Friday, December 20, 2013

My kids

I LOVE my kids!!! I feel I am blessed with such good kids. Josh just turned 9 and I was all emotional this birthday, just because I've seen him grow up so much this last year.  He really is becoming a young man so quickly.

My kids aren't perfect though. But I'll take their imperfections. It's part of the package.

This morning I got an email from Josh's teacher. Here is what she said, and my response:

I just wanted to let you know that I had a little problem with Josh today at school.  During our spelling bee Josh and one other boy looked at the spelling list of a student that was already out of the spelling bee.   After Josh spelled the word, the boy came over and told me that Josh had looked at the word.  I asked Josh to go out to the hall so I could talk to him.  After talking to him, I am pretty sure he did not mean to be cheating, it was more of a misunderstanding in how the spelling bee works.  I don't think he realized when he looked at the word that he might have a chance to spell the same word.  I also think that once it happened, he did not know how to handle the situation.  He was very sad and I felt bad about the whole situation.  I know that Josh is a great kid and always tries hard to do what is right. Please feel free to call or email me if you have any concerns or questions about the situation.  
Mrs. Holly Hansen 

My response-
I didn't get this till this morning, after Josh left for school, so I haven't had a chance to talk to him about it. Yesterday when the boys got home and I was asking about their day Josh did say, "Okay, except I had to have a little talk with Mrs. Hansen about something..." But I was busy and so didn't stop and get the details. I appreciate you letting me know. Josh is a good kid, and does try to do what's right, but he does still make mistakes and sometimes needs correction. Thank you for taking the time to help him understand the situation and the importance of being honest about it. Because Josh tries so hard to "be good" he doesn't always take correction very well in the moment and can become very defensive- but he does internalize it and do better later. I'll talk to him more about it after school today, but it sounds as if he learned what he needed to from the situation.

Thank you,

Jaime Runyan

I was so thankful she had handled the situation the way she did. It made me so happy that she is his teacher. It also made me think back to some of the input I sent to the principal at the end of last year, and so I searched and found that to read over it again. It's so interesting to watch my kids grow and see the people they are and the people they are becoming.

Here's the email I sent to the principal:

I know you have much to consider when dividing children into classes- but without knowing which teacher might be options or anything about them- here is what I would say about my boys:

Josh- My oldest is always eager to please, and sometimes too hard on himself. Josh is never afraid to try new things. He hears EVERYTHING and is very sensitive to any labels or comments regarding him. He also likes to make sure he is heard and sometimes speaks out to get attention or praise. I know he's taking tests for the GAT program, but regardless of if he is recommended for it, or if I choose to put him in it (I worry about him stressing about maintaining a certain level of success or fitting in with that group) he will need a teacher who can recognize and encourage his talents for learning things quickly.

Dekker- More happy go lucky- but very smart. He's grown so much this year and become a great reader. Because he does well both socially and academically I worry that maybe he will be overlooked by some teachers, but he needs attention and recognition in order to continue to grow and achieve his greatest potential. He responds well to incentives, but likes to choose, rather than be told what to do.

Dekker is also lucky to have a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Patterson, this year. I go in almost every Thursday to help with centers, and so I get to see a bit how she manages the class, and how Dekker responds to it. I love that Dekker is in the top reading group for his class, but doesn't even know it. In centers, and I've also noticed in paperwork he brings home, she helps push him to do more than he has to but doesn't overwhelm him, or overpraise him (Dekker can be a bit of a show off if you let him).

I'm so thankful for good teacher who are aware of the impact they have on my kids!!!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

1. One of my laurels came by the house and dropped of a Tobleron chocolate bar for me with a note attached that read, "I'm thankful for you". It made my day. I love working with the young women and I love them so much. At the end of October I taught a lesson on being grateful. I challenged the girls to make a conscious effort to find a way to show more gratitude in their lives. I don't know if my challenge inspired the chocolate bar, but I'm thankful for her example of really seeking to do good each day.

2. Hosting Thanksgiving. Some people may think it's strange that I'm thankful to host the dinner, but I am. I was a bit nervous because we were hosting people from Jake's side of the family and from mine, and I really wanted everyone to feel comfortable, but I think it all went over really well. Everyone helped bring things together for the meal. The food was fantastic. I loved hearing and seeing the kids run around and play, and it was so nice to relax, play games, and shop. The guys got to do some fishing and shooting too. For me, it was perfect!

3. My faith and testimony- it's not perfect, but it truly is what brings me hope, peace and perspective. Without those I would feel so discouraged and lost.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Attitude of Gratitude

1. Three surgeries in one day. This last Tuesday I took Naomi, Dekker, and Josh all in to have their herniated belly buttons surgically repaired. I was SO glad Brea could help out by taking Titus, and Kari could go with me to be my aid as they were going in and coming out of surgeries. Primary Children's at Riverton really did do a great job of making it go as smoothly as possible.

2. Kids that take care of each other. It was cute to see the three of them empathize and help each other feel better. They all slept together in Naomi's room a couple of nights so that they would be close if they woke up in pain. Josh helped Naomi and Dekker come get when they did. He also read stories to them at night when it was time for bed. Naomi had a hard time transitioning when she woke up from her surgery, but when Dekker took his turn of crying out in pain she put a smile on her face and tried to cheer him up. I have such sweet kids.

3. I'm thankful for the month of November and this time of remembering to slow down and recognize the abundance of blessings that surround us. Even though I do not take the time to write them all down here like I used to, I do still daily stop to recognize the Lord's hand in my life. It makes all the difference.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Grandma Blanche's Memorial

1. My Grandma Blanche. I was able to gather with friends and family today to celebrate and honor the life of my sweet Grandma. I was sad I was unable to go to her funeral in Washington, but the Memorial service that was held in Pleasant Grove Utah today was so nice. I loved reminiscing on the memories we all have of her. She really has left quite a legacy. The memories attached to her that were said today that touched me: service, love, prayers, scripture study, smiles, gardening, chocolate chip cookies, home made jam, companionship, temple and encouragement. Those things were all big parts of what make up my memory of her.

2. Family. I am so blessed to have the family I have.

3. Innocence. Naomi is still so young, but at the funeral she told me a few times that she loved her "grandma" and would point to the picture of my Grandma on the program. After we got home she was telling us that "she died and she's with the fish." (Naomi recently had a gold fish that died after a few weeks, but she really cared about).

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Things change, but they stay the same.

Lately I think so much about things that I want to post here. The kids will say something funny that I want to remember, there are spiritual insights or promptings that I feel are significant, or I have moments of deep gratitude for the many blessings in my life. For some reason I have a hard actually sitting down and posting it. I do post a lot of tidbits via instagram and Facebook- but this blog is a place where I should be giving more details and its a better place for me to come back to reference or read things.

Even though life is very busy and constantly changing, in most ways things are also the same. I have faith, it's not always perfect, but I do act on my beliefs, and I see the Lord bless me for that- despite my weaknesses. My kids are good kids. They drive me crazy and sometimes I let them see my frustrations more than I should- but they forgive me and love me anyway, and then I am humbled that I am entrusted with such strong sweet spirits. Jake is a hard worker, always thinking and striving to be better. He makes me laugh and I'ms so lucky that after 10 years of being together he still spends so much of his energy just trying to make me happy. I AM SO BLESSED!

1.  New calling. I was recently called to be a Laurel Advisor in my ward. This means I'll be teaching and "leading" the 16-18 year old girls in our congregation. I was a bit surprised at first because I'd recently substituted in Relief Society and so I'd thought I'd be called to serve there- but I was HAPPY to accept the calling since I LOVED serving with the Laurels in my old ward. I really don't know the young women in this ward at all, or even most of the women who are serving there. When Deanne (the YW President) called to thank me for accepting the call and to talk to me about my service she said, "I don't want to sound too weird, but I want you to know that I felt VERY strongly about your name when considering this call. I was telling one of the other leaders who was asking who you are that I don't really know you too well either, but Heavenly Father must have really wanted you there because I just knew I was supposed to call you." Then later at church a friend was talking to me about my new call and said, "You'll do such a great job. Especially with your experience having served a full time mission" It was like tingles were straight to my heart when she said that. The eligibility age for sister missionaries recently changed from 21 to 19, and that will make it so much more easy for young women to choose and serve a mission. I knew that a big reason I was called was so that I can help these young women prepare to serve full time missions!

2. Studying the scriptures helps us choose the right. The other day I was reading in the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi chapter 12. Verse 42 says, "Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of the turn thou no away". It made me think of a RS lesson I sat in on a while back about helping the needy and how I when I see "beggars" I often excuse myself from helping because I don't usually carry much cash, but that I know in my heart its also because sometimes I'm judging them as scammers trying to make a quick buck, or people who will spend it on boos or drugs, but even deeper inside I know that I should not judge and should give more freely. I'm not saying we have to give money to every panhandler that we see, but it did make me think about where my heart is when it comes to giving and lending to those who ASK (notice the Scripture says ask, not need). Well, today I had all my kids in the car and was driving to meet Brea and Dot at a park in Salt Lake. We came to an intersection and the light was turning red. I saw a guy holding a sign at the corner saying, "Traveling broke & hungry". I needed to turn and there were two turn lanes. There were two cars in front of me stopped and I noticed all of us chose the lane furthest from this man. The scripture I'd been reading came into my head, and then I remembered I actually had a couple dollar bills in my wallet. I quickly pulled them out and pulled into the lane next to him. I rolled down my window and waved it at him. As he came to take it from my I saw a cigarette in his other hand, but reminded myself it is not my place to judge. He said "thank you sister", my light turned green and I rolled up my window and drove away. I FELT AWESOME!!! And I'm not sharing this or saying I felt good because wow- look at me I did a good thing, but it simply felt right and good. The boys who'd been quiet in the back perked up, "Mom, why did you pay that guy money?" I explained that I wasn't paying him, but just giving it to him. I told him what his sign had said and that I'd felt I should help him out. A couple seconds later Dekker said, "Mom, we're a good family, huh?' "We try to be Dekker". I would have missed out on this teaching moment if I hadn't acted on the prompting I'd received, and I would probably not have been prepared to receive the prompting had I not been reading my scriptures.

3. I'm kind of a big deal :) In January we had a nasty flu bug go 'round our house and when it hit me it hit me hard. I was out of commission for a couple days, and at half pace for about a week. Then at my first YW activity (walley-ball at the rec center) I sprained my ankle REALLY bad. I couldn't even walk on it for two days and was hobbling for three weeks! Jake had to work from home and help out a lot more in the mornings and evenings for a while. Josh also stepped up to be more independent and helpful where he could. Even with their help the house was not running like it usually does. It's not something I want to go through again- but it made me so thankful for the things that I am able to do so easily most of the time, and it was nice that all of us realized more just how important I am. (I'm also glad we recently started a life insurance policy for me, and not just Jake).