Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's fun to stay at the...

It's true. I've finally joined up!
Mckenna started preschool a couple of weeks ago and her school just happens to be close to the Y. I figured I could spend the two hours trolling around stores in the area, go back home, or take the advice of my wife and work out at a gym nearby. And so I find myself in sweats and a t-shirt signing up at my YMCA on Friday. Forty five minutes later, complete drenched in sweat, I hobble off the elliptical machine I just abused (or was it the other way round) and realize that I should have stretched FIRST before starting my workout. Silly me. Live and learn. I now have a plan to work out during the time that Kenna is at preschool, which is Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 AM to 11:30 AM. At the Y there is this room where all the equipment and machines are all hooked up to a central computer that keeps track of your exercising. You can set goals and monitor your progress. Plus you get to win t-shirts with every achievement level you progress to. I'm hoping that the t-shirts I win will get smaller with each level. Wish me luck!

I cleaned the church building today!

The title says it all.

No, but seriously folks. Serving is a blessing. I am going to be teaching Elders Quorum tomorrow on Lesson 13 in the TPC Joseph Smith Manual. In preparation I have been listening to the lesson over and over on my PSP in MP3 format to get me more acclimated to it for when I actually sit down and try to plan the lesson, say an hour before church begins. (slacker, i know) Well, there is this one phrase that Brother Joseph uses that seems to stick every time I hear it. It is, "No month ever found me more busily engaged than November; but as my life consisted of activity and unyielding exertions, I made this my rule: When the Lord commands, do it."

So it was with this same determination that I answered the phone at 8:15 this morning to the sound of my father-in-law, Rod, asking me to show up at the church to clean. And so it was done. I just wish I could be as diligent in cleaning my own house.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Parenting and Ponies

I once remember a wise man (who is actually my good friend Jared Newlun) say to never make a promise (aka - threat) to a child and not follow through. And so it was today at Mckenna's preschool that these words of wisdom came flooding back to me in the moment when I began to say, "Mckenna, if you don't apologize to Trevor for kicking the cars he was playing with, you won't get to ride the ponies that your teacher paid to come to school today."

Now, up until this point, at least for a few weeks, I had known that ponies were going to be there that day and wanted nothing more than for my daughter to be able to ride them. In that heated moment, I decided that I was in control and if Mckenna didn't want to do the right thing, and apologize then she certainly didn't want to ride the ponies.

My heart was crushed when the words spilled forth out of my mouth. I had to place all my faith and hope in my little girl that she would choose the right. Not only so she could learn the principle of compassion but also so she could enjoy the ponies later.

She fought me with a fury that I had only seen previously in her mother. Stubborn as all hell and just as determined. About half of her class had already had their turns on the pony and her name was called to go next. She still hadn't said sorry.

I excused us from the classroom and Mckenna and I had a little talk outside. I told her again that if she didn't want to say sorry then she didn't want to go on the ponies. Secretly and earnestly I was pleading and yearning in my heart that she would break, all the while trying to communicate to her with my body language and facial expressions that I didn't care if she got on that blasted pony or not.

Parenting & teaching correct principles = mental anguish (sometimes)

Final, after asking many times if she was ready to make restitution she agreed. We made our way back inside and crossed the room to Trevor. By this time just about all the kids had taken their turns on the ponies and Mckenna's turn was coming (and going) fast. As we both stood there facing Trevor in an eternity of silence, I found myself craving a pair of vocal pliers to pull that five letter word up through Mckenna's timid body and out of her vice clamped mouth.

When it seemed that almost all hope had been lost along with her pony ride, Mckenna offered a muffled 'stharry' into the corner of her elbow aimed at Trevor. She had barely redeemed herself and her pony ride.

The whole ordeal had taken it's emotional toll on her. She almost 'lost it' a few times before even sitting on the pony for a picture and also while she was on him, but that was mostly to Oreo swatting at imaginary flies and moving around alot more with Kenna on him that any other time. The pictures will turn out awful. That was very frustrating to me, you know? We worked so hard to make it all the way here, now here is a place that we don't want to be. Poop. She did better when it came to riding around on Ranger though.

Then we went to the library. Fun!