Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tenty, Renty, Annie and Builder John

Luv Bug just told me that she wants to have four children who will "help me clean the bathrooms at the church when we get big!" Their names are as seen above! 2 girls, and 2 boys! (Tenty and Annie are the girls.) Tenty will be the tent builder at "camping time", Annie will teach while Luv makes dinner. Renty will "rent stuff when I tell him to...like when I have Disney stuff he'll rent it out", and "Builder John will help his sisters and be obedient."

Cuddle Bug has also said that his kiddo's will be as follows:
"A daughter named Emma who will help clean bathrooms and the kitchen
A son named Joseph who will grow up and work like a dad.
A son named Brigham, who will help keep bad guys away, and will be a missionary someday.
And...
A dog named John Taylor."

You can see that our kiddo's have quite the love for the Latter-Day Prophets! :0)

Corn Chips and Stinky Socks

Yes folks, this is the randomness that is my life! Today I asked Ladybug what she'd like for her upcoming birthday. She said (and I quote) "I want corn chips to hit you with, and stinky socks!" Mmmm...I have to be glad for the long sentence, I just don't quite know that I am going to comply with her request! Do you think she'd go for a trip to the pottery store to paint, instead??? LOL :0)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Time Away

I've been pondering this week, about a lot of things. My family really needs my undivided attention right now. We have some neat changes taking place and I need to spend time understanding how it will all work. :0) It really hit me, when Jodie Palmer talked to us at the Mom's Retreat about how our time should be spent, in reference to our families. (See The Parenting Pyramid from the Arbinger Institute.) As much as I want to keep this blog going, because I have such a strong desire to help other families with special needs kiddo's (and such a strong desire to learn from them and connect to them, as well), it's just time to be in life right now, and nowhere else. I am going to try life without blogging for a while, and watch my computer time decrease and see what wonderful results come of it. I'll still pop in and see what other fellow bloggers are up to. Or maybe I won't. :0) You can all email me at kermitcrew(at)gmail(dot)com. (Please don't flood my email with non essential things. I am happy to help with questions as they relate to special needs, homeschooling or foster care, etc.) I will definitely enjoy this time away! :0)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Best "Cooker", and a little ditty about a Well

Our evening around the dinner table (so to speak...we don't have enough kitchen chairs for us to all get around the dinner table so the kids are at a little picnic table), went a little something like this:

Mom serves a nutrition dinner of blue box mac and cheese (Ugh!)
Cuddle Bug says "Mmm Mom, you're the best cooker!"
I say, " If you think this is good, you should try my homemade mac and cheese!"
Snug says "What's in that recipe??"
I say "Two ingredients...Macaroni...and cheese!"


While I was preparing this delightful meal, Snug favored us all with his favorite hymn. Here is how his version goes (see if you can guess the real hymn):
"Push yer' children down the well, push along!"
I just love my kiddo's! They crack me up!:0)

P.S. At bedtime tonight, Wiggle asked lots of questions about the Savior and his crucifixion and resurrection. Cuddle joined in, for a wonderful little talk about how much Jesus loves us and all the He endured in our behalf. How I LOVE little moments like that! :0)

My Talk from Last Sunday

I have had a couple of people ask for a copy of my talk from this past Sunday, so I thought I would share it here, for those who are interested. I enjoyed preparing it and learned so much!

The Liahonas of Today

Liahona: Points the way whither we should go in the wilderness (as the scriptures tell us.)
How blessed we are, to have many Liahonas which act as guides through this mortal experience.
1. Scriptures- Our Instruction Manual (this includes the Ensign and Liahona magazines.) There is an answer for every question, issue or problem that we face, in these sacred and holy scriptures. The church publications are also... modern day scripture, specifically for us! In the March 1975 Ensign, Dr. Chauncy C. Riddle said something beautiful and poetic, about scripture study and prayer: "That soul who has bravely ventured into the sea of scriptural interpretation, who humbly seeks the guidance of the Holy Spirit and rejects the opinions of men, soon makes a marvelous discovery. In the midst of the tumult of human interpretation there is a rock! He cannot see it, for it is spiritual, but he can plant his feet firmly upon it. Then the winds and waves of opinion can beat upon him from any direction. He is no longer tossed to and fro by every wind and wave, but rests firmly on that rock, and on his own two feet. He now has a foundation for his salvation. He has found the rock of revelation from the Savior."
2. Prayers- The gift of Heavenly Communication. What a wonderful way to know the will of our Father in Heaven! What a wonderful way to be sure that He knows of our love for him! What a wonderful way to teach our children to rely on Him in every circumstance! President Spencer W. Kimball taught, "There is a great need in the world today for prayer which can keep us in touch with God and keep open the channels of communication. None of us should get so busy in our lives that we cannot contemplate with prayer. Prayer is the passport to spiritual power. "
3. Temples- Provide ordinances or keys to help guide us back to our Heavenly Father. Not only are we providing a great service to our fellow brothers and sisters beyond the veil, but as we participate in the sacred ordinances there, and hear those words again, we are reminded of our earthly missions and of our potential. In the April 2009 General Conference, Elder Gary E. Stevenson taught us "You are never lost when you can see the temple. The temple will provide direction for you and your family in a world filled with chaos. It is an eternal guidepost which will help you from getting lost in the “mist of darkness.” 1 It is the house of the Lord. 2 It is a place where covenants are made and eternal ordinances are performed."
4. Our Prophet and Apostles- Watchmen on the Tower. They see what is coming and how we should chart our course, and give important guidance for us. President Monson and the great men who serve with him, give inspired and direct counsel which comes from Heavenly Father, Himself. We can know with surety, that the words spoken by our prophet, apostles and others who help in the work of the gospel, are the words which our Heavenly Father wants us to hear! What an honor and a privilege this is!
5. Bishops and Stake Presidents- Our personal guides via inspiration, as they are our stewards. They are the fathers of our wards and stakes and as such, have the ability to receive revelation which pertains to us, specifically. How blessed we are, to have our bishop and his counselors, to care for each and every member of our ward, and to be our examples and our biggest supporters! There's a short story from The Friend Magazine Sept. 2009, which I'll paraphrase a bit:
Just Like the Bishop (About a little boy asking for help on Sunday Morning)
By Sarah Cutler
(Based on a true story)
Has he not set a good example for thee? (Alma 39:1).
1. Bobby knocked on his sister Alicia’s door. “Will you help me button my white shirt? I want to look just like the bishop.” Alicia smiled as she helped him. “You will look just like the bishop,” she said.
2. Bobby went to his brother Chris. “Will you help me tie my tie? I want to look just like the bishop.” Chris tied Bobby’s tie and said, “You will look just like the bishop.”
3. Bobby saw his sister Sarah fixing Laura’s hair. “Will you help me tie my brown shoes?” Bobby asked. “I want to look just like the bishop.” Sarah tied his shoes. “You will look just like the bishop,” she said.
4. “Don’t forget your suit coat,” Laura said. She helped him put his arms in the sleeves of the coat. “You will look just like the bishop.”
5. Bobby saw Mom looking in the mirror. “Mom, will you comb my hair? I want to look just like the bishop.” Mom sprayed Bobby’s hair with water and combed it. “You will look just like the bishop.”
6. Bobby stood at the front door. “Are we ready to go?” Bobby asked. “I want to be on time, just like the bishop.” “Don’t forget your scriptures,” Dad said. “You will need them to look like the bishop.”
7. Bobby picked up his scriptures. “Am I ready?” he asked. “You look just like the bishop,” Dad said.
8. At church, Bobby sat reverently as he waited for sacrament meeting to start. Then he saw a hand stretched out in front of him. It was the bishop! The bishop shook Bobby’s hand. “Is that you, Bobby?” the bishop asked. “I thought it was me!”

How I enjoy watching my children play! They like to pretend to be Joseph Smith, or sing a song naming the Latter-Day prophets. They know that they can look to the Bishop's example, and they know that President Monson is called of God as a prophet to lead us in right paths!
6. Personal Revelation- Offers personal and inspired guidance from above. We have the ability, through faith, diligence, prayer and fasting, to understand our Heavenly Father's divine and inspired will for ourselves and our families. We can pray anytime, anywhere about anything, and know that Heavenly Father will help us to know his will for our lives! He will answer our prayers! As Elder Bednar said in our recent General Conference for the church: " As you appropriately seek for and apply unto the spirit of revelation, I promise you will “walk in the light of the Lord.” Sometimes the spirit of revelation will operate immediately and intensely, other times subtly and gradually, and often so delicately you may not even consciously recognize it. But regardless of the pattern whereby this blessing is received, the light it provides will illuminate and enlarge your soul, enlighten your understanding, and direct and protect you and your family."
I have had recent experience with asking Heavenly Father how best to accomplish the task of laundry at our house. The answer has come, without intensity, and was not immediately, consciously recognized for me...it just dawned on me last week, that that prayer has been answered!" Our laundry is getting done every day, and is not the issue it once was!
7. Patriarchal Blessings- This is our "Can Be" Roadmap. What a blessing a Patriarchal blessing can be! To each of the children and youth in our ward, I would tell you to plan now, to be worthy to receive your patriarchal blessing. Pray before receiving it. Ask those important questions, you feel inspired to ask, and Heavenly Father will answer those questions for you in your very own, personal, patriarchal blessing. This will provide you with a picture of how your life can be, if you live worthily. ( I would also add here, that priesthood blessings in general, can be a needed and very special Liahona in our lives!) President James E. Faust said:
“A patriarchal blessing from an ordained patriarch can give us a star to follow, which is a personal revelation from God to each individual. If we follow this star, we are less likely to stumble and be misled. Our patriarchal blessing will be an anchor to our souls, and if we are worthy, neither death nor the devil can deprive us of the blessings pronounced. They are blessings we can enjoy now and forever.” President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Priesthood Blessings,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 63.
8. The Holy Spirit testifies of truth and can be our constant companion, to guide us through life, if we listen to His quiet whisperings. One of Satan's most powerful tools that he uses to destroy the family, is digital distractions.
In an article by Elder Scott D. Whiting, from the March 2010 Ensign entitled Digital Detachment and Personal Revelation, he said "While modern technological advancements can enhance the work of the Lord and bless us and our families, we must be careful not to fall victim to their destructive side. We must not only avoid the base and degrading content some sources contain, but we must also recognize when electronic distractions keep us from quieter, more significant uses of our time. We must guard against becoming so attached to digital devices that we become detached from God."
In a talk entitled Good, Better, Best, from the October 2007 General Conference of the church, Elder Dallin H. Oaks said "Consider how we use our time in the choices we make in viewing television, playing video games, surfing the Internet, or reading books or magazines. Of course it is good to view wholesome entertainment or to obtain interesting information. But not everything of that sort is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it. Some things are better, and others are best. When the Lord told us to seek learning, He said, “Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom” (D&C 88:118; emphasis added."
I'd like to challenge everyone, to fast from their digital distractions for one week, and use that time in the best possible way. Invite the Holy Spirit to be your Liahona for that week and experience the sweet whisperings of the Spirit of God.



What I have learned, in my study about the Liahona in 1 Nephi:
1. Use em' or lose em'! We must use these remarkable "Liahona's", heeding their counsel, through our faith, diligence and righteousness, or they will lose their efficacy in our lives.
(as referenced in 1st Nephi 16.)
2. By small things, can the Lord bring great things to pass. We've all heard the primary song that states "Faith is like a little seed; if planted it will grow." This is also known as having the faith of a mustard seed. We must be faithful, righteous and diligent and we must heed the counsel given by the Liahona's of our day. We must not be lazy...we must remember the great miracles that can occur from our simple faith! Let us not be slothful because of the easiness of our way. Let's not take the miracles in our lives, for granted. We should look to God and live ( as referenced in Alma 37), always remembering from whence our blessings and miracles come.
3. As a mother, I have envisioned great things for myself and my family...but I fall short of those plans daily and can get discouraged sometimes. I have learned that even when our "trying' seems small, the Lord can magnify our efforts and bring about greatness in our lives, just as He brought about great miracles through the faith required to make the Liahona work. It isn't enough, to just read the scriptures or the Ensign or listen to our prophet speak to us. We must apply that knowledge to our lives, to see the blessings and miracles occur. We must study and ponder! I know, that when we put forth our effort, no matter how inadequate it may seem...our Savior will meet us wherever we are, and lift us to our potential.
4. Have you ever thought about your personal mission on this earth? I know that Heavenly Father sent each of us here, to do something specific and needed...something no one else would do quite so well. We each have a personal mission to fulfill! Consider that thought for a moment! As we seek guidance from our Heavenly Father, through the Liahona's He has provided for us here...we will know and understand what our missions are in this life! We all desire to be told by our Heavenly Father "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." How wonderful will it be, to hear those words and know that we have accomplished the mission for which He sent us here! We can come to understand more about our mission in this life, as we read scriptures, pray, ponder, listen to our leaders, attend the temple and read our patriarchal blessing. As we receive guidance in our own lives, we can mentor our children, family members and friends in discovering their unique missions! (A great scripture for discovering your personal mission is
D&C 88: 77-80.)
Testiomony
I have a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it is true! I know that President Monson is truly a prophet of God, and that Joseph Smith also heeded our Heavenly Father's call. I know that our Bishop cares about us, and that he has been called of God, to lead our ward family! I know that families can be forever and that temples provide those blessings to us! I know the scriptures are true and that we can come closer to our Father in Heaven and our Savior, by studying them. I believe in the power of personal revelation, the power of the priesthood and that patriarchal blessings are sacred and wonderful! I know that I have a mission to fulfill here on earth! Each of us has a mission to fulfill! Heavenly Father will help us understand His will, as we follow the Liahona's He has placed here, to guide our way. May we look to Him and follow His ways.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Celebrating the True Meaning of Easter

I found this wonderful suggestion for an Easter Family Home Evening lesson today, and thought I'd share it with you all! We have been trying to make holidays more meaningful and less commercialized in our family...especially those sacred holidays which celebrate our Savior's life and love. Our kiddo's recently asked us if Santa and the Easter Bunny are real. We were caught off guard by this question, but we both looked at each other and just knew that we didn't want to lie to them. So...we told them that they are not real, but that they are a fun part of some very important holidays which celebrate our Savior. We then told them that our focus in our family, will be more about the real meaning of the holidays. We didn't elaborate any more than that. We basically told them that Santa and the Easter Bunny are like super heroes--like Spiderman or something. Our kiddo's know that Spiderman isn't really real. They haven't put two and two together quite yet, and haven't seemed to make the connection that the loot they get on Christmas and Easter mornings is from us, but we are prayerfully considering how we will help them to understand that. They crave truth. They are always asking if a certain something we read, is true or not. We want them to always know that we have been honest with them, while at the same time also being sensitive to them and also providing wonderful family memories to share. Happy Easter everyone! May we all take time with our families, to remember the true meaning of this wonderful holiday!

LDS.org - Family Chapter Detail - He Is Risen!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Brazzle Dazzle Day

While I was at the Mom's Retreat last Friday night...Mr. Man let the kiddo's watch Pete's Dragon. So...what are they doing right now??? The 3 youngest kiddo's are using their stick horses (upside down), to mop the floor while singing "It's a brazzle dazzle day!" I have to say that I like it! They have turned their yarn haired horses into mops and are pretending away! Pretty great imaginations, don't you think?? :0)

Gospel Learning

As I continue to ponder the direction our learning should take, here in our home and family, I am always brought back to gospel learning. I am still pondering where to start and what to do, with regard to that. Just trying to find inspirational ways to present gospel learning to our children, that doesn't feel too scheduled or "conveyor belt." It will start with more consistent devotional time in the mornings, and also include my "Gold Mine", of sharing what I am learning and studying with the children. I found a wonderful timeline (so to speak), in one of my binders the other day, that recommends study of a gospel topic, which then coincides with study of a modern day topic. For example, it recommends that you study Pre-mortal Life, along with learning about Time...or that the Betrayal and Crucifixion of our Savior is studied with learning about Rome and the Romans. It is a four page list, and sounds very interesting. I feel like it's too structured in a way, but am running into the issue with pretty much everything. I don't want our gospel studies to just be random things (though that would still be wonderful), instead I think that we could stick with our gospel studies a little better, if there were some format to follow along with. Hmmm...just trying not to be too "conveyor-belt-ish" with this, though. I figure, if I am the one studying this time line and then sharing it with the kiddo's as "mine", maybe that would be inspiring to them without seeming too structured. What do ya' think?? I'd love some input on this! All of our kiddo's are still in core phase. Maybe I need to go more the route of "play", with them and help them learn about the gospel through play. I just want them to understand that reverence about gospel things is important. Hmmmm...more pondering to do. I'll keep ya' posted!

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Inspiration and Ideas

I know, I know...it's completely insane for me to be up this late! But tonight I just have to put a few things down on paper (so to speak), that I have already learned from the amazing first day of the Mom's Retreat!

1. Look up everything about the Arbinger Institute. ( I just keep hearing about it and it's time I check this out for myself!)
We learned about the Parenting Pyramid (again...I've heard this all before)and it's great information.

2. What kind of stories are we telling our children about themselves, our families about themselves, and ourselves, about ourselves?? (Hope that made sense.) Much more about this later! Oh...and BTW, the Mr. and I are speaking in church on Sunday, so I'll let you know how the remainder of the weekend goes, this Monday or Tuesday! Lot's to do and learn! :0)

p.s. I'll happily call myself "Sunshiny"! (More on this later, too!)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Laughter and Finding Harmony

I've been awake for an hour now, listening to our beautiful, precious and unassuming daughter laugh in her bed. She does this quite frequently, you know! It's pretty great, sometimes sad, weird, completely nuts, but I can't help but wonder sometimes, what I should be learning from her. This is a little girl who only knows how to be herself! She knows nothing of the demands of life. She's free to experience life the way she sees it, and she does this passionately! She and the Savior are kindred spirits! I am quite sure she was one of His closest friends in heaven! I am quite sure she still is! In all the ways, that the world distracts us and busies us away from Him, she is not affected by those things! It's amazing and remarkable to me! In all of my imperfectness (is that a word???), or imperfection (there, that's better), somehow I get to be a mother to some of the most precious spirits ever created! It's overwhelming and daunting, to wonder if I am doing a good job! I guess I am just still trying to find me. Me...meaning the wife and mother I was called to be here. Me...meaning the daughter of God I was called to be here. Me...meaning having the balance in life, that is most harmonious. I think I am just trying to find harmony! Meanwhile, there is a darling little girl in the other room, who has it every day of her life! Maybe some if it will rub off on me! :0)

How I wish that we lived closer to nature! I'm talking, real, quiet, peaceful nature! I wish it was in our backyard...uninterrupted and beautiful! I crave that for our family right now! I'd seriously like to move away into a cabin somewhere and just let the children learn from the beauty Heavenly Father has created. I guess I've been feeling like we are too boxed in lately! That would explain the spur-of-the-moment drive we took yesterday...just going nowhere, and the spontaneous field trip to a museum, we took a couple days ago. Things have felt very "boxy" lately. Don't know why..just have. Maybe we need a family camping trip! Maybe we need more spontaneous delight around here! Each day, the children wake up and we start the grind all over again! I have felt it important to teach them how to work, and so we get up and do chores. But that's really starting to feel like a chore! LOL :0) I can't blame them for "off" behavior, when life is kinda' boring lately! (Maybe the correct word there, is "uninspired.")

I have been overwhelmed with thoughts of what my own education should look like. I can't seem to find a steady course, to follow. I've felt like I should be studying the gospel right now, but in a way, I feel as though I don't know where to start or even how to do it. Is that weird? Probably. Even with work and schooling, Mr. Man can pick up a great classic novel and read and enjoy it. It has been a long time, since I could do that. Too many distractions, I guess. Too many phone calls and emails and appointments and chores and tasks to do. Too much that is constantly on my mind. This is why I wish the world would just go away, sometimes. I feel as though we have enough "distractions" around here, just from health issues and special needs alone. These are all things I am happy to do, but when you add everything else from the outside, it's nuts sometimes. In short...we are kinda' feeling like we are stuck in a rut. Or maybe it's just me who feels that way. My spirit longs to learn something amazing, soul stirring, thought provoking. (Mom's Retreat is this weekend, and couldn't come at a better time.)

I seriously think I need to do some real pondering about what we need in our family right now, and what we can let go of. I was telling my husband last night, that I am finding it hard to cast any burdens on the Lord, because I don't know how. I don't know how to "Let go and let God." I guess I need more faith, to know that things aren't going to fall apart, if they change a bit. Why do I always feel like something needs to change? It seems that change happens enough around here, without me throwing it into the mix. Something is in disharmony. Maybe I am trying to get my family to fit into a "box" that's not right for us. We are a special needs family, after all...and maybe I just need to throw that box out the window. But...when I do that, chaos ensues. How do I find or create order, without putting us into a box??? Hmmm..... I need to walk! I need to pray! I need to talk to Him...out loud...and just figure it out. So...if any of you happen to be driving by, and you see a crazy lady talking to herself, pushing a 2 seat stroller, with 3 kiddo's walking next to it...just keep driving. I am on a mission to find harmony, and maybe unfortunately for my kiddo's, they are coming with me. Feel free to laugh at me...hopefully, I can figure out how to laugh at myself again, soon! When I find harmony, I'll let you know! :0)

Laughter and Finding Harmony

I've been awake for an hour now, listening to our beautiful, precious and unassuming daughter laugh in her bed. She does this quite frequently, you know! It's pretty great, sometimes sad, weird, completely nuts, but I can't help but wonder sometimes, what I should be learning from her. This is a little girl who only knows how to be herself! She knows nothing of the demands of life. She's free to experience life the way she sees it, and she does this passionately! She and the Savior are kindred spirits! I am quite sure she was one of His closest friends in heaven! I am quite sure she still is! In all the ways, that the world distracts us and busies us away from Him, she is not affected by those things! It's amazing and remarkable to me! In all of my imperfectness (is that a word???), or imperfection (there, that's better), somehow I get to be a mother to some of the most precious spirits ever created! It's overwhelming and daunting, to wonder if I am doing a good job! I guess I am just still trying to find me. Me...meaning the wife and mother I was called to be here. Me...meaning the daughter of God I was called to be here. Me...meaning having the balance in life, that is most harmonious. I think I am just trying to find harmony! Meanwhile, there is a darling little girl in the other room, who has it every day of her life! Maybe some if it will rub off on me! :0)

How I wish that we lived closer to nature! I'm talking, real, quiet, peaceful nature! I wish it was in our backyard...uninterrupted and beautiful! I crave that for our family right now! I'd seriously like to move away into a cabin somewhere and just let the children learn from the beauty Heavenly Father has created. I guess I've been feeling like we are too boxed in lately! That would explain the spur-of-the-moment drive we took yesterday...just going nowhere, and the spontaneous field trip to a museum, we took a couple days ago. Things have felt very "boxy" lately. Don't know why..just have. Maybe we need a family camping trip! Maybe we need more spontaneous delight around here! Each day, the children wake up and we start the grind all over again! I have felt it important to teach them how to work, and so we get up and do chores. But that's really starting to feel like a chore! LOL :0) I can't blame them for "off" behavior, when life is kinda' boring lately! (Maybe the correct word there, is "uninspired.")

I have been overwhelmed with thoughts of what my own education should look like. I can't seem to find a steady course, to follow. I've felt like I should be studying the gospel right now, but in a way, I feel as though I don't know where to start or even how to do it. Is that weird? Probably. Even with work and schooling, Mr. Man can pick up a great classic novel and read and enjoy it. It has been a long time, since I could do that. Too many distractions, I guess. Too many phone calls and emails and appointments and chores and tasks to do. Too much that is constantly on my mind. This is why I wish the world would just go away, sometimes. I feel as though we have enough "distractions" around here, just from health issues and special needs alone. These are all things I am happy to do, but when you add everything else from the outside, it's nuts sometimes. In short...we are kinda' feeling like we are stuck in a rut. Or maybe it's just me who feels that way. My spirit longs to learn something amazing, soul stirring, thought provoking. (Mom's Retreat is this weekend, and couldn't come at a better time.)

I seriously think I need to do some real pondering about what we need in our family right now, and what we can let go of. I was telling my husband last night, that I am finding it hard to cast any burdens on the Lord, because I don't know how. I don't know how to "Let go and let God." I guess I need more faith, to know that things aren't going to fall apart, if they change a bit. Why do I always feel like something needs to change? It seems that change happens enough around here, without me throwing it into the mix. Something is in disharmony. Maybe I am trying to get my family to fit into a "box" that's not right for us. We are a special needs family, after all...and maybe I just need to throw that box out the window. But...when I do that, chaos ensues. How do I find or create order, without putting us into a box??? Hmmm..... I need to walk! I need to pray! I need to talk to Him...out loud...and just figure it out. So...if any of you happen to be driving by, and you see a crazy lady talking to herself, pushing a 2 seat stroller, with 3 kiddo's walking next to it...just keep driving. I am on a mission to find harmony, and maybe unfortunately for my kiddo's, they are coming with me. Feel free to laugh at me...hopefully, I can figure out how to laugh at myself again, soon! When I find harmony, I'll let you know! :0)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A New Bed for Ladybug

This evening, two guys from our home health company (which delivers diapers and feed supplies for the Lady and the Wiggle), brought us a much anticipated piece of furniture for Lady. It's called a Sleep Safer High Bed, by this company, and it's pretty spiffy! LOL :0) It's the size of a twin bed, with high sides all the way around, windowed doors on one side that drop down, and it's on wheels and it's an adjustable bed. Pretty cool, huh?! We are just hoping it will keep her in and safe and that she won't be able to get to her pump or her feed bag and disrupt her feedings at night! She'll be able to use this bed for a long time, too! It is plenty big for her to grow into!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Birthday Tomorrow, and also Some Great Resources for Autism

Two years ago tomorrow, our Wiggle Bug came to be a part of our family. This also happens to be his birthday, and we are SO excited for him! He's is growing up to be a great, little guy! He knows what it right and he has a fabulous imagination and love for music and life! He LOVES the scriptures! He is eating fabulously lately (although a recent trial off of his feeding tube, shows that what he eats on his own, may still not be enough.) We love him immensely and enjoy his sweetness! He has chosen to go for pie, as his birthday adventure this year! We are excited to hit up our local Village Inn, for a fun family night together! Yum!

Happy Birthday, sweet Wiggle Bug! You are a light in our family and a joy to us all!
We love you, sweet baby! :0)

Love Mom, Dad, Snug, Luv, Cuddle and Lady



As part of the studying I have been doing lately, I have been trying to understand more about Applied Behavioral Analysis, for our Ladybug's autism issues. I have found a few cool sites, and thought I'd share:

http://www.mes-english.com/

http://www.tinsnips.org/

http://www.abaresources.com/free.htm

We are trying to understand more about how best to motivate Miss Ladybug, to learn the essential things she needs to know in this life! I'll continue to let you know how it goes! :0)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Trying To Eat Healthier Around Here

In an effort to put more healthy things into our bodies and leave more unhealthy things out of our bodies, we are eating this for meals this week:

Homemade Muffins with whole wheat, blueberries and flaxseed (to help with Eczema, etc.)
Steamed Veggie Platter for dinner: zuchinni, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower
Cream of Wheat hot cereal with toast and juice
Smoothies (more than just twice a week): spinach, pineapple, peaches, strawberries, yogurt, orange juice, banana
Homemade Egg McMuffin sandwiches with organic and farm fresh eggs
whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce and fresh parmesan cheese
Homemade crepes or pancakes with whole wheat and organic and farm fresh eggs
fajita's with shrimp, onions and bell peppers, with black or pinto beans
Cold Cereal (because this is still a work in progress, and therapy day is crazy.) :0)
homemade chef salad with boiled (organic and farm fresh) eggs, and all the fixings


Other options this week:
Oatmeal
homemade vegetable soup with homemade whole wheat breadsticks
Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes (just as soon as I find a good recipe.) :0)
Red Potatoes, Fresh Green Beans, Corn, etc.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Laura Story - Blessings

Mr. Man came home and shared this with me today! It made me cry, because it describes life in our family! I hope you enjoy it! :0)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Inspired Laundry

You may or may not remember that I had decided I was going to pray about how to get our laundry done, around here. :0) Two days ago, I found myself remembering when President and Sister Solomon spoke to us at a HIP Night earlier this year, and she had mentioned to us about how she had received inspiration from Heavenly Father, about how she could best accomplish the task of getting the laundry done in their family. The kicker of it all was...she wouldn't tell us what that was, because she said we needed to pray and ask Heavenly Father that question ourselves. I loved that eye-opening A-ha! moment from that night! We can pray and ask Heavenly Father to help us with anything...evem silly laundry! :0) I am here to tell you, that it's true! :0) As I was switching the laundry, two days ago, I suddenly realized that we no longer have a problem with how to get the laundry done. Without any big, inspirational moment, and without even having to try and fail at system after system...our laundry is getting done each day! I asked Heavenly Father for help, and He is helping us! It's a small miracle, but a miracle to me nonetheless! In a world as huge and vast as ours, He heard my prayers about the laundry! How grateful I am, for the knowledge that there isn't anything to silly to ask Heavenly Father for help with! He truly does hear and answer prayers...and sometimes in subtle ways! :0)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why We Don't Watch T.V., and Why It's Not The Extreme Idea Many Think It Is

Our family has tried many different things, in reference to the way television is a part (or not a part) of our lives. When we first heard about Thomas Jefferson Education, all of the ideas contained therein, really resonated with us! As Mr. Man and I thought about our own growing up experiences and the way life had been for us in the public school system, we found ourselves nodding our heads, wishing that we had had a leadership education experience...an experience learning from the great classics, according to our passions and desires! We knew we wanted a leadership education for our children. We desire the best of the best for our family. To us, television is a far cry from the best of the best. As I look back as their mother, I am SO glad that we discovered that our day didn't have to be full of kids video's on the television, while I got all the work done in the house, and important family ideals and life lessons were cast by the wayside. There is WAY too much vulgarity and ill-found humor and a total disregard for ideas of a virtuous nature, on most television stations. Those stations that don't serve up this kind of "entertainment", are rare and few, these days. The BYU channel comes to mind (which we don't have, because we don't have cable.) We have found some valuable, inspiring and uplifting things on the BYU channel, online. When children's learning video's were on, the knowledge received (if any), only scratched the surface of helping them reach their full potential. Most times, the videos just engrained annoying songs into their heads that were sung without end, for days and days. Not a good use of time or potential, if you ask me. One thing we have noticed about society in general, today, is the great need to be "entertained." As we have experimented with whether or not television would be the right thing for our family, we have realized that it's just better for it to be a very rare occurrence at our house. Instead of "entertaining" the childen, so I can get the housework done, they work with me, learning invaluable adult skills, confidence, diligence, and that they can do hard things,(a very important bit of knowledge that will help them in their scholar phase of their educations), and that they are a needed and valued part of our family. In the beginning of the changes we would make towards a leadership education path, we started out with a weekly movie night, but found that it kept the children too addicted to t.v. Today, our children will tell you "We don't watch t.v.!", with a calm and sure acceptance that has astounded even us, sometimes. They didn't die when we stopped watching t.v. On the contrary, they talk often about how they are using their imaginations and pretending to be a great hero from a wonderful story we've read aloud! They talk about which character from any one of the great classics we've read, that they want to be like when they grow up. They are little people who, at their young ages, already have big ideas about the world. It's pretty remarkable to watch them flourish in the environment we've created.

I am grateful to be sharing wonderful family time with my kiddo's as we read aloud, stories that teach high ideals and morals and values. I am grateful for the great discussions we have about these stories, which bring us closer together and help us learn eternal truths. I am grateful to be on the leadership education path, with my family and grateful that our world doesn't revolve around what's on the tube on Tuesday nights.

P.S. For those of you think we are crazy for not watching videos (however educational or wonderful they may be)...a video is pretty much the same as t.v., when it comes to it's ability to reel you in, as far as a t.v. addiction goes. We have seen this first hand with our family. If it can be viewed, no matter what it is, then it has the ability to keep that addiction alive for a person. Part of the reason for this, is what I call the "work factor." Video's offer a huge reward for hardly any effort, and give a false sense of having discovered something amazing, for a very small price. We are trying to teach our children the value of a liberal arts/leadership education. If we want them to delve into great classic works in the future, we have to create an environment which provides them the opportunities to discover these great classics, through work and inspiration. Almost anything involving a television, is mostly void of work and inspiration. This is why television for our family, is the exception and not the rule. Remember...we want the best of the best! We've already decided that classic works are the best! A classic is defined as anything that is so inspiring, that it can be read over and over and new things can be learned each time. We do own a few DVD's and Video's (much less than we used to, as we just purged them), and will probably get rid of more! We choose them with care and we are happily ridding our lives of a lot of them! We aren't dead yet! LOL :0)

(If you have any questions about the sources of information that have led us to this life-changing conclusion for our family, please visit the websites below)

Nicholeen Peck's Teaching Self Government

Kerri Tibbets The Headgate

Thomas Jefferson Education

Saturday, April 2, 2011

First Session of General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

How I LOVE and NEED conference! It is so fitting, to me, that it happens bi-annually, right along with our 6 Month "No" and "Purge"! In particular, this morning, 2 talks really stood out to me: Sister Jean A. Stevens' talk about looking to children as our examples, and Elder Kent F. Richards' talk about the purpose of pain. I have always known I should look to my children as my examples, but it is a great reminder to me! As far as pain is concerned, I have pondered this topic continuously in reference to the pain and difficulties my children bear, in particular, Ladybug. This talk had significant meaning for me. I have asked my husband the question of "Can't the Atonement cover the pain she is feeling?" We had recently talked about this. I am grateful for the understanding that Elder Richards' talk gave me today, about the purpose of pain and especially for the sweet story he told about the girl who saw angels around her, while in surgery. She said that all the children in the intensive care unit at her hospital, had angels in the room helping them. I know this is true for our children! I have often commented at their ability to weather the storms of health problems that they do, with such patience and grace. They amaze me! If I ever struggle with health problems in my life, I hope to do so with the grace and patience of my children!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Autism

Well...it's official. Miss Ladybug has a diagnosis of "Autistic Disorder." We already knew, but now it's for sure. So, where do we go from here? The doctor presented me with a 3 1/2 inch stack of resources and articles all about it. The thing is, we don't really feel compelled at this point to do anything different than what we are currently doing. We just wanted to know for sure, what were dealing with. Now we know. I'll tell ya' what...it'll be much easier to tell people about her issues. Instead of talking about 5 million, individual difficulties that she deals with, we'll just say "She has Autism and some other issues." Most people "get it" when they hear the word "Autism." She's still the same, sweet kiddo'...we just have a new word to help describe her now. :0)