Monday, July 8, 2013

Being Less Selfish and Family Updates

I've come to realize how selfish I am.  I've considered myself a pretty giving person and I do care a lot about the comfort and welfare of others.  It's just that as I've been studying the character of Christ, I'm starting to get a glimpse of what it really means to look outside oneself.  Elder Bednar's book Act in Doctrine has been very eye opening to me.  I've been praying for correction throughout my day - for Heavenly Father to let me be aware of when my thoughts are inward centered (selfish) so that I can change them and turn them toward loving others.  It's been neat to notice how often my thoughts are inward and how I can choose to turn them outward (with God's help) and how much lighter and better I feel!  I find I am a better listener, a more patient wife and mother.  I have such a long ways to go.  I sometimes don't realize my selfishness until later on in the day and I'm sure there are plenty of times when I am not aware (Heavenly Father is a kind tutor - he doesn't show me all of my selfishness right away!)

It's easy to get "martyr" type thoughts when I'm pregnant, "If only everyone knew how tired I am and I'm still doing _____ for them, why can't I get a little more help or respect around here when I do so much.... etc."  Now when those thoughts start creeping up, I remember how selfless Jesus was and how I want to be like Him, I pray for help, I serve willingly, and then I feel love and compassion for the people around me.  This in turn helps me know how to lovingly ask for help if I need it without feeling sorry for myself and to have a soft (though firm) answer when others show ingratitude or an unwillingness to help.  It's such a happier way to live.

Like I said, I am only getting glimpses at this point, I have such a long ways to go, but I am loving the small changes and I hope I can remember to persevere and keep it up.

I'm posting some pictures from late May, June and early July.  I just uploaded them so I sat down to post them on my blog and figured I better say something about what I have been working on lately too since it's been so long since I've blogged about my latest idealistic goals. I'll also write some updates as I go:

It's been a great and busy summer so far!  I want to get a lot ready for next school year before the baby comes in August.  I've been doing a mom's discussion group at the park on Wednesdays - we read about principle-based education and then discuss how we can apply it to our homes and our Vanguard homeschool group.  It's a lot of fun.  I'm also trying to get my basic lesson plans for teaching the youth next year.  I also took an online writing class and a hiking Hebrew class.  Hebrew was awesome! It's an incredible new world that I got a little glimpse of.  Someday I'll take the time to learn more!

Bazinks's birthday:
 We didn't take a lot of pictures because the camera wasn't charged, but we did have fun :-)  We went to "Get Air" and to Wendy's (because they have a cool soda machine that has lots of flavors to pick from):

End of the year family cultural dinner and dance for our Vanguard youth group:

It was an incredible year.  I sure love those youth and their families!

Our TV broke a while back so this is how the kids watch the occasional movie :-)

Just before a performance of "Comedy of Errors".  They had so much fun and did so great.

Some pictures from our Vanguard Outdoor adventure (we stayed at Heber Valley camp a couple of days after Shakepeare Showdown to do some activities as a group, I wish I had more pictures):

 Ray's birthday:
Waking up to "Happy Birthday" and presents

 Family Party at the Fun Center:

Gem is a big helper

Little Miss is beautiful and amazing.  She takes care of her little brothers so sweetly.  She makes them forts and plays games with them.  Heavenly Father was so kind to send me an angel to help me with all these little boys :-)
Monkeys jumping on the bed
 Gem's birthday:

Sugary cereal is a birthday tradition

What a cute kid

Rock and Bud ran a 5K on the 4th of July.  Their time was 31 minutes flat. Well done!

Breakfast after the run

Parade after breakfast

After the parade we came home for naps, watched "Johny Tremain" and then friends came over for food and fireworks in the front yard.  Did I think to take pictures?  Nope.

The kids like to play with the camera and take pictures of each other - especially action shots when they are up in the air:

Bud is really into bugs and reptiles.  Every spring we have new creatures in the house.  In addition to his pets right now, we have a snake, a salamander, a snail and 2 spiders.  He asked if he could take the camera out to take pics of spiders.  It scared me a little when he came back with some images of big spiders quite close to our house.  I considered calling pest control, but he and Dallin would be devastated if we killed any of the bugs outside.  They can observe them for hours.

Alright, back to life.  The kids are waiting to read what I wrote about them - except Spice - she is at girl's camp this week :-( Though, I didn't write much about her anyway... I'll just mention that she is incredible, an example to many, and a very responsible, amazing girl.  I sure don't like it when she leaves me for a week!  I miss her already.