Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lessons Shared

Last week, I watched Oprah interview Marie Osmond.  Marie's son committed suicide about 9 months ago and she had decided to do one, (and only one), interview.  Can't blame the girl, I wouldn't want to publicly answer question after question about something so incredibly personal and painful.  I thought she did a wonderful job and made some very profound comments that really resonated with me.

What really stuck with me the most (and I'm paraphrasing) was when she began talking about how we all seek knowledge when what we really need is wisdom.  She felt like she had gained some wisdom in her son's death.  The comment was made that instead of saying "I'm so proud of you," to her kids, she would now say "You must be so proud of yourself."  The reason for this was because she said she'd learned that you cannot give your kids self esteem, they have to earn it.  I've spent some time over the past few days contemplating exactly how a person earns self esteem.  When I think about the things that have given me my sense of self, only some of them come from my family of origin.  Now, I'm not sure if that's because of the dysfunction I grew up with or if you only learn a portion of your self esteem from your parents and siblings.

I came to the conclusion that self esteem comes from several places.  I think the place where we as parents can influence our children's self esteem is by teaching them the difference between self worth and self esteem.  Self worth is a given, a certain intrinsic value that we have just because we are children of God. Self esteem comes from external forces and behaviors.  If we rely entirely on our self esteem we miss half the picture.  We have to know that we are valuable simply because it is a birthright. (Thank you Andrea for teaching me this...You are a wise soul.)  I think my job as a parent is to be available and supportive as my kids have successes and failures out in the world.  To be the place that they can return and be reminded of their self worth. To be the people who love them unconditionally and instill in them a knowledge that they are children of a Heavenly Father which makes their value immeasurable...  Their self esteem will need to be earned through their actions.

In thinking back to when I began to get a little self esteem, it was when I was in High School and became a part of a gymnastics team and a dance troupe.  I felt like I belonged to something bigger than myself.  I was accepted as a part of a group, a sort of surrogate family.  We worked hard as a team and wanted what was best for each member.  We were only as good as our weakest link.  We experienced a lot of success because of our team attitude.  I think a sense of belonging is a big piece of self esteem.

I think it's equally (if not more) important that people feel like they are contributing positively to society.  Those contributions don't have to be huge, it can be as little as making a stranger smile from across the counter at McDonalds , or helping a sick neighbor, or doing work for a  family member.  It may sound rather simplistic but I think a huge part of self esteem boils down to service.  Not just any service (although that is a start) but service that you are passionate about (again, it can be something as simple as making people smile.)  It just has to matter to you.  I need to find ways that we can make contributions as a family, and find out what really matters to them, so that my children begin to learn the joy of service. 

I hope Marie Osmond knows that she was in service to many people when she got on national TV and discussed what I can only imagine has been a terribly trying time in her life.  Listening to her made me take a real inventory of myself and my parenting.  May God bless her and her family for sharing her story.

Hopefully, we will all be better for it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Eaters

 My boys had a scout project a couple of weeks ago.  It involved putting washable tattoos on pumpkins. Kudos to the den leaders for not putting sharp objects in the hands of 8 and 9 year old boys.  The pumpkins resided with us during Halloween and for a couple of weeks more.  Just as I thought I would throw them away, Amanda came up with the idea of using them for our Thanksgiving pies.  Not one to throw away perfectly good food, or to shy away from a day in the kitchen with my daughter, I agreed...

Chopping up the pumpkins and removing the seeds.

Miss 'Manda had to separate the seeds from all the pumpkin guts!

Cooking the pumpkin for what seemed like forever in various pots on the stove. For a menopausal mommy,  it sure was hot!

Our version of making a puree out of the pumpkin.

Finally, the pumpkin is all bagged up and ready for the freezer...Until Thanksgiving of course. There's enough here for 7 pies. Sheesh, that was a lot of work...There's gotta be an easier way...

Oh silly me...There is an easier way!

But the easier way wouldn't have included roasting pumpkin seeds...Or having orange hands from separating the seeds from the guts...Or spending the day in the kitchen talking with my daughter.

...Or watching her enjoy the fruits of her labor as she carefully removes her roasted seeds from the pan, waits for them to cool, and then snacks on them all afternoon!

And I'm certain that buyin' the can wouldn't have left me a sink FULL of dishes! 

 We better have some GREAT tasting pies after all that work!  I don't think I would have made it as a pioneer woman.  Can you imagine putting this much work into everything you cooked??  No thanks!!! Makes me tired just thinking about it! 
Now I need to go call Domino's and have dinner delivered...
Ya know, we really are spoiled in this day and age!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Just Because He's Cute

Jaxon finally lost his second tooth.  I had to post this picture just because he looks so dang cute!!
It's crazy how much I love this little boy! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where Do They Learn This??

My little goofball Jaxon wrote this during his handwriting practice today.  The kids laughed so hard that we couldn't finish our lesson.
I have to confess...It made me laugh too!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Little Modesty Please!

Since the day the babies came home from the hospital, I've had an audience while showering, dressing, or using the facilities.  I'm sure most moms out there can commiserate.  I've become so used to dressing in front of the kids that I've thrown modesty to the wind.  I figured that they would let me know when they were no longer comfortable with me dressing in front of them.  A couple of nights ago, it happened...
It was time for bed, Mason was talking to me about the upcoming NASCAR race, and I was changing into jammies.  I whipped my shirt off, Mason took one look at my chest and said "huh, nice boobs!" and then went right back to discussing cars and pit crews.
I'll be changing with the door closed from now on.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Super Mario Brothers

This year, the Super Mario Brothers became the theme for the quads Halloween costumes.  I think they may have an addiction to the game but what the heck, it made for some really cute costumes that they ALL agreed to wear!
(And getting them all to agree is usually a battle that isn't worth fighting)

Mario, Princess Peach, Toad, and Luigi
Carson, Amanda, Jaxon, and Mason
I loved the moustaches!!!!
 Hope you all had a great Halloween!  We surely did!