Monday, April 23, 2012

Kansas City Missouri Temple

I thought this was an interesting article on someone's experience visiting the new Kansas City Missouri Temple.  There are some photos as well.  If any of you live in the area and are not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, this is your chance to go inside a temple.  I think the open house is still going on this week until Saturday the 28th.  You have to reserve a ticket, but you can do that here.  Before the temple is dedicated, anyone is welcome to visit.  Go and see it!  As you can see from this reader's experience, they won't try to convert you.  Just go for curiosity's sake.  Temples are beautiful!  

Farewell (for now) Grandpa Bob

I got the sad news that my grandpa passed away yesterday.  I will miss him, but I know that we'll see him again someday.  Grandpa Bob was a good man, a hard worker, and loved God, family, and all those around him.  I have so many happy memories of Grandpa Bob and spending time with family at his "ranch".  I will never forget the singing and sharing around the campfire, meals and holding hands for family prayer, playing golf, yahtzee, paddleboating and canoeing on the lake, fishing, hiking, crossword puzzles, watching the wildlife, and staying in the bunkhouse.  These are a few of my happy memories of Grandpa Bob.  His life was not without struggles, but he lived a good life and left quite a legacy.      

Grandpa Bob       April 11, 1931 - April 22, 2012  

Married Ruth Ann, honorably served in the military, civil engineer

3 children:  Gary, Doug, Debbie       
re-married to Mary Ann

Fun times at Grandpa Bob's Ranch
  (That's me feeding the squirrel in the 1st picture) 
Audrey and I are fishing for golfballs in the canoe!  
The sign we're standing by says, "Reuben's Ranch."  Reuben is Grandpa's dad.  
We loved to play golf on Grandpa's homemade golf course.    

The grandkids (not counting Mary Ann's side).

Great grandkids!  I love the 4 generation photo.

Grandpa designed and built the house on the ranch, garage, and bunkhouse.  He was helping my parents design their home when they retire.  

We had some very spiritual times around the campfire, singing, sharing our thoughts, and expressing gratitude.  It doesn't get much better than that.  Grandpa often wore the Colorado Rockies hat, but he said the CR stood for "Christ Reigns."  Grandpa was a spiritual man with a very emotional side (I don't wonder where I get my emotions from - we all tear up easily just like Grandpa).  He often expressed his love for us and praised God often.  I won't forget his strong hands, well worn with hard work, gripping a golf club, working on crossword puzzles, and holding tightly during family prayer.  He liked for everyone to join hands during prayer.

Some of the wildlife at the ranch - the blurry one is a moose!  The sunset on the lake is beautiful.    

great grandkids

(This was the last time I saw him - in July of 2011.)  Thank you for all the happy memories Grandpa Bob.  They'll stay with me forever.  God be with you 'til we meet again...

Friday, April 20, 2012

March brackets

We filled in our brackets.  Yes, I did fill out an NCAA March Madness bracket, but the more important ones were family history brackets!  I didn't do well with basketball brackets, but I did enjoy doing a small bit of family history.  And with these brackets, you don't have to scratch anyone out!  :)  What got me going was Nathan's ancestor project at school.  He was supposed to pick an ancestor and research their country's flag and traditions.  Luckily, the family history was already done for Nathan's paternal line to Ellen & Edward from England (thanks Aunt Jane).  He just had to do a little research on England.  Each of the students did a class presentation, talking about the flag, traditional dress and customs, and sharing a little bit of family history.  Alex's aunt even provided a copy of Ellen & Edward's declaration of citizenship.  Pretty cool.  We know a little of their story.  Ellen & Edward got married in November 1869 in England.  They arrived in Ohio in May 1870.  Edward spent 3 months there and then went to settle homestead land in Kansas.  They were Baptists and farmers.  Their first son was born in January 1871 in Ohio.  Ellen and baby joined Edward in Kansas in the spring of 1871.  They had 8 children.  Their 2nd born girl died when she was about 7 years old.  Their 7th born was Clarence.  Clarence married Edith.  They were also farmers in Kansas, and Edith was a teacher.  They were Methodist and had 4 children.  Their 3rd born was Gerald.  Gerald married Ruth.  They lived in Kansas.  Gerald was a chemical engineer.  They were Methodist and had 2 children.  Their son is John, who married Fay.  They had 2 boys.  Their first born is Alex, who married me, and we have 4 boys!  We're doing our part to branch out and keep the line strong.  :)        

Nathan did well on his presentation.  I brought in little egg and cucumber sandwiches ("tea sandwiches") for his classmates to try.  Did you know that the modern term "sandwich" came from the 4th Earl of Sandwich in 18th century England?

Nathan also shared how he got his middle name Ray, which has been passed down in each generation on Alex's mom's line.  It goes back to Nathan's great great grandmother, who was put inside the oven of a wood stove as a baby to keep her alive.  She was given the middle name of Ray, which was the name of the stove.  Elsie passed her middle name to her son Clifton, and it has continued to be used in later generations.   Apparently Elsie Ray also named Clifton after a brand of wood cooking stove that she liked - the "Clifton" stove.  So we should be naming our boys after stoves or ovens... I guess we should have named Weston "Wedgewood," our current oven?  We'll just have to slightly change the nickname Westie to "Wedgie".  
Ha ha!    

Ice cream cone!

This is definitely not Weston's 1st experience with ice cream, but I can't recall whether this is his very 1st cone or not.  He may have had one before, but this is definitely a pretty new thing.  It was fun to watch him eat it.  He almost ate all of it.  


This is Owen's reward for being potty trained!  (Finally!)  He had to stay dry for 1 week to pick out a lego set. It's been about 2 weeks now and he hasn't had an accident.  He even wears underwear to bed with no bed wetting.  We only had to put up with nearly a month of cleaning poopy underwear.  Potty training has to be one of the worst things about parenting!  

You'd think having older brothers would help, but he didn't want to use the potty at all.  He was resistant at first, not wanting to wear underwear.  We didn't push it (probably because I wasn't ready to deal with it yet).  Since he is also nap resistant, I tried the "if you're wearing diapers, you have to take a nap", just to encourage wearing underwear.  Eventually he got excited about wearing underwear.  So we tried having him wear them for a while in the morning (when we didn't have to go out).  No success.  He didn't mind being wet.  When he had an accident, I told him he had to wear a diaper again.  Luckily, he was waiting to poop in his diaper.  We tried this for a while, but he just wasn't getting it.  The sometimes underwear/sometimes diaper routine just wasn't working.  We tried pull-ups for a little bit, but despite us saying they were "special underwear", he knew he could go potty in those.    I knew we had to buckle down and get him trained.  That meant NO MORE DIAPERS and I had to force  encourage him to go much more often.  This is a full time job.  He wasn't thrilled about using the potty often, so we had to bribe him with candy (which he didn't always want).  Once he did pee in the potty a few times, he was feeling really proud.  But he still wasn't telling us when he needed to go.  So if I didn't catch him at the right time, he'd wet his pants.  I think he was scared to poop in the potty.  We were cleaning out poopy underwear.  I absolutely hate this!  (I let him know that a few times too with a slightly raised voice...I hope I'm not the only one who has yelled at their potty-training deficient children.)  It's just so frustrating.  One of the days he had diarrhea... oh, that was no fun at all.  (And Alex was out of town too for that one).  Once we got going though with the potty training, there was no turning back.  He was making progress and he didn't want to wear diapers anymore.  Potty training was truly "march madness" for me!

Anyway, we had some adventures with lack of aim as well.  One of the first times he peed in the potty, Alex was helping him.  He was sitting on the potty (doesn't like to stand very often).  He started peeing, much to his surprise.  I think he was shocked.  It started shooting everywhere, all over the wall, him, whatever was in the bathroom.  I could hear screams coming from the bathroom, "Point it down!" from Alex, and crying from Owen.  He just didn't know what was going on!  That one was pretty funny.

I also have to tell you about his first poop in the potty.  We promised him he could get a small lego set when he pooped in the potty.  He finally did, and it wasn't just a small poop.  It was a big one.  He was so proud of doing a "big poop in the potty".  I took him to the store right away to pick out legos.  He couldn't stop talking about it.  He told all the other customers we saw in the store and parking lot about doing a "big poop in the potty".  He told the cashier that he did a "big poop in the potty."  He had to tell everyone about it.  But everyone gave him positive feedback - just what he needed.  He starting doing his poops in the potty.  Oh happy day!  He was getting it.  And he was finally starting to tell us when he needed to go.    

He was doing well, but we didn't want to call it official too early.  We figured that if he stayed dry for 1 week, then he was officially potty trained.  So we promised him a big lego set if he stayed dry for 7 days.  He did it!  Alex took him to pick out whatever he wanted.  He picked "Pirates of the Caribbean" - only problem with that reward is that it has about 764 pieces... sigh.  Oh well.  I'd take little legos everywhere to changing poopy underwear any day.               

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

This 1st collage was a playgroup Easter egg hunt.  We took 21 filled eggs.  We came home with 9.  I think we need to work on hunting for eggs with O & W.  Owen was too timid to go picking up the eggs on his own.  Weston was content with the 1st egg he picked up, discovering candy inside.  I tried to get them to look for more eggs, but Weston didn't really understand what to do.  Owen was just too slow.  He did end up with 6 eggs and Weston got 3 (and I think Owen put one in Weston's bucket).  Better work on a more speedy hunt to get more goodies!

The Easter bunny came on Saturday this year (allowing us to focus more on the true meaning of Easter on Sunday).  The boys were caught completely off guard - they slept in!  I reminded them that the Easter bunny can come any time Easter weekend... N & J got new light up shoes and a little game.  O & W got backpacks.  They all got coloring books, a movie, juice boxes, and candy.  The big eggs had snacks in them - chips, fruit snacks, cookies, and more candy.  

On Sunday, we had muffins and eggs for breakfast.  We had a spirit filled day at church - great Easter messages and I got to sing with the choir.  (The added benefit of that was not having to wrestle with the boys in the pew to keep them quiet - Alex got to do that by himself).  The choir sang 5 songs, and I think we sounded pretty good.  I always wonder if we have angels helping us out during the performance.  We never sound as good during our practices.  One of our songs was "O Divine Redeemer" - not a easy song, but I think we pulled it off.      

We colored Easter eggs in the afternoon, chatted with family on Skype, had potatoes & ham for dinner, and cheesecake & ice cream for dessert.  We also had a little egg hunt.  The eggs had scripture references inside, which we looked up and read to talk about Jesus' resurrection and Atonement.  

We also watched this short video "Jesus is Risen":

There are more of these great Bible videos here.  The boys really seem to enjoy these.  It's the perfect length for a family night devotional.    

Friday, April 6, 2012

Marshmallow test

The marshmallow experiment was originally done by Walter Mischel at Stanford  in 1972 to study the ability to delay gratification.  Several people have done later studies replicating the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment.  Here are a couple of videos - pretty funny!  The first one has some extra religious commentary at the end.   I love the little girl that pushes the plate away.  She's trying to get that temptation out of sight!  Cute kids.

Jared and Owen participated in a marshmallow test for a local science fair project, done with 3-5 year olds.  They were offered a marshmallow and then told they would get another one if they could wait.  They were supposed to wait for 10 minutes.  I was surprised at the result.  Jared went first - he was back in less than a minute.  He didn't wait (he does have a really big sweet tooth).  Then Owen did the test.  He waited the full 10 minutes!  I expected it to be the opposite.  I didn't think Owen could sit and wait.  What was more impressive was that we had never before met the girl doing the experiment.  Also, I didn't go in the room with them.  So Owen sat in the home of a stranger, by himself, staring at a marshmallow for 10 minutes!  So, I guess the study is supposed to predict their ability to delay gratification and impulse control and success in the future.  Good for Owen if that's true, but what does that mean for Jared?

I'm curious what would happen if you changed the reward or if they had a friend with them.  Peer pressure?  Or maybe the friend would be a good example, "Wait.  Don't eat it yet!"    Hmmm... fun study.  I love these psychological tests.