Showing posts with label children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label children. Show all posts

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Kid's Corner





             Ester's birthday is coming up soon.  I thought we should get her a book.  She seemed to be into princesses the last time we had seen her,  and so I chose one with Disney princesses.  It's a step-into-reading treasury included with six stories, a two sided princess poster and 24 miniature princess stickers. I think she will like it.




             We were at Costco and Roland didn't seem in too much of a hurry and so I took my time looking through some other books that were on display.  I smiled as I read "Everybody Loves Bacon" written by Kelly Dipucchio and illustrated by Eric Wight. 




             Besides the wonderful illustration, I found it to be a clever story on remembering your friends and what might happen to someone who gets a swelled head.  I think Tony would have enjoyed the same humor that I found, but I don't know if Ester would have felt the same charge (she is turning four.  I actually don't know how she feels about bacon)

          There were two books by Eric Carle. Jenna has always LOVED anything Eric Carle.






             I felt the first one was too juvenile for Ester and guessed she will like the Disney Princess collection better.  Roland thought we should just send a gift card.  Granted, it would be more economical from our end.  But I don't like gift cards overall.  I think Ester will be more excited to receive a book in the mail than a gift card that she wouldn't understand.  




    I suppose it really would not be that outrageous for Tony and Rochelle (Ester's parents) as it seems like they are always out shopping.

    I really liked the  illustrations and photography of Pharrell Williams popularized song: "Happy"  Ester might like it, but Tony told me  that he was sick of hearing the song,  so I don't think he would be too excited to read it to her - though  I did  consider it.




             The next book I saw was called "Invisible Fred".  It looked interesting, but the illustrations became rather boring.  I couldn't see that it would hold anyone's attention for very long. 




            The last book that I picked up was called "Robo-Sauce" written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri.





         Once again it was a book that made me think of Jenna.  She's very into robots and imagination and creating.  That triggered some other memories of books that Jenna and I used to read together when we were still living in Kearns - some of which I have briefly mentioned in this post


            There are three or four stories which I would cry as I read.  One was called "The Robot and the Bluebird" by David Lucas.  A book about loneliness, love and sacrifice. 





            A bluebird, flying south for the winter, stops to rest with a robot who claims he has no heart.  He was left abandoned and is of no use to anybody.  He allows the bluebird to stay in the compartment which once housed his heart.  It is a beautiful story.


          Everything Max Lucado writes seems to be gold. Of course there are stories I like better than others.  The first Max Lucado I was introduced to was "You are Special". It is about a puppet who lives in the kingdom of toys (or at least that is how I perceive it; they are actually a made-up name called Wemmick's living in Wemmickville under their creator, Eli) where everyone is labeled. 



  
          Gold stars (I think it's gold stars; it's been a while since I've read it) are the best kind of labels.  Grey circles (or dots) are the worse.  The main character (whose name is Punchinello) seems to have more than his share of grey dots which he allows to affect his mood until he meets one who refuses to wear either dots or stars.  The message is simple.  The words were powerful enough to make the tears flow.  Even if I were to read it now, I am certain that the tears would come.






           On our return from Roseburg to Myrtle Creek, Jenna and I made comments about modern day fairytales, and how grateful we are that someone put a spin on things and made us stop and realize that it may have been Goldilocks who was at fault and the bears were the victims.  After all, she did break into their home, she stole their breakfast. She vandalized baby bear's chair.

            Hansel and Gretel were trespassing when they came upon the witches house.  Did they ever think to knock on her door and ask for help? They broke off pieces of the witches home and helped themselves.

            I have also seen an account where Cinderella was the one stuck on herself and the step sisters are the ones who were excluded and did have moments of displaying displeasure because of how they had been treated. 

            My favorite story from another's point of view was "Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter" by Diane Stanley.







            Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter tricks  the king into serving his subjects so that they will serve him in a respectful manner.  Her name is revealed at the end of the story.  So clever.

             There are dozens of versions of "The Monkeys and the Mangos"  I had actually never even heard of it until I checked out a book of stories retold.  I can't even remember who compiled it - though I think I do have it written down somewhere.  It's just a matter of finding which flash drive it may be on. 



            Jenna has often requested for me to tell this one, though it is very hard for me to get through - though I find a condensed version doesn't break out as many tears as the first version I read.  Here is just one version 



            I miss reading those stories to my small family members.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Reverence? NOT our primary


I don’t know who suggested to the primary children to stand at the front (in Sacrament meeting) with their arms folded to set an example for those that were entering the chapel. I didn’t have a problem with it – except when Parker would try to outrun whatever other child was headed to the stand.  But as long as the children were on the stand with their arms folded, there really was a reverence there – though it seemed to vanish the minute they sat down.

A visiting high councilman had given the command to the bishopric that he didn’t want the children up there.  Maybe because he knew on a first hand account that some of those standing there ordinarily do NOT represent reverence – though the three in particular (the three most irreverent – actually there are four – which is just about half of the primary) come from very devout homes, it’s just that reverence has taken a back seat.  The more we try to enforce it, the stronger the misbehavior becomes. 

I say “we” as I am a parent of one of the instigators, though Jenna generally keeps her irreverent activities to herself. Examples: twisting her bracelet, moving her fingers, or sliding her hair band (as mentioned here) but has not misbehaved as poorly as the three boys.  Two of them brothers. And I don't mean to put down the entire primary as it is basically just those four.  But in our ward, that truly does account for just about half.

Now I don’t know that anyone from my ward even reads this post – but because of our really small primary and the descriptions I use, the children will be more easily to identify than I am.  But I will still change the names of all the children who are/were involved.

Yesterday Jenna and I attended a baptism for two of her friends – not good friends, but she has played with each of them and sometimes both together – though it hasn’t been often.  There names are Wesley and Jorge.

Wesley is an only child.  I can fully understand.  If my child had Wesley’s personality, I would not be trying for more children.  He reminds me of one who has had too much caffeine.  He climbs the walls (literally) and lands himself into all kinds of mischief.  He’s definitely not focused.  I don’t know what kind of grades he gets.  I know he goes to some kind of a therapist – or at least he used to.  He has improved a lot – or so I believed until yesterday.

Jorge and his mother are from Mongolia.  I often pick them up and give them rides to and from church.  We don’t communicate much except for, “Would you like a ride?” and “Thank you.” 

She likes to give him snacks and keeps him entertained with his iPad (or whatever it is) during sacrament – which I think is not right – but who am I to judge.  It does keep him quiet – so long as it’s just him focused on the screen.  But I remember one time both Jenna and Wesley stuck their faces just as close to the screen as Jorge’s – and I think Wesley actually took it over.

Okay.  So our ward was in charge of the stake baptism.  It is actually the first time I remember going to a stake baptism in which our ward was conducting. The program was nice.  And then came dismissal to the font.

So the first ward was dismissed and told to meet in the primary room.  Anna played the piano.  The music would have been nice if those attending would allowed themselves to just listen and to meditate – but the conversations started among the adults.  Some about the children being baptized, but most of the ones that I heard were irrelevant and surely could have waited for 45 minutes to an hour.

The next group goes.  I don’t know what room they announced to go into following the baptism – but I think they should have been allowed to return to the chapel as they accounted for more than half of everybody in the congregation.  (They would have been squished in the primary room)
Our ward was last.  We had two that were being baptized and ironically the smallest group left. 

So the primary children go towards the font and are banging on the glass (two boys in particular; Jenna was actually reverent – well as reverent as one in a dress can be while squatting down) At that point, I don’t know who was worse: Wesley or Hunter. 



Wesley should have gone through the door that leads to the font, but was too busy giving headlocks to the other boys who had come to watch.  I don’t know if it was before the baptism or after (I think it was after) that Hunter took his rolled programs (he had two of them) and started using them as drumsticks as he beat on the heads of those who sat ahead of him. And Parker started using his rolled up program as a sword.

I thought I heard some adult laughter which only encouraged the children.  I honestly did not see what Jenna was doing as the bad behavior of the two boys outshined whatever anything she has ever done.

Nick and Vickie were great.  I had no qualms with them whatsoever, especially Nick, who truly was being reverent.  Jorge’s behavior was about the same.  But I think it was right before the confirmation that Jorge’s mom came across an entire lute of treats in her bag (I wonder if it was the only thing in her bag) and called Jenna over and doused her with an arm full and so Jenna continues to pass the treats along and I look back behind me. Jenna (who had moved to the back row) and three boys are munching on these goodies (the crumb producing kind) during the program.  Are you kidding me?

But the treats did come from Jorge’s mom – one of the moms whose child had been baptized.  I don’t know how long she’s been a member of the Church or if she decided to move to the states after becoming a member or what.  She did it with love.  She had snacks for all the children. 

Hannah was in front of me with her son and didn’t want to appear rude by not taking it, but I’m guessing may have felt the same discomfort that I was feeling.  And yet there’s my husband, first counselor no less, that I don’t think would have had a problem with it (I know because he’s given Jenna messy treats in sacrament meeting!)

Actually, that “small talk” and visitation has become a popular thing between the baptism and the confirmation - especially this day as the waiting time between baptism and confirmation took longer than normal.  Jorge's mom didn't think to pack dry underwear and so someone was sent to the store to purchase a dry pair to wear for his confirmation.  

The conversations seemed to stir even louder.  I didn't want irreverant (and irrelevant) conversation at Jenna's baptism which is why I had asked Bill and Corey to sing at Jenna’s baptism found here so that the spirit would not be lost.  And it wasn’t.  At least not to my understanding. 

I had been in the dressing room with Jenna, but from what I understand, everyone in attendance listened.  They did not visit.  They did not distract from the Spirit – not even Hunter and Parker who sat on the front row.  And Parker, actually caught up in the Spirit, was trying to sing along with them.  That was awesome to watch.

I think every baptism ought to have an intermediate between the baptism and the confirmation – more than the background music on the piano (which it seems most people seem to tune out – at least in the baptisms that I’ve gone to) but something that will hold the attention of those in the audience – that the Spirit will continue to be present. Or else have the youth confirmed in sacrament meeting as it was done when I was in primary.

Our bishop said he felt the Spirit strongly.  I did too, when we were in the chapel.  I think the Spirit must have followed the bishop into the men’s dressing room and the font, for I did not feel the Spirit in the RS room AT ALL

And I realize that I’m just as much to blame for not having felt the Spirit’s presence (as it is up to me to invite Him in).  I really had tried to find the awesomeness, but the conversations around me seemed to be much louder than the Spirit (provided He was actually there) and I suppose my griping about it on this blog post isn’t going to help matters either.  Well, maybe not entirely.

 I can’t change the events of yesterday.  Perhaps one of my blog readers can change the outcome of baptism reverence to come.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Full Circle



          Moms have many roles – at least mine did.  Teacher, Nurse, Maid, Chauffer, Seamstress, Nurturer . . .

          My mom was raised in San Francisco.  She didn’t learn gardening, but I imagined she learned to cook and launder and “mother” at quite an early age.

          She has two brothers that are younger than she.  When her mom and dad divorced and her mom was forced to return to work, mom and her brother became latch key kids.

          I know my mom assisted her mom in looking after her brothers.  I believe she fixed meals.  I’m sure that she did some light housework.  And she used to iron for other people.  She found it to be fun and enjoyed the small amount of income.

          I don’t know for certain which skills she learned from her mom or if she had picked any of those up at the Sunrise ward she attended in San Francisco.  I know moving from San Francisco to the “outskirts” of Salt Lake City (her words, not mine) was a definite culture shock.

          She had worked for the FBI in San Francisco as a file clerk – and would make it her personal goal to have her desk cleared by the end of the day – knowing it would not last – for the crime rate was high and there was always cases to be pulled and filed away.

          Mom worked for the FBI in Salt Lake City.  So different from San Francisco.  She enjoyed being able to do several jobs and learn more tasks and utilize herself on more than just filing.

          She learned many domestic skills through the Relief Society  -  many of which were probably brand new to her.  She learned to knit, crochet, can and sew among others.  And she took these tasks to heart and really tried to perfect those things which she had learned.

          Mom gave birth to four of us.  She would teach us to learn and help us by introducing us to educational toys and assisting with helping our desires for wanting to learn.

          It seems that we were in the car often as she drove us to swim lessons, my dance and piano lessons, the dentist and the doctor.  It seems she was always driving someone to the doctor.  If it wasn’t one of her children, it was my paternal grandmother. 

          Often we’d rebel if we didn’t feel sick, we didn’t feel the need.  I took her on a follow-up visit with the doctor last week.  She sulked like a child. She didn’t quite throw a tantrum – though the feistiness was there.  She said she wasn’t sick and didn’t see the need.

          Mom had taken several of us to the hospital for one reason or another.  Patrick had a very high fever when he was four.  My dad had had a series of strokes.  She took Ellen to the hospital to see her baby sister born.  And mom drove me to the hospital when I had Jenna.  She also picked me up as I waited on the curb in a wheelchair – nearly nine years before I drove up to the curb to meet her in the wheelchair as mentioned here. 

          Corey made a comment on this post how my mom had cleaned up some of Ellen’s vomit.  Several years later full circle came into effect when Ellen and her husband found mom passed out in her own vomit – and Ellen’s husband cleaned it up.

          She’d driven daddy to the nursing home (found here) because we needed assistance and that is what the insurance would cover.  And Kayla drove her to an assisted living facility which is really a lot brighter and way more cheerful than where dad had to live – though he was not for long. 

         My dad hated where he was at. We did too.  We didn’t like the place at all.  Mom really had a hard time with it; it wasn’t something she wished to do. But it was necessary.   None of us wished to put mom in assisted living – to put her in a place where the doors would remain locked and she will never know the code – but it is necessary.

Some days mom is happy.  Sometimes she wanders around in hopes of escaping.  She clutches her purse full of “treasures” that will make some family members laugh.  And she remembers the laughter.  At least she did yesterday morning.  I would like to see her happy all the time.
            

Monday, February 25, 2013

Vegetating with Veggie Tales



          There are multiple Sunday School teachers in my current ward – team teaching the same classes – including the youth class.  I find it odd in a way – though I understand the need for variety.  I don’t think the two instructors who face the youth currently are the greatest choice. 

          When Wade taught the youth, I believe they fully related to him – as they really are not that many years apart – or so it appears.  I know that Wade is actually older than fresh out of high school – he just has that youthful look.  He was released to take on another call.  And so it was Lori and I who’d been called to teach.

          Lori’s husband attended the class along with Wade and each would contribute to the lesson with such force and such power it was no surprise that they had all been called to serve or work with the youth.  Except me.  I mean, I didn’t fully relate to the youth when I was one of them.  I had already felt like the “grandma” of the group when I had served in young women’s almost twenty years ago. So given the circumstances, I feel even further removed than I had then.

          Lori was put in the primary and the one who has newly been called seems just as distant from the youth as I am – though her husband currently serves in young men’s and has some character with the youth – a lot more than Kim and I anyway.

          I have gone to Sunday School the last two weeks, but have left right after class.  Last week Kim’s husband contributed quite a bit to my lesson as well as Jack, the only youth present last week.  But the fact that he allowed himself to be a part of the class was such a great thing.  And I was grateful for Mike’s comments as well.

          Kim has taught only one lesson and had told Roland that she and Mike would be out of town this week.  He told me that on Friday.  And so Saturday I tried to scrape up some more material and ended up getting Wade to substitute my class yesterday.  I still have a cough I’d rather not share, and Jenna is in far worse shape than I am.

          So yesterday morning we watched videos – well, she did anyway.  I hadn’t put in “Veggie Tales” to keep with a Sunday theme.  I wasn’t even thinking about that.


          She thanked me, especially when “Dave and the Giant Pickle” came on.  I think “Rack, Shack and Benny” is actually her favorite – but I had not recorded that one.  She wasn’t big on Veggie Tales when we had daily access.  Now that we don’t have access anymore, that’s what she would like to watch.

          I used to record snips of music and play songs for her all day.  I had three tapes.  I’ve since given one to Kayla to play for my two year old niece, but have also kept one for myself.  When Jenna is at school and Anna is in dire need of taking a nap, I’ll whip out the music tape for her to watch while she lies down.  She especially likes the songs in which Elmo takes part.



          After Veggie Tales Jenna watched a few tales from “Happily Ever After”

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Is There Justification in Lying?


          When your child hollers: “Mom! So-n-so is on the phone!” 
And you respond with, “Tell them I’m not home.”  What are you teaching your child?

          Several children will go in for shots and will ask, “Will this hurt?” of course they don’t always get the truth.  But hey, it’s easier to lie than to wrestle them to the ground and make it hurt even more.

Is it okay to lie?  Is it acceptable to have your child tell a stranger that you are not home?  When a child is home alone, he’s been taught to say that “my mom is sleeping”  “dad’s out in the shed.  I’ll go get him” and runs and hides or calls an adult with a plea in his voice, “What do I do?”

          I’m not big on deceit – though I have told Jenna there’s a Santa Clause and have been sneaky about surprises.  Is that the same?

          When my grandmother went back to work to support herself and her three children she lied about her age as she feared age discrimination.

          When my brother-in-law’s first wife was diagnosed with cancer, Bill had just lost his job.  Annaleigh decided not to seek treatment – knowing full well that there was no insurance and that they wouldn’t have the finances to meet her medical expenses.  So Bill lied to her.  He said they were covered, even though they weren’t.

          We’re taught to always tell the truth, because then we don’t have to remember whatever falsehood we may have said.  In my mom’s case, she doesn’t always remember from one minute to the other.  We can have the same conversation seven times in less than thirty minutes.

          My mom believes all sorts of crazy things.  She gets angry if we would attempt to correct her – so for the most part we don’t.  It’s not as though she’s going to remember in two minutes from now anyway.  When we’d express concern over her medication or finances (as there are so many scams out there) she behaved quite childish and all but throws a tantrum.

          Corey has called around to have mom’s name removed from several caller lists but has been told that the request has to be made from HER phone.  So now someone else will need to call these organizations (whether real or bogus) from her phone – probably a female – so that we can have her name removed and if they should ask, “Am I speaking with person in charge” we can lie and say “Yes” because really, how does one prove him or herself over the phone with a solicitor?
         
          Sometimes we have to take mom places that she just doesn’t want to go.  So we’re not always truthful about it.  Or sometimes we are and she forgets and accuses us of wrong doing.  It’s been frustrating, really.  Or at least that’s how it was in March.  It’s not even been an entire year later and her memory is going rapidly. 

          For two years the main road off hers was under construction. She believes during that time the entire neighborhood had been evacuated to elsewhere.  She is always surprised by certain items of mail she receives or when her children are able to find the house she’s lived in for the last 52 years as she believes that she has lived elsewhere.  Except for the other day.  I think it’s the first time in a month that she hasn’t mentioned the move.

          The other day I had a caregiver and nurse drop by to give mom an evaluation as Patrick and Sunny had scheduled an appointment with a facility today and I thought it better to find the right fit (as there are three locations).  Mom answered their questions – offended at how personal it was getting.  I figured she’d forget about it the minute they left.  But she asked, “Just who were those girls?”

          “Those weren’t your visiting teachers?” I knew that they weren’t.  But she might not know. 
          “I’ve never seen them before.”
          “Really?” I know for a fact that she doesn’t know even half the people in her ward (church boundaries) although she has known many of its members 20-40 years or more.  But she’s forgotten most of them.  I was surprised to see her smiling at the ward Christmas dinner and staying for the entire program.

          “Oh, I’m sorry mom.  Maybe I shouldn’t have let them in.  They seemed nice”
          She forgot about them.  I told her that I had to leave in about thirty minutes to pick up Jenna and would she like to come with me.  I was surprised when she said “yes” but of course she changed her mind when it came time – which was okay.  I needed to get home to start dinner for Roland.

          As I was getting ready to leave, she kissed me and thanked me for coming.  She doesn’t remember her conversation with “the girls” at all.  Even if I had told her the truth about who they were and why they were there, she wouldn’t have remembered.  So why have her be upset for two or three minutes with the truth?  I hate having to lie – but I hate having her upset with me even more.
          Funny.  Whenever we tried to cover up a wrong-doing with a lie, we got into more trouble with the lie than we did for the “crime” itself. I remember one time when we didn’t get punished at all because even though our actions were less than desirable (I had let Patrick drive the car a year before he was eligible to get his driver’s license) we had been truthful about it.
          Mom doesn’t remember that.  I don’t know if she remembers how against deceit she was at one time.  I think she’s oblivious for the most part.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Out of the Mouths of Babes


Throughout the years I’ve written down a child’s interpretation (most from four year old minds) of what things are. Here are some of them:


Four years old, looking for a specific shade


Which one is “antler” brown?



On mortar:


Why are there grey lines
on grandma’s house?




Popeye looks just like Charlie
Brown, but he’s a smoker



On Saturday’s warrior video:


“It’s a happy sad show.  But
some of it is boring.”





“Are you sick because you’re
building a baby?”




  
tiger skin





snow snakes




  
Potato Paper





Why does the potato have trees



First corn dog discovery:



“There’s a hot dog inside!”



Egg Slobber


Adult complains about the small
amount of money that may accompany
a huge mound of paper work


“Well you are lucky.  I do
paper work at school all day long
and I don’t get paid anything”





The cave is scary
because it has teeth





 “If you look closely, you
can see feathers in the moon”





If you watch too much TV
you’ll get diarrhea




  
“I am so mad, I feel like a rhinoceros
that swallowed a rock”





“How do they get sunflowers
to grow inside of bagels?”



Trying to explain her first vomiting experience:


“My mouth broke”





Chucky fried Chicken




On Snowball Snacks


“I don’t really like the brown
part; I just like the skin.”





 “This cereal has no flavor”






It’s a twinkle twinkle little star




Set up for Easter egg hunt:


 “Where the Easter Eggs grow”



No matter who answered the phone:


 “Is this the number for
Grandma June’s House?”


Identifying Chewbacca


Han Solo’s lion





“Mama!  Mama!  God just took my picture!”



 Grape bones





“Mama! Mama!  Kayla ate the baby Jesus”



When Fival falls overboard my
niece is genuinely concerned:

“Does Fival ever get to see his mom
and dad get married in the temple?”