Thursday, January 19, 2017

An Aha! Moment

For Christmas I got a book about my t.v. friends Chip and Joanna Gaines (pictured above). While I was reading it, I had an Aha! moment.  Joanna shared an experience that helped me see a way that I could do better at getting my children to work with me.  I already was hoping to "dare greatly" and ask them to help more -- but I have had that goal many times, and failed because there was the chance they might frown at me or complain, and I wanted to avoid that more than I wanted help -- though I might have gotten a little grumpy when I was cleaning up their messes!

Joanna told a story about a time when she was exhausted from cleaning her house all morning and she was lying on the couch getting frustrated at all of the things that were already messy again.  Then she heard her four kids laughing in the next room.  Suddenly she realized that she had been focusing on the wrong thing.  She had been focusing on making her house look perfect, instead of the children down the hall.  She determined that she would not clean during the day again -- at least not alone. She would clean with her children, or she would wait and do a quick cleanup after they were in bed.

Even though my kids aren't little like hers, and are often gone during the day, this struck me as a good way to think about things.  I decided that I would not do cleaning without my children either -- unless it was my stuff.

Within a day or two I woke up to a messy house and got the kids off to school.  As I walked around I kept grumpily thinking -- "I'll need to pick up those snow suits, do the dishes, put away all of the piano books, etc."  In the midst of my grumpy thoughts I remembered that I wasn't going to clean up other peoples messes so much anymore.  I all of a sudden enjoyed walking around with a smile on my face saying "I don't have to pick that up!  That's not mine!"  and I left it for when the kids got home.

Of course, this wasn't very successful because Kayli got home, couldn't take the mess, and she cleaned everyone's stuff up for them.  We'll have to work on that.  Somehow Joanna's story has helped  me to brave the possible frowns, and to discover, that sometimes helpful smiles show up instead.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Strive Valiantly to Dare Greatly

I am good at learning about things, and coming up with good plans, but actually carrying out my plans can be so much harder!  This year I want to spend less time learning about things by reading and studying and learn more by daring to do the things I have learned and planned.  To dare greatly, I have to make sure that I live in accordance with my values (which I always try to do -- but could improve on). Here are a few of the things I thought about in relation to Daring Greatly.

Dare to spend more time with my children.
Dare to ask questions instead of making assumptions..
Dare to invite people to do things with me.
Dare to do things for others.
Dare to speak up in defense of others.
Dare to share the gospel.
Dare to share my talents.
Dare to make mistakes without being defeated.
Dare to let go of fear and trust God
Dare to find value in my efforts, no matter how small.
Dare to confront the “shoulds” that come to mind, and decide if they are important to me.
Dare to ask God how I can help, and listen for and act on the answer.
Dare to think that others will enjoy hearing from me.

Strive Valiantly to Dare Greatly, and let my failures go.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Brave -- Dan's One Word Goal

One night I was sitting on my bed looking at a website that had ideas for one word goals.  I was trying to come up with something I liked better than my idea of "do" -- which just doesn't sound motivating enough to me. Jake came in and looked with me for a while, and then Dan came.  Dan wanted to pick a goal, and he wanted me to write about it.

It didn't take him too long to choose the word BRAVE.  He said that he is okay with talking in front of big groups (he participates in pack night, shares his testimony some Sundays, and is willing to talk in Primary). He said that the problem comes when he is in small groups.  He is afraid that the people he's talking to won't like him, or his ideas, and so he tries to hide behind someone so he doesn't have to talk. We talked more about this on Sunday and he said he's had people tell him "that wasn't very good". So we talked about what he could say when someone criticizes what he says and does.

Dan seems very brave to me in a lot of ways, but I think we all need courage in situations where we feel vulnerable, and uncomfortable.  I hope my brave Dan feels like his bravery has increased by the end of the year!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Daring Greatly

Daring Greatly is a book I like by Brene' Brown.  She quotes a speech by Theodore Roosevelt that I found inspiring.  The speech is sometimes called "The Man in the Arena" and the quote is below:
Related image"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; 
but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly......"  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Christmas Projects

"Gingerbread Men" (Made out of cereal boxes).  Can you find Elvis?
Trisa worked long and hard on these.  She made all of the Berenstein Bears and
 really fun abominable snowmen.

Don't miss the Abominable Gingerbread Man!
You can find Papa Bear, and Mama Bear too.

Turning a bent old tomato cage into....

A pretty tree!

Dan and his ginger bread house.
Connor and Amanda made a great one too, but theirs got taken off to be a gift.

A Happy Christmas

This year Trisa and Travis celebrated Christmas in Monticello with his family first.  From all reports, it sounded like a happy Christmas there, and we enjoyed "Second Christmas" here when they came the day after Christmas.

The rest of our family woke up Christmas morning to 9 inches of snow -- and it was still snowing.  It was very beautiful.  After present opening and food, some of us went out to shovel and enjoyed visiting with some neighbors while we all tried to dig a way out of our driveways.  We managed to get up the hill to the snowy parking lot of our church by eleven.  I enjoyed playing my flute in a two flute, one viola, one piano number.  We did one version of Silent Night before church, and one during church.

Later Derek's sister Erin and her family came for their traditional Christmas visit, which we love, before we all headed over to Derek's parent's house for Christmas dinner.  Christmas was a really nice day.  I like having Christmas on Sunday.  It gives us a chance to sit quietly and remember what Christmas is really about -- if we can stay awake.  I think Dan slept through the entire meeting!
The America themed Christmas Eve

Kayli, Dan, Jake, and Derek on Christmas Eve

Jake and Tia with Kayli in the background.  Jake and Tia had just had a leg wrestle.  I think Jake won.  He is very strong.

Tia and Jake were doing an awesome trick, but Jake dove away from Tia a little faster than my camera could take a picture.

Kayli and Connor -- the only ones waiting for the 7 a.m. race up the stairs.

Yeah, I can't remember who won.  Probably they will both claim that honor..

Dan the man.

It's my new shirt!  I like the show Fixer Upper -- and so Derek got me a shirt.
My kids laugh about the idea of me breaking stuff.
I don't think they know how big my muscles are :-)

Trisa and Travis had Dan's name for the gift exchange -- and so he got to open a present the day after Christmas!  He loves his new dog.


Trisa and Tia
We are thankful for our happy Christmas.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

More Kayli Birthday Pictures!

I missed some good ones!
The fitbit that now has her marching around the house at odd times trying to meet step goals.

I thought this shirt was pretty perfect for my Kayli.

That is a little calendar.  She got a nice wall calendar too.

Ah -- I love this girl.

Isn't she just precious?  Yes.  Yes she is.

Birthday in a Christmas house with two great smiles.

This just made me laugh.  From two smiles to two interesting looks!

Happy birthday to Kayli again.  After all, we know that Uncle Jeff wishes her happy birthday every time he sees her -- so her birthday isn't limited to just one day.