Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Today was our Primary program in church. The theme this year is "My Eternal Family". As a teacher in the primary, the songs and parts sometimes become commonplace and I miss out on their meaning. Today, as the kids sang, I got a bit choked up. One of my favorites is "The Family is of God". Some of the words are:
Our Father has a family. It’s me! It’s you, all others too:
we are His children. He sent each one of us to earth,
through birth, To live and learn here in fam’lies.
Chorus: God gave us families
to help us become what He wants us to be—
This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God.
I’ll love and serve my family and be A good example
to each fam’ly member. And when I am a mom or dad,
so glad, I’ll help my fam’ly remember:
(Then back to the chorus)
Of course, I still can't make it through "Families Can Be Together Forever" without getting a bit vaclempt. I want so much for these sweet little spirits, I just hope that they know how much we are all loving and pulling for them. The world is a pretty crappy place sometimes and as our Bishop said we need "to protect their innocence". They grow up so quickly.
The sweetest thing I saw today happened between Fiona and her cousin Brooklyn. They are fortunate enough to have Great-Grandma Carol as their primary teacher (and it's just the two girls in the class!). Midway through the primary program, they had said their part and the two of them were getting a bit tired of sitting there. Fiona laid her head on Grandma's shoulder and Grandma rubbed her back. A moment later, without really looking, Brooklyn scooted closer to Fiona laid her head on Fiona's shoulder and then Grandma rubbed her back too. If I had a camera (and it wouldn't have been totally inappropriate), I would have snapped a shot right there in church. Moments like these will mean so much more 10 years from now when the world starts to get to them. Knowing that you are loved, deep down inside, makes the choices a bit easier or, at the very least, more meaningful.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
At the end of August, I started my Master's program from NAU. The madness started right away. I had to register full-time to keep a scholarship. This is not that bad part. The bad part came in when I discovered that one of my classes is an 8 week course; the other two 16 weeks. Why is that bad you ask? An 8 week course is 16 weeks worth of work crammed into half of the time. Needless to say, things have gotten pretty interesting here.
To try and manage my time a little better, I've started waking up by 5:30 am. The theory being that I would get some quiet time to do some work. The boys have some mischievious intuition and have started waking by 6am. So much for quiet time.
The kids are doing fine in school and are finally adjusting to the schedule. I get to watch my 7 month (that's right isn't Shel?) nephew on Monday's and Friday's, and take Porter to speech on Tuesday's and Thursday's. This week we will throw the schedule a loop and start dance on Thursday. Things have been stressful (that's an extreme understatement....) but we've tried our best.
After family home evening yesterday, we had our family scripture study. Sometimes I wonder what the point is. Porter and Gryffin are usually giggling and rolling around while we're reading. Last night for whatever reason, Porter was listening intently and repeating phrases. This is amazing for 2 reasons, one - the fact that he paid attention to catch anything and two - that fact that he was putting the phrases together. This is his second year of speech and very rarely do I get an actual sentence.
My posts will probably be very sparse, but I will do my best. Until next time, have fun!
Monday, August 17, 2009
**For my wonderful friends who are not LDS, we have been counseled to set aside one night a week (Monday) as family night. We have lessons, sing church songs and even have a treat.
Everyone took their baths/showers and got ready for bed. We calmed down and listened to Fiona practice the piano. Once we all got in a better frame of mind and mood we sat down. Our lesson was how we talk to others and how that makes others talk to us. Our challenge (and I mean everyone!) is simply to remember to say "Please" or "Thank you". Each time I hear one of these wonderful things I will put a check mark by their names. It was so nice to close by singing "Families can be together forever". Almost immediately following the lesson a wonderful change of air blew in. And, by the end of our closing song, we all felt much more peaceful. Porter said the closing prayer and he made sure to remind us to be friends and to "say please to play with my tractors".
I'm so thankful for the inspiration and revelation of FHE. It is one of the quickest ways to bring all of us back to where we need to be. Now, I don't need to accept my earlier nominations of meanest mom ever and most likely to pop a vein in my neck while yelling.... :)
Saturday, August 8, 2009
We had his party today (Saturday). He is our John Deere lover and we did our best to please him. I made him a frontloader cake (that had an odd resemblence to Mater), and another smaller cake with the John Deere logo on it. He recieved many articles of JD clothing, as well as some fun toys and Thomas the Train books and stickers. He had so much fun and was surprisingly patient. We didn't give him any presents on his actual birthday and told him he had to wait for Saturday. He didn't complain once!
Here's some pics of the party.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
A. She didn't really have any children
B. She didn't pay attention to her children
C. She was an absolute idiot!
Yesterday, Fiona came walking slowly to me with a terrified look on her face. Apparently, while she was holding Doodles - our cat- she was having a hard time holding on to her dime. To say Fiona is a money miser is an understatement. So, rather than set her money down (...where someone might pick it up...)she thought it would be a good idea to put it in her mouth. Now, I have yelled at my children many times not to put money in their mouths. I realize it's a choking hazard, but I personally can't get past the germ factor. Needless to say, she swallowed the dime. "My throat was so dry, I swallowed and I didn't mean to." I talked to the Dr.'s office and we (and of course I mean me) have to watch for the dime to make its exit. This morning Fiona informed me that the dime was like Dora because it was getting to explore lots of places. Where do they come up with this stuff?
Then, tonight, as I was trying to get everyone cleaned up and ready for bed, I left my freshly bathed boys in their hooded towels in the living room. I went to get their jammies and came and heard Porter yelling, "I'm a superhero, I'm a superhero!" He and Gryffin were running around with their hooded towels on with arms stretched wide open, flying around the living room. The only part of their bodies covered was their head.
I was then trying to fold clothes, put them away, and finish the dishes when I discovered Gryffin needed a dry diaper (sidenote: any potty training tips for a stubborn almost 3 year old?!). I sighed and was ready to change him when Kennedy offered to do it. "It's okay Mom, I've got this one." 8 going 18.
Life is crazy. Life is stressful. Life is unpredictable. Life is very entertaining....and I wouldn't trade with anyone....
Friday, July 17, 2009
Apparently, the reason they keep coming back is because in the past couple of days Fiona took it upon herself to try and feed them. The charcoal one "was the mean one mom and the nice one kept running away from it. I knew I had to help it. It was crying for me." The nice one has "pretty blue eyes and likes me". With their mother gone I knew it would be a matter of time before they were gone. The charcoal one was found over by Grandma's house today, dead.
Now, I do not have a heart of ice but I am not a big animal fan. I do, however, love my daughter very much. So, after much pleading, I let her take a small dish of cat food out to the wood pile. I stood back and was amazed how this kitten would walk around and purr on Fiona but when any of the rest of us came near it darted. It didn't hesitate to let her pick it up and pet it. So, unfortunately we now have (an outside one!) a new kitten...named Troy. He has a box with a diaper rag near the wood pile. We even sprayed flea and tick spray on it. That was mainly for my peace of mind and not the health of the kitten. I just hope to heaven Troy can survive outside and doesn't annoy the heck out of me. We already have Doodles, the inside cat. She is not so found of other animals.
Tonight, after we got Troy set up with his makeshift bed, I called her inside to come take a shower. I stood on the deck and listened to her say, "It's okay Troy. You're safe now. I will take care of you. You're not alone anymore."
Oh, Fiona. This ought to be interesting.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I love to look out the windows as the plane decends into Phoenix. Mountains! Oh how I miss them. My heart swells up and somehow I feel protected. As the plane was about to land, I found myself tearing up and getting very antsy. I'm 33 years old but I wanted to see my Mommy. :) The people around me probably thought I was on drugs I was tapping my leg so furiously.
Distance does not make the heart grow fonder...Shakespeare was seriously mistaken. A synonym for fond is tender. That is exactly what happens to the heart, it becomes tender. The distance make the heart tender and makes the soul appreciate what is there.
Driving to Thatcher from Mesa is actually one of my favorite parts of the trip. (Most people will tell you this is the worst part...) Again, I love the mountains and all of the saguarro cactus. when I was younger and we took road trips to Mesa, my dad would always tell us stories and legends about the cactus. Apparently there was an old indian legend that said the saguarro represented the chief. The arms represented how his wives. If she was a good wife, the arm was pointed to the heavens, if she was a bad wife the arm pointed to the ground. The best part of the drive is when we drive past Pima and head into Central. The view of Mt Graham is awesome and I know I'm almost there.
A few days before I left WI my dad was telling me some things about Thatcher to which he said, "You'll just have to wait until you get home to see." I giggled and thought about that. Somehow, Thatcher will always be my home. No matter how old I get or how far I move away. A piece of my heart....no of my soul (yes we are entering cheezy territory...it's my blog..) still resides there. But, how can I call WI my home if I still have a home in AZ. So, since I left I've tried to figure out this conundrum. Can we really have more than one home? Once you leave, they say you can never really come back again. I recently came across a quote from Maya Angelou that said, "You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right."
She pegged it just right. I will always have a 'home' in AZ. My memory is complete with the familiar sounds of birds and frogs (yes they are different from the ones here in WI), the smell of the rain (again...different) and the feel of the air (I don't think anyone would disagree that the air is different...). As Jenni is now getting ready to leave AZ (have a safe trip), she asked me how could I ever leave because she was going to miss it so much. I told her that I've missed it every day since I left.
What I have realized, with a bit of help from Ms. Angelou, is that I have never truly left.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
After a not so good day at church today I was starting to wonder, how can we gauge our progress in this life? When we are single it’s fairly easy to check and keep ourselves on track. When we get married, our progress includes one more person. Motherhood really throws us a curve ball because we are then responsible for those precious lives in our care. How can we tell we are doing okay? Now, I’m not fishing for compliments I was really trying to figure this out. All I know is that when I walked in the door this afternoon, I was ready to quit, throw in the towel…whatever. I must be doing something wrong because things don't seem to be going right.
I know my children will never be perfect, but I have expectations – and I think they are reasonable. I expect them to be kind to their family as well as others, be respectful, courteous, eventually sit reverently in church, pick up after themselves, love their family, love their self…. If they do not reach these expectations, I’m at fault. I understand free agency but I have a responsibility to raise and teach them…show them the right road on the map, if you will. I’ve tried not to raise spoiled children but have wanted to give them opportunities that I were not available to me.
I started thinking about Kennedy being in dance. That is the only thing that I have ever really wanted so bad that I couldn’t have – we couldn’t afford it. I’m living vicariously through her. I love to watch her – she can move it with the best of them.
Fiona plays the piano quite proficiently for a 6 year old if I do say so myself. I might be biased…oh well. Recently, Fiona has started to say she wants to quit piano. Things are a bit harder as she is starting to play both hands (treble and bass clefs). It’s a lot of notes to remember for a little girl but she does it so well.
In the midst of my self inflicted anguish I thought of a conversation she and I had at the piano just yesterday. She told me, again, she just wanted to give up and that it was just getting too hard. I then told her:
“We don’t quit. There is always going to be something in life that is hard, Fiona. If you quit, you’ll never get to the good stuff. You are too special and too good to quit. I can’t let you.”
As I remembered this conversation, I had to stop and smile to myself (through tears of course). I needed my own advice. There are times I want to quit. I feel like I’m failing and quitting is the easiest thing to do. But, I know I have a Heavenly Father that echoes my advice to Fiona. I need to push through the not so good stuff to get the great stuff on the other side. Someone does think that I am too special and too good to quit.
I apologize if you find yourself at the end of this post, wishing you had never started. This is not meant to be a “woe is me post”. I just thought I’m probably not the only one out there feeling this way. Let’s face it, life gets pretty hard sometimes. Unfortunately, there are times we are going to feel like we are failing. Quitting is going to be soooooo appealing but we can’t. There’s always going to be something hard but we are all better than we think we are. We can do it (right?). I’m sure I’ll be discouraged again tomorrow, but for tonight I’ve found a bit more resolve to muster through. If I can find the will try a little harder, I think we all can.
Good luck to us all!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
I got Fiona's friend off with her dad and set off to find the truth. All fingers pointed to Porter so I made him come downstairs and talk to me while I tried to clean the mess. I asked him why he was playing with the paint cans and he replied, "I build a tall tower, it fall down." I then told him he had boxes of blocks, why paint cans. "They're bigger." Now, I knew he didn't mean to spill the paint, but the bottome line is that the paint cans are Daddy's and he's not allowed to play with Daddy's stuff.
3 hours, 4 buckets full of water, 2 1/2 rolls of paper towels, and one full shop vac the mess was pretty much gone. I didn't yell at Porter but grounded him from checking out movies and books from the library. (trust me, this is a big deal for him; sidenote - I made a point to go the library the next day so he couldn't check anything out - does that make me mean?)
I sat down at 9pm to finally eat my salad. The frustration wore off and I started giggling. I hope his inquistive mind can be put to good use one day.
Another bit about my Porterman is that he has been asking for a shirt and tie to wear to church. I finally remembered to get him one. He looked so handsome today, I thought I'd share.
See...it's kinda hard to be mad at that face for too long!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The past couple of days, I have patched my favorite jeans and broke out the sewing machine. I love the brand Silver jeans but as some of you know they are very expensive. Between rummage sales and Goodwill I've come across some nice namebrand pants including Silvers and Guess. (...the most expensive being $4...and I don't think the pants have ever been worn...) The one problem I always run into is the length. I'm short. (...sorry to state the obvious...) Now that schools out, I brought out all of the mending and hemming. I have 4 new (to me) pairs of jeans and a pair of shorts.
Some of you are scratching your heads not realizing that I had aquired the talent of sewing. I thank my Grandmother's Cope and Larson who forced me to listen and watch them sew.
The hemming and mending isn't the coolest part. My boys needed some curtains for their rooms. They keep waking up at the crack of dawn. I wanted to get them some good insulated/thick curtains to help with the sunshine in the summer and the cold air in the winter. When I priced them out, it would cost me close to $40. No way.
Today, I went to Wal-Mart and found some nice thick fabric on sale (a nice boyish maroon, dark olive green, light olive green striped) and commenced to make curtains. They work great and make it nice and dark in their room . The true test will be how early they wake up tomorrow morning.
Sorry about tooting my own horn but I am pretty pleased with myself and thought I'd share.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I recieved a very pleasant surprise as I was thumbing through the program booklet at graduation. In the honors section, under Magna Cum Laude was "Rebecca Phillips Hoffman". I quickly hunted down my counselor before everything started and showed it to her. She tried to explain to me that I would have honors listed on my transcript but no cords. Whatever, all I know is I worked hard and am glad I got some recognition. However, I must admit I cringed everytime they said a graduates name and their honors knowing they wouldn't be saying anything about me. It's an ego thing, I know.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
In the past week, I've caught them drawing on the walls (AGAIN!!!), unfolding the newly folded clothes (2 minutes prior) and Gryffin taking permenant marker to himself. Oh, and Gryffin climbed on top of my washing machine and got stuck. Later that day I had no cold water for the washer. He had shut if off while stuck on said washing machine.
JUST TODAY, both of them on my countertop trying to get candy (7:30 am - caught them after I got out of the shower), shortly after they completely stripped their beds of all linens, the time it took to make my lunch Gryffin was screaming downstairs - he was stuck on top of the deep freezer, 30 min later I had no water running in my house - Gryffin flipped the breaker downstairs while on top of the freezer (thank you Uncle Jerod for figuring that out..), while I was at piano with Fiona both boys climbed up to the key hooks and took both sets of keys for the lawnmower - Jake didn't notice until he heard a strange clicking noise outside.
I'm sure there is more that I'll discover later but I'm too tired to check. So I ask...any of you who have boys...is this what the rest of my life will be like? I'm going to need a lot more Coke and chocolate........................................
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
"Happy Muthrs Day - I love you mom
this qarter is for you all for doing the stufh you did
I love you mom
Happy muthris day
I rele love you mom."
I tried to give her the quarter back but she wouldn't hear of it.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
I'm so proud of my Kennedy. I love to watch her dance. I know this is me being biased, but I think she's pretty dang good. She likes to "shake it". (...those are her words)
It was an awesome show. Not only did I get to watch Kennedy, but my neices - Taylor, Mackenzie and Brookie, my sister-in-law Jasmine, and a whole slew of cousins were in the recital.
Wish you were there Jen. We needed someone to start the catcalling. :) Here's a few pics for you instead.
1st pic:Brookie, Kennedy, Mackenzie & Taylor
2nd pic: Kennedy & Aunt Jasmine
Monday, April 13, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Sometimes I wonder if family scripture study and FHE is doing any good. The boys are usually bouncing all over, and the girls tend to look off in space. After scripture study we say our personal bedtime prayers. That night a metaphor had been used in the scriptures about the strength of a chain. Fiona started her prayer - prayer #13, the same-o same-o. Then as I was trying to keep Gryffin on my lap, quiet, with arms folded Fiona paused. I thought she was stuck and I was about to help her when she said, "Heavenly Father, please help our family be strong like a chain and that we can all work together to keep it strong." Of course my eyes watered a bit and scripture study was validated. Then, about a week ago, while saying bedtime prayer, she asked, "Heavenly Father, please watch over this family that no one will ever get lost because we need everyone." That opened an awesome opportunity to talk about eternal families and the importance of temple marriages.
I really would like to know what goes through her mind. This is the same child that asked if we all had to hang on the cross to live with Heavenly Father. Sometimes I think Heavenly Father sent Fiona to me because I forget the basics and she is always there to remind me.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
As can be expected, Fiona was very upset. We made this discovery 30 minutes before time to leave for church. I held her while she cried and tried to explain to her that Doodles couldn't help it. I told her that Doodles likes fish as much ash she likes candy, or whipped cream in a can. She understood, a little, but still needed to cry. After a couple of minutes, she wiped her eyes and told me, "Mom, it's starting to get warmer outside and the fair will be coming soon. I will do my best to win another fish." (She won Goldie at last year's fair)
She then gave me a hug, stood up and walked into the kitchen where Doodles was sitting. She stood in front of Doodles only for a second. (I wondered if I was going to have to save Doodles' life...) She very sternly poked Doodles in the shoulder and said, "That was naughty! You don't eat my fish! I am very angry!!!...I still love you but I am very angry!"
So, Fiona is okay, but she is still a bit sad. She loves animal and all other creatures. In all the sadness for Goldie's death, Fiona made me giggle and smile at her ability to bounce back and her willingness to forgive. If only we could all have those abilities and take them with us throughout all our lives!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
So, you will notice in most pictures Gryffin is frowning, looking away or screaming "no!" at me. The only way I can get a semi-decent one is when he is doing something silly like sticking q-tips in his nose, or wearing red rain boots with nothing else but a smile.