Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ice Cream Before Breakfast

I probably won't be nominated for "Mother of the Year" because I gave my 4-year-old an ice cream sandwich before breakfast today. Why? We were celebrating.

For the last few months, when I get him up, I sit him on the toilet. We read and sing and talk. We do sign language. We laugh. And we wait. We wait and wait and wait for him to do something more than just sit there being cute. Every morning he sits for a while, then hops off, and flushes the unused toilet. We then wash hands and say "Yay." He even does the thumbs up sign now and again. I figured getting him into the routine would help. And guess what? It did.

Today, he used the toilet for reals. I don't know who was more surprised, but I know I was more excited. One less poopy diaper for me. Yay! I clapped and shouted and jumped up and down. He probably thought I was crazy. But I was so excited. Funny how a little thing like that can make a grown woman act so ridiculous.

I'm sure we'll continue to potty-train for months yet, but this was a step in the right direction and I decided it was worthy of an ice cream sandwich celebration. Yay for one less poopy diaper today!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nasty Politics

Why is it that polictics have to be so nasty? Why can't candidates just claim their views, stand firm, and stop slinging mud? Our "local" channels actually come from New Mexico so whenever a local channels is on, we hear about all the candidates running for office in NM. Can I just say how sick and tired I am of that governor's race? I don't even watch TV much, yet I feel overwhelmed by all the negative ads running, particularly in that race. I wouldn't vote for either of them based on the negative ads.

Why is it that people can't just discuss issues? Why do they resort to name-calling when it comes to a disagreement in politics? I think debate is healthy when it's done properly. We can learn from people's different points of of view when there is mutual respect, yet that is so hard to come by. In the community where my kids go to school (not my local community) there such a gap between beliefs. Instead of having an intelligent discussion, we have bashing and name-calling.

It is totally fine to disagree on issues, but it's not okay to be rude about it. I have friends who have completely different beliefs than I do, but we don't argue about them. They have every right to believe differently than I do and I will fight for their right to express their opinions.

Why is it that political discussions tend to get nasty so fast?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Gratitude for Priesthood Blessings

My husband always gives the kids  a father's blessing when they start school. He gave the older 4 kids their blessings a few weeks ago because our oldest left for Florida to work at Disney World with his wife. The next two oldest left for Provo to go to school. #4 thinks she's already in college and is as old as the other 3, even though she's still in high school (she's always considered herself older than she is). The first 4 kids have been dubbed "the big kids" so generally they all do the same things. Anyway, my husband gave each of them wonderful blessings for a new school year.

Last night, he gave blessings to the younger 6. It was a wonderful night. We all felt the Spirit so strongly. My 9-year-old son had tears in his eyes when my husband concluded his blessing. My 4-year-old jumped up on the chair and instructed his father where to lay his hands and as soon as my husband laid his hands on my son's head, he had the biggest smile stretch across his face. It was adorable.

I don't even think I can adequately expess my gratitude to my Heavenly Father for such wonderful blessings and for sending me such amazing children who work so hard to make good choices. I know it isn't easy being "in the world" these days. There are so many forces working against them, vying for their attention, and trying to tempt them to make bad choices.  They hear so much profanity each day. Their classmates are drinking and doing drugs. 14-year-old kids are sexually active. (I always find it interesting that society won't allow kids under 16 to drive or under 18 to vote or under 21 to legally drink, but they can be 13 or 14  and participate in sexual behavior and somehow that's okay as long as they're "safe"). I'm just so thankful that my kids are working hard, despite all the temptations, to keep the commandments.

I am also so very grateful that my husband honors his priesthood and can offer blessings to all of us. I am thankful each day that Heavenly Father blessed me with a man who loves the Lord and who loves me and the kids so much. He is a great example to me of trying to live a Christ-like life. He is such a good man, I often wonder why I was so blessed to find him. He gave me a wonderful blessing as well last night and my heart is full of gratitude for it.

As a youth, I did not have the priesthood in my home. I never had a father's blessing because I couldn't go to my grandfather for a blessing. I didn't have blessings when I was sick. Now, I realize how much I missed. What a blessing it is to have the priesthood in my home and to have a man who honors it and uses it to bless the lives of others. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for allowing us to have the priesthood in these latter days and for allowing me to have it in my life.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

My New View: Hideous Cell Phone Tower

This is the view from my living room window.  In the upper left of the photo is my curtain. Is that the ugliest thing you've ever seen or what?

This is the view from my front yard. Anyone know where I can buy a 200 ft tall tree?

This is a close-up. It's less than 500 feet from my property line. As you can see, we used to have a beautiful view of the mountains. No more. We can now clearly see this ugly monstrosity. My plan? Hope that an earthquake opens a big hole and swallows up this tower. Or, lightning strikes it and it disintegrates. Other than that, we'll be planting trees to block the view. I love the mountains, but I'd much rather see trees than that cell phone tower. With a little planning, it could have been placed in a less conspicuous place. The area where I live likes to brag that it values natural beauty. I guess that doesn't apply at my house.

I did write a letter to the editor of my local paper, but I'm sure it won't do any good. After all, money makes the world go round and Alltel/AT&T have planty of that to steamroller an insignificant homeowner like me.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Maintaining Our Spiritual Fences

If you're my friend on Facebook you might know that I've spent the last few days chasing our horse because she keeps getting out of our field. After she escaped the first time, we put her in a neighbor's pasture--80 acres of alfalfa--so she could graze while we figured out where she got out of our fence. She wasn't satisfied to stay in that pasture and has escaped to the highway posing a danger to herself and to traffic. I've had to chase her up and down said highway, halter her with a rope, and lead her back to the field. Not a safe experience for either of us.

Needless to say I've been frustrated and even told her after our last escapade that I was going to sell her to a glue factory. I still don't understand why an animal with access to acres and acres of alfalfa would escape to run up and down a highway with less than ideal feed. Unless it's because she wants to date that stallion across the street.

In any case, I've been thinking about our fences and how we need to keep them strong to not only keep the horse in, but to also keep predators out. (Update on our coyote problem: either the coyote has moved on, been shot somewhere else, or the donkey struck such fear in him that he never came back. Whatever the reason, he hasn't been back and the goats, for the moment, have been safe.)

I think this is a great parallel for our lives. We've been told to build our testimonies on a solid foundation (think "Wise Man vs. Foolish Man"). Once we build on that rock, we also need to erect fences. Strong fences. Fences that are meant to keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. We can keep those fences in good shape when we read our scriptures, say our prayers, and keep the commandments. When we forget to say our prayers one day, the fence sags a bit. If we continually forget, or even lose the habit of daily prayer, we may even leave a gate open. Once that gate is open, there's no telling what can wander in. Rebellion. Murmuring. Speaking ill of our leaders. Loss of faith. Even loss of testimony.

Obviously, leaving a gate open would mean possible, even certain, death to my horse or goats. So will an open gate in our own spiritual fence. We need to continually keep our fences strong and able to withstand that which wants to get through to harm us. With a strong fence, we can keep out pornography, worldly philosophies, and other tools created by Satan to damage our foundation. Satan not only wants to damage our foundation, he wants to destroy it. We can stop him from even getting to our foundation by maintaining our fence. Daily prayer. Daily scripture study. Family Home Evening. Attending meetings. Fulfilling our callings. Attending the temple.

Just as I will reinforce the fences around my property to protect my horse, I will continue to reinforce my spiritual fence to protect me and my family.