Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Good Day

We woke up. Ate breakfast. Did some chores. Went to the park. Took naps. Worked on my calling and made a hair appointment. Answered some email. Made some phones calls. Cooked the chicken for fajitas for dinner. Did more chores. Played with Joseph. Learned about farm animals. Played the ukulele. Went for a walk to collect rocks. Learned about farm animals again and matching and taping and sticking to the wall. More dinner prep and help from Joseph. Daddy came home. Went to the gym. Kids sweetly off to bed. Daddy to gym. Dinner. Watched American Idol. A great day.

Something I am learning about myself as a mother is that I need stuff. Toys, workbooks, props... help at entertaining and teaching my children. A month or so ago a friend (thanks Lauren) recommended the Brighter Vision Learning Adventures as a good resource for "teaching" small children. I looked it up and requested a trial packet to see if it would help get the wheels turning in his head. (Not that he needs help thinking or learning, he is very bright. Just that he is happier with a task or project- something that engages him. Adults are the same- you get the picture.) Some moms I see and compare myself to seem to have a hang on creating games, projects, and crafts for their kids. They print off pictures, color and laminate them and viola... a quiet book for church! Can't I just buy one of those?! Don't get me wrong, I do see the value in creating something with your own hands but when do these moms have time to do it all? No, what I need right now is the good old fashioned dollar so I can buy what somebody else has put in so much time to create. I have strayed... So anyway, today after nap-time we opened our trial packet. The theme was Farm Animals and even though he already knows all his barnyard animals and their noises there were some fun activities that gave him a chance to practice fine motor skills like putting together puzzle pieces and placing stickers in a very precise spot. He seemed to really enjoy it and what might be even more important is that I enjoyed it. I felt like a good mother trying her best to teach. My mind was engaged with the little tasks that I had to do like cutting things out and asking him questions about simple barnyard scenes. The energy and excitement in our toy room was so much higher than other days when I sit on the floor and take hold of some toys with great intentions, but find myself nodding off and wishing that I could go and do all the chores waiting to be done. Obviously Brighter Vision is not going to solve all of my problems but, for now, it seems to be just what my little guy needs. That said, if any one is reading and has other suggestions for materials that would help to teach and entertain a 2 1/2 year old let me know.

(Baby Evan did not want to pose for his picture or bend at the hips for that matter.)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Forever Family

I am sure most of you know how hard it is to get a picture with the whole family dressed and looking semi-decent. Well, Joseph's sweaty hair notwithstanding, this is it for us! Every year I have a hard time with the Christmas card/picture because I want it to be perfect but it never is. So, this photo was taken at the beginning of February when we were at the Temple for Justin and Kira's sealing to their adopted baby boy Evan. It was a beautiful sealing as most are but was especially sweet due to the very real display of love between Justin and Kira and Evan, Kira's parents and Kira, Justin and Kira and the birth grandmother, and the birth grandmother and baby Evan. The relationship between J and K and the birth mother has been so astounding and impressive. I have not known another couple to adopt so I am not sure what the "norm" is. But I suspect that most people do not pursue much of a relationship with the birthmother of their baby. J and K have been the opposite. If they are ever in her neighborhood on the way to play in a fresh water spring they will call her and invite her to come and see Evan. They overlap activities in the church so she can see Evan, they correspond by email and phone calls and highly value their relationship with her. Recently they purchased and new car and GAVE her their old one. It is so amazing to me because it is such a pure Christlike thing to do. I feel like I've seen the gospel come full circle and so many lives have been blessed by people seeking the guidance of the spirit and then following it. That said, I am pretty sure the birth mother never intended to get pregnant and give the baby up for adoption- BUT the fact that once that occurred she was strong and decisive in her choice to give the baby to a family that could provide her with a loving and safe environment with a mother and father and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the Temple and the blessings that we receive from going there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Our Own Little August Rush

If you haven't seen the movie- DON'T. It is not even worth renting in my opinion... Joseph was given a Ukulele for Christmas by Joe's mom. He loves to "play" his "guitar-zukie". And I'll admit that I like plucking at it as well. Maybe it has something to do with never reaching the dream of learning to play the guitar. I know, I know, it is never too late. Maybe Joseph and I can learn together.