Monday, January 31, 2011

Whisperings of Relief . . .

Today as I cleaned my kitchen, my mind again wandered to that "why can't I do it all" place.  For some reason, my mind likes that place, and thinks that a daily visit is a habit that should not be broken.  I, however, would very much like to break that habit.

I looked at the kitchen, then at the living room, and then back to the kitchen.  Toys were everywhere.  The remnants of a failed attempt at fort making took over the living room.  Chalk, paint, crayons, markers, books, etc. were in every corner.  "Ugh - this house is a mess.  Why can't I do it all?"

Then . . . the overwhelming feeling that failure is just around the corner.  The house is a mess, Natalie is wearing a swimsuit (and it rained today), Maejae's hair is a mess, and I still haven't gone grocery shopping.  A quick prayer of "please just let me get this house clean before Nathan comes home" and I was off to cleaning again.  (I don't like to have Nathan greeted with a messy house - I very much hate it.  He deserves more.)

The girls were playing away, making more of a mess in the living room, while I tackled the kitchen and dining room.  And then it hit me - the soft whisperings of relief.  Of hope.  Of success.

There is a time and a place for everything!  Everything!  Even Christ didn't do everything all at once.  He spent his early days teaching of our Father in Heaven, of the Gospel, of how to treat others.  He went about proclaiming truth, living by example, and loving as He went.  Christ was sent to teach - then to serve.

My time and place is here and now.  It is my time to teach, to be a mother.  I have children to raise.  They need to know of their Father in Heaven, of their Savior, of Love.  They need to learn simple things, such as drawing, painting, coloring, cutting, reading, etc.  They need to learn how to clean, to help, to share, and to have confidence in themselves.  It is my time to teach them.  To teach them as best as I can, and to have faith that the Lord knows my intentions to serve.

My mother somehow did it all.  She had a daycare that she ran, 4 children of her own, she attended all of our sporting/dance/swimming events.  AND - she taught us how to serve.  I remember piling into our minivan and driving down to the kitchen.  We'd assemble a few meals, then load up in the van and head out to deliver them.  It was called Meals on Wheels.  I remember visiting a man who had a stroke and was paralyzed on the left side.  He was funny, he was smart, and he was kind.  He always gave us candy.  And, he loved that we brought him meals.  I loved that he taught me to love those with disabilities!

I think of that experience with my mom and think I'm failing.  I don't do near enough to teach my children of service.  But then, today - it hit me.  They are young - only 3 and 18 months.  They are learning service and love the way Christ first taught.  Through my example, and through my teachings they are learning.  I serve my friends, in the church, and my family.  So, even though I don't have time to serve at the nursing home each week, or have the time to take my kids to a homeless shelter to feed others, I have the time to teach.

My time is to teach.  My place is in the home.  Eventually, when my children are older, I can take them on Meals and Wheels excursions, or to the nursing home, or other places.  When the time and place are right, the Lord will make sure there is time for the Service outside my home that I so desire to give.

For now, I find comfort in the quiet whisperings of relief.  I find comfort in knowing that I'm doing what I should be doing at this time in my life.  I find great relief knowing that in time, I will be able to do it all.  But for now, doing it all is teaching my children, serving my husband, serving in the church, and keeping the house clean with family meals every night.

I am NOT failing - and neither are you.  I know almost all of you (yes, you - my friends), have felt, or do feel, like you are failing.  But, we're not.  We're just doing what we should be doing at this time in our lives.  With or without a spouse, with or without children, you are doing what the Lord would have you do at this time in your life.  And if you still don't feel that way, pray for guidance - pray for peace.  And remember, there is a time and place for everything.  I love you all.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year
* 2011 *

The Larson Family says Goodbye to 2010

- Completed his 2nd year of Podiatry School and is now 1/2 way through his 3rd year
- Built a few websites to continue to support the family
- Got called to the Elder's Quorum Presidency
- Sold his Scooter and fixed his Honda
- Managed to break his ankle, then sprain it, then tear a ligament in it (van, football, and running mis-haps)
- Got to go golfing at some amazing courses this year thanks to his friends and brother
- Had 1 Grandma turn 90, and another pass away
- Realized that his girls totally have him wrapped around their fingers
- Somehow managed to survive a house full of 3 girls all competing for his attention
- Took the family on lots of fun adventures, including ice skating, camping, swimming, hiking, etc.

- Managed to keep the family organized, together, and in good spirits throughout our Med School journey
- Spent time working with the girls and teaching them how to write, draw, paint, read, cut, etc
- Got called to the Primary Presidency
- Completed numerous sewing, crafting, and painting projects
- Got a new minivan to haul the kids around in
- Painted and decorated our kitchen with the help of her friend, Ashley
- Had a brother get married and got to spend lots of time with her family
- Prayed for Mike's cancer treatments to be effective
- Got to visit her sister a few times in Utah
- Learned that her children cannot be compared, as one is quick to learn and full of attitude while the other is a quiet observer yet quite feisty in her own little semi red-headed way :)

- Learned her alphabet, their sounds, and how to read small words (such as cat, hat, mom, dad, etc)
- Learned how to spell her name, but is still working on writing it correctly
- Spent a lot of time playing with friends, going to parks, the library, and swimming
- Started to get into dancing, and will soon take ballet
- Gave up her obsession with Elmo and turned it into a Princess Obsession
- Got her haircut for the 3rd or 4th time
- Decided she was scared of the dark, and got a new Princess night light
- Taught Maejae a lot of new tricks, such as how to scream really loud and then laugh hysterically
- Decided she is going to be a doctor, a mommy, a dancer, an artist, and a big sister
- Taught her mommy that sometimes it's ok to let the house get messy and play an extra hour

- Learned how to crawl, stand, walk, climb, and eventually go up and down the stairs
- Failed to learn how to climb out of her crib (thankfully)
- Learned that grabbing Copper's tail and pulling results in getting scratched, but is also really funny
- Learned how to put her face under water when swimming, and how to blow bubbles
- Learned how to take her pants off
- Got very good at saying "NO" to her big sister
- Spent a lot of time playing with other kids, babies, and sometimes adults
- Realized that coloring and painting is a lot of fun, and even more fun when it involves messes
- Somehow managed to gain enough weight to move in to a big girl carseat
- Plays the piano on a daily basis, and gets jealous when mommy plays
- Learned that the easiest way to bug her sister is to step on her legs, or sit on them

- Decided to accept Maejae's constant tail pulling (except when she does it over and over)
- Learned that running up and down the stairs really fast in front of mommy's legs results in her falling
- Thinks the best afternoon consists of curling up in a ball and napping the noise away
- Managed to get on mommy's good side again, and was spared the horrible life of an outside only cat

And now . . . for 2011:
The Larson Family will Introduce Baby Larson # 3
Due the first week in August 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas 2010


Our Christmas Stockings (Nate, Jenn, Natalie, Maejae)

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Natalie got lots of Princess and Art stuff. She loves the Disney Princesses as of right now, and has always loved crafts!

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My little Maejae – she is growing up, and looks like a little toddler here!  She had fun opening presents, but as soon as she opened her doll and doll stroller, we lost her.  She was off in Doll land, and didn’t want to open any more gifts.

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Daddy has this awesome gift idea - We got the girls a Trampoline!

It is only 13” off the ground, and it came with the safety enclosure.  The girls absolutely love it, and I don’t have to worry about them as much as I would have with a bigger trampoline.  I still have to watch pretty closely though, because Natalie likes to jump really high, and Maejae is still learning how to keep her balance.  But, they do pretty good, and both have jumped every single day.

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A Larson Tradition: Christmas Morning Omelets!

I love Christmas Morning Omelets.  After all the gifts have been opened, we get to make our own omelets.  Daddy gets the eggs and toppings ready, and we get to pour our own eggs and topping in the pan.  Then we have to Flip our own omelets!  I am not very good at flipping them still, so Nathan has to help me.  But, they are a lot of fun, and sure makes for a tasty Christmas Breakfast!

Christmas Eve

I love Christmas Eve!  As a child, I remember gathering as a family to eat dinner.  Then we would read the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth, and open 1 present each.  My mom always tried to pick a present that would be fun for us to enjoy that night and it was always so fun.

So, with my own family, I wanted to carry on this tradition.  On Christmas Eve this year, we spent our time at home, with Natalie and I making some Sugar Cookies, and Pumpkin Pie together.  Then I made our Christmas Feast for all of us to enjoy.  It was just our small family this year, so we had a lot of leftover food!

After dinner, we read the Christmas story of Jesus’ Birth while the girls played with their Nativity.  They did great for the first little bit, but then (after failing to find Baby Jesus) realized that Dad was in the perfect position to attack him with hugs.  I tried to tell the girls to be reverent, but they are such Daddy’s Girls!  Luckily though, Natalie understood well before this night that we were celebrating Jesus’ birth.  After-all, Santa did not come to our house alone on Christmas Eve.  According to Natalie, Jesus brought our presents, and Santa was just Jesus’ helper.  Oh, how I love her innocence!

Here are some pictures of our Christmas Eve Adventures:



Natalie pretty much made these cookies all by herself.  I helped her get the correct measurements, and roll out the dough, but she did everything else!


Here are the girls being crazy.  At first, they listened to the scripture story just fine, but as soon as they realized Baby Jesus was missing, they turned their attention to Daddy, and clobbered him with hugs and kisses!  Needless to say, Daddy had a little bit of a hard time finishing his reading.


For those of you who know Natalie’s love for her Baby Bear from Daddy:

Natalie decided she wanted to buy Baby Bear 2 presents this year.  So, she bought her a Princess T-shirt and a Brush to keep her soft.  This is Natalie “helping” baby bear open her Christmas Eve present, which just happened to fit the girls’ gifts perfectly – much to Natalie’s excitement!



Christmas Eve presents for the girls this year were new Princess Pajamas.  Natalie has been wanting a pair of Princess Jammies for a LONG time. I’m not sure Maejae really cares about Princesses yet (she’s an Elmo and Mickey fan), but at least she had fun opening her gift.