Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Compassion in all things

I love my local hardware store.  The folks there know me and are so great.  The owner, Tom, is a fantastic guy and I enjoy all of his employees.  Yesterday I stopped in and was once again reminded of how much I love that place.  They have always helped me figure out the best way to do something, and believe me, sometimes I go in there with some crazy ideas!  But yesterday not only was I helped with my hardware needs (some rope), I was also helped with my motherly duties.
Here is kind of how my conversation went:
Me- "Wow, thanks again for helping me figure this rope thing out.  You guys know everything!"
Nice new 60 year old employee- "Yeah, life experiences sure teach us alot, and I have had a lot of life to live and learn."
Me- "So what else are you an expert at besides ropes?"
Nice employee- "Kids, how to love them and help them learn and grow."
Me- (taken by surprise at the topic) "Okay, so I have this 7 year old . . . Wait, I think we should talk about my 10 year old.  She is sure getting sassy lately and gets so impatient with me."
Nice employee- "Well, compassion in all things."
Me- "Okay, explain."

He went on to tell me about the logic behind Love and Logic and how it can really work.  How as parents we need to use that balance of MERCY and JUSTICE when disciplining our kids, even as we drag them down the hall to their rooms, and then show them compassion and love.  It was a long long long conversation and I enjoyed it very much and learned quite a bit.  Or maybe I was reminded of quite a bit.  Either way, it got me thinking.

On Sunday, I listened to a talk by an amazing woman, the General Primary President of the LDS church, and she said something that stuck with me as well.  She said something like "Nighttime is such a precious time in our homes.  It should be a calm, peaceful, and loving time with your children.  Whether there is a bedtime story or not, it is the perfect opportunity to have important talks with your children."  Well, maybe she didn't say exactly that, but that is what I got out of it.
As I listened to her and to the fella at the hardware store I reflected on what bedtime is like at our house.  Not too peaceful, calm, or loving.  It is most often me barking at the two middle kids to get their PJs on and their teeth brushed, and "Oh my goodness, I didn't know your room was such a mess!  Hurry and pick this mess up!"  It is me telling Kelsey that right now is not the best time to practice the trumpet, let alone the violin and "I thought you said your homework was finished!" as she shoves a paper at me to sign.  It is me telling Matt, if he is home, to take the baby or brush Emmitt's teeth, "one or the other!" in a not so sweet voice.  It is me picking up toys and feeling so exhausted and tired myself that I just want the kids in bed and not arguing with me or with each other.  It is all of us sitting around the couches with sulking faces saying a nighttime family prayer without a whole lot of loving feelings going on.
Well, how do you feel about that little glimpse into my house at night?
Not so pretty right?
So, for the past two nights I have made a conscience effort to make our home a little better, a little more peaceful at night and take advantage of this glorious end of the day to love on my kids and listen to them, and not get so uptight about them being in bed at exactly 8:31.  You know what?  It helps.  Immensely.
My kids get a train ride to their beds about half of the nights of their lives so far.  Sometimes that train, me, is so darn tired I can't even "chugga choo choo" or toot a horn.  Maybe it isn't that I am so tired, but so done with the day and with my little ones that I can't put a good and patient effort into their train ride.
Tonight Spiderman Emmitt and Incredible Hulk Kendal got the best train ride to bed that they have had in a long time.  They got extra patient hugs and kisses as well, even with a smiling mom.  They were given COMPASSION and they could feel that good feeling tonight that just made them want to snuggle in and go to sleep without any tears, from either of us!
Compassion in all things, even bedtime, is my new motto for awhile.  I think it has proven itself as far as mottoes go!

Monday, September 17, 2012

that WILD girl of mine

 Kelsey said to me Saturday "Mom, I need a new bag for school.  My other one just isn't big enough."  I nonchalantly ignored her.  Sunday after church as I was getting ready to get some sewing done she asked me "Mom, will you help me make a new bag for school?"  I could not ignore her darn it!  How could I deny my sweet Kelsey when she wants to sew?  I told her to get onto and find a pattern she liked.  After that was accomplished, I told her to look through my fabric and find some she liked.  Then we got busy.

I cut the fabric out for her and did the math (we had to increase the size of the pattern), but she did all the sewing.  It turned out fun and pretty WILD!  I was given this fabric in a fat quarter bundle and didn't know what I would ever do with it, but Kelsey did.  She is the fashionable one around here!
Kelsey wore her new bag to school today with all her binders, books, and such in it.  She loves it.  It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

 These two hooligans made a monster mess in my front room while Kelsey and I sewed.  Matt and the baby had a beloved Sunday afternoon nap of course!  I almost took a picture of the mess, I mean blanket, couch cushions, and pillow hut, but I couldn't let anyone witness the horror!  So here they are, looking sweet and silly.
I love Sunday afternoons at home with my crew!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I am smitten (or otherwise known as affected sharply with great feeling, very much in love, captivated, charmed, beguiled, enamored) with my little Kenna.  I can not get enough of her. 

 Maybe it is because I know she is my last infant to snuggle, my last baby to nurse, my last baby to have that is so pure and innocent.  Maybe because she depends 100% on me right now and I AM her world, or maybe it is because I know what a blessing straight from our loving Father in Heaven she is, or maybe it is because He trusts me enough to send her to me to raise.  Maybe it is because she is the sweetest and most mellow baby I have had so that makes me want her to want me!  Maybe it is because I can get her to giggle at me, and in turn melt my heart.  She brings tears to my eyes when she sees me and lights up her little face with a smile, a genuine smile just for me.  Maybe that is why I am smitten.

Whatever the reason, or all 1000 reasons, I am so thankful for my little Kenna Holland and love her deeply.  Her cheeks are the sweetest things to kiss and I take every opportunity to do so.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A nutshell

There is NO WAY to ever catch up with my blogging, so here is just a little overview of a few fun things we have done in the past 3 weeks that I haven't taken the time to blog about.

 We went to the Wayne County Fair and had a marvelous time, including the Demolition Derby.  Sitting with my cousins, my sister, my brother, and their spouses and kids was the best part of all!

The kids thought is was a great time - watching cars crash into eachother!
School started and the girls went to school, leaving Emmitt and Kenna home with me.  They love school, and the little ones and I are having a great time as well.

 We had a back to school marshmallow roast with a few neighbors and friends.  We need to have a few more now that the weather has cooled off this fall.

 Kenna started smiling - which melts my heart!

 Matt and Emmitt made some much needed shelves in our garage - it was a wonderful day spending it with Matt at home.  

 Matt cut  his head open and had me staple it closed.  It was NOT while making my shelves, but while preg-checking cows.  OUCH!

 We had our annual and wonderful Chappell Family Reunion over Labor Day Weekend.  I had a great time visiting with family, the kids had a blast and got incredibly dirty, and it was great as usual.

 Matt told me he is in love with me.
But, he tells me that all the time, so it wasn't new news.
(after seeing this picture, he also did mention that I have a pointy nose and chin - like a witch!)

 Emmitt is obsessed with super heros, mainly Spiderman. 
We do a lot of puzzles while the girls are in school and have a fantastic time together.
 We have been enjoying the wonderful cooler weather of September and enjoying evenings together, after homework is finished of course!

 I have been getting ready for our big civil war weekend coming up at the end of the month.  These are little writing tables I am making for the kids to mess around with while writing with quill pens and ink.

Matt went to Iowa for some continuing education courses, and was able to visit and sight-see with his parents who are in Missouri for just a few more weeks of their 18 month mission.  While he was there, I went to a cousin party and talked family history and genealogy and had a great evening.  

That is us in a nutshell.  We are truly enjoying September so far and hope for many more memorable times this month. We need to start getting in the firewood for the winter, and that is always a fun family activity that I look forward to doing.  The leaves are changing in our valley and it gorgeous! What a beautiful sight!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

 Oh my goodness, it has been much too long since I blogged.  We have had so many fun things going on - back to school for the girls, family reunion, marshmallow roasts with neighbors, fun with cousins, and so much more!  I have been a bit preoccupied though, and this is why.  This event is coming up in just a few weeks and that is what my day is full of  - making civil war arrangements.  It is going to be a wonderful weekend!


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