Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Happenings

Finally my children are as interested in the holidays as I am! When our first child was born I thought to myself, "YES, now I have someone who will get as excited as me!" Little did I know it would take 5 years for that child to grow and actually understand how absolutely rad Halloween and Christmas are. But this year is the one...the one where Cru and Corbin are counting down the days and hours. I can see it now... them filling their bags to the brim with candy and sorting it out on the floor into categories. (Corbin doesn't need preschool he just needs halloween every other day) This year Cru decided to be a storm trooper. Corbin followed his Star Wars stricken brother by being Jango Fett. And of course I had to follow suit with Ava as Princess Leia. It's been great fun. It's amazing what you can make with paper mache', yarn and a hot glue gun. We had a family Halloween party with an "Out Of This World" theme. Damon went as an ASStronaut. We put a name tag on him that said "Jack". (I'll let you figure that one out) He also wore a "180 IQ" patch on his he was also a smart a%$. His hat said "nASSa". I decided to go along with the kids' star wars theme and was Chewbecky. (The female version of Chewbacca). It was pretty darn gross but way fun. We also have taken the kids to a couple carnivals already. Tonight we'll take them around the neighborhood. They're just as excited for Christmas. A Hasbro toy magazine came in the mail and they already have it circled and worn to bits. I knew I could count on these little guys to make things exciting again! We hope you all have a Happy Halloween and enjoy the remainder of the holiday season! Let us know what you're costumes were this year!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Not in front of the GUYS!

Well when Cru was eating breakfast this morning he said, "Mom, maybe before we go out to the bus you can kiss me in here so that those boys don't see." I wanted to cry. Cru has now become aware of others and is now concerned about what they think. Oh man! A very small portion of his childhood has been washed away. So I did away with our routine kiss on the sidewalk and gave him a big hug and kiss inside and then walked him out to the bus stop where the other BIG boys were waiting. What's next? ...Mom give me the keys, I'll drive. AHHHHH! He's growing up too fast.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

4 Keys to Happiness

Deep thoughts by Dimmer Switch:

I recently attended a training where one of the speakers discussed the 4 keys to happiness. Most of his research was done in a cancer ward in the hospital. His research was generally on happiness and treatment responses. I don't think he prioritized the list as #1 is the most important, I believe he tried to emphasize it takes a combination of all 4. I will list his 4 keys but add my own ideas to reasons why its important and/or leads to happiness:

1) Feeling a Sense of Control: In counseling and therapy I work a lot in this area (anger management, stress, relationships, etc.) Basically things happen to us for 3 basic reasons: Ourselves, Others, Fate. I don't really like the word Fate but can't think of a better one yet. OURSELVES, According to our choices we receive our consequences. This is the area with the most control. OTHERS, we have much less control (if any) with others, but their choices do effect us for good or bad. I would say rather than control we have influence, and I often counsel that the other thing we can do is protecting ourselves from others. As in many of the business books I have read a common theme is surround ourselves with successful people and they will influence us into success. The opposite is also true. FATE, we have no control here. No one asks for natural disasters, or accidents, but sometimes life throws us a curve ball. Here, though we have no control, we can choose to be survivors or victims of what comes our way.
From a gospel standpoint. One of the key foundations of the Plan of Happiness is agency! It is one of the greatest blessings given to us from our Father in Heaven.

2) Feeling a Sense of Connectedness: In my days working in the nursing homes in Orem and Rexburg I remember (generally speaking) that those with involved family got better much quicker and went home. Those without struggled.
It is comforting to know that no matter where you go in this world, we can be connected with others through the church. Genealogy connects us with our ancestry, and the priesthood connects us to heaven.

3) Have a Sense of Hope and Humor: One of my favorite quotes is "What makes the desert that somewhere it hides a well." From "The Little Prince", by Antonie de Saint-Exupery.
In counseling I always try and impress that happiness is not a destination or found in the future or past. I find myself saying "I will be happy when.." "I will be happy if..." Even if we finally reach these points there will always be a new spot on the horizon to long for.
True hope comes through the Atonement. I think the hope spoken of here is finding the positive in situations and events. Look for miracles and you will find them! Humor...In many situations we can laugh or cry...we may as well laugh.

4) Feeling a Sense of Meaning or Being part of something larger than yourself: In counseling I think this is why groups like AA or NA are so effective. Helping and service to others provides in their own treatment. Others look for this in charities and organizations.
One more reason why the church is so great, knowing we are part of the plan of salvation, plan of happiness is fantastic and gives us meaning fills us with hope, connectedness, and control.
Another great quote is from Cicero a Greek philosopher in his story "The dream of Scipio, "Look upwards then! Contemplate this place which is a habitation for all eternity! Then you will not need any longer to be at the mercy of what the multitude says about you! Then you will not have to put your trust in whatever human rewards your achievements may earn."

On the opposite side is "The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what we want most for what we want at the moment." author unknown.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ava's 1st Birthday

Ava turned the big #1 September 22. She seemed to enjoy the birthday festivities. Grandma and Grandpa Andreasen were here for the fun. She had an audience to perform in front of so she decided to finally start walking. A video of that can be seen under "Infant To Toddler" blog. This video is of her birthday. Take a look at the mean look she gives me when I start to take her cake away. Wow! watch out world here she comes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Infant To Toddler

It's amazing how much a child changes in it's first year of life. They come into the world curled in a little ball and sleep almost all of the time. A good 12 months later and they're
aerating potted plants

and eating wood chips two at a time.

Along with these new skills Ava has mastered the sad puppy dog look. It works on her dad every time.

These last couple of weeks I have gotten glimpses of Ava becoming a toddler. Her neck and legs seem longer and she is beginning to show her attitude during our daily interactions. That first year seems so slow when I think of all the exhausting late nights and "I don't know why she's crying!" moments. But it seems to have gone too fast when I think of all the cradling and cooing. Here is a short video of Ava's first go at walking. She's a pro now, with shoes and all.