Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Soren Speaks

SOREN: (cutting across the grass on his bike) My bike is like an ATV!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Carl Speaks

CARL:  When we get home, can we sit in the fridge?

MOM:  No.  The fridge is for keeping food cool.

SOREN:  And you could freeze in there!

CARL:  But you don't understand how hot I am! I am as hot as a toenail on fire!

MADDY: I know; I was almost cooked to a rotten chicken.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Carl Speaks

The boys are all eating breakfast together in the kitchen.  (Today it's eternal bowls of cheerios.)  I'm studying the scriptures in the other room, wondering if I should move to sit on the vent, where it's warmer.  Then I overhear this comment, from Carl:

CARL: Some people are so poor, they don't have any brothers.  They are so unlucky.  But we've got exactly the opposite of that.  We have a lot of brothers!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Easter 2016

I have been blessed in the last year by many experiences that are spiritual in nature.  My faith in God and His miracles has grown as the voice of His Spirit has testified to me.  I know better than before of the reality of an unseen world and the love that reaches out to me from that place.

Because of that growth, Easter held extra meaning for me this year.  Christ's triumph is real to me--and so is the hope I felt this season.  Hallelujah.

Our family's celebrations this year included:

1. Soren and I kicked off the season by watching the world's largest virtual Hallelujah chorus, a project
produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  That was an amazing way to get into the celebratory spirit.

2. This was our first Easter in our own home.  We set up the Easter table in the dining room.  This is one of my favorite traditions: we decorate a table with symbols that remind us of Christ and keep a candle burning there in the week before Easter.  On Good Friday, we use a red candle instead of a white one and let it burn out.  On Holy Saturday, the candlestick is empty.  But it is relit on Easter morning, to remind us that the light of the world lives again.  This small corner of our house dedicated to remembering the Savior really helps us all to focus on His reality and His relationship with us.

3. Thursday evening we had our Passover dinner.  The missionaries came and we brought the Easter candle to the dining room table.  I made flatbread, as usual, but also bought some pre-cooked lamb slices that we could wrap in it.  So the dinner was more like a feast than usual.  The older kids remembered the bitter herbs from previous years, which was neat.  I like that they are starting to make connections from year to year.  Eating bitter herbs is one tradition that never fails to provoke discussion--why make a tradition of eating something unpleasant?  The reason is because it helps us to remember the bitterness of bondage or in other words, the bitterness of sin and death.

4. The weekend was a time of preparation.  The boys dyed eggs and I made Easter bread.  I filled the Easter baskets (with new underwear, socks, and chocolate bunnies) and the plastic eggs (with lots of jelly beans).  Even with electric lights, we noticed that our Easter candle was not burning.  After having the energy of real flame in a room all week, you notice when it is gone.

5. The night before Easter was also the Women's session of General Conference.  It was an inspiring conference that focused on ministering to refuges.  I especially loved Sister Marriot's talk called "What Shall We Do?"  In it, she encouraged the women of the church to create a safe place where everyone can belong.  She said that love means making space in your life for someone else.  I felt reminded that night, as I was preparing to symbolically receive the risen Lord the next morning, that Christ calls me to receive Him by serving those He loves.  "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

6.  Carl was very excited about Easter this year.  He couldn't wait for the big day.  So his excitement on Easter morning was very gratifying.  No one was more pleased with a breakfast of hard-boiled eggs and a basket with new (LEGO movie) underwear than him.  But Sven did make a close second; he liked the letters on his underwear.

7. My mom left Easter treats for everyone at our house the last time she visited.  Breaking into all those goodies was a fun part of the day--especially for Scott and I.

8. I played the harp in church.  At the request of Bishop Sands, I played "I Wonder When He Comes Again", one of my favorite primary songs.  Unfortunately, we were in a big hurry that morning and I didn't get to church early enough to tune.  So I had to tune quickly in the middle of the meeting, which took about 2 minutes.  I have never tuned with such a large and quiet audience before.  It was unnerving.  I hope the music was worth it in the end.

9. Carl invited Daniel and Amber Long to join our family for the Easter egg hunt after naptime.  It was a little rainy, but not bad enough to drive us indoors.  There were lots of eggs and I stuffed them more than usual, thinking that the teenagers would want to participate.  But they only helped, which I was very grateful for.  Maddy and Carl were a little competitive but Soren got the most eggs.  Sven and Leif were quickly satisfied with just a few eggs--but Daniel and Amber kept encouraging them to go back out and get more.  Afterwards, we went inside and the kids poured candy all over the floor.

10. The Longs stayed for dinner.  They brought a grapefruit punch that was the perfect addition to the meal.  Usually our ham and cheesy potatoes are way to heavy.  I also made a strawberry and spinach salad that helped.  We used our china and silver, which made it feel special.

11. Soren taught a Family Home Evening lesson about the resurrection the day after Easter.  He made his own visual aids: little cut-outs of the people and places involved in the story.
 I was very proud of his clear and correct teachings.

12. I should also mention that the bin with our Easter decorations stayed in the living room for a few days while I gathered things up.  The boys played "Easter egg hunt" several times and it was a big job gathering all the eggs together again.  But the biggest mess happened when Sven got ahold of the Easter grass.  He spread two bags of it all over the living room floor.  Thanks, Sven.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Sven Speaks

I am sitting outside the door of Sven's room, listening to him play with duplos.  He has three little duplo people, two boys and a girl, that he has decided are a family.  I can hear him playing with them, making them talk and driving their little car across his hardwood floor.  Here are some of the things he is saying:

"Mom and Dad are getting married!"

"Dad is taking us to the temple.  Where is the temple?"  (He says this in a higher voice.  I guess the "Mom" is talking.)

"It's too far away."  (This voice is deeper.  Must be the "Dad".)

"Hooray!  It's general conference temple!"  (Now his voice is normal.  Does that mean this is the kid?)

"Beep, beep."  (That must be the car.)

"I'm making a ham and cheese sandwich."  (Then all the duplos get dumped out.)

And my personal favorite: "Carolyn, you can call me Scott."  (How romantic.)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Best Things about Leif (at 15 months)

1. How he sits on my lap to listen to a board book.  He likes to turn the pages.
2. He also likes to "read" to himself.  His babbling noises are charming.
3. The way he puts his head on my shoulder when he is tired.
4. How ticklish he is.
5. That he can come down the stairs safely all by himself.
6. How pleased he looks when he is wearing Daddy's glasses.
7. That he has learned not to play with the chess pieces.
8. His enthusiastic toddle.
9. The way he smiles at his brothers.
10. That he will eat almost anything--but only if he sees you eating it first.
11. How much he loves Nan.  When she comes, he pants with excitement and practically jumps out of my arms.
12. The way he squeezes his hand to sign "milk".
13. Giving him raspberries.
14. That he likes animals.  He gets excited whenever he notices the cat
15. and enjoys getting licked in the face by Poppy's dog.
16. His smile.
17. And his laugh.  That's really the best.
18. How warm he is.  I love carrying him around and feeling his warmth.
19. That he doesn't squirm when I change his diaper anymore.
20. His blossoming humanity.  He is figuring out the world and feeling more confident in it every day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Soren Speaks

Soren was assigned to read Helaman chapters 10 and 11 (of the Book of Mormon) in school this week.  This is the story of Nephi receiving power from God to do practically anything.  (He prays for a famine, hoping that it will teach the people humility.  It works.)

After reading the story, Soren gave me a great narration:

SOREN: In this chapter, Nephi receives root permission.  He can do anything.  The root user can even destroy the whole system with just six commands.