Monday, February 29, 2016

Family Night Week 9: The 10 Commandments

Since we focused on Keeping the Commandments last week (as part of our Follow the Prophet theme), I decided it would be a good use of our Leap Day Family Night to talk about some of the commandments we are expected to keep.  We focused on the 10 Commandments found in Exodus, even though I know there are many others. 

Song:  How Gentle God's Commands

Scripture:  Doctrine & Covenants 21:4-5

Lesson:  We read Exodus 20: 3-17 and mentioned that Heavenly Father gave us those commandments to help us be happy.  We tried to explain most of them in terms a 2 1/2 year old can understand (but not the adultery one... she's not needing to know that term yet...). 

Activity:  We played a home-made board game!  It was set up a lot like CandyLand so that we could use the little CandyLand cards :).  And people.  Every so often there was a space that described you either keeping a commandment or breaking it (I used examples that would hopefully make sense or be meaningful to Lynnaea -- like for coveting, I said the person wanted a toy Corbin had so badly that he/she pushed him over and took it away).  If you kept it, you went forward to the next of that color.  If you had broken it, you moved back 5.

Treat:  It was supposed to be chocolate frosting with nutella glaze.  But Lynnaea didn't eat her lunch, so we skipped it this time.  We'll do it another time, I'm sure.  Jeremy is back on swing shift (my favorite shift!), so we are having to hold our Family Night during the day ;). 

So here's a picture of the board game -- and of Lynnaea with the board game (she wanted to play the game many times, so I think she liked it!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Family Night Week 8: Keep the Commandments

Once again, we were focusing on following the prophet.  One of his most recent Conference talks was about Keeping the Commandments.  I thought it was an amazing talk as I read over it, and very appropriate for our day.  I had hoped we would have the chance to make and fly a kite.  But that just didn't happen.  It would have been a great object lesson. But then again, I'm sure we'll cover this topic again in years ahead.  So maybe next time ;).

Follow the Prophet:  Keep the Commandments

Song:  "Keep the Commandments"

Scripture:  Doctrine & Covenants 21:4-5:  "Wherefore...thou shalt give heed unto all [the Prophet's] words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; For his word ye shall receive as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith."

Lesson:  we read a few excerpts from this talk.  

Activity:  We watched videos about listening to and obeying rules and guidelines for safety.  One video was about a boy who didn't listen to his parents' rule to always wear shoes (not flip flops) in the dessert (they lived somewhere with scorpions) and he ended up getting stung.  Unaware of what would happen, but fearing the worst, the parents and the boy thought he might die.  The other video talked about rock climbing and the guidelines for doing so safely (with a buddy, using anchors, etc).

Treat:  Was supposed to be chocolate pudding.  But Lynnaea didn't eat her dinner, so that didn't happen. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Family Night Week 7: Following the Prophet's Example

Our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, is known for how much time he spent visiting widows when he was a young Bishop many years ago.  So this week, I decided that we would follow his example.  We picked 3 sisters in our Ward (congregation) who are widows.  We made little cards with lots of hearts that said "We just want you to know you are loved!"  We took them to those ladies.  Two of them are in a nursing home, and the other is living on her own, but is beginning to show signs of Alzheimer's/dementia.  It is hard to imagine that it could be me one day...  Hard sometimes to remember that these women were once young and full of life.  I wanted Lynnaea to have an opportunity to learn something new about kindness and love -- and helping people know they aren't forgotten.

The downfall is that we planned this last-minute, and not a single one of them was there (even the two in the nursing home weren't in their room -- they are roommates).  So that was a total bummer.  But we left the cards for them, and perhaps we will have an opportunity to try again sometime. 

Because of the time crunch, we did most of family night in the car (other than the making of the cards, which we'd done earlier in the day, when Corbin was napping). 

Song:  Follow the Prophet

Scripture:  Doctrine and Covenants 21: 4-5

Lesson/Activity:  see above

Treat:  cinnamon rolls from Sunday breakfast

And here are a couple pictures...  It is way late, and I need to go to bed!  But I was already behind on posting this, so....
 My babies...  Here's some awesome news:  I haven't changed a poopie diaper for Lynnaea in 2 weeks!  She now asks to poopie on the potty every single time.  It's awesome.  She still doesn't pee on the potty.  But poopies are nastier anyway.  We'll keep working on the peeing.  I'm proud of her. 

Of course, now she does things like run into the friendship room at the funeral home during scrapbooking event and ask loudly if Grandma is going poopie on the potty when she can't find her grandma in her office.  Hahahaha.  I told that to my mom today and my mom laughed so hard.  For the record, Grandma had been upstairs helping a family.  Not going poopie on the potty.  Haha.  This girl.
 And here I am with a clean Corbin-roo! 
 And this was Monday.  I don't usually lock them out of the kitchen, but Monday I was trying to accomplish a lot, and for some reason all four of us kept ending up in the kitchen.  It was a little stressful.  So we put up a gate temporarily.  These babies...  How I love them.  They just like to be wherever Mommy is.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Field Trippin'

So I joined a Moms group here.  It was mostly a way for me to have "access" to extra activities for Lynnaea.  I've gone to a couple of play dates, but mostly have just done Toddler Time. 

However, this month, they had a field trip that sounded like fun!  So I decided we'd do it, since we didn't have anything else planned for the morning.  So we drove to the foot ferry and boarded it.  Rode it back to where we live (ha! -- but hey, Lynnaea loves riding boats, and that was part of the adventure!) and went to the Naval Museum and then to a place called Fritz's for french fries.  All walking.  Then we rode the ferry back to the van and drove home.  Corbin was awesome all day (except for the diaper change at the museum).  Lynnaea had a blast.  So here are a couple pictures from the day.

These were taken at the museum.  They had a fun little kid room that had a galley-like toy kitchen.  Complete with a deep fat fryer.  Haha.  Apparently they eat a lot of fried food while underway.
 Here's Lynnaea playing with the fake food in the galley.

 And Corbin doing what Corbin's do best...  Chewing on stuff.
 This was actually at the beginning of the day before we caught the foot ferry.  It was a drizzly yuck day.  But that didn't stop us from having fun!
 Here we are on-board the ferry, though you'd never know it ;).
It was fun, though.  I'd never taken the foot ferry, so it was as much an experience for me as it was for Lynnaea.  And Corbin -- well, he was just along for the ride ;).

Monday, February 8, 2016

Family Night Week 6: Temples

In keeping with our theme for the month, we talked about one of Pres. Monson's talks from the April 2015 General Conference.  We had a super-short family night tonight, because we were trying to get Jeremy to bed for a couple hours before having to go in to work.  He is having a hard time staying on a graveyard shift schedule this time around.  He slept all night last night, which meant he wasn't tired enough to sleep during the day.  Which means he is going in for work all night with only about 4.5 hours of day sleep today.  It'll be a rough night...  Only 2 more weeks of this, at least this time around.

The Blessings of Temples

Opening Song: "I Love to See the Temple"

Scripture:  Doctrine & Covenants 21:4-5:  "Wherefore...thou shalt give heed unto all [the Prophet's] words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; For his word ye shall receive as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith."

Lesson:  We read a couple excerpts from this talk by Pres. Monson. 

Activity:  We looked at some pictures of different Temples as well as a pop up book with Temples. 

Treat:  White chocolate popcorn.  Which wasn't as awesome as I'd hoped it would be (used margarine instead of butter and that was a mistake).  Plus Lynnaea didn't eat her dinner, so she didn't get any tonight.  I saved her some for tomorrow.  Sometimes it's hard to be a parent :(.  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Corbin: 8 Months

Dear Corbin,

When I really stop to realize it, 8 months is so big!  You are on your way to being a whole year old.  Can it really be so?!?  In so many ways it seems like only yesterday I was in the delivery room sure that you were never coming out.  Time is funny that way.

You have been a busy little bee this past month, Mr. Corbin-roo!  You are super-fast with the whole crawling thing (and sometimes you crack me up with the way you drop your head down and crawl as fast as you can).  There is nowhere you don't go in our home.  And now you are pulling up on stuff and walking while holding on.  You are even walking with stuff that moves (like empty cardboard boxes, which you much prefer to the walker we have that is actually designed for such things... go figure!).  You think you are quite the stuff with all your new abilities!  Often, while pushing your box and walking with it, you go cackling across the room.  I can think of no better way to describe the sound you make. 

Of course, with your new-found abilities, you've also started to learn that you get more bumps.  Just today you managed to pull a chair over on yourself at church and your sister's toy kitchen as well.  You're never a happy camper when that happens.  But I guess this is how we learn about life.  It's not all roses.  You're also learning about time out, speaking of "not all roses."  You are not allowed to touch the garbage can or any electrical cords or outlets.  Doing so earns you a stern "no, no!" and a trip to your crib for a couple minutes.  You generally hate the time out part.  And then, when it's over, we take you back to whatever no-no you did and show it to you and again say "no, no!"  You know what you do?  You smile really big.  Yeah.  I'm pretty sure you know...  You make the same face when we tell you no-no about pulling your sister's hair too.  You stinker.  You're a smart boy, Corbin.  We know you'll catch on.  Lynnaea did, and we went through the same process with her.

You love being involved in anything your sister is doing.  It drives her crazy.  It's like you know, too.  We will be building with her big mega-blocks, and we give some to you... But you know whatever we're building is way more interesting, so you try to push in.  Oh how hard it is for her to understand that you are a baby, and you're more adept at destroying the buildings than building them ;).  Sometimes I call you Godzilla Baby. 

Aside from the actual strapping you into your car seat, you do great in the car now.  I'm so very grateful for that, because those screaming days were awful. 

You're also doing so well at sleeping at night.  Every once in a while you cry and I come get you.  Usually this is because you've rolled onto your back and you are too close to the edge of the crib to roll over the only direction you know how.  So I roll you back on your tummy, and you go back to sleep.  But overall, you sleep great.  It's a beautiful thing! 

One of your favorite things to do is put stuff all the way in your mouth.  Naturally, we are vigilant in keeping items out of your reach that are actually small enough to swallow.  But your sister's giant fake money and the pieces to her pretend birthday cake are favorites for you to cram all the way in.  You have it down to an art, and I have to say it's really cute.  One day I took you to the car and was buckling you in and I looked up at you and noticed one of the cake pieces on your chest.  At first I thought, "Where did that come from!?!"  Then I realized you must have had it in your mouth all the way out of the house and down the stairs and into the car.  You silly boy. 

You have two teeth, and you would much rather feed yourself than be fed.  Alas, you must still get fed by mommy most things.  You love cheerios and, most recently, crackers.  Ritz crackers make you really, really happy.  When you are eating things like that, you also start "talking".  You say "yayaya."  It's the beginning of language development, little man.  One day will come when it will almost seem like you never were in these early stages.  I know that, because that's how it is with Lynnaea now.  So I'm enjoying hearing your little baby babbles :). 

And oh but you're my little mama's boy!  And you are a little dramatic.  Sometimes you lay flat on your stomach on the floor and put your face on your hands and cry.  This is usually when someone has taken something away from you that you cannot have (like paper and markers and crayons) or when you're really tired, and I walk by you without picking you up (even if you had been happy up until the point I walked by you). 

But oh how I love you, my little Roo.  I love watching you grow and develop.  I love hearing you laugh.  I love seeing your dimpled smile.  I love that you are a snuggly baby.  I love being your mama.  Some days are hard.  That's just life.  But I wouldn't trade them for anything.  I love you baby boy.  Always.  Happy 8 Months!

Love Always,


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Family Night Week 5: Being a Light and Example

It's a new month, so we have a new theme!

The truth is that lately I have felt the weight of responsibility that comes with being a parent.  There is much to impart to our children.  I have hopes that my sweet babies will grow up to be kind, wise, good, responsible.  I have hopes they will grow up to know their Heavenly Father and their Savior.  That they will strive to be like the Savior in their actions and words.  That they will make choices that will keep them safe in this world that is so fraught with dangers and evil.  As I pondered that last week, I felt strongly that the best thing I can teach them is to follow the Prophet.  Because we believe we have a Prophet on the Earth today.  We believe He receives revelation from Heavenly Father for the world.  And we believe there is safety in heeding his counsel (since it comes from our Heavenly Father).  And so...  I chose to focus on the theme of Follow the Prophet for the month of February.  And for each week, we will focus on the most recent Conference talks given by our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson.

Be a Light and an Example

Opening Song: "Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words"

Scripture:  Doctrine & Covenants 21:4-5:  "Wherefore...thou shalt give heed unto all [the Prophet's] words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; For his word ye shall receive as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith."

Lesson:  We read several excerpts from Pres. Monson's talk entitled Be an Example and a Light. We focused particularly on the sections containing the attributes of a believer according to the Apostle Paul.

Activity:  We went into our bathroom (which is windowless and therefore very dark).  We had a cupcake with a candle in it (Lynnaea and I had made the cupcakes earlier for our treat :)).  We asked Lynnaea if she could see anything in the dark. She said it was very dark.  We lit the candle.  Through the light of that one candle, she could see the entire bathroom, even around the corner where not much light reached, she could still see enough to see her daddy and Corbin when they went over there.  We talked about how, even though we are each only one person, we can be a light in darkness through our actions and our words.  We can make a difference and spread our "light," just like the candle.

Treat.  And then we put a little frosting on our cupcakes and ate them :).  Lynnaea loved that part (of course ;)).  Here she is posing with what was left of her cupcake (which she called a muffin) and mine -- which I lit just for the picture ;).

And just because this is too precious not to share...  This was this morning.  She wanted to go out on the back porch.  Well, it's cold outside and she is just now getting over a nasty upper respiratory bug (and Corbin is right in the miserable middle of it :/...).  So we told her she couldn't go outside unless she had shoes and socks on, and a coat.

She said she wanted to wear "tippy toes."  Apparently this is what she calls high heels!  How stinkin' cute is that!?!  So, how could I say no?  I made her put on socks with her tippy toes to keep her feet warmer.  Oh sweet Lynnaea.  How I love her.  (Yes, they are also on the wrong feet...).

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

'Real ID' and Me

So I'm needing a mental distraction.  So I'm going to climb up on my soapbox and go...

A couple weeks back, while sitting in book club, someone off-handedly remarked that we could no longer fly with a regular (unenhanced) Washington State driver's license.  To say this was a revelation to me is an understatement. 

So apparently, because we don't require proof of citizenship in this state in order to get a driver's license, our regular licenses were no longer acceptable forms of identification under the "Real ID" whatever. 


Okay, first off, I will add that I have since researched this, and the deadline has been extended to 2018, so it's not a current issue.  But regardless.  It was going to happen.  And I knew nothing about it.  And even if I had known...  I have an issue with it.

People at the book club were saying, "It's not a big deal to get the enhanced license.  Just $15 more.  Not the point, people.  The point is I have an ID that tells you who I am.  I should be allowed to use it to travel.  Regardless of my citizenship. 

And don't give me some line about homeland security.  Because let me tell you this:  if a person is legally allowed to change their gender on their driver's license, their passport, and their birth certificate, I think we've already crossed the line of not caring about security.  (Did you know this is something that can be done?  I didn't until recently.  I find it disturbing.  Regardless of what gender one identifies with, the reality is we are born with a gender.  It is written into our DNA.  It is part of our scientifically established and undeniable identity.  Is it really acceptable that all official documents are able to be legally altered to reflect something that is not factual?).  But my official and legitimate driver's license, which has all accurate data (okay, maybe the weight is a little off, but it wasn't because I intentionally gave a wrong number... just that I have had two babies since they asked...) is not sufficiently acceptable ID for me to travel.  That's just asinine. 

And, quite frankly, I think this whole Real ID thing is less about citizenship and more about those RFID tags. 

And I think some things are just pretty messed up.  Period.

Well, that rant didn't last as long as I thought it would.