Saturday, February 28, 2009

Minnesota weather is so frustrating!

Last week our whole house was feeling pretty plucky because old man Winter had started turning it's stubborn head towards Springtime; the highs here in Minneapolis were in the 40's. The children & I wore our lighter coats, put away our thermal underwear and played outside all day. It was lovely.
I must have forgotten how schizophrenic Minnesota weather is and became outraged on Thursday when it snowed 8 inches. And right now it's brazenly sunshiny, but a total of 17 degrees.

Luckily, Amelia doesn't mind bundling up to play outside

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Which comes first, the sex talk or the Santa talk?

This morning I received a phone call from a concerned mother of one of Conrad's classmates. She told me, (very nicely) that her son said, that on the bus, during a field trip, I had told him there was no Santa Claus. WOW! I didn't expect that one, especially in February. I tried to remember if we had even spoken about Santa Claus. I seriously couldn't remember, but I did know my Santa Clause mantra, when children ask me if he is real. I generally parrot, "It's a mystery, It's a mystery..."
I told Hans that I felt a little bad knowing that my oldest might have spilled to beans about ol' St. Nick. But this got Hans (who told the kids about the Tooth Fairy when Conrad lost his 1st tooth) in a tirade. He reminded me that this boy was in the 3rd grade and then he asked "When does one decide to tell a child about Santa? how old does one have to be?"
We discussed some heuristics to answer this question: "Should one be told at 8, the age of accountablility? or 18, legal age?" Then we got thinking about other topics and appropirate ages for discussion and realized that it's been over a year since we watch the mandated Cub Scout film about sexual abuse. (Which we watched with both Conrad & Riley.)
Hans' conclusion was that "If they are old enough to know about sex, they are old enough to know about Santa." In fact, we even gave Conrad the complete "2for" (Conrad had his suspicions about both topics) back in November.
What do you think?

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Having the responsibility to write an article in our Relief Society newsletter for February, is a little harry. Of course the lesson of the month should be on love, but what type? I went back and forth on relationship with spouses, children, extended family, God's love for us and our love for him. And finally I remembered the 1st time I felt Christ like love for someone else. I'm sure for most of you, this lesson of love came at a much earlier age and I wish it had for me, but the feelings and memories of this experience are priceless and my thoughts on love have been changed for the better.


When we were living in Las Vegas, Hans was assigned to home teach the Carter family. Although the husband had served a mission and the wife was raised in the church, they had not been active for many years. Eric & Danielle lived comfortably in a lovely home. They were generally agreeable to us coming over to teach a lesson, even though we seemed to have little in common. Eric & Danielle were always very positive, but after every visit Hans & I were left with the feeling that we weren’t really doing any good.

Even though I still felt like Danielle and I had very little in common, I was the only one in Relief Society who knew her. So a few months later, I asked to be her visiting teacher. I would visit her and give a lesson at her home and then during other parts of the month we would go to lunch, or dinner, or shopping. This calling gave me a reason to be a friend, and I kept waiting for a “change” in this family or at least in Danielle: reactivation, a phone call, something, anything that would let me know that she was making spiritual progress. None of these happened. I prayed and wondered if I should continue visiting her and asked if it was worth it; she wasn’t changing and really didn’t feel that I was needed.

Much later I received my answer and to my surprise it was that I should stop waiting for something to happen and just love Danielle, the way Christ loves her. Being her visiting teacher and friend was not about seeing results after so many visits. I learned that I could be there for her without expecting anything in return; I was not to expect a gift, a phone call, a card or a personal witness that she was changing, I was to love her and that was enough.

To me this was a totally foreign way of thinking. My perception of friendship had always been the “give and take” sort, but God was trying to teach me Christ-like love and to be what Danielle needed: a friend who loved her unconditionally. I had the thought that I would teach Danielle to be different, but I realized that I too had a lesson to learn from the Master teacher.

I can’t say that Danielle and her family are now active in the church and that because I had a changed of heart, she changed. But I am so grateful for the experience. I know that if we follow our Savior’s example and heed his words, “As I have loved you, … love one another.” (John 13:34), He can change us and help us feel joy, even when those we love do not follow Him.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ultra Sound Day!

I must admit I always worry when I go to my 20 week ultra sound. Silly thoughts like, "Maybe I didn't take enough folic acid when we conceived", or "Am I breathing deeply enough so the baby gets the right amount of oxygen?" or "What about all the French cheese and sushi I've consumed?" Will these things affect my baby? The idea of missing my appointment and never knowing about my baby crosses my mind several times. But not today, with Amelia & Hans ready to see the show, there was no sleeping in or getting lost to miss our baby's 1st photo op.
And the result of 20 weeks ultrasound conclude that we are having a BOY!

Amelia just asked "Where is the little boy in your tummy?"