Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Funny Kids

Today while driving to the library to pick up a book for our read aloud time, my youngest son piped up with this:  "I think I'm gonna need a few jobs when I'm old...I'm gonna work at Moxie Java, and be a cop, and work at McDonald's." 

Okay???   I just had to ask the crazy question, "Why would you want to work at Moxie Java and McDonald's?"  I already knew he wanted to be a cop but the other two were new ones for me to hear.  His reply was pretty adorable ~ kids!!!

"Well, if I work at Moxie Java I can drink all of the hot chocolate I want and when I work at McDonald's I get a free lunch."  I guess that makes perfect sense, especially if you are a 10 year old boy!

Next funny child moment:

My baby is about to turn 6 in just a couple of days!!!  Not really sure how that crept up so quickly, but it sure has.  Anyway, today she checked the mailbox and there was some serious excitement happening!  There was an envelope for her.  When she read her name on the mail, I think she was ready to do flips in the air!  But, wait it gets even better ~ the mail was from Toys R Us...She ripped open that envelope and inside was a birthday card and a coupon for $3!  You'd have thought it was worth $300.00!!!  She was so excited she could hardly contain it  ~ and then all of a sudden her face got really serious, she looked at me and said "WOW, I didn't even know they knew my name!"

A couple of days ago, she also made us all laugh...she has had these two crazy loose teeth that just did not want to give it up and held on for the longest time ~ we kept calling her "snaggle-tooth" cause one on the top has just been barely hanging on and she refused to let anyone touch it!  Anyway, this little one LOVES corn on the cob, but has not been able to eat it with these pesky loose teeth.  Well, one afternoon the first tooth popped out and then magically just a day or so later the second one gave it up too.  No more loose teeth!  She was semi excited about the Tooth Fairy ~ but elated that she'd be able to eat corn on the cob again.  I just didn't have the heart to tell her that without those two front teeth, corn on the cob eating would be more than a little difficult.

Gotta love kids!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Individual Worth

Many have probably seen the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”…my husband and I watch this every year around Christmas time. There is a valuable lesson to be learned from this movie. The story revolves around the life of a particular man, named George ~ showing his victories, his struggles and his failures ~ at one point in the story, this man is overcome with the weight of his burdens and basically runs away from his family and his life. He is so distraught that he is ready to take his own life by jumping off of a bridge ~ he feels he is at the end of his rope and just cannot continue on with the pressures of life…that is when a perfectly wonderful, chubby little guardian angel named Charles arrives…this little angel has been desperately trying to “get his wings” and George becomes his new challenge…Well, the angel jumps into the water and George, without hesitation, jumps in after him to save his life. After his rescue, as they are warming themselves by the fire, Charles, the angel keeps prodding about George's life and finally tells him that he was sent to be his guardian angel. 
George, in frustration states that the world,
his family,
everything
would have been better had he never been born.
The angel asks him if that is his wish…
and voila…
the wish is granted and the world is as if George were never born.

This is where the beautiful lesson is taught…the angel takes George back through the little town he lived in and showed him how life would have really been had he not been there, had he not been an influence in the lives of others…

George doesn’t like what he sees and comes to the realization of just how many lives he had a direct effect over, it was staggering to me the first time we watched this movie and has actually made me ponder the many, many people who have made me who I am today simply by their influence, it also makes me want to be a better person so that I can have a positive influence on those around me…
Well, back to the story…George is finally able to “come back” to living his life,
struggles and all…
BUT this time his countenance and his outlook on life has completely changed. He is able to see things in a new light, I believe he was able to see his individual worth in this great big world.
Oh and we can’t forget his little guardian angel ~ he did get his wings.

We are much like George in this story…There may be times when we feel like giving up...life is hard...we may feel people would be better if we were never born...BUT what if we could have just the smallest glimpse of life "without us"...what a gift George received.  We may never truly know whose lives we have made a difference in ~ but I believe that every person we come into contact with will leave with something from us, just as we do from them...

Following is a quote by President David O. McKay ~ I took the liberty of changing it just a bit to make it a little more meaningful and personal...

"There is one responsibility which no man  I cannot evade; that responsibility is his my personal influence.   Man’s  My unconscious influence is the silent, subtle radiation of his my personality – the effect of his my words and his my actions on others. This radiation is tremendous. Every moment of life man is  I am changing, to a degree, the life of the whole world.


Every man has I have an atmosphere, which is affecting every other man. He I cannot escape for one moment from this radiation of his my character, this constant weakening or strengthening of others. Man I can select the qualities he I would permit to be radiated. He I can cultivate sweetness, calmness, trust, generosity, truth, justice, loyalty, nobility, and make them vitally active in his my character. And by these qualities he I will constantly affect the world.


This radiation, to which I refer, (He refers) comes from what a person really is I really am, not from what he I pretend to be. Every man by his mere living is radiating either sympathy, sorrow, morbidness, cynicism, or happiness and hope – or any one of a hundred other qualities.


Life is a state of radiation and absorption.
To exist is to radiate;
to exist is to be the recipient of radiation."

Those are some pretty powerful words...if you didn't really get it the first time, re-read it, let it sink in...YOU radiate!

I would like to suggest to you today that each of you is of more worth than you could ever imagine or believe. Sometimes that may be hard for us to believe of ourselves…we see possibilities in others, but do we ever dream of the possibilities within ourselves?

Do we truly recognize the way we radiate to others?
Do we see value and worth in ourselves…
do we see value and worth in those around us?
Do we take the time to recognize and appreciate the worth of each individual.
When you look around …
do you see others who have touched your life and changed who you are?
Can you think back to those who have made a profound difference to you?

I think of my parents, my sister, my extended family,
I think of my Husband ~ he truly helped me to see who I am and to recognize my worth,
I think of the many friends I have had throughout my life,
I think of the missionary who spent countless hours in my behalf,
I think of each one of my children,
I think of the Young Women I work with each week,
I think of all the boys I have worked with in Scouts while I served in Webelos, I grew to love and admire them,
I think of so many of you and I thank all of you…I am who I am because of each of you!

How much do you personally think you are worth?
Do you value yourself?
Do you love yourself?
Our Savior has shown each of us just how much we are worth ~
he gave ALL for us ~
He believes in us and sees in us our true value, our true worth as individuals in this life.

I heard the following quote many years ago, when our oldest daughter was preparing to graduate…she used this as her favorite quote on her plaque…it is quoted from Nelson Mandela:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you…As we let our Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

So go out there and shine…Radiate your light to others…make a difference ~ YOU have it in you…share it.

People are a lot like stained glass windows. They glow and sparkle when it’s sunny and bright, but when the sun goes down their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

I want to share a beautiful quote from Barbara B. Smith:

“Like the caterpillars who will one day become butterflies, you have the magnificent potential to develop the powers within you and become greater than most of you dare to dream…You have the power and the capacity to perform so well that you can inherit all that our Father has if you begin the process and continue until you become what you are really meant to be… You can choose to use the powers within you to have a happy life of continual growth and development that leads to eternal progression.”

During this past week I had the opportunity (not that it was wanted, but it was present) to learn firsthand just exactly what the worth of an individual is...
My dear friend Beckie, endured what I have to believe was one of the hardest things ever...to sit by and watch, not being able to do anything but hope and pray, as her husband underwent surgery for a brain aneurysm.  My heart broke for her...I thought of all of the many times she and her husband had been significant in my life...I hoped and prayed for all I was worth for Beckie and her family, I prayed that her husband Robert would be able to pull through and would come out on top of the world...and much to our joy and amazement he returned home just days after his surgery.  Our lives would never have been the same if this special man didn't remain a constant, positive influence of good.  And to think, he probably has no idea how much he really means to our family...how sad that we don't share these thoughts.  I have to wonder if he knows how much others value him...

After "watching" this experience I found myself realizing that each person I am in contact with from those I love most dearly to those I know only briefly have a place in my world...and I in theirs...I want to be able to look at others and truly "see" them ~ deep inside, not surface, not the easy to judge stuff, but who they really deeply are, inside.  Life throws us a few surprises now and then, I've come to look at them as blessings because through these surprises we grow and change and become ~ and that is what life is really all about.

Have a beautiful week and next time you look in the mirror,
love the person looking back at you,
YOU ARE AMAZING!

Friday, May 27, 2011

EAT PRAY LOVE

Spent my day and evening laying in bed with a dumb old ear infection and fever...the only plus side was that I didn't have to make dinner or clean up and my hubby rented a movie for me to enjoy while I lay here wasting my time.  I think I should be grateful to be laying in bed not having to do a thing, but I don't do that really well.  All I find myself doing is thinking of all the things I need to do or wish to do, so a movie was in order to take my mind off of such things.  Shortly into the movie, I found myself grabbing a notebook just to jot down little thoughts that came to me..  CRAZY I know, but it's just who I am...there were lessons to be learned and I couldn't miss them (or forget them if I failed to make note of them).

So the movie of choice was EAT PRAY LOVE...hadn't seen it, wanted to see it in the theaters, but didn't so this was the perfect night for such an activity.  And my dear hubby had to be gone for the evening, so this would make it pass just a smidge more quickly.  As I was laying here feeling a tad bit sorry for myself that I was all alone watching a chick flick that really should involve a bunch of girlfriends, my sweet daughter came up to join me, no longer alone ~ :0)  yippee.

To begin with I don't know that most hubbies would enjoy this movie at all...and for good reason, the wife (Julia Roberts) decides she doesn't want to be married any longer.  (But I do have to say, that I probably wouldn't have wished to be married to him either...not that he was horrible or anything, but...you'll have to see it for yourself to decide)  Anyway...she decided to take a little sabbatical from life...she called it a Truth Seeking Journey. 

The movie went through her "journey" of finding herself, learning to love herself and her realization that truth will not be withheld from you.

I, for one, think it would be simply amazing to go through her little experience, only I wouldn't leave my marriage, I'd be taking along that special man of mine...and I'd have to wait until all my kiddos were grown.  Aside from those little details, I cannot imagine how wonderful and empowering and peaceful and exhilerating and exciting and grounding an experience like hers would be for a person or for a couple.

She took one year and visited three destinations...the first was to Eat ~ she spent her time in Italy and ate to her hearts content.  She toured and learned the language and learned to love the people (I believe this was her first step in learning to love herself... to learn to love others)  Here, she began to open herself, she struggled with being "ALONE", yet it was something she "needed" in order to begin healing.

She also gave some pretty cute advice to a friend of hers regarding her "muffin top" she had acquired from eating all the delicious food of Italy...I won't share it, but it was pretty funny and accurate! 
Her time in Italy seemed so enjoyable and yummy and was again just her first step in this little journey.

After leaving the gourmet foods of Italy, she headed to India ~ her focus was to PRAY, to MEDITATE, to find God~ she found that God lives within her...In the beginning of the movie, while still in her marriage, she prays to God for the first time and pours her heart out pleading for direction, for help...she didn't "know" Him and had a deep desire to find Him and to feel Him.  It was beautiful when she finally recognized that we have a special spirit within us ~ she worded it differently stating that God isn't out there, He lives within us..but the point is she finally "Found" Him.  Made me think back to my first prayer as an adult, and my life as it has changed because of knowing and trusting and loving Him. 

While in India, she met up with an older man, who came across a little too harsh and yucky...but he became a mentor and a true friend to her.  He had some of the best advice for her during her struggles, now mind you, most of this came during her moments of protest and disatisfaction with him.  But those words of wisdom became gems for her growth.  One morning, she was struggling deeply with meditation (in a group setting) and walked out, he followed her and basically asked her what her problem was...she responded with "I just want Peace."  To which he abruptly replied, "If you want to sit in the castle, you have to swim the moat."  She was a little miffed at him and commented that she couldn't keep her thoughts together during this meditation process, that she couldn't keep up with what was happening around her.  He told her that meditation was not about anything outside of her, simply the things within.  And added (which I love by the way) "Select your thoughts the same way you select your clothes each day."
I LOVED that whole conversation...
In our home I have a little quote hanging in our kitchen that reads,.
"HOW HAPPY DID YOU DECIDE TO BE TODAY?" 
I think this goes right along with that...WE ARE IN CONTROL ~ we simply need to recognize that fact within ourselves and we can find all the happiness, joy, peace, what have you, that we desire...
It is all about the thoughts and choices we "choose" or select to have...mighty empowering to be awakened to such a truth...what a valuable tool to teach to our kiddos ~ they are in control...they have the choice.

(Back to Julia)  During her time in India is where she learned to forgive herself...forgive herself for a failed marriage, failed relationships, failed whatever...  She had been so worried about others forgiving her that she failed to see the most vital part ~ She had to first forgive herself...again she had a deep need to learn to love herself and find value in herself.  While in India, she loved others in a way she had not experienced previously, which was so healing and beautiful for her.

Her final destination was Balai ( I think, not absolutely positive on that one)  Anyway, this was a magical ending for her Truth Seeking Journey...
It was here that she would truly find herself and allow herself to be just who she was, to learn to trust, to learn to love, to finally for once be at peace within herself.  This was a true stuggle for her.  She met with a "medicine man" frequently who would read her hands and look into her face and her eyes...he counseled her and gave her strength.  she relied greatly on him.  I think he was in a way a bit of a savior for her...he helped her to see the things that were within that she still had failed to recognize.  This was a beautiful transformation for her.
At one point, she nearly threw away one of the most important "things" that had come her way...because of fear...fear of losing herself again...she felt she had found a "balance" and if she gave herself away that balance would be lost and she would no longer be loveable nor desirable because she feared she would go back to the same person she had been.  The LOVE of the story takes place here...a darling man who was deeply in love with her (as she was with him, but couldn't bring herself to admit) told her that she misunderstood balance and said these words to her, "Balance is not letting anybody love you less than you love yourself."  She stormed off shouting I don't need to love you to love myself....this is where I began to doubt she'd truly learned a thing...she was packed and ready to head back to the states when she made her final visit to the "medicine man" ~ he sensed  something a little different, a little sad and she tried to explain her thoughts  of losing herself again.  I loved how he responded to her, quite possibly it was more the deep sincerity in his eyes as he spoke, but nevertheless, these are the words he shared with her, "Sometimes to lose balance for love is part of living balance in life."   Hmmm...took me a few minutes for that one to completely sink in....

We cannot fear so much that we fail to live...life will feel out of balance for us from time to time (possibly more often than not)...but how sad it would be to always live a life of fear...there would be no living at all, just surving, just being, but the living would be missing...

I remember feeling so many of these exact feelings when I met my dear husband. 
After a failed marriage, failed relationships and much sadness and sorrow, I truly did not want to repeat those things in my world ever again.  I greatly feared the immense love I felt for him, I wanted to push him away, wanted to run the other direction, but my heart was screaming inside to me that he was different, that he would truly love me and would always treat me well...that there was nothing to fear.  It took many, many years to be completely rid of the fears that I had, but I am so grateful that I jumped in with both feet and a huge heart full of love for him.  My life would have been empty without him...I would not have been truly "living" all of these wonderful years we've been together, if he were not present in my life.

So, back to the movie...after hearing the wise counsel of this medicine man, she rushes to her darling man and to make it short and sweet ~ they live happily ever after.  (doesn't that just make your heart smile???)  I loved it!

Truth Seeking Journeys...Do they all need to be a year long sabbatical?  I think not...it would be nice, but reality is reality and a year long is simply not possible or even necessary for most.  Whether they are external or internal, a truth seeking journey is something I think we do on a continual basis...aren't we always hungering for truth, for answers, for peace, for growth...

I will end with one of my favorite quotes again from this little movie ~
"If you want to sit in the castle ~
You have to swim the moat."

It takes effort,
it takes work,
it takes faith
to make the journey...
i BELIEVE LIFE IS THE JOURNEY AND WE ARE MEANT TO LIVE IT TO THE FULLEST!

Have a beautiful day ~ enjoy the rain...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My thoughts for today...

Never waste the chance to tell those you love just how much they mean to you....

Never leave angry or unhappy with each other...

Never go to bed without resolving a problem....

Never let "little things" become bigger or more important than the love you have for your special someone...

ALWAYS say I love you every day...

ALWAYS be grateful for the blessings in your life...

We never know what today might hold for us ~
so cherish each and every moment you have with those you love...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Libraries, Birds, Fainting Goats & Llamas

What a day...

For the summer months we are going to spend some fun time doing a unit study on birds, so we raided the library today and walked away with, well - I'm not actually sure - but I would guess at least 30 books just on birds and then a whole slew of videos.  The girls were pretty darned excited...right now the most exciting choices seem to be the Hummingbird and the Toucan
(They're already asking if they can have one of them...but I'm going to stick to my guns on this one....birdies are meant to be free and fly about..I just don't believe they were meant to be caged up and confined ~ what a sad little life...why have wings if you never get to spread them out and soar?

I'm just a little concerned that by the end of the summer my neck may need some serious attention, cause I'm pretty sure I'm going to be checking out every single bird that flies overhead...the kids are already asking me what they all are, like I have any clue at all!? 
I'm in big trouble, better stay up late at night reading up on all these books, just so I can impress those little darlings! 
(better thought...maybe they can stay up late and impress me with their incredible knowledge and I'll catch up on my beauty rest...I'm likin' that idea a whole lot more!)

Well shortly after leaving the library with our much treasured stash, we were driving along and came across a field of little goats...the little girls were ooohhing and aaaahhhing over them when Cassie announced that she'd really love to have fainting goats someday, to which Natalie replied, "well, I really want fainting llamas..."

I am still wondering if she really believes fainting llamas are out there...maybe they are...I guess it would make perfect sense to a 5 year old that if there are fainting goats that there should also be fainting llamas... (I can't stop laughing every time I think about it and she was so serious, which made it all the better!)

We've already done the pigmy goats and I'm quite sure that any other goats or llamas are not in our near future ~ but the daily laughter is ever present ~
I'm tellin' ya, there isn't a day that goes by that one of these little people of ours don't have me just rollin'!  Where do they come up with these things???

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May...

May is such an interesting time for me...

Each year I go through the exact same emotions and feelings, yet I find that I am always surprised by the  intense overwhelming feelings that accompany this time of year.  I have come to a conclusion (and hopefully by writing it here, I will not forget it come this time next year)...there is truly no need for a Spring Break in March or April...who wants or needs a "break" from life when the weather is less than desirable and you are moving along in a great sort of way...things are not "too much" at that time...we are  usually bumping along just fine in March and April, completely content in our little homeschooling world. 

But there is something about MAY...
I haven't actually been able to put my finger on it,
but I am guessing that it has a tremendous amount to do with SPRING FEVER...
the weather is beautiful,
we have a true need to be outdoors soaking up the fabulous sunshine...
we are all growing weary and tired of the day to day school schedule...
we need to be productive in a different sort of way...
school is productive,
but the kind of productive I am talking of is the digging in the dirt productive,
the planting flowers productive,
the trimming branches productive,
the walking around the yard marveling at the flowers popping up and the green buds sprouting on the trees productive....

I really think if I allowed myself a good full week to truly enjoy and soak up the Splendid Springtime Fragrances and Beauty,
 
 I'd be good...I'd be ready to continue tackling school and work and all the indoor "stuff" that is required at my hand each day...and I could do it all with a great big sincere smile...

And more than that, I think our kiddos would also appreciate this true "Spring Break" and would quite possibly be a touch more cooperative and willing to complete their tasks...
There is a reason that kiddos act up...I don't know that they, themselves, always know "why" they are misbehaving ~ I think they simply cannot help themselves ~
the outdoors are calling them and they can't fight it,
so they have to Fight me..and that's just no fun at all!
Well, I for one, am done fighting, I give in to them and to me and guess what ~ WE ALL WIN!  :0)

SO ~ next year, Spring Break for the Lytle Family will officially be held in May! 
I will be putting this on the calendar so that next year I don't go through the same silly wondering that I have done for the past who knows how many years....
Whew ~ All My Problems Are Solved!

Now let's go plant some flowers!

Fun Times ~

May 7th was our Anniversary...

My dear husband was supposed to be out of town helping a friend and at the last minute his friend ended up having to cancel...sooooo, surprise, surprise...my anniversary would not be spent alone ~ hooray for me!

My Chad is a pretty amazing  man, he quickly came up with a plan and within a couple of hours we were on our way out the door.  We just needed to take care of some food for our kiddos and a few minor incidentals and then he surprised me with a trip to The Lagoon, kid-free, well except for my biggest kid  ;)  he, he, he.....

We headed out for Utah in the evening,
stayed in a nice hotel
and then played like a couple of crazy kids Saturday going from ride to ride,
jumped back in the car and raced like mad to be home that night....
it was a super quick trip...
couldn't leave our kiddos for very long, but sooooo worth it! 

I laughed sooooo hard, and screamed waaaaayyyyyy too much!
I think the rides get scarier and scarier the older that I get.
  
This one (which is titled well ~ THE WICKED)
just about did me in...
it was SCREAMIN' fast...
it actually took my breath away, couldn't even scream for a minute or two...
my legs were just shaking away after that little episode...
He tried to get me to go on it a second time, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it again ~
I know, pretty wimpy of me, huh?

My dear hubby just laughs at me....he told me I am the funniest person EVER to go on rides with...don't know about the funniest, but quite possibly the loudest (those screams just need to escape!) 

Oh and we had the yummiest funnel cake loaded with strawberries...and corn on the cob...and a scrumptious churro...yes, I ate way too much, but it was so good.
I'm pretty sure that I burned many more calories than I actually consumed -- from all of our walking back and forth across the park, and the screaming ~ that had to burn some serious calories...wonder how many???  Maybe I'll have to put my kids to work researching that one...
Screaming vs. Calories ~ you gotta wonder!

Anyway, it was a fabulous little get-away for us...much needed and much enjoyed!
I love this sweet husband of mine and hope to be able to spend MANY, Many, many, more wonderful anniversaries with him...  :0)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thoughts from the wind and the sun...

What a fabulous lesson to do with our family this morning!!!  (Look at the post prior to this one for the whole shebang)

Our kids love to listen to me read to them...this was a quickie to read aloud, but definitely a treasure!

We had some great discussion...
only time will tell if it actually makes a difference in behavior and attitude, but a Mom can dream!!!

Here are some of my favorites they said:

"Be nice and warm people up."

"Don't force your will on other people."

"Don't yell or let out your winds."  (how awesome is that!?)

"Don't try to contest to see who is best."

"Don't tease others when they don't win, it's not nice."


Smile, smile, smile...don't you just feel all warm and fuzzy inside now???  I sure do.
Happy day to you!

The North Wind and The Sun

My hubby called me this morning on his way to work and told me a little story, after which I promptly went to the computer to look it up to share with our kiddos for devotional today...
The North Wind and The Sun, an Aesop Fable is a beautiful illustration of the power of gentleness and kindness.  I absolutely LOVE this story and the wonderful message that lies in it.  I hope you'll enjoy!

This version is adapted from Aesop's Fables by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller

The North Wind had been busy sweeping leaves along the sidewalks with giant breaths. Then, he took time out to tease several little clouds by bouncing them around. He was having fun and ready to do a little blowing and boasting, especially when he saw the Sun. He took a deep breath puffed up large and blew straight towards the Sun, ready to continue their ongoing dispute.

Sun smiled down on the earth, heating up the ground and melting away the morning fog. She warmed the chilled waters in the lakes and streams and was having a wonderful morning until that annoying North Wind came blowing by. The Sun's smile almost disappeared as she prepared for another of North Wind's bragging sessions.

The North Wind blew alongside the Sun and began to talk about how strong he was. The Sun moved across the sky, pretending not to hear as he called her name and tried to ignore his howling. The day would be much more pleasant if he would just go away. But, as usual, ignoring the North Wind didn't work. He kept coming closer and was blowing little dust clouds and sending little whirlwinds to block her path through the sky. He knew it would only be a matter of time before she gave in and satisfied his urge to quarrel about which one was stronger. Finally, the Sun paused and turned to look at him.

Of course, the Sun knew that the North Wind was powerful. She had told him that very nicely on many occasions and had complimented his strength. But, the North Wind was looking for more than a mere compliment. He expected the Sun to admit that she was less powerful than he was. Admitting to being equals was okay, but there was no way the Sun was going to to say that the North Wind was more powerful or more important than she was just to satisfy the his blowhard ego!

So it was that the arguement started as usual. The North Wind stormed up close to the sun and thundered to a halt. Instead of giving him a burning glance, the sun winked and smiled in her warm and charming way.  (i just love that...don't you just have to smile when you read that little line???)

"Good morning," Miss Sun, whispered the North Wind. He was trying a calmer approach this time as he began to talk. "You are certainly looking bright today. I don't suppose you noticed the way I blew all the litter off the city streets yesterday? I don't know of anyone who can get quite as much done in a day as I can," he began.

"You are quite good," admitted the Sun. "But, all of us have a place around this world where we live." Once again, she displayed warmth in her comments.

Ignoring her attempts to be nice, the North Wind blurted out, "When are you going to admit that I am stronger than you are?" He was ready to start the old arguement again.

But, on this particular day, before the Sun could reply, she heard a whistling sound. She looked around and saw a traveler walking along on the road below them. The traveler was not paying attention to either the Sun or the North Wind and walked on unaware of their dispute. His happy whistling had caught the Sun's attention. As she looked down, she noticed that the man wore a coat, and she thought of a way to stop North Wind's bragging for all time.

"I might admit that you are stronger than me if you can beat me in a contest," said the Sun.

The North Wind's ego wouldn't let him turn down a challenge. "I can beat you at anything," he stated.

"Let us agree," said the Sun, that whichever of us can make that man below us take off his coat is the more powerful."

"It's a bet!," replied the proud North Wind. He could blow down trees, so he knew he could cause a man to take off his coat. Right away, he dropped down lower in the sky. He sent a puff of air that blew the bottom of the jacket upwards, hitting the man in the face. The man smoothed the bottom of the coat down with his hands and kept on walking. Annoyed, the North Wind blew harder. With the first cold blast, the man pulled the coat more tightly around him and turned up his collar.

The harder the North Wind blew, the tighter the man held onto his coat. The man grasped the ends of his sleeves with his fingers and from the inside of the arm holes pulled the arms of the coat closed at the wrist to keep the wind out. Then the man wrapped his arms across his chest to keep the wind from blowing the coat open. He tucked his chin down and leaned forward into the wind and kept walking. The North Wind puffed and puffed until he was out of breath. All that had happened was that the man hung onto his coat tighter than ever!

Then the Sun took her turn. She began to shine. At first her beams were calm and gentle. But, after the terrible cold of the North Wind, the sunshine felt pleasant to the man. His chin lifted, and he turned his face upwards toward the light. The Sun warmed her rays just a bit, and watched as the man's arms dropped to his side. She watched his hands re-appear after the man let go of the ends of his sleeves. She turned up the temperature and saw him open his collar and unbutton the jacket. Then, she heated the air around him, and the man took out a kerchief and mopped his brow. Moments later, as the Sun continued to shine on him, the man took off his coat and sat down in the shade of a tree to cool himself.

The Sun didn't say a word to the North Wind. Politely, she turned and continued her journey across the sky. Both of them knew that her gentleness and kind persuasion were more powerful than all of the North Wind's bluster and force.

There is so much to love in this little fable...

That beautiful sun has attributes that I'm sure we'd all love to possess...her kindness, her warm, sunny disposition (just had to say that one), her gentleness, her willingness to not gloat and 'rub it in' as she politely went on her way...
The North Wind...well, unfortunately I have to say I have tried to be a bit of a blowhard too many times in my life and have found basically the same results he did...nothing too positive!

It is the gentle and kind persuasion that will win the hearts of those that we love and those that we have an influence over.  We all love a little sunshine warming our hearts and generally try to "block out" the chilling winds as they come.

So today my goal is to share this positive, uplifting story with our kiddos in hopes that we will all be walking around sharing rays of happy sunshine and those pesky windy times will become fewer and fewer in our home.

Have a Perfectly Beautiful day today, my friends!  :0)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day!!!

What magical words to a mother....

I have to say I feel like I am rating pretty high on the Mom scale today...I have been more than sufficiently pampered and spoiled on this particularly lovely day! 

I awoke to a flying airplane coming my direction first thing this morning...inside was tucked the sweetest little note containing I Love You's and Happy Mothers Day.  And it just kept going all day.  Before church I was given four perfectely adorable homemade flower pins to wear to church (and YES, I wore them ALL proudly...)

At church our daughter,. Danielle had been asked to speak in Sacrament...what a treat, although I cried my eyeballs out. 
It is truly rewarding to hear how your children REALLY feel about you.   Her topic was Individual Worth and the Worth of a Mother...she did such a beautiful job tying it all together.  I feel very blessed to be her Momma. 

Here are some of the things she said --
(I snuck her notebook so I could copy...cause it was just so sweet that I NEVER, EVER want to forget)  This is one of those things that a Mom needs to come back to on hard days, just to remember that her kiddos do think the world of her, even though that isn't shared quite so freely all year long as it is on this special day of the year...

So for a little background -- Danielle had been praying one night after a particularly troubling time in her life, she felt very alone, very unhappy and was pleading with the Lord to send someone to care.   She shared that at that point, it dawned on her that someone did care, her Mother cared and that even if no one else would, that Mom would care and would hug her and mean it.  She came to me and asked for a hug and cried and shared her sorrows...and then later wrote these words...
"God must have a mother. 
If He didn't, He never could have created mine...
because Perfection does not come without a blueprint."

Holy Smokes...I did not see that coming, nor do I feel I deserve such an amazing compliment, but I will forever treasure these words she wrote and more than that, the fact that she believes this of me. 

Another powerful statement she wrote, "I never have to beg God to send me someone who cares because He sent me to her the first time...I'm so grateful that God was mindful enough of me to put me where I needed to be and with a girl who was taylor made to be MY Mom and help me grow into myself."

What a blessing it was to listen and watch this beautiful daughter of ours today...

After church, the fun and surprises just kept a comin'...

My kids worked so hard on the sweetest homemade gifts...these are my FAVORITES!!! 
I love to see their creativity...
I received some beautiful little hand written and illustrated cards,
a Happy Mother's Day sign from Danielle,
a poem from Wyatt,
"flower pots" made out of popsicle sticks and paper flowers from Wyatt and the little girls,
a clean house from Myles
(that was his way of saying "i love you mom", I asked him for a love letter and he just smiled and gave me a gigantic hug...that works!!!) 

And then Bryce spent an immense amount of time building me a planter box for my flowers... this one produced some momma tears...
Our kids are all so thoughtful!  I love the way they each show their love...not one of them, just like the other...they are such perfect kiddos! 
I was able to talk with Shealyn on the phone today, but unable to actually see her...they have a nasty flu bug floating around in their house right now...I really missed seeing her, but it was great to hear her sweet voice!  It's an amazing experience to be the Momma to a new momma!  She is doing so well with her little ones and I love watching her grow ... I really believe their is no growth so life-changing and important as that of learning to be the momma! 

After talking with Shealyn, the spoiling continued...My boys and Danielle all made a fantastic lunch for me and then all the kids cleaned up.   And I have to say they did a pretty wonderful job...scrumptous burritos with some mighty tasty guacamole...mmmm, mmmm, good!

Lastly, I was blessed to go see my Mom...she is such a wonderful woman...I love her more than words could ever express...I treasure her and just as Danielle said so eloquently this morning in church, I believe that God did send us to our moms who were prepared and selected for us and I will be eternally grateful for the example of such a compassionate and "perfect" mother.

I should say that I have been spoiled rotten today...
even as I write this I am listening to my littlest sweetie pies singing away,
You give me a hug, you give me a kiss...
then they skip over to --
I know a name, a glorious name, dearer than any other
I whisper you the name, it is my mother...
(don't know if that is exactly how it goes, but that is what I am hearing in the background...unbelievable sweetness!!!!)

I HAVE LOVED EVERY MOMENT OF MY DAY!!!
Happy Mother's Day to me  :0)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I need help!!!

Okay, so anyone who knows me, also knows that I LOVE the sunshine.

So why do I need help?  WELL....

The Sunshine does not love me!  BUMMER!!!

This is rather incovenient and more than a tad frustrating...

Each time I am out in the sunshine, any part of my body (with the exception of my face...thank goodness!) that has been exposed breaks out into a bumpy red rash that itches like mad and then burns. 
And I am not sunburned,
just sun bumped...

I've done a bunch of research and am not coming up with anything that makes me feel the slightest bit happy about this little situation of mine...
so, if any of you out there have any amazing advice for me, please do share! 
Until then, I'll be lathering myself in lotion and such after my visits outdoors,
cause staying in is simply not on option....

Not to sound like I am begging or anything,
but PLLLEEEEAAAAASSSSSEEEEE help me!
I need the sunshine in my life and i don't want to look at it out of my front window...
I need to be right in the middle of it...
hopefully without being covered from head to toe...  :0)

Thanks a million!!!!

It's Sunny...Yippee!!!

I am soooo happy to be enjoying some beautiful sunshine...

Just makes you feel joyful when it is bright and sunny out...

One great benefit to homeschooling is that we don't have to sit inside all day doing our schoolwork...we can take it outdoors and accomplish the same great tasks.

Just yesterday, I loaded up the three younger kids and drove over to the park and we sat and read a book together...fun little story called My Father's Dragon...today they were begging me to go back to read the second story in this little book...maybe we'll head out tomorrow for another day of basking in the sunlight.  I love the times we have that we share fun books together...

Today, we spent a little time planning and laying out our garden and finding "THE PERFECT SPOT" for our giant sunflowers that we will be planting.  The girls walked about, stopping in various areas of the yard desperately searching for the sunniest and warmest spots...I had to laugh because they'd be right smack in the middle of the grass excited beyond all belief that "THIS WAS THE SPOT!"...so, we'll be working on that one a little more tomorrow.  Need to find a compromise that we can all live with...They cannot wait to have flowers growing in our yard that are taller than we all are...should be quite the excitement around here as these little beauties start sprouting up.

Oh the wonders of Spring....
What a fabulous time of the year!