Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday School Lesson

I taught my first Sunday school lesson today. :) The couple who normally teach our class were out of town, so I volunteered to teach it. I was pretty excited. I think my lesson went pretty well. Tom said it was good, but I would have been mad at him if he said it sucked....so yeah....but that's what the lesson was about: anger.

The topic was "Responding to Challenges". Since it is a "Marriage and Family" class, it turns into how to "Respond to Challenges in Marriage". It was a GREAT lesson. The whole lesson was focused on anger. There were a few parts of it that I really, really liked!

The first thing that really got to me was about anger itself and how it is a choice. People say, "Oh, he made me so mad." Or, "I just lost my temper"....well....it doesn't work like that. Because of free agency, no one can make us do anything. We choose to do it. No one can MAKE you angry....that means you didn't have the agency to not be angry - which is ridiculous. You are CHOOSING to get angry. Of course, other peoples actions can sometimes add into the equation, but in the end - you are choosing to get angry or not.

For example, I don't know if I've ever seen my little sister, Angela, get angry. I know she has gotten frustrated, but I definitely don't recall any tizzy fits growing up. Me and my other sister, on the other hand...were CONSTANTLY in pursuit of making the other one mad :) Haha! Looking back, I fondly remember pestering each other, which I'm sure drove our parents CRAZY! But yes....I would say she and I were constantly angry at each other :) I guess Angela just had better self control...and she was a born peace maker. Angela....sheesh....Good thing she was born in between me and Kathryn! Haha!! Love ya sis's! :)

I also liked this scripture and analogy: "Satan is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another". The verb "stir" sounds like a recipe for disaster: Put tempers on medium heat, stir in a few choice words, and bring to a boil; continue stirring until thick; cool off; let feelings chill for several days; serve cold; lots of leftovers. "

Talk about the best analogy! Isn't that exactly how it goes when you lose your temper?? You say things you don't mean, and it is SUPER hard to get past it.

Another part I liked: "Anger is a yielding to Satan's influence by surrendering our self-control. It is the thought-sin that leads to hostile feelings or behavior. It is the detonation of road rage on the freeway, flare-ups in the sports arena, and domestic violence in homes." Now, I'll be the first to admit I have succumbed to road rage....but I didn't need to! I CHOSE to! That's what this lesson is all about!

No good ever comes from losing your temper, either. The lesson points out: Anger is an uncivil attempt to make another feel guilty or a cruel way of trying to correct them. It is often mislabeled as discipline but is almost always counterproductive.

I have lost my temper with my kids, spouse, and family. But there I go again - I lost my temper. That is ridiculous. No one took away my free agency. I chose to be angry. I need to chose NOT to get angry.

"Understanding the connection between agency and anger is the first step in eliminating anger from our lives. We can choose not to become angry. And we can make that choice today, right now: "I will never become angry again." Ponder this resolution." Granted we may need to continually remind ourselves not to be angry, but its a start :)

So yeah, that was the gist of my lesson and I loved it. I've always struggled with a temper. Ask my parents! Ha! I remember all growing up, I just had to yell....all the time....yell and throw temper tantrums. It has taken A LOT of realization and deep breathing to help me sort of grow out of it and be able to reign in my emotions. I definitely know it has helped my marriage - not freaking out too quickly.

Anyway, I thought this lesson was perfect for every couple - even those who don't go crazy angry...now you can help your significant other overcome it if they do!

Thoughts?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Just breath....

Man, I'm not sure what it is about today and yesterday, but here are a few pictures of how I'm feeling....


"WILL YOU PLEASE STOP JUMPING ON THE COUCH"
"JUST BE QUIET FOR TWO SECONDS"
"NO, NO POPSICLES UNTIL YOU EAT YOUR DINNER"
"WHY DID YOU EMPTY YOUR TOY BUCKET??? I JUST CLEANED YOUR ROOM!"


"STOP HANGING ON ME!"

"Laundry, grocery, call the car dealer, take back the movie, what are we eating for dinner, is chicken nuggets three meals a day okay?, call my visiting teaching companion, make a side dish for tomorrows picnic, fold laundry, make cookies for Sunday, wash sheets, vacuum again, dishes, clean out fridge, feed kids...."

"I can't remember what I was doing....before I had to go clean up the flood in the bathroom, throw away the toilet paper rolls that were tossed in the toilet, give the kids ANOTHER bath, dress them again, and salvage the swimming library books..."


If you add another little blue monster...I think that would suffice.

Okay, I know this post so far sounds like a huge pity party/mad at the children post. And it slightly is. I just figured that blogging about it is a much healthier alternative to beating the children. Haha! :) Also, I tend to ramble...so feel free to skip the rest of this.

So I've been feeling a lot of frustration lately at being a mom. Not the daily tasks of being a mom, but the lack of understanding that other people have for being moms. Any idiot can have a baby. It takes a tough cookie to be a mom. Every day I learn to appreciate my own mom. I don't know how she had five kids. I don't know how my grandma had six. Maybe its a mental illness or something...hahaha :) Just kidding mom and grandma!

I just want all you not-stay-at-home-parents to realize what you are getting yourself into. And I want all you not-stay-at-home-parents to start realizing what all the stay-at-home parents are dealing with....every second of every day. People who say being a SAH Mom isn't a full time job need to be punched in the face....then punched again....then punched a third time....then while they're not expecting it, punched again. It is more than a full time job. It is working 168 hours a week. Ha! You call 40 hours a week a job?? Please...that's more like a recreational activity that you get paid for! Now, I know the grass is always greener on the other side. Eight months ago, I would've done anything to be a SAH Mom. I was working two jobs, around 50-55 hours a week and wanting anything to just be at home with the kids. Well, now I am home with the kids, and I kinda wanna go back to work...maybe 20 hours a week or something just to get a break! How's that, huh? Get a job...so I can rest...and maybe think for two seconds without having to turn on Dora, get someone some food, change a diaper. But that isn't feasible right now with Tom working full time and doing a full time Masters program. Instead, I am a SAH mom, and most of the time it feels like a single-parent, too. (Don't get me wrong, I am glad Tom is working and going to school...that's not what this post is about :))

I don't even know really what I'm complaining about. I think I am just sleep deprived (does your JOB wake you up at 2:00a.m.....5:00a.m....and 7:00a.m....and then expect you to be at your top energy for the rest of the day?? Oh, and no - you don't get paid for overtime...in fact, its all volunteer work.) I like how my sister-in-law Terry put it: she has been doing philanthropy for the past 20 years. Charity, volunteer work to better society by raising stable and functioning children. Serious.

Even as I type this not-so-very-long post, I have been interrupted to: get Tommy a bottle, get Ella a popcicle, answer the phone, change the laundry, finish cleaning the bathroom, calm Tommy down, wipe up Ella, wipe a butt, make chicken nuggets, finish the dishes, and who knows what else before I'm done! I don't know what I want...maybe a medal that says Super Mom, but I don't even think I'm that super. I'm just a mom. I try to get the kids out of the house once a day, but that doesn't always work. I try to "enlighten" Ella's mind by doing pre-school exercises, taking her to the zoo, Wheeler Farm, and wherever else I can think of. I try not to yell or lose my temper. All of these things only last a little while though...maybe a week or so before I get too exhausted, discouraged, or frustrated. Then I have a little tizzy fit (like you are reading right now) and it helps me feel better. Then I last another week or two...before another one hits. Is this normal?! I feel like I have a few really good days or week where I seriously enjoy being a mom, then a few days of verge of meltdowns...then feel guilty for feeling that way...then I'm okay again. Is this bi-polarism!? haha!

I feel like a lot of my frustration is born out of the fact that I am not in complete control of my childrens actions. I, being a total control freak, do not deal with this well. I figure: my house, my kids, my rules, my reign. haha! But the kids don't always go for that. I can't absolutely control Ella and her temper tantrums, or stop her from hiding crayons then coloring all of the window while I'm changing Tommy's diaper. I can't control Tommy from having explosive diaper after explosive diaper because Ella fed him too many grapes while I was cleaning up her room. These things tend to frustrate me SO much. I need to let it go. I need to realize that what I'm doing is the best I can do. If the laundry has to wait till tomorrow to get folded so I don't freak out...that's just the way it is.

All you moms out there - please tell me you feel like this, too, and I'm not just CRAZY!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Additional Queen Issue...

I've thought of another thing I would change if I was in charge of the universe:

Instead of a womans body being completely destroyed by having children, it would start looking exponentially better with each child she bore. For example, instead of getting dark circles under your eyes from lack of sleep, your skin would lift and tighten. Instead of getting saggy bosoms from nursing, they would perk up and NOT shrink. Instead of stretch marks, cellulite would disappear.

This would make having children not only LESS traumatic afterwards, but it would be more of a perk for all the hard work we moms have to do. :)

Of course, I'm sure some psycho women would have babies just to look better...but then they would also get that kangaroo pocket, and eyes behind their head....I guess they could just weigh the pros and cons :) haha!

Just a thought...

Friday, June 3, 2011

It's Good to be King...er....Queen....

This is a really random post, but I was just thinking about this the other day... :)

If I was in charge of the universe, here are a few things I would change:

1. Mom's would automatically get a pouch on their tummy like a kangaroo as soon as they have a baby. It would last for the first year, then slowly disappear. This would be SUPER convenient, that way you could put the baby in there and still have full use of your hands. Or, you could put items in there like diapers, bottles, pacifiers, etc. I know it is a gross mental picture, but how much more convenient would it be to have both hands free all the time?? :)


2. Mom's would literally develop a pair of eyes in the back of their head. I think this is pretty self explanatory as to why this would be awesome. Along with this extra pair of eyes would come a special telepathic sixth sense when it comes to kids. You would have the premonition to know what your kids are doing...especially if it is something they shouldn't be.

3. Everyone would get their come uppin's quickly. I think this would stop people from doing stupid or mean things, but motivate other people to do good things. I just think this would be much more gratifying for everyone. :)



4. You would lose weight at the same rate you gain it. That way, the time it takes you to eat a donut, you just have to exercise that same amount of time, and you have lost the donut weight! Seriously, who doesn't think this is a great idea?! Talk about total motivation to both lose weight AND eat junk food :) I would totally exercise an hour, if it meant I could do nothing but eat junk all day. Hahah! :)



5. People would be paid for their work in proportion to how their work benefits society. This would make teachers, policemen, etc. top earners (along with doctors and inventors and the such). This would motivate more people to become these important positions and their job positions would be more gratified. This would also mean that actors, most musicians, athletes, etc. aren't paid as much. Even being a musician, I feel like the entertainment industry makes ridiculous amounts of money...as do athletes. To me, it is sad that some guy who runs around a field makes a bajillion dollars, when a teacher who is trying to teach our future youth makes barely enough to survive, and sometimes not even that much.


6. People would have to take an IQ test and submit an application before they reproduced. Okay, I know this is totally totalitarianism, but that isn't what I'm getting at. I'm just saying, for the sake of the children, there shouldn't be any "oops" babies where the parents are completely unequipped to raise them. I'm sure you have all seen those poor little kids whose parents are more concerned with themselves than the kids. It makes me sad. I just feel bad that these kids, who had no control over the situation, have to deal with so many things when there are so many other couples who would LOVE kids...but can't have them. Do you see what I'm getting at?


7. Weather. The weather would remain a balmy 72 for most of the year. Three days of snow in the winter. One week of 90 degrees in the summer. There we go: all the seasons. :) All this "winter" nonsense is overrated and terrible to drive in.

8. Money would grow on trees. I think it is pretty obvious why this would be awesome :)



9. Kids would have an on/off switch AND a volume knob. Aaaahhh....how wonderful would this be :) Of course, you couldn't go crazy with it and keep them turned off all the time, but it would be AWESOME for naptime and bedtime. "Okay, brush your teeth, get in your jammies, read a book, then I'm turning you off!" Hahhaha!!! :)

10. I would be queen. Just because it would be awesome and I could own as many shoes and tiaras as I wanted. :) I would have ladies in waiting and not have to do anything I didn't want. Aaaahhhh....to be queen....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

U2 CONCERT!!!!!

Okay, what my readers (whoever you are!) need to realize is that U2 is my number one, very favoritest, most loved band E-V-E-R. Let me give you a few reasons why:

1. Lake Powell. How does U2 and Lake Powell relate? Well, I think heaven is a mixture of Lake Powell and Disneyland. Whenever I hear U2 play, I immediately am taken to Lake Powell in my mind: I'm lounging on a couch in our houseboat, listening to the waves lap against the side of the boat, while Mom is making some delicious dinner - probably tri tip and potato salad - while I'm reading a fabulously good book. It is 100 degrees, but I'm cool because I just got out of the 80 degree water and am drip drying. It is quiet and peaceful because there is no cell phone reception, we are in the middle of a desert canyon surrounded by water, and the kids are playing on the beach with one of their aunts or uncles. I am in heaven...and its soundtrack is U2.

2. My brother. U2 is also my brothers favorite band, so of course growing up I wanted to be JUST like him - because my brother is AWESOME. Sooooo, I said I liked U2, too. At first it was just because he liked it. But soon it grew into a deep appreciation of their music. So, not only does U2 take me on vacation (Lake Powell), it surrounds me with family - my brother, specifically.

3. Musically. Their music is outstanding, on a theoretical musical level. Their lyrics are intense and inspired. Their playing ability is faaaaabulous. And, they're just as good live as they are recorded - which is not something bands today can all say.

4. Bono. Yes, the concert was preachier than I thought it was going to be...but what can you expect from a frontman who seriously believes in changing the world one concert at a time. I respect his positions on human rights and equality. I love how he stands up for what he believes in, but at the same time doesn't try to prove anyone else wrong in the process. Most people who are staunch believers in something have a tendency to try to prove the other side wrong. Bono doesn't. He says what he feels and that's it. Plus, who can disagree with someone who donates MILLIONS, probably billions, of dollars to human rights foundations all in the hopes of bettering the world...

So Tom and I were actually supposed to see this concert last summer in Anaheim, but due to Bono having back surgery, they postponed the tour. Well, that created a little pickle because now we had tickets for the show in Anaheim, but aren't living in California anymore! So thank you to the people of ticketmaster who switched the tickets to the concert in Salt Lake :) yay! Also, since we were seeing it in Salt Lake, it is a smaller venue and we got better tickets for the same price! Yay! :) We had general admission tickets. I know that sounds a little scary, and I was a little worried because I am 5'4". That means that when I am in a crowd, I can't see what everyone else does. I see the back of peoples heads and shoulders. But, I was determined to get a good viewing position so Tom and I got there an hour early! We rode our scooter up, too, which meant awesome parking! haha! :) Yay for scooters!

This concert tour is called their "360 Tour" which translates into a "Number One Hits" concert. It was AWESOME. I literally knew every word to every song they sang! They played all their number one hits from every album! It was so epic. That is the best word to describe. Not only was the song choice spectacular, but the actual show was really cool! Their stage was awesome and the lighting was, too. We ended up getting FABULOUS standing positions that were about three people back from the outer walkway. We were SO close! I could have thrown a shoe and hit Bono or the Edge! haha! I didn't, of course...but I could have, we were that close! And, it happened to work out that I was standing behind mostly girls, which means they were about my height! So I wasn't stuck behind some 6'1" guy or anything...like the people who were standing behind Tom were! Haha! I always thought they should sell tickets based on height, that way everyone could see. Of course, that means I couldn't stand next to Tom.... oh well :) haha!

So here are some video clips from the concert :)

video

Elevation.


video


video



video

Before we left for the concert, my dad (who so WONDERFULLY volunteered to watch the babies) wondered how many semis it took to transport all their stuff. So we took this video for him. It's kind of hard to tell, but there were rows and rows of semis! It was CRAZY!

So that concert was probably the most epic concert I will ever go to in my entire life. I have two big thank you's to shout out to those who made it possible! I honestly thought I never would get to see U2 because their concerts are always SO expensive, sell out too fast, or they would stop touring before I could actually afford to go!

Thank you to Tom for buying the tickets for me :) Best anniversary present ever, even if we had to use them a year and a half past when we thought we would.

Thank you to my Dad who came up for my birthday and volunteered to watch the kids! He fed them dinner and put them to bed and everything. It made the concert so much more enjoyable because I didn't have to worry about the kids AT ALL. I knew he had everything under control. :) thanks dad!!!!

Kids + Animals = Fun

I should clarify the title of this post:

My Kids + Not my animals = Fun :)

I have decided that pets are NOT in our near future. Not only because they aren't allowed in our complex, but because I am decidedly NOT an animal lover. Don't even get me started on how I feel when people treat their animals like people. Seriously...it's quite the soap box :) ha!

Anyway! Here are two days full of animal fun! :)

Tommy LOVES stroller rides! So, he rode in his stroller while Ella walked, er, ran around Wheeler Farm. Wheeler Farm is a local farm/park/business that is a fully functional and profitable farm that kids can wander through. It is completely free, too, unless you want to milk a cow or ride a tractor. We went to Wheeler Farm with our little church play group. (Our play group gets together once a week and usually just plays in the nursery room of the church, but since it is getting warmer, we are trekking outdoors to do some other activities. I think our next trip is to the zoo! Should be fun!)
Ella thought the chickens were super funny! She kept telling me that they said "Neeeiiiiggghh!" until she heard a rooster call. Then she said all the animals said, "cockadoodle doo!" It was pretty funny.
They had this two storied play house that the kids could play in. It's more like a glorified chicken coop, but the kids thought it was cool. It was SUPER crowded in there and all the parents were joking about just locking the door and leaving them in there! Haha! Yes, that's why it looks like a jail :) Who knew a farm was so parent-friendly??? Haha!
Ella and Tommy had a great day and the weather stayed really nice. The first sunny day in WEEKS! I'm pretty sure it rained later that afternoon, but at least it was pretty in the morning :)
Here is Aunt Jacquelyn with Tommy up in Oakley! Our super good friends Channon and Carly live up there with Carly's parents right now. Carly's parents have a bunch of horses, so we went up for Memorial Day and went horse back riding! Of course, right after we got up there it started sleet/snowing. But we were determined to ride those horses! Soooo, after taking over 20 minutes to get the kids all bundled up, we adventured into the freezing cold and went riding! Tommy ended up looking like the little brother on Christmas Story - yeah, the one that can't lower his arms. Tommy got a kick out of it though :)
Obviously :)
Here is Ella and Daddy! It's a good thing Daddy is a trooper/horse lover! I'm pretty scared of them after being knocked off on two separate occasions. So I was happy to walk along side the horses while Dad took turns riding them around. Ella thought that this particular horse went a little too fast and was happier when we rode later and she was on a slower horse. Silly girl :)
Tommy liked the feisty horse though! Every time it would trot or shake its head Tommy would laugh and laugh! It was adorable, to say the least :)

We rode for about 30 minutes the first time before Ella and the adults started freezing to death (not Tommy, he was still laughing...that kid...) so we went inside, ate delicious chicken shishkabobs and orzo salad (Thank you Carly! SOO yummy!!). After eating, the sky cleared up and it was BEAUTIFUL! Sooooo, we of course went out riding again!

This time I actually got on a horse, too. I rode with Ella on the slow horse and Tommy and Dad rode the fast horse. It was fun :) I like walking...on a slow horse. Me and Ella will just be riding pals I guess :)

After riding for about an hour and walking around for a while, too, I noticed Tommy was getting really sleepy. So we hopped off the horses and Tom carried him back to the house. By the time we got there, he was ZONKED out! We still had to put away all the horse stuff, so we laid Tommy down...

on the trampoline :) So he slept there for a while....
...completely oblivious to everything around him. It was so cute. :) So we took him back inside and he ended up sleeping for a couple hours while we played Cranium (girls vs. boys...I don't think it takes a genius to figure out who won....GIRLS RULE!) and then Apples to Apples...which I ended up winning! Yay for me! :)

Needless to say, it was a VERY fun Memorial Day! Two thumbs up for friends, food, fun, and horse back riding :)