Monday, October 20, 2008

the never ending primary program

The never ending Primary Program is finally finished. With the hurricane it was rescheduled to yesterday. The kids were so cute, and despite the mini glitches, I think it turned out well. I had kids with big parts absent the day of. I had sunbeams scaling (literally) the front. It was pretty lengthy, but the bishop forwarned everyone. And in the end, it all worked out.Whew.

We sang for the grandma and grandpas as an assisted living center as part of our primary activity/program practice on Saturday. The kids sounded like angels. So beautiful! I had overlooked re-scheduling the church for our new dates for the practice, and discovered it the week before. Luckily the other ward who was there was flexible.

Secret Gardens

I think the following from Sarah Ban Breachman, quoted by President Monson in conference has to be one of my all time favorite quotes. It answers the question, how do we find joy in daily living? Cultivating the right garden helps avoid the trap of keeping up with everyone else, comparing ourselves and our situations and it helps us be happy with what we have. It tells us how to be happy despite the obstacles that daily come our way. It's a beautiful way to look at out choice to be grateful.

"Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend...when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present-love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]-the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Decorating Help!

I just emailed these pictures to my sister in law Pam, requesting some decorating assistance. She is so talented and has awesome taste, I can't wait to hear what she has to say.

Then I thought, why not throw the pictures up on my blog, and see if anyone else has some thoughts! We need new curtains in our bay window. I know the pictures are dark, but it's just a basic bay window. The bottom picture is the rug that's in the room. Any thoughts?

Let's all go to the ball field!

Between Doug and Porter, we've been spending a lot of time at the ball field. Doug plays on a church league (like the Baptists against the Mormons) every Friday night. Porter still plays on his league. '

But it's good for all, of us... Good to get outside, good to work off energy and emotion... Porter's always in a good mood before and after a game.

With the hurricane we've had some very game heavy weeks, making up for lost time, a couple of 3 and 4 a weekers. When that happens it's because we have a double header on Saturday.

Preston is even getting into the game, he stood at the fence, as pictured above for such a long time, just watching.

Sophia does fine as long as I bring food and drink, if not, I can forget trying to make it through the whole game, I have to give up and go home early, leaving Doug to man the rest of the game. Doug often helps coach 3rd base.
I'll try and get some video at the next game. It's fun to see how much the team is improving. Honestly, I'm still surprised whenever they are able to execute a play, and it happens all of the time. Porter's succeeded in getting a few people out, and it's fun to see how happy he gets. Throwing his arms up in the air, getting a high five from his coach. And it's good to see him handle disappointment well, when he strikes out or misses a ball. And he also sees that he's not he only one who might make a mistake. The beat goes one, the game keeps going, it's not the end of the world, you just try again next time.

I was playing catch with Porter in the back yard and Preston came over with a little mitt, insisting that we put it on his little hand. He wanted to play too! He's already got the right idea.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Favorite Gadget

There are not many gadgets that I feel like I have to have.

I live my life fairly oblivious to the technology trends.

I still mourn my old cell phone. It worked just fine, I knew how to use it, and if it hadn't been thrashed after two years of serving as phone and baby entertainer, I would have gladly continued to use it, rather than upgrade when we renewed our plan.

I am still Ipod less, and have just barely glimpsed a reason why people would even want one.

However, a couple of years ago when my friend Andrea acquired a gadget made just for runners, I couldn't rest until I had one.

It's a GPS for runners. As I run it calculates how fast I am going, my pace per mile and my miles per hour, it automatically laps my miles, and gives me a time per mile breakdown, it has a feature I have yet to use that allows it to signal me when I am going faster or slower than my goal pace, it monitors my heart rate, if there were any elevation gains to calculate in K*, it would track those too.

Doug bought me one for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I love it. I use it almost every time I run (unless it's out of battery power). I love being able to track my progress and get a feel for how hard I'm pushing myself. I used it during my race on Saturday, and it was so fun to go back through and see what my pace was for each mile. I used the heart rate religiously when I was pregnant. It was nice to get a gauge of how much or how little to push myself.

This is one gadget that's not a need, but it's been a fun want to enjoy.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ode to Porter

I had this horrible thought, after I'd written the ugly side of Primary, what if something happened to me, and this was the last think Porter ever read that I'd written about him? So sad, because there are so many great and wonderful things about him. I decided that I needed to write an "Ode to Porter" post... I'd like to do this for every birthday, so I'm just going to do his a little bit early!

Porter is:

*A fireball of energy and emotion. He knows what he wants, and he knows how he wants it done.

*Incredibly inventive and creative. He comes up with fabulous games for his friends to play. He creates new uses for cast aside objects.

*Unbelievably persistent and he doesn't take no for an answer. He persists until he figures out how to accomplish his goal or vision.

*Loves life. He loves to laugh and has a talent for making other people laugh. He can make his brother and sister laugh and laugh. I love hearing his laugh, it one of the best laughs in the world!

*A leader. The other day at the park he had strung his bike up on the monkey bars with a dog leash he'd found. He had three or four boys crowded around him watching as he tried to mount the suspended bike.

*Strong physically. He's such a great ball player. He doesn't give up on the ball field, he just keeps trying.

*Still loves his mama and asks for mama time. He loves going on dates with me and boys night outs with his dad. He loves me despite my weaknesses. Even when he's so mad at me, he still crawls into our bed in the middle of the night. He still asks for me to meet him for lunch and to go on field trips with him. He loves going places with his dad, and working in the yard with his dad.

*Teachable, when he wants to be. He knows all the right answers at church and in family home evening.

*Says beautiful, thoughtful prayers, when he wants to.

*So smart. He's picking up reading and math so quickly. He loves science. He loves figuring out how things work. He loves to take things apart because he is curious.

*Can be such a good helper around the house. Yesterday he took out all of the garbages in the house, and kept asking me what else he could do to help.

*Loves animals. And he loves people. He has a big heart. He prays for the poor people that they'll get homes and cars and food. He totally cried when leaving preschool, because he thought he'd never see his teachers again.

*An awesome big brother. He watches out for her little brother and sister and plays with them.

I love my Poter!

Huntsville Half Marathon

I ran a half marathon today. I was excited to get a PR (personal record) by 4 1/2 minutes on a super (by Houston standards) hilly course (speed work helps!) I finished it in 1:44:5?, with my mile per minute pace at an 8:01. I even placed 3rd in my age group, which isn't saying too much considering what a small race it was, but hey we have to take our accolades where ever we can

It hurt like crazy for the last two miles, but the funny thing about racing is, it's like having a baby, the memory of the pain dulls as soon as it's over. All that's left is an awesome racing high

I ran the race with two friends, Whitney and Lindsey both of whom just had babies and ran an amazing race. We also trained with another friend, Julienna who ran the San Antonio half the same day(who ran an amazing race as well, her very first half!) It's so fun to train with friends!

Old MacDonald's Farm

Fall is finally, kind of, in the air. No need for jeans or sweatshirts yet, but the morning air is cool and crisp, and the afternoons are more pleasant. In honor of more enjoyable out door weather and in anticipation of a pumpkin patch, our playgroup went to the farm yesterday. I had originally thought the trip was for Sophia. I was so wrong, Preston enjoyed it every bit as much!

Waiting for the train ride.

Now, posting so many train pictures is overkill, I know. One would suffice, however, I was so amused by Preston's different expressions that I wanted to preserve them all. He was delighted to be on the train, it took a lot of convincing to get him to move over, so I could sit next to him. He felt like a big boy!

However, as soon as the train started moving, he was terrified. He leaped into my lap as quickly as possible, and snuggled into the safety of my arms, where he stayed for the entire ride. It was a sweet mommy moment for me. I hope to always be able to remember those sweet moments, I wish I could bottle it up and forever preserve it.

Feeding the animals

Sophia hasn't ridden a pony since she was old enough to be afraid of them. But this time, she jumped right up with a big smile, and away she went!

My super model. Sophia dressed herself for the trip (as she does everyday). I got a kick out of her outfit. Don't the cowgirl boots perfect the look? Shouldn't everyone wear boots to the farm? Even if they make you look like a fashion diva?

I so wish I could have a sand pile in my backyard. Doug won't even let us have a sandbox. The sand gets dumped in the yard, tracked in the house, etc. etc.

We spent a looooooong time enjoying the sand. Preston, again, felt like a big boy running with the big kids as he climbed to the top of the hill and enjoyed the sand.

Cute bunnies. Preston was going a little crazy trying to get in close enough to touch the bunny, and when the bunny had had enough, he didn't want to let him go. The bunny hopped into his home, and next thing I knew, Preston had crawled in there with him (I'm sure in the process he mixed in with all his poop and pee too, ugh.) Preston was FURIOUS with me for pulling him out.

A happy farm family!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Anger Management

I just found this website on anger management for children. I am so excited to have found so many concrete ideas of things to say to help children manage anger and frustration. It even has ideas for parents on how to manage their own anger. It is presented in an easy to understand format. It is just what I was looking for. I am all out of ideas, I needed some new insights, some new approaches, some new vocabulary.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Mrs Achilles

Sweet Porter, when he heard the name of his pre-school teacher, Mrs. Achilles, his eyes got big and round, and he asked me with a bit of astonishment in his voice, "You mean, she killlls people?" In reality, she is the nicest, sweetest teacher on earth.  But I could see how, in the eyes of an almost 5 year old, the name could be misleading!

So grounded...

Porter is so grounded... not in a so grounded in his convictions or his beliefs kind of way. But so grounded in a, as Doug put it when he was explaining it to him, "You've never been in more trouble in your whole entire six years and 11 months of life."

Yeah, I don't really want to go into the nitty gritty on my blog. But it's a milestone for us, grounding a child. I remember having the conversation when we were dating, how would we discipline our children. We talked about natural consequences, and not being sure how grounding would fit into all of that. However, when the situation presented itself, neither one of us hesitated or debated how the punishment would fit the crime. We both knew what the consequence would be.... being grounded... for a long time.

I was proud of myself. I didn't get angry. In fact, I felt pretty loving about the whole thing. But that didn't change his consequence. We waited until he'd had a good nights rest to break the bad news to him. Frankly he handled it well. We had a great weekend. We'll see how the week goes. Because, I of course will bear the brunt of enforcing all that we've wrapped up with grounding and the ensuing range or should I say rage of emotions that will inevitably come out during the week. Wish me luck.


Sophie language...  beadles--beads   ------   salsa-spagetti sauce


photo by Sophia

I hadn't realized that Preston was old enough to sit and and enjoy the picnic table. But when he got home from California, he sat right down and showed me what a big boy he was. This picture was taken during lunch. He didn't want to sit in his high chair, but when I placed lunch at the picnic table, he hopped right up and started eating. When did he grow up?

He doesn't really have a whole lot of words, but he says sounds that sound like sentences. For example:

He points to something and says, "Iwandat." (I want that)
When we play marbleworks, and a marble goes down the path we've created he says, "awkewl." (Ah, cool!)
He hands me something and says, "Hereyago." Here you go.

Children's Museum

More hurrication! We went to meet Doug for lunch, and decided to head over to the Children's Museum. I told the kids we could stay for an hour, we ended up staying for three, but it was so fun.

They had a treasure hunt, and the kids were supposed to be pirates. They painted their faces and made hats to help them fit the part.