Friday, May 22, 2009

Learning to Ride

David has taken to riding without his training wheels like a fish to water. Here are two videos that I thought were amazing (please bear in mind that he had only just started to ride without the training wheels the day before these videos were taken):

Here is a clip that shows David's speed. He was slow at first, but the truck passing by in the background must have motivated him because he sped up and shot past it (with the help of perspective).

This is a painful reminder that when learning to ride, you end up going where you're looking. David was so busy smiling at me that he didn't notice that his path was changing ever so slightly.

Here is one more showing how well our little Rebecca is learning. She was doing so well until she saw here super-fast brother zoom by, and then her little legs just gave up.

They say riding a bike is something you never forget how to do. Perhaps this is because learning is so much fun!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

David's Mites

As part of our nightly getting-ready-for-bed ritual, we read scripture stories with our children. We have a collection of books of Scripture Stories (click here) that we read a chapter from, and then the children choose a picture and we read the corresponding scriptures. I think it's a nice little system, and the children do really well with understanding the stories we share.

Most of the time.

We recently read of the widow's mites (link to story book, Mark 12:41-44), and David was having some trouble understanding the story: How were the two mites more than the abundance of others?

I tried to explain.

Our children love pennies. They explode with happiness when they come upon a penny on the ground (well, they don't literally explode...), and we are still working with helping learn to not crawl on the ground around stores' checkout stands looking for stray pennies. David is particularly fond of his pennies. He carries them around in one of his many treasure boxes (old small containers that are transformed by his imagination into something else entirely), and reluctantly transfers them to his piggy bank.

In explaining the widow's mites, I used myself and David as substitutes for the characters in the story. I tried to show that if I were to give my tithes and offerings to the church—a small portion of the total—it might be more than the total amount he has in his piggy bank.

I saw his face scrunch up in concentration as he thought of the analogy, but then he said, "But Daddy, I have more money than you!" He continued to explain that he has far more coins in his bank than I have in my "bank"—the tray in the car where I store my coins.

Realizing that my analogy was apparently flawed, I tried to explain the story another way, but he was too focused on the "fact" that he was richer than his Daddy.

I'll need to take another opportunity to enforce the law of the tithe; to teach, as did Elder Hales (link), that:

The primary purpose of this law is to help us develop faith in our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Tithing helps us overcome our desires for the things of this world and willingly make sacrifices for others. Tithing is the great equitable law, for no matter how rich or poor we are, all of us pay the same one-tenth of our increase annually (see D&C 119:4), and all of us receive blessings so great “that there shall not be room enough to receive [them]” (Malachi 3:10).

Friday, May 15, 2009

Patches on Patches


I'm the type of person who makes piles.

I don't necessarily like it, but I do it nonetheless.

I met a man on my mission who was very clean and organized. In talking with him, he shared his technique—he called it the one touch rule. Knowing his propensity for piles, he adopted a rule where if he touched an item (piece of paper, book, etc.) one time, he was responsible for putting it away when finished with it. According to his self-imposed rule, he was not allowed to make piles of things to get to later—he had to put the thing away.

Thinking it was a great idea, I resolved to do the same thing.

Maybe I should re-resolve.


Maryann asked me about a pile of clothes I had stacked out of place in our closet. I reported that they were shorts or pants that needed patching because they had either worn holes or snagged on something, leaving a rent. After being reminded that they had been there for quite some time, I decided to [finally] take care of them.

As I prepared to apply the iron-on patches, I saw that most of the items had already been patched before, and that the new holes were where the patch met the original material. This is the literal fulfillment of Matt. 9:16:

No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

I had to make a decision: should I go against the clothes/wine instructions in Matthew (9:16-17), or should I apply the Hinckley motto: Fix it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without.

I chose the latter.

Silly as I felt ironing an iron-on patch on an iron-on patch, I was happy to try to stretch things a bit farther. Of course, my clothes do look like they're falling apart, with visible rectangles on the knees from the multiple patches, but I take comfort knowing that President Hinckley would be pleased.

I'm threadbare, but I'm happy. I just hope my clothes don't disintegrate—at least not in public.

Our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey (Joshua 9:13).

New Pictures (Belated)

The end of another semester equates (hopefully) to more time to do things that I've been putting off ... like updating family pictures!

We had a fantastic April with a fun-filled visit from my parents for Easter, along with a trip to the "real Texas" town of Corrizo Springs to visit my friend's hometown farm. (While at Corrizo Springs, I ran my first-ever 5K!)

Enjoy the pictures! (click here)