Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Why I don't think my kids need more toys for Christmas.

Indulge me, if you will.  The following explanation is why I don't think my kids need toys for Christmas.

I believe my kids have the following love languages.

1.  Quality time.  I thought this kid liked to clean as a toddler/preschooler.  Nope.  He just liked doing what I was doing and right alongside me.

2.  Words of affirmation.  Her speech therapist from when she was almost 3 said, "Gabby responds well to praise."

And I thought, "Doesn't everyone?"

Speech therapist went on to share that she tried rewards and bribery, but just saying to her, "Gabby, well done or great job!" did the trick.

So I took that knowledge and potty trained her with TONS of praise.  10 days and done.  (Waaay better than 1 1/2 years like 4 of her siblings.)

3.  This child is both physical touch/acts of service.  He loves to serve and he notices and loves when others serve him.  He also loves hugs and cuddles, high fives, etc.

4.  Gifts.  He likes to get gifts-- homemade or store bought.  He likes to give gifts and will search through his treasures to find one to suit you to show you his love.  (Auntie Rachel, remember the squirreled away snacks and little pumpkin?)

5.  Physical touch/words of affirmation.  Harsh words really affect this guy more than any of the others.  He really takes things to heart.  And he's a giant cuddle always.

6.  Physical touch/acts of service.  We weren't totally sure with these two because we thought maybe they just hug more because they're twins.  But he also likes to do things for others to surprise them or help them feel better.

7.  Words of affirmation.  She responds well to praise and definitely ignores you if you criticize her.

8.  Not really sure yet.  Is redheaded crazy nugget a love language?  She does that one well.

Wouldn't it make more sense if Christmas looked like the following for them:

1.  Movie tickets, zoo passes, aquarium passes, museum pass-- anything to do WITH parents.  

2.  Saying "Hey!  You're so stinking awesome!"  Hahaha!  I kid.  I really don't know what words of affirmation specific gifts.

3.  Karate class.  Surprise service given to him. Taking him to do service for community like helping someone with yard work, feeding the hungry, picking up litter.  

4.  He appreciates gifts.  But not just toys.  Arts and craft supplies.  A book on how to make them.

5.  Contact sport?  And something with praise?  

6.  Contact sport gift certificate too?  Bring him along to serve the hungry, pick up litter, help in community.

7.  There's the words of affirmation again here.

8.  Anything pink or chocolate.  ;)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

My spiritual super-boost for the week

What would I do without the massive spiritual boost I get from church each Sunday?

There were three hours of gospel lessons from the scriptures shared with anyone willing to listen with their heart.  It was truly a feast today.

It was as though all the talks, songs, and lessons today were just for me.

During one of the sacrament talks today, I was showing my 13 year old the first scripture I recall being a specific answer to my prayers:  

And on my way to that scripture, this one jumped out and commanded my attention:

 "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." -- 2 Nephi 25:26

I am so thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I was repeatedly reminded of Christ's love for me.  He knows me.  He loves me.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Trying to come to grips with reality and making some tasty memories

I'm having a really hard time adjusting to my body getting rid of the anti-anxiety medicine.  

(My doctor is concerned what it is doing to my health.  And even though he mentioned other medications I could switch to, he and I both thought I could do okay without it.)

So yes, I'm having a tough time.  Like full on bawling in the parking lot of the commissary because I don't want to go in while I'm feeling angry/frustrated/tired/sad/guilty/annoyed.

So I went to Costco instead-- because apparently I can be nuts there.

And when I came home, all the dishes were washed, the kids' bathroom was sparkling, the kitten was so glad to see me, and happy children could be found everywhere (and a very busy hubby).

So I had a little talk with myself about my crazy-pants emotional spazz dispenser.

And then I let the littles help make dinner-- because they begged to be my helpers.

Hammy helped make soft Italian breadstick dough including doing most of the kneading.  Pretty sure his kneading muscles are gonna hurt tomorrow.

Hammy, Squdge, Peach, and Biscuit rolled the breadsticks with me. 

"I want to roll snakes!"  
"My snake is fat in the middle."
"Just roll it till that part disappears."

Squdge and Hammy helped cut the butter into the flour, sugar, and rolled oats  to be the topping on the apple-strawberry-rhubarb crisp.

Peach was so pleased her breadstick worked out, she had me take a pic.

They were so happy to help make dinner and dessert and so happy to show the foods to the other kids when it came time to eat.

And I was happy that in that whole time, I didn't burst out in uncontrollable bawling again or yell at them for being little kids.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

This memory brought to you by the 3D book we found at the library today.

Did I ever tell you about the time my sister, Rachel, and I sold dozens of 3D illusion books at Costco?  It was about 20 years ago.  I was probably 17 or 18 and she was about 12 or 13.

We found these cool books while shopping with my parents and sat down to flip through them.

"Rach!  Hold it up to your face like this and you can see the images pop out!!"  I said.

"I know!  I can see a star reaching out to me!  This is SO COOL!!"

"Wow!  Mine is reversed on this one and the image goes in instead of pops out!"

And that's pretty much what we did for the hour or two my parents shopped in Costco (my dad likes to browse).

People stopped by, observed our behavior, and picked up one or two of the books and added them to their carts.  

We convinced our parents to buy them for us.  

When we checked out, the cashier said something like, "Wow!  These 3D books are flying off the shelves today."

Hammy today looking at a 3D illusion book from the library.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When the day starts like Monday even though it's a Tuesday

Going off my anxiety medicine makes me feel like this:

I might eat my young...
... because she turned into a baby pterodactyl when I peeled her clementine wrong this morning.
This was just moments after a certain Tater balanced a bowl of cereal unsuccessfully on the edge of a box (that shouldn't even be in the kitchen) -- which consequently fell over into my recent shipping of Juice Plus chewables-- just so he could ask for a pumpkin spice marshmallow.

So glad I had the sense to make a shake before it all started.
Or the world may have ended.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The puberties have hit our house in force.

 I'm gonna need some reinforcements ASAP.

Since the Grandma and the Papa are experts, I think I'll head back to their house and take care of the golden retriever and they can take over here.

Frequently asked questions and their inevitable answers:

Q:  Who drank all the milk?
A:  You only bought 3 boxes (6 gallons) this week.

Q:  Why are you crying?
A:  I don't know!

Q:  Why haven't you showered yet?  
A:  I already showered this week.

Q:  Did you put on deodorant today?
A:  Why do I have to put it on every day?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fried chicken in Pookieville

For dinner, the birthday girl requested chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, corn, the whole thing.  

I'm pretty sure she wanted a roast chicken, but I only had chicken pieces.  So I decided on fried chicken.

It was the first time I've deep-fried chicken without my momma.  And it was the first time I've deep-fried anything in over 15 years.

Here are some of the comments during dinner prep and dinner,

"I'll peel the potatoes!"

"I need a peeler too!"

"Too bad, there's only 3 peelers and we were here first."

"Then we can take turns peeling."

"Wow!  That's a lot of oil."

"It's kinda necessary to deep-fry chicken."

"What are you doing to the chicken in that bowl?"

"It's really tiring mashing potatoes."  

"I didn't know you could make chicken like KFC!"

"I love mashed potatoes and gravy.  You don't even really have to move your mouth to eat it."

"What's this white stuff?"  

"It's mashed potatoes."

"Oh, well it's good!"

"It's like a feast!"

"It looks just like real chicken."

"It IS real chicken."

"Now I see how they make it (chicken) look like that."

"I could get fat off of stuffing.  It's so good."

"I doubt you could get fat off of anything."

"Someone had to kill this chicken, you know."

"Yep, and a long time ago, they didn't do that for you.  You had to kill your own pet chicken if you wanted to eat."  

I had to refrain from laughing at many of the comments.  I love my crazy family.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Top 10 of the week uttered by yours truly

•  No one eat anything until Daddy sees the clean kitchen!

•  We do not lick someone else's spoon.

•  Next time, please use my bathroom instead of peeing in the tub.

•  Who turned the freezer down to zero again?

•  Yes, clam juice is a thing and yes, it makes me shudder.

•  When you have your own family, you can decide to call it "Super Violent Reading Time."  We will continue to call it "Super Silent Reading Time."

•  I think it's a great idea for you to set an alarm to remind you to put on deodorant.

•  Do I harass YOU on the toilet?

•  We don't pee or poop on our shoes even during trick or treating.

•  Find the smell and KILL IT.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Why I don't teach kindergarten handwriting

It is no secret how I feel about teaching handwriting to children under 6.  ��  With my oldest three boys, it made me feel like I was torturing them.  (My oldest girl has been gifted with drawing abilities from a very young age.)  

So last fall when my twins were 5 and officially kindergarten age, I decided I wasn't going to teach it until they seemed ready.

I wrote their names on their drawings and papers whenever they wanted me to (with them looking on).

I reminded them of pencil grip when they held pencils and crayons.

I let them play with Legos, fingerpaint with shaving cream, salt trays and cornmeal trays, form playdoh letters, and all manner of things that improve fine motor skills.

I put an alphabet train up on the wall for them to be inspired.

Earlier this year, the child psychologist told me that Tater possibly had dysgraphia.

Today I got out their kindergarten level handwriting books and they eagerly sat down next to me (one at a time) and did 7 pages each.  

Then I put it away.  They begged to do more in the afternoon and tomorrow and the next day and next day and a next day.

There is no pressure or testing in my home telling them what they should be doing academically.  Even as twins I do not compare one to the other in learning.  

Since when did Heavenly Father create people to do things at exactly the same age as their peers?

I try to celebrate my children's uniqueness.  When they are ready, they thrive.


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