We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are." ~Marjorie Pay Hinckley~

Loehrmann Family Favorite Recipes

Saturday, October 29, 2011

There's no place like GNOME!

This is from a few weeks ago but I wanted to add it!:
Lukas is absolutely smitten with this doorstep ditched pumpkin from Max.

Wie der Vater, so der Sohn.

"'TRICK-OR-TREAT'.... dann 'THANK YOU'...dann schnell zu den nächsten laufen!"

Last stop: Our trunk where Jared handed out candy so I could take the little trooper trunk-or-treating.

So excited to sit with daddy and show him his candy!!

I love my cute little Gnome!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Gnome Practice

Back to the Future

Punkins Mama!

Man at the Wheel

Where was that address? Ask directions? PSHHH!

I can find it.

Checking the GPS...

Aww yeah. Pride in my ride, it's the swagger wagon.

Because, really, it's just a dollar.

Lesson: The 50 cent pony ride at Wal-Mart. The dollar carousel ride at the Farmer's Market. The memories and good feelings you create are worth that measley dollar. I mean, really? What do I blow a dollar on for myself but turn around and want to "teach my child a lesson about money not growing on trees" when there are days where I would pay 100 dollars to have that smile and laugh back instead of screaming, sickness, or not have a little voice there anymore at all. :( 

And upon seeing the carousel actually running I heard "oOOOOHh!" and then "Danke Mama! Ich LIEBE dich!" while throwing his arms around my neck while I carried him across the street.

These emotional kodak moments are what help kids (and face it, their parents) through the tough times.

West Meyanor Park

Thursday, October 27, 2011

...The Rest of the Story

...remember when I said more thoughts on that tomorrrow? I meant Thursday.
So since the intentional peeing was a new chapter in a book I wanted to close very quickly, I tried to put my finger on what could be happening in the psyche of my little sweetpea. (no pun intended, and it wasn't sweet)

My gut said he needed some TLC, so Tuesday morning we set out for a major adventure. And he wanted to ride in the stroller. (It's been MONTHS since he's ridden in a stroller, and that was only because he was sick and too floppy to walk)

The day unfolded into a search for the perfect picnic spot through a local neighbor hood, past a park, across a main road and out towards the airport to this place: And things have been back to normal since (with potty chart, new stickers for dry pants and bathtime as a reward in the morning). Thank you gut. You've come through again.

In front of us.

Behind us.

"I go to school. Tschuess Schatzi!"

Lessons Learned: If it's important, then teach it.

A friend was visiting and we got talking about teaching music, and I thought, well- if they don't like it, then I'll just move on to some other thing. The point was brought up though that if it's important (not just to me, but if it is a valuable thing to life) then it's not to be ignored but rather schooled with patience, just like we wouldn't give up on a child learning to read.

We can do things purposely to help kids like reading (which seems to be a part of it, the whole "liking" it)
Here's my nerdy teacher advice coming out:
  • Read to them often (groggy after breakfast time, before naptime, groggy after naptime, scriptures as a family (and let them echo read if they're 2+), and either explain a story or read one before bed).
  • Make sure DAD reads to them every day if possible. (Dad is night story man. I'm afternoon story woman. An mission stories have renewed zeal with 2 year olds) No dad? Grab some man and make him read to your child when you get the chance.
  • If they don't want to shadow read (where they repeat words on page) just keep offering again and again (like vegetables) Make sure you model this with your spouse and exaggerate how fun it is.(The buy-in to most things around here).
  • Research shows that books facing out are more appropriate for younger readers since they can't read spine titles to know which books are which, and are allowed to judge books by their covers to get them interested. Basically, it just helps them choose more easily (which means they are choosing at all!) I've seen rain gutters screwed to walls to accomplish this beautifully! I'll add a picture of my newest Craigslisted shelves soon! SOOO excited because these books aren't on the floor anymore! Booyeah!
  • And teach kids to use books properly. If they don't then remove them from reach unless you're there to guide. Utilize their lack of height to store them in view but out of reach. Place board books down low instead of flap books and paper backs that will be ripped more easily. And rotate them in and out. If you give a kid access to 100 books, you have to be ready to pick up 100 said books off the floor with them. Make it easy for them, and they'll make it easIER for you.

 We've made our way through letters, having Lukas come up with words for things he knows that start with those sounds. It's been fun. I'm always surprised by at least one of the things he comes up with on his own. Oh, and smearing peanut butter/jelly fingers on the table in the shapes of the letters during lunch is okay.

 Then, if you think something's important, teach your kids! We certainly don't ignore the gospel even if they don't jump for joy during scripture time or family home evening each time. Teaching means persevering til it pays off. Here's our art kit. Lotsa pics in this box with cool facts about paintings, painters, time period, etc on the back. Lukas knows Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh, Mona Lisa by Leonardo di Vinci, Mother and Child by Pablo Picasso, Lilly Pond by Claude Monet and this one "Cherry Ripe" by John Milet. (And no, before we started this little adventure I didn't know the names of half of those, let alone their artists from memory).

This DOESN'T mean jillioins of classes, but just making a point to mention, point out, draw attention to, model or display those things.

Music? CD's. Instruments. PLAYing (not banging) the piano at church. Seeing other people play different types of instruments. THAT is exciting. Oh, and the Farmer's Market Band. (See you there next May?) And be okay with short periods of time.

 Tutorial over. Now send me YOUR best practices moms!! The teaching mantra is "Beg, borrow and steal" thus turning me into an implementer and not necessarily someone who comes up with genious ideas all on my own, although I am grateful for some divine inspiration now and again.   So bring it!

Yearly Ritual

That red thing on the leaf is a HUGE hairy caterpillar.

A Happy Little Indoor Day

Last of the "shelf milk" from our 2500 mile road trip this summer. Mmmmm.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It was Monday. I should have known.

  • Purposely peeing pants in order to have a bath
  • Doing it again
  • 5 loads of laundry washed, but no quarters to dry
  • No drying rack to speak of. And why when there are 6 dryers downstairs?
  • Few clothes-pins (although I found some, guess where, in that 72 hour kit! HA!)
  • screamy screamy screamy
  • more peed on bedding after nap
  • still in pjs at 4pm sent
  • cold sore on my lip is neither pretty or comfortable
  • 2 mugs crashing from cabinet to their demise before dinner
  • At a loss by now?
  • AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I may or may not have screamed as loud as possible into the pillow on my bed
  • Sad epiphone that people whose families are strong and loving, with a strong family culture, and may I add like each other, seem to have a better grip on life and happiness than a lot of people I know who have a realization of God's plan for us but are despite the fact in dysfunctional families. 

On the bright side, we did play with playdough...until it started to be consumed, and was so glad to have someone to share dinner with (and was grateful that I'd already made it the day before!) and share my child with.

...and I have had sleep since then, and today was AWEsome. I learned my lesson. Thoughts on that tomorrow.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thank you for choosing Lufthansa Airlines! Gute Reise!

Today I worked for Lufthansa airlines. (Check THAT one off the bucket list.) I even have an almost official nametag to prove it!  Jared's German students approached my ticket counter and I asked lots of questions and ultimately issued them boarding passes. The looks on a few faces were priceless, (the "What did she just say?" face) but most of them did amazingly well for a second year class!

And get this: they even had to go through security check points, then proceed to the plane (their classroom) where they wrote a postcard home, watched  a safety video and got in-flight snacks. Can I be in that class?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Desparate Times call for Desparate Measures

Okay, the rain won't go away? Then neither will we.

Burning off more pent up energy...

GLUE + PomPom balls + old scrapbook paper = Time to make dinner.

Thank you people of Elmers, Gordon's and Knoedel mix makers for making this moment possible.
p.s. It's raining again today. Glue is so yesterday, apparently. On to the couch cushion gymnastics class.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

How to Unintentionally Commit a Hate Crime

1. Spraypaint star cut-outs for a sleepover party event on the day before Rosh Hashanah, only one of the biggest Jewish holidays of the year. Yeah, nice one, Jess. And yes, I too notice that these are not Jewish stars (sigh).

2. Be sure to spray the stars attached to a tree belonging to a major university...in CA, but do remember to scrub them off with a wire brush once the police have been called off and accusations of a hate-crime being committed have subsided. 

3. Laugh, laugh, and then laugh some more. Otherwise, you might feel irritated, wrongly accused, and annoyed at your stupidity of choosing a tree as a background for a spray paint art project.

In response to a friend's comment: Thanks for finding my "hater" side funny. I was fuming during certain small moments of it- like the fact that I was spray painting because the girl I was helping was pregnant, as well as another mom from the ward out at the playground that day, as well as another sister who showed up with her little boy who had a "big brother" shirt on to announce her pregnancy- so I felt bitter that I got stuck with a 'hate crime' label while trying to do something good, and felt a slap in the face at the same time about my personal losses in life.. ahhhhh, then at the actual activity for which I painted all the stars in the first place, -- (on the evening of the morning I'd gotten the phone call about my hate crime--2 days after the actual 'crime') -- we had waffle bar and it was time to eat so I jumped up til someone announced "All pregnant ladies first" and I sat right back down, and felt really small. A few people laughed, in good will, "awww, Jess!" Then someone had the nerve to suggest that I should "join the club"- and that made me feel small too.

Hate those little moments that creep up like that and make me all undone. Bad timing, that's all.

Life is hard sometimes.