Thursday, June 27, 2013

I'm not taking advice from some girl from Long Island!!

I don't pretend to know anything about anything.

There's only a few things that, in my mind, I know for sure.  Like the Book of Mormon is the word of God and don't try potty training until your kid is good and ready.  Stuff like that.

Some people do things differently than me and that's ok.  But sometimes when I see or hear of people doing things differently from me, I wonder if maybe they are doing it better than me.  Should I be doing my stuff like they are?  I don't know.

There's an article in this month's Ensign about a family with three young children who gave up sports and dance and other activities for a year so they could spend more time together as a family.  They felt they had great success with this endeavor.

As I read this article, my heart sank to my shoes and tears flowed free.  Why did I feel this way?  Because I don't want to give up my kids' activities in order to have a closer, more successful family.  And as I was reading, I was feeling like the way that this family is building a strong family is the only way to do it.  And I am already struggling with how busy our activities keep our family.  I don't like being as busy as I am.  Even if each kid does one activity, I still have at least 6 activities going on all the time.  And I don't consider music an optional activity so with our 5 sports, we have 4 musics.  And they have scouts and Young Women, which is also not optional.  And there's doctors appointments and haircuts and birthday parties and all the other stuff that kids do.

This summer I want to go to Cedar Point as a family.   I went over the calendar to see when we could go. There was one day.  Just one day when nothing was scheduled when we could all go.

I try to look for things to cut out.  But honest to gosh, there isn't anything unless we stopped the sports they love and I let them stop music and we quit scouts.  And I don't think this would be the best thing for us.

The mom in the article says the inspiration she had to stop activities led to her “proudest moments as a mother.”  I can tell you some of my proudest moments as a mother.  Cheering for Emily at her swim meets.  Watching her play in the PCEP Symphony Orchestra.  Watching her induction into NHS.  Seeing CV snap the football in his first high school game.  Watching Calvin play the trumpet in the jazz band.  Seeing Spencer hit a double at baseball.  Watching Cameron sing in his school play.  There are other moments too.  Emily putting the girls to bed and painting their nails first and being so sweet to them.  Christopher and Calvin watching a game together and being nice to each other.  Spencer and Cameron riding bikes in the yard and having fun being together.  Seeing pictures of Emily and CV pulling handcarts at Trek.  

I'm realizing that our family is super busy and super scheduled but we made the most of our home time also doing the things that the Proclamation on the family suggests.  “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."  

We have taught our kids all of these important principles.  It's not always in a teaching setting like FHE.  Usually it's on the fly like Mom can't find the remote so lets say a prayer or Mom says something dumb to dad and he forgives her for being an idiot or someone is having a hard day and we all take compassion on them and help them or the garage needs cleaning out so we work together to get it done.

As I write this post, I am feeling incredibly good about my family and the children I am raising.  We are not perfect.  We are mostly imperfect.  And I mess up a ton.  But we are trying to do a good job and we love each other and my kids are respectful and talented and fun.  

So I don't profess to know much.  Especially about how you should do things.  You should do them how it's best for you.  And I'm going to keep on going the way I'm going.  And we'll be better if we just love each other and smile and wave on our journey knowing that all our paths aren't the same but they are what's best for us.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

If my parents had a mantel, I might be a completely different person.

When you were a kid, did you have a list of weird stuff that you thought were things rich people had?

I did.

I grew up in a lower middle class family.  Emphasis on the lower.  We never really wanted for anything.  Just didn't have many extravagant extras.  I had friends with money.  And after being in their homes and riding in their cars, I made a mental list of things that indicated you had arrived.

A double sink in the kitchen.  I don't know why this seemed rich to me.  But it did.

An attached garage.  I just loved attached garages.

Plastic tube hangers.  Ours were all the wire dry cleaner kind.

Separate pool towels from your everyday towels.  I never had a pool towel until I was 13 and my mom bought us all one for our trip to Florida.  I took our dumb peach and brown bath towels when I went swimming anywhere.  And our towels weren't the big ones.  They were the smaller, barely cover your butt ones.  I hated them.  I loved the beach towel from my mom so much I still have it.  It's raggedy and threadbare and Chris tries to throw it out every time he organizes my underwear drawer.  Yes to both your questions, I keep it in my underwear drawer and yes, he organizes it.

A car with cloth seats.  We had a Chevette for most of my childhood that had vinyl seats.  You stuck to it in the heat of summer.  We got a new Chevette when I was 12 with cloth seats.  I thought I was really living.  In addition to car accessories, power locks and windows.  Funny thing is, my current car has vinyl seats and roll windows and manual locks.

A fireplace with a mantel.  Love a mantel.

Carpet.  We had hard wood floors.  Carpet seemed so extravagant to me.

Funny the things we think indicate wealth.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It's not a top, it's a bra.

Last week Calvin had a band concert and he and his fellow musicians did a really excellent job.  The weather was very hot for the evening of the concert and since Central has no air condition, the teacher told the students they could dress down for the event.  Shorts, skirts and casual shirts were permissible.  They were still supposed to follow the dress code of school.

They didn't.

I saw more bra straps that night than I do browsing through Victoria's Secret.  Why is it acceptable for young girls (or any female) to expose bra straps like they are part of the outfit?  It's ugly and dumb.

The skirts were so short even though they were directed that "when a relaxed arm is hanging by one's side, the fingers MUST touch fabric."  There was one skirt that was so short, I was sure I was going to see the girl's underwear.  Don't parents look at their kids when they get in the car?

And so I am lamenting the lack of modesty in the dress of youth today. 

I'm so tired of picking up my kids from school and seeing bra straps, spaghetti straps, short shorts and skirts,  incredibly tight pants and tops and yoga pants.  And I am sad. Sad that no one is teaching girls that this isn't good for them.  It's sending the wrong message.  

Boys have biological responses to these clothes that they cannot control without a great deal of effort.  Especially young teenage boys.  My poor boys know they are supposed to only have clean thoughts.  So they start out the day with clean thoughts.  But then they get to school and see bra straps.  Their minds wander to bras and boobs and they have to try so hard to bring their minds back to clean thoughts.  Luckily I have good boys who do this.  What about the boys who don't?  Their minds are going from bras to boobs to all over the place.  No wonder my daughter laments that boys are pigs and gross and treat girls badly.  How can they be nice and respectful to girls when girls are advertising themselves in such a demeaning manner?  

If there are any girls out there who want to date my sons, I am saying right now that you will not go with my boys in immodest clothes.  I'm not going to have it.  I'm sorry if it's harsh or mean but I'm protecting my boys.  And that includes prom dresses.  

I don't even want to get started on yoga pants.  Let me just say that I wore yoga pants in high school.  I wore them under my skirt and they were called TIGHTS.  Wear yoga pants if you are doing yoga or exercising.  But that's it!

There's a dress code at school but it's not enforced.  Emily and Christopher say nothing happens to the kids who violate it.  So really nothing will change.  I'm not going to get all Felice Martin on everyone but I'm going to complain about it here to my one reader.  Anna, I hope you enjoyed this and got my Felice Martin reference.  ;)

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