Monday, February 28, 2005

Happy Birthday Sydney

Party On



Just Little

Saturday, February 26, 2005


"When we meet to learn the doctrines of the gospel, it should be in a spirit of reverence. The world grows increasingly noisy. This trend to more noise, more excitement, more contention, less restraint, less dignity, less formality is not coincidental nor innocent nor harmless.

"The first order issued by a commander mounting a military invasion is the jamming of the channels of communication of those he intends to conquer. Irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary by obstructing the delicate channels of revelation in both mind and spirit. Reverence invites revelation." (Elder Boyd K. Packer) (as a side note, this was written in 1991 - before widespread cellphone and gameboy useage, I think things have only gotten noisier.)

Last week we had a Primary Teacher Training and we talked about reverence. We have the most incredible Primary teachers here. This is the second training that I have been in charge of, and once again nearly every teacher came. I have worked in Primaries where we would have been thrilled if even 3 teachers came to an inservice meeting. I felt guilting asking them to give up their time, but it was great to have a chance to hear their struggles and questions and insight.

I have learned so much from them. A couple of weeks ago there was a 9 year old boy who was having a hard time staying in his seat. He really wanted to sit by his older brother, but we have learned that that is not such a good idea. Anyway, he kept scooting from chair to chair heading toward the back of the room. I had talked to him earlier and really did not want to get up and go talk to him again, because it was right in the middle of Sharing Time, and I knew that my getting up would be way more disruptive than letting him move around. Next thing you know, Sister K. got up, put her arm around the boy, and led him back to sit next to her. She gave him such a big loving smile, and he smiled right back at her. He stayed by her side the rest of the time and really responded to her. When he started to get antsy - she would smile at him, or put her arm around him, and he would smile and calm down. He reminded me of a puppy - very active and playful, and willing to do anything for a little attention - especially loving attention. It was great. And way more affective than my method.

Anyway, back to reverence. We live in a pretty small ward, but we have an enormous nursery. We have 30 nursery aged kids now, with 17 more coming into nursery before the year is up. There are less than 10 active YW in our ward, so you can see that things are a little lopsided. Two other wards meet in our building - one ward has 4 nursery children and the other has a nursery of 2. Most of our nursery children are the oldest child in their families, so we also have lots of young, first time parents. This makes our Sacrament Meeting very lively. I have never been to such a loud ward. There is always a roar in the chapel. Sometimes speakers comment about how great it is to hear the little ones, and sometimes I agree that it is nice to have the little ones there, but sometimes I think we let things get way too out of hand. I have noticed that parents bring large bags full of treats and arts and crafts (one time I saw fingerpainting in a pew near us).

I think it is overkill. I think these kids can learn how to be reverent. I think we need to show our children our respect for the chapel and our respect for them by insisting upon reverence. Nathan and I have talked about it and we are no longer bringing notebooks for the kids to color in. And no more snacks. (ok maybe cheerios for John, but not 3 big bags of fishies and pretzels and raisins) Last week one mom in a pew near us opened a loud bag of chips for her kids. I'm thinking that if your bag of potato chips is louder than the roar of the crowd, then maybe you need to rethink your snack for Sacrament Meeting.

President David O. McKay said that “reverence is profound respect mingled with love." During Primary the children are suprisingly reverent. Do you have any ideas for fostering reverence in the Chapel?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Hey Sarah, How are you Feeling?

I just saw these beautiful baby pictures on Donna's Blog. It made me remember that you are due in a few weeks. How are you feeling? Any big belly pictures to share? I wish I could be there to do your dishes and bake some bread. I love you sista!

Baby John

Just 18 months ago

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Laundry

I actually like doing laundry. I like the smell of clean warm clothes. I like the piles of sorted dirty laundry. I like being careful with the handwashing. I like Spray & Wash and Clorox 2. My favorite laundry tool is the 3 bag laundry sorter. The laundry room is right outside of the girls rooms, they just walk down the hall to sort their day's dirty clothes into darks, colors, and whites.

For a very long time I didn't need a missing sock basket, and socks were never without their mate. The sock snatcher appeared while I was pregnant with John and I now have a basket the lonely socks. The sock basket is a catch-all and also holds a collection of clothes that are too small, out of season, or things that I am hiding because, though Sydney loves it, it is just not cute.

To keep the laundry in order I do two loads a day. I throw in one load in the morning, then another in the evening. I rarely leave dry clean clothes in a basket - Emily and John like to help with the folding (and unfolding if I am not fast enough.) I fold the clothes onto the ironing board (I do not iron, so it needs to be used for something) making a stack for each child.

But I always seem to be living on the edge - just one missed day of wash away from complete disaster. If I don't wash the whites every other day, then I will be without underoos; if I miss washing a load of towels, I may have to streak out of the bathroom in a hooded ducky towel.

I have been flirting with disaster this week. I did not do a single load on Sunday or Monday. The sorting baskets were bulging with dirty socks and jeans. I moved the load of clean towels into a basket and did not fold them for two days. I had to wash a load of darks 2 times, because I did not move them to the dryer and they were not smelling so fresh. I have been catching up today, but just before I sat down to type this, I went in to fold the clothes in the dryer. Instead of warm fluffy......heavy wet. Dang. I forgot to start the dryer.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

John Talks

I cannot remember when the girls started talking, but I have had a feeling that John should be saying more words. He has his 18 month check up later this month, and it has made me just a little worried that he does not say very many words. It made me think of Cushla and Her Books, by Dorothy Butler.

So for the last couple of weeks I have been making sure to read John 5-10 books a day. Let me just say that I do read to that poor little guy, but not as often as I should. And certainly not as often as I read to Hannah. At first he would sit for maybe 1 book and only if it was quick and catchy. Sometimes he would not let me turn the pages. He would just get up and wander away part way through a story. But now he really likes to read with me. He gets all cosy in my lap, and waits for me to get more books.

Today I pulled out Freight Train and John said "Choo Choo" and kept saying it. Even when I was done reading he pulled out the train book, and said "choo-choo" while turning the pages. As we were getting ready to go out this morning I asked him to get his boots. John went right to his room, got a boot and brought it to me saying "Boot!" He was saying a few things before (and choo-choo and boot are not his only words, just new ones) but I think he is talking even more now.

John's Favorite Books:
The Spooky Old Tree
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See
Freight Train
I've Been Working on the Railroad
The Going to Bed Book
Mother Goose
Good Night Moon
Where's Spot
5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


While we waited for Hannah after piano lessons, the light was just right to see individual snowflakes as they landed on the windows of the van. They are so beautiful and unique.

I just learned that while no two snowflakes are exacty alike, they usually form in a few categories, and there are snowflake guides to help you identify your snowflake. That site has some other cool information about snowflakes like: they grow snowflakes all year long to study, and sometimes snowflakes form 12 or 3 sides.

snowflake pictures found at

This site also has some beautiful pictures of snowflakes.


The more it snows
The more it goes
The more it goes
On snowing.

And nobody know
How cold my toes
How cold my toes
Are growing.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Yee Haw

Have you seen the PBS programs that take families "back in time" to live like a pioneer or a colonist? Now you can apply to be a participant on the Texas Ranch House. Yee Haw!

I have enjoyed watching those programs in the past, staying up past my bedtime to see what happens, but then the actual show is a bit disappointing. The producers focus on conflict and bickering between the characters instead of the things I am really interested in - the daily struggle to fix dinner without a stove, keeping the kids clean, and staying warm. Do the characters feel like they have more time in their lives to think without the distractions of TV, telephone, computer, etc, or does survival leave them without spare time.

I'm sure that the conflict is more interesting in a TV program, but it would be nice if maybe there was a boring documentary to go along with the ---house shows - less Surviver, more History Channel. You know, kind of to show how they keep bread and cheese fresh without ziplock bags, what people do in the evenings without light, if the people begin to get creative with the tools that they are allowed, do they plant a garden, what do they eat while they wait for the garden, etc.

Ya'll should apply. Mom, Dad, and Erin would be grrrreat on the show. Dad will just need to polish up his snakeskin boots, dust of the W/M brand, and mosy on down to Tejas.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Pot Luck

Is it bad form to take a store-bought lasagna to a pot luck dinner? The invitation says to bring a family favorite along with a recipe, but I cannot think of anything travels well. Why do these kinds of things stress me out. It is not a big deal. I will just take the lasagna and have a nice time. Ok.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Pinewood Derby Dream Car
Last night was the big PineWood Derby for our church Cub Scout troop.
I am not directly involved in the cub scout program, but I am trying to be supportive, so our family went to watch the excitement. And wow! was it exciting. The dads seemed every bit as nervous as the boys. They raced those little cars all evening. Most of the boys in Nathan's Boy Scout troop have little brothers in cub scouts, so they helped keep score for a while. I have never been to a pinewood derby before, and I had no idea it was such a big deal.

A couple of weeks ago we handed out these little wooden cars to the boys. They shaped them, and painted them until their cars looked just right. Last night the boys registered their cars - the cars were weighed, and given a number, then they raced them two at a time down a long track. Over and over again. One of the dads has an auto body shop, so his boys' cars were very shiny. The dad said that the paint is so heavy that he had to really carve down the cars to keep them in the right weight range.

I was most impressed by all the families there to watch. We had a gym full of people there just to watch some little cars roll down a track. And they stayed (and cheered) all evening. Nathan says his mom still has his grand champion pinewood derby car. It will be John's turn soon.