Thursday, March 5, 2015

Modesty...from the (abnormal) Mormon viewpoint

   It has been a long time since I've posted, but I've had modesty on my mind and really want to get my thoughts down. *This may not be a very cohesive post
   I do believe that modesty is important.  Personal modesty.  I don't believe the hype that seems to be touted by a lot of Christians that women have a 'role' in keeping men's thoughts pure.  It is up to the men to keep themselves pure in a society that flaunts the sexualized body.  If we are to be integrated into society then men will be around women in bikinis. That is an inevitability. They need to learn to avoid the impure thoughts. 
   As an LDS (Mormon) woman who has been to the temple and wears garments (if you want to learn more about Garments and their role in the LDS church click here) I have made a covenant with God to only wear clothing that covers from my shoulders to my knees and I keep that covenant.  Because I made it.  But my children who haven't been to the temple yet are not ready/capable of making these covenants yet.  So they do not wear only clothing that is 'Mormon modest.'
   They wear *gasp* tank tops and *double gasp* short shorts!  Why? Don't I want my children to be prepared to enter the temple?  Don't I want them to keep their body pure? Yes, yes I do.  But I also don't want them to grow up with a judgmental attitude towards those who don't cover their shoulders and who wear things other than capris.  I was taught not to judge.  I was.  My parents never said anything about anyone who wasn't dressed 'Mormon modest.' And yet I grew up not necessarily judging those that didn't dress modestly, but hyper aware of it.  There was such emphasis in my home growing up that I had a very hard time not noticing the clothing of those around me.  I don't want my girls to care or notice.  I don't want them to ever have the thought cross their mind that someone else isn't doing things 100%.  And I don't want them to judge themselves.  I want them to see their body as good and natural.
   My Mom was a very modest person, hyper modest.  My Dad isn't.  I grew up walking in on my Dad while he took a bath quite often because he didn't lock the door.  I wasn't embarrassed. I just grabbed what I need and left.  It was no big deal.  He slept in just his garments and didn't mind walking downstairs to get some water without putting on pajama pants.  Contrast that with my Mom who was always covered.  I never saw her shoulders, never saw her change, she always had the doors locked, etc.  The first time I ever saw her without clothing was as an adult when she was going through her cancer treatments and needed help. 
   So I've gone the opposite way with my children.  Both Josh and I dress modestly.  We try to keep our entertainment wholesome.  But when we are home we are more relaxed.  My girls are often found running in and out of the bathroom while I'm in the tub.  They don't think anything of it.  Last year was very special for me.  Akira was 7 and she was in the habit of waking up earlier than her sisters and me.  So while Daddy was showering for work she would sit in the bathroom and they would talk. Their talks were never deep, but my 7 year old wasn't embarrassed to see her Daddy naked.  She simply didn't care.  It is normal for her.  Just like walking in while Mommy is taking a bath is normal.   My kids are learning that their bodies aren't something to be ashamed about.  That they don't have to look like a supermodel to be beautiful, have confidence and enjoy being in their skin.
   Contrast that to how I felt growing up and I never remember feeling comfortable with my body.  I was always awkward, and then as I got older I put on weight and grew curves.  Which my Mother didn't have.  It was very hard to see me as anything but 'fat.' And I was and still am a very healthy weight!  I don't want my kids to ever feel that way, and while I can't control their thoughts as teenagers, I hope that by keeping everything open and having nothing being 'taboo' hopefully when they feel that way they will be more comfortable talking about it. 
   We still have our own standards, they just aren't at the same level as those who have gone to the Temple maintain.  We don't wear bikinis, I believe they are designed only to flaunt our body and I don't want my little girls wearing them. They don't bare their midrift.  Again, I think it sends the wrong message about what the person wearing it thinks of themselves.  However, when my girls get older if they choose to buy something that I don't think is appropriate and wear it, absolutely we will discuss why I don't like it, but it is their choice to wear that and there will be no shaming.  I don't want them to measure their self worth on their body.  Not one iota!
   I believe that by modeling 'Mormon modesty' because of the choice I made will be enough to help my girls choose to marry in the temple.  Actions speak louder than words and if I model the 'Mormon modesty' then they will (and have) ask(ed) questions that lead to honest discussions.  They know why I wear what I wear and I hope and pray that when my girls are ready, they choose to make the same covenants and maintain the same level of modesty that I have modeled their entire life.  But only when they are ready. 

Congratulations for making it to the end of my rambling! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Family Pictures 2013

We just had our family pictures taken!!  We are soo thankful for Bro. Griffin who offered his time to take our pictures. (He did it for a YW fundraiser)  These ones are my favorites.  Oh, and we did the pictures at 7:00am since Josh had work that day, and since the Temple is 45 minutes away plus everyone had to get up even earlier to get ready, Ella was pretty darn tired!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks

I'm compiling all my days of thanks from 2013.
I truly am one of the most blessed women to ever grace this earth!

Day 1: Day of the giving thanks (publicly) starts today. Instead of going with the typical, I'm going to try to think outside the box since everyone already knows how thankful I am for my family and God
Today I am thankful for dirt hills. The girls had a blast exploring God's earth with sweet friends and I was able to have 'real' conversation with some amazing ladies. I love how much fun can be had with only a dirt hill. 

Day 2: Today I am thankful for breastmilk and its healing properties, both through antibodies and the comfort it brings my sick baby.

Day 3: Today I am thankful that the same scripture stories have new meaning each time I read them. I always walk away with an 'I really needed that today' feeling!

Day 4: Today I am thankful that I have the privilege of being a stay at home Mother & teacher. My house may not always (if ever) be clean, we may stop and pick up a pizza all. the. time. because I forgot to make dinner, or we are to busy, BUT the moments of learning, cuddling, reading and playing with my kids can't be changed! Thanks Joshua Babb for working so hard so I can have these moments!!

Day 5: I'm thankful for the feeling of accomplishment that comes with checking off things on my to-do list that I've been dreading! I also am thankful for my cell phone so I can chat with friends while I
do said cleaning up.

Day 6: I'm trying really hard to find something profound to be thankful for, but I'm running on empty (day 5 of a sick not sleeping baby), my kids won't listen and alternate between ignoring me and fighting, my house is trashed and my hubby has been insensitive...BUT I really am grateful for all these people that make my life crazy! I can't imagine my life without each and everyone of them...and right now Joshua is letting me take 5 minutes to just sit while he changes Ella's diaper. Of that I am VERY grateful!!

Day 7: Today I am thankful that I blew off housework after preschool to take the littles to the park for a picnic. Worth every minute!! I am also very grateful for my sweet friend Wendy who gave me some Lime Oil to help Ella's cough. It worked!! WOOHOO!!

Day 8: Today I am grateful that I am able to share my love of reading with my children. I LOVE how excited they all get when I say, "Everyone pick a story and let's read!" It makes my heart happy!

Day 9: I am thankful for the amazing opportunity, through many small miracles, that Kira has to pursue her dreams and dance. Yesterday she mastered a chin stand (where her chin is on the floor and her feet on her head) and held it for 8 counts! And today she is off cheering on her teammates at a competition, only to come home and head straight to 5 hours of dance rehearsal. I love that all the work she is putting in excites her and makes her strive for more and work harder!

Day 10: I am thankful for the opportunity to speak in church...even more so now that it's over!
Day 11: I am thankful for all that America stands for. For the founders who dreamed big and opened their hearts to God for inspiration, the pilgrims who took a leap of faith and the countless men and women who gave everything to keep ME free!
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Day 12: I am thankful for bean and bacon BISQUE and all the other things that my kids say that bring laughter into my life! *For lunch we are having leftover bean and bacon soup and Kira put her glasses on and told me we are all out of bean and bacon BISQUE and can only have Hibiscus flowers! - I can't get youtube to paste the video here, but in case you haven't seen it, here is Studio C's lobster bisque sketch.

Day 13: I am thankful for all the opportunities I've had in my life to serve others.

Day 14: I'm thankful for each experience as it comes. Whether good or bad, I always learn something!

Day 15: I am thankful for forgiveness. No matter how badly I mess up, with work, I can always start over. God knew how often I would need that and gave me a family willing to forgive!

Day 16: I am thankful for the material blessings I complain about. That I have a car to allow us so many daily adventures, even if I complain I'm stuck in it too often. That I have dirty dishes, laundry to fold, books to continually put back on the shelf (thanks Ella) and every other chore I have because I am so blessed to live in America!

Day 17: I am thankful for lazy Sundays at home, and I'm thankful for productive Sunday's spent organizing...I'm very grateful that today has components of both!
Day 18: I am thankful that I miss my Mom. It reminds me to draw closer to heaven, my family here on earth and that each day is precious and waiting to be filled with new memories!
Day 19: I'm thankful that I have the knowledge and resources to homeschool my girls. I love starting our day with scriptures and going straight into schoolwork while still snuggled in Mommy's bed!
Day 20: I'm grateful for every opportunity to serve others. I wish they came around more often since I always have the service high for a few days! 

Day 21: I am thankful that I have always moved to areas with the most amazing people! I'm not sure why I am always soo blessed, but I'll take it!

Day 22: I am thankful for the RAIN! For the fun and memories that come with it, splashing in puddles til we're shivering followed by hot cocoa and a read a thon! I don't think today can get much better!

Day 23: I am thankful for books! For the knowledge that can be gleaned through them and the escape they provide

Day 24: I am thankful for every opportunity I have to partake of the Sacrament and try again. Thank you Jesus!

Day 25: I am thankful for my socks! I know it may seem silly, but when you wake up with cold feet in the middle of the night, being able to grab an extra blanket and a pair of socks is so amazing. I can't imagine how life without my little luxuries that I take for granted every day would be. 
Day 26: I am thankful that I got to spend the day with Kira watching her perform pieces from The Nutcracker over and over again. I am so blessed to have her for my firstborn! Having the 'big girls' (teenagers) in my car made me realize, that while part of me dread's the teen years, part of me is looking forward to the fun memories I get to make with her.
Day 27: I am reflecting on all the things that I wrote out this month, and they are all true! BUT I could do a thankful year and still have my heart brimming with gratitude, for this life, my past, future, every moment that I have experienced and will experience. It's so humbling to watch the Lord's hand everywhere I turn. On this last day of gratitude I want to end with childlike wonder. Today we have an amazing surprise planned for our little family and I am so excited to watch my kids faces...I may even cry. Don't worry, there will be pictures, and no, I'm not pregnant.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am oh so grateful to get to spend it quietly at home with my little family. (We will have dinner with Josh's family on Sunday.) I love them oh so much and every opportunity to just be with them makes my heart happy.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Sugar Plum sneak peak

Yesterday Kira and a bunch of the kids in Sugar Plum Tea had the opportunity to perform excerpts from the show at 4 different elementary schools here in town.  Thankfully my friend was able to let Rora come play all day and I was able to chauffer Kira and some of the other girls around.  I am not biased at all, these girls really are some of the sweetest, most inclusive kids I know.  It was neat watching the older kids look out for the littler ones.  It was also fun to enjoy the company of teenagers.  So often I dread the teen years with my girls, especially since I know what kind of a teen I was..., ANYWAYS, it made me realize that in between the hormones and battles that come with the teen years, teens are fun!  My kids will be more spontaneous, talkative and enjoyable to be around.  It will be a wild ride, but those moments will be worth it!
Enough about my personal epiphany, on to the pictures!

Mr. Anthony telling the Nutcracker story

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These kids crack me up!

Eat my hand...hehehe... ;)

Look at that jump!

Two of the best dance teachers ever!

Just showing me their serious sides...missing just one girl

Isn't he FABULOUS!?!

My camera was wigging out in this gym, but these girls are to talented not to show!

Clara and the Prince

Kira completely idolizes this lovely girl.  And her spirit is as beautiful as her dancing!


   A few days ago we had rain!  It was so fabulous!  I loved it and had so much fun!  We tried to get others go join us, but everyone was to busy, so we had our own party.  We spent over an hour splashing in puddles and playing in the rain.  Ella loved it for about 15 minutes then was content to snuggle in her stroller and watch the big girls play.  They ran, shrieked, laughed, splashed, laughed some more, explored, created and all around had a blast! 
   Living in Arizona sure has made me extra grateful for the rain. 


   I haven't had a moment to breathe lately, let alone blog. 
   Just after Halloween, Ella got sick.  She was miserable for a week and nursed all. day. long!  Then I was miserable.  As she was getting well, she had a nasty cough for another week and couldn't sleep for more than an hour before waking up in  a coughing fit.  Sick babies are soo pathetic! 
   When it was all said and done, I hadn't slept for over two weeks and (TMI) my nipples were completely raw.  To make it worse, Ella had gotten into the habit of nursing a million times a night.  So she HAD to quit night nursing.  My body needed her to be done, and even though she is still nursing once a day, just before bed, it's so hard for me to let this go.  I didn't and don't want this, she keeps growing up and that makes me so sad!  She talks nonstop now and has started asserting her independence.  Where is my baby going?
   Ella LOVES to color!  She has fabulous control of her pencils/pens/markers/ crayons, or whatever else she can get her hands on!  Her favorite thing to color on is herself.  No matter how hard I work to keep writing utensils out of reach she finds one.  She writes with mostly her left hand and I love that she has that uniqueness (to our family). 
I'm pretty sure that 'read story' is her favorite thing to say, she constantly is begging me to read to her, begging Kira, Rora, or reading to her baby dolls.
She also loves her baby and is such a good Mommy, keeping baby warm with a bankie at all times.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Just a little brag...

Akira goes to school one day a week.  It's the perfect amount of time for us.  She has  amazing teachers who go above and beyond. 
I am always getting pictures from her teacher Miss Jenny showing what they are up to.  I even got a video of all the kids singing Happy Birthday to her last month!
On Friday I got this series of text messages and they made me smile so I'm going to share them. 

Miss Jenny: Your kid's a fricing genius. Just thought you should know and possibly plan for a future life of ease and opulence.

Me:  Thank you and I know, why do you say that?

Miss Jenny: Random observations...answers to questions that are bizarrely accurate,,,benchmark scores...reading directions...her math game ability yesterday...abstract ability was amazing...SO much fun. 

Made my day to hear someone else sing her praises.  Love this girl!!

Oh, and she just mastered her chin stand so here is a picture of the awesomeness!