Thursday, April 18, 2013

Our potential

Just a reminder that there is still a lot of good in the world

Every 6 months my church has a general conference broadcast where we listen via satellite TV to our leaders and messages they have prepared.  The latest one was about 2 weeks ago.  In one talk a story of a high school football star who befriended a girl that was being bullied was shared.  It was such a great story of love and kindness and how just one person can influence and change another person’s life.   I was so impressed with this story Carson Jones, and how he befriended and helped Chy Johson.   I learned from reading the ESPN news article about this, that Carson hadn’t even told his parents what he was doing and his mom only learned about it through a newspaper article she read after his kind actions went viral .  I have included the links to the general conference article where I first heard about this story and the article I read that was written by ESPN writer Rick Riely.  It was such a great story.  Reading this story a few times through I had various thoughts.  I can only imagine how Carson's mom felt after reading hearing what he had done.  As a mom, I hope Jacob will have the courage and inspiration to make good choices.  That he will choose to be kind and inclusive of others.  That he will use his influence for good without looking for praise or attention.  Carson is a hero in Chy's and her mother's eyes.  I hope I too can reach out to others and bless their lives the way Carson has, and I hope to teach my son to do the same.   Everyone is going through difficult times and fighting hard battles.  If we can remember our great potential in supporting and loving one another I think it will not only help those we love and help, but it will bless our lives as well.

I just wanted to share this story with you.  I hope it will inspire and uplift you as much as it did me. 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thoughts about today

I am heartbroken and saddened

It is a sad day today. 
My thoughts and prayers go out to all in Boston
The pictures and video of this act of terror were just horrific.
Watching the news was so depressing and the phrase “man’s inhumanity to man” came to mind.  So I looked it up and there were a few quotes using that phrase that stuck out to me. 
“Man’s inhumanity to his brother is Our greatest sorrow.” Our Lady. 

“Man’s inhumanity to man shows only the weakness of the soul.”  Unknown
I would have to agree with these people.  It is just terrible and sickening what the terrorists did today.  I can't even comprehend how twisted their minds are.  It is horrific.  

Earlier, I had been on FB chatting and sharing jokes with a friend.  Then the news about Boston started showing up on my feed and those jokes weren’t funny anymore.  As I thought about this, I remembered something the prophet, President Monson had said, 
When compared to eternal verities, most of the questions and concerns of daily living are really rather trivial. What should we have for dinner? What color should we paint the living room? Should we sign Johnny up for soccer? These questions and countless others like them lose their significance when times of crisis arise, when loved ones are hurt or injured, when sickness enters the house of good health, when life’s candle dims and darkness threatens. Our thoughts become focused, and we are easily able to determine what is really important and what is merely trivial. “  The race of life. (april 2012 general conference)    

It saddened me that time wouldn't stand still very long.  I had an ever growing stack of laundry to fold, dinner to make, but I knew for so many people, that today marked the day that their lives would never be the same.  And that just breaks my heart.  

I was also reminded that while there is much evil in the world, there is greater good and it will never be overcome. 

I think many of us are asking tonight, Why do bad things happen to good people?  I know I was.  And as I share this quote, it is in no way to diminish the grief and suffering that we and especially those in Boston are experiencing.  But this helped me as I asked myself that exact question.

"If joy and peace and rewards were instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil–all would do good but not because of the rightness of doing good. There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency, only satanic controls...Should all prayers be immediately answered according to our selfish desires and our limited understanding, then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death, and if these were not, there would also be no joy, success, resurrection, nor eternal life” (Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Proceeds the Miracle, [1972], 97).

Even though I think that is true, today I wish it wasn’t.  I wish the heartache and suffering that occurred hadn’t.  I wish we could stop this madness from happening.  I wish the phrase “man’s inhumanity to man” wasn't a part of our vernacular.  

As I go to be tonight I pray for peace.  I pray for the people whose lives will never be the same.  Those who have lost loved ones, or whose bodies have been maimed, or who will have nightmares about what they saw and experienced.  I pray that someday soon good will overcome evil.  I pray that we can be kind and forgiving to one another and remember what is truly important.  I pray that we can remember the Savior Jesus Christ and all that He suffered all for all so that we can know that someone understands the pain and heartache we go through.  I pray for faith to remember that God has not forgotten us and that He will bless and help us.   

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Parenting with Love

Parenting is many things.  It is a fun, challenging, memorable, difficult, and fulfilling blessing in our lives.   It’s definitely something you can’t fully understand unless you experience it for yourself.   Essentially it is an act of love.  Every day we are serving, loving, and caring for our little boy regardless of whether the day is smooth sailing or a little rocky.  Love is essential when parenting and caring for little children. 

Like everyone, we want to do the best we can in raising Jacob and in creating a loving and special home. 

At times, we don’t always feel like we know what we’re doing.  But we try our best and try to build on what works and learn from what doesn’t seem to work well. 

I really enjoy seeing how Jacob learns and grows from every little thing.  He is constantly watching and listening.  He can be talking to himself and playing with a toy in the other room and later talk about something he overheard Rob and I talking about while he was in the other room.   

I saw a quote on a friend’s FB the other day that said:  “The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”  Peggy O’Mara   I think that is so true.  Not only does this pertain to what we say directly to them, but what they may overhear us saying about them.  We would hate to overhear someone talking about the things we do wrong.  We already know what we struggle with.  I think kids are the same.  They don’t want to constantly overhear their parent talking about they things they struggle with.  They want to overhear someone talking about what a great person they are and what they are great at. 

There are many things that Rob and I hope our children will learn and do in life.  But some of the main things we hope is that they become good and kind people.   We also hope that they will not only be kind to others, but to themselves.    We hope they will be confident in who they are and have feelings of good self worth. 
One thing we do to try to instill this in Jacob is to teach him the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We pray, read the scriptures, and sing songs every day so he can feel of God’s love for him.  It is amazing to me how quickly children can learn things.  We read the scriptures with Jacob and at times we think he isn’t really listening, or we wonder if he’s getting anything out of it.  One time when we were reading the Book of Mormon, we were in the part where Isaiah was quoted.  And we were just getting through it as best we could, I couldn’t hope that Jacob would understand it, because I don’t understand a lot of it.  Anyhow, I was reading some of the strange names:  King Uzziah, Pekah, and Remaliah were listed.  And Jacob just started laughing and repeating their names.  He said their names constantly for weeks.  It was so funny.   There are pretty unique names.  Before that time I had never even noticed them.  He taught me that he was listening and that maybe even reading the difficult portions of Isaiah can be enlightening and fun.  Two of the songs we often sing for Jacob before he goes to sleep are, “I am a child of God” and “My Heavenly Father loves me”.   

My Heavenly Father loves me:
Whenever I hear the song of a bird, or look at the blue blue sky.
Whenever I feel the rain on my face, or the wind as it rushes by.
Whenever I touch a velvet rose or walk by our lilac tree.
I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world,  Heavenly Father created for me.

He gave me my eyes that I might see the color of butterfly wings
He gave me my ears that I might hear the magical sound of things.
He gave me my life, my mind, my heart, I thank him reverently.
For all His creations of which I’m a part,
Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.

He now knows those songs by heart and sometimes when he is he will just start singing them to himself.  He often starts to sing “whenever I touch a velvet rose….” When we are out on walks and he sees a colorful flower.  He then touches it and will usually give me a petal or two as a manifestation of his love for me.  I love it.  And I love it when I hear him stating out loud to himself, “My Heavenly Father loves me.”  Yes, Jacob, He does.

Ok, so you may think, this is all fine and well, but what about on the hard days or in difficult moments.  What do you do then?  Good question.  We learn from our mistakes.  We try to be loving, respectful and kind, but sometimes we are impatient and raise our voice a bit.  But we have learned the latter approach doesn’t work out well for anyone.  We try to teach Jacob to apologize when he makes mistakes, and we also tell Jacob sorry when we don’t behave as we should.  If we have to correct Jacob, we also try to show forth an increase of love afterwards so he won’t have any doubt that he is loved.  

A few months ago I started reading the book:  Christlike Parenting: Taking the Pain out of Parenting by Dr. Glen Latham.  It is really good and has helped me understand how I can continue to improve in my efforts to be a kind and Christlike person and parent. 

Ultimately, we can’t make or force our kids to become or act how we might think they should.  They get to decide.  As parents we get to teach them, be there for them, and love them no matter what.  And I believe, if we do that, they will feel of our love and will have happy and fulfilling lives. 

Rob and I love being parents.  We have a lot of the fun as a family.  We also have challenging moments and try to get through them as best we can.  We love our son.   We hope he always knows this and feels this.  He is one of our greatest blessings and joys in life. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dream big

Well, since I can’t sleep, I figured I would get up and write.  Initially when I first met a person it may take a little time for me to open up and let that person get to know me.  The same is true with me regarding blogging and FB.  But now that I have started blogging again, I feel like we are good friends.  Well, at least you know me, and if you like what you read you will keep coming back.  So that makes me feel as though we are friends. Sound good to you?  :)

A funny thing about Rob and I is that we like to virtual shop.  Let me explain.  Last week we thought it would be fun to get road bikes.  So we researched it and got really excited about many aspects of it. But, it is really expensive to get a bike, etc, and then there is the question as to how much biking I would actually be able to do since I have a little shadow that goes by the name of Jacob.  It would be fun though.  And when the time comes to get a bike, I already know a lot about them.  :)

So tonight Rob was really excited about this grill/smoker called the Big Green Egg.  We watched a half a dozen videos about it.  Some were ridiculous—a ten minute you tube video showing how nicely packed it is.  Come on.  But we saw someone cook a delicious pizza, brisket, bread, and all sorts of yummy goodness.  Rob said he watched someone cook a peach cobbler.  And when Rob mentioned this might be something he could really get into—Who am I to stop a man from trying to cook.  I love any meal I don’t have to cook.  Don’t get me wrong, I do cook and I think I am fairly decent at it, but it can get a little old.  If I were rich I would definitely hire a personal chef.  Food always tastes better when someone else makes it.  Anyhow, at the moment we are still pretty interested in it.  But it is pretty large and expensive.  And then when Rob said he wouldn’t get the pizza dough or other things to cook ready, he would only put it on the grill, my interest in it started to wane.  :)  Just kidding, they do sound really cool.  And it gets super hot in my kitchen during the summer.  Also, Jacob loves playing outside in the backyard and we eat outside right now while the weather is so nice. 

Other things we have looked into are paddleboards.  Well Rob mostly did.  I did for a little bit, but I figured out quickly that I didn’t want one.  I mostly did research on that to either persuade him not to get one, or when he wouldn’t stop researching it, it was to convince him to just get one and be done with it.

A boat would be nice  (we live close to a lake), but the questions of where to store it and the fact that all these fancy fun things cost so much money always comes up.   

But it sure is nice to dream about these things.   And if you’re going to dream, why not dream big? 

We are quite content with what we have.  We have a nice home and a happy little family.   And as long as we have each other, we are good.   And of course we have dreams and things we hope to accomplish.  I will share one of mine with you.  I love children’s books, and have always wanted to write one.  Maybe I will someday.  Another dream I do have is to look back on my life and be happy with the person I was and the life I lived.  I want to be a good and fun mom and have my kids happy to be home and enjoy life in one another's company.   I can speak for Rob in saying that he shares this  same dream of creating a happy family and having fun memories with our kids.

So lest you think we don’t have any real fun, let me tell you what else we like to do.  Rob and I like to go on dates.  We have been to a few fun concerts together.  But usually for our dates we go eat somewhere and then enjoy a fun movie together.  We like going on double dates with people where the guys or girls plan it and surprise one another with the activity.  Rob always tries to figure out what we are doing.  He likes to know what's going on, where as I think the fun is in the surprise and I would rather wait and experience the event.  We also like to go running together.   Jacob gets so excited when he sees me in my running clothes.  He likes riding in the stroller while I exercise.  But via osmosis he feels like he is exercising and loves to tell us that he’s exercising. 

We like to do the things we can afford near our lake like taking walks on the trails or throwing rocks in the lake.  We like to go swimming, (Jacob has been practicing in the bath tub lately since he “can’t swim”).  We like to go out to ice cream as a family.  I still remember the first time we took Jacob to get an ice cream cone at Baskin Robbins.  He was in heaven.  We like to hang around the house and watch movies or  “play cushions”.   “Play cushions” requires that Jacob throws the cushions off the sofa and jumps around on them.  If only we could remember how much fun we had as two year olds.  I guess that is where I come in.  I try to take pictures and videos of these little moments so I can show Jacob how fun and silly he is.  

So there you go.  Just what you wanted to know.  Thanks to the internet Rob and Jana spent a good portion of their day researching another thing to buy.  Please tell me we are not the only ones who do this.  The only question now for us is will we buy it?  Chances are, we won’t, but you never know… 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It takes a village

to adopt a child.

There are so many things and people involved in an adoption that it is actually quite a miraculous process.

Also, every adoption is different.  With Jacob’s adoption, it took quite awhile to complete the paperwork—both online and off, do a home study, etc.  We needed to meet with our social worker and attend a training seminar.  Once everything was completed and our profile was online, we then let our friends and family know about it.   We appreciated their support and prayers on our behalf.  We didn’t tell too many people that first time, because our profile was found rather quickly by one of Jacob’s birthfather family members.  Some time after that, Jacobs’ birthparents decided they wanted to meet us, and things went from there.  We adopted Jacob and here we are loving life with him. 

This time around, the paperwork didn't take too long since it was already in our agencies system.  But the actual adoption process is taking quite a bit longer.  We have had a new profile up for 1.5 yrs.  We set up a blog during that time as well.  Over time we received a few inquiries, but nothing panned out.  We set up our FB page—but I could never figure out how quite how to use it.  I am not the most technologically savvy person.  But I took a look at it again this last week, and figured a few things out, and so we are trying to use it and blog a bit more to help others know we are still very interested in adopting, and also to help those who may come across it, get to know us a little bit better. 

So those of you who read our blog or FB updates, feel free to share them, repost them, tweet them.  Whatever it is people do with social media these days is pretty much ok with us.  As I said adoption involves a lot of people, and that includes you.  There is no telling who it is that might find our profile and feel it is the right one for them and their situation. 

Also, I have a few blog posts I am working on to help others get to know us a little bit more.  But if any of you have any ideas of topic or questions you think a birth parent might want to know, please tell us and I will try to blog about them as well.

Last but not least, we trust and know that God loves all of us and is acutely aware of our individual needs and desires.  We are grateful to Him for helping us adopt Jacob.  We trust that if it is His will that we adopt again, then somehow, someway, things will work out to make that happen. 

Thank you all for your support and kindness in this journey of ours, we really appreciate it. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fun times

I typically start off my journal by writing:  "It's been awhile since I've written"  The same is true for this blog.  It's been awhile since I've posted anything.  But don't let that fool you, we have been busy and are doing well.  I will do a quick recap and then let the pictures tell the rest.

  •  Christmas:  I had every intention of writing about Christmas, but as you can see time kept marching on and then it seemed like it was old news.  But to Jacob, Christmas is not old news.  In fact, before going down for his nap today he had me read him his Curious George Christmas book.  Also, when we first started potty training him he brought us his little potty and said, "Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas", and then sat down and left a little present.  Thanks  :)  Anyhow, so back to Christmas.  We had a lot of fun, Jacob enjoyed opening his presents.  He loves cars and trucks and got a whole bunch of them.  It was a fun day.  I love that he is getting old enough to really enjoy it. 
  • Jacob is doing great.  He is talking a ton, and he says the funniest things.  I was with my friend and Jacob wanted to go swimming in a fountain he saw.  I told him he couldn't go in, because it was too cold, and so my friend told him, "In the summer you will have to come to my pool to swim."  To which Jacob just matter of factly and very politely replied, "Sorry, I can't swim."  It was too funny.   I had never heard him say he couldn't do anything.  Another thing he always says that makes me laugh, especially because it is completely out of context is: "Be careful, don't choke."  He gets his pronouns mixed up a bit.  He likes to use my bathroom to go potty.  So if he is dancing around I will ask him, "Do you want to use my potty, or your potty."  To which he will reply, "my potty" (meaning mine).  It is funny.  Or if he breaks something he will say, "he broke it"  rather than "I broke it". 
  • Jacob loves to laugh.  He is usually laughing when he wakes up from his naps.  He will just be saying a random word or sound and think it is so funny.  One day he was shouting "nut face" at the top of his lungs and then laughing hysterially about it.  He also loves his sandbox and can spend hours outside shoveling the sand and moving the wood chips around the yard. 
  •  Easter:  We had a very nice Easter weekend.  Jacob's birth mother came to visit, and she brought eggs filled with confetti and candy for a little egg hunt in the backyard.  It was really fun, and Jacob loved it.  I had fun watching Jacob dye Easter eggs.  He looked like a scientist dropping the eggs in the dye and then watching them turn colors.  He had a fun time that weekend eating tons of Easter candy and playing with the toys that were in his Easter basket.  He got Woody from Toy Story from his grandparents and loved pulling his string to make him talk and also taking his cowboy hat off and having Woody say, "Where's my hat?" 
  • April Fool's:  It was a successful day.  I tricked Rob and he didn't trick me.   ha ha ha.  I always like to just do one harmless but pesky prank.  On April Fools, while Rob was showering I moved his car out of the driveway and around the corner.   Then when he went out to get in his car to drive to work it wasn't there.  I was watching from the window, and I wish I had gotten a video of it.  It was great.  He looked around and was all confused.  Then he came inside and said his car wasn't there.  I was having a hard time keeping a straight face, and I needed to tell him April Fool's before he figured it out or else he would pretend he wasn't fooled.  So all I could get out was, "really, you're kidding me"  Before I shouted April Fool's.  He admitted I got him good.  It was fun.  :)
   That's my recap.  So life is good, I am happy it is spring time, and I am looking forward to a fun summer.  
We went on a Santa run.  That was a lot of fun.
 Christmas Eve
 Christmas morning
 Jacob loves to stack
 and stack
 He loves helping me in the kitchen.  This can make cooking a bit challenging at times :)  But we had fun making pizza together
 We go on runs together.  On this run, we ran to the donut shop and got a treat. 
 Jacob loves tortillas.  And until we finally moved the bread box and secured the kitchen chairs, at least twice a day I would hear him say "tortilla" and then hear him moving the chairs over to grab one.
 sandbox fun
Dying Easter eggs

 Easter with my little boy
 Cracking the eggs open. 
 I love this little guy.