because i love you, i will …

tough love with my kiddos is hard for me. mostly i want to just have fun together.
but as a mother, i know that if i truly love my kids, i will teach them eternal truths.
these are often simple yet powerful lessons for them to learn (and me also!)

on extra challenging days or in extra trying moments, i have to remind myself that I must be unbending in teaching truths.
i have to tell myself (and the kids) over and over that because i love them, i will …
each kiddo is different. these are the latest…

h: because i love you, i will provide you service opportunities in the home.
a: because i love you, i will follow through on your education, homework, and school projects.
m: because i love you, i will insist you brush your teeth.
t: because i love you, i will not allow you to bite, hit, or kick me.
e: because i love you, i will teach you how to accomplish hard things.
s: because i love you, i will let you cry to sleep and learn to comfort yourself.

This last one, with Scotty, is the most poignant example this past week.
As a parent, I don’t always follow through on what is best, it’s true.
I sometimes choose to do what is easy in the moment because there are too many overwhelming things going on.
Giving Scotty a bottle to suck while falling asleep in his crib became one of those easy things.
He enjoys sucking as a calming technique… but he didn’t like a pacifier.
We used to let him cry it out and it would seriously be like an hour. over and over again.

I knew we needed to just buckle down and figure out a way to have him cry it out and not have it keep other kiddos (and parents!) awake. Hello… he’s like 15 months old.
I also knew that during our move wouldn’t be a good time because he is so sensitive to his environment.
So, after our apartment… after heading to San Antonio for Thanksgiving, we came home and let him get used to his room for a few days.

This past weekend, I was feeling strong and knew we needed to get rid of bottles for good. I was tired of having milky-stinky-blankies and jammies from his bottle. Tired of getting up in the middle of the night if he fussed.

so – the result… He cried for 37 minutes. Long and hard.
Jimmy wanted to get him at 31 minutes.
Six minutes later he was asleep.

Next nap day… cried it out.
Next night… 10 minutes of crying.
Either it was the magical time for this 15 month old or we should have done this a year ago.
We kept trying… just wasn’t working due to who knows what reasons

So now he cries briefly and then calms and then sleeps. And he doesn’t get up in the middle of the night.
Pamper him with a bottle in bed, and he wakes in the middle of the night needing to be pampered.
Toughen him up by crying it out, and he sleeps through the night.
All bottles have been thrown away. NO MORE BOTTLES … ever!
True Story.

So, the moral is… do what is right as a parent. Be Strong.
Remind yourself that because you love this child, you will teach appropriate living and eternal truths.

My wish is that I always knew what was the right path to take in parenting.
I’m so willing to be strong and teach truth. But knowing the HOW is hard in each specific situation.
(like what to do if one certain 6-year-old steals your $5 and buys spirit sticks at school and then lies about it!)
… What the most appropriate consequence is… what lesson God needs us and them to learn.
It’s tricky business – this parenting thing.

I realize this post shows a parenting weakness in me.
But I thought it was really important for me to note that following the promptings of the Holy Ghost with parenting will help us be strong to teach these behaviors and truths.

defeat… or persistence?

We’ve had a bit of hard… and stress… and the unknown over the past month. I guess we always have a bit of each of those, come to think of it. ‘Tis LIFE! But this past month we had a hard blow. We knew everything would work out… but we didn’t know how or when. Things are still ironing themselves out but I’m still feeling anxious about what the future holds… where God wants us… and all that we will go through to fulfill our purpose as a family in this life.

Through it all though, we have been greatly blessed. So many have prayed for us. We know that God answers prayers. We feel his comfort and peace through difficult circumstances. We know we need His strength.

Someone shared this question on facebook recently…

“My children will have persistent life-long struggles too.
What do I want to model for them — despair and defeat,
or faith and persistence?”

faith and persistence

I can see that my attitude affects my children’s attitude about our circumstances. My words of doubt or FAITH put thoughts in their minds. I hope my heartfelt attitude is that With God’s help, we can endure hard things!

I was thinking about some of the hard things our family might experience in life, especially the kids as they grow up in this world. I know that hard things can make us stronger if we choose to have faith instead of fear.

hardships c s lewis

Just a few thoughts I wanted to put together and remember for family history sake! Happy end of August

Uplift from Others

you are climbingI haven’t done well taking time to read blog posts from others. But this morning I opened up Jen Moss’s blog and read her thoughts on ‘When Life Hurts”. Her message really is a grand support for my current struggles mothering these unique little ones. These are my favorite parts…

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Healthy Eating : including the kids

Alright already with the food posts – I know.
But this has been a huge deal this week to keep up with my new schedule/eating plan/testing glucose…
so I’m noting this for family record.

06 june 20142

Yesterday involved grocery shopping galore. – p.s. i think eating healthier is more $$
Green Peppers
{no pea pods… wahhh}
Protein Items (bleh)
Healthy Peanut Butter
Salad makings
{note:  Yes… fruits & some veggies have sugars…
but it’s way better than what I usually eat… pure sugar!
Plus, I can eat like a 1/2 cup for 15 carbs}

I didn’t buy chocolate (well… for me anyways).
Oh wait – I did buy Chocolate Cookie Butter at Trader Joes.
I can have a TBLSP (4 gr Carbs) if I save a little room in my snack carbs.
No protein… but goodness me, it’s tasty, even just a tiny bit.

I’m learning greater self control.
Man alive – it’s hard!
A gal at church commented that she would ‘die’ if she had to have such small portions and such few carbs.
Oh – I know chica!
I’m a lover of carbs… rolls, breads, chocolate, emotional treats, fruits.
1/2 cup of pasta for dinner doesn’t exactly satisfy.

I’m trying not to feel too bad for myself (well, occasionally), {keyword: “trying}
because I know the snacks I eat now are much better than sweets & treats.
Though I do have to say…
the granola bar I found that has protein, dietary fiber, and is low in carbs, isn’t necessarily low in calories.

Honestly I do take advantage of every snack and carb I can have… add protein so I won’t starve by my next snack/meal.
Occasionally I sneak an 1/8 cup of OJ and then my glucose numbers are high.
Even though that tiny bit fits into my carb allotment, it is still too strong.
Not good. So – I try to stay reasonable and remember health is more important than tasty foods/drinks.
{key words: “try to stay reasonable”}

I know – Yoda says … “Do – or Do NOT! There is no Try!”
Hasn’t there got to be some room for error and progress and effort?
Can you tell it’s a huge internal struggle?…

So, I’ve enlisted Hannah & Abe on my healthy snacks kick.
Abe needed to keep a food journal for 1 week for Webelos. Since this kiddo eats 99% Carbs, I thought it would be insightful for him to do this now… and try to incorporate more fruits/veggies/proteins into his diet.

I had the kids write a list of foods they enjoy eating:
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Then we have the food journal to keep track of eating habits.
Hannah did this with me last week. She rocks at eating healthy.
This week Abe is doing it.
Incorporating healthier food groups, especially into snacks, will be the goal.

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Lastly… a reminder as to why it’s good to eat healthy. We are blessed when we live by the Word of Wisdom. Different seasons of life may require different nutritional standards {as in… gestational diabetes (check carbs) … growing kiddos (include protein) … skinny toddlers (‘load on those calories’ says the pediatrician)}. But I believe moderation and following God’s revelation will truly bless us with ‘health in their navel and marrow to their bones”. I definitely need to remember this when I’m cranky-pants about not eating sweets!

word of wisdom

Springtime Love

Things that are so happy lately…
fruit… I love oranges, apples, grapefruit, pineapple, & bananas. So refreshing!

green grass… i love this time of year… before the grass dries up. The grass is green & soft (and Jimmy might add… full of dandelions! since he’s dug about 300 out of the grass). I love that we’ve had a few rainy days. I realized I really miss the rain of Tennessee & Florida. Living in AZ & Utah really does feel like the desert. We start water restrictions June 1 … T, Th, & S only. Sigh…

garden… though it still smells like manure, i love the dark, rich watered soil with veggie plants shooting up. New life!

lovely bird songs ... though I’m not lovin’ that one type of bird that delights in singing it’s loud call at 5:30 a.m., I’ve loved coming out of winter to have fresh air, bird chirps, and rustling tree leaves on our walks.

Till the Earth = No contention? Blessed in abundance?

Last night after sharing our 2014 ‘Plant the Garden’ photos, I read this in Mosiah 6. I’m sure hoping that tilling the earth (& working hard!) = no contention for 3 years. Wish us luck with that one!till the earth

Even though the kids may not enjoy this task,

May the Fourth Be With You WEEKEND

Weekend plans consisted of

Garden Prep…
digging up corn stalk roots from last year…
hauling and spreading manure mixture from a neighbor (stinky business, I tell ya!)
I thought I’d rather rake manure than make dinner… until I went out and helped for a minute.
04 april 201416
tilling manure, vermiculite, peat moss into last year’s mix
(p.s. the kids just loved raking and shoveling manure – NOT!)
Work builds character!

Planting seeds.
Playing with the hose (TRUMAN!)
Enjoying sunshine & green grass & warmth!
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Really we planted 2 Zucchini… 2 cucumber … a double row of peas, still need to buy green pepper plants, went thin on carrots since last year was out of control, thin on marigolds since they were gynormous last year, stuck with silver queen corn seeds only, one each of Better Boy, Early Girl, & Big Boy Tomato Plants.
05 may 2014
Grandma Smith came to spend BYU Women’s Conference with her sisters, Honey, Becky, & Tammy. They came over for dinner (which they brought themselves) on Thursday. It was fun to see them all! Fun Gals who endured all the burps and giggles from the boys. Saturday … Grandma came to spend the entire day with the kids. She helped in the garden, pushed Truman on the swing, wiped Liza’s drama tears, shared suckers, and had a ‘spirited’ conversation with Jimmy about the curse upon the Lamanites. We enjoyed a dinner & dessert crepe dinner with her. It was great having her here for a visit!
05 may 20141

Cheerful Wheat Grass & fluffy Snow

04 april 20141
Tru, Liza, & Lily planted wheat grass for our Gardening Theme at preschool last week. These cheerful cups are in the window sill being something green to our world. Snow… fluffy snow was in the forecast. The kids were delighted to watch it from inside. Welcome to Spring in Utah!

“It really is a WONDERFUL life” – Recognizing JOY

This is what JOY looks like.
Dad & Tru playing outside & then harvesting in the garden.
Hannah & Abe happily playing with friends.
Liza snoozing.
Max chillin’ with his new foam light saber (from Jack’s b-day party).
Mother: Freezing more peaches while listening to uplifting music.09-september-20133
Why is this JOY? I don’t know. But I felt it… that this was a good life. It does help when I have a moment of quiet to actually ponder how good things are.

This morning we got caught up on laundry. Well the sorting anyways. We’ve been running it through the cycles all day. Hannah had a volleyball game. Pictures. Birthday party for Max. Quiet time. Cool Temperatures.

All week long I procrastinaed doing anything with the diamond princess peaches that were quickly ripening. They aren’t my favorite and so I just delayed the labor of peeling and pitting. Quiet afternoon naps seemed more appealing this week, I guess. I had to throw a dozen+ away because they were way too ripe. Stinkers. Opportunity missed. But lesson learned. Diving into hard work is more fulfilling than idling by. This can be JOY.
opportunity hard work

count instead of yell … breathe instead of cry

3x4 i will count instead of yellI’ve been thinking of the principle of nurturing … of mothering … of being a better example to my children.

  • Because of my example do my children:
  • choose FAITH over fear?
  • Count instead of yell?
  • see LIGHT over darkness?
  • find JOY in work?
  • FEAST upon the scriptures?
  • choose OPTIMISM over pessimism?
  • BREATHE instead of cry?
  • speak RESPECTfully?
  • PRAY more sincerely?
  • find JOY in the journey?
  • Smile instead of frown?
  • spend TIME wisely?
  • SERVE with a heart full of song?
  • Keep Calm instead of freaking out?

KEEP CALM BREATHE KEEP CALMWhen my children are upset, if I holler at them to shush, it rarely does anyone any good. If Truman is becoming more intense and louder, if I get down on the floor and give him a soft love and quiet words in his ear, it will (usually!!!) calm him much quicker. When Abe is bouncing around or teasing a sibling, if I gently touch Abe’s shoulder or give him a hug instead of pinching his collar bone (I know – right! sorry!), he might feel greater unconditional love.

  • Patience over frustration.
  • Composure over imbalance.
  • Kindness over grouchiness.
  • Calm over anxiety.
  • Gentle over stormy.
  • Peace over contention.

This really is a good reminder that my example helps set the tone in our family.
Practice makes Progress!