Friday, July 16, 2010

Ham is a Big Boy, I am a Dork.

Abraham seems to be growing up so fast that it blows my mind. Yesterday he made his own popcorn. He got into the pantry, got out the packet, pushed a chair up to the microwave, put the popcorn in and pushed the button. Then when he was sick of waiting (about 50% popped) he opened the bag, poured it into a big bowl and then proclaimed to the world that he is a "Big Boy" and went around offering popcorn to everyone saying "Ham do it." He carried that bowl of popcorn around all day long. He was so proud of himself. I have to say I was pretty proud of him too. As much as I wish he wouldn't get into the pantry and climb onto countertops, I am impressed with his skills at only two years old. Obviously we have modeled the microwave popcorn process pretty regularly. He had an unfortunate attempt to make chocolate milk this week that didn't go as well as the popcorn. Chocolate syrup is a pain to clean off of floors. He's naughty but he's smart. A lot of work but a lot of fun.

Potty training is not going as well as popcorn training. In Ham's defense, potty training is so much more about training mom than training baby. I went full force and then fizzled out. This is not an unfamiliar pattern for me, but instead of beating myself up about it I remind myself that even retarded kids eventually poop on the potty, so whatever. It will happen eventually. I actually prefer changing diapers to cleaning mattresses and shampooing carpet. Actually now that I think about it, I don't mind changing diapers at all. I probably should hate it, but I don't. Maybe I'm just hanging on to the baby that is left in my Big Boy.

As I have been typing this Abe made his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yes, it is as big a mess as you imagine. He is at that stage where the only way to get him to do something is to either make it an interesting challenge (as in, "I'm Lets see if you can really do it!") or else totally forbid the desired behavior (as in, "You are not allowed to eat these veggies. If you eat them you are in big trouble. Whatever you do, DO NOT chew them up and swallow them!")

Speaking of growing up, Jack starts first grade next week. he is in a pleasant phase of life right now and even though I am so done with summer break, Jack and I have had a really good time bonding this summer. There is nothing like a mother-child relationship and I can't express how satisfying it is to have actual conversations with my own child and hear his original thoughts and to consider him a friend. I recently bought a used old school Super Nintendo with Super Mario Brothers at a used bookstore. I knew that my princess-saving skills would impress him to no end. I was right. Turns out all that time I wasted playing Nintendo as a kid wasn't wasted after all. I have earned the eternal respect of this six year old. He tells his friends, "My mom is so cool. She is the Master of Super Mario. Little does he know that this actually qualifies me as a dork. Who knew that Super Mario was like riding a bike? I picked it up after a twenty year break and I remember every move. I have lost the thumb calluses but I still have the touch. Awesome.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Staci's Book of Mormon Reading Program

I am compelled to write and tell anyone who will listen all about my new scripture reading program. First of all let me tell you that I have already read all of the standard works multiple times and I have a testimony that every word comes from God. With that said, I was still having a life-long struggle to consistently read the Book of Mormon every day. Its frustrating because I know I should, I know the blessings one recieves from scripture study, and I really want my children to have a mother who studies the words of God every day. Between our stops and sdtarts as a family, and my own unfinished starts, I have read 1 Nephi probably hundreds of times. We always start off good and then we hit those Isiah Chapters in 2 Nephi and we stall out. I am one of those people who loves taking on a big project, but the details of followup and finishing? not so much. I always feel so guilty about being such a scripture flake. So in an effort to actually solve my little problem and therefore reap the blessings that I know await me if I can just be a little more diligent I decided to make a couple of admissions. The first one you will probably relate to, and the second one you will probably be offended by, even though I know you will relate to me on this one as well. First, I need stimulating things to read in order for me to pay attention long enough to get it. I have a small case of scripture study ADD. My mind wanders and I can never keep track of which Nephi is which or who begat who. Instead of beating myself up about this, I'm going to EMBRACE it. Second, Its time for me to admit that the Book of Mormon is mostly boring. really boring. And in this day and age it has to compete with reality TV, the Internet and even Conference Talks. I would rather listen to Jeffery R Holland tell it in his powerful way all day long than wade through the allegory of the Olive Tree. I'd rather see who got kicked off American Idol than hear about horrible violent wars. I know, its offensive. My point is I've decided to EMBRACE the fact that the Book of Mormon is mostly boring too. Between these two epiphanies, I came up with a new study program that has literally changed my life. It has taken me from reading occassionally and then feeling bad about it to devouring the scriptures everyday and having a guaranteed daily spiritual experience. I call my program "Only Read the Awesome Chapters" I know, the name needs work, but I'm telling you it changed my spiritual life. The book of Mormon is about 70% boring but the other 30% is AMAZING! Find the amazing chapters and skip the rest and vow to not feel bad about the stuff you skip. Ether 12, Alma 32, Moroni 7, Mosiah 4, Read about Enos' amazing repentance. Read about how justice and mercy work together in Alma 42, read about the brother of Jared seeing the finger of the Lord, Read King Benjamin's address. Read Lehi's dream. Read the Sermons, Read when the Prophets bust out the hard core teaching moments. When you get to thinking about it, there are enough awesome chapters to keep you super engaged for months and months. Ask around. See which chapters other people consider awesome and then read that. re-read your favorites out of order. There is so much great stuff in there that I'm almost embarassed that I didn't come up with this sooner. I have been wasting my precious scripture study time with boring stuff when the good stuff is just waiting to be read. Now I look forward to reading and I carry it around in my purse to grab extra study moments here and there. I had to admit that I wasn't enjoying my scriptures before I could deal with it and get a program that made me enjoy it. Now I crave the scriptures. If it starts to get boring, I just stop what I'm reading and go find an awesome chapter. Its never hard to find. My scripture ADD is cured by embracing it and working within it.

I recommend this method to everyone except for those people who claim to love Isaiah (by the way, we all know you are lying so you can drop the act.) If you are feeling like every day is a personal spiritual feast, you don't need my program, keep doing whatever you're doing. Maybe one day I will be like that. Until then, I'll be reading the Awesome Chapters and skipping the rest.

Kramer Boys

Kramer Boys