Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sabbath Day

One of our family goals this year was to change our “Sunday” back to the “Holy Sabbath”.  Keeping the Sabbath day holy is one of the 10 commandments, it’s pretty basic, been around a while.  And yet it seems that the world, the Mormon world included, have forgotten about it.  So we wanted to help our children understand what the day of rest is meant to be, what the Lord intended it for.  I did a bit of reading, in church books, on people’s blogs, and Tui and I came up with a plan to help us Keep the Sabbath Day Holy.

·         Preparation – we found that lots of what caused frustration on Sundays was having to get things ready.  And so we’ve started doing LOTS more on Saturdays – showering the kids, laying out clothes, getting church bags packed and into the car, doing all the washing and vacuuming etc.  We have also made Sunday our crock pot day, so I can have everything prepped and in the dish Saturday night, ready to be plonked in and turned on Sunday morning.  Any little thing that COULD be done Saturday night, we’re doing (even putting the cereal bowls and spoons on the table).
·         Music – this has probably been the best thing in terms of having a nice feeling about our Sunday.  We got a ton of church music, put it on ipods, phones, computers etc and as soon as we wake up we turn something on.  And driving to church we have something playing.  All day there is church music going, even if it’s just in the background, and it makes such a big difference in the spirit and feeling of our home on Sunday.
·         Special Sunday Stuff – one book I read talked about having Sunday as a day the kids look forward too because it’s special, and having special Sunday things that they don’t have any other day.  So we’ve started having special Sunday cereal,  (one that’s expensive and I usually wouldn’t buy) that they only get on Sunday.  They love it!  In fact yesterday when Vili prayed in the morning he said “And thank you that it’s Sunday so we can have the special Sunday cereal coz it’s yummy…”
·         Routine – we came up with a general routine of how the day would go, so that everyone knows what’s expected and what’s coming up.  We get up, have breakfast and get dressed.  Then we watch a church DVD (we bought a bunch more so that there’s a big selection and we aren’t repeating the same one every week).  Then we have morning tea, get dressed for church and off we go.  We are now able to be at church 10-15min early which is great.  After church is personal quiet time (naps, callings, reading church books, playing quietly with our Sunday-do-box stuff etc), then we eat an early dinner.  Then it’s family time.  We came up with a list of things that we could choose from, and so every week over dinner we decide what to do (bake something and take it to someone in need, play a church game (we bought a few more LDS board games etc), go for a walk, write in journals, watch home videos, write letters to family, family history (we’ve started learning more about our grandparents etc and making a scrapbook about them), going to the temple, visiting grandparents etc).  All of these things are things we will only do on Sundays, again making them special so the kids look forward to them.

So far it’s all been going really well.  Having a plan and a goal has made a lot of difference for Tui and I especially, because we never have to argue about what is and isn’t ok on Sunday.  And I hope over time it will help my children to gain a greater appreciation for the Holy Sabbath day, to learn that it’s not just part of the weekend, it’s not just an inside day, but that it’s a day we can focus on the Savior and on our families.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The 3 amigos

2013 was not a great year for me in terms of record keeping (hence the blog cramming session on Dec 31st at 10pm).  I have felt really overwhelmed with life in general that all the things I would LIKE to do have fallen aside while I try to keep up with all the things I HAVE to do.  It makes me sad, but until I find some way to clone myself or add extra hours to a day, this is my lot and I have to be content with it.
And so I want to end the year but summy up who each of my kids are at this moment in time.

- Malachi -

- Continues to be my super compliant and reliable child, responsible beyond his years and so willing to help
- Loving school and learning in general.  He gets so proud of himself when he conquers a new concept or memorises a new spelling word.  It's awesome. He loves to read, he loves to write stories, he loves numbers, he loves telling the time, he loves that his class uses ipads.  He just loves to learn in general, he's such a little sponge wanting to soak up everything.
- He has discovered different sports and loves them all.  Next year he wants to play cricket, basketball, rugby, soccer, tennis, and hockey. 
- His absolutely favourite thing to do is ride his bike.  We have a BMX track down our street that he has finally conquered and he wants to ride it daily.  He's getting a little braver every day, which is great to see him coming out of his cautious shell.


- Vili -

- This boy is such a drama queen, he has the highest highs and the lowest lows.  He gives me the greatest joy and causes the greatest frustration.  He tells me he loves me the most, and sits in time out the most.  Everything he does is done with a bit of flare and full effects, and super intense.  He's probably payback for me being the way I was as a child.
- Vili is quick, he can almost beat Malachi in a race.  His little legs are just so fast.  Lucky I'm faster...
- He's really independant, enjoys his own company, likes to read on his own, jump on the tramp by himself.  I can't tell yet if its personality or birth order. 
- He has finally learnt to say the 'k' sound, so can say 'Malachi' instead of 'Malatai'.
- Vili has a talent for rhyming  You can tell him any word and he gives you 5 that rhyme with it.  His teachers are amazed by it, especially for a boy and at such a young age.
- He can be a real clown, he likes making up words and pulling faces and making people laugh.
- He says the funniest things ever.  Like ever.  At the moment he tells me all the time "That is so alarious." or when we're ready scriptures and I say "Lamen and lemuel had hard hearts" and he says "...and hard poos...".  The stuff he comes up with is priceless.


- Lani -

- She is just the sweetest thing.  She just oozes with sweetness.  From her bobbing pigtails to her high pitched voice.  No wonder daughters can wrap their daddy's around their fingers.
- She copies EVERYTHING that Vili does, from his facials, his tantrums, his silly dances, his mannerisms.  She's like a little clone.  Most days I wish she'd copy Malachi instead....
- Her vocab is growing daily.  She will copy anything you say.  On her own she offers 3 word sentaces.  There isn't anything she can't communicate to us, which is helpful.
- She makes us all laugh, all the time. Mostly coz she's a baby trying to say and do adult things.
- She likes getting dressed, on her own, her own way.  If any of us leave one of our drawers open, watch out.  She'll come in to proudly show us how she's put on Vili's undies or malachi's shirt.
- Lani is terrified of cats and dogs. But she loves birds and flies.
- She can't say the L sound so she refers herself as ''Nani'', and her brothers are ''Matai'' and ''Viyee''.


Most nights I lay in bed running through the day in my head, and I regret things I did an didn't say, things I did and didn't do.  But always my biggest regrets come from time not spent with my children, or time mis-spent with them.  It usually takes some sort of tragedy or trauma to shake up our priorities and make us appreciate our loved ones more.  I'm going to use the new year as an excuse.  I want to love on them more, know them better, have more conversations, sit on the floor and play more, and growl a whole lot less.  They are such precious little people and I love being their Mummy.  And I want them to know that I love them because they feel it through my actions, not just coz I tell them every night before they go to bed.

And so ends the year 2013.
2014, please be kind to us.....
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Berry Picking

Boxing day we went out to a berry farm to pick up some berries.  Mum tells me I did this as a child but I have no memory of it.  It was such a good activity.  We paid $3 each for over 5's, got to eat as many as you wanted while picking, and then could bring others to be weighed and bought.  They had strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and boysenberries.  The strawberries were the most amazing thing I had ever tasted! So sweet and juicy.  I don't know if I can eat supermarket berries any more.  I probably ate about 40 along the way.  Well worth my entry fee.  And it was so cool for the kids to see how the berries grew and to be able to harvest their own.  And Lani, our berry queen, was in HEAVEN!  She ate more berries then the rest of us combined.  We could not have picked a better outing for her.


Afterwards we had icecreams at their cafe.  They use the fresh berries and mix them into the icecream right in front of you.  It was amazing.  This has got to be one of our favourite summer activities so far.
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Christmas Day 2013

This was the first time that we haven't had plans with other friends or family on Christmas day and it was WONDERFUL - no schedule to keep to, nothing to prepare for.  We just did everything in our own time.  It was so laid back and peaceful.  By far the best Christmas day yet.

The kids woke up and checked their Santa's for lollies, and got to open their stockings.


Then while they played we had our Christmas breakfast - pancakes, bacon, eggs, strawberries, icecream, it was a breakfast fit for a king.

Then it was time for presents.

 We have started a tradition of only giving 3 gifts to our kids, to represent the 3 gifts the wisemen gave to Christ.  They each get something they want (a toy usually), something they need (hat, helmet, shoes), and a ''Jesus'' presentn (something from deseret books, a puzzle or book or movie that's church related).  This was the first year that we sat them down and realy explained to them what they were getting and why.  It was actually quite hard to limit myself to only getting them 3 things.  You want to give your kids so much.  We live in a world where stuff=love.  But after watching them open their 3 presents, and seeing how happy they were with them, and how they weren't overwhelmed with things, it meant they could really apreicate the things they'd been given. 

Daddy's present was a little different this year.  A photo wall with frames I painted and antiqued myself with his favourite baby pictures of the kids.
 That night we went and visited the temple lights.  This year they have started doing tours of the visitors center ending with a nativity movie.  It was a really nice way to bring us back to the real meaning of christmas and keep the focus on the savior.

Merry Christmas from the Tafuna Tribe.

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