Family Gem

Parents Should Make Sure Their Children Know of Their Love

“To you who are parents, I say, show love to your children. You know you love them, but make certain they know it as well. They are so precious. Let them know. Call upon our Heavenly Father for help as you care for their needs each day and as you deal with the challenges which inevitably come with parenthood. You need more than your own wisdom in rearing them.”

Thomas S. Monson, “Abundantly Blessed,” Ensign, May 2008, 112

I remember one of my visiting teachers advising me to pray each day to have the Spirit with me as I went through my day with Jakob. I was telling her how sometimes I would just get so frustrated and mad, and that wasn't the kind of mother I wanted to be. The thought of praying for help from the Lord to deal with those every day frustrations had never occured to me. When I put it into action, it worked. I was able to stay calm and be more patient with my sweet little boy.

So, today when things started getting crazy because Jakob wasn't listening to us to get his shoes on so he wouldn't be late for school, I started feeling anxious about how he would behave at school if this was how his day was starting at home. Then I got home from dropping him off and read this message and realized that even for something that small, if we pray for help in raising our kids and ask for guidance, we will get it.

Jakob had a rough week at school last week, getting into trouble repeatedly with the lunch lady, and in his classroom. So, he's had to deal with some hard consequences this week, like sitting in the office instead of going out to recess, and losing a fun new toy he got from a birthday party...and all of his bakugans. I know that part of the reason he has been doing better this week is because it has been "Turn Off The Tube Week" -- so we haven't had the TV on...until yesterday I caved and let them watch it. Then again they watched it this morning...which I am 100% sure is the reason why he wasn't listening to us about getting his shoes on. So, a new rule in our house is that there will be no TV on before school. I believe this will help him remain focused on getting ready for school, and hopefully keep his mind fresh and ready to learn at school.

Being a parent is an on-going learning process (DUH!) and sometimes I feel sorry for Jakob because he is our guinea pig as we stumble and make mistakes along the road of parenthood. But, if we "show love to [our] children" and continually ask for help and guidance from the Lord, it will be easier and more fulfilling.

So, if you're the type of parent who shows love physically with lots of hugs and kisses, but it's hard for you to express yourself in words, try to use words more often in conjunction with the cuddles and hugs. If you're not the touchy feely type, try to be more physical with your child...don't be afraid to show them you love them...you can never love your child too much!!!!!!! So go ahead and spoil them with affection and words of praise!!!!!! They need it in order to have a strong foundation at home so they can conquer all the trials they will face in their lives.

I am thankful to my parents for always loving me and making sure I knew they loved me. Even when I was on my mom's last nerve, I knew she still loved me, no matter what. Every child deserves to be loved!


Christmas Eve

Ok, so I know Christmas is over and done with, but I just uploaded our pictures tonight and thought I'd share this one...because it's so darn cute! Here are my boys in their new pajamas:

Did any of you notice that white orb floating by the tree? Maybe I should give T.A.P.S. a call! j/k -- It was probably just some dust on the lens or something...


Last week I decided to give Drew a haircut. It was just getting a bit too long...so it was time. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and he was such a good boy during it! I tried using the scissors at first...but he wouldn't sit still, so I had to bust out the clippers -- which he LOVED! The only thing is that now his hair doesn't seem as light to me...but he's definitely still blonde. I bet it will get bleached out this summer... Anyway, here are a few before and after pics!

Our little blondie, just moments before the haircut.

LOVE the faux hawk -- but he had had just about enough!

...and finally a smile! Isn't he handsome?


Monster Jam - Jan. 10, 2009

Santa gave us tickets to the Monster Truck Monster Jam -- and boy, was it LOUD and FUN! Jakob just HAD to wear his monster truck t-shirt and kept unzipping his jacket so make sure people could see it. I loved it! Those trucks get some SERIOUS air! Sorry the pics aren't the best, we brought our little camera and it can only zoom so far you know! The boys loved Gravedigger (the black/green truck) and Jurassic Attack (the one with horns) -- so Brad got them t-shirts. Jakob wore it to school twice last week! I'm so glad they had a good time...

Jurassic Attack - driven by a WOMAN!

Grave Digger!

Yes, this is a Ninja Turtle Monster Truck!

Joshy still manages to be cute, even with a scowl on his face!


What have YOU done?

I received this as an email, but thought it would be fun to post on my blog too...
The lines that are bolded are things that I have done...how about you?

1.Started your own blog (duh!)
2.Slept under the stars
3.Played in a band
4.Visited Hawaii
5.Watched a meteor shower
6.Given more than you can afford to charity
7.Been to Disneyland
8.Climbed a Mountain
9.Held a praying mantis
10.Sang a solo
11.Bungee jumping
12.Visited Paris
13.Watched a lightning storm at sea
14.Taught yourself an art from scratch
15.Adopted a child
16.Had food poisoning
17.Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18.Grown your own vegetables
19.Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20.Slept on an overnight train
21.Had a pillow fight

22.Hitch hiked
23.Taken a sick day when you were not ill
24.Built a snow fort

25.Held a lamb
26.Gone skinny dipping
27.Run a Marathon
28.Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29.Seen a total eclipse
30.Watched a sunrise or sunset
31.Hit a home run
32.Been on a cruise
33.Seen Niagara Falls in person
34.Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35.Seen an Amish community
36.Taught yourself a new language
37.Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38.Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39.Gone rock climbing
40.Seen Michelangelo's David
41.Sung Karaoke
42.Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43.Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44.Visited Africa
45.Walked on a beach by moonlight
46.Been transported in an ambulance
47.Had your portrait painted
48.Gone deep sea fishing
49.Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50.Been to the top of the Eiffel tower in Paris
51.Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52.Kissed in the rain
53.Played in the mud
54.Gone to a drive-in theater
55.Been in a movie
56.Visited the Great Wall of China
57.Started a business
58.Taken a martial arts class
59.Visited Russia
60.Served at a soup kitchen
61.Sold girl scout cookies
62.Gone whale watching
63.Got flowers for no reason
64.Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65.Gone sky diving
66.Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67.Bounced a check
68.Flown in a helicopter
69.Saved a favorite childhood toy
70.Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71.Eaten Caviar
72.Pieced a quilt
73.Stood in times square
74.Toured the Everglades
75.Been fired from a job
76.Seen the changing of the Guards in London
77.Broken a bone
78.Been on a speeding motorcycle
79.Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80.Published a book
81.Visited the Vatican
82.Bought a brand new car
83.Walked in Jerusalem
84.Had your picture in the newspaper
85.Read the entire Bible
86.Visited the White House
87.Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88.Had Chickenpox
89.Saved someones life
90.Sat on a jury
91.Met someone famous
92.Joined a book club

93.Lost a loved one
94.Had a baby

95.Seen the Alamo in person
96.Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97.Been involved in a law suit
98.Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee


Jakob's 6th Birthday

I'm finally getting around to posting pics from Jakob's birthday... We had a fun day that started out with a stop at Diddy Riese and then we headed up to the Griffith Observatory and we all loved it. We were bummed that we couldn't see one of the shows at the planetarium (they were sold out) but we'll go again another time. The next day the whole family got together to celebrate 3 birthdays - Beverly (Dec. 31), McKell (Dec. 30) and Jakob (Jan. 4) -- it was really fun to have everyone over! Enjoy the slideshow!


good quote

My sister posted this quote on her blog a little while back...and I loved it so much I felt inspired to make it perty and frame it! It hangs above my kitchen sink to remind me not to delay doing the dishes. :) I tend to do that alot...it's not my favorite thing! How do you think it turned out?

What household chore do you despise? Please tell me I am not alone in hating the dishes!


Check it out...

...the sweet Valentine's Special I'm offering on my photoblog...

It'll be here before we know it!

Daily Gem

To Nurture

Posted: 12 Jan 2009 01:00 AM CST

"I take great delight in my role as a nurturer, which allows me to express my deepest identity as a woman. I never fail to be struck by the way that women, young women, and even little girls seem to have an instinctive interest and ability in nurturing. It is not only a mother's primary responsibility but also part of our 'individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose' ("The Family: A Proclamation to the World," Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). To nurture is to teach, to foster development, to promote growth, to feed, and to nourish. Who would not shout for joy at being given such a blessed role? "The scriptures use the word nurture only twice and in both cases speak of the responsibility of parents to raise their children 'in the nurture and admonition of the Lord' (Ephesians 6:4; Enos 1:1).

Susan W. Tanner, "My Soul Delighteth in the Things of the Lord," Ensign, May 2008, 82


Our little sunbeam!

This is Joshy about a month ago in his "Pre-Sunbeam" stage (notice the nice shiner!)
And here he is after concluding his very first Sunday as a new Sunbeam!
Now, I am in no way saying that by becoming a Sunbeam you suddenly turn into an angel...because believe me, he is still as crazy as ever! But I think being in Primary will really help him feel more like a "big kid." Although, he didn't quite understand why there weren't any toys involved in Primary...but we're working on preparing him better for next Sunday.


Mexico - December 2008

My parents invited Brad and I to go with them to Mexico for a week. This was the longest time we had been away from the boys - EVER! We were so lucky to have our sisters come down to help take care of the bambinos while we were gone!

It was such a fun, relaxing trip. We visited Tulum which are some ruins that are located right on the beach. GORGEOUS! We were lucky enough to have a Mormon guide -- named Moroni! He gave us some really cool information, and it was nice because it was also Sunday. So, we got to have somewhat of a spiritual experience that day as he guided us around Tulum. It was an unforgettable experience.

On our way home from Tulum (we had rented a car), we were pulled over by the police! He spoke little to no english, and we spoke little to no spanish! But we were able to communicate a little bit, and avoided having my dad's license taken away and a $130 ticket! He actually handed my mom his notebook through the window and showed her that he had written $50 USD - and indicated that she should put the money in it. So, we basically bribed a cop to avoid getting a ticket! Sneaky cop! Then we went to Sam's Club (yes, they had one there!) and ate some dinner then loaded up on bottled water and some other food to keep in our kitchen. That night we went to a really cool cultural show with dancers and music portraying ancient rituals and ceremonies.

The next day we headed out on a long drive to Chichen Itza. We planned it right because we got there early and it wasn't too hot or too crowded. We opted not to have a tour guide here, but we actually bumped into a Mormon guide there who happened to be Moroni's brother! His name was Mosiah! He was giving a tour to a couple from Spanish Fork, UT. It was kind of funny! Chichen Itza is just massive...there are so many different ruins to see and it was just breath taking. I wished I could climb up the steps of the pyramid, but they had it roped off. I loved every minute of it!

On our way back to Cancun, we got a little bit lost...and guess what? Yes, we got pulled over AGAIN! This time my dad and I were both mad and I was adamant that we were not speeding and should not get a ticket. He took my dad's license and proceeded to tell us that we had to go tomorrow to the police station to pay the ticket to get it back. We told him no, and I was pretty mad ... after a minute he gave the license back to my dad and said, "Just go!" I guess we were more trouble than he wanted to deal with! :)

When we finally made it to Cancun, we went to eat at a famous restaurant called Senior Frogs. They have the funniest signs and stuff -- and our waiter was a hoot. I was leaning on the railing looking out at the water and he came up behind me and blew a whistle and scared the crap out of me!

The rest of our time was spent laying out by the pool, swimming, walking on the beach and looking in the tide pools, playing cards, eating FABULOUS food, listening to the mariachis serranade us, reading, shopping in Playa del Carmen, golfing, being called "honeymooners" everywhere we went, sleeping, and just enjoying ourselves!

It was such and awesome time and we are so thankful that my mom and dad took us with them! We loved it!


M'm, m'm, good!

I've seen this yogurt:

on the shelf at my local grocery store for a while now...but only just tried it for the first time today. Boy is it tasty! The one I ate was "pink grapefruit lychee" -- DEEEE-licious, my friends! If you are a yogurt lover, you must try it. I even went to their website to find out more about it, and I was pleasantly surprised to find lots of tasty recipes listed there as well! Check it out for yourself: http://www.rachelsdairy.com/index.php


10 lbs, 1.4 oz!

Yes, that is how much Jakob weighed at birth...and I swear, 5 lbs of that was his head! It was HUGE! Like an orange on a toothpick! It had it's own weather system! j/k (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, go rent "So I Married An Ax Murderer" right NOW!)

Yes, labor and delivery was hard...recovery was hard...nursing was hard...

Ask me if it was worth it and before you can even spit the question out I will answer YES, YES and YESSSSSSSS!

I LOVE this kid. I just can't get enough of his funny sayings, his hugs, his kisses, his smiles, his jokes...He never ceases to amaze me with his intellect, creativity, sensitivity, understanding, logic, wit, charm, determination, persistence, imagination, intuition, friendliness, humor, etc., etc., etc.,...ETC!

Today he is 6 years old. S-I-X.

Wait a minute...I feel like only days ago I was here:

And here:

(1 month old, blessing day)

And here:

(3 months old)

And here:

(6 months)

And here:

(1 year)

And here:

(22 months old)

And here:

(about 3 yrs old -- this picture pretty much sums up Jakob - crazy loco!)

And here:

(4 - obviously!)

And here:

(5 - His first award at Extended-Kindergarten!)

And here:

(Sept. '08 -- My handsome 5 (almost 6) year old...watch out ladies!!!)

The past 6 years have been wonderful with Jakob...and I eagerly look forward to the future and all of the adventures waiting!

Go get 'em kid! There's a world outside of Yonkers...and you can do anything!

Happy Birthday!

I love you forever!

(a.k.a. "Mom") ;)