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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Reckless Recreation: Walking in the Woods

So many people struggle with winter.  I personally find winter thrilling.  I can't imagine living somewhere without snow and cold.  Don't get me wrong, when Spring comes around I am ready and excited for it.  But you know how some people dread a snowstorm? I get excited.  I hope we get the worst of it.  I turn on the outside lights so I can watch and see how thick the snow is coming down.  When we have a winter without very much snow like we did this year, I feel like the planets are misaligned.  

I tell you all of this to say this simple thing, some people struggle with winter, I struggle with mud season.  Everyone is ready to bust out from being cooped up all winter.  The air feels fresh and renewing, the birds are singing, and it is altogether pleasant.  Except for the mud.  We are ripping though footwear and clothes.  I might   be seriously considering a pair of these for each of the kids:

Think of how cool it would be to just hose them off before the come inside!  I am pretty sure I am going to buy them just as soon as the cars are payed off, the mortgage, college loans, and I win the lottery.

Add to the layer of mud the kids and the dogs have tracked in, a layer of husky hair.  I am also seriously considering shaving the dogs clean, ceasing vacuuming and mopping and allowing the mud and hair to collect.  I figure if I wait long enough I will start a new interior decorating trend; stucco flooring!

Again I am telling you all this just so I can post pictures of our semi-annual General Conference walk.  But since it is Thursday I am only posting nature themed photos.  The family themed pictures will come tomorrow for Family Friday.

In case a far off photo of this giant poop wasn't enough for you, I have added a close up.  Moose???
That's all for today folks!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Parenting Practices: Follow Through

Yesterday morning Ben asked if he could have a turn on the Wii before school.  Having acquired some wisdom in all my years, I told him no and that it was not a good way to start the day.  When I left the room to do something else Ben not only got on the Wii, but he got Jacob on as well.  As a consequence he lost all screen turns for the rest of the day.  For some kids/families this would be no big deal, but Ben LOVES screens.  If he doesn't get a turn on any given day he gets upset and comes to me "But Mommy, I haven't had a single screen turn at all today." as if it an element essential for survival. 

"The human brain is a complex organ that exists in a delicate balance.  If the brain is deprived of oxygen, water, nutrients or screen time for even a short time it will begin to shrivel and die.  Life is not possible without these essential components." (Not an actual scientific statement) 

Sorry, I had a little ADD moment there.  

This morning I  heard Ben get up earlier than normal.  Usually when he does this he gets on to the Wii and as I laid there in bed I contemplated how hard the afternoon was going to be since I was going to have to take away Ben's screen time again.  I came downstairs and carefully and with out accusation asked Ben why he was up so early.  He had no reason so again with care and without suspicion I asked what he was doing while he was up.  

Ben: I started to get on the Wii and then knew I shouldn't so I turned it off.
Me: How long did you play?
Ben: Not at all, I was watching the titles and waiting for the game when I decided I shouldn't get on so I turned it off.
Me: I am really proud of you Ben and I am really glad that you made a good choice because if you had gotten on I would have had to take away your screen time again today.

Later we talked about the reasons why he had lost the turn yesterday (obedience and priorities) and I asked him how it felt knowing that he made a good choice even though it was hard?  His answers reminded me why I love having a sensitive child.

"I really wanted to play and Satan was tempting me to play and Heavenly Father was telling me not to, and I felt like I was being torn in two pieces inside." 

I asked him how it felt knowing that he chose God's side.

"It feels like me and God  can never be apart."

I loved his interpretation and knew that I would forget it unless I recorded it.  The added bonus is that as I have churned though my thoughts as part of the writing process I have realized I have learned the same lesson as Ben.  

Yesterday when Ben lost his turn he asked if there was any way he could earn it back. I had to tell him no because I really needed him to learn how important it is to not get on a screen without permission.  I felt like I was being torn in two inside, one side wanting to be the nice mom who can play and do what she wants because the kids are entertained, and the other wanting to be the mom that helps her children understand the consequences of choices they make when they are young and in the home where bad decisions don't carry such heavy consequences.  This morning the same struggle ensued as I thought of how today is a half day of school and Ben would have expectations of screen time that he could not have because he had broken the rules again.  

But, I chose the right yesterday in following through on the punishment, and I chose the right this morning when I decided that I would have to follow through again today if Ben had indeed gotten on the Wii.  It was a hard decision to make because I knew there would be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth over it and I would have to deal with it.  But the joy and peace of mind seeing that Ben learned from the experience and came out alive even though he didn't have ANY screen time, was worth it all.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Deep Thoughts: Insert Name Here______________

Normally when I write about my beliefs I try to adapt the concept so I can be inclusive of as many different belief systems as I can.  Ultimately I would like people to know that Mormons are pretty normal and that people need not fear what we believe because much of it is similar to what most other religions believe.  Today I am going to leave the interpretation and application to the reader.  What you have here are my pure unbridled thoughts.

I have been doing the Addiction Recovery Program that my church offers.  It has been infinitely useful in helping me overcome my emotional eating habits and it also has been amazing at helping me realize that EVERYONE,has something in their lives that keeps them from relying on the Lord.  One of the questions the programs ask you to answer is:

Apply this verse to your life by copying it and inserting your name as if the Lord were speaking directly to you. Write the thoughts that come into your mind about this scripture and its personal application."

“If Lauren comes unto me I will show unto her, her weakness. I give unto Lauren weakness that she may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for Lauren if she humbles herself before me; for if Lauren humbles herself  before me, and has faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto her” (Ether 12:27).

Realizing that I use food as a crutch and turning to the Lord instead of food, has helped me learn to turn to the Lord whenever I am troubled by something.  I have  always found a solution.  Either a solution comes to mind, or someone shares something that answers the question, or I cease to worry about whatever the issue was, or the solution comes through the actions of someone else, or I find a talk, scripture or article that lays out solutions.  All I can say is that turning to the Lord has most definitely helped me make weak things become strong.

Monday, April 01, 2013

L.S.N.E.D: Treasures of Knowledge

I learned two new things yesterday.
#1 There is a very simple way to peel garlic.

  • Supplies:
    Garlic (not my image)
2 Stainless Steel Bowls (not my image)
Put the garlic in one of the bowls and use the base of the other bowl to smash the bulb into individual cloves.
Next, invert the second bowl inside the first bowl and shake your brains out......and voila!  Peeled garlic!

Not only did I learn it, I had a spectacular demonstration of epic proportions from DaBird. Here is a link if you want to watch the inferior demonstration done by the professionals.  I only wish I had a video of DaBird demonstrating.  I pretty sure we could make money off of was that good. 

#2 You know how kids (and some teenagers...C.O.D.Y.) only eat the frosting off the top of cupcakes?  I learned a neat way to prevent that AND keep the frosting out of your beard (good advice for me, I think I might be headed that way.)
  • Supplies:
    Pretend this is a cupcake
    That is all you need
There. Now you can go to bed with the same assurance that I had; I learned something new today.