Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
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.
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
"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
Sunday, March 2, 2008
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?