Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lacy Webs, Pumpkin Patch, and a Nice Dinosaur

Something wonderful is happening around here. The spiders are thriving all over the place, and the whole town is just covered in their lacy webs. In the morning, when the dew settles on them, they sparkle all over the place like huge snowflakes connecting all my bushes. It is like walking around the yard after the first snowfall. I've tried to capture it with my camera, but I just can't seem to. The picture here is my best attempt. The kids love to throw pine needles and such into the webs and watch the spiders run to get the intruder out of the web and repair it.

We had a really fabulous time this week with Cooper's preschool at the pumpkin patch just outside of Elma. The kids loved the hay maze and hay ride, but my favorite thing about it was visiting with all the other parents of Cooper's friends. There are just such good people around here. I guess there have been good people everywhere I've been. I just like realizing that there are good people to know everywhere.

So today I woke with that daunting Sunday task that has faced me so many other Sundays: getting the kids out the door to church by myself. I don't know why it is so hard. They don't like getting dressed up. They don't even like going to church. (It is so hard to sit still for so long!) They complain about it the whole time. I usually have something else to prepare for my contribution to the operation of church, and I always have to make sure I've prepared lunch and activities for my kids during the Sacrament Meeting portion of church. Plus, I have to get myself ready. All without detracting from the sweet spirit that we want to feel on Sundays: "If you don't get your shoes on by the time I count to three, I'm gonna....!!!"

I've done this tons of times--especially in residency. Today, however, I just couldn't face it. That's when the idea came to me. Puppies. I stood at the top of the stairs that declared that I was going on a walk and that if any puppies wanted to join me, the should get their leashes and meet me at the stairs. You can imagine how my four little "puppies" came crawling and barking. Everett said his name was Biscuit. Sammi was Flower, Cooper was Race Car, and Scotti was Cheesy. I took them all on a walk to Everett's room. That was the park. Then, I told Ev to play dead. As he did so, I tossed toys for all the other puppies to fetch. Brilliant mother that I am, I threw them FAR so that I had enough time to get Ev's pants on while he played dead and the others played fetch. Ev had to "sit!" in order to get his shirt on. Then, we went for another walk to another park. Scotti's and Cooper's room. Same story. Lots of fetch, lots of playing dead. Before I knew it, all my kids were dressed without a single bit of fuss. Am I the best mother in the world or what? (Never mind that all my kids got for breakfast was the picnic Sammi got out for them of green beans, pickles, and yogurt!)

On the way home from church, Scotti and Cooper got in an all out fight. I separated them and put them each in their rooms. I talked to Scotti, and then spent some time talking to Cooper. Here's how the conversation with Cooper went:

"What happened in the car?"

"Well, Scotti hit me, so I hit him too."

"Is it ever ok to hit?"


"What about if someone hits you?"


"Let me tell you a little story."

"Is it about a nice dinosaur who takes a little boy named Cooper for a ride?"


"Is it about a man who hits another man and so he hits back and then they both say they are sorry?"

"Actually, yes."

"I'd rather hear the one about the dinosaur."

Then, later in the conversation Cooper attempted to quote to me his own made up Article of Faith. (In our religion, there are 13 statements that describe what exactly we believe about life. We've been studying them in our family scripture study.) It was pretty incoherent with a lot of big religious words. Then,

"Do you want to hear the second one mom? It's like this: I'm really naughty, so I'm not going to go to God."

"Well I don't like that one at all! Do you know that even when you are naughty you can go to God? You just have to say you're sorry!"

"Well, I'm not going to tell Scotti I'm sorry mom."

"You are right, that is naughty."

"I guess if I see him again I'll tell him I'm sorry, but only if I see him again."

"OK Coop. Let's go find him."

Coop apologized in the end, but I loved talking to him about the problem.

Oh man, one more thing about this week. Soccer is proving to be a defining experience for Sammi. She is just so funny. This week she fell down at the beginning of the game. She stood up and yelled as loudly as she could, "I quit! I'm never playing soccer again!" and then she got in the car and refused to come out for the rest of the game. She is just so funny about soccer. She loves it, but just can't stand it if everyone doesn't do everything exactly how she wants it, so she ends up in the car every game. She's only made it through to the end of the game once (maybe twice?) without having a fit. Sports always teaches us great lessons, doesn't it? The character building is intense here!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Developments with Ev's Laundry Skills

Now that Everett knows how to do his own laundry (see my former post), it has created a huge problem. I discovered today that Everett has been peeing in his pants, putting them in the dryer, and then putting them back on. I don't know how many days he has been doing this now, because in retrospect, there have been a lot of intermittent periods where Ev had no pants on that I cannot explain. I caught him doing it today. He must have thought he found a great alternative to using the toilet (which is hard for him because he's not tall enough to reach the toilet yet, though he is potty trained.) Oh my funny kid.

While I'm sharing stories, this week during General Conference, I had a big talk with Scotti about how it is really important to learn about God and about how life works because it will help him make good choices and prepare to be baptized when he's eight and get the priesthood when he is 12 and go on a mission when he is 19 and be a good husband and father one day. He liked the idea of having all those responsibilities a lot. As a result, yesterday he was sent to his room for some form of misbehavior. When I went to get him out of his room, I asked him if he was ok and was willing to make things right about his actions. He told me that when he got in his room he had a really hard heart and he knew he couldn't feel the Holy Ghost because of it. So, he said a prayer in which he asked Heavenly Father to help him like me again. Then he looked at me really happily and said that it must have worked because his heart is softened again and he doesn't hate me anymore. This really took me by surprise, because he was in his room because he kicked Cooper, so I thought he was trying to soften his heart against Coop. The thought that he was up here angry at me that whole time just made me laugh. Anyway, it goes to show that kids are capable of understanding important principles of life like the difference between a hard heart and a soft heart. I'm going to try more to talk to my kids about these kinds of things on a level of higher thinking. I think they can handle it sooner than we think.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

This week's happenings...

So this week I'm busy making dinner and I notice that Everett is walking around with no pants on. Soon, before I can get to it, he comes over to me and hands me his pants and asks me to put them on him. I take them from him and realize that they are really warm. "How did your pants get so hot Ev?" I ask.

"Well, I sat in some water, so I put them in the dryer." That's right. My two year old took off his wet pants, put them in the dryer, turned it on, waited for them to get dry, and then took them out and gave them to me to put on him. Oh I love 2 year olds!

This week was the first time I have ever decorated with my own harvest. We decorated for Halloween and used pumpkins from our own garden (shown here), and corn stalks from our own corn. I love it. I love it so much I might have to grow some hay so I have a big rectangle of hay for next year.

This week we also built our compost area. I'm really proud of it, because I researched what I thought would work best for our big wastes in our yard, as well as how much compost I wanted to put on my yard each year. We'll see how it goes. I'm excited to make some dirt! We've already got one of the bins almost completely full of yard waste, breaking up for us to use in the spring!

General Conference was this weekend, and boy was it a hit. General Conference is when God's prophet and all the leaders of the church come together to address the rest of the world. It is eight hours of inspiration (not all in one sitting!) My kids were so excited about it because we've set up a lot of festivities around General Conference, mostly involving good food and fun activities to help them learn from the talks. It is fun to sit with my kids and explain the answers to their questions about life that come up as they try to understand what they are hearing. I love that God finds a way for me to be inspired by such talks even in the midst of the chaos of trying to get 4 little kids quiet to listen to old people give very dry talks. We've had a fun weekend together.