Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Family! Home! Evening!?@$^#!

For weeks, months (years?), Mr. LeFevre and i have been trying to teach our children (mostly unsuccessfully, it seems) what we consider important skills that they will need to succeed and be happy in this life:
getting along with others.
being kind.
helping those around us.
building them up.

Just recently, we have had multiple individual interviews with each of our children, telling them how proud we are of their accomplishments, how much we love them (a lot), pleading with them to nurture the most important relationships in their lives. We have created a family Mission Statement. We have tried to be positive in our interactions with them. We have had family dinners together, engaged them in working together, held regular family councils and family home evenings. We take them to church. We tell them the stories of Jesus. We look for and use teaching moments on almost a daily basis.

We are far from perfect as parents, but i ask you: how? How are we supposed to remain positive in the face of constant heartbreak? It breaks my heart when one of my children is reaching out for approval ~ of an idea or a feeling...
or a piece of artwork~ and one of his siblings (the one from whom that approval is most needed) knocks him to the ground with "you're stupid!" or "you're an idiot!" or "I hate you!"? I feel dirty even typing these words. They have become to me some of my least favorite and most painful words.

Last night, it was my turn for the Family Home Evening lesson and after dinner, i said quietly to my husband, "how can i really teach another 'Love One Another' lesson? I want to just say, 'You win. I give up. I'm done(and finished)!' " So we decided that we would have a family council and ask our children what we could do to be a happy family.

Well, Megan(8) came up with the idea of making a chart with everyone's bedtimes on it and taking off five minutes for every hurtful comment, or mean action (meaning they have to go to bed earlier). It is a great idea, but part of me thinks it will just become another chart to add to the side of the fridge that is just part of the landscape: unnoticed. unheeded.

Except then my husband shared something that M. Russell Ballard taught recently, and I am paraphrasing: When a [family] council discusses an issue and comes to a conclusion and says, "This is what we will do..." there is a power in that synergy that [nothing] can stop.

And this morning, I read something my friend, Elisa, included in her blog about getting our kids to ask questions. I loved this: “The Savior said, "ask and ye shall receive... knock and it shall be opened unto you." He didn't say, "Be quiet and let me tell you what you need to know." When our kids ask questions, they are prepared to hear the answers. Listen for those questions and set up opportunities for them to ask questions.

A little nudge here, a bright idea there. That's how to do it. One day at a time. Being just a little bit better. Together. We can do this.

Our Family's Mission Statement

Years ago, i jotted down in my planner a few lines that i thought would make a powerful "Mission Statement" for our family and help us stay focused on the most important things in life. Well, then i lost my planner and couldn't find it for 6 months!! It was under the desk at Costco. My untouched credit cards and driver's license and my Franklin/Covey pages and leather binder had long-since been replaced, but i could never quite recreate those few lines to my satisfaction, so our family remained afloat. When my planner was finally returned to me, that was the only thing i found missing. Had i imagined writing it?

Then a week or so ago, Mr. LeFevre and i decided it was time to start from scratch. I took a list of values i had scratched out in the front of my new planner (that i got from these guys) and wrote a new one:

Our home is a


In our home, each of

Heavenly Father’s children

feels acceptance and


We develop

our talents freely


and our

Creative Expression

is nurtured and allowed to



As we create




in our home,

we strive

to maintain an environment of






There is a spirit of


in our home.



in an

Attitude of Gratitude

and go forth



our fellow man.

Okay, so it's not great literature. We do our best. It fits on one page.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Best Friend

Some posts take time

like this one.

We all grieve in our own way.
And in our own time.
Karlee asked me about 10 minutes later,
"When can we get a new dog?"
But then, she's the one who mentions Regi most often.
We miss you, sweetheart.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Favorite

Driving down I-15,
Landon shouts out,
"Look, Mom! Your favorite!!"

No Pictures

I chose not to include any pictures in this post because even some of the mental images are pretty intense.

So... you've been warned.

Some parts about breastfeeding
are less pleasant that others,
say, oh infections, engorgement...

Some parts are just downright amazing
and cool.
My body makes milk?
I can sleep while she eats?

And then...
some parts are just funny.
When my babes are new
and their
are smaller than my
(no, my babies don't have small heads),
i have to use a finger
to move my flesh out of the way so
their nose can find enough air to
breathe ~ but now,

Baby Lyndee is doing this thing
that i don't remember
any of my other babies doing.

(i can't decide whether it's unpleasant, amazing or just plain funny)

She latches on
and then,
firmly planting
a hand on either side of my breast,
she not so gently,
does a little
baby marine
push-up, all the while
sucking away
like a little camper.