So we were packing for a weekend trip to our cabin. Two of my littles (3 and 2 years old), packed these items. They were ready to go to. I loved seeing what was so important to them.
What is important for you to have when you go somewhere?
I think there are many common courtesies that are going by the wayside. Why don’t we encourage giving thanks to the giver? Often we may feel a face to face thank you is all we need give. While this is important, we should consider taking the time to write a thank you note. This shows that we are truly thinking about the giver. It is also important to know that we weren’t obligated to write a note. Sometimes, we say things because they are habit. Writing a thank you note signifies our true appreciation for what we have.
occasions to write thank you notes:
Whatever your occasion write your notes quickly. You should write and send cards within 48 hours. The only time I feel it is okay to not send a card immediately is in the case or showers or weddings. There are usually a high volume of gifts given I believe the etiquette says it is okay to wait a month.
The Important thing to do is keep it simple. Do it quickly. Make sure you spell names correctly (I spelled the names wrong once…so embarrassing). Be heartfelt. every occasion is a good occasion for a thank you note.
Thank you to Misty McCraig for the beautiful thank you cards for our winner Michelle Bjorklund (they are on the way). Misty is a consultant for Stampin Up and she does amazing cards and classes. Her card is in the picture. Call her. She will teach you great things. I will post more from Misty when she advertises her classes. They are fabulous.
What are your thoughts about Thank you cards? Do you send them? Why or why not? Do you feel it is a lost art? Let me know your thoughts.
Do you ever think to yourself that your day is full of too many things? That often happens to me. I try and try to cut back but things fill in behind them. It really is frustrating sometimes. Like today, it was a somewhat normal morning although we did require clean bedrooms. Then, we really needed to get a few things from the grocery store, it has been awhile since I went shopping. then, we needed to finish up with a few things from Costco. While we were leaving Costco a sweet friend was getting ready to go in with her 4 small children. John and I asked if they could come play at our house while she was at the store. This was so much fun! her kids are so nice and it was so wonderful to hear them laughing and playing with Abby. Then, it was lunch and naps. Nothing extraordinary. Anyway, it was just normal things the rest of the day with a few changes thrown in the mix. Now, here it is bedtime and I am so tired. i often reflect on my day and wonder,”where can I make changes and how can I make my day less stressful?” Then, I try to make the changes necessary but the last week it has felt like we are running full steam ahead and it is tiring! There are many things I enjoy about my day. But running around doing errands is definitely NOT one of them! I think tomorrow I will stay home and relax. Oh wait! The 6th grade has science fair and Josh has his first track meet and 3 of my boys are going on a Boy scout overnight camp out…ugh! you get the picture! I guess i will just enjoy this moment of relaxing and be thankful that I LOVE MY JOB!
I really love the sound of my children playing. Right now some of them have some friends over and they are all playing beautifully outside.SOme of the kids are making a play about leprechauns fairies and just plain kids. We have scrapbooked our Disneyland Pictures and had lunch. The day is going well.
I love hearing their giggles and full bellied laughing. They are plotting and planning some amazing things out in the yard. they are imagining they are pirates, dancers, rock starts, basketball stars,a mom, a fisherman. There is singing, swinging, jumping, running, dancing, soccer and football going on.
How wonderful to be able to create such a magical world that can be explored. Great to be a child but better to be their mom! previously posted March 2011
Although these little hooligans are now much older (the youngest is 10) and there are 6 more added I still love hearing them play. The type of playing has changed a bit. They are now doing hair, battling with cards, passing a football, shooting hoops or watching a movie. They still have a laughter that makes my heart smile.
Now that we have, what I believe is our 20 and last baby, I am taking more time to listen to the giggles. To me there is something so sweet about hearing a child laugh. There is an added element of magic when I hear them and they are mine. Treasure the giggles and the innate goodness of children. The time sure goes by fast when their giggles are gone.
Those with meek and gentle children are enrolled in parenting 101. Those with children who push the limits of our patience are enrolled in parenting 505. “Consider the more challenging child as a blessing. Could it be possible that you need this child as much as he needs you? Be careful to not say things that imply that their behavior is who they are. They are God’s children. That is their eternal identity and potential. Bad behavior is an act, not identity.” Elder Lynn G. Robins, April 2011 General Conference
We all struggle. There is nothing wrong in having challenges in our lives. We are a little slow to acknowledge those challenges. We would rather tell everyone the good that is going on in our lives. the problem with this can be, people will only see the good and assume that no one has challenges, struggles and trials like they do. We are creating a false sense of identity. When I read of the things people accomplish, I think about all the things that went wrong in my day and why can’t I be more productive like they were.
I am not saying we need to be a negative, whiny, crying people. I am suggesting that without the bad how can we appreciate and celebrate the good?
I have several children that suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder. They have challenges from life like being “torn” from their birth families. They have been affected by trauma, abuse, in utero drug abuse, alcohol abuse and various other issues.
If I don’t tell people how hard some days are, how can they appreciate when I have a good day? If I don’t acknowledge the bad days, how can I appreciate the good days?
While I may describe my family honestly, it is important for the rest of us to not judge. It is important to not wonder if I am a good parent or not. It is important to support, empathize but not critique or criticize. The fact is, my children get to make their own choices about their behavior. I can lead and guide (and sometimes I mess that up) but ultimately it is their choice based on some other factor besides me.
I love my children. I love my family. I struggle. I complain. I get overwhelmed. I am tired (been up since 3ish a.m. this morning). I am overworked. However in spite of all of that, I had the best day yesterday. Only one of my children were missing from dinner yesterday. There was laughter, teasing, joking and pure fun at our house. I wouldn’t trade those moments of heaven for anything. I can’t appreciate the good if I don’t live through the bad.
Evaluate where you are. Think about your trials, struggles and joys. Move forward. Move ahead and STRIVE to be better. That is all we can really do….STRIVE.
So, pull yourself up, smile and enjoy the life that Heavenly Father has blessed you with. You can do this and you are not in this alone.
A trip, a trip we are going on a trip. One that doesn’t require a babysitter. I can hear my friends cheering loudly now. 😉 Yep, we are headed to Michigan in….5 months.
I will be the first to admit. I have always heard that motherhood is a thankless job. I have thought it myself. I have been a mom for just over 22 years. Has it been an easy road? No.
But thankless? This job is not thankless.
I came downstairs this morning to a kitchen that was a mess. The counters had food on them. There were neighbor treat crumbs on them too. Both sinks were full of dishes. The diaper bag was emptied and the items all over the kitchen. the floor needed to be swept. It was trashed.
Then, i moved on to the laundry room. I swear, I did not know people wore that many clothes in a day. *sigh* I did around 9 loads of laundry yesterday and I have another 5/6 today. On average, we do at least 6 a day. Today, it has to be folded and put away, as well.
The floors need to be swept and vacuumed.The bathrooms need to be cleaned. The kids need to clean their rooms. John and I cleaned our room this morning. This new room has become the hang out place for the kids. (I love that part.) The part I don’t like is the mess they leave behind after they are done up there. The yard needs to be cleaned. Well, you get the idea.
Does anyone rush up to me and say, “Thank you mom for doing those dishes.” “thank you mom for vacumming the carpets” “Thank you mom for sweeping the floors, cleaning the bathroom, scooping the dog poo”? Well, no. So, i guess in that regard it is a thankless job.
do any of kids say Thank you when they are disciplined and have to repent, apologize and try and make it right? No they don’t.
As I came downstairs this morning, saw my list of things to do being made for me, I sighed. My shoulders slumped. My husband said, “What’s wrong?” I said, “nothing”. I put the baby in my Moby wrap. (which is the best thing ever invented). Then,I got to work. I don’t think I have to include this but I am sure you know what it is like to clean a house with 4 toddlers and a baby. (That is a blog for another day)
Anyway, as I was cleaning, I thought “this IS a thankless job”. Then, I thought about it some more. Do I really require someone to thank me for doing every aspect of my job? DOes my husband have someone thank him for stapling his papers, emptying his trash at work, going to work to do his job ? No. He does have people tell him thank you when he talks to them, goes to their home or talks them through some issues they may be having. But then, I have people who thank me for doing things too. Just not necessarily about motherhood.
What I realized is my job is far from a thankless one. My thank yous come in different ways. They come from children who can be children and not have to worry about the mess of a home. (They do have to help clean it. But, there is no deep nasty messiness) Kids that are allowed to go play outside and laugh.
My thank yous come later. They come in the form of a son who has a home of his own and keeps it cleaned up. (because he learned how to do it from me) A daughter who teaches her son games and songs that I taught her and my mom taught me. I get my thanks when children are older and they come home to visit and say “Thank you mom for everything”. “I love you mom very much”.
My Thanks will come when my Savior says ” Matthew 25: His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
why do I need thanks? well, I don’t exactly. I don’t need a bunch of people walking around saying “Oh thank you mom for________” Quite frankly, I probably wouldn’t believe them if they said it. As it is, I don’t always believe people when I am issued a compliment. (Again, a post for another day)
I just would like acknowledgment that I am noticed. That I am loved and appreciated for my daily, sometimes tedious life.
But, then I realize I get that. Just not verbally. I have a kids who I love to cuddle with when they wake up and are still sleepy. A husband that doesn’t have to worry (well, I hope he doesn’t) about the work he will have to do when he gets home. He knows and can be comforted that they house isn’t falling completely apart. And if it is today, then a strawberry banana shake is in order. (medium, please. ;))
I have to look for acknowledgment of my job in various subtle ways. I also need to feel at peace with a job that is like the movie Groundhog Day. It doesn’t change until I get it right. Since, I will probably never get it perfectly right, this is what I can expect for a long time.
And you know what, I am okay with that. Because I have a job to do. One of the most important jobs that anyone could ever have. That of being a mother. I shape and mold our future leaders. I help our future teachers, vets, builders, soldiers etc… to become the people we need them to be in these latter days.
So, a thankless job? Maybe, for now. But later. Much later, is when the thank yous come pouring in and I will know that I have done my job. And I have done it well. Not perfectly mind you. But well. To the best of my ability. Then, on those days I will wish for little hands to be messing up my walls, piles of laundry and dirty dishes because it will mean I am with my family. And I am always so thankful for that.
It is very hard for me to describe what motherhood means. It means so much. When I first thought about becoming a mom, I didn’t give it much thought. I knew I always wanted to be a mom but, I never thought about the life altering significance this would have on me. This is one of the hardest, most rewarding jobs I have ever experienced. This is also one of the most hard core jobs I have seen. It is time consuming. It is all encompassing. There is rarely a moment in my life when I am not thinking about my kids or my mothering skills (or lack thereof). My kids have a way of stripping me down and exposing my deepest vulnerabilities and weaknesses. They also have a way of lifting me to emotions I didn’t even know I was capable of. The joy is overwhelming when I see something simple and amazing happen between them or to them. I could take a lifetime and never explain what motherhood means to me. I have witnessed mothers “losing” their children to the state. I have seen the impact that has on the children. I have consoled children on the loss they have experienced by losing their mother. (in the foster care world) You begin to see and realize the significance a mother has in her children’s life. I think you can only measure motherhood through your growth and experience. You can measure it in the moments of your life when you feel such radiating joy. I realize what motherhood means to me in the small moments when all of my kids are sitting around the dinner table, talking, laughing and passing food bowls. The sun shines a little brighter, the joy that fills my soul is overwhelming. tears fill my eyes and my heart swells. My feelings on motherhood are vast and deep. The significance of my role in my children’s lives overwhelms me. I mess up. I mess up bad. But, I jump right back in and try to experience those rare moments of the pure joy motherhood brings.
What are your views of motherhood?
10. Are they all yours? Yes. they are all of mine. recently at Costco a man commented that we had a lot of groceries. we said something like “we have 16 kiddos at home.” He said, “Wow! i thought I had a lot with 11!” We replied, “that is a lot!” (people often think this is a competition) He said, “well, mine are all from one wife.” John said, “well, I can’t make that same claim.” Then, we left. I felt horrible that he might of thought we were polygamists or something. Then, I thought, “Who says stuff like that?” Who says well, mine are all from one wife!
9. “I couldn’t do foster care, I could NEVER give them back” Someone just said this to me at a meeting I attended. I know they didn’t mean anything wrong by it but, that hurt. Do people think I am the Tin man and don’t have a heart? Do they think I believe children are disposable? Do they think I hand children back and leave with no sadness? Do they think I am not haunted by the loss of all of these children that have come through my life? It is definitely NOT easy. It hurts and it is hard. I am normal. I hurt like everyone else. Do you know what it is like to exclusively care for a child for 1 year or more and then they have to leave your home?
8. How do you manage all of their “problems” ? It is hard. they have issues that they didn’t create. But, I would like they have “problems” just like the rest of us do. Many of them are from living in a home were parents are still learning their priorities. They didn’t create this.
7. I would be too afraid for my children to ever take in a foster child. This is often followed up by “they would introduce them to too many bad things”. You always take a risk exposing your children to things you don’t want them to know. I take the risk when they watch tv, play with a friend, go to Disneyland, attend school…the list goes on and on. For the most part, kids are going to expose other kids to the things they have learned. Kids may find out the Easter Bunny or Santa aren’t real from other kids too. We take preemptive measures and talk to our kids before they find out from someone else. Our children are prepared for what they may see, hear and experience. They may find out things a little earlier that other children but, that is okay. We constantly ask, “what do you think about that?”
6. You must be angels. I honestly cringe when people say this. The truth is we make a million mistakes every day. (John less than me, of course.) We have more opportunity (more kids) to make more mistakes than the average parent. We are definitely not angels. We yell, we get frustrated, overwhelmed and a myriad of other emotions with our kids. We are however trying to be the best possible people we can be.
5. How can you manage it all? We have a great team. We all contribute. John loves it when we actually coordinate it all on our cell phone calendars. 🙂 That really makes him happy. John has worked overtime lately because I have been gone working. (That will change in 5 weeks). But, we have each others back.
4. Do you know all of your kids names?This one is hilarious to me. I was seriously asked this question on multiple occasions. Do you know YOUR children’s names? Really? I may get hung up on the year they were born but yes, I know their names. geesh!
3. It must be easier having older children who can help with the youngers all of the time. My answer? You either don’t have older children or you don’t have older and younger children. The truth is, my children are incredible. They help so much! But, raising my kids is my responsibility not theirs! They do help a lot when asked but, it isn’t always a pleasant encounter. They don’t always WANT to help. They are kids after all. many of them, have not had the actual experience of being kids.
2. How can you afford all of those children? This one is very personal to me. The fact is, we have been incredibly blessed! People continue to surprise me with their generosity towards our family. We have lived on one income for almost all of the 23 years we have been married. This has been a great blessing. No kidding, money can be tight sometimes. But, we make due with less. We rarely eat out. Going to a movie is a luxury. We don’t (GASP!) have cable tv. We save where we can.
1. What is this group about? (we are just a family) Then, who are your real children? This makes me laugh. People often have an awkward hand gesture that accompanies this question. They often follow this up with the second question. Really? They all look real to me how about you? When they persist, we thank them for the added therapy sessions they have created. They are all of my real children. Yes I have some biological children but, lets not discuss that in front of the kids that can hear you.
Bottom line? Think before you speak. I don’t often get offended. Although that guy at Costco…really? My kids have learned to deal with the questions/stares and the disgust that oozes from people who don’t agree with the amount of children we have. All in all, people are pretty darn nice. people want to understand they just don’t always think how it sounds.
I love what we do. In 5 weeks, I will love being home again permanently. sometimes I wish I could speed up time and be home now. I have learned there is no place I would rather be than home with my family. I will answer the final question (even though I have several times now) Yes, we will probably have more…