Boys of PHB

Boys of PHB
Barefoot boys

Thursday, October 18, 2012

For Worries

"For every worry under the sun,
            There is a remedy or there is none.
             If there is, hurry and find it,
             If there isn't, never mind it."

                               -Le Grand Richards

     I was given this saying by George I. Cannon.  He was the Salt Lake Temple President at the time.  I was talking with him about my getting married and asking if he'd marry my husband and I as he was also my Dad's mission President in England.  He had taken us of a tour of the inside of the Salt Lake Temple after we'd gone through.  It was an amazing experience as I got to see things I'd never seen before and probably will never see again.    He told me Le Grand Richards was older when asked by the media how he'd lived so long.  He had responded with this quote.  I love it.  I just sometimes forget it.

       I have had a lot on my plate of late.  I have found some struggles I simply don't know how to handle.  For someone as opinionated and decisive as I am, that's a big struggle.  Some things are simply out of our realm of control or ability to even deal with.  It's hard when those things touch our lives in negative ways.
      I have been tormented in my mind with what to do lately, not knowing who to turn to or where to look for good advice.  I've been a little embarrassed to talk it out with anyone as I feel I shouldn't be falling apart, or feeling like my world is crumbling around me. I feel like I should be stronger and be able to deal with everything far better than I am and with more courage.  I hate feeling weak and like I'm not capable of handling any and every situation.  Then this quote popped into my head again.

     I really think some stuff just needs to be let go.  That's a change in me, too.  I used to think every battle should be fought and every situation dealt with.  I used to think every time something happened it should be brought to the forefront and dealt with and talked out.  I've since realized there are battles to be fought and battles that are pointless and worthless to fight.  I think my children and husband have taught me this the best.  Instead of fighting my kids all along the way, constantly reminding them is better.  Not in a naggy sort of way, but like when I keep seeing them leave out their shoes, that could be a battle, or that can just be an -ask-them-to-do-that-one-more-time thing.

     Life is complicated enough without constantly fighting with everyone and about every thing.  It just gets exhausting.  What is worth fighting for?  I'll tell you what I think.  I think if it's going to matter in 5-10 years, it's totally worth fighting for.   Homework is a great example.  That makes a difference in their future.  Fighting for someone you love, that relationship, their heart.  That will make a huge difference in the eternities.  If it's the simple stuff that really won't matter in a month, a year, or more. It's just not a battle worth having.

     I have a hard time with just letting things go.  It's hard to remember this quote, but it's so worth remembering.  I know stress kills.  I know that holding onto unfixables is just like being an emotional pack rat.  How does your heart and mind look if it looked like a closet?  Is everything in your heart and mind totally cluttered with battles not won or the past constantly creeping in for "shoulda, coulda, woulda"?  I would like to think that sometimes I'm wise enough to do a spring cleaning on my heart and mind as well as my home.   Not keeping things there that shouldn't be held onto because I didn't carry out some battle for a solution there shouldn't have been anyway.

     I saw something on a show once that made me think. It was just a show.  A Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode actually.  The aliens, who were eternal beings couldn't understand why the commander lived in the time where his wife had died.  He told them he didn't want to be there, but they kept taking him back and saying, "but you live here."   Where do we live?  Do we live in our past things we can't control or change?  Or do we live in the hear and now, trying to change the future.  I'm really trying to change the future, as the past is what it is and the mistakes are what they are.

     I can't change who I was, but I can change who I am.  I can't change for someone else, or allow them to change me, but I can change for the better, and for myself.  I can't change the world, but I can make a difference in my little corner of it.  I can't change others, but I can be a constant in their lives for when they want to make changes.  I can't change things that are not changeable, but I can live in the present and change the future.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Face Me!!!

     I recently had an experience that wasn't a good one.  Well, actually a few experiences.  I've decided since then something I have been thinking for a long time.  This media sensation is wrecking human connections. 

     I have made some people upset in the near past and long past as well which is something that has recently come back to slap me in the face.  I have been texted and statused about and I think it's ridiculous.  I mean, how can people really know how you feel with just typed words.  What ever happened to a face to face (or over the phone at long distances) connection?  Texts are often misinterpreted and status reports, when given vaguely don't let the  person you're really upset with to respond.  Maybe it's not how you see it?

     I realized that people are so caught up in their own views and ideas about the situation that it gets blown up.  In every instance that happened I tried calling and talking with the person.  Without exception my calls were ignored and in one instance my number was completely blocked.

     I have been blamed for things that were completely out of my control, things I believed I was doing right, things other people have made happen and things I didn't even know were going on.  In only a couple of cases was I in reality responsible.

     I hate texting.  It originally was intended (I believe) for the quick conversation.  For an example: "When you coming over?", or, "Be there soon."  I really don't think texting is the best way to let someone know you're upset with them.  I really don't think putting some vague status on facebook is the way to go either.  I hate this with a passion.

     I'm all about people.  I love them.  I think a great conversation is an awesome and filling thing.  For me at least, texting does not fill my connection to people.  I can text with people all day and get a better human connection with a stranger in a grocery store that I'll never see again.  That's just sad that society has chosen to use an electronic device to say how they feel rather than take it to the person so their relationship can be strengthened and made better.

     I feel like I'm walking on egg shells all the time now.  I'm waiting for the next person to leave.  I'm just waiting until I say the wrong thing, make everyone mad and have them turn their back, text me they're upset, not let me explain or tell them my point of view and decided that the world in their head is not only the only world, but the ultimately correct one.  I'm really glad the world in my head isn't the real world. It would be wild and crazy.  I really believe people are better than this. 

     I was also thinking that maybe I'm just really intimidating.  I mean, I don't have a problem with a good conversation, even if there's a lot of passion in the heated conversation.  I don't mind having a fired up conversation about something that happened as long as cooler heads prevail.  I'm OK with fighting it out in person or over the phone.  I guess this is what happens when a totally intimidating person insults others.  They are too afraid to say it directly to me.

     I really try to live the, "treat others how you want to be treated."  I don't always succeed, but I try.  I tell people how I feel because I want the same courtesy returned.  If I've upset you or insulted you, call me or face me.  Don't text.  It's the most chicken way out I've ever seen. 

     I've lost friends and family lately and have no idea in some of those cases why.  Just when I thought I was making headway I lose ground and find myself in the same place I started or sometimes worse. 
     I can only be myself.  I can't be you, I can't be them, I can't be perfect.  I can only do my best everyday and learn from my mistakes.   I'm trying hard to make some good changes in my life.   These things aren't helpful, just hurtful. These people have taught me that no matter how much I try to change that if I slip at all and miss the mark that they will no be forgiving or helpful, but demand that I do better and they'll stay out of my life until I do.

     Here's a  call out to all of my family and friends.  I wouldn't count you as such if my heart wasn't filled with love for you.  If I didn't like you, you wouldn't be in my life.  I surround myself with good people on purpose.  People who I can grow and become a better person because of knowing them.   If you have a problem with me, face me.  I'm calling you all out if you have issues with me.  How else can I learn and grow? 
     Most people who know me well know this about me, some I guess still don't.  I love you even if you don't know me as well as you thought you did.  If you have a question, just ask me.  I have nothing to hide.  My thoughts probably aren't on what happened, just on a million other things I'm trying to do. 

     Face me!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


     My dad used to say, "Don't give up what you want most, for what you want at the moment."

     I thought I understood what he was talking about when I was young and he said it all the time. It wasn't until recently that I've revisited old memories and realized as a child I didn't fully grasp what he was trying to get through.

     As a child I thought he was talking about when I had 5 bucks and it was burning a whole in my pocket.  I really was trying to save for something, but I saw so many things I wanted at the moment.  It was easy to think, well, I really want that other thing I'm saving for, but I can save next time.

     He did mean that, but now I'm pretty sure that was just an example of something so much deeper and bigger. 

      I now have children, a mortgage, a marriage, work, things I'm trying to learn like piano and Spanish, church responsibilities and so much more on my plate it would take a whole blog to write down.  The thing is, what is the most important thing?

     I was thinking the other day, while going through a really hard time that I need to once again stay focused.  It's hard to stay focused and has been my whole life.  I have ADHD and thought I've learned to live with it and get through school and life it wasn't without difficulties.  That's another blog though.  What is my ultimate goal?  What am I really trying to reach?  What do I want to be doing in 20 years?  Where do I want to be in life?

     A person can only plan so much.  Life happens as they say.  However, planning is essential to making sure you do your best to get where you're wanting to go.  There was a poster I still remember on my Jr. High English teacher's wall.  It said, "If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else."  Another thing I think of often.  I can only do so much without planning.

     As far as planning, the same goes for not getting distracted.  I got distracted in school, often.  I got distracted in life, again, often.  I more than often got distracted while a teenager.  I have more than often gotten distracted while being an adult.  There are so many distractions in life.  Too many distractions with what's most important. 
     I really want to be able to raise my boys to be amazing men.  I know that's what everyone wants. All of us go about it differently.  Not all of us believe the same way, but we (as parents) all want our children to be amazing.  There are a  lot of distractions in this endeavor.  There are even more when it comes to marriage.  I really need to concentrate more on that desire and not get distracted.

     My first distraction as a youth was my friends and my stubborn opinions.  I had a hard time listening to those who cared about me most.  That has very greatly affected me now. 
      My distractions now are so many things.  Distractions from my family is mostly my time. I have such limited time and I have so very much I have my hands in.  Much of what I'm involved in is very important.  I love doing family history, temple work, crafts that improve our way of life, work (I teach breastfeeding).  I want to learn Spanish and get better at sign language because I love communication.  I want to learn piano because our church needs more people to do it and I've wanted to for most of my life.   Then we get to the money. There are so many places our money can go. I have wanted braces since I was 10, they aren't cheap and my 2 older boys are in them now, with my 3rd boy having to go into them soon.

     Where do I stop with the distractions? They are continuous.  They are never ending.  Where I ignore one another one creeps in.  Trying to stay focused is a strain sometimes. Then there is the thing with, "you need time for yourself."  It's true, we all need alone time.  But if I got me time as much as the world says I should I'd never be with my family ever.

     I'm now trying to remember that there is a time in life for everything.  I've chosen to have these children, this marriage and this life at this time.  These children won't be children forever, one day they will be adults.  I only have a few short years to teach them and help them make correct choices in their lives.  It goes by so quickly.  I realized today that the next time we vote fore a president (in 4 years) my oldest will be graduating high school.  I'm stunned. 

     I will get on the piano when I can, study Spanish where I can, but this family is my main priority.  There is tons to do with my time.  There is too much to do with my time. My hobbies can wait until I have more time on my hands.  I will do what I can when I can.  This time will be short and though the distractions are many I need to remember to stay focused.  It's the probably the hardest part.  The distractions are why I get so frustrated with my kids.  If I remember I have all the time in the world for them, it's a lot less frustrating.  The house can wait, my job can wait, my hobbies can wait, they are my life.  This is my world.  

     My family needs to be my distraction from all my distractions.  Focus, focus, focus.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Loaded question

There are a lot of loaded questions in life. Especially when anyone asks me.  I believe in telling the truth. If I'm not sure someone wants to hear it I usually ask if they're sure they want the answer before I say it, giving them fair warning they may not like what I'm about to say.  I'd rather have my feelings hurt with the truth than to not know at all. In this case I'm surrounded by people who tell me when they don't like what I do or say.  I'm glad for this.

I'm talking about a real loaded question I never thought was before now. Aaron and I are coming up on 16 years of marriage.  I'm a helpless romantic. Always have been. I believe there is romance in the most simple of things.  There is romance in a look, a slight touch, doing hard work together, just about anything can hold romance.  I used to think, in life and in movies one of the most romantic things was when people say "I love you, " or "will you marry me".  I've come to realized the latter is a loaded question.

Asking someone to marry you isn't just saying I'd like to be best friends forever and would like to spend the rest of my life loving you.  It's much more.  It's saying will you deal with me being a jerk sometimes and ignoring you other times when I'm too tired or in my own world.  It's saying there are going to be bills we sometimes won't be able to pay and I'd like you to be there with me when I have no ability to pay them. It's asking them to see your worst and best side and loving you sometimes in spite of them.  It's asking someone to deal with bodily fluids if you have kids and saying they'll stick it our.  Asking someone for them to marry you doesn't sound so romantic when thinking of all the things life holds.

I have been running on burn out for a couple of years now, if not longer.  I have serious issues with delegation.  My dad always said, "If you want something done, you're got to do it yourself." I found he was off just a bit.  It really goes, "if you want something done the way you want it done, you've got to do it yourself."  I therefore have a hard time delegating because I expect things done to my specifications and have a hard time when it's not done that way.  Not controlling at all, right?

So after running on burn out for so very long and realizing that my life as I know it now started with a simple and sweet proposal of, "will you marry me," I realized how loaded that question was.  Of course I still think it terribly romantic.  I always will.  Now though my thoughts have changed a bit.

I realized that his loaded question has brought me boys who often disrespect me, but try to do what I've told them when not at home.  Others love my boys and say I'm doing a good job with them.  I hope at this point they're being honest, because honestly I often can't see it.  I'm in the forest and can't find a log to sit on, but who has time to sit these days.

I haven't had time to write, which is my way of getting through. I learned long ago, as a teenager that if I can write it all out, I'll be OK.  I've had a crazy past two weeks that would usually send me over the edge with already running on burn out, but since I'd already been thinking of how I'd said yes to Aaron's loaded question so many years ago it was OK.  I took it all in stride and hardly complained while doing damage control.

Sometimes that's what it takes too.  Taking things back to the beginning and realizing how we got where we were.  That's how we can deal with the here and now.  Remembering him kneeling down with me in his arms and asking me so sincerely if I'd consent to be his forever.  I remember if he asked I was going to tease him, but he'd taken me by surprise and popped that loaded question.  With tears in my eyes I said yes and here we are.  Sixteen years later with 5 boys who grow too fast, a mortgage and bills we sometimes have a hard time paying. 

I love my crazy life.  I wouldn't trade it for anything, although sometimes it's tempting to get a quiet hotel room so I can read a book and get some peace and quiet.  I love that he asked me that loaded question and that without knowing all that would transpire I took a leap and said yes.  Best question I've ever been asked and best decision I've ever made.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

All my dreams

     Sometimes I look at my life and think I'm overwhelmed and just don't know how to take another step forward.  Sometimes it gets to me how others treat me, and I don't know how to react.  So I sometimes just have quiet moments where I don't react. I guess this makes some people upset, I'm sure it's because I'm not really a very quiet person.  However, I've found that I've been having more and more quiet moments as I get older just to observe what's going on, get a better grasp on things and to take off with what I think is right from there. 
     In all these times of chaos and wonder I sometimes look at my life as a whole and wonder how I got here.  For a long time I was thinking this isn't what I'd wanted or what I thought life would be like.  I saw only a little of this coming and I'm usually good at seeing the end of choices from the beginning choice, with the exception of seeing others reactions. 
     Here I come to a point.  I realized during one of these quiet moments that all of my dreams have come true to this point.  My dreams as I saw them haven't, but my dreams have come true all the same. 
     At the age of 15 I had decided I wasn't a very good person and that no one would want to be with me for eternity, let alone for the time of life.  So I'd decided that I just needed to deal.  It just wasn't going to happen because I am so hard to be around in the long term.  I always like to say that a little bit of me goes a long way.  I love being around others and can't seem to get my fill of being around people and their various personalities. 
     This is where Aaron comes in.  Without being anyone that will change the world, he's changed mine.  He is far more quiet about what he thinks than I am and he doesn't really fight me on things I think with just a few exceptions. He has a fiery temper and we've gotten into a few.  Sometimes I just like a good fight.  Nothing like it for getting the temper calmed.
     I started to realized he's made all my dreams come true this past year when we were able to pay cash for a car.  We'd saved half of two tax returns to pay cash for it, and it was hard, but we did it.  That was a huge dream for me. I'd always wanted to one day pay cash for a car and not have a payment.  I thought wow, that's so great I've married someone who can help me with my dream that way.  I briefly thought that it was cool, but that I still felt unfulfilled with my other dreams. 
     That's when I looked deeper.  I realized he's made other dreams come true too.  Funny how I'm a little slow sometimes, or maybe it's because I'm so buried in the situation.  I remembered after we'd gotten our wedding pictures back and looking at his.  He had this sparkle in his eye that could only be described at love and a positive outlook on the future.  I couldn't believe it was captured on film.  Wow. I burst into tears and he asked what was wrong.  All I could do was look at him and say, "you really love me!" He of course just laughed and said, "of course."
     He's endured me in marriage for nearly 16 years and he knew me for 2 years before that.  I'm stunned he'd love me for this long.  Sometimes I catch him just looking at me.  I ask him what and he just says, "can't I look at my beautiful wife?"  I'm always stunned by that. 
     He's given me 5 beautiful, wonderful sons and I couldn't have asked for different.  These are the most amazing people I've ever met.  I am constantly in awe of how intelligent they are and how much they love me. Sometimes I get to the end of my rope dealing with their fights and conflicts and needs.  The other day though, I was heading to the bathroom and they (yes, all 5) were trailing behind me all saying, "Mom".   I was a little annoyed that once again it was going to be hard to close the bathroom door with everyone vying for my attention.  Then I turned around and looked at them.  In that moment I realized something.  I wasn't being bombarded for no reason.  I felt popular.  There are lots of kids that want nothing to do with their parents, especially as they reach 11 and 13 like my two oldest.  They were also in the throng trying to get me to listen for a second.  I was stunned that in their eyes I saw love and a desire to just be with me and talk.  I was like a popular star or something.  It felt amazing to get a whole new outlook on that.  Aaron has made that possible.
     There are tons of other dreams he's made come true and it's funny that buying a car is what did it.  I was praying so long that instead of feeling this longing inside for more that I'd be satisfied with my situation and simply happy.  I think I've felt that and that I'm well on my way. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Old Buildings

     So there's this old building I noticed yesterday for the first time ever.  I pass this part of town all the time and just never noticed this really tall building that is run down with most of the windows broken.  I love old buildings.  My mind starts going a million miles an hour at all the possibilities and how it would look fixed up and what uses it could be put to.
     I like the part on "It's a Wonderful Life" when he's making fun of the old house and she talks about how beautiful it is and how she'd like to live there one day.  So he makes his wish to leave and she makes her wish to someday live there with him.  I'm with her.
     I think part of my love for old buildings that Aaron shares is what helped us get this great house.  We were told by bank and realtor that we could afford so much more than we really could.  We decided how much we could afford and found a great deal.  We've had a lot of work to do and have tons more, but it's been worth it.  Our realtor wrote a letter a year later telling us he'd looked everywhere thinking he could find other young couples the same deal.  He said we're the only ones who were able to do it.  The Lord has blessed us in that regard.
     Thing is, I think for me this old building thing goes a little deeper.  I sometimes think we are like old buildings.  I think they sometimes reflect my heart.  I feel like I've been worn down and time is just getting to me.  I feel like if someone just took the time and paid attention then I'd be fixed up and new.  Of course, these are momentary thoughts.  They don't last long.  Just when I get into those moods and just before I get my fight on and turn it all around.
     Then I think sometimes people's bodies are like that, but on the inside they are like amazing mansions with gold everywhere and it's the kind of heart like in those buildings where everything is nice and you're afraid to break things.  Not exactly overly tender, but just like people say, "heart of gold."
     Silly stuff in my head sometimes, but I love old buildings.  They are awesome and amazing.  There can be an empty plot of land like a blank sheet of paper before the picture is made, but I don't see as much possibilities on an empty plot of land as I do with old buildings.
     Possibilities are a great thing.  I'm always looking for possibilities in everything I do.  A person can never know where the un-looked for possibilities can take them. It's a fun thing to "think outside the box" as they say.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Blue eyes

Sometimes I like looking into my children's eyes and enjoying the spirit I see within.  They are amazing.  I don't think I'll ever tire of enjoying the person I see within.  The eyes of my children are the most captivating and intriguing things I've ever looked into. I love listening to the stories they tell and trying to see their point of view of the world around them. 

I totally believe that we are raising children in a world that can take them down dangerous and horrible paths.  I am amazed that my children have shown a strength I simply didn't have at their age.  The are clear headed when I watch others their same age confused and with low self esteems. I am often amazed by my children's self esteem and their strength of character.  I'm impressed with my children at more than just a mother's perspective.  They astound me.

I am dreading how fast they are growing, too fast to keep up.  Too fast to hold the many wonderful memories and laughter we share in my mind and heart; yet I look forward to them growing and becoming the men they are meant to become.  I'm dreading the time going by fast, but I'm also excited to see how they deal with their choices and become all that they are supposed to. 

I know I'm not a perfect mom, but I'm perfectly in love with my children.  I could never have imagined loving someone as much as I do them, and I was sure when I married their father that I'd never love anyone more.  I can't believe how much my children have taken over my life, mind, and heart.  I can't believe I don't mind. I like having control and for them to take over everything I am and my day to day should bother me a lot more.  It doesn't. I look forward to them greeting me each morning and hugs every night. 

I look into these blue eyes, so like their dad's and I realize how blessed I am and wonder what I did so right to give me such amazing little blessings.  These boys are wonderful.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

In my head

     So I've known something about myself for a long time and I'm now going to tell everyone.  I see things differently than others do.  Even when I do see things the same I usually play the devils advocate and play the other side.  I do that because I can usually see both sides of things.  When I can't is when I get most frustrated because sometimes others views just don't make sense. 
     When I don't get something someone else says I do this mental thing where I take myself out of the situation and kind of see everything with an objective view point.  I'm usually pretty good at this.  I like the movies where they freeze everything, but the main character is still moving, because that's how things go in my head.  It's like on Fiddler on the Roof when he's trying to think of the answer and he moves to the side to think things out, but he's really still facing the people.  I see that way in my head.
     Maybe this is letting too much of my mind out there.  I think differently than others and most of the time get strange looks from other people because in their minds mine doesn't flow in a strait line. They're right.  My mind jumps all around the place.  I don't see things in a strait line, but I do see things in black and white.  I don't see the right and wrong line as misty or as a "grey area".  To me it's either right or wrong.  I don't know if that's a harsh way of seeing things, I know I too have made decisions based on the circumstances rather than what I know to be right.  However, my beliefs stay firm on that. 
     I know everyone thinks differently.  Our minds are our worlds.  I'm sure that's why the scriptures tell us to look outside of ourselves, to serve others and to not concentrate so much on ourselves.  We can get lost in these vast realms called minds.  It's a crazy, vast place that collects all of our hopes, dreams, realities, fears and desires and rolls them into a ball to be used in our daily life.  We could get lost in ourselves and never find our way out again.  We are taught to serve others and loose ourselves in that work so that we realize we're not the only ones here.  Part of my goal this year was to do that better as I get lost in my own head all the time.
     I'm glad to know there are so many varying personalities and minds out there.  What a dull world it would be if we were to all think the same way and not be able to experience other perspectives.  I love the variety of people and am grateful to be surrounded by some of the most amazing.  I'm not sure those who get famous are some of the most amazing people on the planet.  Sometimes I'm pretty sure that some of the most amazing minds out there are people who will never be known except by those who were blessed and lucky enough to know them.  I'm truly blessed.
     So for those who take the time to read this little blog, there's a look inside this crazy head of mine.  Welcome to my world.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Starting these teen years

     When I thought of becoming a mother I also thought into the future.  It's fun to think about all the hopes you have for your child.  All your dreams for them.  All you hope they'll become. Not to mention that they are going to be the most well behaved and amazing child you've ever seen because unlike everyone else you're going to do this right. A new beginning and a wonderful start with this new miracle that you hold in your arms.  Looking into the eyes of an angel and seeing heaven right there.  You know on earth you'll never be closer than you are right now to holding perfection in your arms.
     Then you realized that this perfect angel came with a perfectly stubborn personality all their own. How could you mess up holding perfection in your arms?!  Well, suddenly your perfect little angel is perfectly frustrating and perfectly out of control.  They cry when they need something they can't communicate any other way, changing diapers constantly and then there's the lack of sleep to the point you get so tired that you can't remember not being tired. 
     Looking back I now know how much I loved those days.  I'm sure I'll look back with a smile at these times too, but sometimes I wonder if I'm going to survive these teen years, or if we all will.
     A baby is hard because they can't communicate, but a teen is worse, because they think they are and are only saying half sentences and grunts.  Communication is an awesome thing.  I feel it's a priceless thing when done well because even if two people disagree on something, if they are communicating well then they won't have animosity or fights because they are just both trying to understand the other.  Lack of communication can bring horrible results.
     I now have a full on 13 year old and a soon to be 12 year old.  However, I'm finding fast that the "teen years" don't exactly come on with a birthday.  They come on with the changes and stresses of the mind and body that the child starts not knowing what to do with.  There are several transition times during our lives, but the teen years bring so many changes and transitions at one time that it's harder to cope.
     In that since I kind of have 3 teens.  Joseph has gotten through some of the 1st big milestones, but I find more creep up all the time.  Being vigilant with my teen is a constant job.  Josh has started some of the same things Joseph has been through, but dealing with a totally different personality is hard because some of the things I did with Joseph to ease him through those first milestones haven't worked with Josh.  Jonas is just starting to get more emotional sometimes and look at everyone like an enemy.  He's only 9.  Wow, they start young. 
     Thing is, it's not just their personalities I'm working with.  It's an up hill road with the technology of today, the expenses and time of that technology, peer pressure they're feeling, and Satan.  This war is not an easy one and we'll all come out with a few wounds, but I'm hoping well all come out stronger because of what we've gone through.
     Like with every war there may be some casualties.  That's my biggest fear that I'll lose some of my children to the ways of the world and the classic wayward teen.  So far so good.
     Something I've come to realize along this path so far is those stubborn personalities can do some amazing things.  As they come to find themselves in the mess of emotions and temptations I'm finding that a few explanations of what they're feeling and why help tons.  They don't understand all the time why they feel everyone is against them.  To make them laugh I often suggest it's because they're becoming a teen.  It gets smiles and they just whine my name.  They especially smile when I voice everything confusing they have going on in their head when they don't want to talk about it.  I tell them I bet you're feeling like this . . . and then I bet you're now thinking this. . .  and it makes them smile that I can pin it down.  Then I ask them how they think I know that.  I'm not a mind reader, just been there and done that. 
     I'm finding that putting them to fighting with me is better than them fighting against everything I'm trying to do.  They ARE amazing angels.  They are fighting a worse fight than I had on my hands at their age.  They have strong personalities for a reason, to get through it.  I'm finding they are hard workers when they want something done.  They are now great at conversations, even if most of those conversations involve talking video games or friends at school.  They can express so much more than they used to and it's amazing to see them evolve into young men. 
     Although this isn't the way my past self saw this parenting thing, and sometimes I still feel them coming with their own personalities puts a crimp on my parenting style, I have amazingly wonderful children that I wouldn't trade for the world (at least most of the time).  They are the center of my universe and what is behind every decision I make.  They make me laugh, cry, scream, feel like running away, and what keep me here.  I've never felt for anyone how I've felt for my kids.  They shock me with how much of a gift from heaven they truly are, even if it's not the way I envisioned it back when starting.  Most of all, I'm glad that God knew more about what I needed in my kids than I did.  I wouldn't be learning so much from "perfect" children.  It's better to have perfectly wonderful children the way they are.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New year, January done

     It's a new year and I love new years. It gives me a chance to feel like I'm starting over and have a chance to make a new start and do better this time.  I'm excited for what this time will hold and look forward to new adventures.
     With last year it was fun.  We had to buy tons of new things (well, new to us anyway) and we now have our downstairs bathroom almost complete.  I'm excited to put the finishing touches on something we've been working on now for almost 3 years.  It was such a relief to finish the tiling.  I was so glad to learn a new skill. 
     Which brings me to this year.  I've been trying to practice piano for years.  If you don't want to do something or get something done there will always be an excuse to find.  I want to do piano, but I have this thing that I love knowing stuff, but I don't like to learn.  I know that's just crazy, but it's true.  Thing is, (and I fully blame my ADHD) I simply don't  have the patience to learn.  I love the knowing though.  So I struggle with the learning because I love the outcome.  Piano has been one of those things I've put off and put off.  I'm trying to get my kids to practice their instruments and now I'm realizing how hypocritical I've been.  I can't expect them to take time from the things they really want to be doing to practice, if I'm also not willing to be somewhat of an example to them by doing the same.  I'd rather be doing tons of other things rather than practicing.  My mom visited recently though and said she thought it was coming along.  I also started learning Spanish.
     For someone who doesn't like to learn I feel like I'm back in school.  I've decided to dedicate this year to food storage, getting the piano down well (enough to not have to pick out the song) and Spanish so I can communicate.
     I just had to find the motivation.  With food storage it was a money thing.  I realized last year with needing so many things and having to replace them was actually a blessing.  It means I'll have more of my tax return this year to purchase things like the food storage.  I'm grateful for that and excited to start something.  I usually get about a month and then we end up using it.  Now, with so many hungry boys it's hard to store anything.  My piano motivation came about because at church we need more people who can pitch hit.  I may never be great at it, but I can get good enough to pitch hit once in a while.  The Spanish was similar.  At work we need more people who can communicate with moms who need help with breastfeeding.  Although, now with that I'm wishing I could download lots of languages and just be a linguist.
     I'm excited for what this year will bring. I look forward to the rest of it with January down and my taxes done.  I am feeling positive about things and have found closure with other things.  Even though it's just more days ahead, it's the feeling of starting over that has me feeling excited and I'm so glad I have the chance every month and in a bigger way every year to feel this way.