06 March 2011

March is here

March is here. (Hopefully Spring isn’t too far away either). So, last Sunday Isaac gave a talk in his primary class at church for the first time. Here is his talk (although Michael did shorten it a bit when he helped him say it, because it ended up being a little long – for a three year old).

“Heavenly Father’s plan is for us to come to earth to get a body and live with our families. We should learn about the gospel and Jesus and Heavenly Father. We can get baptized and go to the temple when we are old enough. When we die, we can return to Heavenly Father and Jesus. Jesus is happy when we return to live with him in Heaven, because he loves us.

I can follow Heavenly Father’s plan. I can read the scriptures with my mommy and daddy and learn about Jesus and Heavenly Father and the gospel. When I turn 8 I can get baptized and become a member of the church. I can say prayers with my family, and I can also say my prayers when I am alone. I can go to church to learn about the gospel. I like to go to church. When I am big, I can go to the temple. I will get married in the temple someday. And I can be nice to my family by sharing toys with my brothers. I love Jesus, and I want to live with him someday.

I’d like to bear my testimony. I love Heavenly Father. I love to see the prophet because he makes me feel good. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

He sat with me and talked about it, and I wrote down what we were talking about, so it’s always fun to see what each boy comes up with when they have a talk.

So, this week Michael and I have been spending some time getting my computer set up again. My computer crashed and a friend from church offered to fix it. He was able to save all of the files on the computer, so that’s good, but had to then wipe everything off and reboot the entire thing. So we’ve just been uploading and installing lots of programs and drivers. We’re down to just one or two things to install now before it’s back on track. I’m getting a little behind on posting photos to the blog, but hopefully once we get the computer running normally again I’ll find some time to do that.

On Tuesday morning Kolby was getting ready for school, but he was dawdling and he just barely missed his bus. Michael and I have been listening to some audio books of the “Parenting with Love and Logic” books that we really like, and we decided to take the suggestion from the book about what to do for kids that miss the bus: I sympathetically told Kolby that he would have to miss school (he loves school). I told him that on a normal school day Kolby wasn’t home in the daytime, so I had time to take care of his brothers and get things done, so he would need to spend that time in his room. He did come down for lunch, but stayed in his room the rest of the day until school was over, and he did a lot of reading that day. The next morning he started to dawdle again a little bit, and I informed him of what would happen that day if he missed the bus: he would stay home and spend the day in his room again. But I told him that I wasn’t staying home all day that day. (The book suggests that the child be responsible for paying a babysitter if they miss the bus and then the parent has to leave the house, but I knew that wouldn’t work because getting a babysitter during the school day would be pretty difficult). So, I informed Kolby instead that if he missed his bus again, that while we were home he could spend the time in his room, and while we were out of the house I would need to watch him when I usually didn’t have to during school time, so he would need to pay me $1 per hour for me to babysit him while we were out of the house. Fortunately, this hit home and he get ready for school quickly and got outside in plenty of time for his bus. Every day since then, when we get up in the morning Kolby has been ready for school – dressed, eaten breakfast, and with his backpack, coat, boots, etc. all sitting out waiting by the door. He informed Michael one morning that he liked to get all the important things ready first and then play, so he wouldn’t run out of time to get ready before school. Wow! Kids really can be responsible, if we just allow them to have some responsibility and to have the consequences for their own actions. We’re far from perfect at following all the Love and Logic ideas, but we really have been impressed by how quickly our boys respond to the techniques when we remember to use them. It’s made a pretty big difference in how we are able to allow them to have control over their own problems and how Michael and I are able to be much more calm with the kids when we do.

So, on Wednesday the boys had playgroup at the church. We’ve been having playgroup at the church gym every week lately, and the Pittsford ward has been there too so it’s nice to get to know some of the other moms too. And the boys have been having fun. This week one of the other girls gave us a good recipe for a roast, and I tried it out tonight and it was great! And very easy:

You just get a roast (we got pork), and put salt and pepper on it and brown all the sides on the stove top before putting it in a crock pot. Then you just add a ranch dressing seasoning packet, an Italian dressing seasoning packet, and a gravy seasoning packet, with water. (She didn’t say how much water, so I just filled it up until it almost covered the roast). Then I cooked it for 10 hours. It was excellent – very juicy and a nice flavor. We couldn’t fit a lot of vegetables in the crock pot since it was a large roast (we usually do carrots, potatoes, and onions whenever Michael makes his traditional Sunday dinner roast), so this time we broiled a big tray of butternut squash to go along with it. It was quite a good meal. Plus I love it when we do a roast, because we take out about half the meat and I mix it with BBQ sauce and set it aside for BBQ sandwiches for our dinner the following night.

So, Wednesday night Michael went over to the church to help with young mens, then on Thursday night there was a class at the church for the women about gardening. I was looking forward to learning a lot about planting seeds indoors in the spring and then transplanting them to the garden when it gets warm enough, but the class ended up being more general information, and a little more in depth than my current level of gardening (apparently she doesn’t buy seeds, she gets all of her seeds from her own plants that she is growing year-round in her back-yard green house and in her basement). The teacher did have an extensive knowledge of gardening, and offered to e-mail us a massive amount of gardening information, so I am looking forward to seeing what she sends.

On Friday after Kolby went to school the other boys and I decided to go grocery shopping and then check out one of the local thrift stores that closed for part of the winter and recently opened again. This motivated me to pull out the bins of kids’ clothes from the basement that afternoon and do my bi-annual sorting of the clothes for the seasons. Every Spring and Fall we pull out all the clothes and see what we have that fits each boy. With the boys being so close in size, they need to try on the clothes and see which boy fits in them best. This time it was a lot easier, because most of the boys could try on all the clothes by themselves, and Courtland just needed a little help getting things on. So, we spent a while having everyone try on shorts and t-shirts. Camden would try on a pair of shorts, and I’d say, “too big – let Eli try them on,” “too small, let Isaac try them on,” or “they look good.” So, I’ve now got my list of all the boys’ summer clothes, so if we find any good deals I’ll know what we are still in need of this year. The three middle boys are pretty set for shorts and shirts, Kolby needs a few more pairs of shorts, and Courtland only has 3 shirts and a few pairs of shorts (I guess most of the clothes just couldn’t make it through all 5 boys).

Oh, and Isaac has some pretty big news. He’s been doing great with potty training this weekend. When we were sorting through all the clothes Isaac saw some Elmo underwear, and he got pretty excited. So we got some underwear on him and since then he has only been wet once in the last 2 ½ days (we have been doing pull-ups while he’s sleeping and at church today, but he’s kept his pull-ups dry too all except once during naps). So, that’s a pretty big deal. We’ll just have to stay if he continues for good this time. (I’m pretty relaxed about potty training – after having a power struggle with Kolby for quite a while when he was potty training, I’ve decided that it’s much better to let the kids stay in diapers as long as it takes until they’re totally ready, rather than to force it and then be angry with them when I have to clean up messy underwear). But if this really is it, it would be a pretty major change for us. We’ve had 3 kids in diapers at two different times, and I can’t even remember the last time we only had 1 child in diapers. So, cross your fingers for us.     :)

So, yesterday morning we went over to the church for Kolby’s basketball practice that some of the parents started for the kids in grades 1 through 5. Kolby has no previous basketball experience, so he’s working on dribbling, but I’ve been impressed at how often he makes baskets when he shoots the ball. Michael came home from the first practice really excited, and said we should try to find a basketball hoop like the one that the coach has – it has a handle in the back that makes it easy to adjust the height of the hoop from the standard height down a few feet lower for smaller kids that are just learning. Kolby has been so, so excited about basketball the last couple weeks, so it’s been really fun for us to watch him.

So, yesterday morning when we showed up for the basketball practice we were surprised to find tables and chairs set up across the whole gym floor, and little white Christmas lights strung from high up on the walls back and forth across the entire room. The dad who is the coach had reserved the gym on Saturday mornings. And we knew that the other ward had had a party there the night before. It was a little strange that they hadn’t cleaned up after their party from the previous night, since everyone usually puts all the table and chairs away after things like that. But while the kids started to play, some of the parents started working on putting everything away, so we helped out folding all the chairs and putting the tables down, and they even got out some big ladders and took down the lights. It was a big job, but we got it all put away before the end of the kids’ practice. Then I noticed a young woman talking to one of the dads across the room, and she looked a little upset. It turns out she was getting married that night, and the church was all set up for the wedding. (Technically, she should have found out that the gym was already scheduled for basketball, and since weddings trump other church events the person who schedules the building would have cancelled the basketball practice, but apparently the wedding party didn’t realize they needed to check the building schedule for the entire day). So, anyways, we all got very busy setting everything back up. Kolby and some of the other kids were very helpful. The lights took a lot longer, especially since they were finicky and some kept going out or blowing fuses, but we finally got them all up and working. And the lights even looked better after we put them up than how they were originally (even the bride agreed with that), so that’s nice. I could tell she was stressed (especially since it was the bride, groom, and some younger bridesmaids there, and no parents – so they had to deal with everything themselves), but I thought she handled it very well – I definitely would have been crying from the stress if I’d been in her shoes. So, I’m glad it all turned out well in the end -- it just took a couple extra hours.

And today went well. I taught a genealogy class about census records, which went well. We had people working on the computers, and 3 of the 4 people found new information about their ancestors that they hadn’t found before, so I’d say that was a success. And Michael taught the young men a lesson too. He passed out hand-outs about several different gospel topics and had the boys review them in groups, then he had one boy from each group come up and act as if he was a missionary, teaching the topic to someone who was interested in the church (played by the different young men’s class teachers). He was a little disappointed because two of the older boys that he asked to go up and “teach” the gospel topics declined, and he had to choose other boys to do it. But he said that it turned out well with the ones who participated, and he was pleased with his lesson.

Yesterday it was rainy out and lots of the snow melted, but then today it snowed a lot again and Michael has been out two different times shoveling the snow from the driveway today. I’m ready for spring, but I’m afraid spring’s not quite ready to come yet around here. But it can’t be too much longer.

Oh yeah, and we’ve been working on scheduling Kolby’s baptism too. He’ll be baptized when he turns 8, so it’s still a ways off, but some of the relatives are looking to schedule their flights early, so we’re trying to get the date set now. We don’t have anything set in stone quite yet, but it’s going to be early November, so any family or friends are welcome to come, and we’ll let you know the exact date when we figure that out. Kolby’s so excited – he’s got a little Book of Mormon that he’s started carrying around most of the time and taking to bed with him at night. He’s been reading a lot, and earlier this week he was already to Mosiah chapter 22. What a cool kid!


Bonnie said...

I just wanted to mention that Annette & Kevin have read the Love and Logic books, and participated in a lecture series on it also. They have being using those principles for years now, and it really seems to work. Aunt Bonnie

Bonnie said...

I just wanted to mention that Annette and Kevin have read the Love & Logic books and even went to a lecture series on it a few years ago. They totally live by it in their family and it seems to really work out well. Aunt Bonnie