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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Decidedly Wordy

I didn't feel like being wordless today.

I am a stay at home mom. I happen to be in the process of finishing up the education necessary for my second career. What, you may ask, was your first career? Well, this was the day I graduated with my associates degree in mother:

Then I furthered my education and decided to get my bachelor's degree in mother:

(Mere weeks after getting my bachelor's degree from Johnson State I might add)
Despite challenges and taunts from others that I was getting too much education and I was crazy to further my degree, I decided to get my master's degree in mother:

While I found getting this education challenging and I felt inadequate many times, I found it rewarding and decided to wrap things up by getting my doctorate in mother:

Just because I have my doctorate in mother does not mean I am the best mother. I know mothers who have their associate's degree and apply that knowledge with wisdom that exceeds my doctorate. As with any career degree there are stellar professionals and ones who have the degree but do nothing with the education required to get that degree. I know women who are studying furiously and gaining lots of experience and knowledge but for one reason or another they are struggling to graduate with that degree but still use those experiences to better their homes, communities, workplace etc...

But for all those mothers out there who struggle to find value, satisfaction, success, a sense of accomplishment, validation, or whatever it is that makes you question, "is this worth it?" in their job as stay at home mom, here are some words of encouragement and wisdom:

"In my opinion, the teaching, rearing, and training of children requires more intelligence, intuitive understanding, humility,strength, wisdom, spirituality, perseverance, and hard work than any other challenge we might have in life." James E. Faust

Friday, March 15, 2013

Family Friday: Aaron

Normally I unload family pictures on Fridays, but I think I will take a different approach today.  This morning I opened the dishwasher to unload it and was amazed by the mish mash of dishes intricately layered and stacked on the racks.  Tupperware lids were stacked and then a juice pitcher placed over the top of them. Nearly every spoon, spatula and plate in the house was loaded in there.   Unloading it was like an archaeological dig of what we ate over the past two days yesterday.  As I stood there, amazed at the number of dishes Aaron was able to load in the dishwasher and still have the dishes come out clean, I started to think about the rotten afternoon Aaron had yesterday.  

He was on his way out the door (late because the van wouldn't start) to bring Ben and Jacob to taekwondo and buy decorations and food for a school dance, when the missionaries called.  They had gone off the road nearby and needed assistance.  Aaron grabbed a bucket of salt, some shovels and took off in hopes of finding the missionaries on the way to taekwondo.  45 minutes later he came back home to consult the map because he couldn't find them.  He found the road where he thought they were and left again.  He searched and searched for the missionaries and never found them.  He couldn't stop the search because he was thinking of his own sons/daughter as missionaries, stranded and needing help.  In the meantime Ben and Jacob missed taekwondo, Aaron didn't get the things he needed for the dance, and he missed a phone interview that is the next to the last thing he has to do to graduate with his master's degree.

Aaron had every right to come home angry, flustered and kick back after such a stressful afternoon and yet I came home from my meeting to clean counters, sleeping kids, delicious leftovers from dinner and Aaron feverishly working on a lecture for class the next day.  But here is the worst part...

I saw the missionaries at the church and asked if they had gotten out without any damage to their car.  They said that they had and then I asked if Brother Cornelius had gotten out without any damage.  They answered, "Oh Brother Cornelius did come to help?" (Not an exact quote)  It turns out the missionaries had called another member of the church as well and he had pulled them out and the missionaries went on their merry way.  They never called to say that they were out and safe so all of Aaron's sacrifices and efforts; missing taekwondo, not getting the errands done and most of all the interview, were in vain.

These were the thoughts going through my head as I emptied the dishwasher.  I continued to think about all the amazing things Aaron does even beyond amazing dishwasher stacking skills.  I thought of every room in this house that has changed because of his skills and dedication with remodeling.  I thought of what an amazing teacher he is and how loved he is by his students and their parents.  Firewood, yard work,  garden, mason's meetings, historical society, neighbor...Aaron does so much.

Then I thought about my calling as Primary president and what a support he was as I served and he was the "mom" which allowed me to do the things I needed to do for my calling.  I was released this past Sunday and I have been showered with compliments and thanks for all I did in my calling.  I could not have served as I did, without Aaron's efforts but I am the one who gets the thanks.  They say behind every good man is a good woman.  In my case, if you think I am a good woman, it is because I have an AMAZING man backing me up.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Friday, March 08, 2013

Family Friday

Here is the news from Craftsbury Cottage, typed on my laptop which is missing the F key which makes for some interesting typing.
Noah likes to "feed the cats."  Whenever he states this we know to run because he NEVER just feeds the cats.

Litter on the floor, in the food bowl and who knows where else.  Food in the litter box, on the floor and in the food bowl.
Manly things must be done shirtless
Ben was quietly reading on the couch but the moment he heard the camera the stage had been set
I told him what I had been trying to capture and this is his mock up of how I first saw him
His rendition of a mosquito
and then a cat...what a hambone
I took this to show a felt sunflower I made, but I am shocked, floored, amazed...and some other intense word that this is my daughter.  There is something about the tendrils of hair and the curve of her neck that is so grown-up and lady-like and I have a hard time believing and accepting that my one girl is becoming a young woman. 
Ditto above comments
Sophie and her snowman
Isn't she lovely!?  The few days she survived I kept looking out the window and became confused as to why Sophie was just standing in the yard.
I thought I had some pictures of the progress on the addition, but I can't find them so maybe I just thought about doing it.  Anyway, I'll work on it and a post should be forthcoming.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Reckless Recreation: Kid Funnies

Recently we had pizza and sometimes pizza goes along with soda.  Noah came over and tried to take my soda after finishing his.  I asked, "Noah, didn't you have a drink?" To which he proudly announced, "Yup! I had Mountain Dew!"

For those of you who don't know, Aaron drinks Mountain Dew to combat the side effects of his mild sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.  In this house Mountain Dew is medicine.

Aaron said, "Actually Noah, it's called guarana (gwar-ah- nah) ."  To which Noah responded, " Yup!  I had blah blah blah!"  He wasn't too far off in his pronunciation.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Monday, March 04, 2013

L.S.N.E.D.: Camera

I reached a point with my camera where I was really thinking I had wasted my money. I was tired of bad exposure and blurry photos.  I was actually considering selling my camera.  But then I figured I haven't really spent a whole lot of time figuring out exactly how the camera works, kind of like driving a car with out understanding how an engine or catalytic converter works. 

 So research began.  I will admit it has been some time since I did this February 3rd to be exact, so I have totally forgot everything I learned, but at least I don't feel quite so depressed about my camera.

Here are a couple of the "educated" photos I took.

The good news is that I get credit for learning something new on February 3 and I will get credit when I learn it again at some future date.