Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thanks Grandpa Birdie!!!

Every year for Christmas, my Grandpa Birdie (Mom's dad) gives the kids money for Christmas. When we were little, it was a special present, and as we've gotten older (and harder to buy for), it evolved into money. Grandpa doesn't care that we've told him to stop--he still gives us each an envelope for Christmas. My Grandma Jan was an Olympic Shopper. She LOVED to shop. And as our Christmas gift from them turned into money (and she was out of a "job" as Christmas shopper), she always asked us to tell her what we chose to spend the money on.

This year, we chose to spend the money on bigger bikes for the kids. It's sad, but my kids still don't ride bikes. Their training wheel bikes are too small for them, and I thought that having a nice, new bike would make the prospect of learning to ride less scary and more exciting.

We bought the bikes the day after Valentine's day and took the kids to the school to have their first lesson. Wow, I got to run around a lot (Robert did too). Neither kid learned how during our 90-minutes of running. They lack confidence. I went home and googled "teaching kids to ride a bike" and learned that we were doing it all wrong (of course). I had Robert take the training wheels and pedals off of Hannah's old bike and lower the seat all the way down. We've spent the last month just coasting down the street on the "scoot bike" and learning how to balance. Toph does this on his "real" bike now. Hannah can too. They have pretty much mastered the art of balancing. Now they need the confidence to put their feet on the pedals and actually RIDE.

An unexpected and good outcome in all of this is that Hannah has learned how to ride her scooter! She got hurt a long time ago and decided that she didn't like scootering. When trying to learn how to balance, we told Hannah that riding her scooter would actually help her ride her bike too, so she decided to give it a try. Some time in the near future we're going to hit a local park that has a grassy slope and insist that the kids use the pedals. They're ready for it.

Then we're going to go to the school and ride around the track--first one to ride around the track gets $5.00!

My Grandpa Birdie got me my first bike, and I still remember learning how to ride it. I'm glad the tradition has carried down to my kids. Thanks Grandpa Birdie!!!!!!

Out of the Mouths of Babes!

Warning: Today's post is all about Church-related stuff. For those unfamiliar with our beliefs, a bit of a lesson: Normally, the first Sunday of the month is called fast Sunday. Those who can, fast (no food or water) for 2 meals, and then we donate the monetary value of those meals to the Church as a fast offering. Our normal weekly meetings are 3 hours long, and include 3 different meetings in 1 "block" of time. The first hour we all meet together and it's called Sacrament Meeting. On fast Sundays, the bulk of that meeting is turned over to anyone who wishes to share his testimony. Twice each year (the first weekend in April and October) we have General Conference. It's a time for our members all over the world to be instructed by the leadership of the Church. It is broadcast over satellite, radio, and the internet. We are able to watch it from home. Because of General Conference, our fast Sunday was today.....

Before we headed out to Church today, I reminded the kids about what a fast is and explained that I would no longer be packing a snack for them on fast Sundays. I don't ask or tell the kids to fast, as I believe that this is something they will do when they are ready to, but they're old enough now that they can understand the principle of fasting and they can make it through Church without snacks. In my discussion about what fasting is and why we'd do it, I reminded the kids that Sacrament meeting today would be testimony meeting. Hannah asked if she could "bury her testimony" and I told her that she could, if she wanted to.

Fast forward about an hour, and we're in the middle of Sacrament meeting. Hannah leaned over and asked me if she could go bear her testimony. I was surprised that she remembered and that she wanted to, and I asked if she wanted me to go with her. She wanted to go alone.

Just a reminder--Hannah is 7. She's very stubborn and independent. Sometimes those are good character traits. We also never know what is going to come out of her mouth when she opens it.

Hannah went up to the stand to wait her turn ALL BY HERSELF. She looked a bit nervous sometimes, and I smiled at her several times while she waited for her turn to share. In our chapels we are very reverent, and we don't take pictures or record things, so I don't have a recording of this (but I wish I did!). When it was Hannah's turn, she took a big breath and started talking....and kept talking and talking and talking!

Hannah told us that she knew the Church was true and that Heavenly Father loves us. Then she went on to say that she was thankful for her family and for freedom, and then she kept talking..... and talking...... and talking. Several times she mentioned that she was thankful for her brother and that he liked to help her. In her time at the pulpit she said basically the same things about 3 times. I was a little bit panicky, because I was afraid she'd talk forever and I wasn't sure how to get her to be finished. I really didn't anticipate that she'd actually bear her testimony, so we didn't review what's appropriate to share and how to quit. But she got around to it and came to sit back down.

I was really proud of Hannah today. She did something very brave. It has been a very long time since I've shared my testimony from the pulpit. I (and I'm not kidding) have a ginormous fear of speaking into a microphone. That just freaks me out, so I have shared my testimony a few times during the third hour, in Relief Society (just the women attend this, while the men attend Elder's Quorum). On the way home from Church, Hannah asked why I never went up to share my testimony. I explained about my microphone phobia and then shared my testimony with her in the car.

My kids are WONDERFUL examples to me. Topher has such a strong moral compass and tries so hard to do what is right. Hannah is so strong and is not easily led by others. They are both so innocent and pure. I love them so much! It was really wonderful for me to watch Hannah gulp back her nerves and share her testimony with our entire congregation today. Sometimes we wonder if we really are teaching our kids anything and doing what we're supposed to as parents--today helped me realize that we are. Some of what we teach HAS sunk in. I imagine that's how our Heavenly Father must feel about us sometimes. It was a really good Sunday.