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

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Frogs, Famers Market and Family Friday Fun--- too bad we're on letter Q.

Entered for posterity about frog from last week:

um.. ... I regret to announce that this morning we went to the patio where Lukas left the frog under the safety of an overturned flower, which was now swarming with ants because the frog was dead. And sad when Lukas later thought that if he'd just go get it and put it back in its home it'd be okay. Yeah, doesn't work like that buddy. Wish 'just add water' applied here. He was upset for just a second, before wanting to rush off to, well, 'find another one!'

Since then, he goes to look at it. Every day. And he'll still pick it up sometimes. Gross.

I wondered if the frog community is mourning, or has at least organized and spread the word. They've been hiding well the last few days. As in non-present.

Til this one. Poor frog. We have that last one to refer to now, so there is some forced rejoining to habitat going on.

 Lukas was overjoyed to see that the carousel was going, and was so happy to ride... and that a nice helper man helped him out. (Included that in his prayer that night- so sweet!) This boy singing group was there from Oxford University with their English accents doing accapella music. Lukas was mesmorized and will run to any place that plays music.

The night before we'd taken Lukas to Ludy's for peach cobbler dessert-- and the Friday Night live band- this time celtic music-- with a bagpipe too! Our little free-spirited dancer had knee bopping, foot stomping, arm waving in the air moves when he thought nobody was looking. I felt so much joy to be with the two guys I love the most. :)

Easter Bunny banned, but the gospel flame fanned.

We're watching a beautifully made short video clip for Family Night tonight.

We're talking about Easter. We haven't ever introduced the Easter Bunny, although Lukas has seen the rabbits, bright eggs and chocolate everywhere, and has participated in an egg hunt or three.   I'm pretty sure he'd love that chocolate dripping from his lips, regardless of whether or not it's from me or some imaginary hairy being that leaves eggs and sweets in secret.

Oh, I know. No fun you say? Bah. Of COURSE there is fun. Puleeze. It's OUR house after all. Where we are together there is fun. We still color us some mean eggs for an Egg-o-rama smash fest, and create something yummy with all the eggs afterwards. We might be known to even put some fun baskets out with a favorite treat, and something that reminds us of Jesus- a children's songbook, or a special little picture-but it's from us (not some rabbit) to help remind him about Jesus.  And we'll celebrate with a nice meal all together.

I saw this super cool article that may make some of you roll your eyes or scoff, but I loved it. It's about how we teach (or UNteach) our kids about Easter. This means doing away with "the traditions of your fathers" -- you know, those things that so many claim is "fun" and "part of being a kid" and I think, but building a lasting respect and love for Jesus could be the "part of being a kid" that your child passes on to his kids-- wouldn't that feel joyous, which may feel even better than fun? But it would take trying something new, and faith that the Gospel joy will be more delicious than the fun.

In any case, our plan now is that after talking about what it means that Jesus died, and then was resurrected on the 3rd day (using the cardboard tomb in our house (*used to be house, then tree house, then temple, then cave, now for real cave/tomb- everyone needs a stove box, right?) we will talk about how Easter is not about new clothes and some rabbit visiting, but about the greatest moment in the history of the entire world, upon which my and your happiness in this life weigh: The atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He broke the bands of death so we can all live again, and see loved ones again. He suffered so that he can be succored, and be able to repent from sin-- every day. What a gift. What a prime example of love.

Yayyyy for Easter!! (And for those yummy Cadbury eggs that appear during this season!-- and those malt ball eggs with which you can paint your lips blue!)

Any ideas for how to make Easter more Christ-centered and less Easterbunnyish?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Love from Kuwait & North Carolina

I want to remember these cards because they were made with a lot of love, and because I know that many many papers in this house may not make it past the next move, thanks to digital technology and my track record of losing or breaking something in almost every move. I was blown away by the cleverness of Avery's "Happy Birthday to Ewe" pictures and the thoughtful messages she wrote. Payton's pop-up was amazing and totally adventurous like he is :) I can't believe he's finally 8 yrs old and chose to follow Jesus and get baptized. That's a big step for a young man and we're really proud of him. Can you not help but smile upon seeing Paige's "I <3 you" -- all of it made my day, my week actually, and it makes me smile all over again just to read them again. And Payton has a letter due in the mail soon!
Justin got back from Iraq via Kuwait awhile ago, and got these camels for all his kids and nieces and nephews. Lukas thinks he's pretty cool and promptly showed him around the place :)  I was also thrilled to get a new cookbook with TONS of amAzing pictures of the food (a must in these parts) that I can try- the Thai peanut noodles, meatballs, and this yummy salad are on the top of my list to try! Thanks Justin & Jana & kiddos for a really memorable bday package!!! :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pumping Iron

Use it up
Wear it out
Make do
or do without.
-What I keep thinking every time I get a worn out spot in jeans... again. Arg.

So we cut the hole into a star shape and pulled out the iron that I don't use except for iron on patches, and let my child revel in the whole "ironing" experience. Then we play pirates with scraps on the bed/ship for awhile. Later Lukas tried to sing the pirate song he learned to Jared, but it sounded kinda like a mix of Primary and Pirates of the Carribean:
 "Ich freue mich auf den Tempel, Yo, ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me! ARGH!!"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Family Night Lessons...

Recently someone asked me what we do for Family Night. Made me laugh since we keep trying to figure that out as we go! When it was just the two of us, we'd sing, pray, read the scriptures together, or a General Conference Address, and call it good.

We've been trying to figure out the best ways to teach this 2/3 year old about Jesus and our beliefs in God's plan for us. So, with General Conference coming soon Jared did a lesson on prophets tonight. I was surprised that Lukas could name so many! (Moses, Noah, Isaiah, Adam, Joseph Smith, Thomas S. Monson-- and the way he speaks right now sounds adorable when he says Mwons-onnn!)

We grabbed props for some biblical & modern-day prophets in the Follow the Prophet Song, then had Lukas hold em as we sang the verse to him, then all sang the chorus together (Follow the Prophet (x3), don't go astray, Follow the prophet (x3), He knows the way!) marching around following Lukas as Moses, Lukas as Noah, etc. He LOVED it and it was really fun.

The driven-home point to repeat this week was "When we follow the prophet we are happy and safe!"
(Such a difference from so many weeks of "when we are obedient (LUKAS!!!) we can be happy!" haha)

Boo yeah for dessert afterwards (the dance of joy over the announcement of dessert would have made you think it was the happiest moment of Lukas' entire life- HA- and I was glad I still had strawberry slices and jogurt mixed together from last night!)

In the picture is the 10 commandments tablet, the Ensign with the latest words from the prophet today, the ark of Noah, a box with a book in it supposed to be the plates found that Joseph translated into the Book of Mormon. The card with the cloud is one of a bunch I made with the computer to put all over the floor for Lukas to pick 3 songs to sing at the beginning of Family Night-- seriously my BEST FHE idea ever and yes, I am so proud of that. As a teacher, I often just steal other great ideas and adapt em and roll with it. The Primary Sunday School song book back there is in German is to help us sing em all in our Family language (because I definitely do not know most of those songs in German!! -- Danke nochmal Omili!!)

Lukas later wanted to play with the 10 commandments on the back of the tablet (i.e. play with markers) and when we said them and he asked me what it means to "not commit adultery" at first I said it means Mommy doesn't kiss other men  and he said " nur PAPA!!"  but then I got to thinking that if he ever sees me kiss an old man on the cheek, is he gonna get the wrong idea? Better address that later. Hmmm...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Consider the Lilies

con·sid·er (kn-sdr)

v. con·sid·ered, con·sid·er·ing, con·sid·ers
1. To think carefully about.
2. To think or deem to be; regard as. See Usage Note at as1.
3. To form an opinion about; judge: considers waste to be criminal.
4. To take into account; bear in mind: Her success is not surprising if you consider her excellent training.
5. To show consideration for: failed to consider the feelings of others.
6. To esteem; regard.
7. To look at thoughtfully.

To think carefully; reflect: Give me time to consider.

I love to watch a child who is contemplating the world. I've heard it said to never interrupt a kid who is in deep thought. I feel the same way about independent play going on, or instrumental creations or those made up songs he sings. No comments, since as soon as I do, the trance is over and the moment seems lost. Something amazing is going on inside that head and I love to follow the little ponderer from a distance.

Also fun is to look through the peep hole or window at nursery at church. Always a surprise. Sometimes happy Lukas. Sometimes frustrated Lukas. Sometimes standing-there-completely-lost-look-on-his-face Lukas. The Lord has extra blessings for nursery leaders I am pretty certain. Sure love ours.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Teaching Lukas the Gospel, one JUMP at a time.

Family Night Awesomeness: Imagine Couch cushions and blankets lying on the floor like a path to a big cardboard box. Yep, steps of the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel: Faith in Christ, Repentance, Baptism by Immersion for the Remission of Sins, and Laying on of Hands to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

At first I thought it might be too much for a 2/3 year old, but it turned out really great. First he stood up on the couch and we talked about how Faith is like taking a step forward without being able to see what's there, but having trust in Jesus that he knows what's best for us and will help us. Then I told him to close his eyes and jump off the couch and I'd catch him. There were some nervous giggles but he did it!!

Then he landed on the Repentance cushion. Mom and Dad modeled saying we're sorry and giving hugs, emphasizing how repentance makes us HAPPY!

Then he was on to the baptism spot- a blue blanket, where I asked Jared to show Lukas how he'll hold him when he gets baptized and what he'll say, and pretended to lay him backwards as if he would go under water. Lukas was of course thrilled, since he thinks getting baptized it PRETTY cool.

Then the Holy Ghost spot, where Lukas pretended to have hands on his head, and then the last step was jumping into his 'little house' (cardboard box) which had the temple poster on it, since baptism isn't the end goal, but getting to the temple to make more covenants with God, including receiving promises about families being bound together even after this life. Then we sang the I Love to See the Temple song and talked about how glad we are that we got to adopt Lukas and be together as a family in the temple and how happy we are to be together now.

From a previous lesson we're still practicing the first Article of Faith:
We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in his Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
It's up by the table where Lukas sees it (He helped make it), and it's SO funny to hear him all of a sudden put on his announcer voice in German and recite it.

In preparation for being 3 and being a working member of Team Loehrmann, the kid is happy to have chores, and it was music to my ears this week to hear him say "Yay! I get to do a job!"  Ten smiley faces gets him a half hour with Mr. Rogers. He doesn't ask to watch all the time, AND he helps around the house. Not bad. My favorite is watching him be SO careful about setting the table, holding glass plates and cups with both hands. And so serious with the responsibility. Adorable and awesome. And if he doesn't do em, then I get the smiley face which makes him furious, so we both try not to go there :).

My Rockclimbing Buddy

Yes... the whole way. Good job Lukas. Good thing we all had extra patience to wait for your little adventure. Even Dad, who usually gets "HANGRY" when going to long without refueling! :)  You were so proud of yourself, giving us high fives and boo yeahs. Nice!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Date Night. Big lunchbox. Warm March.

All set to go paint the town red (or chase ducks at Solano). So proud to take Dad's lunchbox with his dinner in it. (It's the little things, isn't it?) I found these shorts at the swap last night. Thanks whoever donated em!

A Goodbye with Class

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Organic Playground

Lukas the other day after waking up from his afternoon nap:
"Wo ist Papa??"
("in der Schule- der muss noch hart arbeiten")
"Aber ich BRAUCHE ihn!"
[Where's papa? At school- he still has to work hard. But I NEED him!!"

And today upon seeing a picture of Jared on the computer while finishing printing Lukas a new job chart:
"Papa! ...Ich liebe meinen Papa SOOOOOO sehr!"
[I love my papa soooo much!]

And then you need not wonder why this little boy will sit all evening in his little house (or tree house as it's now called since it's occupying one section of couch) waiting for Dad to get home. Again tonight. So so endearing how he'll sit in there, and schimpf with me if I don't close the door, but then ask me demand me to read him Berenstain Bears book for the 4th time today. Once he says please all sugary sweet we read. And with that little round face and happy eyes, and giggly with excitement little voice, I feel grateful that I HAVE a little boy who schimpfs at me now and then. Because he's mine. I get to be his mom. I get to help mold him into the man he'll be someday. And there's a time and a season for everything I want to do/be/accomplish. Part of it was before, part of it's now, and part of it will come later.

The first three years are the most important they say. He's turning 3 in 3 weeks. Major influences of that part of brain growth almost over. As it nears, it feels a bit daunting and begs the internal question, "Did I do okay for that crucial time period?" I think so. I hope so. Because it's about over. I did all I could do with the strength and faith I had each day. The Grace of Jesus has to make up the rest.

Time for the next phase-- which is including lots and lots and lots of questions (Mostly why and 'what does ___ mean?) and hunting frogs to play with.  I want to stencil a tshirt that just says "WARUM??" And another that says I <3 FROGS. Pretty much sums us up about now.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Savoring Moments of Birthdayness

Early Saturday morning after Jared made croissant & smoothie breakfast, the boys let me indulge in one of my great joys in life: They took me garage saleing. Jared mapped them all out, drove all over creation, just so I could spend three dollars :)

And it brought me such joy! We got to hang out, see other people's junk, and find some cool things for cheap! After playing soccer with church friends at the weekly handout spot, We came home to frequent the Chinese Restaurant right on the other side of the wall of our apt. complex and Lukas was BEAMING over the fact that he got to take his Pororo chopsticks and have baby buns for lunch.

I spent the afternoon in the doctor's office, xraying my knee, buying a knee brace, and taking a nap. Yes, I'm one year older (and wiser too! Booyeah for nap!)

Sunday brought great lessons at church- I especially liked the one on the how to make a house a home, and delved into our newly created Sunday Baking extravaganza. This week: Disgustingly Rich Brownies from my kids cookbook that I got for Christmas about 25 birthdays ago.

On my actual birthday, I enjoyed doing a lot of nothing, to be honest. Lukas and I played inside all morning, avoiding wind and getting dressed for real. A sweet friend stopped by with a little flower pot and I was grateful to get to greet her in my PJs. Seriously love pjs. Anyhow, when Lukas went down for nap, so did I- after enjoying a frozen "drumstick" that I never ever buy but have loved since my childhood. Jared surprised us in the afternoon by popping in with flowers before heading up to Sac State for afternoon/evening classes.
Lukas and I finally got dressed and headed to the park for a few gloriously-warm-for-March-hours where we played. When the preschoolers came over, and ran through their playground rules and a kid yelled out "No picking up sticks" to which the lady said "Yeah, no sticks- they're dangerous" I turned to Lukas and said "But YOU my friend can pick up sticks and play with them. It's okay!" and he went on to make his own shovel, plow and broom from sticks and branches later. Ahhh, my little farmer. And for me the gift was getting to see his little imagination going-- and watching him wander out into the grassy field and plopping himself (and his stick) next to another little guy- and they both just sat there, side by side, watching the big boys practice baseball.


And the swatting at mosquitos with his stick. Dad's taught him well. As he swats he tells me "Get the mosquitos! They want to suck our blood!"

The ride home past the "popcorn trees" was beautiful, the moon was huge, and we stopped to look at it. A lot. And when we finally got home with a frog in tow from under one of the water system covers, we got to have Lukas' favorite food (the novelty of sandwiches these days is hilarious) and the I closed out another mom workday with some kiddo books on his couch, cuddles and kisses, then booyeah- back for another Drumstick and some reading- of all the messages facebook reminded people to send! :)

Birthdays at 32 sure are different than they used to be, eh?

Friday, March 2, 2012

metamorphic. Ah yes, my dear Watson.

The Good Samaritan

Family Night is Tuesday nights til Jared's student teaching is done, and this week Lukas reeeeeally wanted to give the lesson. After picking his three favorite songs (I should probably hide those cards for a few weeks!), he was armed with his gospel pictures book to teach us something.

He chose the picture of the Good Samaritan. Now in preface, he'd watched this newly made video clip from a whole slew of new testament videos, and asked question after question, and since there are no words, I just told the story of The Good Samaritan in normal terms over and over until it was seriously too much 'tv' and I declared us done. (See the predicament of weighing the new testament vs. too much tv??)

Then, after talking about a few things that happened we acted it out, each got a turn being the beat up guy and the Samaritan. Jared and I also got the glorious jobs of being the donkey a few times to carry the wounded traveler, who erupted into lots of giggles on the back of a hee-haw-ing donkey, but the SWEETest thing happened when Lukas was the Good Samaritan. Jared was on the floor moaning as the beat up traveler. Lukas put his hands around Jared's head to give him water and wipe his wounds with oil. It was like a light bulb went on, and he ran off only to come back with my water bottle which he opened and helped Jared drink. (Then he went a grabbed a quick swig from his sippy. Being the Good Samaritan is very hard work!) Then he tried to help him up. Luckily Jared didn't try to actually sit on my back, and flopped onto the couch. Again, Lukas ran off only to come back with his own little Ikea pillow for the weary traveller. Then, since the sweatshirt covering which worked just fine for his meter-sized body did virtually nothing for Jared, again the Samaritan ran to his room to get his soccer blanket for daddy. And was very adamant that he give me real pennies (the donkey turns into the inn-keeper) to pay for the man in the inn.  I found it moving, and so full of love. By far one of the best "lessons" we've had in awhile :)

And I love the deep voice he uses to pretend to be someone else. The Good Samaritan voice it strikingly similar to the one he uses to pretend to be Santa.

Richard Simmons was onto something.

So, since our schedule is super crazy and leaves me unable to have a lot of alone time to go running, I've started a love/hate relationship with Jillian Michaels during Lukas' naps :) (The 30 day shred- available on Youtube or on my cheapo video- I want the energy back!)

On Saturday mornings before soccer, Lukas will sit on the bed sometimes while I'm lifting my jars of spaghetti sauce as weights, and ask "are you sweating mommy?" "yeah" "Are you hot mommy?" "Yeah."
But the first thing he says kills me: Mama! Warum tragen sie keine Klamotten? (Mama, why aren't they wearing any clothes?) 

Before you call CPS let me clarify, he's referring to the three very fit women on the workout video who are in workout stretch-pants and sportsbra tops or tanks. Oh man. Awkward. I didn't make a big deal of it, but I thought: Hmmm, I'd better stick to only during your naps honey.

In CA, he sees people running outside- particularly men without shirts on- and labels them officially "naked" in his mind. This from the kid who prefers playing soccer or basketball in the livingroom with only underoos because "it's more comfortable"(at least he succombs to that much)  - ahhh, he would have loved the Garden of Eden, huh.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Meridian Magazine - Adoption from a Grandmother's Point of View - Page 4 - Meridian Magazine - LDS, Mormon and Latter-day Saint News and Views

Meridian Magazine - Adoption from a Grandmother's Point of View - Page 4 - Meridian Magazine - LDS, Mormon and Latter-day Saint News and Views

If you know me, you know I adopted my son. If you know me well, you know I am super grateful to finally be a mom... and, well, that the process wasn't all blissful and happy dandy and didn't just happen all at once, and continued to be a process as our relationship with our birth mother evolved. We are in a really good spot now, almost 3 years later, and are hoping to adopt again or heck- even go the more traditional route -if God finally wills it.

Anyhoo, a friend sent me this article today which I found SUPER awesome, and hoped it would be interesting to you because you know me. I love how it's not all about how happy dandy everything is, and how the perspective on adoption is so interesting from different angles. Parts of their experience was very different for us, but much of the viewpoint is the same. Sometimes gladly, sometimes sadly.

Read on and add to your 'well-roundedness' factor.