Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Children are an heritage of the Lord

A couple weekends ago was the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Such an uplifting weekend.  I love how strong the Spirit is as I listen to the Lord's prophets and apostles teach us.

One of the talks that stood out to me was My Heart Pondereth Them Continually by Devin G. Durrant.  Specifically  his invitation to ponderize the scriptures.

What on Earth is ponderize?  Devin G. Durrant says:
"I invite you to “ponderize”3 one verse of scripture each week. The word ponderize is not found in the dictionary, but it has found a place in my heart. So what does it mean to ponderize? I like to say it’s a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization.
There are two simple steps:
First, choose a verse of scripture each week and place it where you will see it every day.
Second, read or think of the verse several times each day and ponder the meaning of its words and key phrases throughout the week."

While listening to his talk about studying the scriptures I felt impressed that this is something I need to focus on doing.  Shortly after that my mind was turned to the subject of families.  Specifically the role of parenting.  This has been on my mind a lot this year.

I felt I needed to start off with a paragraph from The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

This is the paragraph I was drawn to:
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

Later I realized it was the scripture that I needed to focus on.

Psalm 127:3 "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

Before pondering/studying this scripture, if you asked me what heritage meas I wouldn't have been able to tell you.  So I looked it up.
1. a special or individual possession; an allotted portion
2. an inheritance

I love the images this verse brings to my mind after reading these definitions.  Children are a gift from the Lord.  Something that was/is His, that He is entrusting to Zach and I.  This isn't something to be taken lightly.  It is a serious task we have been given.  Much we are asked to teach our children. 

I came to the difficult realization I was treating my children more like burdens.  All I saw was all the extra work they put on my plate.  The messes.  The dirty diapers.  Lots of laundry, Etc.  I wasn't treating them like the amazing gifts they are.

I wasn't paying attention to the joy in their eyes when outside playing.

I wasn't paying attention to their efforts to help, I just saw it as more for me to go back and fix.

I wasn't seeing their love for each other, I just paid attention to their fighting.

I wasn't seeing, or learning, the lessons only these two, sweet, busy boys could teach me.  No other kids in the world could teach me exactly what these two are teaching me.

Boy was that realization a hard pill to swallow.

I have been trying so hard to see my children as the wonderful, amazing, irreplaceable loving gifts they are.  Some of the best gifts my Father in Heaven has given to me.

I have been trying so hard to yell less.  Every yelling moment is a teaching moment, if I remember to stay calm.

I have been trying to better see the joy and triumph in their eyes when they make a new discovery/learn a new lesson.

I love how well these boys play together.  When the other isn't around (Wyler in school or James down for naps) they ask so many times where the other is, and how soon they will be available to play with.

These boys are so very quick to forgive.  They can be hitting and fighting one moment, and the next trying to entertain/free the instigator who was put in time out.  They are so quick to forgive and love on me after I get mad at them.  Something I need to learn to do more often.

I am trying to leave my electronics off, and not on my person, so that I can be more fully present for them.  The delight in their eyes when I get down on the floor and play with them is priceless (and at almost 34 weeks pregnant it is rare for me to get on the floor with them).

There are countless other lessons I have learned from watching my boys.  Far too many to list here.  And every day I see/learn more.

These boys of mine are truly a priceless gift.

It is a fact I need to remind my self of daily (sometimes multiple times daily).  It is so easy to just see the negative in life (don't know why, but it seems so much easier to focus on the negative... seems the whole world is like that).  So easy to just see everything as annoying, tiring, mundane work.

But the more I work towards seeing the good, beautiful, positive things around me, the easier it gets.  The beauty starts to outshine the negative.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Answer Me This: Happy Independence Day!!!!

I've missed the last 2 weeks of Answer Me This, and I am determined to get it done this week.  So I am wrote it up earlier in the week to be sure it was all ready to go... Hope to remember to update it after all our 4th of July festivities so I can tell you what we did this year, and not just in years past.  (Yay! I remembered to update this!)

1. How did you celebrate the 4th of July? (Or, for you international types . . . Do anything fun this weekend?)

Here in our little town the morning starts at 5:30 am with the firetruck wake up call.  (I've heard out-of-towners grumble about this tradition and call us a stupid little hick town for waking them up so early.)

There is a parade shortly after that, yet I have never got myself and the kids ready to go out the door that early.  As usual we didn't get out the door anywhere near close to when they had the parade..

There are a few other activities such as swimming at the college, races, etc.

Then the big county wide parade starts at 10.  This is the parade we went to.

We then went to Papa and Grandma Hansen's house to swim, eat, play, and watch the fireworks show.

We usually sit at my in-laws to watch the fireworks (they are a few miles away from the show) and so the fireworks are too small to get pictures of, and not good enough to attempt a picture.  I wish I could take credit for the above one.  (However even if we were closer to the fireworks I doubt I'd get a good picture, as all my night photos are crazy blurry.)
2. Do you sunburn easily?

Annoyingly yes.  I burn, then peel, and am just as white as I was before, if not whiter.  It is nearly impossible for me to tan.  And I live in southern Arizona, so you'd think I'd have a little tan, but no.

3. Hot dogs. Yay or nay?

After watching a show on how they are made, no way!!  Unless they are the ones from the meat counter at Bashas with out all the nasty additives in them.

I couldn't bring myself to post a picture of hot dogs being made, too gross looking.  If you really want to know Google/YouTube it.
4. Have you ever personally set off fireworks?

I've held sparklers when I was a kid.

And watched parents/older siblings/older cousins set off firecrackers.
But I have never lit one myself.

5. Have you ever jumped off the high dive?

I did, and it was one of the scariest, yet strangely fun things I did at that pool (the only pool I've been to with a high dive).  

It was about like this one.

I don't mind heights.  I think it is cool to look down from somewhere high up.  I am just terrified of falling.  So why I went on the high dive, I have absolutely no idea.  But I ended up jumping about 3 times...

6. Do you do anything weird in your sleep?

I snore.  Some days worse than others.  Zach hasn't told me anything else weird that I do, so no idea.

Next week's questions are:
1. At what temperature do you keep the thermostat set? Summer, winter, day, night?

2. What is your favorite frozen beverage?

3. Where do you keep your keys?

4. Have you ever really been lost?

5. What is the last movie you saw in the theaters?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Answer Me This: Summer Plans, Park Rides, and Smells

Wahoo!  Kendra at Catholic All Year has reinstated her Answer Me This series!   If you aren't familiar with it, on Sunday Kendra asks random, fun questions about us.  Then the following Sunday she answers the questions, and post the next weeks questions.

Now I am a day behind in getting this posted, but hopefully I'll keep up from here on out.

1. Any big plans for the summer?

My awesome brother is coming home tomorrow!!  I haven't seen him for 2 years.  He has been serving a church mission in Eugene, Oregon.

Nothing else too terribly exciting.

2. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

If you put salt on a birds tail you can catch it.
The air in Mexico would smell different than here in the USA.  I was so disappointed the first time I went to Mexico as a kid because it didn't smell different.

3. What is your favorite amusement park ride? (can be a specific one at a specific park or just a type of ride)

Never been to one.  Someday though.  Closest I've been to is the county fair rides.  I would have to say the Ferris Wheel.  (the only other rides I've been on are ones I took the kids on... not exactly that fun for me)

4. What's on your summer reading list?

Radical Homemaking
Breathe: Making Room for Sabbath
Harry Potter books 5-7

5. Have you ever fallen asleep in public?

I am pretty sure I dozed off on the bus the last day in Scottsdale a couple weeks ago.  Luckily it was only a slight doze off, and I didn't miss my stop.

6. What is your favorite smell?

Rain.  Desert rain.  More specifically the rain on the creosote.
Fresh baked bread

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Monthly Mission: June Edition

Wow it has been way to long since I did an official monthly mission.  The last several months I've been focusing on health, fitness, and surviving the first trimester of pregnancy.

Yep, baby #3 is due on Thanksgiving Day.

I think this month I am going to focus on less time spent on electronics, and more time spent with family, actually keeping up with housework, the projects I've been putting off, etc.

Basically I am going to focus more time spent in Real Life, and less time in Virtual Life.

And when I do spend time on the computer I am going to make it more worth while.  No more browsing stupid stuff on Pinterest.  No more checking Facebook 10 times in 10 minutes.

Sunday computer time I want to focus on family history and listing to/reading the most recent General Conferences.

Tuesday and Friday I am going to focus on my food blog, Cookies 'n Cows.

The other days' computer time will be spend researching my current project, posting here, quick Facebook checks, etc.  Oh, and I'm limiting the time I get to spend doing all that too... 1 hour.

Let's see if I can break my computer addiction.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Colors of my Life

Last summer I skimmed through a Decorating for Dummies book, and decided I HAD to go find the perfect color palette for my home.  I spent the next few days looking at different color palates, trying to create my own.  Nothing seemed quite right.  Then I ran across this:

This is the one!

I fell in love with it immediately.

Each time we went to a home improvement store (aka Home Depot or Ace Hardware) I would try to find the paint sample card that most closely matched each shade.  That way I could have it with me, without having to pull out my phone.

Then I put it away and mostly forgot about it for about a year.

One thing I've come to realize over the past year is that I already pretty much do anything I can in blues, greens, and yellows.  Why not just use this as the palette of my life?  I can use it not just for my house, but my blogs, my wardrobe, just about everything...

My favorite color is blue, Zach's is green, not sure what the boys favorite colors are... I think yellow and red, but it changes every day.  So this palette pretty much covers all our favorite colors.  It's perfect.

Or so I thought.

Now I look at it and think it is kinda... well... I don't know.  Something is missing.  It's kinda bland.

Recently I have been seeing very similar palette, but with pops of coral in it.

I mean, look how well the coral goes with the blues and yellows... It is the perfect pop of color! And this isn't even the best palette I found.
I am falling in love with coral.  Never thought I would...

I realized that this color palette I fell in love with just needed some sort small of pop.  Like coral.