Thursday, June 23, 2011

Defending the Family in a Troubled World

I came across an article in the Ensign this week that has been buzzing around in my brain. (The Ensign is a monthly magazine my church publishes that has messages from the Prophet, other church leaders, and inspirational stories) Titled: Defending the Family in a Troubled World, it is a topic that I think about a lot now that I am a mother and charged with raising children.

I nonchalantly told Brian it was about how the Family is under attack today and within seconds I was being lectured about how he doesn't feel like his family is under attack, that if we would just have proper sex education in schools it would help prevent more teen pregnancies and that he doesn't know why Christians are so up in arms about the morning after pill because it does the same thing as birth control. LOL

Maybe I may have pushed him on the subject one too many times.

Anyways. I thought it was an interesting, long, article that had some good points but was maybe over the top for the Ensign. After an hour of quoting parts of it to Brian and having him go off on other rants about how things aren't any worse now than they were years ago, I came to my own conclusions. I often use Brian as a sounding board for some of the topics in life I haven't made up my mind about. He is good at pointing out logic flaws in their and my arguments, and I value his opinion.

I do think the family needs to be defended in this world. I feel like many of the prevailing attitudes towards living your life for yourself and so seeking supposedly more fulfilling professional endeavors, negatively affect the youth of today and their future families. They are taught to value individual professional success over any sort of family centric life. Children are "viewed as a burden, a distraction from the pursuit of happiness and personal fulfillment."

I recognize that unless you have experienced the true personal fulfillment of raising children, which it is a hard thing to explain or compare to. And even harder to convince others of the value it brings even though it is not monetary based. But even Olympians have been quoted as saying their most valued accomplishment was not their gold medals, but their family.

But, I don't think these attitudes are solely the reason that families today are under distress. It is hard to blame any problem entirely on the forces of outside elements. Families more often have problems from the inside out. Sadly, this is not a new problem, and comes from generations of abuse in various forms, and the lack of loving father figures. (Ya, I know there are tons of other factors, but this is what Brian and I spent most of the time talking about.)

In the scriptures it talks about the sins of generations being placed on the father's, or parent's, heads, meaning the mother and father take responsibility for the consequential sins of their children. I think this was wise of our Father in Heaven. There are so many circumstances where you can hardly blame an individual for their sins or mistakes when the family they grew up in was loveless, unstable and fatherless. But families with even less severe situations still produce children that lack the emotional stability to form healthy, positive relationships with others largely because their parents never taught them how. As a result I feel we have a world of people who lead sad, lonely lives.

There are exceptions to all situations of course, but social patterns are hard to break. An abusive husband twenty years ago has likely produced abusive sons, and daughters who seek abusive men. When does this pattern stop? Several generations down the road when it is socially acceptable to go to therapy? No wonder those children today seek solidarity in professional careers and tout the joy of individual success. I'm glad they have overcome hard childhoods, but I am saddened they are unlikely and have no desire to then raise stable, happy families themselves.

I didn't think I was an exception when I was young. I thought all families ate dinner together, I thought they all liked each other; I thought that all families regularly said, "I love you." It saddens me beyond words when a friend doesn't want to go home for the holidays because they don't like being around their family. Or when a sibling sadly helps yet another brother or sister through a divorce. Or even if a family that can't make it to dinner together a few times a week!

Now, as a mother to my own family, I cherish the examples my husband and I had growing up. I am so thankful that I had a father that was a an example of a good and righteous husband and father, so as I grew I would value those attributes in men, and knew they type of person I wanted for a husband. I am thankful for a mother, who every day of my childhood, taught me how to be a mother. I have such happiness in my family; I wish everyone could feel the same way.

I don't have any great solutions. Just raise your own family in righteousness and love, and pray for the Lord's help in raising children that will love and value their family for eternity.

Thanks for the rant. My head feel clearer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Haircut!!

Oh my boy is so big!! Dad finally told me he really didn't care if he was "there" for the first haircut in a salon, so I took Brad on Monday to get his hair professionally cut. I have had two previous attempts, and I just couldn't keep up with his growing locks any longer.

This was the result last time I cut his hair...

Not bad but not good. We are going to visit our Grandmas and Grandpas in Oregon next week, so I thought it would be nice if he didn't look like a hooligan!

Here's a decent "before" shot. Clearly his little boy hair is now slightly long.

We went to Pigtails and Crewcuts and it was so cute! Bradley got to ride in a plane while he desperately clung to me as Miss Nici cut his hair.

He did such a good job and was even patient enough to let Miss Nici use the shaver razor on the back of his neck and around his ears! I think he like it better than the water and scissors because it buzzed like a bee.
He loved playing with the airplane after all the commotion over his hair was over. What a boy.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Frozen Ham

The sister missionaries are coming over for dinner today, I've got it all worked out. Cheesy potatoes and leftover Easter ham. My only problem is how you defrost and reheat said ham without drying it out or having it taste like the freezer.

So I turn online for help. I found a great little forum on the question, but the more I read the more I found responses like this:

-You didn't make a spiral cut ham... all you did is open the package, heat, and eat... what you did is  *serve* a spiral cut ham.

-You're reheating leftover ham... it's NOT open heart surgery! sheesh

-ham bout a month ago and froze the leftovers.
Lol...this is almost as ridiculous as the "How long to cook instant ramen?"

I am not making top ramen! I am trying to make a meal for guests!
And now I feel like a domestic flop who can't even reheat ham. Gr.

Some of us don't naturally have the "domestic food gene" and we are only capable of serving semi-homemade food because of the pretty pictures in the cookbooks or online youtube videos. 

On the plus side the sister missionaries are really nice, and even if it tastes like dog food something compels them to tell me it tastes wonderful. It is only later in the week my husband will fess up and tell me it was horrible. So I have a week of thinking I served a picture perfect meal regardless of what actually happens.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just Tuesday

We had a visitor on Tuesday.
Stephanie Yando (who has so many similarities to me - other than her name - it is crazy) brought over HER boarder collie, Carlie.

Naturally there was much herding going on.
 Then mommy worked on her spoons garden project - which turned out less than professional looking. Oh well.

After a nap we went to the pool.
Then we played with mommy's garden spoons till dinner time.

Playing in the dirt - even if it is in a pot - is still fun for a little bug.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I think they became play buddies this week.
Every night for the last week, when mom and dad are too tired to keep running around, Brad and Portland figured out that there is someone else who still has energy.
Here's the run down of our nights this week. First, Portland brings out her multi-squeaky lion and plops it in the middle of the room. Then she starts to de-fluff it, and slowly pulls out little tiny pieces of fluff till either I or Brad notices. Either way, she wins because someone notices her.
Then Brad usually goes and sits on top of the lion, which causes a small ruckus and the games begin.
Pretty soon they are playing tug of war and Portland is dragging Bradley in circles around the house. Entertainment till bedtime.

Who wouldn't love their puppy for that.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pjs, puppies, and play.

Let's go play mom.

I'll take the frisbee, see ya later.

 mmm, new nail polish that matches my flip flops makes me happy.

 I threw the frisbee in the bush mom!!

 HA got it mom!! Now quick throw the frisbee!!!

 Ha got it mom!! Let's go check out theeeese bushes.

 Did you hear that airplane!?!

 Bushes are so cool.

 HA! this is what you get when you come sit by mom!

 Come take a walk with me mom. I can't go down the driveway with out holding your hand. Please!  

 oookay. We'll go on a little walk around the culdesac.

 Now what.

 Time to go inside.

 Just joking, let's go look at the bushes one more time.

 Oh I thought I saw another airplane.

 Go inside? no way!

 I'm not going inside!


 hahahaha I made mommy chase me all across the yard!

 ooook. Time to go inside.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Big Swimer

We went swimming three times this week!!! Brad thinks he is ready to swim on his own. We went swimming with some friends and as soon as Brad saw the other kids swimming on their own he was pretty sure he could too. 

Last year we made it to the pool a handful of times, and Brad was only semi interested. He sat on his pool floaty duck and splashed a little.

This is Brad one year-ish ago! Cute suit, little swimmer.

Look at my big boy swimmer!! Can you believe he still fits in that same suit! I know it was huge on him last year, but this year it fits perfectly! Now I need to find one of those kid life vests and some water wings and this kid really will be able to swim on his own!!