Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Vacation, A Calling, and a Crazy Idea

Wow. It's been quite the few weeks, and I even have pictures to share!

We left for Rexburg last Wednesday and arrived that evening around 5. It was a great drive. We decided to take the back road through Wyoming, and it took us through Star Valley (sorry, family, for not stopping by!) and Swan Valley, ID. It was a gorgeous drive. The kids were pretty good until about 4 p.m. Joseph had barely fallen asleep when Kenny woke him up, so they were both really grumpy for the last hour.

James and I attended his parents' marriage class. We went to the whole 7 weeks last year, and it was a wonderful class. I recommend it to anyone. This lesson was a great review on anger. I need to work on controlling mine much better. I felt like I had improved, but then I had another kid. :)

James and Joseph went with his mom to I.F. the next day to run errands. I spent the morning relaxing in the quiet. Joseph may be one person, but he's not super quiet! James and I went to D.I. while the kids were napping. We scored a kid bike trailer and a bike rack to hook onto our car, so we were able to bring back the other bike. Too bad it's snowing, or we would've gone on a family bike ride by now. We had dinner that night at Big Jud's with James's parents and Sam and Jesse.

Friday morning we went to Bear World. It's not super cheap, but James's mom paid. It was well worth it to go on the fun little rides with Joseph. He loved the train, of course. We had lunch with Grandma and Grandpa Lee. Melodie and I went to a Relief Society retreat with the ward, and it was a lot of fun. I took Kenny, and he was an angel. Too bad the kid next door kept crying at midnight. I came home really sleep deprived. It was like one big sleepover with my old ward. I loved catching up with everyone.

Saturday night we watched Avengers (best comic book movie I've seen so far!) but I fell asleep. The sisters had a Halloween dance, and they woke me up at 1 a.m. I was not pleased. Somehow, I managed to go back to sleep.

After church, we packed up and drove home. It was a much better drive than on the way up. We took the Salt Lake route. I fell asleep for some of it. The boys napped for 2 hours and were angels. I love those little guys. We made it home around 9 and put them straight to bed, then went to bed early ourselves. Traveling wears me out and stresses me out quite a bit. It's great to be home.

It's been an uneventful week. We had our first snow yesterday and I've just been doing my normal thing.

I am now the Relief Society pianist! It's been great to learn hymns, and 2 a week is perfect. I love getting to know new songs. It's too bad that I can't sing along, because our R.S. is a little (okay, maybe a lot) off key. I guess pianists are hard to find in my ward, so I'm happy to be needed! (My ward last year had about 10 piano-players, so it was easy to find people to play. Here, not so much, and the R.S. president had to sub for me last week!)

I've been a little discouraged about my post-babies/nursing mom body. Yes, I wear my original size, and I only have an extra 5 lbs. or so, but it just isn't budging with 4-5 workouts a week and pretty healthy eating. James and I are going to join the rec center, and I'm going to start learning to swim (since I'm horrible) and work on my endurance with running. I said I'd never do it, and I'll probably never run faster than a 9-10 min. mile because of my short legs, but I need to do something more. I don't think I'll race against anyone but myself, because I just wasn't built to run fast. I think I'm crazy for even trying, because I haven't run since 9th grade. My teacher passed me out of the goodness of his heart because I was unable to run 2 miles in 20 minutes. (I still had 1/4 of a mile to go, and I was trying my hardest after intense training for 9 weeks.)

Joseph and Uncle Joseph

me, because "Mom stays in the picture"

Kenny loving his paci

little shorty isn't quite 3 feet tall

the bear family

fun ride

another fun ride
We'll see how this goes! If anyone has good advice, I would like to hear it (cousins reading this!)

Friday, October 12, 2012

On Politics and Baby Food (Rant-Free)

I promise that this is not a political rant! Nor is it all the things that people say on Facebook that simply hate on the other party. Bear with me: sometimes my thoughts get a little jumbled as I try to put things on "paper", but I've been thinking a lot over the past few weeks about these elections and how to deal with all the negativity going around.

I've felt somewhat complacent about political issues in the U.S. Many of them do not seem clear cut to me even after reading about both sides, and I don't believe everything I hear. After all, news stations are clearly biased toward one party or another. How can people really say that they know the "truth" and that the other party is completely wrong, ignorant, and/or plain evil? Although I live in Utah now, which is a very conservative state, the extreme conservatism that I hear really bothers me sometimes. There is a lot of assumption going on about the "other" party, whichever that may be. I see hateful memes and messages about our current president almost every day. Although I may not agree with everything he does (or when I'm just indifferent), I just can't seem to justify how people would compare him to "the devil" or say that he is anti-American...or perpetuate rumors that have been proven false about him. How does trying to bring the other party down give any credit to your own?

Where can we find "the truth"? I think we've forgotten. Logic does play an essential role is discovering the truth of all things, but where logic fails to explain things, we need to have faith and rely on the Spirit to teach us. This country is facing a lot of challenges right now. I don't have any idea how to fix them. It's not in my stewardship to take care of the whole nation. Regardless of the outcome of any election, I'm not going to have a fit about it, because I know the truth through the Spirit. If the devil himself really were the president of this country, I would still be proud to be an American, because I know that God is really the one in charge. Ultimately, he will not let evil win. I don't think that all evil is found in ONE leader. Nor is all the good.

From an LDS mom's standpoint, I can still do my part in solving the big issues, even if it's just a drop in the ocean.

I'll never go to war and I can't solve the ones we have, but I can promote peace in my own home: the peace that comes from living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I can't get rid of national debt, but I can certainly start in my own home by getting rid of ours. We're already working on becoming more self reliant.

Abortion and gay marriage have not affected me or my immediate family directly, but I can instill in my children the values taught by The Family: A Proclamation to the World. I can't change the decisions made by others, but I'm not afraid of offending anyone when I stand for what I believe. How would that trample on anyone else's rights? They have their agency. It's my duty to share my knowledge of what I know to be true, whether they accept it or not.

Don't want to pay income tax? Just be a stay-at-home mom. If I did work, I would sustain and uphold the law. I can't say how to fix this economy, but I'll never break a law, even if it seems unfair to my middle-class family.

I can't make more jobs for others, but I can find fulfillment in my own as a mother. Someone who needs my teaching job more than I do can certainly have it.

I can't fix the problems with education, but I can educate my own children. Whether I send them to public school or not, they are still going learn the Gospel and the most important lessons at home. Having been in public schools, I know that most of their problems come from a lack of good family structure anyway!

The environment needs my help. I don't know how to take care of oil drilling, but I do know that I can conserve in my own household. I look at the positive side: God made us a beautiful world to enjoy! I do enjoy it, no matter how the electricity gets in my house.

Healthcare for others isn't something I can do much about, but I can keep my own family healthy by living The Word of Wisdom to the best of my ability (therefore avoiding the need for much healthcare!)

I have faith in the American people. Many do not live with the constant guide of the Spirit as I do. I can't judge them by their political decisions when they lack the guidance that I've had. I don't condemn them for voting differently because I can, from a logical standpoint only, see why.

These are things that I know to be true, not just because of logic, but because the Spirit has testified of their truth to me. I have pondered the big issues many times, but I don't think there's one way to fix them. That's why I'm starting with my home.

No matter how this election turns out, I will follow God in my daily life. Nothing will change in the way I worship. He's taking care of this world and country. We have no need to fear as long as we're doing our best to follow Him.

On a completely unrelated note, Kenny is doing especially well with baby food and seems to really like it. Despite my best efforts to produce a chubby baby, I just ain't got it in me. He didn't gain anything between 4 and 6 months, so he's in the 2nd percentile on weight. The dr. is going to weigh him again next month to make sure he's okay. I just have to remind myself that he's fine. No baby who sleeps 11 hours at night and is happy and active could possible be starving to death. He has his moments, sure, but he's a great baby, and we are really glad to have him in our family. I hope he gains even just a little bit, but I think he's going to be a little guy. I'm okay with that. I'm sure he will still be taller than me when he grows up!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

When You Make Plans... hands you a baby who doesn't want a nap.

It's been a long week.

Where did all my sunshine go? :( Not a fan of waking up at 6:30 when it's still dark!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Simple Life RETURNS!

It's been one heck of a week in the Head household. I'm used to a pretty laid-back schedule. I almost never leave the house while James is at work, and I'm totally cool with that.

We hosted James's whole family, minus his dad, who is in Ecuador. They arrived last Saturday and left today. We did a lot together, ate lots of yummy food, and had fun introducing his siblings to Star Trek: Enterprise.

I enjoyed the Relief Society broadcast last Saturday night. I wish I would’ve paid more attention, but that’s hard with a little boy who keeps doing cute things. My neighbor Chelsie came with us. There was dessert afterward, and it was yummy.

Other highlights:

Thrift stores: Okay, so one is a pawn shop. I found some hooks for the boys’ room and Melodie bought us a couch—our first ever---for the living room! I washed the covers and we vacuumed it out. It’s really comfy!

Dinosaur stuff. You just have to when you’re in Vernal.

The park.

The temple.

A date with free babysitting. We sure miss that.

I also got a calling. I’m nervous, but excited. I will share once I am actually sustained, so you have to wait 2 weeks. Let’s just say that I really need to practice. J

4 loads of laundry later, the house is just about back in order. I’m loving this gorgeous weather. I want it to stay forever. I can’t wait for Conference!

Also, my brother Christian is HOME from his mission. I can’t believe it’s been 2 years. Joseph was just a baby when he left. Kenny is 6 months old as of today, so we’re heading to the dr. to see how little he is. (Definitely not big: that child is a bean pole!)

And that is all. Enjoy the pictures.

Auntie Anna with Joseph at the park

Grandma and Kenny

This makes me happy!

Love this boy.

Uncle Joseph

wall of bones/ dinosaur quarry

Aunt Angie