Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Linky-Doodle

Lincoln is 5.  It's weird to me that he's older now than Ethan was when our house burned.  Life moves quickly onward. 

Lincoln is busy and creative.  He would rather play with toys or draw/color than watch TV.  He sits quietly in primary and charms all the adults in his immediate vicinity.  And can I tell you about his eyes? Or his cheeks? Or how he steals hearts like it's nobody's business?

Happy birthday, Lincoln Dale.  What a blessing it is to have you in our home.

5-year-old favorites:

Food: Apples

Treat: Every treat (it's true folks, he's definitely my kid)
Book/Author: Mo Willems
TV Shows: Go Diego, Go
Place to go: Disneyland (to which place he has never been...yet, but we all dream, don't we?)
Person to visit: Samantha in Pinedale
Halloween candy: All of it (smart kid)
Song:  Down in the River
Color:  Rainbow colors

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Funk and a Promise

I've always thought daily scripture reading with my children would be a nice idea. In theory.  Only recently have I felt a strong desire to pursue it actively.  I had been in a little bit of a funk and after giving a Visiting Teaching lesson about bettering your family by first bettering yourself, I thought that reading my scriptures alone every day might not be enough.  So a few months ago, I formulated a plan and we put it into action.  And I waited for my in-house struggles to disappear.  Or not.

True story:  For nearly the first 2 weeks of reading scriptures each night as a family, my funk worsened. My patience was tested, my temper seemed short; I was overwhelmed. 

Then, I was running with Michelle early one morning, during which time we seem to have a lot of epiphanies.  And I had one.  I was telling her how I was striving to read each day with Greg and the kids, but didn't feel like it was paying off.  And then it hit me.  Of course I wasn't.  In this life, when we up our game and try to be more righteous and obedient, Satan ups his too.  It was suddenly very clear to me that this was the reason I was still struggling.  If scripture reading is too inconvenient, too rowdy, too frustrating, why not just quit and try again when they're older? Because it will be hard then, too; harder, maybe.  Also, in that scenario, Satan gains a small victory over my home.  BUT, if we will perservere and be diligent, we will be blessed.  And we were.

It was as if, immediately after my realization came, the change began to happen.  My temper wasn't so fragile, patience came a little easier.  The battle for peace in my home was more personal.  It's been a couple months now; I think we've only missed 2 nights of reading.  And one of the perks of incorporating something new into my family's schedule is that my children are like elephants - they never forget.  Even when it's late or we're cranky, somebody always remembers. 

When we started this new ritual, Ethan was just beginning to take off as an independent reader.  And when we began to read the Book of Mormon together, he soared; now, he is essentially fluent with scriptural language.  The little boys are more wiggly, but even they like to have their turn to read. 

The lesson:  In retrospect, it was hard to start.  Even though we are committed to doing something righteous and productive in our home, we cannot expect Satan to stand idly by while we slip farther from his grasp.  We have been told that the most important work we will do will be within the walls of our own home, and we have been promsied that if we will be obedient, we will be blessed.  We're working hard to have the Spirit in our home, to do the things our Heavenly Father has asked.  And we have been blessed - in more ways than I ever anticipated. 

Satan hates to lose. But today, in my house, he will.  And tomorrow. And the next day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day and a Mother's Tribute

To all the veterans in my life and those unkonwn to me: Your service and perserverance in preserving this country's extraordinary freedoms will never be forgotten. Thank you for giving my children the opportunity to grow up knowing freedom. We live the way we live because of your service.

"I also wanted to pay tribute to my father, my mother, my Shirl (my other father) and to my son, Greg....all veterans. Greg joined the army right after 9/11. The first 9/11. He wasn't pressured by a draft....he did it because he loves his country. He served in Iraq during the very scary times. Greg, I am humbled to be your mother. Thank you for your service to this country. I wish I would have told Boyd Bronson, Gladys Bronson, and Shirl Kemp more often how grateful I was for their patriotism and service. God bless all veterans."  ~Elaine.

"Thanks mom....we come from good stock."  ~Greg

I'm so grateful to have this kind of patriotism in my family...and that my boys can learn gratitude for and the price of liberty from their father.  What a special gift.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ethan!

My oldest kid is 7.  I'm not sure how that happened, but I'm sure glad he's around.  Happy birthday, Ethan. We love you. A lot.

7-year-old Favorites:

Food: Quesadillas
Treat: Rainbow Sherbet ice cream and snickerdoodles
Book: Dr. Suess
Movie: Harry Potter (all)
TV Shows: Johnny Test and Looney Tunes
School subject: Science
Place to go: 7 Peaks
Person to visit: Grandma and aunts and uncles
Halloween candy: lemonheads