Thursday, September 30, 2010

Farewell September

Dear September,

We had a rough start and I have now been sick for an entire month but I would like to thank you for ending with a glorious sunny week that reminded me why I love September a lot but not as much as October.

Turning 32 wasn't nearly as horrible as becoming 31 and Boba Fett's birthday party was a smashing success.   Soccer season has been almost bearable so far.

 Knitting season has had a so-so beginning but I am hoping for a productive run.

The Family Celebration started out strong and then waned as my spirits spiraled, for which I am sorry because I was enjoying it so much.

Until next year September.
-Samurai Mom

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Glass half full?

I wanted to write today about how awful I feel, how everything is going wrong and how I can't wait to kick the year 2010 into the rubbish bin.
This entire year has been full of one really big good thing (buying Starlings) and smaller and just as delightful things (making new friends, a good hydrangea crop, my chalkboard) all mixed up in a sauce of garbage. I am so tired of things going wrong, and stress and fighting, mistakes, plain bad luck, broken dreams and my talents turning to failures.

But I won't instead I will try to scrape up the good things that have happened to me this past week or so.

I went to Seattle (garbage) with La Keira (GREAT thing) to see Betty Debbie (New Friend) and celebrate Bettysday(good thing.) I couldn't find an uncrushable jersey dress so I fashioned a nurse's cap and sported it about Seattle. We had a tea less High Tea at a Tea Shop and it was very good.

On Monday I completed 32 years on the Earth (good thing,) had a free sushi lunch at Sushi Town (good thing) and spent the day choosing my winter yarn supply (good thing that turned bad.) Then I went to dinner with La Keira and Nathan and Moose at Benihana (very good thing.)

My nephew, Little Moss, was born early Tuesday morning which was a joyus thing, followed by the worst day in the history of selling our old house (very bad thing.)

On Thursday, I learned how to make homemade bagels (good thing) then went to the Temple (very good thing) and came across the 2nd best name ever "Rosamund Skipworth" (good thing.)

There is a very pretty magenta colored hydrangea in my yard. That is a good thing.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Prince What Rescues the Fair Maiden

"Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."
I love that girls are girls and boys are boys. Anyone who has one of each knows what I am talking about.

Monday, September 13, 2010

How to Make a Sand Temple

After I posted this picture last week

A LOT of people wanted to know how I made it. For my entry in the craft linkup I will divulge my secrets.
Several summers ago (you can tell it was several summers ago because that is Boba Fett on my lap)I read an article in Family Fun magazine about building sandcastles. I gleaned a few tips.

One was to not try to build UP your structure but to start with a massive pile of wet sand and carve it out.

The other was some basic tools, along with the usual bucket and shovel when we head to the beach I bring drinking straws, toothpicks, a melon baller and an offset spatula. An offset spatula looks like this
You can find them in the cake making sections of the craft store or in most kitchen stores.

So, I made a pile of wet sand using the shovel and buckets and pat it firmly. This is why you need a LOT of sand because when it is wet and compact it takes up less space. Once you have a really big pile you can start carving.
I knew that I wanted to make a sand temple so I spent some time looking at a picture of the Salt Lake Temple before I went to the beach. I chose the Salt Lake temple because it's design is unique and it is fairly simple construction, a cube with pyramids on top. You can even bring a picture along with you.
Then I carved out a rectangular cube and then carved out the towers with the offset spatula. Once I had the general shape of the temple I carved out the details using the offset spatula, the melon baller and the toothpick. When I was satisfied with the temple I used the drinking straw to blow off any sand that was out of place. Finally I found a gold-fish cracker bit off part of the tail stuck it on a toothpick and crowned the spire.Really, that hard part was keeping the kids away from it while they were trying to "help."

"Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thank You Note

Dear Boba Fett,

Thank you for having a glorious sunny day for your birthday and for letting me throw the best Harry Potter birthday party (so much better than a Super Mario party) ever for you. Potions class was amazing, and making the robes, wands and broomsticks was so much fun. I think we should play quidditch more often. I did not really care for the butter beer.

Thank you for being the MVP in your first soccer game of the season. Thank you for being so cute and ecstatic each time you made a goal.

Thank you for loving all of your gifts especially the one I sewed for you.

Thank you for insisting on lobster for dinner. It was so delicious and expensive and worth it.

It was a perfect day. Thank you for being born on September 11th.


P. S. I am really sad that the broken camera took an accidental trip to Montana and I couldn't take any pictures of your perfect day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I am a Mother Who Knows

Still sick but plugging away for the sake of Boba Fett's Birthday. I found this post in my archives from 2008 and thought I would re-post as it feels appropriate. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. I love being a mother, I wouldn't want to be anything if I wasn't a mother as well. It is what I am here to do, if I fail as a mother I fail my purpose.

This is a sampler that I made for our service auction a few weeks ago. I was flattered that there was a small bidding war over it and my decorating-ly gifted friend liked it enough to win it without knowing it was mine.
When I first heard Sister Beck's Conference address Mothers Who Know I just loved it. It was one of those talks that say "You are on the right track. Here are some other things to think about. I know you can do it because you are a woman of God and the mother of these special charges."
My neighbor called and asked if I had heard it and we talked about how much we loved it. To us (the homeschool converted) it was another in a long line of talks that confirmed our decision to homeschool. It went right along with our homeschool philosophy particularly Sister Beck's "Mothers who know do less." And TJED's "The Six Month No."

Several months later I was in Relief Society where this talk was the lesson matter when my friend whispered" I liked this talk a lot, but I know people who have a big problem with it."
I was stunned and a little disbelieving. I chalked it up to my friend having weird acquaintances and the truth hurting when you don't like to hear it. Then the lesson began and the teacher mentioned that a lot of people have had a hard time with this talk. I was amazed.
I still don't have an answer other than people don't like to be told when they aren't doing what is right. I am still baffled none the less.

The bullet points of Sister Beck's Talk.
  • Mothers Who Know Bear Children.
  • Mothers Who Know Honor Sacred Ordinances and Covenants
  • Mothers Who Know Are Nurturers
  • Mothers Who Know Are Leaders
  • Mothers Who Know Are Teachers
  • Mothers Who Know Do Less
  • Mothers Who Know Stand Strong and Immovable

"Latter-day Saint women should be the very best in the world at upholding, nurturing, and protecting families. I have every confidence that our women will do this and will come to be known as mothers who 'knew.'"

I just want to say, "I am a mother who knows."

P.S. Might I suggest that you write "I am a Mother Who Knows." on a paper, or paint it on a board or stitch in on a scrap of fabric and hang it in your home? Perhaps in a particularly trying spot to reminding you why you do this and who you are doing it for. Mine, of course will be above the sink full of dishes.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Entrusted to our Care

"Children are an heritage to the Lord."

This is so true. Every child is a gift from heaven a glimpse into the Almighty. When they are new you can almost see the angels about them and you can certainly feel them. I love to watch them as they dream and smile and wonder what they are remembering.

Each child is different and as they grow they teach us things about ourselves and also about others. Take mine for instance.


Nutmeg is smart as a whip, communicates clearly, has her own ideas about how things should be done and does them with out any help. Thank You. She looks like a china doll but is as rough and tumble as the boys and can climbs like a mountain goat. She is also gentle and caring and there is nothing she likes to do more than take care of me when I am sick. She is diligent.

Then there is Boba Fett, he is not as co-ordinated as his siblings and takes a long time to say what is on his mind. You might think that he isn't as bright but he is. He takes information in digests it, thinks about it, turns each piece over and over in his mind and then hours, days or weeks later comes up with a insightful question or observation. Though easily discouraged he is determined. Beware he is the kind that has ideas that change the world. He is also HILARIOUS. Whether he means to be or not he keeps us laughing all day long. It is just so funny to hear such big words coming out of a little boy in the appropriate context.

Camrock is my enigma. Try as I might I will never figure him out. Calm and easy going yet he holds on to vast amounts of rage that sits and simmers and never explodes. He has a very strong sense of justice and as I tell him that could be a curse or his greatest attribute. He is polite, thoughtful, good and kind. He takes a lot of abuse but never betray him.

Every child is different and a child of GOD. They have been entrusted to our care. It is our duty to help each child be who the Lord wants them to be. A humbling yet exciting charge.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Bringing the Proclamation to YOUR Family

If you aren't already familiar with Scripture Scouts you are missing out! Scripture Scouts are CD that talk about scripture stories and the kids love to listen to them in the car and we all love singing the songs.

There is a Family Proclamation set that is all about explaining certain concepts from The Proclamation. One thing that I like about this Scripture Scouts is that not all of the kids come from a happy nuclear family but they still manage to find happiness in The Proclamation.

The Family Proclamation is not my favorite Scripture Scouts (My favorite is the Book Of Mormon set)but it is one that we go back to and the kids ask for frequently.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Triple Entry!

Today is the Proclamation Photo Walk contest for Celebrate Family and as you may remember my camera is broken but I wanted to play the game anyway. I scrolled through years of old photos and found 3 that I think will work. Vote for one or all three!

"Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."
(A "Sand Temple" I made at the beach a few years ago. Note the reflecting pool and Pepperidge Farm Angel Moroni)

"In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience..."
(I love this photo of Moose and Nutmeg doesn't it look like she is arriving on earth to receive a body and earthly experience?)

"Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. "
(My hammock is one of my favorite places to teach my children.)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

What's in Your Purse?

Grandma and Grandpa took us to the zoo yesterday. Nutmeg took the camera along and wore it across one shoulder along with her leopard print purse because she was going to be an "explorer." The best part was that she was wearing khaki Bermuda shorts and a white shirt and only needed a safari hat to complete the look. There was a safari hat for sale in the gift shop but I am sure you know how zoo gift shop prices are. It was so fun to see her digging out the camera to take a picture.

Last night Moose and I took a look at the memory card.
There were a lot of useless this-is-what-you-get-when-you-give-a-4-year-old-a-camera pictures
but there were also these:

It made me realize how she sees the world, a world made for big people. No wonder she keeps growing up so fast, she needs to get where the action is.
And then there was this picture:
You might look at this and think it is just a picture of my rear end, and it is, but it brought to mind so many things:
This is what I look like to my daughter.
She is literally looking up to me, she is probably looking up to me figuratively as well.
When I walk ahead of her I think I am leading the way but does she think I am walking away? Leaving her behind?
Is this just a picture of my backside?
I took this picture, it is the contents of Nutmeg's leopard print purse dumped onto a bench made of Redwood in a hasty search for quarters to put in the gumball machines . I just thought it was so cute. 4 pennies, the jar I bought for 25 cents for her to use as a jam jar in her play kitchen (but no matter how many times I put it on the little kitchen shelf I find it used as a container to store things like the plastic ladybug that is inside in this photo), and a bunch of acorns.

I can just imagine her packing her purse.
Money? Check.
Jam jar with a lady bug? Check.
Acorns? Check.

Then I remember where she must have found those acorns.
I put them on the desk in the dining room.
I love acorns and I pick them up whenever I see one.
I put them on the desk the other day when I was cleaning out MY PURSE.
I carry acorns in my purse.

They are always watching. What a blessing, what a responsibility! I am so humbled that the Lord trusted me with such a sacred responsibility.

Friday, September 03, 2010


"We declare that God's Commandment to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force."I love having a big family.
I love that I have 1 husband and 3 amazing children.
I love that I have 4 strong sisters. I love that I have two righteous brothers. I love that I have good brothers in law. Love that I have 3.95 nieces and nephews. I love that I have 2 parents who love each other and who love us. Never in my life have I not KNOWN that I was loved and also adored by many people. As a kid I knew that even if my family was wiped out I still had grandparents, 24 aunts and uncles and 60 cousins to love me.

That is security.

That is love.

That is Family.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Building Blocks

"The family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children."
How wonderful that God had given us families!

Families provide for us, nurture us, physically and spiritually. In a family a child is biologically linked to two adults who go to great lengths to protect and teach the child. It is the perfect learning situation, adults who take into account the individual needs of a relatively small group of children and are emotionally invested in seeing the child succeed. Brothers and sisters and cousins provide playmates and peers. Grandparents, aunts and uncles provide additional role models and a wider range of personal relationships.

Obviously not all families consist of a mother, father and their biological children. Some people are blessed to be born into outstanding loving families while others are born orphans or worse have parents who do not care for them or love them. Some families are a mish-mash of relatives while others are brought together by ties of love rather than blood. Some families have lost some members. The family ideal is still the same, people who love each other working together to help one another.

Families are the building blocks of society. Individuals make families, families make neighborhoods, neighborhoods make communities, communities make towns and cities and counties, towns and cities and counties make states and provinces, States and provinces make nations.

It stands to reason if one straightens a nation's families the nation is straightened, if one attacks and weakens the nation's families the nation is weakened.

Only by striving to have loving, principled, healthy, honest families we can have a loving, caring, principled, honest communities.

Beware of programs that try to take the place of the family or claim authority that supersedes the role of the family. U. N. Convention of the Rights of the Child I'm looking at you.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

We Hold These Truths to be Self-evident

I learned about THIS really neat idea a few weeks ago and I was inspired to take part. A celebration in honor of the 15th anniversary of The Family: A Proclamation to the World how wonderful!

I had big, big, big plans for all of the fun posts I would be doing. Then Boba Fett decided to have a Harry Potter birthday party and instead of spending the last few weeks making awesome posts about family I became a party planner (one of my favorite occupations.) I will be attempting this while negotiating a visit from out of town family members and two birthdays, but isn't that what this party is all about, family?

And so, I find myself twenty-six minutes into September with NO POSTS PLANNED and a broken camera. Wish me luck.I remember when the The Family: A Proclamation to the World was first released. It sounded so sensible and a little self evident, everybody knew those things, why did they feel the need to issue a proclamation? Little did we know that a mere 10 years later it would prove terribly prophetic and now 15 years later it is so BOLD even revolutionary.

I have a testimony that all of the things in The Proclamation are true, that the principles therein bring happiness and that theses words become more sacred to me with each year that passes. How grateful I am for this remarkable document.

Please join me this month as I explore this prophetic document and what it means to me and my family.