Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's Great to Be Eight

These words have never rang more true to me than in the last few weeks. Maybe its because I have head butting with my oldest who is about turn 8 in less than a year. Turning 8 is a big deal in our faith. We believe and after my trials with Bradley in the last few months I know that 8 is the age of accountability (which means it is the time for him to make a very important decision in his life of whether or not he want to be baptized in our faith).  Probably about 3 years I had strong impression that I had to start prepping my little boy to understand some of the basic principles of our gospel. I was determined that he was going to be a full on walking gospel dictionary by the time he reached 8. I also made the goal to read the scriptures with my children every night (which we did for a while). The truth is that after he started school things changed, scheduled were tighter, homework was introduced, sports were brought about, piano was added, and it was just not as easy to teach him all I wanted to with our limited time.  I want him and his brothers to be well rounded, and I highly value their spiritual side of their development but I also think that we can not ignore the other aspects of their growth. So here we are 7 turning 8, and suddenly my sweet little boy has changed.  We have had several incidents where he has completely disregarded my requests (chores especially)  or has a bad attitude about doing just about anything (turning Wii off). His latest remark is "Why do I always have to do everything!!", and he has suddenly became the victim of his 4  and 2 year old brothers and his teacher.  He has also learned that if you play around with words long enough maybe you won't get caught in a lie.  At first I thought okay, well it was kindergarten he has been influenced by other children, but now its been more than a year later and quite frankly I can't blame anyone for this, I think as parents Brad and I have done the best we can, we go to church, we study the scriptures, we do FHE, we say prayers as a family, I know we need to be more consistent but I know that those times we do what we are asked to do matter and count.  Sometimes we have our game face on for weeks but that does not mean our kids behave any better, and we wonder if they get it, do they understand? The truth is that they do but not on our timeline, so here I  am struggling with a this little boy and then it hits me like a ton of bricks: he is being tested he is about to make most important decision in his life at 8 and the adversary has an army of evil surrounding him to keep him from getting baptized and make him feel inadequate.  I have learned that I CAN'T let the adversary take the best of ME (his Mama) and have me loose faith in that special little boy that has tremendous potential to serve our Heavenly Father diligently. I wont' let the adversary win, NO WAY, I will TAKE the adversary face on if I must to fight for my son. Will Bradley's behavior change, probably not, he will still be tested and be a pill with me and fight me tooth and nail about doing his homework and practicing his piano, but MY ATTITUDE will change, because I HAVE FINALLY understood what he is going through. And  all I can do is to show him that I love him and show him how much Heavenly Father loves him.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Ready In: 20-25 Min

I was going to use my pregnancy as an excuse to not cook anymore. I can always say, oh I am too tired, I have morning sickness, that makes me want to throw up, or this or that. Of course all very legitimate justifiable reasons, but I can't use that as an excuse really because my family's eating habits have been suffering for much longer than I have been pregnant.  Unfortunately, I wasn't blessed with that six sense of cooking (that gene must have just skipped me), my sister on the other hand, is an awesome cook just like my mom, they both can cook a finger licking mole, or some fabulous tamales, and a mean pozole. So when it comes to complicated Mexican cuisine, I steer clear from it. Over the years I have learned how to cook, mostly from recipes.  I am still learning, so don't judge me. And even then my lack of experience should not justify my neglect for cooking. I find that cooking is just like a muscle, you must exercise it to get stronger.  I unfortunately do not want to exercise the bigger muscles like tamales. I met a wonderful woman in my last ward who told me once that she did not enjoy cooking and felt that her time while cooking daily could be used better, so she only cooks 2 times a year!! Yes, that is right, and I have seen her use her time very efficiently. I can't say the same, I don't hate to cook, but I do have a love/hate relationship with cooking. Maybe when I decided that where I will be taking that relationship I will become either Iron Chef or only cook 2 times a year. I still have not decided, but as for now I know I am struggling and all I know is that I want to put BETTER food in my kids mouth.  Over the last few months I have relied heavily on kids eat free nights at IKEA, or that special at Short Stop. Okay, so two out 7 days eating out isn't terrible, but I must also include those frozen meals  we have all consumed at one point or another, you know the Lean Pockets, the Tostinos Pizza, DiGiorno's, chicken nuggets, and that most beloved mac and cheese. Yep, I am guilty as charged. Today I chose to not go out to eat, not feed my kids fast food from our own freezer and instead I put something together.  As I preparing the Chicken Cabbage Salad, I realized I know how to cook"some" and I that there are some recipes that are easier for me to do (probably because I like to eat it)  that I can pull. So I thought I should make a list of those recipes so I can use them again and again. My kids don't always like some of these meals, but they can either try it or they can go to bed hungry (I am sure they would not go hungry). So I have started formulating a list of some of the recipes that I so often FORGET to use:
Chicken Salad
Chicken Cabbage Salad
Chicken Fajitas (with zucchini as part of the fajita veggies)
Chicken Tacos
Penne in Cream Sauce with Sausage

As I reviewed my recipes I NOTICED that most say: READY IN: 20-25 minutes. I love recipes like this!!!So if you have a an easy, fast,healthy, yet tasty recipe pass it over. I would love to try new things.