Because the Kiddo wants to share his videos

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Small One

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
―                                         -A.A. Milne

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sons and Daughters of a King

We took D to see Lion King in 3D last week. My son loved it, my husband slept through it, and I found inspiration from it.

During the scene where Simba sees Mufasa in the cloud, Mufasa says to his son, "You have forgotten who you are, and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become."

At that moment I thought of my Father in Heaven. How often does he say the same thing to us? Through the scriptures? Through a living prophet and apostles? I could imaging the Lord saying to me, "You have forgotten who you are, and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Nicole. You are more than what you have become."

Satan and the world would have us think we are not pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, funny enough, friendly enough...  You can fill in the blank in a thousand different ways. But they are wrong.

We are children of God, sons and daughters of a King. We are of divine worth. We only need to see it and then teach it to our children. We have great potential to become like our Father in Heaven one day.

Mudasa left Simba with these words, "Remember who you are. Remember..."

I pray that we also might remember.

Friday, September 16, 2011

"The Mantra"

Last night I laid in bed wanting another baby so badly. I knew I had another month of medication, and I was sure I could convince my husband to give it one more shot. I mean, what if next month was "the month?"

That is the mantra of all women who suffer from infertility; maybe next month. Maybe next month the prescription will work. Maybe next month the procedure will work. Maybe next month my body will work properly. Maybe next month I will be pregnant. I fell into this trap. It was the next procedure, or surgery, or medication, it was the next try that could be "the one." But it wasn't for me, and next thing I realized is I had two years of "maybe the next month" and nothing to show for it. I was so focused on trying to conceive I missed out of seeing what blessings were right in from of me. My life revolved around my cycle. It is all I ever thought about. It was two weeks of hoping we got the timing right and that the medications/procedures worked, just to discover one morning they didn't. Then a week of being depressed, followed by a week of getting ready to "get it right," followed by two weeks of hoping....I think you get the idea. This was how month after month it was for me. The mantra can get into my head and make me feel crazy. I think you can see now why we are done for a while.

While writing this, an old cut started to bleed. I asked D if we could grab me a band-aid. He came over to see why, and, after seeing the blood, he said, "I'll get you one of mine with the super-heros on it. You need a really strong super-hero." He then come in with the box and started to search through them. "How about the Hulk? No, I think you need this special strong Iron Man. Here, Mom." After, he put the package of band-aids away and throw away all the garbage (after putting one on himself of course.).  How can I feel I am missing out when I have such a great kids as D? I must be going now. It is time to read Highlights magazines together. Maybe next month we will talk about wanting a baby again, or maybe not. ;)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Baby Isn't A Baby Anymore

D is turning four in a couple of months. I am having a hard time with it, even more so now we know he will likely be our only child. The funny thing is I'll be turning 30 around the same time, but I am not having a hard time with that one at all. Maybe I will once I get closer to the big day. For now, I just keep thinking about D turning 4.

I know 3 is a long way from being a baby, but he still had some toddler traits I could see once in a while. I think of 4 as a kid, not a toddler, and that makes me sad. I will admit that I even cried this morning when I was talking to my husband about it. I had the same problem when he turned 3, but it seems to be worse this time. I hope this isn't a trend. I can only imagine how I will be when he turns 10,15,19....  They don't warn you about this when you decide to have kids. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lioness at the Gate

Photo by Mary Robbins
A week ago we had a Relief Society meeting about organizing and prioritizing.  Although I learned some helpful ideas to get my paper under control, What I enjoyed most was when the talk given by Sister Julie B Beck at the BYU Women's conference in 2010 was discussed. (You can find the talk here) I found it inspiring. I won't discuss the whole talk, but rather just the parts we discussed  in our RS meeting.

Sister Beck talks about how as women we are like the lioness at the gate of our homes.
She guards that gate, and things matter to that family if they matter to her. For example, if the lioness at the gate believes in the law of tithing, tithing will be paid in that family. If that family has a humble little portion of ten pesos coming in, that lioness will safeguard the one peso if tithing is important to her. If that lioness at the gate knows about renewing her baptismal covenants with God, she will be in sacrament meeting on Sunday, and she will prepare her children to be there. They will be washed, cleaned, combed, and taught about that meeting and what happens there. It isn’t a casual event, but it is serious to her, and it will be serious to them. The lioness at the gate ensures that temple worship is taken care of in the family. She encourages that participation. She cares about seeking after her ancestors. If the lioness at the gate knows about and understands missions, missionaries, and the mission of the house of Israel, she will prepare future missionaries to go out from that home. It is very difficult to get a lion cub away from a lioness who doesn’t believe in missions, but if the lioness believes in a mission, she will devote her life to preparing the cub to go out and serve the Lord. That’s how important she is. Service happens if she cares about it. 

What matters to us as mothers, wives, daughters, and teachers is what we will make sure happens. It becomes our mission in life. So then, what is your mission in life? This is a deep and important question. I don't think it is something that can be answered quickly. I have this feeling I sort of understand my mission because of what I know to be true because of the gospel, but I also feel I still have more to understand that has not yet been reveled to me. This is where the importance of personal revelation plays a role. Sister Beck touches on this:
 The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important ability that can be acquired in this life. Qualifying for the Lord’s Spirit begins with a desire for that Spirit and implies a certain degree of worthiness. Keeping the commandments, repenting, and renewing covenants made at baptism lead to the blessing of always having the Lord’s Spirit with us. When we have that spirit, we can walk with God. We can know His Son and make proper choices. 
As we gain more and more personal revelation regarding what our own missions are, we are better able to prioritize our time in order to accomplish our mission. (Now you can see how the talk tied into a meeting about organization.)

Let's use a visual aid I am sure many of you have seen before. Imagine you have a jar. In that jar you need to place some large rocks, some smaller stones, and some sand. If you place the sand in first, followed by the stones, and finally the rocks, it won't all fit in the jar. But, if you first place the large rocks in, then the stones, and finally fill in the spaces with the sand you can manage to make it all fit in the jar. Just like with the jar, if we fill our time with not as important things we can never seem to fit in the important stuff. We need to first get the important stuff done and then we can easily fit in the not so important.

Sister Beck talks about how she actually took the time to write a list of the Essentials (rocks), the Necessary (small stones), and the Nice-to-Do's (sand). We did the same thing during our meeting. I will share with you what I wrote.

Essentials -The things that must be taken care of to ensure the blessings of eternal life for me and my family. 
  1. Scripture study with my gospel journal
  2. Prayer
  3. Church and temple attendance
  4. Family scripture study and prayer
  5. FHE
Necessary- Things we have to do as a part if this mortal life in order to be self-reliant and be of service to our families and the Lord.
  1.  Service in the Church (callings and visiting teaching)
  2. Homemaking (pattern my home after the temple and create a place where the Spirit can dwell)
  3. Thrift
  4. Increase strength of family relationships
  5. Education
  6. Seek spiritual activities (Relief Society meetings, fireside, etc.)
Nice-to-Do's- These add variety to our lives, but won't save us.
  1. Reading
  2. Blogging
  3. Travel
  4. Girls Night Out
  5. Outside activities (meaning outside the home. The busy fillers many of us have, be it sports, movies, book club, etc.)
This list is not a complete list. Your list might be different from mine. I am sure I will add things later as I feel inspired. It does give me a  starting point. It helps me remember to make sure I get to my rocks and then stones before filling my jar with the sand. Ever notice if you sit down to watch TV or play on the computer and time just slips away from you? I think that is what we need to be afraid of. We lose so much time on the sand we never get to the rocks. The Lord's way of doing things is always best.
to be spiritually-minded is life eternal. 2 Nephi 9:39
As I continue my happiness project, I plan on keeping this list in my gospel journal so I can be reminded of the goals in my life that will bring me the greatest joy of all.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Golden Ratio

My husband is a mathematician. We actually met when I needed help passing Calculus II.  I can distinctly remember talking to him about the Fibonacci series. He saw it so simply and I just thought it was ridiculous (mostly because it wasn't making sense at all).

My husband can see math all around him. He sees how it is involved in nature, manufacturing, economics and much of politics, other sciences, and even in the gospel. Understanding math strengthens his testimony of the creation and of the gospel. He sees beauty and order in it.

I recently found this post on a favorite homeschooling blog of mine. I watched it with my husband and son. As a matter of fact, D asked to watch it over and over again. It is beautiful. After the video was over, my husband said, "And some people would try and make you believe that is was all by some chance," and shook his head. He was referring to order and logic that is involved in such beauty. It isn't all by chance, but rather there is a Divine Creator. I hope to be able to teach my son to not only see the beauty in mathematics, but also see how it can lead us to look towards our Savior and Father on Heaven.

As a little background, the golden ratio is a number, approximately 1.61803398874989, that shows up as you study math, biology, architecture, music, etc.  Understanding of the golden ratio seems to have started around 440 BC with the building of the Parthenon, and continued to grow as other scientists, such as Plato and Fibonacci, discovered other occurrences in math and geometry. The mathematician and philosopher Zeising wrote in 1854 of a universal law "in which is contained the ground-principle of all formative striving for beauty and completeness in the realms of both nature and art, and which permeates, as a paramount spiritual ideal, all structures, forms and proportions, whether cosmic or individual, organic or inorganic, acoustic or optical; which finds its fullest realization, however, in the human form." You can read more about the Golden Ratio here.


(While writing this post, D heard the music from the video and came running in saying, "Mom, I love that video!" I guess we will be watching it again and again.)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Siblings, For Better Or Worse

I have been thinking a lot about siblings. Knowing D will probably not have any, I was thinking about if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I have decided it is really neither. It is just a different thing, both with pros and cons. I can only speak from my experience of being the oldest with 5 siblings younger than me, but I think there are also pros and cons to having siblings.

Having two sisters just younger than me and three brothers younger than them, there was usually always someone to play with. We did crazy things. We put on plays, made movies, has photo shoots that often required us to dress up the younger boys, we played house and school and even library, and may more creative, over the top ideas. I remember my sister and I making a "secret" hideout in the attic. We even bought each other little Christmas gifts that we wrapped and placed in the hideout. After all the other gifts were open, we went up there to exchange gifts. I remember writing notes to my sister in the evenings when we should have been in bed and sneaking into the hallway and leaving them in a special place where they would go and find them. They would write back. I remember waking up at 3 AM on Christmas morning and playing games with my two sisters until it was finally time we could go and wake up our parents. Of course there was some present peeking. One time we even made made a paper mache cast for one of my sister when playing doctor.

I could go on and on with silly memories, but there were more than just fun times. There were times you knew we loved one another. I remember my sister passing up on a chance to go somewhere fun with a friend of ours because the friend said I couldn't come too. I can picture my sister standing in the dining room, a little teary, explaining that she told her friend if she wouldn't let me come, she wasn't going either. I remember my youngest brother sleeping in my room many nights. He always would say, "Let's talk." Then he would pick a topic and tell me to go first. And he always wanted to make up jokes. I remember telling him when it was finally time to stop talking. Recently my brother willingly drove across the country to help us move.

I am sad these are things D will never get to share with any siblings. But of course any of you who have siblings or who have raised siblings know, it usually isn't all sunshine and rainbows. There are a lot of rainstorms. I won't go into specifics, but there is childhood fighting, sibling rivalry, comparing one another to each other, being defensive, disagreements, misunderstands, sometimes lack of compassion or understand. In case any of my siblings actually read this, I am not implying I am guilt free of these activities. :) We are all guilty of getting caught up in ourselves and end up being unkind to our siblings. This kind of unkindness can hurt the worst because your siblings are suppose to love you and accept you and be considerate of you.

Also, I am told that only children grow up more confident because they get all their parents attention and love. I am sure this is true in some ways, but I don't think families with siblings are destined to feel less loved. Growing up, I don't ever remember thinking my parents had a favorite or loved me less because I had siblings. I might have thought it at times, but it was probably because I was just throwing myself a teenage pity party.

D will never have this same kind of hurt and competition. He has his parents full attention. There will be no perceived comparison or competition.  He is not fighting for input in family matters. There are definitely pros to being an only child. The question is whether or not the pros out weight the cons. Coming from a family with 6 kids, I would have to say no, but I know there are those who would disagree.

The fact of the matter is D will have a different childhood experience from either my husband or me. For better or worse.