Sunday, October 28, 2007
On Thursday night, Andrew and I were invited to attend a Reception for the current White House Fellows. These are probably the most impressive people I have ever met! They are doctors, fighter pilots, lawyers, career military, etc. They have taken a year away from their careers to work hands-on with the US Government. The day before this event, they had just sat down for a personal conversation with President Bush that lasted 2 hours! Their comments were that they wish the public could see him like they did - very down-to-earth, genuine and sincere. They were all extremely impressed by him, and by their assignments for the year!
What a privilege to even be in the presence of these incredible people! I just love DC and the opportunities we have here!
I want Mimi to know that we are praying for her and are happy that she is feeling a little better everyday! We are SO excited for Halloween, because we get to have our Mimi and Papa out here with us! Aren't we lucky? Keep improving, Mom! You can do it, you can do it, you can do it, YAY!
What do you get when you have ONE Mom, an 8-year old, 7-year old, 6-year old, 5-year old, 3-year old and a 2-year old; 2 1/2 hours in the car, 3 stinky diapers and POURING rain? You get a GREAT DAY! The kids didn't have school on Friday, and I was watching the two Sampson boys, so I packed lunch and all 6 of them in the car, and we drove to the Baltimore Children's Museum called Port Discovery! We had such a great time! The kids learned about Egypt, hieroglyphics, played soccer, built with blocks, played in moon sand, played a game of chess, climbed up this 3-story jungle gym, and my house stayed clean through it all! It truly was a great day!
That evening we watched this darling little boy, Brendan Toone, while his parents went to the temple. Faith was such a sweet little mommy to him - he was a joy to have around!
We had a fantastic Stake Conference today! Elder Hafen was our visiting authority and he (and his wife) brought such a sweet spirit to the meetings. I was touched and motivated to be a better mother, do what matters most, and not worry about the rest.
One thing that really struck me was that I, as a mother, MUST be unwaivering in my faith, testimony and obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I need to be doing EVERYTHING the Lord has asked me to do - not only for my own salvation, but as an example to my children of how they should pattern their lives. I am motivated to be better!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Our Primary Program was so cute today! I am the Primary Chorister and absolutely ADORE my calling and the children! Clark said the very first speaking part and wasn't nervous at all as he said it word for word! He quoted "If ye have faith, ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true". The funny thing was as soon as Clark stepped down, John was right up there on the stand and said "I wanna do it!!!" and he was determined!
The day before after the practice, I let him say Clark's part into the microphone, so he obviously thought it was HIS turn! It gave everyone a big laugh, especially when he refused to return and sit with Daddy. He sat on the Bishopric's laps for awhile, and almost fell off the podium as he leaned over forward, but eventually was bribed back down. The Program went on without interruption!
I was so pleased with my sweet little Faith. For about the last year, she has been SO shy in Primary - not even smiling at her teachers or Primary Presidency. When asked to give talks, she'd practice it at home, and then FREEZE when it was time to present. She literally had not opened her mouth to speak in Primary, so as you can imagine, I was nervous about how she'd handle the Primary Program. MY FAITH SAID HER PART! And then came over to me to get a big hug! It brought tears to my eyes to know that she had moved past this "nervous phase" and back to her sweet, bubbly self. Way to go, Faith!
Grant sang his little heart out! By far, the "strongest" (loudest) singer in the Primary, but what can I say about VIGOR and EXCITEMENT for the gospel? He did GREAT! This is the same Grant who wouldn't even sing a WORD of Primary songs because he said "I already know them, Mom" and refused to even go UP on the stage for the Primary Program that year. I am so happy with my boy. He is such a great kid!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I have a beautiful calendar that helps us all stay organized. It has really worked well, until we missed Faith's soccer game yesterday. Now, I would love to blame it on the calendar, but it was Mommy who wrote down the wrong time! I felt terrible, but Faith just wanted a treat. So, we gave her a mini-Twix, and she was over it. Those little moments help me remember that everyone makes mistakes, and I am grateful for a forgiving daughter who will let me make those mistakes and learn from them.
I had an interesting insight today. Last Sunday was General Conference and I just LOVED it. Every talk inspired me, motivated me, and made me empowered to take on my job as a mother with a new calmness, organization and never-waivering love for my family. I was on a spiritual high and ready to implement all these new ideas I had been given during those 8 hours of conference.
But, as the week progressed, I caught myself being grumpy, not getting to my scripture study, losing patience with the kids and even Andrew! I didn't know what was wrong with me. So, today in Fast & Testimony Meeting, my eyes were opened to what had happened. The Adversary was WORKING ON ME! Satan didn't want me to strengthen my family and implement all these great ideas from Conference. He WANTED me to lose my patience, do as little as I could get away with and be selfish. And because I didn't initially recognize what was going on, I was allowing it to happen! Agh!
So, I am grateful for the Holy Ghost, who helped me recognize this. I am a new woman and will now implement all that I have planned to - and, as we say in our family, we will not let Satan win! We are talking about eternity here - he is NOT going to get the Croshaw family!
We laughed, and I was able to look her in the eyes for a whole dinnertime, talking about whatever came to her mind: kids that make her laugh at school, funny things that Mr. T. does, lots of different "What if we could..." scenarios that she likes to pose, etc. She was a different girl!
Then we went to the mall next door to find her some pants. We made a fun stop at the "Girl Store" (aka Claires) and looked at all the Hello Kitty and Princess earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and others. Faith was in heaven - I remember just adoring these same kinds of stores as a young girl. I loved that I could follow her all over the place, without any distractions. Whatever she wanted to look at, we looked at...and probably said "Cute" a hundred times. That was fine with me!
We finished our date at Maggie Moo's ice cream where Faith chose her favorite flavor and gave me a taste. Our most bonding moment of the evening was when we faced the challenge of getting our bike back UP the giant hill that we had enjoyed on the trip down. My little Faith pedaled her little heart out, and I was literally pushed from behind by my darling daughter. She kept saying "Don't give up! We can do it!" We also sang the song from a show called Wonder Pets..."What's gonna work? Team work. What's gonna work? Team work." She felt confident because she had helped Mommy make it up the hill, and I loved complimenting her determination all the way. I love having a daughter - she is one of my very greatest blessings!
John standing in front of a GIANT (probably 20 feet high) American flag. Doesn't he look patriotic? I love this boy so much! We are enjoying the Terrific Twos with him so much - he makes us all laugh on a daily basis with the way he interprets what we are saying. The other night, he came and jumped in bed with us and, speaking to Andrew, started a long chain of "I sleep in the middle, I sleep in the middle, I sleep in the middle, I sleep in the middle" (I think that's what he was saying). I rolled over to Andrew and said "Just say OK!" So, Andrew said OK, and John stopped. His determination is inspiring!
The kids LOVE our new trampoline, and are starting to make up games to play together, rather than just with Mom and Dad. Grant, Faith and Clark can all do flips, and Johnny is proud of himself when he does a "bummer". He can't quite get back up to his feet before the bounce is over, but he'll get there. He sure gets tossed around a lot, but is a good sport about it. We just say "Good flip, John", and he pops right back up and is just fine!
Monday, October 8, 2007
We went to Hains Point on Sunday morning before General Conference. It's just right out on the tip of the Potomac River (?). This statue is "buried" in the ground, and the kids thought it was SO cool!
Monday, October 1, 2007
On Saturday, we went from Faith's soccer game to the National Book Festival downtown. It was very fun! The kids got to walk through the REAL "Magic School Bus", meet Maya & Miguel, Caillou, Clifford, and Curious George.
Grant read in the Cozy Corner, and we were given a few free books and some cool bags from Target.
It was fun to think that we were part of the annual tradition encouraging ALL to read. Needless to say, we spent the whole time in the Children's Tent, but I'm sure there were amazing authors and storytellers in the other tents as well.
Here's a funny thing...in order to get to the Book Festival, we parked at Andrew's work building. Faith noticed the giant picture of President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary Mike Leavitt on the wall as we exited. Later in the day, we went to a work BBQ and when Secretary Leavitt arrived, Faith said "Dad! Dad! Look behind you!" It was the Secretary and she remembered his picture from earlier in the day. He was such a celebrity to her! The Secretary got a giggle out of that!
Here's a little plug for Jackie Leavitt's website: www.ikeepsafe.org It's an internet safety site and she is just so passionate about it. Check it out!