Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This baby

is 5 months old now.
is being so good this week (making up for the other 4, trust me!).
is on round 2 of antibiotics for her back-to-back ear infections.
is so chubby.
is a cat napper.
is slowly growing into her cheeks.
is just plain adorable you can see why she is still the center of attention around here.

I admit there are many aspects of this stage of family life I'm wishing would pass quickly, but Miss Clara is not one of them.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Celebrating Carson

My smiley, happy to help, eager to please Carson turned 7 yesterday. He received his own set of Jr. Golf clubs, slip on tenneys, and a fishing pole complete with tackle box. Made all of us wonder if he was in fact turning 7. . . or 70. He's anxiously awaiting a trip to the fishing pond and the driving range.

It almost doesn't seem like it's really been 7 years since we brought him home to our South Bend, IN apartment and spent our first night home from the hospital without electricity(!).

We are so grateful for our miracle Carson.

It's been a sweet 7 years.

Monday, September 21, 2009

weekend notes

Saturday night found Brian and I on the dance floor at the Red Lion among fellow Chamber of Commerce members for a very prom-ish gathering. Cheesy? Totally. Can't wait for next year. We decided to save our change and skipped out of the "formal" pictures and instead took our own poor quality, face only, in the dark shot via the Blackberry.
And thanks to Grandma & Grandpa W. we left all 5 of our little dears home.

On Sunday morning, seconds before we had to leave out the door I instructed the kids to sit on the chair for a picture. Because I have maybe 1 of all of them together. And then I realized why I only have 1 decent shot of them all together. It's insanely. . . impossible.
When I uploaded the 12 pictures I took, they all looked like this.
I thought how appropriate.
It's exactly what our Sunday mornings are like getting ready for church--- without dad who is already at meetings.
Someone is always crying, or pouting.
Someone is always not focused.
Someone is always not doing what I've asked them to do.
And I think to myself, "Why do I do this every single Sunday?"
And then I remember.
Because it's worth it.
And I would not choose to have my 5 little ones anywhere else for those 3 hours each Sunday.
But that doesn't make it any easier.

Sometimes the biggest blessings come from the biggest sacrifices.

Wouldn't you say?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Time flies

We had a few minutes to spare this morning before the boys' ride to school came, thanks to our new routine of eating breakfast, reading scriptures, and having family prayer--- before getting dressed. So, I had time to snap a picture. Then I wondered, "how can 3 boys that make me so insanely crazy and maybe somewhat stressed also make me completely happy and content?" I'll never know. But this much I do know. They are growing up. Fast. Right before my eyes.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It was nice of Chandler to sit down and help Carson practice his piano (without being asked, I might add) the other day. Among the not-so-sweet moments of our day I'm grateful for the sweet moments like this that help us move along. Slowly moving along, but moving nonetheless.

It's happened. We're busy. Some days more than others. Soccer, scouts, piano, meetings, homework, and the list grows. Something has got to give. Much to the dismay of my children, it's going to be soccer. Reading this makes me think I can and should.


Some of our most important choices concern family activities. Many breadwinners worry that their occupations leave too little time for their families. There is no easy formula for that contest of priorities. However, I have never known of a man who looked back on his working life and said, “I just didn’t spend enough time with my job.”

In choosing how we spend time as a family, we should be careful not to exhaust our available time on things that are merely good and leave little time for that which is better or best. A friend took his young family on a series of summer vacation trips, including visits to memorable historic sites. At the end of the summer he asked his teenage son which of these good summer activities he enjoyed most. The father learned from the reply, and so did those he told of it. “The thing I liked best this summer,” the boy replied, “was the night you and I laid on the lawn and looked at the stars and talked.” Super family activities may be good for children, but they are not always better than one-on-one time with a loving parent.

The amount of children-and-parent time absorbed in the good activities of private lessons, team sports, and other school and club activities also needs to be carefully regulated. Otherwise, children will be overscheduled, and parents will be frazzled and frustrated. Parents should act to preserve time for family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, and the other precious togetherness and individual one-on-one time that binds a family together and fixes children’s values on things of eternal worth. Parents should teach gospel priorities through what they do with their children.

Family experts have warned against what they call “the overscheduling of children.” In the last generation children are far busier and families spend far less time together. Among many measures of this disturbing trend are the reports that structured sports time has doubled, but children’s free time has declined by 12 hours per week, and unstructured outdoor activities have fallen by 50 percent.2

The number of those who report that their “whole family usually eats dinner together” has declined 33 percent. This is most concerning because the time a family spends together “eating meals at home [is] the strongest predictor of children’s academic achievement and psychological adjustment.”3 Family mealtimes have also been shown to be a strong bulwark against children’s smoking, drinking, or using drugs.4 There is inspired wisdom in this advice to parents: what your children really want for dinner is you.

President Gordon B. Hinckley has pleaded that we “work at our responsibility as parents as if everything in life counted on it, because in fact everything in life does count on it.”

He continued: “I ask you men, particularly, to pause and take stock of yourselves as husbands and fathers and heads of households. Pray for guidance, for help, for direction, and then follow the whisperings of the Spirit to guide you in the most serious of all responsibilities, for the consequences of your leadership in your home will be eternal and everlasting.”5

The First Presidency has called on parents “to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles. … The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place … in … this God-given responsibility.” The First Presidency has declared that “however worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform.”6