February 2, 2003

Posted by Ryan on Sunday, February 2, 2003

Fun Stuff

We started the New Year out right with the traditional Alaskan king crab dinner with the Heatons on New Years Day. We look forward to that meal all year!

Ty's second birthday (January 9th) was just perfect for him. He met some friends for a little party at McDonald's in the morning. He got his first bubble gum machine from Andrew Strong and didn't want to let go of it. He was most excited to see Ben. Whenever we talk about Ben he says "Ty Ty" since that's what Ben calls him. (Unfortunately-due to a communication failure-we missed Ben's birthday the next week.) After a much needed nap we went outside to throw rocks then went with the Heaton's to Chuckee Cheese. He was pretty nervous about the mouse but was very adventurous in the balls. He loved throwing them through the little crawling tunnel. He also loved ski ball-especially putting the token in the slot then retrieving the tickets afterwards. By the end of the day he was almost too tired for presents and was too tired for his tractor cake. We saved it for Sunday to celebrate with the Halls.

There is nothing more fun than watching Ty learn new words and phrases as he seems to gain more personality all the time. He has learned what "funny" means and when we laugh he laughs along (even though he doesn't understand) and says "funny." He also uses the same upward voice inflection as mom when he asks things like "oh, where's the ballie" or "I'm up high" or "I want the yellow juice." He is so happily entertained by throwing then chasing balls around the house and throwing them behind obstacles then climbing over or around to get them out. It has also been warm enough to go digging with his shovel in the dirt and to throw rocks down the hill. Tamie and him go on walks in the afternoon and love to look for the mailman, any tractors, birdies, doggies, and especially the white bunny that lives on Grandma and Grandpa Halls hill. He calls Buffy the dog "fuffy" and can say everyone's name (Daniel, Robert, Jenna, etc). He loves pointing out the letters "A, O, N, and T" and the colors "blue, yellow, red, purple, pink and for green he always says 'that.'"

There are a lot of fun things going on during the week for Mom and Ty. We love to see the other kids at Kindermusik and nursery. We go to the library once a week to sing, read and learn a letter for story time. This week we did "Q" and quacked and sang like ducks. He stays very observant but doesn't like to participate too much yet. His favorite thing at the library is to find tractor books. The trick is getting him to return them.

Ryan and I just finished a "hypnobirthing" class to assist us in this upcoming labor. We feel great about it and are so excited to welcome this little guy. The basic idea taught is that our anxiety and fear of or in labor all release catecholamine that create pain and tension in the body. If we can learn to relax (deeply relax) and let the body get out of the baby's way during labor then endorphins will work as a natural anesthesia and all the benefits of being able to "listen to your body" will allow for a safer and easier labor experience. The relaxing techniques have been very helpful for life in general and we are confident they will help us labor as well. We hope a report will SOON follow of how it all goes.

We were lucky enough to get two gift certificates to Macaroni Grill for Christmas. Tamie dared venture out this time from her favorite dish to get the grilled salmon with spinach orzo pasta. Usually venturing out doesn't measure up to the regular spinach, lemon butter, pine nut, shrimp pasta-but this time it was great. We recommend it!

We got to go see My Big Fat Greek Wedding for date night this week. We thought it was hilarious and the message about being part of your family with all the good and the bad was choice. The implied message that they slept together was totally unnecessary and we think it would have added much greater value if the importance of chastity was emphasized as part of Greek culture. Oh well. We left uplifted and have fun joking about Windex, spitting on people, etc.

Announcements

Kayden Robert Roxburgh was given a beautiful blessing last month and is now over three months old and getting cuter all the time. Before we know it he'll be old enough to play with Ty.

Ricky Vigoran (Tamie's cousin) was baptized last month. Nothing can compare to the feeling of a baptism and the sacred commitments being made.

Marcy (Tamie's cousin) and Aaron just had a little baby boy. His name is Spencer Aaron and he was 9 lbs 5 oz and 21 inches long (if our information is correct). The new family is doing well and we are so happy for them. We're excited to have a little boy cousin so close to ours.

Katie (Tamie's sister) on top of taking 18 credits just got a job as a receptionist and potential teacher at weight watchers. She's doing so great on the program and will be an excellent help to others. She also started teaching piano lessons to a couple people so no one can say she isn't keeping busy.

Chris's (Ryan's brother) social life is overflowing with "good friends." He's driving four of them, all girls, to San Diego over President's day weekend. If anyone can squeeze any girl information out of him please pass it along because he is very secretive.

Less than two weeks until our due date. Anyone who wants to send a prediction about when this baby will come and how much he'll weigh can reply to this newsletter with their guess and win the "first to be called" and/or "first to hold the baby" prize.

Spiritual Lessons


Feeding the Wrong Dog

It's very hard to understand how movies, television, or other media could be damaging when they reflect values we don't agree with. The rationalization usually breaks down to: "Well, it's not like I'm going to participate in any immorality or violence-I know those things are wrong."

I'm so grateful for a story I heard today in Stake conference told by Elder James B. MacDonald, Area Authority Seventy for our stake. I don't think the principle could be better illustrated:

An Indian chief had a son who was somewhat rebellious. Time after time of investigation into problems that would arise in the tribe, the chief would discover that his son was involved in some way in the source of the problem.

One day, after a tribal meeting, the chief approached his son. With sincerity, the chief asked his son "Why is it that I find you so often at the source of the problems we face in the tribe?"

His son looked ashamedly at his father and responded: "Father, it's as if there are two dogs within my heart that are constantly fighting. One dog is the wrong dog, and the other is the right dog. Father, sometimes the wrong dog wins."

The chief looked at his son with compassion. "My son," he said, "I know the dogs of which you speak, for they are found fighting in every human soul. Victory lies in refusing to feed the wrong dog." (Told by Elder James B. MacDonald, Area Authority Seventy, at the BYU 10th Stake Conference, February 2, 2003)

Whether we actually do what the media portrays and glorifies or not, we feed the wrong dog when we participate. We give the adversary that much more power to tempt us and it gets harder and harder to resist the temptations with which we do struggle.


The Name of God in Vain

Have you ever been annoyed by the question "What would Jesus do?" I think we can all relate to the frustration and bitterness we feel when somebody is trying to use that question to get us to feel guilty about doing something they think we shouldn't be doing.

Parents particularly use this question in an attempt to manipulate their kids. Tamie and I have always felt using guilt to manipulate your kids was wrong, but we've never been able to articulate why. Because we really should strive to do what Jesus would do, or to do what the prophet tells us, or to honor our father and mother.

Our answer was found in 2 Nephi along with Nephi's prophesies of the last days. See 2 Nephi 26: 29-32, 2 Nephi 27: 27, and 2 Nephi 28: 3.

Nephi tells us that there are many priests in our day who claim to be of the Lord, but their works are in the dark. They practice priestcraft-they use the name of the Lord to instill guilt or fear into the hearts of men so they can get gain-whether it be money, glory, or power.

So how often do we as parents practice priestcraft? How often do we take the name of God in vain to get gain? We do it every time we use His name to instill guilt or fear instead of patiently teaching correct principles-such as the mercy and love of God-and allowing the exercise of free agency.

How beautiful it is to note that He who had every right to use the name of the Lord never used it to instill guilt or fear to motivate a decision. He always used patience, longsuffering, kindness, faith, hope, and charity. May we learn to be more like Him as we teach the truth to our families.


Pride from Insecurity

We all know how dangerous it is to be overconfident in ourselves. Some of the most famous stories in the scriptures are about the fall of the pridefully overconfident-those who seek for power and glory. We're all very sensitive to boastfulness-we can easily see it in others, and we're loathe to say things that may come across as boastful or immodest for fear of sounding prideful.

But Tamie and I have come to notice lately how much more often pride stems not from overconfidence but from insecurity. We're so afraid that we're not good enough that we won't admit that we've done something wrong-we won't repent.

It's this kind of pride that President Benson refers to as "pride looking up." It's this kind of pride that is at the root of tearing others down to make ourselves look better. And it surfaces in so many other ways.

So although we definitely need to beware of boastfulness or overconfidence, we must also beware of our insecurities. The remedy:

"Let they bowels also be full of charity towards all men; and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall they confidence wax strong in the presence of God" (D&C 121: 45)

Love,

Us