Would you like to translate this into another language?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 21- A Picture of Something that Makes Me Happy (Wordless Wednesday)

Working Toward Functionality: The Impact We Have on Our Children

Before I switched blog addresses, I had a bit of a thing going with this talk.  It's one of the optional reading assignments for the personal finance class I'm taking.  I thought the messages in it were so important that I'd share it here.  For the past posts I've written on it, you can go here.  I'm at point #4: "Parents are very aware of the impact they have on their children."

James MacArthur shares that children are like human blackboards and that we, as their parents, are continually writing on those blackboards--intentionally and unintentionally.  Intentional is obvious--the words and actions we choose, either positive or negative, to share with our kids.  Unintentional is "things like ignoring, impatience, or no time for a child;" although, I would like to add that unintentional messages can also be positive.  I think it's these kinds of messages that truly express how we feel in our hearts about our children.  When speaking to others about our children, do we tell our friends what rotten thing that child did that morning, or do we say positive, kind, endearing things about them? 

I guess when it comes right down to it, it kind of goes along with what my children term "Mom 1:1"--"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

MacArthur also states, "Don't get too paranoid about all this as if you have to watch every word or deed with your children.  You don't need to be that wary but you do need to watch for PATTERNS.  To be too busy once in awhile or too impatient occasionally is unlikely to inscribe a negative message on your child's blackboard but a regular pattern of being too busy or too impatient could."

He encourages us to write conscious messages through spending time with our children, or if we leave early in the morning and don't get a chance to interact then, write a note for the child with words of love and encouragement.  MacArthur also says, "If you consciously take time to play games with a child--what might you be writing on their blackboard?  'You are fun.  You are worth it.'  Good messages for a blackboard to receive!"

Timing is sometimes very funny.  I was just chatting with one of my older children as we took a car ride, just the two of us, the other day.  This particular child gets very frustrated with the younger siblings.  Sometimes they act a bit immature, and let's face it, obnoxious.  These things make this older kid CRAZY.  I found that out from following MacArthur's third point.  Yes, I've been sitting down and having regular one-on-one time with my kids getting to know their hearts a bit better.

As we discussed these feelings about the younger kids, I encouraged this older child to use positive words toward them--to look for the good no matter what because even if there's bad, there's ALWAYS something good.  My mother-by-marriage used to say, "Even if you just have to say, 'Wow!  You're breathing really good today....Keep it up!'"

This older child said, "Yah, but [one child] is the laziest person I know.  It makes me CRAZY."  I said, "Maybe so, but let me tell you how I'm dealing with that right now.  All weekend, I've been telling [that child] how much I love what a hard worker [he/she] is.  Whenever I catch [him/her] doing something without complaining, I make sure to make a point of it."

Confession:  I'm not always good at this, but I'm working on it.

So, here's the funny thing on timing, and I wish I could take a picture of this so you could see it, but my camera's on the fritz, and Santa's been alerted....

Yesterday, that "lazy" child came home from school.  (S)he brings papers home from school frequently that look like a writing outline with triangles and boxes on them.  When I checked homework yesterday, here was the beginning of that writing outline in the child's handwriting:  "I'm proud of working the most with no crying or moaning."

Wow!  Did I write on his/her blackboard or what?!  What a great reminder to me that what I say means more to my kids than nearly anything else they experience during their day.  I'm magical.  Sometimes I forget that, and just to think that I thought my magic faded when my kisses stopped making boo-boos feel better.  So glad to know it continues.  Excuse me while I get my cape out of the dryer--had to wash the baby puke out of it.

MacArthur's last words in this section are also very necessary:  "...a burned out and resentful parent is no good to a family."  There we have it.  Take time to write on your child's blackboard intentionally but make sure we're taking care of ourselves at the same time.

For Thanksgiving, we got to open a Christmas gift early.  This is very unusual and not part of our family tradition, but one of the things we received was a $100 gift card.  The Warden told me to use it for Christmas shopping, but I told him I'd rather spend it with him, so we're looking forward to having a little get-away very soon.

Never forget that you're MAGICAL!

Some Things to Share

I ran across a few things that I thought I'd share. 

First, last night for dinner, I was going to make my sister's rolls that are in the cookbook but found that I didn't have any shortening, so I found this recipe.  It's absolutely EASY and delicious!  We spread butter on the top of each roll after they were baked.  It's one I will definitely make again!  My sister's recipe might be more delcious than this recipe, but really I was impressed with the easiness of the one I'm sharing here.

I love Frugal Dad.  He shares so much wisdom.  His is the only blog that I receive emails for.  I figure I get so many emails as it is that most of the time I can't find the good ones among the junk ones, so I don't sign up for many email update kind of things.  His is different.

Okay, so the last one.  I ran across this quite by accident.  We are always looking for fun Christmas traditions.  We have certain outings that we take every year at this time.  We have card traditions and eating traditions and service traditions, but this one I thought was so DARNED cute!  Just thought I'd share.

Hope you're having a lovely day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cookies wiff Kaffin: My FAVORITE Cookies

My kids informed me, and as I listen closer I can hear, that it's not "cookies wiff Kaffrin" but "tooties wiff Taffrin."

Today we're making my VERY favorite cookies in the world.  I don't make these very often--mostly because they have to sit in the fridge for four hours before you can bake them.

We're going to go ahead and make them anyway today.  I'm going to send dough home with Kaffrin with instructions on how to bake them.  This one isn't in the cookbook probably just because I don't make them very often.

We've donned our holiday aprons and the David Archuleta holiday station is playing on Pandora.  Hands are washed (with the ABC method).  We're ready to go.  Here's the recipe for you.....

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

1 C. cocoa (the unsweetened powder kind)
1/2 C. oil
2 C. sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. powdered sugar

Mix the first three ingredients together; add the eggs one at a time; throw in the vanilla.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together and throw them in and mix them into the first mixture.

Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for four hours.

After the four hours is up, preheat the oven to 350^.  Grease the cookie sheets.  Roll the dough into 1" balls and roll them in the powdered sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes.

I hate to add this little detail, but it MUST be said.  These are AWESOME with a vanilla milkshake.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hindsight: Our Biggest Fan

We left Tokyo and headed to Sendai via bus.  The bus would stop about every hour.

At the first stop, #1 got her first feeling for being a celebrity.  She got off the bus and a bus of Japanese school kids drove by.  They went nuts smiling and waving and pointing at her.  I think she loved it.

Between our first and second stops, I struck up a conversation with the guy in the seat across from us--I believe I've written about this somewhere, so I may have told this whole story before.  If so, forgive me, but many of the things that happened at the beginning of the trip had to wait to be shared because of all the internet problems there at first.

The guy was typing really fast on a QWERTY keyboard.  I was so impressed by this, so I leaned over and asked him if he was typing in English or Japanese.  He told me Japanese and then shared how it's done--turning English letters into Japanese kanji.  It also explains a lot about how Japanese people will write their language in English letters when on facebook chat.  You'd have to understand the language to get what I'm saying.  It's not always easy to read, but now I totally understand why the sound we'd write as "shi" to them is "si.," etc.

At the second stop, a cute little woman came back and very slowly said, "Konnichiwa" as if she were unsure that I spoke the language--a good guess since it'd been 20 years (except for the information desk at the airport and the fast typing guy).  I responded and the conversation began.  She asked me where I was from.  I told her.  She asked why we were there.  I told her that too.  Her response was so cute--"Really?  Oh, that makes me want to cry.  Thank you so much!"

Before the next stop, she snuck back to us four Americans and handed us each a hard candy with kind of a butterscotch flavor to it and went back and sat down.

At the third stop, she came back again.  "I have nothing to give you to show my gratitude for what you're doing, but I'd like to introduce you to everybody and tell them why you're here, so they can all clap and cheer for you.  Is that okay?"

What?!  No way--was what I thought, but that probably wouldn't be very nice to say.  As politely as I could, and with as much of my rotten Japanese that I could muster, I told her "No thank you.  That's not why we're here, but thank you for the offer.  It's very kind of you."  She went back and sat down.

Oh, so I have to share a little detail that I forgot about fast-typing guy.  After the lady asked where I was from and went back to her seat, he leaned over to me and said, "You're from Oregon?"  I said yes, and he said, "Oh, I've been to Oregon.  I went to school for my masters at New York University.  On my way there, I went to Oregon."

My response to hearing this was, "WHAT?!  You speak English?  Then why are we speaking Japanese?!"

So, after the lady offered to make a public display of us, I leaned over to fast-typing guy and asked, "Was that rude of me?  Did I handle it right?  Did I come across rudely?"

He assured me that I had responded just right.  PHEW!

When we arrived in Sendai, she came back again.  She handed me a small package of tissues.  She explained, "This is all I have.  I want you to have it.  It's cute.  Isn't it?  Thank you so much for coming!"

I accepted it and thanked her and agreed that it was cute.
Mine was all pink with a cute drawing of a fish on it, but this gives you an idea.

We got off the bus at the station, fast-typing guy said good-bye and handed me his business card and public display lady continued to follow us around for a little while.  She was just SO cute!   After that, she was referred to as our biggest fan.

What a great and funny start to our adventure!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hindsight: The Flight

Our home teacher came today.  He's such a good man.  He's been dealing with cancer, so we haven't seen him in a few months, but his companion has come faithfully.

While at our home, he asked about the Japan trip.  At this point, it was fun to relive a bit of it again.

Two things hit me as particularly miraculous, and I don't remember writing them down, so I thought I'd better do that.  Tonight, I'll write about the first.   I'll write about the other tomorrow.

On our way, when we got to the airport, since we were taking two different flights on two different airlines, #1 was on the opposite side of the airport from me.  I took her to her gate and then walked to mine to wait.  I called her and we chatted a couple times on our cell phones, but otherwise, we just waited for our planes to come in.

Right before my plane arrived, I felt this terrible, sudden squeezing in my heart.  The words, "It's not too late to RUN!" entered my mind.  For just a moment the insecurity entered my mind.  The thoughts that just the day before there had been a 6.5 earthquake in Fukushima and that the western coast of the island was flooding engulfed me, and I honestly considered following the impulse but realized that this was not like any of the other feelings I'd had that had brought me to that point, so I prayed in my heart, and my confidence returned.

I flew from Portland to Salt Lake City to catch my connection to Los Angeles.  I disembarked in SLC and heard, "Julie!"

There, sitting waiting at the gate I was approaching was one of the Warden's cousins that we were heading to Japan with.  I had assumed that he was already in Los Angeles hanging out with his brother (who had arrived from Texas) for the day.

Here's where all the miracles begin.  I got some things taken care of at the desk and then sat down next to him.  We compared tickets and found that he was sitting in the seat directly behind me--this was completely by chance as neither of us knew the other was flying on that plane.

As we flew, we discussed how we were going to connect with #1 in L.A.  Not being much of a traveler, I had no experience with LAX.  Jason, on the other hand, knew exactly what we were going to find.  Jason's wife has been finishing her doctorate at UCLA, and Jason, who lives in Salt Lake, travels frequently to be with her and her to be with him.

Jason warned me that it would be difficult (because #1's flight had been delayed by an hour--she was originally supposed to leave before me, but ended up leaving after, which made me nervous about the flight from Portland too--What if something else went wrong?) to meet up with #1 in that short period of time (less than an hour) and get her baggage switched from Southwest to Delta.  How were we going to pull this off?  We agreed that we would focus on getting #1 to the right place and leave her bags if we had to.

What I also didn't realize about LAX is that there are different buildings at the airport.  It wasn't like walking down a bit hallway to get to another gate.  It was a huge production which included shuttle buses, etc.  Jason shared that his wife was at the airport and that he would call her and make sure she snagged #1 and got her to our gate buildings away.  As I recall, we were at gate 1; #1 was at gate 5.

We contacted #1 on her cell as soon as her flight had landed and told her to grab her bags as fast as she could and meet up with Sarah (who she's only met once years ago).  Jason said it was very rare to get your bags quickly at LAX.  It would be truly miraculous if she was able to get them in time.

I sat in LAX on pins and needles.  It was the middle of the night at this point.

Within a half an hour there was #1 walking up the way toward me.  They had had no problems getting the bags checked in at Delta and meeting up with Sarah.  I was breathing a sigh of relief as I prayed a silent prayer of  thanks.

We boarded our flight to Japan.

It was around 1am.  One thing I'd been concerned about was the fact that we'd be too jet-lagged to work that first day.  I didn't want this to happen; our days were so limited there.  When I had arrived in Japan the last time I went (when I was a missionary there), we caught a shuttle from one airport to another, and I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to even hold a decent conversation.  I was very afraid of this happening again.

We boarded a nearly empty airplane.  Jason asked permission that we move up to the front to the empty rows of seats.  The flight attendants granted it, and we moved so we each had our own bank of seats.  #1 and I sat together for awhile and watched a movie--Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2.  Halfway through it we agreed that we'd better get some sleep, so I moved a row back and laid across my rows.  I slept well.

We arrived around 5am.  Safe and sound and well looked after.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

THE Project

It's date night tonight! 

Not sure what we're going to do, but it may involve popcorn and a movie or it may involve board games and hot chocolate.

The project is almost done.  It currently stands at 123 pages.  This was such an overwhelming undertaking but now that it's almost done, I'm wondering just what it was that intimidated me about it.  Isn't that just like life?

I have to print this out, fancy it all up in a binder with dividers, etc., sign some papers and send it in.  YAY!!!  One more class to go--careers.  Resumes, etc. are in my future.  Maybe I'll even figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

My very last thing will be to write my capstone paper.  Then, I'll be officially done.

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Killing Me!

Another day spent on personal finance.  Ugh!  It's really one thing that's hanging me up.  It just happens to be the second portion of the project.  It's a simple graph.  I have to input data.  It's not hard just super time consuming.

I've worked on this ALL day.  I woke at 5a.m. and was determined to finish at least this part of the project before the kids got up.  Here it is 7:15pm, and I've just now finished it.  UGH!!!

I kept coming up with "N/A" for one of the financial ratios I needed to report on.  I finally figured out that because I had reconfigured a couple things on the spreadsheet when I first started the class, I had thrown off the equations on the other sheets.  After I figured that out, I realized that I had to go back and redo the spreadsheet altogether.

As soon as that was done, I had to go redo three others.  They are now done, and I still have an "N/A" in that  one ratio, but now it all makes sense.  It comes up as "N/A" because I have no credit card debt.  The number is being divided by zero and thus coming up "N/A."

Can you now see why I'll be so glad when school is over?  I'm really fearful I'm going to fail this class and thus not be able to graduate.  I saved this class to the end because it was an elective.  Yes, I chose to take this loverly course.  I thought it would be a breeze...a walk in the park...a piece of cake.  Boy, was I wrong!  I might even venture to say that this class is harder for me than statistics.

I know...wah. Wah.  WAH!  Go ahead and say it, I know you want to:  "Quit your crying, and get to work." 

Okay, I'm done whining now.  I'll get back to this fun project.  Someday I'll have a normal life again.  Right?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

We're going to enjoy the day at my family-by-marriage's place up on the mountain.  My mother-by-marriage is a wonderful cook, and I always look forward to eating her creations.

We spent our time this morning making all kinds of things--cinnamon rolls, pumpkin pies, pistachio salad and layered salad.  The best thing was that we only needed one cookbook to pull it all off.  #3 made the pistachio salad, #4 made the layered salad, and #s 4, 5 and 6 helped me with the cinnamon rolls.  They were the best we've made yet.  I let the dough sit a bit longer than usual after it was all done--about 30 minutes or so.  I think that made all the difference.

That cookbook was flying all over the kitchen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 11- Another Picture of Me and My Friends

Really?  I had a hard enough time coming up with the first one.

That's as far as I got when I first looked at day 11.  It's now Nov. 23rd.  I'm not showing you a picture of me and my friends.  I already did that one.  Boring!  So, for today, you get my favorite recipe....

This one's tough because I have quite a few.  I could give you the recipe I use the most, the recipe I like the results of, the recipe that reminds me most of childhood--and they'd all be my favorite recipe.

I decided to share one the combines the last two, and at birthday time at our house frequently encompasses the first point as well.

I've posted it in the past.  If you haven't tried it, you HAVE to.  It's SO AMAZING!  Here's a link to it.

Day 19- Nicknames I Have, and Why I Have Them

Not much more to say on this one than was said last year, so I'd better come up with something new....

Hmm....let's see.  I was originally going to do my favorite photo for day 13, but I messed that up, so that's what I'll do for today.  Here, my friends, is my favorite photo....

His face says a thousand words.

Oh Yah! Who's Good?!

I could tell yesterday that my kitchen sink was having a problem.  Today, it became a full-blown problem.  You know, day before Thanksgiving....that's when it's supposed to happen, right?

Well, I have a friend coming over to make pumpkin pies today.  Actually, Kaffrin and her mom are coming over in a bit, so timing on this sink thing stinks. 

My kitchen sink has two sides--a little side on the left and a big sink on the right.  It was the little sink (with the disposal) that was clogged first.  The disposal just wasn't cutting it.

I used a cup and scooped the water out of the little sink into the big sink.  Once it was empty, I took my big, huge, hurkin', 12 pound Costco-sized bag of baking soda and poured about a cup of it as far down into the sink (and distributed around) as much as was possible.  I then took my big ol' gallon of white vinegar and poured it on top.  Before I poured in the vinegar, I gathered #6 to the site, so he could watch the fun.  I actually poured the vinegar in three or four times.  A couple times it came up like a geyser.  Fun stuff.

I boiled some water in the microwave and after the concoction in the sink had bubbled and boiled for awhile, I poured the hot water down and turned on the disposal.  It churned for a long time.  I could hear things working in the pipes.  Finally, the clog gave way with a "pop."

Next thing I  knew, though, the big sink had the clog.  I went to work again.  This time, we used the turkey baster and #6 emptied the water out.  He poured in the baking soda and I poured in the vinegar.  It bubbled for a long time.  I poured in the water, but it wasn't ready to give way yet, so I used one stopper and stopped up the little sink while I used another stopper as a plunger on the big sink.  Suddenly it gave way, and I'm feeling oh so smug with my new skills.

Mission accomplished with no crack exposed in my kitchen. 

Wow!  Sink declogging and sarcasm--two free services I offer.  My skill set grows almost everyday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

So, did you see my guest blogger post?

We were supposed to have scones for Family Home Evening refreshments last night, but time got away, and I didn't have time to make them, so they became part of breakfast this morning.

As I was making them, #4 chimed in with, "Mom, there's a recipe you can put on your blog!"

I said, "But, they're so easy.  Why don't you tell people how to make them.  You can be my guest blogger." 

So, there you have it.  I just thought it was super fun to watch him sit and write a post.  I may have to do this more in the future.

Just a recent picture of our crew.
I encouraged #1 to start a blog today.  She's had a blog in the past and does a tumblr thing too, but this one is a blog specifically written for #7.  I asked her to give a little piece of advice to her each day so that when she's a teenager, she'll have that link with her oldest sister.

I wasn't home when she started it, but I returned to find that #1 had gone at it enthusiastically.  It's entitled "Stay Beautiful," which makes me want to cry, but to take that one step further, the address is with-love-from-q.blogspot.com.  Wow!  How sweet!

In my home, growing up, I was the little sister who didn't know the older sister (who had left for college four months after I was born) and grew up amongst the hooligan brothers.  I think, at times, as I sat and cried at the end of my dresser and begged God for a sister, I would have given my right arm for something like this.

Guest Blogger with a Recipe

I am number 4!:)The chief inmate made #5 and #6 scones this morning... they`re also known as elephant ears, but in the hess's madhouse we call them scones. Here is how to make them:
Take a package of Rhodes roll dough and thaw it like it says on the package. Put a bunch of oil in a pan, just enough that the scone doesn't touch the bottom of the pan when it's cooking. Put three popcorn kernels in with the oil and turn it on high. when the popcorn kernels pop the oil is ready. Take out the popcorn kernels turn the heat down, take a piece of dough and stretch it until it's flat and thin, then put it in the oil. When the side that you put in the oil is golden brown flip it with tongs. When the other side is golden brown, take it out and pour cinnamon and sugar on it or you can use powered sugar or jam.Then you stuff.:)

I Couldn't Wait!

The winner of the first Madhouse giveaway is......

Sara Whetstone!!!

Congratulations, Sara!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giveaway...Stay Tuned

The giveaway will be closed at midnight.  It is now 10:37pm west coast time. If you want to enter, you'd better HURRY!!!

Check in tomorrow morning to see who the winner is.

Oooh!  This is SO EXCITING!!!

Swedish Meatballs Madhouse Style

#6 LOVES Swedish Meatballs.  I mean, if you ask him where his favorite place in the world is, he'll tell you Ikea "because they have Swedish meatballs."

As I'm pondering this, I realize that I don't have a set recipe I use.  If I want to do this in the future, I'd better jot it down here, so I can keep from reinventing this same old wheel again.  Here's what I do....

With your hands, mix together ground beef and one package of dry onion soup mix.  Form them into balls and put them in a frying pan.  Cook them until they're evenly brown on all around.

Remove the meatballs and put a couple cans of cream of whatever soup--chicken, mushroom, or something like that (You could probably also make a cream sauce of equal parts butter and flour.  Pour in beef broth gradually until it's a gravy consistency)--stir it all around in the pan.  Add some sour cream and some salt and pepper to taste.

Put the meatballs back in and stir them around.

We like to serve it over mashed potatoes, but you can serve it with rice or pasta too.

Super easy.

Day 18- Plans/Dreams/Goals I Have

I'll tell you my biggest dream, and you will think I'm COMPLETELY insane....

I think this must stem from the fact that life is so full right now.

I want to decrease my possessions down to the very barest of necessities and then I want to travel the world.

There....Crazy?  Mmm, yah, probably.

Other than that, dreams?  Yah, I got dreams.

I want to write a book.

I want to write a song.

I want to be a motivational speaker (did I just say that out loud?), but yah, it's true.  I figure I do it on a day to day basis anyway with one child or another.  I'm in good practice.

I want to live to spend time with each of my grandchildren.

I would love to learn to fly an airplane--that's been on my bucket list since I was a kid.

After I learn to fly, I want to fly a biplane.  They're so cute!

There are others, but there you go...for a start

....gotta save some for next year.

Who Cares?: Where My Mom Went Oh So Right

"Someone has wisely stated that hate is not the opposite of love. Apathy is. We will not have time for apathy in life’s journey if we speak and think positively"  (Marvin J. Ashton).

I've really wondered all these years just what made my mom successful as a mother.  To me, she was the quintessential example of what motherhood should be.

A number of years ago, after making one of our trips to the cemetery to leave flowers on her grave, I realized that many of my mom's grandchildren would never know her.  That was one of the saddest things about letting her go back in March of 1999.  After returning from the cemetery that Memorial Day, I decided to set up a private Facebook page so my family members who knew her could jot down their memories of her.  As my siblings, older nieces and nephews and I leave memories, all of the family members can go there and look at each others' memories of the wonderful things she did.

I want to share one that I wrote yesterday:

"Once, in high school, I asked a kid to drive me home; I don't think school had even started for the day. When I walked in the house, Mom wasn't anywhere to be seen.

"She came in later and was surprised to find me sitting on the bed in her room watching T.V. She asked what I was doing at home, and I told her the details that had brought me there. She said, 'Great, you can go to work with me.'

"She was heading all the way down to Salem that day.

"We stopped at Shari's for lunch. On our way out of the parking lot, the rear of Mom's car was sticking out a bit. An older lady, who was about to turn in, shot Mom a dirty look. I reached behind Mom's headrest and flipped the lady the bird. The next thing Mom saw was the woman's expression change to one of shock.

"Mom turned to me and said, 'You did something. What did you do?'

"'I flipped her off,' I responded rather sheepishly knowing how disappointed she'd be in me. 

"Her response absolutely shocked me. 'Good for you!'"

That was my mom.   Anyone who knew her would say she was one of the most gentile, soft-spoken, sweet women they'd ever met.  She was.  I take after my dad.

As I got to thinking about her after writing that and through a few experiences I've been having lately, I'm beginning to realize now what makes her amazing in my memory.  She cared.  No...she cared passionately...about her kids.

In the situation above, she knew there was nothing she could do about what had been done.  I was a good kid.  This was an isolated incident.  She could have sat and lectured me, but what would that have done to our relationship.  Would that have built me up?  Would that have made her my ally?  

Let me tell you, though, after that experience, we laughed for the rest of the day.  We were equals and friends.

She didn't Love and Logic us.  Not at all.  Do I wish she had?  Yes, I wish I 'd been taught to take responsibility for my choices.  I think I wouldn't have had so much catching up to do as an adult.  However, I think there's an aspect of my mom that needs to be tempered with the logic portion of Love and Logic.  My mom knew how to love like no one I've ever met.

Mom didn't sweat the small stuff.  She cheered for us.  She let us know where she stood--not with lecturing but just out of who she was and how she lived.  We all knew, and none of us wanted to let her down.  As far as I know, we all still strive for that--to make our mom proud.

Yesterday, I had an experience that has brought me to this conclusion about my mom.  In giving my children choices, there are times when they fail.  There are times when life is heavy.  Although I've given them the right to choose their own path, once they've set out in that direction (whatever direction that may be), my job is to show them undying love.

I have a child who is suffering right now because of some choices that (s)he made.  I'm finding that I also have a choice here at this point.  I can sit back and apathetically say, "Ah well.  (S)he made his/her bed, and now he/she gets to lie in it," or I can stop what I'm doing and take the time for that child to coach him/her get back on the best possible path.  My job is not to force that kid.  I have the opportunity to solidify, in that child's mind, my love for him/her.

Yesterday at church, this child approached me and said he/she was going to walk home.  I recognized this as a cry for help.  So, what do you do?  Do you say, "Hey, go ahead.  I'll talk to you later," or do you leave the responsibility you have--I am Primary president in my ward--throw everything on someone else's shoulders and answer the cry?

This, I recognized, was a ninety and nine situation.  I had no choice.  It was time to walk in my mother's shoes for a few minutes.  I went with the child and we talked and cried together until there was some amount of resolution and a plan to get onto a better path.

So, this morning, my mind goes to apathy.  I have a another situation in my life in which I've been invited to do something.  As I've shared some honest misgivings about this thing, there has been a bit of apathy in return.  I can't tell if I'm just being asked to do this because the other person feels obligated to invite me--out of duty--or if it really is important but this person wants to give me my agency.  I guess in a situation like this my mom would've said, "I'd really like you to do this," and I would've jumped as high or higher than she expected.  I knew it meant a lot to her.  I wish, in this case, I knew.  It would be so much easier to do the right thing.

I'm learning that my kids need to know how I feel about things.  Giving them choices doesn't mean that I give them a choice and then sit back apathetically when they choose what I didn't want them to.  If this is a big decision, it's giving them a choice, sharing the possible outcomes (Jim Fay would probably disagree with this), and letting them choose what they want the outcome to be.  Help them look to the end result.  Then, once they've made their choice (even if it's not the one I would have chosen for them), love them through it.

I'm so grateful for a wonderful, sweet mother who continues to teach me even after she's gone.  This is where she went so right.  Five out of six kids served missions.  All married in the temple.  All still going strong.  All because our mom cared.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tomorrow's the End

No I'm not talking about rapture, or the end of the world or Armageddon or even that we're all going to be abducted by aliens, but tomorrow IS the LAST day of the Hesses Madhouse giveaway.

If you want in, go here and follow the instructions.  Please make sure to leave a comment after each thing you do; although, I may be a bit lenient this time.

Thanks!  I will draw a winner and announce him/her on Tuesday morning.

Day 17- Someone I'd Want to Switch Lives With For One Day and Why

I think there's only one person in this world that I'd change places with if I could--and only for a day, no longer.

I mean, seriously, if you could have everyone meet your every need, and you could wear a tutu on any given day, wouldn't you do it?

Although, with this one, I think I might want to wait until she's a couple months older, so I don't have to endure any diaper changes, but otherwise, I think life'd be pretty sweet in her shoes.

Worldwide Love

Every time I check the stats on this blog, one of the things I'm most interested in is what people are reading.  I check my live feed and without fail there are people from places I've never even heard of reading this post.  This morning, it was Kathmandu and Andalucia and even a place called Srpska.

That post has ridden to the top read post on the blog--even over the controversial lunch fiasco.  I guess if you're going to visit a blog it's nice that you're looking for a post about expressing love.  I just thought that was nice.

The thing I think is strangest about this is that if you do a google search for any of my older posts, it sends you to a dead end and tells you "Page not found."  I have learned that if you run into this, all you have to do is click on the link, get the dead end message, type "annex" in the address bar after "hessesmadhouse" and before the "." and then push return.  It'll get there.

So, how is the world still getting to this post?  I guess this just doesn't matter.  I think it's nice that they want to go to one about doing something good.  I hope those who read it try it in their own homes.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if every Monday night, everyone in the world went around to the members of their families and told them what they loved about them?

A Battle with Eczema

My oldest child woke up one morning a few weeks back with one very red, scaly eyelid--to the point that people were stopping her in the halls at school and asking her if she'd been hit.  It was pretty devastating.  I had never seen my easy-going girl so down.

I'm writing about this this morning because it looks like things are finally on the upswing.  If anyone else has this problem, or if we ever have this problem again in our house, I thought I'd best share how it was dealt with, so it can be nipped in the bud quickly--unfortunately in our case this time, it's been nearly a month.  From what I understand it is seasonal and really bad at this time of year, so chances are, it will rear its ugly head again for her in the future.

It had started to show up as a very small thing on the 4th.  I took her in to see a doctor on the 9th. At that point in time, it was all over her right eyelid and was traveling down below her eye as well.  She also reported that it had started in on the left side of her face too.

The doctor talked about using Vaseline on it and mentioned a few lotions.  To this point, we'd used Cetaphil as we use that on our other kids when their skin is exceptionally dry.  With her's, it just wasn't working like we'd hoped it would.

She started the Vaseline a couple days later--over the weekend.  She had waited to use it because she didn't want to go to school with shiny eyelids--that'd be even worse than having people approach you and ask what kind of abuse you were taking. 

She was hoping for an immediate fix, but alas, it's taken until today to really look almost normal again.  Not only that, but when she first used the Vaseline, her eyelid got very swollen and red; she almost gave up then and there, but we told her to give it a chance.  Needless to say, she didn't want to draw attention to it even more, but who can blame her?

She sings with a musical group, and they had their first two performances last Sunday.  She tried to figure every way she could not to stand out.  She wore her glasses and pulled her bangs over that right eye so no one would notice.  Ugh!  There was my beautiful girl feeling like a toad.

On Monday (I believe it was), I got a call from her in the middle of the school day.  She informed me that it was now traveling down her face.  She had left that morning very discouraged anyway, so this was just another blow to her suffering self-esteem.

I called the doctor and was asked if we were using the Vaseline and the CeraVe.  The what?  She told me it was on the papers the doctor gave us.  Neither #1 nor I remember the doctor talking about this, but I guess that'll teach me to read over the instructions when I leave an appointment, huh?

CeraVe is a new lotion on the market.  It's great for eczema.  I went to RiteAid and purchased it for about $15.  I called #1, and offered to bring it by to her, but I only got her voice mail, so we didn't connect until she got home from school.

She was to use the Vaseline at night--a large amount of it, and the CeraVe during the day--applying it many times.  Yay!  Something that didn't make her face shine.

She has been very diligent about doing these things and is now benefiting from looking almost like herself again.

I was going to post a photo of here here, but she isn't ready for that yet.  She has Vaseline all over it right now.  Hopefully in the next couple days we'll have one for you.

I'm really glad that, if she's going to have this problem, that she had it now.  Next year, she won't be here, and it'll be good that she already knows how to handle it, so she can do it on her own.

Saturday Morning at 11am

Morgan's toys were arranged into the flowers.

Ogden City Cemetery

Image credit: Morgan's Grandfather (above)
Jennifer (right)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 16- Another Picture of Myself

There.  Are you sick of pictures of me yet?

Day 15- First 10 Songs that Play on My Playlist

  • "A Little Respect" by Erasure

    • "Superman" by Five for Fighting

      • "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan

        • "Walking in Memphis" by Marc Cohn

          • "Island in the Sun" by Weezer

          • "Don't Worry Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin

          • "Our House" by Madness

          • "Kayleigh" by Marillion

          • "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan -- not the official video (sorry)

          • "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" by Ultravox 

                Morgan's Funeral - Letting Go

                "When the balloons were released, it was very quiet. All I heard was Jenedy's sweet voice say, 'Bye Morgan' as she let go of her balloon." --Jennifer

                As everyone watched them fly away, here's what was happening down on the ground...
                Good-bye Morgan.

                Image credit:  
                #1,2,4,5 - Jennifer
                #3,6 - Jamie and Stephanie

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