Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spencer's lesson

I hesitate to post this on such a public place, but as I do use this as my personal journal and record of what goes on in our lives, I feel it was necessary. Although it was personal for him, it is a moment that has brought me great joy as a mother and I wanted to share my joy and not just focus on the funny or unfortunate things that happen to us.
A week ago Spencer and I were working on his Faith In God book. Faith in God is a program at church for 8-12 year olds. There is a book with goals/assignments that help children learn and grow spiritually. The 8-11yr. old boys can use some of the items in the book to earn their Religious Emblem for cub scouts. Spencer and I work on these items on Sunday afternoons. One of the items was to tell the Joseph Smith story in your own words and talk about prayer. Spencer decided that he would teach Family Home Evening the following day and teach about J.S. On Monday night, he told the story and it went very well. Afterwards, he came up to me and said, "Mom, ever since I taught about Joseph Smith, I just feel so good! I want to do good things, I want to help people, I want to be nice." I explained that what he was feeling was the Holy Ghost and that it was trying to tell him that what he had talked about was a good thing and was true. After we spoke, he was so excited that he ran over to Dave in the other room to tell him that he was feeling the Spirit. He was on cloud 9 for several days and after a few days he came to me and said, "Mom, I just can't wait until I get to give a talk again because I want to feel the Spirit again!" I told him that he could teach FHE again the next Monday, which he did last night. He is growing to be such a wonderful young man and I feel that he will do great things in his life. I am lucky to have him and honored to be his mom!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Homework Fun - don't read if you're easily offended or have "sensitive" eyes

Tomorrow is the last day of school. The boys are excited for summer to come so they can play and play and play and play. At our school on weeks like this that tend to have lots of parties, they stagger parties so that there aren't 1000 parents trying to park at once. We don't have a lot of parking and there are usually only about 10 extra parking places on any given day, so having class parties all on the last day of school, when you then have 20 cars per class 3-5 classes per grade, just isn't an option. Spencer's party was on Tuesday from 12-1pm and Carter's party was the same day, 12:15 - 1pm. Their classrooms are across the hall from each other, so that works out nicely. The girls and I went to Spencer's class for pizza and then went across the hall to Carter's class for ice cream. It was perfect!

While we were in Spencer's classroom, the teacher and I were talking about how well Spencer is doing and what nice young man he is becoming. She chuckled and said, "I have something to show you. You can have it, as long as you promise to keep it forever, for the rest of his life." I agreed and she handed me a piece of paper off of her desk. It was a copy of Spencer's very last homework assignment from June 4th. The assignment was to say what you thought you were going to do for July 4th and draw a picture. When Spencer doesn't want to do his homework, he actually will take a lot longer to do it, try to spell everything right, and put some effort into it (he does this because he's trying to prove to me that it takes too long to do.) When he just does his homework to get done quickly and be able to go out to play, he doesn't try to spell things right and doesn't put ANY effort into his drawings. June 4th was a day that he just wanted to get it done and go out to play, it was also a day that I just glanced at the book to see if he had written something and saw that there was a picture. I didn't take the time to read it... a mistake I will not make again...
It says, "Independence Day is on July 4. We are going to shoot fire works."
The teacher told me that she had made copies and was passing them out to everyone at the school (teachers, not students) She said it was the highlight of the year. Then she told me that the best thing about Spencer was that he didn't even know it was a bad word - I wonder how long that will last!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

FHE - Carter Style

Transcript from Monday night:
(As we gathered in the family room)
Me: Time for Family Home Evening!
Carter: I want to give the lesson... I have something to talk about.
Me: Oh. Okay. Carter's giving the lesson today.
(we sang and had an opening prayer)
Me: Okay, Carter, we turn the time over to you for the lesson.
Carter: I want to talk about vehicles.
Me: Okay... ??? What do you want to tell us about vehicles.
Carter: Um... They have engines and use gas to go.
Me: How does this help us?
Carter: Um... because an airplane is also a kind of vehicle and they are faster than cars.
Me: How does this help us in our lives?
Carter: I don't know.

It was a good Family Home Evening!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hooray, hooray! We're off to Luray!!

On Memorial Day weekend, late on Saturday night, Dave says to me, "I think we should take the kids to Luray Caverns."
My initial reaction is, "What!?! I have been with them all week, I want a day to relax, do nothing, and not stress out!" So, I started doing some research ready to tell him that it was just too far away, too expensive, and too much of a hassle to deal with it. I did some research and found that admition to the caverns, a museum (actually 2 museums but we really only wanted to do 1), and an outdoor maze would only cost us $90 for our family of 6 - not bad for this area where it costs $8 for a kid to get into a matinee movie, more than that to go to a tiny petting zoo, etc. So... not too expensive. Then I found out how far away it was... 2.5, 3, 4 hours away? Nope. 1.5 hours from here... not too far. Too much of a hassle, probably, but it might be worth it if the kids liked it. So, with 2 out of 3 in his favor, I agreed. It was time to make plans. I immediately thought of cub scouts and remembered that there was a belt loop and pin about geology and wondered what we needed to do to help Spencer earn that. One of the requirements for the pin is to visit a place of geological importance - hmm... Luray definately counts!
Once I sorted out what needed to be done there, I was able to start getting excited about this trip. We woke up on Monday morning, packed up lunch, water, snacks, and juice boxes, packed an extra change of clothes for each of the girls, and packed everyone into the car. We left at 7:40 and arrived in the parking lot in Luray at 9:05. There were very few people there and we were able to get a good spot. Dave bought tickets and we went in. Dave, the boys, and I were all given head sets for the tour.
It was pretty nifty. As you walk through the caverns
there are signs with numbers on them. Each sign has a number 101-119 for the adults and a corresponding 200 level number for the kids tour. [For example, sign 101 also had the number 201, sign 102 also said 202, etc.] You see a sign and type that number into your head set and it plays the part of the tour for that area. It was great and the kids were able to do it on their own (more or less).
They don't give headsets to children under the age of 5 (both because they don't listen to the whole tour and they are more likely to ruin it) so Miana was fairly disappointed and Dave and I spent a lot of time with our ear phones on Miana's ears.
After the caverns, we stopped by the car for a quick drink and off to the outdoor maze. It was just hard enough that no one was bored, but easy enough that no one was in tears ready to quit. They had four goal markers for you to find and a stamper for you to stamp a card each time you got to one. It was very well done and lots of fun. After the maze, we went into the car and carriage museum. The boys liked looking at all of the old cars and seeing what is the same and what was different.
Dave then took the girls out to the car to change diapers, and get them in their car seats while I let the boys each pick out 4 crystals (one for each kid) as souveniours. We also bought a rock identification kit (has 15 rocks 5 each of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary) - another part of Spencer's geology belt loop and pin. We then went to a park, had lunch, and headed home.
Overall, it was a fantastic trip and worth every second of it!!!