Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Teaching Moments

During the Thanksgiving month I tried extra hard to concentrate each day on what I was thankful for. Sometimes it was hard and other times not as hard. What I realized was, even on a bad day there are things to be learned from the experiences in that day. At very least I can be thankful for learning experiences and for chances to teach my children.
Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to teach Kailey about treating others with kindness even when we don't want to, about right and wrong, and about repentance and forgiveness.
It started with me having a chance to get on and order some of the presents I wanted for Todd. It took longer then I thought and Kailey and Cope started getting antsy as they are prone to do whenever I get on a computer or on the phone. Soon they were fighting. Although I randomly broke it up, I am ashamed to say I wasn't paying close attention. I was almost done and wanted to quickly finish so I could get completely off the computer. Kailey came in and informed me that Cope was in my room. (The kids aren't allowed in our room without prior permission.) I told her I would be right there. About five minutes later as I was closing down the last window from my last purchase, I heard a door slam and a knob rattle. Cope started crying and Kailey came running into the room. To say I was not thrilled with the next words out of her mouth would be an understatement.
"Mom, Cope is locked in the closet!"
We changed out the door knobs on our closet and replaced it with a heavy duty locking knob to store things we didn't want the kids getting into. Unfortunately at some point the key had been removed and I have no idea where it is so I just keep it unlocked.
"How did that happen?"
She immediately lowered her head in shame and wouldn't look at me. Slowly I pulled the story from her.
She got frustrated with how Cope was acting. Apparently he had knocked down her block tower, and erased her drawing on her magnetic doodle board. So when he went in my room she thought that she might be able to get him in trouble and came running to me. When that didn't work she got mad, locked the closet door, and slammed it in his face.
To make a long story short Cope was in there for quite some time before I finally just decided to take off the door and had my sister-in-law come help me remove the hinge pins and remove the door.
Once he was out I sat down with Kailey and we discussed how being locked in the closet must have made him feel, and what would have happened had I been unable to get him out. We talked about positive ways to deal with frustration and what she should have done instead of slamming a locked door. After we got done with that discussion, Kailey looked at me with her read, puffy, tear covered face and said, "How do I fix it Mom?"
So then I got the wonderful opportunity to teach my child about repentance and the power of forgiveness. She knew she had done something wrong, and she acknowledged that. She obviously felt bad about it, but she didn't know what came next. I explained that just knowing you have done something wrong and feeling bad for it, isn't enough. You must never do it again. She agreed that nothing like this would ever happen again. We talked about confessing and how usually she needed to let the person, in this case Cope, who had been hurt know that she knew she had done something wrong, that she was sorry, and that it would never happen again. She interjected that maybe she should tell Jesus that too. I agreed that was a good idea.
After that was finished she asked if she had been forgiven yet and what exactly forgiveness was, so we talked about making restitution. She decided that in order to make up for it, she would be extra nice to Cope the rest of the day and would help me extra since I lost time trying to get Cope out. Then we talked about forgiveness and how I love her and the Lord loves her no matter what and will forgive her anytime she has done the necessary things to make sure she has repented. So to prove that I meant that, other then telling Todd when he got home, I didn't bring the incident up again. She helped me do dishes, cleaned her room and was extra nice to Cope. She even gave him the last cookie rather then breaking it into two like I said she could.
I am so grateful for the saving principle of repentance in my life. I'm grateful that I got such a wonderful opportunity to teach my child this principle in a way she could understand. I'm grateful for forgiveness and new beginnings and I'm grateful that I have the chance to share those with my children.
So yes, it wasn't fun hearing my son cry in a locked closet and frantically trying to get him out. It wasn't fun pushing my fingers under the door so that he could hold them to help calm him down, but without it such a wonderful learning experience never would have occured. I'm grateful for learning experiences. Now, I just need to find the key so it never happens again. :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Night Time Chart

Just recently on pinterest I found a checklist for night time. I decided to make one to fit our family. If the night is rushed we start at "Put on Pajamas" instead of at the beginning, but the goal is to do everything on the checklist each night so that the rooms, teeth, and children are clean each morning. When they start school full time I will probably add "Lay out clothes" and possibly "Make Lunch." This helps reduce morning time rush, and makes going to bed so much easier. It eliminates their excuse for prolonging the process. Once it is crossed off, it is done. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


My search for a healthy lifestyle has lead me to exercise. I'm having difficulty with it, as I assume most parents with children do. I have a hard time wanting to spend more then a half hour doing anything because after that point (well actually about fifteen minutes) Kaile and Cope start to get antsy and "bored" so they will start talking, screaming, and singing loudly; non-stop to the point they can no longer be ignored. I know they have figured this out and that is why they do it, but it is hard to ignore. That means that I have about that long for exercise and that is it. Most work-outs take at least an hour. After checking out pinterest I found several routines that had lists of exercises to do. The ones that start with jumping jacks and have about 20 different exercises on them. The whole routine takes over an hour. I realized though that I don't have to do them all at the same time. 50 jumping jacks don't take long and if I took one of those lists and addapted it to me, then I could do the whole list throughout the day and get in more exercise then I am now. In the long run I will need to up the amount I do slightly in order to compensate for the fact that I'm not doing them all together, but for now it is a start.

Here is my list. I'll edit, add to, and rearrange as I go along.

1. Ride Bike (I go around our block twice and then up to the mail box and back before my kids wake up in the morning) 15 min.
2. Jumping jacks 50
3. Russian Twists 50
4. 10 standing push-ups (Will do these against the counter between doing dishes and hitting the next chore.)
5. 40 crunches
6. 20 lunges (Do this while cleaning. I walk from one room to the next cleaning. Now I'll just lunge.)
7. 5 minute wall sit (Can do this while folding laundry.)

I'll try it today and see how it goes! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Home Made Modgepodge and Etc.

Today I decided I wanted to be crafty. I had a project I'd been putting on hold due to not having any modgepodge. I found a recipe on pinterest for modgepodge, so I thought I'd give it a try.
The project . . . Name plate coasters. I am tired of having to run an extra batch of dishes because each of us used at least five cups during the day. Instead each coaster will have a name on it. Once someone has used a cup it will be put on their coaster. If it is on a coaster it doesn't get washed until the end of the day, and then I always know exactly which cup is mine, Todd's, or Kailey's.
The instructions are simple.
1) Buy some cheep coasters. We got ours from Walmart. You can find them at the dollar store, or any other store, or you can go and get small tiles. Be as creative as you want.
2) Make or buy some modgepodge. I keep leaving town without modgepodge so I made mine.
         There are two different kinds of home-made variations that I've found on pinterest.
        1) *Elmers glue
            * Water
        Take a jar and put one cup elmers glue and one cup water. Shake until it is mixed well.
       2) *1 1/2 Cups flour
           * 1/4 Cup sugar
           * 1 tsp oil (any kind)
           * 1 1/4 Cups water
        Slowly mix all the ingredients over low heat. Don't let boil. If it is too thick add water or oil. The thicker it is the more texture it will have. If you don't want texture add more water or oil.

I made the second one, and made it thick. I added more water/oil and make it thinner as I left the lid off while I was making them, so by the last two it was thicker then I wanted.

Hint: If you don't want texture I'd go with the first variation as the second one, (at least when thick) doesn't dry completely clear.
Here is a picture of the final project. It isn't completely dry at this point, but close to it. When it dried completely the whole name tag was the same color. (A lighter shade of red then I intended do to the modgepodge, but it still looks cute and works.)

So far it has worked great. We still have the same three cups at lunch that we had at breakfast. Yeah!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Comfort and Airplane Rides

This past week the kids and I went to see my family. We flew to my sister's house in Spokane, Washington. I had an idea what flying would be like as both Cope and I were life flighted from San Juan Regional Hospital to Albuquerque, but I'd never been through the ticket or security process.

It was a mostly fun experience. The kids liked the plane, especially the turbulance. They thought it was like "a ride at Disneyland!"  How unlike everyone else that was. Others were annoyed and some even slightly sickened by the plane movement.

The only real hiccup we had was coming back. We got to the Spokane airport and proceeded to go through the security line. Cope has a comfort toy that he likes to sleep with and occasionally carry around. It is a little Simba lion that is wrapped in a blanket and purrs. He got it while we were going to constraint therapy for two weeks and were away from Daddy. He clung to it then and hasn't let it go since. It has been so well loved that the back stitch came undone and I used thick thread to stitch it back up in hopes it wouldn't come undone again. So when I went to put it in the bin, he was a little upset that I had to take it away, but he just whined and let it go.

We went through the metal detector without an issue, and I started to put everything back in the bag and put our shoes back on. The lion came through last. I saw the person running the machine get a confused/curious/disgruntled look on her face. She reached around and took the lion out of the bin and looked it over. Finding the handstitched seam across the back she turned to the lady standing in the back and said, "can we hold a stuffed animal? Is that even in the protocol?"

The lady in the back was taking round paper looking circles and swiping them on random items that came through and then she'd put the circles in a different machine, wait for a minute, take the round paper out and throw it away and then get another paper and start again. She said, "we can hold anything, but what could possibly be wrong with a stuffed animal?"

At first that is what I wanted to know, what in the world could they possibly find wrong with my sons lion!  They turned away and started whispering though, so I couldn't hear the response. I said, "Please don't take his lion, it's his comfort toy!"

After standing there for a little while, I realized that the problem was probably that the machine showed the purring thing inside it, meaning she saw there was something inside the lion and then directly where there was something inside, there was a handstitched section. I could see how that looked really bad.

I tried to explain that to the ladies, but they just asked me to please go stand by the elevator. They would let me know what was going on once they had investigated further. We waited for a good ten minutes more at least. The lady who was in the back with the round circles finally brought me back Cope's lion. She said it came up clean, so we were free to go. I was so relieved they gave it back to us. Bed time would have been interesting had they chose not to.   

I thought how like everyday life this is. Sometimes we get the thing that gives us the most comfort taken from us. Sometimes we succeed in getting back and other times we have to find something new to give us the comfort we need. Sometimes we hit turbulance and sometimes it's a smooth ride. No matter how my life is I hope I can be like my kids and love the ride especially when turbulance hits; especially when things change and are no longer comfortable.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Baby Books

I have been making my kids baby books. I decided for each child I would do a 0-12 month book, and then each year we also make a family book of pictures of all the important events we had that year. We didn't start that until 2010 though so I am missing four years, but that's alright. So I finished my kids birth to a year and it got me to thinking . . . if I adopt and we don't get a baby, how am I going to make that fair? I decided we would just document the first twelve months they are with us, and I'll include any pictures that I may get of childhood before they found us and we found them. Hopefully it works out okay and they are happy with whatever I can give them. I already love flipping through my books and I know they will be special to my kids. Kailey already loves looking at "baby Kailey and baby Cope." 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Issue

I never thought I would be one of those people. You know the ones, they get angry over and issue, and they push and push and push at it. Constantly bringing it up. Adding it to conversations even when the conversation didn't naturally go in that direction. I'm sure people wonder what the big deal is. Life works things out, they'll get to whatever it is. Now I guess I understand a little better. When it is your own child, or your own life they are leaving to "get to it," it is hard to just sit and wait. The only way anything will change with any rapidity is if someone goes and gives it a shove in the right direction. I now feel that way about pediatric medical advancements. I just got some of Cope's medical records. I have requested the rest and am just waiting for them to call. When I get them I'm going to set a timeline and fact sheet of 1) what the doctors and nurses told me, 2) what the records show they knew, but didn't tell me, 3) in hindsight what was most likely going on, and 4) if he would have been an adult instead of an infant what protocol and measures they would have taken and how that would have changed his outcome and prognosis. With that in mind I will show that medical treatment in the pediatric realm needs to catch up to the adult sector. I believe that if we were even a few years farther advanced in our pediatric medicine, that my son would not have brain damage or at least not have the amount he now lives with. I am grateful for the medicine we do have. I am grateful my son is alive, and I'm blessed to have such a special child. He has taught me so much, but I know this is a burden now and will continue to be one, and as a mother I would do anything if I could relieve that burden. I don't want other mother's to have to watch their children struggle with dailey activities that other kids find simple tasks, when it could have been avoided.
So, that is my "issue," well one of them anyway. Maybe sometime I'll let you know the rest but for right now, I'll post what I find as soon as I get his records so check back!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Becoming a perfect 98.6 degrees

I was thinking today about how we, as people, work. Our body temperatures are on average 98.6 degrees. Anything outside of our body that is lower then that is considered "cold" and anything that is higher then that is considered "hot." As long as our body can remain that temperature it is happy.
Our brain/character functions much the same. Our life as we percieve it is figuratively 98.6 degrees. Any person's life is compared next to ours. If it is not our 98.6 degrees then  it is considered "hot" or "cold," "good" or "bad." The people we tend to want to associate with and consider "good" are the ones that are the closest to our own figurative body temperature.
The problem is our life isn't really 98.6 degrees. Jesus Christ is the 98.6 degrees when it comes to a person's life or behaviors. That means that our life, and everyone else's measures "cold." Instead of worrying about what other people are doing and how "cold" they really are, we should simply be trying to "warm" ourselves up.
Christ associated with everyone, loved everyone, and understood that they were "cold," but that by being closer to him they were "warming up." In order to keep his "temperature" right he also associated with Heavenly Father who is "hot." The "hot" and "cold" together evened his life turning it into the 98.6 degrees that we all hope ours will be.
True happiness is a 98.6 degree life. Our life will fall short of a perfect 98.6 degrees. We will never achieve that, but we can try to get as close as possible. The only way we can do that is by knowing we are "cold" and by trying to make sure that we have more Christ (perfect)  and Heavenly Father (hot) in our lives then everything else. If we can get closer to them, then spending time with those who are "cold," (including being ourselves) won't affect our life, choices, and outcome nearly as much as it otherwise would have. The closer we get to becoming like our savior the happier we will be.