Monday, October 27, 2014

Princess Stories

Sometimes I make up stories to tell my princess...this is James.

The Queen's 3 spells or how Pink became Popular

Once upon a time, a young princess lived in a white glitter castle atop the highest mountain in the realm. The princess just loved the color pink. Her dresses were pink, her lips were pink, and her her tower was pink. Even her eyes were pink, for you see, she was an albino princess.

One day her mother called her into her dressing room and dismissed all the servants. This usually happened before the princess was going to get a consequence, but today the queen swooped down and picked her up in a big hug and whispered in her ear: 

"It is time you started learning the magical power that comes with being a will be your first lesson!"

The princess' mommy clapped her hands and a magical door opened behind the mirror.  Together they stepped into her mother's special magic room where every morning, the queen got ready for the day and practiced her magic. Inside the queen looked more alive than ever...she beamed at her daughter. and the room seemed to visibly brighten. 

"Your first spell is this" the queen said and she smiled so big that the princess could hardly help herself. The Princess found herself also smiling in her mother's brightening room and as she smiled the room seemed to glow a little pink.

"Very good!" said the princess' mommy--this spell you can use whenever you want!

The princess wandered down the streets later that afternoon practicing her smile and even dared to go down the darker streets that made her uncomfortable. She looked at the scary parts and cast her happy spell and although nothing outside seemed to change, she was calmer and not quite so scared. 

The next day, the princess told her mommy all about the way the spell worked both on other people and on herself. The queen was delighted and whispered to the princess: 

"You are ready for your second Lesson!"  

As they were talking, a servant entered the room with a tray full of lunch and big glass pitcher of sparkling pink lemonade. 

"Why thank you!" said the Queen "you may set them right over by the win..."

But as the queen was speaking the servant tripped and sent the food flying! The lemonade launched in slow-motion out of the spinning glass pitcher and before anyone could blink, the pitcher shattered on the floor! Pink lemonade stained the carpet, the bedspread, and the queen's new dress. It was even in her hair! The food was ruined. The carpet was ruined, the queen's perfect hair was a matted pink mop. The poor servant looked up from the floor in frozen shock, his mouth wide. 

The queen went straight to the servant. "Are you hurt?" 

She reached down to help the servant up. 

"No your majesty, I am so sorry!" 

But the queen smiled and began picking up the glass shards of the pitcher 

"It could happen to anyone!" she said and used her first spell to perfection. The servant kept insisting that he would pick up the pieces and return quickly with a new lunch, but when the Queen was finished they were laughing together about the accident. As the servant left, the queen turned to her daughter and the princess knew: The second spell was kindness.

She left after lunch to go find her brother, but he was playing soccer with his friends. 

"You can't play!" they said "You're a girl!" 

The prince had obviously not yet learned any magic. The boys said some more mean things so the princess decided to just watch. Half way into the game, the prince's best friend kicked the ball and it sailed over the hedge and into the window of the princess' pink tower! All the boys stopped and looked at the small albino princess. 

"Don't worry! She said "I'll go get your ball and be back before you're water break is over!" When she arrived with the ball, the boys were amazed. 

"Why are you so nice after we wouldn't let you play?" 

"You weren't trying to be mean" said the Princess "It was just a misunderstanding--it could happen to anyone!" 

With that, the prince and his friends determined that the rules would be changed to allow princesses to play...and she did.

Early the next morning, her mother awoke her before the sun was up.

"Get on your riding clothes, Sweetheart. We're going to the dark forest." 

The princess was nervous, but as she hopped on the white stallion behind her mother, she felt safe and warm. She could smell the vanilla in her mother's hair and feel her graceful back relaxed and in command. The trees got closer together and the road turned into a trail. The branches thickened and she sun faded behind the rich canopy. before long not even the breeze could be felt and the princess had to smile her brightest smile to fend off the gloom. 

"Pink and green go well together" said her mother reassuringly. 

The horse stopped at the edge of a clearing and in the middle was a small stone cottage. At the door stood a wrinkled old woman, glaring at the princess. The cottage had a guard-dog tethered to the porch. The dog let out a low growl and strained at his rope. 

"A little young for this lesson, don't you think?" said the old woman. 

"I think you're being too easy on her" said the queen with a smile. 

"You can't come in, Princess!" said the bent woman at the cottage door, but the princess dismounted and cast her most radiant smile. "I haven't seen one like that since your mother first came." the old eyes twinkled and the cottage door cracked open with a creak. "Very well, said the crone, but do so at your own risk!" she glanced slyly at the snarling dog. 

The princess didn't know what to do and looked up at her mother. The queen dismounted and smiled at the princess. The princess would have to do it on her own. 

She walked closer to the dog and saw him gnashing his frothy mouth at her. The rope held him back, biting into his neck. The princess approached and held her smile. she spoke kind words to the animal and came right up to him. Gently, she held her hand to his fur and eased him back towards the door. When there was enough slack, the princess reached for the rope and loosened the collar to set the dog free.  Determining that the princess was a friend, the snarling stopped and the dog licked the princess with a pink tongue. The princess stepped into the cottage. 

Inside was a single fire in the middle of the room and a boiling black cauldron.
"Look into the cauldron" said the old lady and the princess did. 

Inside the water, the princess saw a beautiful version of herself, all grown and powerful. She looked very much like her mother, regal and bright but with her own kind of glow. It was definitely her older self. 
Her mother joined them in the cottage and explained "This is you before you came to us, and after you are old and die, this will be you again." 

The princess didn't quite understand, but as the old lady drew nearer, she saw another reflection in the cauldron of a beautiful woman, strong and quick, with twinkling eyes--the younger version of the old woman, and yet the same person. 

"In the cauldren is your true self" said the Queen "And all of us are very much alike." 

As the princess grew she remembered the third lesson--the lesson of not only who she was, but the lesson of who all people are--she often would see old, crippled, or hurting people who had been disfigured or mis-shapen by life, but always, she remembered the cauldren and saw them for who they truly were. It made her other magic unstoppable and as she practiced she became beloved by all and a force of the most potent good. Before long many little girls wanted to become princesses and despite all the girls having different colored eyes, the favorite color for all the girls in the kingdom was almost always pink.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why 1-year-olds fail at capitalism

It’s getting to be time for Easter and that may mean learning about the Resurrection right? Well, sure, but first, there are Easter eggs. X-man, who already loves anything he can throw, has been introduced to Easter eggs in an attempt to prepare him for this, his first participatory traditional competition.

We got the plastic eggs, hid them in the living-room, and told him the rules.
“Ball!” he says and throws it on the ground, cracking the plastic and spilling 2 marshmallows and 2 raisins. There were treats inside?! Now the game is on.

The only problem is that he sits down and opens up each egg and eats whatever is in it before searching for another. The other kids are gonna get all the eggs for sure. Alicia and I caught ourselves in a debate later that week –do we train him to just pile them all in the basket by filling the practice eggs with rocks or do we simply take them from him when he finds each one and basket it ourselves?

Then it struck me…the act of hoarding and selfishness is made possible by ownership.

Ownership is a concept that young children don’t get naturally.
What they see is in front of them and they take it and eat it or play with it and are genuinely surprised when they are told that’s “wrong” or “bad.” Furthermore, what others see and take without rental agreement is perfectly fine to a small child, provided that small child doesn’t see and want the same item.
Take what you want. Use what you need. Leave the rest.
Children live a very pure and immediate version of the law of consecration.

What if we lived like that? All of us…

I thought of my opened garage and my freezer full of my favorite sausage links. What if a stranger just came up and took it out and ate it…well that would be ok. I could eat their steak. Except it wouldn’t be their steak.

It would be no-one’s steak.

Would I care? Yes, but I would care less if I had a year’s supply of food in my a basement.

Did Jesus own anything?

That question may be irrelevant. He maintained a higher perspective of what was important. If a man were to come and ask bread, I could give him all the stuff in my fridge --mayb--except the leftover Thai dish.

Lame Mindset, James.

What if he ate all my sausages?

I felt threatened at the thought and made a note to myself to renew my NRA membership.

But then I tried--for a split second--to imagine I had a whole year’s supply downstairs. If I did, I wouldn’t feel threatened at losing my favorite sausages or in fact everything in my fridge. I would have the luxury to live according to a different mindset.

The irony is that if I own more, I care less about ownership.

I have often wondered about the seeming disjointedness in the scriptures—especially how Jesus’ sermons seem to skip from one unrelated topic to another without finishing the point. But the points are circumscribed into one great whole—the mind of God, also called mysteries of God. Like that time in Luke, he tells the parable of ownership and stewardship. He that hath been given 10 talents passes them on to those who need it immediately (money-changers) and it returns unto him. He shall be given even more while he that hoards the small talent he ‘owns’ for fear of losing it, ironically loses it.

Then Jesus skips right to the instruction to go take some other person’s unused donkey and get it ready for him to ride. Odd? Maybe not.

The Lord hath need of it.

What then of Easter?

Imagine the feast of fun we would have if each time we found an egg, we showed it to each other, sat down and gorged on the delicious chocolate before hunting for another. Let all the kids eat as much as they want, right on the spot! All would be fed, glee-filled, and ecstatic!
There would be no egg-counting, no divvying or fairness.
Those who rush from egg to egg imagining they are getting more glee than anyone else, let them do what they want. They have less actual fun than that brilliant toddler who sits for 20 minutes and gleefully sucks every last bit of chocolate from the foil of a single egg.

And that is the magic of Easter – not in what we get for free (an eternal resurrected body filled with glory), but the freedom that comes from the fresh perspective:

suddenly, we do not own a thing, yet will be given all the Father hath – not to hoard for ourselves or gloat over, but to enjoy if we simply give it away.

And because I have only a month’s supply of food, I felt too threatened until now to even consider the possibility of ownership being a liability.

So honey, let’s start building up our stores and renew our child-like concepts of ownership.
Does anyone want some delicious sausages?

Friday, December 16, 2011

ho ho ho

thanksgiving @ farmers

the whole gang

before they went to church and we drove back to WA

darling picture of the X-man
he was a little bit of a handful in the non-babyproofed house

night games! these crazies played out in the dark and cold (Lauren even had an injury) and they loved it!

our boys before Thanksgiving dinner

Xander's first Thanksgiving

Saturday, July 16, 2011

our 6 month old

To celebrate Xander's 1/2 birthday (really our Nation's Independence) we went camping for 3 nights. Xander slept better in the tent then he had been at home. Yeah, his sleep has been a huge change in the past couple months. He wakes up now once around 5am for some milk then back to sleep for a couple hours. But there have been many nights were he as waking a couple times for food and at least once where it was 4 times!!!! Not ok! Last week we started letting him cry it out if he woke before 4:30 or so, the first cry session lasted about 40 minutes :( He is doing better and doesn't cry long if he wakes up at all before the morning snack time.

I wrote the above weeks ago, now today is our last day with a 6 month old. Xander is well into 17lbs. he is growing and happy and so much fun. His sleep is still an issue (mostly for me it doesn't bother anyone else especially not the X-man himself, he gets fed at least once in the night). He is generally super smiley and way easy going. He eats real food and loves it, he started to get mad at us last week when the food ran out or we took something away from him. He sits up pretty well and can get around the living room by rolling and scooting backwards. We love our big boy!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

remember father's day?

James is the best daddy for our sons! He loves them SO much and they, all 3, adore him. James is all boy so he is perfect dad for boys. While Xander and I were in Utah last month James and the big brothers put their allowance together and bought a couple new sets of legos and spent the weekend putting them together. He loves to rough house with them (all 3) and wrestle, they build sand castles and get dirty outside, and they all love cartoons and video games (even X-man loves his screen time). As boy as they all are James is also raising little gentlemen, he tells them I'm the princess and shows by word and example how to treat me. He is a great teacher and thanks to him our children will be every emotionally healthy. I feel so blessed to have James for the daddy of my kids. I chose well.

before Church we ate breakfast together, baked french toast and sausage

my parents and our friend Jared Heiner came over for dinner, French dip sandwiches and tapioca for dessert

look at the way the baby looks at his daddy!

blogging again

I wish I blogged more. I read other people's blog and think about posting on my own blog and then never do it. That's lame. I'm going to do better.

Something has been on my mind for over a month now. I was visiting a friend in Utah (see my Utah trip should definitely be on this blog) and he was holding Xander and said said to me, "Look at you living your dream!" Wow. That's right. I am living my dream. I always wanted to be a wife and a mother and now I am doing it. Wow. That's cool. After I left him I spent more time thinking about this dream of mine I'm living:

Is this how I saw myself as a wife? Am I the kind of wife I want to be?

What was I like as a mommy in my dream? Am I there?

What can I do better?

What should I change or improve?

Is there anything I need to eliminate?

I kind of think about this often, I feel so blessed to have a family and I want to make sure I am making the most of it. I'm aware how fast time goes and before I know it we'll be empty-nesters. The other day the house was extremely messy, having not really unpacked from a camping trip, being busy teaching summer school for 3 days and feeling lazy. I thought is this my dream? Is this how I saw my living room looking in my dream? Is this how imagined feeling? NO. I don't want a messy house, I don't want to feel annoyed about it all of the time. I got my bum in gear and slowly (feeding and kissing the boys in my life take a lot of time) things are getting back in order.

Today I'm feeling like the woman in my dreams. Laundry is going (although in my dreams I had a maid. All my dreams can't come true. Life isn't that perfect), the house smells like banana chocolate muffins, Xander is happy and well fed rolling all over the vacuumed-just-yesterday floor. I am happy. I feel so blessed.

Thoughts to ponder:

Are you living the life you wanted for yourself?

Is there anything you can change to more fully make your dreams come true?