Sunday, September 14, 2014

3 Ways to Make Your Husband's Homecoming Brighter

I haven't done an "Honoring Our Men Eternally" post in forever. Momma life has really taken over and I've sorely neglected my blog (my facebook, Twitter and Pinterest obsessions don't help either! LOL)

So, as I sit here on this fine afternoon, waiting for my charming husband to walk through the door, I thought I would share with you my thoughts on greeting a husband when he comes home from work.

Our men, they work hard! We want home to be a sanctuary. Often times we are bubbling over by the time he gets home with a laundry list of complaints (especially about the children's behavior) and about things that need to be taken care of (broken dryer, mowed lawn, etc.) and we chew his ear off about them the second he comes through the door.

But think about it, your husband arrives home from work, most often times, tired, stressed out and seeking a refuge. If he doesn't get it at home he'll find somewhere else (a friends house, a local hang out spot, even his parents house).

When he walks through the door he needs to be greeted by an enthusiastic, well managed household full of charming people he loves and adores and who love him back.

*record scratch*


Yes, I'm dead serious. Now, is life a perfect 1950s episode of Donna Read? Of course not but we CAN create a sanctuary for our husbands, most evenings, even if it's just for a few moments when he first comes home to help lessen the load of his day. First impressions after all, are everything, as they say.

So here are a few tips and tricks....

1. Freshen up

About 10-15 minutes before your hubby is due home freshen up yourself and the children. Comb your hair, put on a little make up. Don't forget about the kids! Check to make sure everyone has on pants, no one is horribly stained or mussed. Wipe smudges from cheeks and check diapers for odors.

Tell your children how important it is to look presentable when father comes home. Let your girls know especially how much they can brighten his day with a fresh face and clean appearance. Be sure your children know how important it is that Papa is coming home, this is something special!

2. Quick Clean

Move that laundry out of the front room. Have the children pick up their toys. I clap my hands and shout, "Quick clean!!" to the kids and we dash about and pick things up for a few minutes. This doesn't mean your house must look perfect but just straighten up. Be sure that Dad isn't going to trip on things when he walks through the door, check for shoes and school bags thrown about - that sort of thing.

3. Greet him

Stop what you're doing (I know, that's hard!) and greet him. Give him a hug, a kiss and wide warm smile. When you can, do your best to appear smooth, cool and relaxed. Men love it when they can rest assured their wife has everything at home well in hand (even when we don't LOL)

All this will all take just 10-15 minutes of your day but you would be amazed what a wonderful spirit it will bring to your home :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Home School has begun....

A 6th grader, a 2nd grader and a pre-schooler all live in my house.
We began our home schooling in September! This year we are using (mommy modified LDS version of) Teaching With God's Heart for the World with a heaping helping of Millennial Child (Waldorf) thrown into the mix. So far I'm loving and all of our curriculum is 100% FREE!
Love it!!
A field trip to Zion Park to get us started out right!
Some fishing too!
Blessings for the new school year!

Some Images from our Little Lassie's Blessing

This past Sunday was our Little Lassie's blessing.

She was my first child to be able to be blessed as an infant and words cannot express my joy. I cried spoonfuls of happy tears to see her surrounded by worthy men, blessed and named by her dear Uncle.

The ladies; Nana, Momma, Little Lassie and Wee Baby Girl
Right after the blessing

Friday, July 25, 2014

She's here! Lily's birth story

Lily's due date was either July 15th or July 22nd depending on what method of due date one picks. Of course, as my long time readers know the estimated ultrasound due date of July 22nd sounded fine and dandy but all my babes are THREE WEEKS late, so we weren't expecting Lily to join our family until the first week of August - at the earliest.

On July 13th at 5 am, I woke up with contractions. I was stunned. I couldn't believe it. How could this be happening almost a MONTH early? I panicked. I wasn't ready! There was so much to do! I begged my husband to make the contractions stop (ha!).

At noon that day suddenly everything slowed down. By 1 PM everything stopped. Now I was really confused. Not only had a I never had an early baby, much less an on time one, I had never had a false labor start. I didn't know what to think other than my body was not behaving in it's normal way.

Over the next week I really fixated on mentally and physically preparing for the birth. A trip to the Temple helped immensely. On July 22nd, a little more than a week later, I woke up again in the early morning with contractions. The same pattern I had experienced the week before started to play out again.

I had no idea what to do. This seasoned birth veteran didn't know whether or not she was in labor! I tried going about my day as best as I could. I called the midwife, I called my mom and dad. I waited. By noon the contractions hadn't stopped but they hadn't picked up either. I also usually have fast labors so this added an even bigger question mark into the pot.

I got down on my knees and prayed. I told Heavenly Father that I as ready, to please be gentle with me, but that I was ready to do this. My contractions immediately went from 10 minutes apart to 3 minutes apart.

The midwife came at 2:30 pm at which point we knew this was really labor.

I ran around the house. I sang, I swayed, I pounded on the doors. As I entered transition I could not find a comfortable way to sit and I could no longer stand. Usually I have laid down on my side during transition but something about these contractions made that an unbearable thought so I squirmed around on the floor in a variety of ways.

Sometimes I prayed out loud during a contraction. I told Heavenly Father how much I loved him and that I trusted his design for birth. Sometimes I chastised my contraction like a mother scolding a child. "You hurt!" I would tell it.

I had what felt like a lot of time in between contractions - at least it felt that way to me. I'm use to them coming right on top of each other - no time to think, just do. I didn't like the time to think. It made me feel weak, like I couldn't do another one.

Eventually I found myself leaning back with the help of the midwife assistant. I started feeling pressure with the contractions. I knew I had to change positions but I wasn't sure what. The midwife suggested getting on my hands and knees. I almost said no because I knew she was right and I wasn't sure if I was ready to push.

I got on my hands and knees, again with the assistant's help. I leaned over her back and with the next contraction I felt the baby move into the birth canal. Again, this birth was so untypical, normally I LOVE this part - really I do. The pain nearly goes away as I push and feel myself make progress and I know I'm almost done but this time I didn't like it. I wanted to just stop but of course I couldn't. I cried out, "Oh God! Oh God!"

Another push and she was crowning. Now at this point I just wanted to push her out - be done, but the contractions were still far apart. My midwife was telling me to slow down, to wait. I'm glad I followed her advice because it made it hurt less to slow down. Another push and out the head came. My water broke. I waited what felt like an eternity for the next contraction.

"Just pull her out!" I joked with the midwife. Another contraction came and out she fell. Now THAT was, and is, the best feeling on earth!

Lily was born on July 22nd at 4:37 PM. My first midwife attended birth in 11 years (other than my first, the rest of been unassisted homebirths).

Her entry into the world was witnessed by her three brothers, her papa and her big sister slept through it just a few feet away, apparently unimpressed (ha ha)

Lily is a Leo with a Sagittarius rising and a Gemini moon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Whipped honey oatmeal rum cookies (no sugar!)

I came up with recipe a few days ago to use as refreshments for a scripture study book club I just started hosting. They came out so well I thought I would share :)

Whipped honey oatmeal rum cookies.

1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 Tsp honey
1 1/2 c oats
3/4 c olive oil
2 eggs
1 tsp imitation rum extract

Whipped honey for topping

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, honey and oats.
3. Make a well in the center and add oil, eggs, and rum extract
4. Mix together with a spatula. Form the dough into balls and place on cookie sheet slightly flattening them out 5. Bake 10-12 minutes Allow to cool then top with whipped honey :)

Some Thoughts on Energy Work

This past weekend I attended the LDS Holistic Living Conference. About half the classes were on things like herbs, natural baking and soap making. The other half were on energy healing and self improvement. I felt uncomfortable with some things I saw and heard discussed.
Today on a facebook group I am on someone brought up energy healing in particular and I felt prompted to share my thoughts regarding this controversial subject for many Christians. When I was done with my post I felt prompted to share it here as well. I've modified it to make it a bit more general in regards to faith and a bit more specific when it comes to my personal feelings on the dangers of self help movements and energy work.

I mean all that I say here in the kindest possible way. I wish only to see others come to Christ and in these days things can be very confusing. A lot of churches have strict definitions as to what priest craft is to keep members safe, the LDS Church, while very well organized, is not as strict when it comes to things like self help, energy work, tarot cards, etc. although these are generally discouraged. It is a matter usually left up to personal revelation and local leaders. I've seen many dismiss their local leaders as being "too narrow minded" or "it's because he's a lawyer and he doesn't understand" etc.

I came to Mormonism after spending years in paganism and new age. I was a columnist for SageWoman magazine and I have a Master's degree in Women's Spirituality from Sophia College of Palo Alto, CA. I'm grateful for the Mormon women who were practicing energy work and similar practices, who first got me involved in the Church, however, I have seen literally DOZENS of women go astray with these practices.

It begins with self help movement things that aren't Church approved or that don't follow what Christ laid out for us. This then moves into energy work, chakras, nature worship/veneration, Ayurveda and before you know it eternal families are torn apart and Christ is left on the road side while mom chases a mortal guru.
I'm not saying this happens in every case, certainly, but I do think it is playing with fire and you have to be very, very, very careful not to get burned. Energy work, like meditation, can be so helpful but it can also be a HUGE doorway to Satan if you're not constantly vigilant and always putting Church teachings, scriptures, the Priesthood, the atonement, etc. first and foremost in your life.

Case in point, if you carry around cards, literature or etc. about energy healing in your purse but do not carry any scripture material that you are reading equally as frequently - this, in my opinion, would be an issue.

If you're calling your energy worker before you call your priesthood holder for a blessing, this can be a problem.

If you are listening to a self help guru more than the Prophet and Apostle's talks, this can be a problem.

If your husband, home teacher, or Bishop is concerned and you blow him off without seriously pondering and praying over his concerns - this could be a problem.

The biggest question we must ask ourselves when pondering energy work is- if Christ, the scriptures and my Church leaders aren't enough for me.....why?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What are your reasons for homeschooling?

What are your reasons for homeschooling? It is an often asked question and a long complicated answer! LOL I thought I would write a blog post and try to address the top, most important, reasons my family chooses to home school and some of the benefits we get from home schooling.

1. The Bible tells parents that they are responsible for their children's education.

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 is probably one of the most quoted yet most ignored scriptures. Many parents abdicate their responsibility these days to personally train up their children. Starting with day care and extending through 13 years of public schooling we allow the majority of our children's day, for the majority of the week, for the vast majority of their precious years to be spent with strangers simply assuming they will be trained up. Well, they will certainly be "trained up" but will it be in the way they should go - that is to say, the right direction?

"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them [the words of the Lord] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. " Deut. 6:5-9

We cannot really teach the word of God to our children diligently while we sit in our house, while we are going to and from life pursuits, while we are napping or putting them to bed, and when they rise up if you have them in school eight hours per day.

Christ taught in Luke 20:25 that we should "Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which be Cæsar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s." My children do not belong to Caesar AKA the government, period. They are not the property of the government to do with as they please. They are made in my earthly image and ultimately in the image of God. They are His and it is my responsibility to be sure I have done everything to guide them back to Him.

For more Bible quotes on homeschooling visit here.

2. (LDS) The Book of Mormon provides an example of home schooling

What are the opening lines in the Book of Mormon?

 "I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father..." 1 Nephi 1:1 It doesn't say "I, Nephi, having been born of a goodly State system, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning that the heads of State deemed necessary, developmentally appropriate and politically correct."

3. (LDS) Modern Prophets and LDS church leaders have strongly counseled us to not participate in government schooling

And when I say "strongly" I don't mean a stern talking to I mean Brigham Young called those who support public schooling "poor, miserable, apostates!" We were warned to not support government educational systems by Prophets and leaders such as Joseph Smith Jr, Brigham Young, Herber C Kimball, John Taylor, etc and they by no means beat around the bush.

"We don't want infidels to mold the minds of our children." John Taylor

To read a huge sampling please visit this site.

4. To create a Christian worldview and combat the religion of secularism

Make no mistake secularism is a belief system - it is a religion. It is suppose to be a system where religion is treated as neutral but that's not the reality as it is practiced. Secularism is a belief itself. It is the belief that education somehow can be conveyed without turning to God or His word. Secularism behaves as if we can stick God in one container and education in the other, yet how can we do this when God is the author of everything? How can you teach wisdom on any subject and leave the creator out? It isn't possible to do! Yet that is exactly what school both public, charter and private attempt to do!

The scriptures teach us the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom simply cannot be gained any other way except looking at it God's way! Math becomes God's recipe for creation, science the result of that recipe, language the gift of communication given to us to use not only with each other but to pray to our Father. Reading is important to learn so that we may read the scriptures and be guided by God's word that He has given us. Writing supports that learning through scripture study and the ability to share the Gospel with others. Everything is related to God otherwise they are just meaningless half facts on a sheet of paper which are worth nothing eternally.

5. Sheltering my child from bad behavior/bad examples

I was a preschool teacher for many years before having my own children. I also taught kindergarten for a time. I saw first hand how bad behavior set by the bad example of other children. This behavior was like a virus that would infect even the sweetest, best behaved children.

I would see a dear child dropped at day care for the first time. Mom was going back to work and the child who had been at home until then was now in a world of children from a variety of backgrounds. I don't blame the bad behaved children. Some of their parents were alcoholics who hit them, some were ignored, some had mental issues - whatever the problem every school class had at least one or two bad kids and those kids infected the ones around them.

Part of the problem was that one teacher cannot guide the emotional and behavioral needs of 30 students at a time. Even 10, all the same age, was too many. Without individual care and attention the class dissolves into a child created, child led hierarchy which places the most aggressive at the top and the weakest firmly at the bottom.

My children are constantly praised for their good behavior, their kindness, their patience, their hard work ethic. They weren't born that way (don't we wish we could be! LOL) No, I instilled those virtues, through God's grace, and sheltered my children from the wrong examples of badly behaved children while my children's minds were too young to properly processes the negative  examples of children around them.

6. Giving my children real socialization

The 30 children to 1 adult ratio of most schools is not real socialization. No where else in life will you ever be in such a situation where you are placed only with your peers, plus or minus six months of age.

In homeschooling my children interact with their family first -multiple age levels with a variety of ways to interact with them. They learn how to interact with their older siblings, their younger siblings as well as their parents. They go out to museums and playgroups where the population is always varied and changing. They learn to interact with all people, young and old, healthy and sick, smart and challenged, etc in real life settings, not a class room.

7. To build strong family ties

As I write this my 7 year old son is reading a book to his brother who is four and his sister who is two while my 10 year old works on answering questions about ancient Greece. Later when Papa gets home the older boys will go with him to get the oil changed on the car and the younger ones will stay home with me to help prepare dinner.

We are together all day. My children get to experience a deep family connection that children in school simply cannot because they are sectioned away from each other all day. My children aren't placed in grades or age groups. They cheerfully interact with older and younger siblings they have never been segmented from. Siblings are best friends - someone to play with, serve and love everyday.

We get to experience milestones together. We are together when the youngest member of the family takes their first steps. We share in the joy of a child learning to read, we see the baby teeth fall out one by one, we help each other on Scout badges and advancements. Nothing is missed, all is shared.

8.  A superior education

It's no secret that homeschooled children do better on all testing. The attention of loving parents is simply far superior than the best teachers in the public and private system and the homeschooled children learn more. Period. Like any parent I want the best education for my children.

9. Sexual predators

Your child is more likely to be sexually abused by a teacher than anyone else. Not a priest, not a Scout leader - a public school teacher. This issues has largely been ignored by the media but has recently gained some traction. Keeping my kids at home keeps them safe.

10. School Violence

School violence is no secret. It seems nearly every week we hear of a school shooting, a school stabbing or other violent act. Home is safer for my children.

11. Commercialism

My children are not potential consumers to be branded and exploited yet that is exactly what happens in public schools.

12. Time with my children as they grow (it goes by so quick!)

My children are only children for a blink of an eye. The days may seem long but the years are too short! I want to be with my children and I want them to love being with me! I don't want family day to be Saturdays. That gives me 52 days per year with my children? No way! Everyday is a day to relish in my sweet babies because once they are gone I cannot get those moments back.

13. Avoiding Common Core, mental conditioning and data mining

Government is eroding our rights everyday and one of the main battle grounds is public schools. They are exploiting our children as future slave laborers in Bill Gate's workforce. It's no surprise that Bill Gates was the biggest supporter of Common Core. My children are not going to be educated to only ever be low level clerical employees for the elite and I will not have the government trolling and stock piling personal data on my children. My children do not need a "permanent record" following them around in this new digital age based on something they said when they were 7.

14. Protect their hearts

Small children can get their hearts and hopes set on things and people who make promises or who show caring to them. A child may feel all the love and affection for a school teacher that should be directed at their patents and siblings only to discover a year later this precious teacher cannot recall the child's name. The child is simply one child in a revolving door of children in this adult's life. That can crush their spirit, their heart and their trust in authority figures, leaving a child who misdirected their love away from their family, feeling completely alone and bitter.

15. Listening to the Holy Ghost and relying on prayer for guidance

Listening to the guidance of the Holy Ghost is probably the most important thing we can teach our children. Schools teach this out if them (and of course they are largely successful, they spend more time with our children than we do!).

Schools teach children to go to "facts" and "experts" alone for true wisdom. They will present science theory as fact and counsel our children to regard only the footnotes for guidance on what is "true." However, as anyone who's tried to research a subject online can attest; finding out the "truth" can be tricky when you can find studies supporting different sides and "experts" who cannot agree.

Our public schooled children learn to chase down elusive "facts" as a way to seek truth and guidance in their life and this directs them to ignore the Holy Spirit. In home school we can stop, pray, and wait for revelation as we explore various subject matter. We can gain powerful insight when coupling the "facts" with personal revelation and we strengthen our ability to hear and quickly respond to the guidance of the Holy Ghost in our lives. This relationship with the Holy Ghost will be more instrumental in our children's successful future than anything they could possibly learn in school.

So those are my top reasons. Of course these are my insights and my opinions and many are based on my faith. I don't judge people who choose to, or who must for the time being, use public schools. I don't judge public school teachers, many of whom are doing their very best in an imperfect system. Of course good children can come out of public schooling. This isn't meant as a personal attack or judgment.

Much love :) <3
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