even come on Saturday. We usually don't let the boys play outside on Sunday and it's been a little tough since Nathan got a t-ball set to play with. We're trying to wait until tomorrow to play with it. They enjoyed the little egg hunt and chocolate though (Jared especially)... chocolate for lunch - yum!

This week I was trying to tell the boys the Easter story. Try teaching the concept of the atonement and resurrection to a 4 year old. I loved it though. It's neat to see a child's perspective and they are so teachable. We talked about how he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, was taken and beaten, nailed to a cross, died, and then placed in a tomb. It was hard to explain why they did that. Nathan kept asking questions as we were looking at some pictures. He asked what was on his head - a crown of thorns.

"Because they were trying to hurt him."
"They didn't like what he was teaching."

Of course, he wanted to know why after everything I said. But my favorite part was telling him that he lived again or "came back to life." I could tell he was a little sad when we were talking about Jesus dying (even though he doesn't understand that concept yet). Right after I told him that he "came back to life" he got a big smile on his face, put his fist up in the air and shouted, "Yes!" (like "score!"). It was great. I was reminded of what a wonderful thing the resurrection is and thought that's how we should feel (even though we may not express it in the same way). I'm thankful for the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ, because that means that we will be able to be resurrected and have the opportunity to live with God again. "Yes!" That's something to be excited about.

One other thing that happened a little while back- we were watching a CES fireside and a video came on of President Hinckley speaking. We had talked to Nathan a few weeks before that about how President Hinckley had died, because he was sick (and old). When Nathan saw this video, he knew who he was and asked, "Is Hinckley better now?"

He doesn't understand death yet, but at least we knew he was listening.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

March Madness

This is when I miss having TV the most...I think I'll still fill out a bracket. Anyone want to invite me over to watch TV??

Another shameful public role model...

I feel sorry for Eliot Spitzer and his family. Bad bad choices. What was he thinking? How could he choose to give up her:

for her:

There's no question who is more beautiful- his wife. I wouldn't post the other photo of this girl -I'm surprised they even circulated that one. But I've been wondering how the world (in general) has defined beauty as this girl.

I was looking at hairstyles on-line recently and had the same thoughts as I was looking at the celebrity hairstyles. I love the hairstyles, but I can't believe the way they present themselves (not all of them). It seems that beauty has been defined as stick figure thin bodies, big boobs hanging out (sorry), fake tans, and the less they're wearing the better. Don't they have any respect for themselves? And why do we think this is beautiful?

I don't know.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Not a great week...

This week I kind-of felt like this:

I just don't want to be the mom right now... I have been cleaning up puke and diarrhea all week. Jared has been randomly puking. I thought he had done the last of it on Wednesday after lunch. From then and all day Thursday he was fine. Then, after he'd been sleeping for a couple of hours, he puked again. At least Nathan was still awake and alerted me that he was about to puke. I was able to get most of it contained in the towel. All day Friday he was okay too. Then about 5:45 this morning, I heard Nathan yell that Jared was about to puke again. I didn't get there in time and it was all over. Had to change the sheets and his clothes and wash everything (again)...

At least Jared and my puke monitor went right back to sleep. I think I need to teach Nathan how to catch puke in a bucket...

I bet Alex is glad he's out of town, eating out every night, messing around on a boat at the beach in Corpus Christi TX, enjoying undistracted sleep. Yeah, I'm a little bit jealous and bitter. But I'll get over it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Big Boy Bed

Jared (almost 22 months) is now sleeping in a "big boy bed." We decided to make the move when Jared nearly climbed out of the crib. He had one leg over the top and looked like he was about to take the plunge over the side. So for his safety, we moved him out. He's sleeping on a mattress on the floor in Nathan's room. Nathan was more excited than Jared. We weren't sure how he'd do...the first time we tried to put him down for a nap, he walked in and pointed at his crib. After I laid down on the mattress, he didn't want me sleeping there, and laid down on the bed. The first nap wasn't successful, but he went right to sleep at night, without getting out of the bed. He's been napping and sleeping in his big boy bed since Saturday. He's such a good boy- ever since the first nap, when it's time to sleep, he gets in the bed and stays there. He still clings on to "Raffe," of course!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I was enjoying reading the facts about Liberty, until I saw that I'd been tagged! Thanks... I'll see what I can do.

1. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
2. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names.
3. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Here goes...

1. My ears aren't pierced (neither is anything else on my body!) - I haven't worn (clip) earrings for a long time. I don't wear much jewelry in general.

2. When I start cleaning, Nathan asks who is coming over. I love to have a clean house, but I just can't bring myself to clean all the time. And it is amazing what 5-10 minutes notice can do - we can go from totally embarrassing to respectable when I need to. If you do drop by without notice, I'll probably be very embarrassed...

3. I talk in my sleep and often push Alex, telling him to "get off the kids" or "where are they?" (I have dreams that I've lost the kids or that he is rolling over on top of them).

4. I was the giver of my first kiss, not the receiver. I kissed him (not talking about Alex...) on the cheek at the end of our date (this is more like true confessions!).

5. One of my favorites is orange juice and ice cream blended together. Yum! I love dessert! We had to establish dessert nights on Monday and Friday, so that I wouldn't go overboard on sweets.

6. I have no fashion sense. My idea of fashion is comfort. My sisters would love to do a makeover on me... I have made some strides though. Alex even says my choice in clothing is better now than when we started dating. Good thing he wasn't worried about marrying a tomboy.

7. Alex and I backpacked to the top of Mt. of the Holy Cross in Colorado on our honeymoon. We camped in a tent for a few nights as well.

So Holly, Sarah, Jessica, Audrey, Mike, Kathryn, and Naomi are now TAGGED.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


So I finally put some links to blogs on the side. If any of you don't want your link on here, let me know ( I wasn't going to, but I thought of all the friends who I have connected with by links on someone else's blog. And it's easier for me to just click the link. I really enjoy keeping in touch with everyone and up-to-date on your life and thoughts. I'm not very good at commenting, but I do enjoy checking in. You know how it goes...

Invisible Mom

This was on a friend's blog, and I had to pass it along. Enjoy!

I'm Invisible

"It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.' I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone! One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime, because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and dresses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.' As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women."

Monday, March 3, 2008

locked out

Well, an interesting thing happened this afternoon...
A friend dropped by to return a couple of things to us. I couldn't get the door open. Our house was built in 1956 and so there's a lot of things that need to be replaced. Anyway, it sticks when you open it and you have to push it hard to get it open. I couldn't get it open this time, but I eventually ended up getting it open. So the daughter came to the door and I wanted to run out and say "hi" to her mom waiting in the car. We also had borrowed their carseat and still had that, so I got that out of our van and returned it to them.
She started to head out and I headed back inside- only I couldn't get the door open! I didn't think about not being able to get the door open to get back inside....
Luckily, my friend Mary hadn't left yet, because I didn't have keys, no phone, and I had my socks on. And the temperature was 38 today -the driveway was dry, but it snowed this morning. There wasn't much we could do though. The back door was locked and the boys were inside taking naps. I called Alex, thinking he could come unlock the back door. Well, I guess you can't unlock the back door from the outside. So how were we going to get inside? I tried to knock on Nathan's window to wake him up, but I didn't have any luck with that. Meanwhile, I had walked on the wet ground and my feet were wet and cold. It was nice to be able to sit in Mary's warm car. Alex came home and tried to get the door open (we still thought it was just stuck). No our only hope was getting Nathan to wake up. Alex went and pounded on his window. We went back to the door and started ringing the doorbell. Then finally Mary saw Nathan peek his head out from behind the blinds. Nathan came to the front door, with a strange look on his face (a "what are you doing?" look).
"Nathan, go unlock the back door for us."
"Why?" (he always has to question everything)
"Because we can't get the front door open."
"Just go unlock the back door."
So we watched him try to unlock the door, and he did it. Luckily, he learned how to turn the lock a few months ago.
Yeah for Nathan! 4-year old saves the day!
So it turns out that somehow I'd locked the door trying to open it. I didn't even know there was a lock on it. There's a little latch on the bottom of the handle. I'll have to be more careful with that next time...and maybe put some shoes on before I go out...

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I'm trying to read more. I've always enjoyed reading, but I haven't neccesarily read the famous books. I pulled some book recommendations off of some aqcuaintances "GoodReads" accounts. I recently read "Night" by Elie Wiesel - it was an incredible account from a holocaust survivor. It's amazing to think about that horrendous event (if that's the right word)- such a tragedy. It makes me wonder how one can get to that point where they could follow a leader that stands for something so wrong. It would be interesting to get inside the head of one of the Nazis who directly took part in the killing of the Jews- what were they thinking? Were they so past feeling that they ignored their natural instincts towards the value and sanctity of life? I just don't understand it.

The other question that comes out of the Holocaust is suffering and why God allowed it to happen. I've been thinking about that lately- why does God allow suffering? One thing I know is that we all have agency, even to the point of choosing to harm others. Agency is such an important part of the plan of God that without it, we wouldn't be able to grow, to learn, or become all that God wants us to be. It's the "refiner's fire"- we have to be tried and tested and refined. And that means suffering. I like to think of a pearl. It doesn't start out as a pearl. It becomes a pearl through irritants within the shell. It's the same with a diamond - it gets refined through high pressures and temperatures.

I came across a quote from President Kimball:

"If pain and sorrow and total punishment immediately followed the doing of evil, no soul would repeat a misdeed. If joy and peace and rewards were instantaneously given the doer of the good, there could be no evil- all would do good and not because of the rightness of doing good. There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency. There would also be an absence of joy, success, resurrection, eternal life, and godhood."

So, God allows us to suffer so that we can be strengthened and ultimately have joy. It doesn't make it any easier when we have to suffer, but at least we know it serves a greater purpose.

Any thoughts on this? I was also wanting to get some 5-star book recommendations. Any suggestions?