Wednesday, December 27, 2017

*2017 Year in Review *

October 2017

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before? Had twins! I am now a mother of multiples although it has its challenges, I really love it and am so grateful for theses sweet babies. 
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  No. Not at all. (I kind of had a lot on my plate.) I will make two or three attainable goals. (Again.)
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? I gave birth to two beautiful boys, Nathan Kay Schultz and Zachary Wayne Schultz, on July 31, 2017.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Not close to me but some acquaintances passed away tragically. There was a family who lived in our ward a few years ago but no longer do (since our ward split and the boundaries changed). I used to pick up the two girls, Hailey and LeAnn for Activity Days when I was the AD Leader. Two days before Thanksgiving, Hailey and LeAnn and two of their brothers were killed in a fire while with their dad in Illinois. Back in 2013, this family lost a 4-month-old baby boy to SIDS. Veronica and Corey have experienced so much heartache. My heart hurts for them. 
5. What countries did you visit? Maybe someday. 
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? I still desire a clean, organized home but I am okay with putting it on the back burner while I focus on caring for our children. The demands are great and they are many right now with our children's individual needs and challenges. 
7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory and why? July 31, 2017, the day Nathan and Zach were born. They are such a blessing for our family, especially for me. I am loving the baby stage this time around (for the first time ever) and savoring every first and last with them.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Making it through the first part of the year while being pregnant with twins and making it through the second part with infant twins + three other kids (all three of which have special needs / challenges to some degree). Five kids is a lot! But we're doing it. And finding joy along the way. 
9. What was your biggest failure? Nothing big - just little frustrations - things I try to be better. Sometimes I feel like I am failing my kids if I'm being honest but I have never tried harder at anything in my life and nothing has ever meant more to me than my role as a mother. 
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing serious. 
11. What was the best thing you bought? A trampoline for our backyard. The kids love it and it's a great way for them to release energy. It's also great for distraction while I'm patching Eleanor's eye. 
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? All of our kids in their own ways. Oliver has had a lot of challenges with controlling his emotions but lately I have noticed he is doing a little better, trying a little harder, and expressing a little more gratitude. It isn't always that way but I'll take the little victories when they come. Josh has made strides with his anxiety. He is finally officially potty trained, as of about five months ago (around the time the babies were born). It was a very long road (he just turned five on Christmas Eve). Eleanor continues to do hard things with her eye. She's a strong little girl and has a determined spirit about her, for which I'm grateful. And, quite honestly, mine and Wendel's too. Parenting special needs kids is not easy. (We suspect one of our children is on the Autism Spectrum and that is very challenging as well.) We are trying our best with all of our children - researching, making appointments, getting services, trying not to be offended when others make judgmental statements out of ignorance, praying, fasting, connecting, apologizing, crying, and loving no matter what. 
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? People I hear about on the news. People shooting other people. Selfish acts that take lives and destroy families. 
14. Where did most of your money go? Our loft remodel, formula, trailer parks (Wendel's current passion / way to make extra income), food, life. 
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? The birth of our sweet babies.
16. What song will always remind you of 2016? "Believer" and "Thunder" by Imagine Dragons. (Oliver LOVES both of these songs and got the newest Imagine Dragons CD for Christmas - his first CD, which he was very excited about.)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Just as happy. 
b) thinner or fatter? A little fatter than exactly a year ago, as I was barely pregnant then and I am still working on losing baby weight. (I am two pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight but I have a lot of toning to do.)
c) richer or poorer? Richer, both financially and by way of feeling blessed with our five beautiful children. 
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? My answer is always the same for this question. I always wish I had more time to work on family history - mostly our kids' books. It's very important to me and I want to make it a priority but can't keep up right now with even the basics. I'm just so exhausted. But I have no regrets about the amount of time I spend with our children. That takes priority. I also love that I'm able to keep up with their blogs, which is very important to me. I really want to print their blogs into books this year. 
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? No big regrets in this area. 
20. How did you spend Christmas? Christmas with just our little family. Wendel took the three older kids to his parents' house in the afternoon and I stayed home with the babies because Zach had a fever. Poor little guy. 
21. Did you fall in love in 2017? Yes, with our sweet babies. They have my heart, along with their siblings and dad.
22. What was your favorite TV program? Wendel and I are enjoying Longmire. It's a good one. I also really enjoy Call the Midwife (I'm anxiously awaiting new seasons). We re-watched Bones this year, too, and that's a favorite.
23. What was the best book you read? I don't make time to read books these days, as so many other things are more pressing, but I did listen to The Whole Brain Child on CD while driving and found it very insightful. 
24. What was your greatest musical discovery? I didn't really have one. 
25. What did you want and get? Our loft remodeled. It's not quite done (the laundry room is still in progress) but the bedroom (Oliver's room) is done and is so nice to have! 
26. What did you want and not get? Nothing comes to mind. 
27. What was your favorite film of this year? Nothing comes to mind. We don't go to see many movies. Life is busy. I have heard The Greatest Showman is really good and I want to see it. 
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 38 this year. Birthdays are pretty low-key. I honestly don't remember much about it. I'm sure it was good but a lot has happened since then. 
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? My answer is the same as last year: I feel like having a clean and organized home + having time to spend on family history stuff would bring satisfaction, but on the other hand, I would have to give up other things to make those happen and I'm not sure the tradeoff would be worth it. I feel like I'm keeping the most important things as the most important things right now. 
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? I'm often in workout clothes (I do actually work out most mornings) with spit up on them. 
31. What kept you sane? Wendel. Always Wendel. We're in this crazy, survival time together. Also, my testimony keeps me grounded. I would be a different person without it, I think. Third: working out. It is my therapy. 
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? None, really.
33. What political issue stirred you the most? I rarely have time to listen to the news these days. Healthcare is a concerning issue. I don't like that Cannabis (Medical Mariuana) is legal in several states, including Arizona. I know it's controversial and I'm sure if I were in a position of pain and suffering and it was something that helped, I would view it differently. The issue I have with it is people saying it's for medical purposes and then abusing it. (Which I saw a lot while I was working at CPS.)
34. Who did you miss? My sister, Lindsey, coworkers from CPS, my good friend, Mindy (her son, Carlos, and Oliver are best friends. They moved to Mesa this year. We still see them sometimes but I miss our weekly playdates. She is a good friend, the non-judgmental type of friend who really cares about me and puts effort into our friendship, unlike so many "friends" I have. I am very grateful for her. (She also has a child on the ASD, much like Josh, so it's nice to be able to relate in that way.) 
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017: It is pretty much summed up in this quote: "When the Lord asks you to do something, He will prepare you. It is a sweet thing. If you trust the Lord, He blesses you." - Mary R. Durham. I have seen this manifest as we acted on the (very strong) promptings to expand our family. I could write a separate blog post about the blessings and tender mercies we've witnessed since the babies were born. 

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: 

These lyrics from You Better Believe by Train remind me of one of our children, our son who has been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Anxiety. (It is actually applicable to all of our children but I especially think of him.) His behavior can be challenging at times and I worry about him being able to control his emotions and impulses and how that will affect him and others in the future. These words seem to resonate with me as I think of him. 
They say that nothing lasts forever
They say that good times fade away
And I know, I know that sometimes it ain't easy
But I know you'll be okay
One day I'll see you in the future
You'll have a family of your own
I will be there, I will be there to be your teacher
You better believe, you better believe you're not alone

37. What are your resolutions for 2017? I would like to set up a better system for backing up and streamlining the photos we take, print more photos, pull Josh's baby pictures off of our hard drive, print blog books for our kids and get Oliver's new room and the babies' room in order. Organization and family history are a given. (Now I just need to remember these goals so I can work on them.)

October 2017 (the babies are 2 months old here)

I still can't believe we have five kids! September 2017

Eleanor + Nathan September 2017

I love this picture of our older kids. It warms my heart. October 2017


Friday, July 14, 2017

Stretched to my limit (in more ways than one)


I'm getting ready to head up to bed but feel the need to document this time in my life. There has definitely been a void in my life where journal writing used to be a priority. I certainly miss venting, expressing my thoughts and feelings, analyzing and reading myself to understand my feelings better. I never thought I would let that slide but I am now at the phase of life where I can only do the necessities and journal writing (including blogging) rarely makes the cut. I could do it after my kids are in bed but I'm just so tired, so it usually doesn't happen (other than keeping up with their individual blogs, which are essentially letters from me to them). But tonight I'm making an exception.

Maybe because I'm 35 weeks and 5 days pregnant with twin boys and know that things are about to change for our family of five as it grows to a family of seven very soon. I am feeling so overwhelmed as I think of the things on my to-do list that need to be done before their arrival in a couple of weeks, if not sooner (twins are considered full term at 38 weeks). Our house is disheveled because Wendel is remodeling our loft for us (bless his heart - he's devoting every spare minute he has to this project) so everything that was in our loft is now elsewhere and it's a bit cluttered and crazy. I am feeling overwhelmed at the thought of giving enough attention to five children, two of whom will be crying infants. I am feeling overwhelmed with one of my children, who was recently diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Anxiety, and with whom every day feels so difficult and discouraging (and has for a long time). I am feeling inadequate as a mother a lot of the time, definitely as a homemaker (I cannot keep up with our house right now...it feels like the movie Groundhog's Day where, like Bill Murray trying figure out how to keep from reliving February 2nd over and over again, I keep trying to clean it but it always ends up a disaster and my efforts are in vain. It is stressful and frustrating, probably more so with these babies making their arrival any time).

I have always been able to easily focus on the positive but I feel like I'm just a little worn down right now and it's much more difficult to do so lately. This is definitely a difficult phase of life, probably the most difficult we have faced in terms of discouragement and frustration (related to parenting, specifically). I think this might be a good time to list a few things I'm grateful for, to help me re-focus on the positives.


  1. A happy marriage. I'm very grateful for Wendel. 
  2. Our children. They can be very challenging but I am grateful for them and the opportunity I have to be their mother. 
  3. The Spirit. What a truly amazing gift to feel of His promptings and guidance. 
  4. Prayer. Specifically, a relationship with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and a way to communicate with them. 
  5. Eleanor's eye specialists. 
  6. Eleanor's progress with her eye. We really think she has some vision in her little eye, which is such a blessing. 
  7. Our home. 
  8. Wendel's job. 
  9. The gifts I've been blessed with (including a positive disposition, faith and determination, which I rely on daily)
  10. Two baby boys about to join our family. 


22.5 Weeks

May 2017
May 2017 - my stomach does come in handy as a table.
June 2017
31.5 weeks
35.5 weeks and so ready to be done!
Sweet Baby A Ultrasound Picture May 2017 (I can see Josh here)


Sweet Baby B Ultrasound Picture April 2017 (I can see Wendel here)

 Despite this chaotic, stressful time in our lives, I'm grateful for these sweet baby boys about to join our family and for all that we are blessed with. One day at a time.

Friday, January 13, 2017

2016 in Review

It's New Year's Eve and time to write my annual Year in Review post. 

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? Met with a Psychologist and Psychiatrist regarding one of our children. (The Psychologist was somewhat helpful. I was not at all impressed with the Psychiatrist and did not feel good about the medication she prescribed so we're not going that route.)
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  Some, yes. I will make two or three attainable goals. 
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No, not this year. 
4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes. My Paternal Grandfather, Mel Roberts, passed away on April 1, 2016. He had said several times that the only reason he was still around was to take care of my Grandma so it wasn't surprising that he died only six months after her. His health was not good. He was in an assisted care facility, temporarily, when he passed. My cousin, Britney, worked as a nurse there. She said he got up that morning and had oatmeal and did his physical therapy and seemed fine. Later that day, she was in his room with him and he started acting strangely. She said he started talking about how there were so many babies everywhere and then he said, "I'm dying" and he shut down. He had asked not to be resuscitated so the staff did not resuscitate him. I also want to note he told my sister, Lindsey, previously that he had had experiences since my Grandma's death where he spoke with her and she spoke to him. He didn't go into detail about it but I have no doubt that he did. I miss him but I'm glad he is no longer in pain and restricted by his aged, sick mortal body. I am glad he is with his wife and other family members who have gone on before him. He was a good man, one I admire and appreciate. One thing his Bishop said about him at his funeral is that he always expressed gratitude, even when he was in pain. I love that about my Grandpa. I try to be that way too. 
5. What countries did you visit? Maybe someday. 
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? A cleaner, more organized home (especially our bedroom). I really struggle to keep up with it with the demands of our children. I feel like I can only keep up with the basics. Our home isn't dirty and unkept but I feel like the movie Groundhog's Day where I do dishes, laundry, sweep, mop, vacuum and you can't even tell by the end of the day. It's frustrating living that way. Our kids do their contributions but it takes a lot of effort to make sure that gets done and takes away from me doing my jobs. 
7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory and why? December 7, 2016 (the day I found out I'm pregnant with our fourth child!!). 
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Being a good mom to three kids. It takes all I have. 
9. What was your biggest failure? Nothing big - just little frustrations - things I try to be better at and then let slip. 
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing serious. 
11. What was the best thing you bought? Synthetic grass for our backyard. This is what I asked for for Christmas. I want the backyard to be a nice place for the kids to play. We also got the kids a big trampoline and sandbox for Christmas and Wendel is still working on the clubhouse for them. I'm excited to see it all come together.   
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Eleanor continues to do well with the challenges she faces with her eye. She doesn't like patching but she does it, she doesn't like having her contact taken out and put in, but she willingly puts her arms down at her sides so I can sit over them when it's time, and she continues to have a happy, peaceful disposition. Josh has made big strides with potty training this year. In the past several months, he has gone from insisting on only going in his diaper to going pee on his little froggy potty and not wearing a diaper at night. He does fantastic with this and hardly ever has an accident (sometimes at night but not always). He is still working on overcoming his fear of going #2 in Froggy and extreme anxiety of sitting / going on a big toilet but I'm proud of the steps he has made so far. Oliver and I have been working a lot on controlling his emotions. I get a babysitter once a week and spend quality 1:1 time with him (we often go through his workbook "What to Do When Your Temper Flares" and play soccer or get frozen yogurt). I can see some improvement. It is nice to see him making efforts and gaining some confidence in this area. 
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? People I hear about on the news. Sad stories and disappointments in the human race. Still. Always. 
14. Where did most of your money go? The Casa Grande house Wendel is flipping, groceries, our backyard. 
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Finding out I am expecting our fourth child!! (Due August 13, 2017)
16. What song will always remind you of 2016? "Cheap Thrills" by Sia, "Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake, "Cake by the Ocean" by DNCE, "My House" by Flo Rida (these are from my dance class), Stressed Out by 21 Pilots, Ride by 21 Pilots and "Hallelujah" by Cinematic Pop (we went to this concert. I love this song). 
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Just as happy. 
b) thinner or fatter? A little fatter, probably, due to being pregnant. 
c) richer or poorer? Richer, both financially and by way of feeling blessed with our three beautiful children. 
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? My answer is always the same for this question. I always wish I had more time to work on family history - mostly our kids' books. It's very important to me and I want to make it a priority but can't keep up right now with even the basics. I'm just so exhausted. But I have no regrets about the amount of time I spend with our children. That takes priority. I also love that I'm able to keep up with their blogs, which is very important to me. I really want to print their blogs into books like year. 
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? No big regrets in this area. 
20. How did you spend Christmas? Christmas with our kids (and Wendel's sister, Bethaney, and her husband, Jonathan, who had our name for Christmas this year and wanted to watch us open their gift) in the morning and then we went to Wendel's parents' house in the evening. 
21. Did you fall in love in 2016? I will give the same answer as last year because I still feel the same: More in love with my family. Our kids our amazing, my husband is wonderful...I feel incredibly blessed. 
22. What was your favorite TV program? Wendel and I are enjoying "Once Upon a Time" right now. We don't watch much TV but this is a fun one. 
23. What was the best book you read? "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Kurcinka. I liked this book because I felt like I wasn't alone. Other people have been down the road of raising a spirited child. I had a support group, even if only in a book. 
24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Cinematic Pop. Such amazing talent! Wendel and I went to high school with the writer and conductor, Rob Gardner, as well as some of the people in the group. 
25. What did you want and get? Synthetic grass in our backyard. Wendel is almost done installing it. Yay! 
26. What did you want and not get? Nothing comes to mind. 
27. What was your favorite film of this year? Nothing comes to mind. We don't go to see many movies. Life is busy. 
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 37 this year. Birthdays are pretty low-key. I honestly don't remember much about it. I'm sure it was good but a lot has happened since then. Plus pregnancy brain. 
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I feel like having a clean and organized home + having time to spend on family history stuff would bring satisfaction, but on the other hand, I would have to give up other things to make those happen and I'm not sure the tradeoff would be worth it. I feel like I'm keeping the most important things as the most important things right now. 
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? I look and dress like a mom most of the time. It's who I am. 
31. What kept you sane? My answer is the same as last year: Wendel. Always Wendel. We're in this crazy, survival time together. Also, my testimony keeps me grounded. I would be a different person without it, I think. 
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? None, really.
33. What political issue stirred you the most? The election this year was agonizing. I didn't identify with any of the candidates and went back and forth for a long time on voting for Trump, just to vote against Hillary, or voting third party, because I couldn't stand to vote for either Trump or Hillary. I liked some things about Hillary: her views on immigration and empowering girls to follow their dreams. I did not agree with her liberal views of spending, her stance on gun control, and especially her view of abortion (supporting abortion at 36 weeks, which she says is due to the safety of the mother, but there are other ways to ensure her safety without aborting), among other things. I also felt she was not trustworthy. I just didn't feel good about her. The same goes for Trump. I couldn't trust him and was appalled by the way he  has treated women in the past. I don't agree with his stance on immigration (breaking up families to send people back to Mexico, including children) but I agree with several of his other policies. In the end, I voted third party. It felt like a lose / lose / lose situation. 
34. Who did you miss? Same as last year: I miss my sister, Lindsey, a lot. I love that we're closer since she had a baby. We're finally at the same place in life (we're nine years apart) and I love being able to relate with her. 
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015: Just because something is difficult doesn't mean it isn't right. Similarly, just because something is right does not mean it's going to be easy. In fact, it usually isn't. I have seen this several times throughout my life...my mission, being engaged to and marrying Wendel and the trial of my faith that went along with that, going to Graduate School while being pregnant and having our first child, moving to Arizona, and most recently, the decision to have a fourth child (we received such strong, undeniable promptings about having another child but it is definitely not easy being pregnant in my late 30s while taking care of three other active, demanding children). 
36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: 
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise

[Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Robert Robinson] *My favorite hymn. 

I chose these lyrics because I feel my Heavenly Father did have to tune my heart to be in accordance to His will (regarding having another child) and I have definitely seen many streams of mercy throughout this past year. Tender mercies which definitely call for praise. Tender mercies with Eleanor's eye, her surgeries, Josh's hand surgery going well (and his accident not being more severe), getting through his anxiety (from the accident) with therapy, making strides with Oliver, being strengthened to meet the demands before us (with family, callings, Wendel's job), having the Spirit as our companions to guide us through this life, having good friends, support from family, being blessed by Wendel's job, and so many other things. It has certainly been a challenging year but it has been filled with too many blessings to count. 

37. What are your resolutions for 2017? I would like to set up a better system for backing up and streamlining the photos we take. Organization and family history are a given. 




Sunday, November 6, 2016

New Beginnings

I got released from my two favorite callings ever today: Sunday School Teacher for the 10/11 year-olds and Activity Days Leader for the 10/11 year-old girls. It was an emotional day but I also felt the Spirit so strongly as I bore my testimony to the Primary Children in my new role as Second Counselor in the Primary Presidency. These children are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. They are precious to Him. They are the next generation. I'm grateful I will have the opportunity to teach and bare testimony to them in this capacity (though, admittedly, a little nervous, as I know nothing about the Scouting Program, which I will be working with). I've said it before, but it rings true again that whenever we put our hearts into something, we leave a piece of us behind. Here's to new beginnings.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Healthier Chicken Pillows

Chicken Pillows are a favorite of my children and husband (me, not so much). Being kind of a health nut, I don't like making these as often as they are requested (which is weekly). The original version calls for a cream cheese, sour cream and chicken mixture inside of crescent roll dough, with the uncooked rolls dipped in melted butter, bread crumbs and then covered with a condensed chicken soup gravy. While still not the healthiest meal ever, this version makes me a little more comfortable serving it to my family frequently.

Healthier Chicken Pillows 


  • Shredded chicken taco meat (I usually plan to make these the day after I make chicken tacos with the leftover meat) or plain shredded chicken meat. 
  • 2 containers of Pillsbury Crescent rolls
  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese 
  • Fresh spinach (or other vegetable, such as zuchinni, shredded carrot, etc)
  • Olive oil
  • Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • Homemade cheese sauce from Skinnytaste 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Mix shredded chicken and cream cheese together. Lay out the Pillsbury triangles so two triangles go together to form a square. Put a scoop of the chicken mixture on each square and add some torn spinach leaves. Bring the corners of the dough together at the top. Brush each "pillow" with a little olive oil on the top and bottom of the pillow and roll it in a bowl of Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Put the pillows on the cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.



















































For the cheese sauce:

1 1/2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups skim milk
1 cup fat free chicken broth (vegetarians use vegetable broth)
8 oz (2 cups) reduced-fat sharp cheddar (Cabot 50%)
salt and fresh pepper to taste

In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter. Add flour and cook another minute, or until the flour is golden and well combined. Add milk and chicken broth and whisk, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil; cook about 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes smooth and thick. Season with salt (or seasoning salt) and pepper. Once the sauce is thick, remove from heatadd cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Cover a pillow with cheese sauce and enjoy.






Thursday, August 25, 2016

My "Mom Mission Statement"

My friend Emily Poland posted on Facebook recently, asking her mom friends to share: "What's important to you? What legacy do you want to leave your children? And what pitfalls are you working to avoid?" She's putting together a Mom Mission Statement and wanted some inspiration. I really love this idea so I'm sharing mine here. 

...........................................................

My Mom Mission Statement

I want to teach my children to "never be weary of good works" (Alma 37:34), to recognize how the Spirit speaks to them and to have faith and courage to act on those promptings, that they can do hard things, that just because something is hard, doesn't mean it isn't right, to be kind to others, to be accepting of differences, to serve and love others, that the key to feeling happy is serving others, to cherish the scriptures, to get along with and love each other as siblings (this is a huge focus right now), to appreciate diversity, to eat healthy and take care of their bodies, to value education, to find what they are passionate about and pursue it, to make a life plan and make goals to accomplish it, I want them to know that sacrifices often make experiences sacred (take parenthood for example), to love books and learning, I want to teach them responsibility (contributing to family responsibilities is a big focus as well), to be respectful, to say sorry and ask for forgiveness when they're in the wrong (I get lots of opportunities to lead by example with this one), to "be patient in thy afflictions" (D&C 24:8), to have open communication, confidence but also humble hearts, to know of their worth as children of God and as my children, to make wise financial decisions, to appreciate their ancestors and what they can learn from them, to know of my constant love for them, to cultivate a good life and record it, to remember that "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass" (Alma 37:6), and to have a good relationship with their Heavenly Father ("Cry unto God for all thy support...let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord, let the affections of they heart be placed on the Lord forever...counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and He will direct thee for good." Alma 37: 36-37). I strive to engage their minds, to encourage play, and to say "I love you" as often as I can. I strive to offer choices to teach them decision-making skills, keep my emotions under control, remember that they are kids and they are an amazing blessing and they only have one childhood.