My love for my Savior grows…

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“It will comfort us when we must wait in distress for the Savior’s promised relief that He knows, from experience, how to heal and help us. The Book of Mormon gives us the certain assurance of His power to comfort. And faith in that power will give us patience as we pray and work and wait for help. He could have known how to succor us simply by revelation, but He chose to learn by His own personal experience.”
President Henry B. Eyring

I love that part…”He chose to learn by His own personal experience.”  My respect and love and praise grows as I think of His love for me–how He chose to suffer through personal experience my daily troubles.  And how much He knows and understands what I am going through.

Parenting Tips: Positive Discipline, Part Six

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Whoo-hoo!  The last of the discipline tools!  See my last post here.

11.  Distract or Change Direction.  This one is fairly obvious and works especially well for little ones.  If your 18-month-old is getting into something that you don’t want him to get into, try distracting him with a different toy, song, or game.  Most likely, they will become engrossed in whatever it is that you are doing with them.  It also works well with older children.  Do you have two boys that wrestle all the time?  You can change their direction by asking one of them to come help you right as the mood swings from having fun to anger.  It is harder to stop the action, tell them to knock it off, and then ask one of them to come help you than it is to just grab one of them (usually the one on top of the wrestling match) and make up a job as you drag him away.  🙂

12.  Ask questions.  This is the one that I am working on the most at the moment.  Ask the child questions about how the feel the situation went (good or bad).  He will learn more as he does most of the talking because he has to do the thinking.  “What happened?”  “How does it make you feel?”  “How does the other child feel?”  He will feel like you have more respect for him than if you lecture.  And if you can question well, you can effectively walk him through your lecture without having to give it!   And everyone feels so much better!

13.  Role playing.  Children do not always know what to say when faced with a given situation.  Young children fighting over a doll may not know how to ask nicely.  So you model it for them.  “Rachel, say, May I please have a turn with the doll?”  Older children might not know how to respond in a situation where a friend wants them to cheat on a test.  Have them role play situations in a safe situation like Family Home Evening.  And using third person makes it “safe.”   “Susie and Jonny sat in desks across the aisle from each other during History.  During a test one day, Jonny, whispering, asked Susie to tell him the answer to question four.”   You could also role play with them right before they go to sleep as you tuck them in.

Rachel’s sweet and sour

img_1087-blogRachel’s sweet and sour tonight was:

“My sweet is that Daddy has to go to a meeting.
My sour is that my Mommy stayed home all day.”

Well, we both made it into Rachel’s sweet and sour today.  I laughed hard…and then the song that came into my mind was:

“I’m so glad that Daddy has to go
Glad as I can be…”

Happy Easter!

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Rachel’s thinking “What kind of a silly hat are you wearing?”

Highlights of our Easter:

  • Easter baskets–the bunny brought candy and scooters for each of the girls
  • Dinner with my parents, grandma, sister, and her kids
  • Finding out some interesting information from my grandma that I did not know before*
  • Church–listening to beautiful songs, lessons, talks, and testimonies of my Savior

*My grandma served a mission in the Western States mission before she married my grandpa.  I asked her how many sisters were in her mission at the time (assuming there probably weren’t many) and she surprised me by saying there were 10-12.  That was more than I had anticipated.  Then she surprised me again by saying there weren’t any elders.  WHAT!?!? I said.  She told me that the Church was not calling elders at the time–World War II was going on.  So the men were tied up with the war or the draft.  However, as she was transferring from Denver to New Mexico, the Church sent the first group of elders to their mission. For a while, all of the missionaries met together for dinners and meetings.  And part of that group was a handsome young man that would later become my grandfather.  They saw each other a few times before Grandpa left for Nebraska and Grandma left for New Mexico, but really met and became acquainted later at a mission reunion in Salt Lake.

Half vacation

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Scott and I live approximately six miles from both sets of parents.  It’s so convenient for many reasons–one of them being that when our siblings come to visit our parents, we get to see them as well!  This past week, both of my sisters were in town so it was a family reunion in a way.  My girls had a lot of fun going over most days to see their aunts and cousins (and of course, grandparents).  My grandma also came to visit.

Even though there are a lot of conveniences living close to my parents, one disadvantage is that all last week I felt like I was on a half vacation.  We spent most of the day over at my parents’ house, but then we would come home, eat dinner, sleep, breakfast, and then head back over.  The house still got messy, there was still meal prep and dish clean-up, I didn’t take as much time to clean as I usually would and the laundry still had to be done.  So spending all my days over at my parents’ house led to general messiness at my house  (which hopefully doesn’t happen if you are really out of town.)

Another disadvantage (which could be construed as an advantage depending on how you look at it) is that we don’t usually spend the nights there.  So we get left out of the adult conversation and sometimes games that happen after the kids go to bed and the kids get left out of spending the night at Grandma’s house.  However, this is also an advantage.  We get to sleep in our own beds (which are always superior to sleeping anywhere else because they are the ones we are used to), and my kids are with me in my own home.  So I know that they are safe and close.

I wouldn’t have it any other way really.  I feel blessed that we live so close and that my  kids get to develop relationships with their grandparents that I didn’t get to develop with mine.

My Katie

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My beautiful Katie is growing up so fast.  And she is turning out to be the sweetest little girl.  I feel like she is teaching me more than I am teaching her.  And it really is a joy to watch her grow up and learn.  I feel so blessed that I was chosen to be her mother.

My eighty-three year old grandma came this week and instead of being scared of her with her cane, Katie sidled up to her and chatted about things that were important to her.  She told her about learning to read with her grandma and knowing how to write some numbers.  And my grandma asked her to write down different numbers.  So Katie did.  And Grandma was pleased.  And Katie was even more pleased.

Almost the whole time we have been there, she has been conscious of my grandma and making sure she feels part of the group.   It melted mine and my mom’s heart to see how kind she was to my grandma.  (It’s not hard to be kind to my grandma–she really is a sweet lady–but I know it is sometimes difficult for little ones to understand great grandmas).

Katie also loves to watch out for children smaller than she is.  Whenever we are playing with a group of kids, she will come to one of us moms and tell us that the baby is getting into something.  Or the two year old bonked her head.  And she is always right there to tell whoever is in distress, “Don’t worry, we will go find your mommy!”   My sister has been here with her two children, and Katie has been just as watchful over both of them (especially the littlest one).

I love these little insights into her personality.  I am so proud of the little lady that she is becoming.  I hope to have many more moments that I can see how great her spirit is.  I know she was saved for this time and that she has a special mission to accomplish while she is here.

Provident Living: Frugal tip

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Use 10% less of something to make it stretch.  Shampoo, lotion, ingredients in a recipe (if it won’t affect the final outcome), stay in the shower 10% less of the time you usually would, eat 10% less, etc.  If you use, eat, do just a little less of something, it will help you be more frugal.

Parenting Tips: Positive Discipline, Part Five

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See my last post here.

8.  Natural Consequences.  This one is allowing the natural consequences of an action to take place.  For example, if a child doesn’t eat his breakfast, he gets hungry.  If an older child doesn’t study for a test, most likely, they will fail.  (I say most likely because I know that there are extremely bright children out there who don’t study and still get top grades aka my sister in law.)  This one works as soon as a child can conceptualize cause and effect (somewhere around age four).  In order for natural consequences to work, you have to allow the consequences to take place.  Many times, we as parents want to bail out our children.  But a little consequence learned young are much easier learned than big consequences later.

9.  Logical Consequences.  The parent imposes external consequences as a result of the behavior of the child.  Two rules:  the consequence has to be related to the incident (if you don’t eat dinner, you don’t get dessert is related.  No eating dinner, no TV is not related)  and the consequence has to be respectful to both the parent and child.  (For example if your child is yelling mean things at all the neighbors, they have to stay inside.  But if you make them stay inside for two weeks, that is too long– it longer relates to the misbehavior.  And then it isn’t respectful to the parent because then the child is underfoot all day long complaining about not being able to go outside.)

10.  Time Outs.  These are not the kind of time outs where they have to sit on a chair in the corner.  These are happy time outs.  It is a time for the child to disengage from any activity that is making him upset, angry, frustrated.  They are used to allow the child to cool down so that you can teach him.  These time outs can include time alone in a bedroom, hugging and rocking for younger children, listening to music, reading.  After the time out, create an environment of love in order to teach him–but it CANNOT be a lecture.  As they get older, give the child a specific time to get back together so that you can discuss the incident.  If your child is throwing an anger tantrum while in their bedroom for time out (which can include throwing things), make sure you anger proof their bedroom.  When they are calm, teach them anger management tools–teach them that anger is a choice.  And don’t make their time outs in a location where they are the subject of other’s ridicule.  Allow them to cool down alone.

Gaining of a testimony

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One of my favorite talks from the October 2007 General Conference was by Elder Douglas L. Callister of the Seventy:

“If you want to know that you know that you know, a price must be paid.  And you alone must pay that price.  There are proxies for ordinances, but none for the aquisition of a testimony.”

This is one of the most beautiful parts of the gospel to me.  To gain the knowledge that God is our Heavenly Father and Jesus is His Son and that this church was established the way it was when Christ was on the earth with Priesthood authority and to learn it for ourselves–there is no better gift.

Provident Living: Budgeting, part 4

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As a sum up to my posts about budgeting (see the last post here), I’m including two tips I have heard lately about budgeting.  One was a comment on my last post from my cousin Shanna:

I will tell you what has worked for us- fewer categories and using cash. I hate checking the budget very often, and I don’t keep up with it. Before that meant that we would go over, just like you said. So we have a new system- we have only 3 categories in our budget: Bills, savings, spending. We figured out all the categories, etc. one time, then grouped them into one of those categories. Every paycheck, I pay any bills that come in, I put the designated amount in the savings acct, then we take our designated spending amount out in cash. Once I have the cash, I don’t worry about what category it is in- it is just our spending money for 2 weeks. I will sometimes save some out if I know a holiday or some big expense is coming up, but mostly we just have that amount to spend. We get new cash every 2 weeks. It is so simple and easy, and we have cut our spending way back.

I hope all that made sense!

I do sometimes tend to make things slightly more complicated than they have to be.  So if you have trouble even starting a budget, simplify!  Take baby steps!  Just do something!  Do whatever works for you.  So thanks, Shanna, for simplifying the whole budgeting process.

And the other tip I heard was from my friend, Mrs. Mordecai.  I heard her talking once about being frugal and the one thing she said that really stuck with me was that even if you can great a great deal on something, it’s still money spent.  So if you don’t go anywhere (and I would add don’t shop on the internet as well), then you don’t buy anything.  Pretty simple as well.