April 28, 2013

Well, I Really Did Try

The irony:
I ended my last post with "I hope I can stay up to the challenge of being a mother to my children."  Not 5 minutes after I posted that, my youngest came into the kitchen and lost his cookies all over the floor.  I could not believe that I just just wrote those words and a challenge came right to me.  All my kids were in bed asleep when I was blogging so I wasn't expecting anything challenging until the morning mayhem. (however, I am so so grateful he came into the kitchen thus saving my new carpet).

Now on to how I Really Did Try.

I have two "sets" of children.  My older teenagers and my elementary kids.  There is a bit of a rift or division between them.  Dustin gets along fine with the younger ones but just doesn't interact a lot with them--doing his own thing.  Brennen, as a typical teenager, gets so annoyed with the younger kids and how they don't put their stuff away, and are messy and loud, and dumb.  (Well he never said they were dumb but it seems to me he thinks that).  And the younger kids think Brennen is bossy and mean. (He is bossy, as most older brothers are I suppose).  Janessa's favorite phrase to him lately is "you don't have to get into everyone's business!"

I have talked to both sides but, yeah, not sure I am getting through.

So I decided we needed to do some "family relationship building" time.  Board games were (are) great for my older boys and we used to play so much with them, but not all of our kids are board games kind of people.  Plus its hard to play one with 7 people.  I got us all together and we decided to play charades.  Nothing formal, just impromptu.  We started with scripture stories.

Janessa and Andy went first.  They went into the kitchen to decided what to do.  When they came back into the living room Andy stood on a stool.  None of us said anything yet.  Janessa didn't do anything.  Except telling And he should stand on the smaller stool.  We waited for a few minutes and decided they weren't going to do anything else so the guessing started with "Samuel the Lamanite" and "King Benjamin".  It was Samuel.  Janessa then got mad because she didn't get to do her part.   She was upset that Andy used the big stool so we guessed it before she had a chance to do her part and of course I piped in telling her we were waiting but she didn't do anything (I said it nicely but still it was arguing I suppose).  I encouraged her to go ahead and do it anyway and we would watch.  She argued "What's the point!"  She got mad and stormed into her room and slammed the door.

Scott and I kind of looked at each other and laughed.  We didn't mean to laugh but it was funny that here we are trying to get the family to enjoy each other and within 5 minutes there is anger and conflict.

Well we kept going anyway encouraging Janessa to come back and join us which she did eventually.  Brennen only participated in one charade as his attitude was "this is dumb" but at least he was there with us.  Dustin participated pretty well.  Of course the little kids are the ones that kept wanting to do the acting.  We moved on from scripture stories to things in history.

It was fun and we laughed.  Maybe it didn't turn out like I wanted, and I should have taken Brennen's phone away first (since he was playing chess with someone I think), but at least I tried.  And it was just a random day, not family night or anything yet we all sat in the same room together without a TV.

April 21, 2013

Forever Family

It was 10 years ago last Friday on April 19th that we went to the temple where Andy was sealed to our family for time and all eternity.  His older brothers, who were in kindergarten and 3rd grade at the time, were able to dress in white and witness the sealing.  It was such a special day.  I told Cameron that he and Janessa watched us from heaven. Andy was a chubby red-headed 14 month old, and it was only a few weeks before this that we found out we were pregnant with Janessa. (such an exiciting surprise!)

My parents were on their mission at the time in Wyoming, but received permission to come to the sealing in the Ogden temple.  We had lots of family there, and ward members.  The next day in sacrament meeting Andy was given a name and a blessing.  (The adoption date was Wednesday the 16th, so he hadn't been given a blessing in church yet).

So this weekend my thoughts have been on that special day and how much our family has changed in the past 11 years.  He is such a special boy with a tender heart and spirit, and a body that can hardly contain his energy.  I admit that he and I have our challenges (as I do of course with every child--just differently) but he is so much fun and we just might be a dull family without him.  Little did we know that two more kids would follow him in joining our family.

Mothering these last 3 children has not been easy for me.  Of course motherhood is not easy for anyone, though some people sure make it look easy!  Maybe its because I am older or because they are closer together in age than my older boys.  But I really think it is personalities.

My number 3 and 4 children are much more demanding than my others.  Why?  Were they born that way or was it circumstances that have made them that way?   Do they feel they have to compete for attention in a large family?  I often wonder why the Lord sent these children to me because I struggle with them so often.  I wonder why our personalities are so different and why the Lord has confidence in me to raise and teach these children, their strong personalities with my soft-spoken introverted nature.  I know that stronger spirits were saved for the latter days and they will do great in life. I just have to get them through elementary school, middle school, and high school!  Which I know is really a short time and I will look back when they are leaving on missions and getting married thinking "it seems like just yesterday when..." But the moments are hard to get through sometimes.  I need to rely on my Heavenly Father and truly believe that He has faith in me to nurture and love his precious children.  I truly am grateful for them.  For all my children.

I have enjoyed slowing down a bit and reflecting on that day 10 years ago when I knew that two more children were being added to my little family, one by adoption and one by birth.  The memory of the beauty of the temple and seeing my children all in white with my loving husband.  Taking time to look at the "eternal perspective" and marvel how our family came to be.  And how the Lord sent us another blessing when we surprisingly got pregnant again with Cameron.

This busy life, and the trials that come with it, is exactly what I wanted, and I really am grateful, and hope I can stay up to the challenge of being a mother to my children.