Saturday, April 7, 2012

Holiday Traditions

There are some holiday traditions that you just HAVE to do every year, carve pumpkins, decorate the Christmas tree, and dye Easter Eggs are a few of those in our family. Each of these activities has a huge buildup each year. The kids ask for days (sometimes even weeks) when they are finally going to get to do it. When the day finally comes I get questioned hourly "is it time? Is it time yet?".

Today was that day for Easter Egg dying. The kids were excited. I didn't feel there enthusiasm. Added to my dread was the fact that Henry is only 1.5 years old and we had a two child to one parent ratio. Grammie and Grampa usually take part in the traditions with us but they had a special 50th birthday party to go to tonight.
It started in a blur as the kids filled their cups with dye. Henry tried to eat one of his and ended up with blue lips after Emma fished it out of his mouth. Then we finally got ready to dye the eggs and Cooper dropped his first one on the floor. Henry threw each of his into the cups. When Henry tried to get his first one out we ended up with green dye all over the kitchen table. Then he tried to eat the first one. Then soon after Cooper spilled two of his cups on the table. He said it was okay since he was done with those colors.
In the end with wound up with 15 or so beautiful eggs and four happy kids. I guess that is all that matters, right?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Just One Thing

Someone in my moms group recently asked, "if you could only teach your children one thing, what would it be?"

There were some great responses that I could identify with but none of them were all encompassing enough. Sure I would love for my kids to be happy, and confident, and self-sufficient, and to know Jesus but I want more than that for them.

What first popped into my head and what still is repeating in my head is the Golden Rule. Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. I want them to be kind to others just as they would want others to be kinds to them.  I want them to be respectful of others just as they would want others to respect them.  I want them to give others the benefit of the doubt, to show gentleness and patience.  I want them to be helpful and considerate.  I hope they are humble, grateful, and willing to serve those less fortunate.  I want them to be loving and joyful and considerate.

As I list out all of the qualities I wish for them which I think fall into the Golden Rule it reminds me of the "Fruits of the Spirit".  Galatians 5:22-23 tells us "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."  These are the qualities I wish for my children.  I pray nightly for my children to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  I know that I can't force the qualities on my children I can only pray that the Holy Spirit fills them with these qualities, and I know that if they are filled with these qualities then by default they will treat others the way they would want to be treated.

Some key scriptures that I pray they will learn, understand and exhibit:

Matthew 25:40 ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ~ Serve the less fortunate.  Honor all people.  Don't judge a book by its cover.  Remember that all people were made in the image of God and are valued.  It is what you do when no one is watching that is the true measure of your intentions.

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. ~ Do your best in everything you do.  Do everything as if God, your friends, you mother, your Grandmother were watching.  If you wouldn't act that way to your teacher, principal, Pastor Lance, don't act they way to me, your father, or your siblings.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. ~ If you don't know what is right or what to do, pray about it.  Think back on your Bible teachings.  What would Jesus do? 

1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. ~ Be in the world but not of the world.  Walk the narrow path to Jesus, salvation, everlasting life, don't be caught up in the world and it (lack of) values.  Don't follow the broad road that leads to sin and damnation.

Sometimes it is overwhelming to wonder how I am going to raise these four precious children that God has entrusted to my care.  When I think it is too much I remember:  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Top Secret Personal Beeswax

Being a working mom is HARD... especially with school aged kids. They do so many fun things during the day and it is disappointing for both of us when Mom can't be there to join in.

That I why I make a concerted effort to attend as many things as possible. I try to go to just about every soccer and basketball game. When I have to miss one I make sure Daddy, Grammie or Grampa is there. I go to Girl Scout events, ballet recitals and special plays, concerts and performances.

I also try to go on at least one field trip with each child each year.  Last Friday was my turn to go with Grace. I went with her class to see a Junie B Jones play. I had seen an earlier version of the play with Emma Jo when she was in 2nd grade. Just like that time I was engrossed in the play. It was quite fun to see how many characters there were in the play with just a handful of actors. It was also great fun to remember all of the stories from reading them with Emma. It made me realize that I need to dig them out of boxes so that Grace can read them before she is too old to enjoy them.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Each Tuesday night we have a mad scramble in our house, especially now that basketball is in full swing.  This past fall, Emma Jo started taking ballroom dance lessons at 7pm each Tuesday. It has become a tradition at our school for the 7th and 8th graders to participate in Nordquist dance in Santa Rosa.
This is the first year that Emma is old enough and I was eager for her to participate.  I think it is important to try as many new experiences as you can.  You never know what you will love until you try it. At first she wasn't sure if she wanted to participate but soon it became "when can we go shopping for Nordquist dresses?". Thankfully Grammies was more than happy to help out with that request.

I love that not only are the kids learning dances like the swing, Cha Cha, and waltz but they are also learning etiquette and manners. We are part of a car pool so I only get to go to watch every five weeks but the times I have gone there were lessons on walking a girl onto and off of the dance floor, standing when a woman approaches the dinner table, tying a necktie, helping a girl put on her coat and dressing in a way appropriate for the occasion.

This week I was amazed to see how much the kids have learned in such a short amount of time. They were doing the night club two step and knew many moves and actually looked like they were dancing!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Long weekends

Long weekends are a mixed blessing. This past weekend was Presidents Day so we got Monday off. It was a very productive weekend. Saturday we cleaned the family room from floor to ceiling including moving all of the furniture, shaking out the rug and mopping all of the wood floor. We also got Lucy groomed, went to ballet and sold almost 150 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies (well Gracie did). We even squeezed in a trip to Starbucks and the park!

Sunday was church, a trip to the nursery for potatoes, and about ten loads of laundry before heading to Grammie's and Grampa's for dinner.

Monday we woke up and weren't quite sure what to do. I washed all the sheets and the towels. Went to Walmart and Safeway.  Finished folding and putting away stragglers and watched Smash (my new favorite show!). Then I realized it was still only 3:00. I decided it was s perfect time to take the kids to the park. Emma want interested but the littles were game.

We had gone to Keiser park in Saturday so Monday they opted for "Connie's" park. It wasn't quite as much fun as our trip on Saturday since we didn't run into any friends to chat with. But it is always fun to send time playing with the kids.

By 6pm we were all beat. Three day weekends are nice for getting to spend time together and getting projects done. But by the end of the weekend we are all worn out and ready to get back to normal. I told Jason that next time we have a three day weekend we are getting pizza for dinner on the last night so that we can just relax.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Long, lean & smart!!!

I took Henry to his 18 month appointment last week. He was 23lb 12oz and 32.5" long. This is the 25th percent in weight and 50th percent in height. I didn't get the head circumference but it was in the 70th percentile. My conclusion was that he is long, lean and smart!

He is growing and changing so quickly! He eats more food than any of his siblings. He is stubborn and opinionated. He demands his own way and is a bit if a bully. Henry has the cutest curls and an adorable smile. He is a love and a cutie. He has recently been learning an explosion of words and there is nothing more adorable than hearing him say "peas" or "dank u".