Every week I've been trying to focus on one Christlike attribute and talk about it with the kids. This week was patience. When I started telling them about patience and thinking of examples, all I got were blank stares about the subject, like they just couldn't comprehend this one. It was then that I realized that I am the one who needs to work on patience, not them. I ran across the scripture in Mosiah about how we should be like a child, and one of a child's attributes is patience. I think in a lot of ways that is true. I tried really hard this week to be more patient, and did okay for a good while. By the end of the week I definitely didn't show the patience I should have, especially with Marissa. She has been testing my patience so much lately. I cannot even tell you how frustrating this child is to me right now. I try to show her more love when she isn't frustrating me. I hope this is only a phase that has an end somewhere in the near future.
We have been working on a lot of projects lately. Even though there are so many of them and that they are a lot of work, we are so happy to have projects. We love being able to do things around the house after not being able to for so long. There's the curtains I'm making, the furniture I'm refinishing and the girls' bedroom that is 98% done, as well as shelves to build, new outlets to wire and a utility sink to put in the basement next to my painting room (ohhh--that'll be a dream come true for me). Sometimes I feel like I just go from one thing to the next without actually finishing the first thing. I blame it on being a mom and always getting distracted. That, and having too many ideas rumbling around in my head. It's been so great to have a third car garage to be able to work on things in there. And to think we were considering not getting the third car part. Totally worth the extra money. There is no, and I mean no extra space in the two car part. When we first organized the garage, we lined everything up on the walls the way we did in Florida. Then when we pulled the van in, I realized that we couldn't even get by the freezer, let alone open it. That was also when I realized that we didn't have to fit everything in the garage anymore because we have a basement. The bunk bed is well underway, even though time is sometimes an issue as well as the coldness that usually dissuades us from going out there. Every time we work on it I have to keep reminding Jared about all the fun we are having by building a bunk bed instead of buying one. I think deep down he agrees with me. Good thing I'm here to make him do stuff like that with me. (Good thing he's here to make sure it gets done right. Example: compare my 8th grade shop projects with his sturdy high school furniture projects that we still use.)
I was talking to someone else who just built a townhouse about how it's hard to even hang pictures on the wall because you are ruining your perfect house. The first week we lived here I felt so paranoid about getting marks on the walls and scratches on the floor. We ended up getting some really big, long scratches on the nice wood floor. The floor people came to fix another scratch, covered the newly made scratches with a stain pen and then told me to embrace the scratches. Since that time I have done a few things: 1. I put felt on the bottom of all our chairs and furniture, 2. I bought a stain pen (and have started using it) and 3. I came to the realization that this house is to be lived in and can now embrace the little things that happen to it. In less than a month of living here I found pen, pencil, marker, crayon, green paint, purple paint, a quarter sized dent and black scuff marks on the walls. The carpet has been peed on, pooped on, painted on and thrown up on. This is what I call embracing the fact that we actually live in this house. And I just don't worry about it as much any more. I still haven't gotten around to hanging anything more than a clock on the wall, but that is not because I'm worried about putting holes in the perfectly good wall. I'm way over that.
We've been getting Bountiful Baskets quite a bit lately. We love it. It's a co-op where you pay $15 for a basket of various types of fruits and vegetables. You never know what you will get, but that is part of the beauty of it. Would I have ever bought eggplant or brussels sprouts? I'm going to say no. But it forces me to plan meals around the vegetables we get and forces us all to eat more healthy. I feel like I don't spend as much at the grocery store when we have so many other good things to eat. I've been trying to put out a variety of vegetables for the kids and let them choose two or three of whatever they want. That way they aren't forced to eat the thing that makes them throw up, but are still eating vegetables. Maybe everyone else has children that eat vegetables, but for us, this is a big breakthrough. We watched them eat broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, cucumbers, celery, and (get this)... lettuce. I don't think my kids have ever eaten lettuce before. No joke. They say your taste buds change every 7 years, so I should never give up trying to feed my kids good stuff. Here's all I know. I have hated, like couldn't stand, shrimp and onions my whole life. Until this year. I not only ate shrimp on various occasions without gagging, I actually liked it. And I've been finding myself cutting up a lot of onions and putting them in my food lately. What is that all about? Could this mean I might actually like cow stomach if I tried it 15 years after my mission? Yeah, okay, not going to happen.
At the beginning of the year, we had a family home evening where we all wrote some new years resolutions. Erin's goals were great: help her siblings, read more books, follow God and don't lie. Actually, "don't lie" was number one. Really? For some reason it hadn't crossed my mind that she needed to stop her lying habit. I actually didn't know she ever lied. She must be good at it. But, I am impressed that she recognized it and made a goal to do better. That's got to be a good quality. Anyway, I thought that was kind of funny. I felt somewhat uninspired about my goals this year. I did so well last year and completed all three of my goals. Yeah, I have some this year, but they are not as good as last year's. Save a certain amount of money, be more generous, do morning devotionals with the kids, go to the temple every month, keep up the blog(s) and work on projects. Exercise should be on there, but I've been feeling so frustrated with my rotated pelvis issue that makes me feel like I will never be able to run or do things I love like that again. Ugh.
Anyway, I have so much to be grateful for. Like, what would I do without heat in the winter? I am so aware of how reliable and hard working a furnace is right now. And hot water, and cars that work, and kids that are healthy, and good friends, and the Atonement. So many blessings to count, so little time. Here's to being more grateful (and more patient) next week.