Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Letter to Thanksgiving

Dear Thanksgiving,

I know sometimes you get forgotten squished between the candy-gorging Halloween and the Christmas Machine, but I want to pay you my respects on this Thanksgiving Day.   I wonder sometimes it's good that you're forgotten.  I think if I put a light-up turkey on my front lawn it would  ruin the effect.  I like that you are a quiet holiday, one that causes me to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday:  Remembering the oh so many blessings I have.   

 I think of Thanksgiving as  Christmas' quiet brother, the one who doesn't get a lot of attention but it helps Christmas get the right kind of attention.  You see, as I give thanks for Him and remember Him, it helps me remember the true meaning of Christmas.

So I know you are much too mature to ever feel slighted, but I just had to let you know that I honor and celebrate Thanksgiving.  And I will try to celebrate it every day.

Your friend,

Brenda

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Will Not Do It Myself... I Will Not Do It Myself...I Will Not Do It Myself ...I Will Not Do it Myself...I will Not

My son had the job of cleaning the van on Monday.  I gave him instructions, supplies and let him go.  A little while later I went to check on the cleaning cherub.  Yes, he had cleaned and in the process, he used up all the entire bottle of cleaner.  Which would explain why the windows were "cleaned".  I could not see out of them.  So I gave him an actual window cleaner and asked to him to redo the windows.  I can see relatively better.  ( Think of the dad driving the Studebaker in The Christmas Story").  Then it was time to vacuum.  He broke the shop vac.  I was able to fix it temporarily and I think a little duct tape will do the trick.   


Now when we get in the van, we are overcome with the smell of entire bottle of Lysol 4 in One.  Yet you know what?  The van is clean.  It does look better and my son took great pride in the fact that he cleaned it.  And that's what counts right?  Right?

Yes it is.  Next lesson:   "A little bit goes along a way"  but for now I'll praise him for a job well done.

"I'm going to stop punishing my children by saying, 'Never mind! I'll do it myself.' Erma Bombeck

As a mom, I want to be a good one.  I want to provide a good, comfortable home for my family.  However, that is not the only job I have as a mother.  Someday, eventually, we want our kids to leave and when they do we want them to be capable, functioning adults. 
There needs to be a balance.  I think our family's  balance got off and that's why there was some resentment and this mama was fed up.  My kids were expecting me -the mom- to do it all without exerting their own effort in maintaining the house.  Granted, I take blame for some of it in doing too much for them. 

The kids have always had expectations.  Make your bed; Clean your room;  Do your homework;  Help with dinner etc.  Yet despite these expectations things were not getting done.  They didn't feel that ownership or responsibility.

 I haven't read the book The Entitlement Trap by Linda and Richard Eyre, but I have read excerpts.  According to what I've read, the book proposes that  our children in this affluent society feel entitled (spoiled?) to receive privileges without any effort on their part.

I put a new Reward system in place.  It's called the Minor Accountability Plan.  Basically it gives points each week for jobs done.   Those points are cashed for money.    This system is pretty similar to what I had before, yet there are also consequences if they do not earn a certain amount of points.  They lose privileges.  Privileges that hurt.  (The older ones lose their privilege of having a phone)

As a mom, I love my children, yet sometimes as the legendary Erma Bombeck says we are punishing our kids when we do it all.  We are not letting them grow into normal, functioning human beings that contribute to our society , not to mention a much happier mom and home now.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Child's Eyes

I wrote this poem years ago, yet lately I've been thinking a lot about it. 

We are heroes in our child's eyes.  We can be frustrated with them, and be less than perfect parents, yet they love us with such an unconditional love.  That love amazes me everyday. 

My Child's Eyes

Sometimes we imagine
A single moment in time
When we'll be the hero
With our own time to shine.

When the world will seem
To stand completely still,
And see you become whole
As your dreams are fulfilled.

Tho' the moment may not
Come by worldly acclaim
recognizable praise,
Nor with fortune and fame-

That moment of truth
I've come to realize
Is found everyday
In my own child's eyes.

Forget-Me-Not

President Utchdorf's talk was so inspiring. I was able to go to the Conference Center to hear the Relief Society session. The spirit was so strong.

I got this handout from Sugardoodle.net .  I plan to copy it, laminate it and put a magnet on it to give to my Visiting Teacher Sisters.  I am glad there are so many creative out there that we can tap into their resources,

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pleaz pas the Spel Chequr

It seems right after I publish something I see all mistakes. So that's why they have the edit button right? Wrong! At least not in my case. I can't seem to edit my posts, comment on them or anything. I 've googled, looked up stuff and can't figure why I can't. So, in the meantime, bear with my errors.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Minor Family Boot Camp

I have a confession to make. I know it's risky putting this on a blog especially with all my followers reading this...yikes. (Yes, all four including me) Anyway I'm putting it out there. This is my confession: I am a very imperfect mom. 
I give my kids chores. I encourage them to do their homework. I feed them. I teach them. Yet due to a result of lingering OCD (or CDO as I like to call it) I clean up after my kids and don't always follow up on the already established rules. Not all the time mind you, but enough that they know mom or dad will do it or let it go. Unfortunately the rope is becoming unraveled. ( See "Establishing a Christ - Centered Home" blog) So new rules have surfaced as well as re-established old ones.  It's being lovingly called "Minor Boot Camp" and I do say lovingly, because that's how it will be carried out; with love.
Now these rules will change next week depending on whether things improved. If not, the rules become stricter. 

Having A Christ Centered Home

I was just wondering what happened to October. I don't remember much of it. Anyway it's November folks and it's time for a new Virtue of the Month in the Minor household. And well, the roses haven't been blooming here lately so I've done some drastic measures. o November we will focus on Having a Christ Centered home. This is from a talk back in April Conference by Elder Richard J. Maynes.

I loved the story he shared from his grandson about roping. He said: Families can be like ropes. When only one person is working hard and doing what is right, the family will not be as strong as when everyone is putting forth the effort to help each other.

So we are going to make our rope stronger this month. How? Well we are doing Minor Boot Camp for starters. Minor boot camp consists of rules that we will enforce heavily and some added ones as well.

What I hope to accomplish from this besides some sanity, order...but Elder Maynes puts it beautifully. "When parents preside over the family in love and righteousness and teach their children the gospel of Jesus Christ by word and through example, and when children love and support their parents by learning and practicing the principles their parents teach, the result will be the establishment of a Christ-centered home"