Saturday, April 30, 2011

Teach the Children

Children are so close to the Spirit that I am often amazed at how much they comprehend. It's easy to think they are little and simple, but so many of them seem to have old souls and when the Spirit speaks, they truly listen. This was evidenced by the primary activity that Isaac had on Lehi's dream and the tree of life. We'd taught this to him before and even then he was captivated by the story and enacted himself. (see post Don't Disregard the Mutterings ) This time the primary taught it to them and they had the chance to truly hold to the rod to reach the tree of life. Isaac mentioned the mist and how there were people there telling him to let go, to go and play with them and I smiled as in all due seriousness he said, "But I didn't listen! Nope! I just keep going and don't say anything to them!" Apparently the 'fruit' was tied to a Christmas tree that they could pick and it was truly sweet to the taste. When he came home he had a matching game that helped to explain the symbolism that we played together. It was a beautiful thing for me to bear testimony once again of the truthfulness of Christ and his gospel.

I am profoundly grateful for the scriptures that teach us of these things. I am also so grateful for the parents and teachers who see the potential in our young children and are willing to go to great efforts to teach true principles with eternal significance. I know it is through these experiences and the quiet moments of testimony and scripture reading that will reinforce Christ's teachings and become a part of my children's lives.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cussing and the Natural Man

Isaac and I had a little incident today that makes me wonder about the origins of cussing. Certain choices lead to a disciplinary action that involved tossing out some of his Easter candy. Being the sugar deprived household we are, this was the cause of a major uproar - yelling, screaming and kicking ensued. At some point, Isaac's frustration and anger reached a level he felt he had to express. He opened his door, stomped out of his room and with a guttural yell said, "BOO YOU!!!!" and then slammed the door.

I was a little stunned, in part because it was one of the most forceful expressions I have yet seen him say. But on the other hand, I couldn't help but smile, since the worst word he seems to think of at such a heated pitch was 'boo'. Clearly he was 'cussing' me out on some level and so part of me wanted to address it and the other part of me was just grateful that he still had the innocence to not know of any real cuss words. In the end I just let it go. I'm sure a real cuss word will issue forth at a latter date - heaven help me when it does. Until then, I don't want to have to say more than I need to. ;0)

Here's the sweetie doing more innocent things with his mouth!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

He is Risen

Happy Easter one and all! I love this holiday and all that it symbolizes to me. While I wasn't as organized as I'd like to have been, we did manage to squeeze in some holiday fun.

Egg decorating one night for Family Home Evening. The shrink wrap stuff was too small for our eggs, so we made them into hats topped with fuzzy pom poms.

We attended the candy hunt at the Peoria. Kent couldn't' make it because of a camp out and I was had pressed to keep these little ones on the side till the Easter Rabbit gave the signal to go. I'm sure it's due to the sugar deprived state I keep our home in. Keila kept chanting, "'andy, 'andy, 'andy!!"

The mad rush onto the baseball field for candy where everyone worked their way into the center grabbing candy as they went!

Keila had no sense of urgency, unlike Isaac, but strolled along happily picking up those dropped by others.

A few free crafts were available. I kept this photo because if you look carefully, you can see Isaac has scratched in his name on the egg. I'm so proud that he can write his letters!

For Easter morning I did get my self organized to have a huge breakfast complete with hot cross buns (delicious - thanks to Pioneer Woman again!)

Finally a small egg hunt for the kiddos as well as a wonderful dinner with friends.

In addition to all the festivities, we tried hard to also talk alot about the Savior and the atonement. In the car the other day, Isaac broke into one of his random songs and I was surprised to hear him sing, "And Jesus died, so we'd be resected ..." Aside from the mispronunciation, he had the doctrine pretty clear. I asked him how knowing that made him feel, hoping that the teachings had reached more than just ideas or facts. He replied that he was happy so he could live with Jesus someday, and as in a typical 3 year old, he added that the candy made him happy too! ;0) President Thomas S Monson said it so well, "Who can behold the many wonders of the universe without believing that there is a design for all mankind? Who can doubt that there is a Designer?" I see that design in families and all that it teaches me as I grow. Most of all I know that the design and Designer's culminating act is found in the atonement, death and Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. Because of Him, my life has purpose and meaning beyond just here and now, reaching into the eternities. I can forgive and be forgiven - thus finding healing and peace to the soul. For that I am profoundly grateful.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mom's Night

Isaac's preschool held their annual Mom's night where kiddos could make corsages/hair pieces for their moms, paint their fingernails, shave their legs (yes with real shaving cream and a Popsicle stick!) dance, eat cookies and milk and play games. Isaac had a blast and I think I received the most colorful pedicure of my life!

Although Isaac is blurry, I had to include this one because my fingernails are a beautiful combination of orange and blue!

He wanted to wander through the rock maze afterwards and I couldn't help but try and capture him in the fading light.

He's growing up so quickly! In just a few weeks he'll be 4 years old. That lost faraway look in his eyes reminds me alot of how I feel when I think of all that's happened in these last 4 years. This life truely passes like a dream!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Keila Love-Bug

It's crazy to me how it's nearly the end of April and I haven't had the chance to post anything all month! Life just seems to get busier and busier and in my few moment I muse over the changes that have occurred and wonder how could I have missed it all!

Keila has lost all the markings of a baby - no more the unsteady gait, the use of sign language or the chubby dimpled hands and feet. She's slimming out a little more especially as she runs the particular waddle of a toddler to keep up with Isaac. Her imagination has really begun to develop as in agitation she'll point to a corner and babble about some 'cary, cary' object. As with Isaac we've taught her the magic in touching the monster and they disappear which has satisfied her to some degree. Isaac was a dear in making a pet rock for Keila which he named Peacock Conner (don't ask me where that came from, I have no idea) that sits in her room to keep all monsters at bay. She giggles complusively when she can get the feather to flutter on the top of Peacock Conner's head and religiously greets him after a nap.

The famous Peacock Conner!

It's delightful to see her venture out and play with other children. Perhaps it's because she has Isaac, but she's learning to play cooperatively with others. (or at least not argue when the older ones tell her what to do!) Of course she's at that stage when words are limited and sounds much like the seagulls in Nemo, constantly yelling, "Mine? Mine? Mine, mine, mine' and I sigh a little at all her screams of frustration in communicating. But Kent and I have to chuckle becuase all too soon it'll turn into the constant chatter, and we can't quite decide which is better.

Playing with bubbles during a General Conference session.

She loves ... I mean, LOVES animals! This means Sunshine our rabbit, the dog next door to the worms in our worm farm. (Yes, we have a worm farm, but that is a post for another day) Just lately she's taken notice of babies and has shown a motherliness (is that a word?) that never fails to get some 'ohs' and 'ahs' from others. For all her feeding and cuddling of little people, she still refuses to hold a doll. I think I scarred her by showing her one of those 'Baby Alive' dolls. They're a little freaky in how their eyes and mouths move to imitate the real thing and now Keila runs in alarm if you attempt to put a 'fake' baby in her proximity. We hope this changes soon because we bought her a birthday present in advance (back at Christmas time) which consists of a doll with all it's accessories. I'm in for it otherwise!