Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Eating at Snack Time

Please excuse the hair.

Christmas Traditions

Now that Rico understands a little more we are trying to create some traditions that stick.  We have been reading the scriptures and going over the nativity almost every day.  We get out our little nativity scene to hopefully give him a mental picture.  (Our nativity scene is one that J got while on his mission in Guatemala.  All the pieces are VERY bright but I love that we can see Guatemalan culture in them)

We are singing Christmas songs nearly every day, playing Christmas music.  Rico loves to go look at the lights and Deddy loves to stare out the window.  I love how lights glisten!

We do three Christmas' per year.  One with my mom and step-dad, one with my dad and step-mom and one with J's family.  With his family we do Bingo on Christmas Eve and buy funny gifts for each other. Then on Christmas day we have a wonderful dinner.  We will also be playing in J's sister's piano recital, going to see his sister in Salt Lake City and we are going to see the lights at Temple Square.  I have never done this and I'm so excited to see how beautiful they are and to feel the spirit of Christmas on temple square.

Christmas Lights at Temple Square

Rico is beginning to wean.  I have been going back and forth on this for a LONG time.  But we are going down to nursing once per day.  Today was rough.  It was the first day.  It was so rough in fact that he watched Thomas the Tank Engine.  Twice.  I hope it gets easier.  I love the nursing relationship, but I feel like Deddy needs his own time.  Rico is constantly getting involved in Deddy's nursing time and sometimes I just want to hold Deddy close and just be with him.  So before another baby shows up, I would like to have some one-on-one time with Deddy.  Rico had a year and a half. Hopefully it's the right decision!

Here is what Rico sees during Christmas:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lifestyle Change


WOW.  Thanksgiving/November really took a lot out of us and was very busy.  My parents came in from Colorado for Thanksgiving.  We completely changed our eating habits and Deddy turned one yesterday.  B.U.S.Y.

Anyway, change of eating habits.  I am really not quite sure how to define ourselves now.  We aren't vegetarian, aren't quite vegan but have cut out all animal meat, dairy and dairy byproducts and eggs.  Let me first begin by stating why we have changed our eating habits. 

I have known for a couple of years that our eating habits needed to change.  We really didn't eat too much meat.  Just about the only time we had any type of red meat was either when someone else made it for us or if we were out to dinner (which is a rarity!).  Mainly we ate turkey and had a lot of vegetarian dishes for dinner. We followed Dr. Christopher's mucusless diet for a few months before I became pregnant with Deddy and I just needed to eat anything that I didn't make.  My cooking went and so did the diet.

A couple of months ago we watched some animal slaughterhouse videos on YouTube.  I would recommend not watching any of these if you want to continue eating your McDonald's double cheeseburger without any guilt (if I had written this post 2 months ago my mouth would have been watering because I was missing these so much. Gross, but 

After we cut out all fast food, next up was meat altogether.  Heavenly Father tends to lead J and I in a direction pretty swiftly so this happened within a couple of weeks.  I/We (and by that I mean I and then I tell J so it becomes we) were studying in Doctrine and Covenants section 89 and re-reading the section about eating meat. 
12 Yea, flesh of the beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
To be completely honest, we thought we were using meat sparingly.  I think most people in the church think that even if they eat it with three meals.  No, we did not eat meat with every meal, but several times a week.  And can I say that it was with thanksgiving?  No.
So let's jump to Genesis chapter 9.  The Lord is speaking to Noah.  I believe this fits quite nicely with the D&C reference above.  I'm using the Joseph Smith translation.  I love when I am confused by something in the Bible.  Usually there is a JS translation that takes away all confusion (For those who don't know, the Bible has been translated several times and some of the meaning and different scriptures have been changed.  When Joseph Smith restored Christ's church he was also commanded by Heavenly Father to go through the Bible and translate certain scriptures to their original wording.  We use the King James Version and believe it to be the most correct translation.).  Joseph Smith's changes are italicized.
10 But, the blood of all flesh which I have given you for meat, shall be shed upon the ground, which taketh life thereof, and the blood ye shall not eat.
11 And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands.
We read that and thought well that makes sparingly seem even more..well...sparingly.  If I am to only eat meat to save my life, and in the D&C scripture quoted above only in times of winter, cold or famine (which in most parts of the world would result in saving lives) then why were we eating it a few times a week?  If the Lord has said that we would be held accountable to all the animals we eat, then would eating meat be necessary for survival? 
Photo Credit
The next morning J told me he couldn't sleep the night before thinking about all of the animals lined up in heaven.  Animals that he had eaten or taken bits and pieces out of.  Not a pretty picture, but we decided we didn't want to answer for any more unless it was so save ourselves.  Now, let me clarify.  We did have Thanksgiving.  There was a turkey for my parents.  We have been trying to find the fine line between not eating meat and also not wasting it if it is there anyway.  What to do?  We did take a few bites of the turkey so it wouldn't be wasted (after a few days of it being in the fridge) and there were some organic bacon pieces in the green beans that may have made it to my mouth. 
We have also watched a couple documentaries.  The first being Forks Over Knives.  We were convinced of the ill effects of dairy after watching that movie.  J asked when we would be cutting it out and we did that day. 
The reason I say we aren't fully vegan is because when we are out to dinner, we will probably have some cheese or cream or something of the sort in the food we eat.  Both of us do not feel like eating any kind of meat.  If we are invited to dinner (again, a rarity) and meat is served we will not scoff but instead be thankful that someone was willing to provide a meal for us.  So I can't say we are fully vegan.  I don't want any meat wasted.  I don't want any life to be wasted.  But I also don't want to be responsible for those animals lives.  Where is the line drawn???
J has lost 13lbs in 3 weeks, I've lost 2 (I don't really have any to lose so 2 makes a difference. haha).  We both have more energy, and have found some AMAZING food to eat.  I'm actually eating vegetables and liking them and we both feel very good.  Another up side, I really do feel like we were prompted to change our eating habits.  And by following that prompting I do feel like I gained more of a testimony for revelation and also that Heavenly Father is watching out for our family and what our health needs are.  I know everyone is entitled to their own revelation so this is what we have personally interpreted the scriptures to mean for our family!  Everyone has the right to interpret it differently and to make their own choices!  Oh, wonderful AGENCY!
(Oh yeah, and my milk supply has never been better!!)
Let's end with the promises of following the Word of Wisdom fully (Doctrine and Covenants 89):
18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Letting Rico learn responsibility is hard.  It is harder I think for me than it would be for him.  It is way easier to pick toys up myself, put his clothes on him myself, carry him to the car, etc. 

I have been making a concerted effort to allow him his time with getting things done.  I am not perfect!  I am not good at this every day!  However, he has finally learned to dress himself.  Underwear, socks, pants, shirt.  Everything but the jacket.  He does a really great job and he was SO proud of himself the first time he did it--he is still proud every day he does this.  I have been trying to make him pick up toys before moving on to another activity.  This is probably the hardest thing because he changes his mind so often.  Lately, we pick up toys before lunch/nap and again before dinner and then the final time before bed. 

Deddy is now sleeping in his room so now it is THEIR room.  The first night Rico was excited the crib was in there.  Then when we were walking out of the room and not taking Deddy with us, he became upset.  He calmed down after J told him that he once shared a room with his brother.  He talked about that for a few days and seemed to think he was pretty cool to be able to share a room with his own brother.  Each night they play.  And by play I mean Rico hides under the crib and takes Deddy's bear and then throws it back into the crib.  They laugh for a long time before they finally decide they are too tired and both pass out in odd positions.

We were planning to do a floor bed with Deddy but, because he hasn't learned the stairs yet, and Rico's door is open to allow him to use the bathroom at night, we do not want him falling down the stairs.  I think when he can walk and use the stairs we will transition to the floor bed.  Also, Deddy needs to be able to fend Rico off of him when he is getting too rough.

Deddy still acts so much like a baby and is going to be one year old in a couple of weeks.  They both develop so differently and I LOVE that Deddy is still my little baby.  Rico was an adult at 10 months--so having a little baby longer is perfect.

During the week we clean something together nearly every day.  Rico is helpful.  He helps carry laundry, dust, sweep and vacuum.  I will try to get pictures of this soon.  Having a schedule has been very helpful.  I feel like I have time to clean, cook, play, read, etc. 

Our LOOSE schedule:
7:30-9: Do lesson from the nursery manual (HE LOVES THIS), read scriptures, get dressed, eat breakfast.
9-10: Clean
10-11:30: Play, books, walk. (Deddy usually naps at this time so Rico and I have one-on-one time)
11:30: Lunch
12:00-2ish: Rico's Nap, one-on-one time with Deddy
2-4: Play, walk, bake/cook
4-5: Pick up toys/make dinner
This has really helped me be a more productive mom and has actually helped me feel like I get to play with the boys more often which is what they need most anyway.  But I don't have to feel like I am neglecting my other responsibilities of keeping a nice home and making delicious food.  I should have done this a LONG time ago.  So while I'm trying to teach Rico responsibility I'm really only teaching myself...or it's Heavenly Father teaching me responsibility. Yes, that must be it!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


"I don’t know how you feel, my brethren and sisters, but I’d rather be dead than to lose my liberty. I have no fear we’ll ever lose it because of invasion from the outside. But I do have fear that it may slip away from us because of our own indifference, our own negligence, as citizens of this land. And so I plead with you this morning that you take an active interest in matters pertaining to the future of this country." Ezra Taft Benson ( Source: “The LDS Church and Politics”, BYU Devotional, December 1, 1952 )

Each person has his or her agency.  This agency can be used in a number of different ways.  Today, I'm going to write a little about using it for voting.  We know as Latter-Day Saints that we have an obligation to our constitution. Oh wait, you didn't know that?  Let me back up.  As Latter-Day Saints we have an obligation to our constitution. :)
Not only that but we are also commanded to seek honest and wise men diligently.  We are to vote for HONEST and WISE men.  Anything LESS than this comes of evil. 
Maybe I should repeat that, Anything LESS than this comes of evil. Do you read any type of "except when..." in that statement?  Let me give you the direct scripture:
Doctrine and Covenants 98:
"And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them.
And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.
Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;
And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.
I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free.
Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn.
Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.
And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God."
We are commanded by the Lord in the above scriptures to befriend the law of the land.  What is our law of the land?  It is the contitution.  It is our obligation to learn the constitution and find men who will uphold this.  We are to find men who believe in liberty the way our founding fathers believed in liberty.  We are told to forsake all evil and cleave unto all good.  ALL good.
I have heard so many people say "such and such has no chance of winning so I am going to vote for this person just because I HATE the other option."  WHY would we vote for someone whose platform we don't agree with???  Why do we continue to vote for people who are not honest?  And WHY do we vote for someone else just because the person we want to vote for has no chance of winning.  That is like saying because all my friends are voting for this person I have to also because the person I really support has no chance.  Of course that person has no chance if everyone won't stand behind him/her!  There is some metaphor with friends and jumping off a bridge that seems to fit well here.  (I didn't come up with that on my own--at LDS Liberty there is a new podcast in which it is mentioned and it fits too perfectly not to share!)

Liberty is a principle of the gospel.  The Book of Mormon teaches this and President Benson stated in a BYU Devotional in 1966 (this is in regards to Satan's Perverse Reasoning): "For example, he will argue, 'There is no need to get involved in the fight for freedom-all you need to do is live the gospel.' Of course this is a contratidiction, because we cannot fully live the gospel and not be involved in the fight for freedom."
We are fighting for freedom.  We should not be fighting against any one person or party.  We all need to be united in fighting against evil.  We need to prayerfully study our scriptures, latter-day revelation and the Book of Mormon to discover how it is the Lord wants us to govern ourselves.  We are a self-governing country.  The men we elect are acting in our name.  Do we want our name tarnished for something that they do on our behalf?  I am praying that everyone is taking the time to study the candidates and (probably more importantly) the community propositions that we will be voting on Tuesday.  The Book of Mormon teaches of liberty and of agency.  Does our voting reflect that of allowing others their agency or are we using unrighteous dominion and taking away the agency of others all because we think it is for the good of the people?  Satan had a very similar plan that is being perpetuated on earth.  Whose side are we on?  It is time to take a stand and choose the side we chose once before!


Autumn Activity

We have one regular play date per week. I thought that possibly if they used apples cut in half they would look kind of like pumpkins. If they were 5, that would have been possible. They are 2--it turned out to be more like smeared paint. They both really loved this activity.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Help Me Do It Alone

For some reason, I have never thought of this quote in reference to potty training.

We started teaching Rico to use the potty at about 15 months.  He started walking when he was 10 months old but it wasn't until about that time that I felt he could really comprehend the potty.  We had one for awhile before that and he sat on it when we used the bathroom but he didn't quite understand what was going on.  We also use cloth diapers and even though I've read that babies in cloth respond better to potty training, Rico was not one of them.  He could sit in a soiled diaper for a lot longer than Deddy can.  (Which made it hard to know when he was wet!)

During the first few months we had a lot of accidents and it was a great opportunity to teach him to clean up after himself (Don't worry, I followed up with vinegar and water).  I felt a big push to make sure he knew how to use the potty right before I had his brother.  Things went ok, but he would never poop on the potty.  He would wait until he had a diaper on for nap or night time or run into this little room we have under our stairs, close the door and come out to tell me he pooped.  It was frustrating.  After Deddy was born, he was using the potty with pretty good accuracy except during naps and night time.  We recently (he is now 28 months old) decided he was using his diaper to poop in because he had the option.  Running to the potty takes more effort!  J had the idea to finally keep him in underwear all the time.  I love when Maria Montessori is right. 

“These words reveal the child’s inner needs; ‘Help me to do it alone’.”

We weren't helping him; we were hindering his growth as a person.  He has made it to the potty every day for the past 3 weeks (granted he had been making it to the potty for pee for a long time now). He has only had a couple of nights where he has wet the bed.  Every time he uses the potty to poop he wants a high five and has the biggest smile.

Learning to use the toilet is very hard to do.  Some days it is hard to keep calm accident after accident.  I'm not sure that if we had tried to have him use the potty any sooner that he would have had more success.  I think for the most part we let him learn to use the potty on his own--in underwear, with accidents.  With a first child it is hard to be a parent.  Things are completely unknown.  Even with the plethora of books and blogs, our own children are still a little different and even with Montessori principles, things have to fit the child and the family.  And with learning to use the toilet, our children should be the guide, not the books!  Are we giving them all the respect that they deserve as sons and daughters of God while we teach them things--even how to use the potty?  Are we keeping them in diapers for our convenience (or in our case--their convenience?) instead of allowing them to grow at their own pace? 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lovely Yarrow

I have a few favorite herbs, yarrow is one of them.

Picture courtesy of

I was introduced to herbs mainly through my wonderful mother-in-law.  Wait, did I just say wonderful and mother-in-law in the same sentence?  Yes, yes I did.  She had some experiences earlier in her life that led her to herbs and alternative forms of medicine.  She gave me a few herb books which I love and can't live without.  Dr. Christopher's Herbal Home Health Care and Maria Treben's Health Through God's Pharamcy.  I love both of these herbalists.  They both give credit to the creator.  The Lord is the one who made these wonderful herbs and I believe there is an herb for every illness.  Herbs are mentioned in the Bible; I love the Doctrine and Covenants verse from section 89: "...all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constiution, nature and use of man--"
Yarrow is a wonderful herb, and especially wonderful for women.  Maria Treben says that if women would take this herb once in a while, they wouldn't have "women problems."  It helps with too heavy/light of a period.  It is also great for fevers and kidney problems.  It is great for healing wounds. You can drink an infusion (1 tsp per cup of water). You can chew some of it for a toothache. 
If you haven't tried any herbs for your ailments, give yarrow a try during your next cold!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Books Books

I loved reading when I was a child.  Then I started school...and I grew to hate reading.  I disliked being told what to read.  I LOVED being able to go to the library at school when we could choose our own book to do a report on--I read Wait Till Helen Comes more than a few times--and Nancy Drew and Box Car Racer books--oh I loved them!  I took a hiatus from reading for, oh, about 15 (?) years.  I finally started loving books again.  I have tried since Rico was born to read a lot to him.  I want him, and all of our children to love reading and to never lose that love. 

I've been made fun of because I don't really read the typical books: mystery, spying, romance, etc.  I love herb books.  Specifically, I love books that talk of how herbs have healed.  I never grow tired of reading about the miraculous things that herbs can do in a body.  I love Maria Treben and Dr. Christopher.  I also do occasionally read novels.  Jane Eyre was the most recent, but that was back in late winter.  I also read a lot of Montessori/parenting books.  Latter-Day Liberty is an amzing book that I read and think that all LDS people should read.  Hopefully it will motivate people to be more active in politics.  This summer I have been focused on cross-stitching because I am trying to accomplish a young woman value (divine nature) before Christmas.  I think I'll make it in time (more on this in another post). 

Back to books...Rico has had his spark lit.  He wants to read books throughout the day.  I try not to pressure him to read and if he doesn't want to I don't think I've ever forced it.  He now sleeps with his books.  He has a pile in his bed and he reads himself to sleep and reads before his nap time.  It is so wonderful to watch and I'm hoping that because we are homeschooling he'll have a better shot at not growing tired of reading.  I hope that I can help this new found love of books to flourish and that he will choose books that make him want to be a better person.  At 2, this may be difficult.  But at 10, 12, and 14 I think it will be so fun to watch. 

He is already 2.  That means in less than 6 years he'll be baptized.  Wow.  I can still feel the total elation I had for him the day he was born and somehow it has only increased--I never thought it was possible!  Family does bring the most joy in life!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Where's Your Spirit?

No, I'm not talking about the one in your body...or anything that has to do with school spirit, especially BSU school spirit.  This is the time of year J and I secretly cringe about.  All the BSU talk and the "we" talk gets to us.  ("We won the game!" Really? YOU helped win the game??)  Anyway, we aren't really that cynical, but we're happy when football season ends. 

I'm talking about The Spirit of Boise.  I informed J that now it is a tradition to wake up early and go see the hot air balloons take off from Ann Morrison Park and he is always nice enough to indulge me.  I remember seeing them as a kid, and my mom even let us get doughnuts to eat before school.  I don't have very many memories but that is one of them and it always makes me smile.  This year Rico fell in love with the balloons.  It was so much fun to see him excited and wave at all the people he couldn't see in the balloons while saying quietly "Hi people."  A couple of them flew right over our heads and that was pretty exciting.  This is one of the few traditions we have started as a family.  What are some of yours??

Self Portraits

Painting Our Nails

J does not like when Rico has his nails painted.  We try very hard to distinguish the differences between boys and girls but for some reason, letting my 2 yr old paint his nails just doesn't seem like it will confuse him for life.  I found the perfect compromise.  WATER COLORS!  He can paint his and my nails and practice his fine motor skills and then we can wash it off! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Our Tiny Beach

The weather here has been gross.  I dislike extremes of weather.  40-80 degrees are about as extreme as I like things.  This summer, the weather has been H.O.T.  And now, there are fires. Usually we can see the foothills from our porch.  This has been our view, more or less, for a couple of weeks. 

Needless to say, we haven't ventured out in awhile.  We have tried one short walk and it was just too gross.  This morning I was tired of it and decided Rico needed a beach break.  A very tiny beach break.  He was given sand for his birthday and his great-grandparents brought him some shells (they live on the coast in Washington).  He has been very interested in hiding, things being hidden, animals hiding, Deddy get the picture.  I hid the shells in the sand for him to find and as he pulled them out we felt them, carefully, and he had his first lesson in smooth and bumpy textures.  He REALLY liked this activity.  After the shells were out I let him work on his own. 

It wouldn't be the beach without "iced tea"...raspberry leaf tea!

Like the outfit?  He picks them himself!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Popcorn Bopping

Yes, cheesy title...BUT listen up!

I was looking around the internet, for interesting things for my calling (Primary Chorister) and I found this awesome CD.  Yes, it is called Popcorn Bopping.  Rico loves fun dance music and this sets 13 primary songs to fun music.  I thought I was going to have to make fun of it but really, they did a good job.  You can hear the songs here:

I will be purchasing this soon!