Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mulling over Media

I have been thinking a great deal about media and its different forms and how it can influence a person.  
I enjoy reading books but since Lily has been born I have not really had as much time to read.  I have also found that I really enjoy to listen to books on disc, it is especially handy when the library does not have the book you want in print but in listening device form.  
Anyhow, I have had some bad luck lately in my attempts to continue to enjoy listening to literature.  I have stopped listening to 3 or 4 different books in the last few months due to content. If I can not listen to it with my children in the room, I don't think I should be listening.  
I usually read/listen to books from the teen fiction area but these books came from the adult section. That sounds so bad in this context but you know what part of the library I am talking about.  One of these books was a really popular book and has been made into a movie but a few discs in, I turned it off and returned it. I don't want you to think I turn it off after the first swear word or the first sensual kiss, I have given each book two chances.  But this philosophy makes me think of this Mormonad poster:
Gross, I know.

But what really got me thinking this last time I had to stop listening to a book, was would I sit through this if it were a movie or would I read the book even if I had to skip a few paragraphs?
I have read a few books that I skipped parts and I can specifically think of 2 movies that I wish I would have walked out of (and a movie I stopped watching on Netflix the other day).  But I am not reading those books out loud to my children and I did not even have children when I saw the movies so is it my children that have caused me to change?  Is it okay for me to read or watch those things or listen on my ipod if they are not aware of it?
I realize that there is content that is appropriate for me and not for them. But, sometimes you think it is going to be great because it is a best seller or you enjoyed another book by the same author and -bam! you get more than you expected. (Okay, maybe not always not so suddenly.)
In pondering this I have thought of the 13th Article of Faith: "... if there is anything virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." I have decided that the praiseworthy part is not to be based upon the world's standards.  
I don't like that my spirit feels affected when I am engrossed in a story that may be questionable.
President Monson said this: "Our  Heavenly Father has counseled us to seek after "anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy."  Whatever you read, listen to, or watch makes an impression on you. 
Pornography is especially dangerous and addictive.  Curious exploration of pornography can become a controlling habit, leading to coarser material and to sexual transgression.  Avoid pornography at all costs.  
Don't be afraid to walk out of a movie, turn off a television set, or change a radio station if what's being presented does not meet your Heavenly Father's standards.  In short, if you have any question about whether a particular movie, book, or other form of entertainment is appropriate, don't see it, don't read it, don't participate."
I am so thankful for a prophet who can give such clear guidance.
As a mother, I feel that I need the guidance of the Holy Ghost in every part of  my day and I just fear that I can  not have that if my mind is recalling inappropriate scenes or words from movies or books.  I hope I can be better in my choices.  
Peter teases me about my recent issues and so I am just going to stick to the teen literature for my listening and most likely reading enjoyment.
What are your thoughts on media and the influences it can have?

Monday, May 21, 2012

In the Spotlight

Arabella's dance recital was on Saturday.
She felt like a star and looked like a star.  She loved that she was able to wear my make up and lipstick.  
These pictures and video were taken at the rehearsal the night before- they were still working on the lighting and sound but you can see her in all of her glory. 
 Little Ballerina
 With her class.  I am not sure exactly why the girl in the blue was up there because she did not perform with them but she had missed her rehearsal or something.
This is our friend Erika Ostermiller.  She and her husband  are like our surrogate family here in Texas.  She is also the primary president so our kids adore her.  She was so kind and came to the recital. 
These videos are a bit shaky because I was holding Lily while recording. 
In the first she is the 3rd one in and the second video she is the end of the row with the red bows in her tap shoes.  She really did well the day of the performance. We are so proud of her! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Arabella is obsessed with "hanitizer". 
Yes, hand sanitizer is just to long to say so she has shortened it to hanitizer.  I believe it is going to catch on.  I have already found myself saying it. 
She is drawn to it.  She sees it at stores, the school, home, wherever and she asks for some or helps herself to it.  I found her putting it on her feet the other day and she washed her dolls hair in it too.  I have told her that from now on she has to ask if she can have some.

 This morning I commented that we had so many flies and fruit flies in the house.  (We had a pack meeting/ court of honor combined meeting in our backyard last night and so the door was open a ton= flies.  The fruit flies must be from the pineapples and mangoes I had on my counter for a few days.)
Anyhow, Joey said, "Then, we should get a bullfrog."
Silly me, that is the most obvious answer. 
When I said I did not think a frog was the answer he recommended a venus fly trap.

I would like to point out that Jon tries really hard to sound things out and write them down.  His spelling is not so great because he is 6 and when he is sounding things out he adds some sounds.  But the other night he put booby traps on the stairs and marked them with signs on which he wrote booby traps.  Sweet boy,  he sounded it out and came up with "boob chrap".  It was a great sign to have at the bottom of our stairs where the front door opens for all visitors to be welcomed to our home with and warned about what awaited them if they journeyed up the stairs.

Finally, all of our children struggle with the word vanilla.  We had corrected them quite a few times but they each have a version of pronunciation.  But they all have one thing in common, they place an m sound where the n sound should be.  Vemilla, vamilla, vamealla (with an emphasis on the e sound).  At least I know what they are saying, right?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day (and Lily 9 months)

I hope all women everywhere were treated to something nice today- whatever that may have been.
I was treated to breakfast made by the kids and dad including the special cup.  I also was given 2 beautiful cards made by the boys.  Arabella is making her card right now.  I also got just what I asked for which was new shower gel from Bath and Body Works.  
My parents sent me a new shirt and sweater which I was happy to wear to church today. 
My In-laws sent me a beautiful new Willow Tree statue.  
And finally, I had my traditional corsage, which as documented in the photo below Lily did a great job pulling apart.  Half of it was missing by the time we returned home from church.

And since my photos do not want to cooperate, I will just continue on.  
Lily is 9 months old and moving like crazy.  She has been crawling for about 3 weeks but she is able to pull herself up now and finds all sorts of things to get into. 
She keeps life interesting.  
Points of interest: Weight: 17lbs 14oz  Height: 27 inches
2 teeth
Sleeps through the night
Will take a bottle but prefers to nursing without a doubt.
Ate 2 pancakes for breakfast this morning.
If the music is just right she will bounce up and down.
She dumped the guinea pig food container out the other day and was trying to eat it. 
She also attempted to eat dog food a week ago.
She is able to recognize when dad has ice cream and knows if she goes to him, he will share with her.
She tried the stairs the other day and did not have much luck (meaning she got away and we did not know it and she fell down about 2/3 of the stairs- don't worry she was okay just really scared).
My favorite thing that she does is use her feet when she is lying on the floor playing.  She uses her feet and toes to help grasp things like books, papers, dolls, toys.  It is really funny! It is almost like she has a second set of hands or a bit like a monkey. 

I just wanted to have some video of Lily on the move.  She was getting tired so she did not really do too much but believe me she is a mover and a shaker!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Walking to School

So as gas prices were climbing (now they are dropping some), I decided it was time to walk the boys home from school as often as possible.  The school is just over a mile round trip from our house, not far.  This would also mean not much gas but I get to sit in the pick up line for awhile or I park unbuckle Arabella and pack Lily in car seat (or unbuckle her too), get boys, buckle kids, wait to get out of parking lot, ... you get the idea.  Arabella loves it when we walk, Lily gets some good vitamin D and I somehow feel like I am saving money because of gas (plus exercise is always a bonus!). 
This is our walk.
 Load girls and walk out of garage, turn right down one house and turn right again.  
 Walking to the end of our alley.
 Turn Left down Castle Rock.
 Pass beautiful magnolia tree.
 Turn right down Nightingale.
 At the end of Nigthingale, turn Left on Cascade Range.  The school is just past the wood fence.
 School playground.
 The Texas shaped paving stone in the flower bed that the 3 older kids step on every time we walk.
 Jon is here!
 Joey is here!
 We then head home with a few differences.  Jon likes to run about a half a block ahead of us and then stop and wait for us.  Then when we come to this little retaining wall just before our alley the kids walk along it.  
Today Arabella was sporting her yellow and pink dress up shoes.
 She also picked a dandelion and wished she could be just like her mommy as she was blowing it (honest!).  I am glad I had the camera with this idea in mind so I could capture that precious memory.
 Today we will have popsicles, do some homework, make cards for teacher appreciation week and then spread some soil (I wish you could hear Arabella say this) on the freshly tilled yard.  
Peter took the morning off so he could work on that little project. Looking good!
I hope your days are filled with as much sun, routine, and happy children as mine. 
Oh and Lily dumped the guinea pig food out and was trying to eat it while I was typing this.  She is her own sort of natural disaster nowadays. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What a Weekend?!

Friday, I had the great opportunity to go to the zoo with Joey's 2nd grade class.  

 Rylee was the only other student in our group.  Thanks for playing with us.  We managed to see all of the animals and eat lunch and finish early.  I have to say it is a very different experience traversing the zoo without a toddler and stroller to worry about. 

We did a family hot dog and marshmallow and dough boy roast in the backyard Friday night.  I did not capture the moment but oh well.  I do want to make note that I started the fire without a single match.  Peter gave me some instruction and let me use some char cloth and flint and steel.  First try and bam a fire! Whoop, whoop for me! Peter was quite impressed!

 Saturday our ward had a barbecue and we started up a game of kickball so that the cub scouts could earn the belt loop for it.  They had a great time and with the breeze the 90 degree weather was wonderful!

 We also spent a great deal of our time on Saturday working on these new rings around our trees. If you go back you will see the odd rings that were in place when we moved in and agree that it was time for them to go.  This coming weekend we plan to fix the dirt up and plant new grass.  We are also working on the flower beds near the house. it is going to be wonderful .  I will have you know that I did most of the work on the smaller one (the first picture).

Finally, but most certainly not least, was Sunday when I was released as Relief Society President.
I have known for a few weeks this was coming and it made me sad.  I also experienced relief, guilt, peace, love, anticipation, and many other emotions. I was called the week after Christmas in 2009 and so it was just short of 2 1/2 years.  I learned so many things.  I truly came to understand what it means to be the Lord's servant and what it can mean to give of your time and talents and other blessings.  My testimony was strengthened immensely.  I know that the Lord can make you capable of doing anything He needs you to do if you make yourself available and willing to do His work.  
As for my feelings of guilt, I believe it was Satan trying to make me believe that I had somehow failed or was not longer adequate for doing the job.  Then I realized that I had not been called to complete a job but to perform/participate in the work.  The work in  Relief Society will continue to go on and I will continue to participate in it, I will just be taking direction from someone else instead of being the director.  
The song "Lord, I would follow thee" has been going through my mind a lot.  In nursing school, we focused on this song for the line "I would learn the healer's art".  I have thought of this line and how the Savior was not just a healer of physical but also emotional and spiritual.  He made every person feel important and worthy of God's love and power, grace and mercy.  He was also a healer in that he can heal the soul that is broken due to sin.  A broken soul can be far more challenging to overcome than a body with physical pains and sufferings. 
The lines that being Relief Society President help me more fully understand are "I would be my brother's keeper" and "Who am I to judge another? When I walk imperfectly. In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow's that the eye can't see."  Every person is suffering in some way and we may never know what it is, or how deep that suffering goes, or it may not seem big to us but for them it is their trial because that is what the Lord knew they could handle.  We have to learn to minister to others and be aware of them.  If we would take the time to truly listen and observe those around us and then open our hearts to the Holy Ghost, we will know what others are in need of and what we can do to love them and serve them.  I wish I could say that I am perfect at following Pres. Uchtdorf's advice from conference but I know I am trying. 
I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to serve in this calling.  As I have prepared to pass on all of my binders and papers and such, I have reflected on so many experiences and been awed by the workings of our Heavenly Father.  He is so loving and he truly wants nothing more for us, his children, to remember how much he loves and that we will have the desire to live so that we may return to live with him. 
The gospel is a beautiful thing and I am grateful each day for it! 

(I know the 2 of you out there that read this are dying to know what my new calling is.....wait for it..... Family History Consultant! I know I was surprised too but it will be really good and challenging for me!  Give me a few weeks before you start calling me with your family history questions.)