All because two people fell in love...

We met in February 1989, started dating in May, and got married in September. And Josh came *almost* 11 months later, just in case y'all were wondering. And then no more came. We waited, and waited, and then Lauren decided to make her debut in May 1995 (5 weeks early), and then Kayley 1997, Jacob 1998, Krissy 2001, Lindsey 2004 & Joey 2006. We lived in Texas until 2005, and then we moved to Arkansas, just about 25 miles north of Texarkana, Texas. Fortunately all my children are Texans (and my handsome husband) because Texans are just cool. Wish I was a Texan... but husband had to settle with a California gal, which I think is pretty cool too.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Family Responsibilities

I have been thinking about this lately. The other day I went to a friend's house to pick up Krissy. It was the first time I had been to the house, and first time I had allowed Krissy to stay the night with a friend. I have many reasons, but I felt that I should allow it. Krissy had a great time there. The family has a huge above-ground pool, and a Wii. The lady is a school teacher here in Ashdown, and Josh had her at some time during his school years at the high school. They had 3 children- Kayley age, Jacob's age, and Krissy's age. I have talked with her many times before at track meets, or just around. But I go to their house, and they invite me in for a bit. I meet her husband for the 1st time. We are talking and talking, and some how the subject of chores came up. I was like "uh, ya... my kids have to earn their keep." She was amazed that my kids actually worked around the house. I know some parents out there are "super parents" who do everything and anything for their kids and household. But I am not that way. My parents taught us responsibility when I was a kid, and so therefore I am teaching it to my children. My kids don't get to just go do whatever they want. They have to earn it. We have a big family. If I didn't have help, my house would always be in a constant mess, which sometimes I feel it is. If my kids want to watch TV, then they have to fold clothes at the same time. My mom always folded our clothes, ironed them when needed, and hung up the ones that needed to be. I will wash and dry, and get the hanging ones out of the dryer to lie on the counter until hangers are actually put in them to hang up. I am not good at doing it. I will pile everything else in a few clothes baskets, and once a week, maybe every other week depending, kids fold. We turn on the TV, and bring all the clothes out and separate into piles (jeans, socks, undies, etc...) and we start folding. And I don't care how neat it is. I remember always having neat drawers, neat linen closets, but me? Eh! Who cares... if they get in the drawer or closet on a shelf, then I am good. Only time I "sweat" about the linen closet is when my parents come, and then I try to get it all nice and neat. Haha!! But my kids help in other areas too... like dishes, vaccuming, mopping, sweeping, bathroom, bedrooms. I do teach them how to do it and what to do. Same with cooking. Josh was a good cook, Lauren is learning, Kayley loves it. Haven't started with the rest much yet. They are also responsible on how they behave and treat other people. If I know that my child has "possibly" done something wrong or is rude, I will ask them about it, and if it is their fault or guilty then you better believe when I say they will take care of the issue. But at times, it's not their fault entirely, so I will have a talk about them how we should or shouldn't behave. Does any of this make sense? Then with yesterday's lesson in Relief Society, only proves to me that I am doing a good job at raising my kids and teaching them correct principles whether it's gospel related or home related. AND when a 20 year old emails me thanking me for teaching him how to work, cook and to be a responsible person, ya... another reason to make me think I am doing a great job. Makes a mom proud!

The other day I was at Walmart, and the big girls and I were in the fabric department. A friend saw us, and asked us what we were doing. I said we were looking at patterns and seeing what kind of skirt & apron we can make. I am making an apron for my niece MaKayla. Lauren & Kayley want this cute skirt made, and it's so flippin' easy, it's crazy! We found some different fabrics which are super-duper cute. Can't wait until we can start making them. Anyway, so this friend says "what can you NOT do?" And I have been thinking about that lately too. What can I NOT do?? 1) I can't change a tire, even though I did learn how on a small car, but never tried on the Suburban, thus being stranded on Hwy 71 until 2 nice men stopped and helped me. 2) use some of these power tools around here... if I learned how, which I think I may be doing real soon, then my house could get done. Geez... maybe this is all I can't do?

I learned to sew because when Josh was in 3rd grade and Jacob was 4 weeks old, he brought home a note that Josh needed red shorts and a yellow short-sleeve shirt for the school play. This is November, almost December (when the play was). Where in the HECK was I going to find red shorts?? So I decided I better learn to use that sewing maching that Grammie gave me when I got married. I had used it a few times before just to mend this or that, but never ever EVER followed a pattern! I found a pajama pattern that could have long pants or shorts. 2 pieces. No buttons, or zippers, just elastic waist. So I found the red material, found some "gold" buttons that I needed to sew on for decorations, and wha-la... shorts are made with suspenders and "gold" buttons. 2-3 hrs tops (not bad for 1st time). I then found a yellow short-sleeve shirt on clearance at the College Station Walmart, and Josh was the perfect Pinnochio! Oh, and I made a white collar too... that was hard!!! But we still have the costume, and usually about every 2-3 years, it gets dragged out and someone will wear it for Halloween. Jacob got best over-all costume one year when he wore it. After that, I learned to make pajama bottoms, skirts, aprons, skorts, and many many blankets & burb cloths!

I learned to cook after I was married, and have perfected it over the last 17 years for sure. First time I ever made a cheesecake was when we moved into "our" first house in 2000. I made the "Lion House" cheesecake with a sour cream topping. OMG- to die for! And after that I just had to learn. When I was pregnant with Lauren, Shawn started our first garden. I didn't know what to do with all the tomatoes except to make salsa. I bought peppers, onions, and away I went. Learned a hard lesson... never get jalapeno in your eyes!! OUCH! But before I did that, a few weeks before I snagged my mom's canner and all her stuff. I still have it. I just followed the instructions in the book. I have done salsa, basil tomatoes, new potatoes, zucchini & squash (don't recommend... I just had so much of it, and decided to try it, but ended up 10 years later just getting rid of them), jams and jellys. I have learned to prepare fresh produce for freezing too. I have learned to make breads, make cinnamon rolls, make chicken dorito casserole, and I just learned how to make the best biscuits ever! I taught Josh how to make many things, and more emails he has sent home thanking me for teaching him how to cook.

I have taught my kids how to budget money (which I still need to work on), how to get good deals & bargains, how to stand up for something that isn't right which can mean anything!! From standing up to your standards, to telling Outback that your steak isn't done right for the 2nd time, and they better do something about it... thus the "free steak." First time I ever did that, Shawn about died!! Until something he ordered wasn't right, and he had me complain about it. LOL!!!

Most important beside teaching my children the gospel and correct principles especially what's in the For the Strength of Youth, I have taught my children to love each other. My kids do fight, yes. And sometimes there is punching and biting that comes with it (won't mention names, cough cough, teens), but over-all these kids love each other!! They do a lot together, and wouldn't have it any other way. My kids know how to watch out for each other. And to be nice, and to behave in public. I will not put up with kids who are not behaving. I am glad other people notice, and say something to me about it, because it makes me feel good again.

I could go on some more, but I am going to go teach Kayley how to make homemade lasagna with the tomatoes that I bottled. =)