Friday, November 21, 2008

A Prophet and Seer........Please watch this clip

I am grateful for the blessing of having a living prophet to guide us through these troubled times. In addition to our living prophet the Twelve Apostles have also been called and set a part as prophets, seers and revelators. I have great faith and trust in these men and I believe that their counsel and instruction come from God.

The following YouTube clip shares the words of Elder Neal A. Maxwell (a deceased member of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles) given over 30 years ago. Please take 5 minutes to watch and listen to his powerful, prophetic message and see how his words have been fulfilled in our recent day. I hope that this message will strengthen and renew your faith in the leaders of Christs church as prophets, seers and revelators. It has certainly done so for me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Soccer Season 2008

Saturday was the boys last soccer game....

Here are some pictures and memories from
Soccer Season 2008

Benjamin #11

This was Ben's first year playing soccer. He was actually a little young for the team (just by a few days) but he'd been watching his brothers play for the past couple years and we knew he'd be heartbroken if he had to sit out another season. When I registered him online I had to put a birth date different than was on his birth certificate in order for it to go through. Several weeks into the season we got an e-mail from a member of the board because of the conflicting dates. We were a little nervous that they wouldn't let him play because of his age. This is the response that Aaron sent back to him (I thought it was pretty cute)-by the way I hadn't told Aaron about having to adjust Ben's birth date online to get him on the team :

Sorry for the mistake, I didn't do the registration, so I don't know what happened. Is it a problem that he's underage by a few days? Please advise the board of the fact that he scored 5 of his teams goals on the U5 team this last Saturday which shows that his ability to play is not diminished because he's younger. He's a very feisty and aggressive little guy and very good at Soccer as he is always playing with his two older brothers that are both in SKSL.

Let us know what the board says.

Benjamin in Action

Well, as you can see they let him stay with the team. I think he had a lot of fun playing and really enjoyed the fact that he had his own soccer practice and games like his older brothers. At his game we noticed Ben would get really bashful every time he'd score a goal. Even though we'd all be hooting and hollering he'd never jump up or act like he was excited. He'd just bashfully walk away from the goal suppressing a smile as he'd look at us from the corner of his eye. He did this all season long and it cracked us up every time. Also, when we wanted him to score a goal we'd yell from the sidelines, "Your brothers are watching you!" and he'd almost always kick it up a notch and try to make a goal. It was really funny.

Joseph #22

Joseph played on the U-7 team this year with Jacob. Having both boys on the same team made it a lot easier for us (what am I was still crazy) but it did have its drawbacks for him. Since he 's only 5 and was playing with 6 and 7 year olds it was obviously more challenging. I worried that he would get frustrated about not scoring as much as he did last year but he had a really good attitude about it and was a smiley boy the whole season. It was kind of hard for Aaron and I because we knew he'd be getting a lot more time with the ball if he was playing with kids his own age . Sometimes I think he got frustrated that he wasn't scoring as many goals as he had at games last year but we just tried to focus on the other things he was doing to help his team (he was an excellent defender). We're still trying to decide what we want to do next year. We certainly don't want Joseph to feel like he's in Jacob's shadow. Being on his own team would be better for his self esteem but we also really don't want to have 3 boys on 3 separate teams with three soccer practices and 3 games to go to on Saturdays. It stresses me out just thinking about it.

Joseph in Action

Jacob #23

This was Jacob's third year playing soccer and it was so fun to see him improve. He is a very fast, high scoring player and is really getting good at dribbling the ball down the field instead of just booting it toward the goal (which is something he always used to do). It was also fun to see the kids pass to each other and start to work more as a team. Jacob loves soccer and always gives 100% when he's out there playing. Its funny to see the difference between the boys because when Ben scores a goal he is modest and bashful.....Jacob, (as you can see in some of the pictures) proudly throws his hands up into the air in victory, (not a modest bone in his body). Jacob and Joseph's team name was the Jets and they had a really cute cheer that they used from last year it went like this: "J-E-T-S....Jets, Jets, Jets!!!" Jacob is still very competitive and always knows what the score is (even though at this age, they try not to focus on which team wins). At the end of every game he tells us how many goals he had-not like we weren't counting on the sidelines. (: It's really fun to see him playing out there and doing something that he loves. The picture in the bottom right corner was a lucky shot that I just happened to catch.....He was so happy that they beat the other team he picked up his brother in his excitement.

Jacob in Action

One thing that the boys really look forward to is the end of season party at their coach's house. Here is a clip from Jacob and Joseph's team party (they are sitting next to each other on the left). Ben's party was on Sunday during church so Aaron asked Joe (the Jets coach) to present Ben his trophy at his brothers party to make it more "official." Unfortunately the battery on our camcorder died and so we missed him getting his trophy. This video clip is from our camera which I figured out a little later.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brotherly Brawls

Is this going to be my life for the next 15 years? Breaking up fights???

After doing 50 push-ups (as punishment) I sent Jacob upstairs this morning to apologize to Joseph for decking him in the ear (it was really red). I followed closely behind him to make sure he apologized "correctly". This is the dialogue that followed....

JACOB: "Sorry for hitting you Joseph"

MOM (standing behind him): “Ask him if his ear is okay."

JACOB: "Is your ear okay?"

JOSEPH: "No, it still hurts"

MOM to Jacob (who is still not showing much sympathy): "Jacob have you ever been hit in the ear before? It really hurts."

JACOB: "NO, but I've been kicked in the penis before,.......... by HIM!!!"

I grew up in a house full of girls (my poor brother was in the middle of 4 sisters), so I'm not used to these brotherly brawls that erupt from time to time. I worry about what's going to happen when they're older and bigger and could really hurt each other......
How much of this is just normal brotherly behavior and how much of it is my responsibility to intervene? Last night Aaron and I were laying on the couch after dinner when something erupted between Jacob and Joseph. I'm not sure what started it but Jacob got mad and started trying to take Joseph down..... before I knew it they were in another brawl wrestling on the floor. Joseph was laughing at Jacob who was trying to pin him down which only made Jacob even more mad. Aaron held me back as I tried to intervene and just told me to let them duke it out. "Sometimes boys need to get physical, it's good for them to wrestle it out" he said.... In the end it did end up one was hurt and they ended up both laughing. I'm just reminiscing of a time when I didn't feel like a full-time referee.

What's it like when sisters get mad at each other? I'd love to know how girls "duke it out."

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Broken Things

Last week I was up in my room doing something when I heard a VERY loud crash downstairs. The boys had been down there playing and chasing each other around the circle making their usual ruckus so after hearing the crash I cautiously came downstairs afraid of what I might find. It didn't take me long to spot my favorite roman numeral wall clock (that I've had for years) busted to pieces on the floor. I looked across the room to see my 7 year old son holding a long piece of racetrack (which the boys frequently use as a "light saber") in his hand. Now Jacob is not usually the one who breaks things in our house and so I thought, (given his proximity to the clock), that it was possible that this was just a crazy coincidence and it fell off the wall on its own. I was so upset though, I didn't know what to say or do. I really didn't think that he had done it (because it really is so unlike him) but feeling the need to blame someone I said in a very threatening way, "I am seriously going to freak out if I find out you were swinging that thing around and knocked my clock off the wall! Did you do it?!!" I felt my blood starting to boil and whether he did it or not I was in real danger of losing it.....Then, like a bucket of water poured on a fire he looked at me and said cautiously, "Yes, I did it." The anger went away and I was filled with respect and admiration at his honesty. I am still so sad and upset about my clock though!

Earlier this week I heard Benjamin putting something in the kitchen trash (his pull-up from the night before) and getting mad because the lid would not open. It has a motion activated sensor that usually makes it open on its own but the battery is low, and I haven't taken the time to replace them so it's been wigging out. Anyway, I heard him grumbling about it and then heard him smack the lid. I didn't think much of it until later in the day when I walked past the trash and noticed that the lid was open. I tried to close it manually but it was jammed. When I looked closer I discovered that a plastic hinge on a roller had been cracked and busted off -definitely not something that can be fixed. So now I guess I can scratch changing the batteries off my to-do list since either way the lid will never open on its own again.......any guesses on who broke that one?

Last night I'm in the other room when I hear Aaron say..... "What are you doing!?!" When I ran in to see what had happened I found the lamp knocked on the floor and the shade bent and busted. Benjamin appeared from the corner with a sheet tied around his neck like a cape. Apparently he had jumped out from his hiding place under the lamp table and when he emerged his extra long "cape" caught on the cord and pulled the lamp right off the table. Aaron managed to "fix" it for the time but told me not to touch it or it would fall apart. Nice. Actually this didn't bother me that much because I've been wanting to replace the shades on the lamps in that room anyway. Still,.....chalk up another one for Ben.

Also this week, Aaron and I came upstairs to go to bed and when we pulled back the blankets to climb in what did we see? Black permanent marker graffiti of a race car on our ivory sheets! Now if these were any other sheets I would not have been so upset but I had just that day put on our ONLY pair of really nice sheets. Aaron saw it before I did and looking down at the cute little picture of a race car he suppressed a smile as he knew that would probably be the straw that would break my camel's back. I guess after everything else that had been shattered, broken and destroyed from the week all I could do was laugh and breath a heavy "I give up!" sigh.

I don't know why I'm posting this other than to vent my frustration over the many things that have been broken this week. I know in my heart that these are just "things" but it still rips me up inside when I see my nice things damaged or destroyed. Maybe I place too much importance on these things,I don't know.....
I wish that I could add a little lesson at the end here about what I have learned or some spiritual perspective I have gained from this but all I can think of right now is how frustrating this is! I am grateful however to have such sweet, active, imaginative and thriving boys and believe me I do know things could be a lot worse. The reason I'm blogging this is because it is such a rare occurrence for me to have to deal with these things. As a mother of 3 boys I count myself very lucky to have limited experience with dealing with broken things .

Still though, I will miss my clock and automatic trash can lid and will look back on the memory of a time when I didn't have to wake up in the morning and see a race car drawn on my sheet.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trunk or Treat.... and my thoughts on Halloween

Here's a picture of the kids at our ward's Trunk or Treat.....

Jacob as Darth Vader, Ben as Spider man, Lauren as a little Indian girl and JoJo as the Hulk.

I must say it was fun this year to have Lauren dress up. Last Halloween she was so little that we we didn't even bother but it was so much fun this year to see her in this cute costume. If it looks familiar to any of you its because it's the same one Josilyn wore a couple years ago-thanks Janna for letting us borrow it.

We went to the Trunk or Treat and the kids got totally loaded up on candy. This year I decided to not be the candy police and told them to eat to their hearts content because Sunday night any uneaten candy would be thrown in the trash (translation-given to Daddy). I used to ration them and let them have a couple pieces after each meal but with 4 kids that gets pretty exhausting so I hung up my whistle and let them binge for 3 days. Well, it's Sunday night and ALL the candy got eaten, and tomorrow they're done and we can go back to a healthier diet.

If you really love Halloween please don't be offended by the thoughts and feelings I've expressed below. I love you all regardless of whether or not we agree on things and I hope no one will be offended by me blogging my feelings about Halloween.

I've never been a fan of Halloween. My parents actually stopped celebrating it when I was 3 years old. I still remember the night they told us. It was the first year I had ever even remembered dressing up. We went to the ward Halloween party and all I remember was trying to bob for an apple, and getting lots of candy. It seemed like a pretty good deal to me. On the ride home from the activity I remember sitting in the back seat of our station wagon with my older brother when my Dad made the announcement that this was going to be the last year our family would be celebrating this holiday. I remember feeling sad at first but then after he explained why, I remembered feeling that it was a good choice. They told us that as members of Christ's church they didn't feel comfortable participating in a holiday that focused on death, fear and evil influences. Even though I was only 3 what they said made sense to me. So that was the first and last time I celebrated Halloween. Or so I thought.....

So, fast forward nearly 20 years and I found myself married to someone who of course grew up celebrating this holiday. Now there are very few things that Aaron and I don't see eye to eye on but this was one of them. For years we butted heads on this and as our kids got older we knew we had to make a choice. Sooooooooo, the compromise has been that we let the kids participate in the fun parts about the holiday while abstaining from the emphasis on the dark, scary and haunting things that Halloween is traditionally known for. As a result we have kind of established our own family traditions which include letting the kids dress up (nothing dark or scary), carving their pumpkin from the pumpkin patch and taking them to the Trunk or Treat. Another family rule we agreed upon is that they get to dress up and do the Trunk or Treat until they are 12. It's just my opinion but after that I just think they're too old.

So I'm finally feeling okay with Halloween (as we celebrate it) but something I still don't understood (and I don't mean to offend anyone here) is why some members of the church participate in the darker side of Halloween? I'm always surprised when I go to members homes and see their yards and houses decorated with witches, skeletons, ghosts and vampires. Or when parents let their kids dress up as vampires and witches. Maybe it doesn't seem like a big deal to them (or maybe they just grew up with it so that's what feels normal?), I don't know. All I know is that when I'm around things like that I don't feel the spirit and I'm always disappointed to see people attending church activities and walking the halls of the church dressed up as witches or vampires. Isn't that a slight conflict of interest? Just my own thoughts, I'm sorry if I'm sounding preachy here.

Sock Puppets

Something fun that we did this year after the Trunk or Treat was to take goodie bags to the kids in the hospital up in Silverdale. For FHE a few weeks ago we made a bunch of sock puppets to put in goodie bags to pass out to kids on Halloween. When Jacob got that infection earlier this year it really made me feel so sad for all the kids who miss out on holidays because they're stuck in their hospital room. By the 5th day Jacob was in tears because he was so bored and wanted to go home so bad. We've been talking a lot about service in FHE's and thought that it would be a fun thing for the kids (especially Jacob) to do. I wanted them to see how happy they could make someone and experience the joy that comes from doing things for others. I think it went really well and I'm glad that we were able to do it.