Women and the 2nd Amendment

My husband and I have recently felt the need to have guns and Concealed Carry Permits. There are so many awful stories on the news. I can’t even watch it any more. I am absolutely terrified that I will be attacked in the parking lot. Every time I go to the store, I constantly think that will happen. But honestly, I’m more afraid of what will happen if I don’t have the protection that I need. I am worried that I will not be able to protect my self or my kids. I cannot control what others do, but I can control my end. If I’m going to be attacked, I can control how I handle the situation. I can practice with my fire arm. I can take self defense courses. I can learn the laws and appropriately enforce my rights.

We are getting guns and taking the CCW course.

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This is the gun that I am getting. Ruger SP 101. We went shooting on Saturday and I shot so many guns. This one was by far my favorite. It fit my hand so perfectly and was a clean smooth shot. The recoil was not bad at all. I am excited to get it and practice as much as possible.

Learning self defense does not stop when you get a gun. That is actually the beginning. You need to practice withdrawing your fire arm. You need to safely role-play with your instructor or family members. You need to learn how to escape life threatening situations. Owning a gun irresponsibly is worse than not having one at all. If you do not arm your self with knowledge, you put your self at higher risk.

Also with owning a gun, you need to appropriately teach your kids gun safety. I’m not an expert on how to do this yet. But I can refer you to my new favorite website: The Well Armed Women. I will also read so many books on this! My daughter is only one year old, so I intend to knock the curiosity right out of her. I will teach her and show it to her. I will  learn as much as I can about children and gun safety before she gets old enough to do any thing with it.

On The Well Armed Women website, I read all of the women survival stories. So many women were able to defend themselves because they had their fire arm. Others wished they would have had it. As my mom always says: I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. If you are considering getting a gun for self defense, I encourage you to read those stories. It can happen to any one, even YOU and your family. Don’t let it. Be the protector of your home. Keep yourself and your family safe from all those crazies out there.

this house is protected by the good lord and a gun

(Click pictures for links)

WM DON'T MESS WITH THIS GIRL

I will read as many books and take as many classes as possible to make sure my family stays safe – at home and in public.

Do not mess with this momma bear.

Period.

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Messes < Memories

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I learned something new about my sweet girl recently. SHE IS STILL LEARNING. (Duh, right?) We all know it, but we forget that they are still learning when our littles want to help us. We forget that they have never seen most of the stuff we see or do on a regular basis.

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Lately, I’ve been letting my one year old help me with dinner. She is SUCH a good helper! I show her what to get out of the fridge, she grabs it and puts it down on the floor. I grab the bowl, bring it to the floor and talk her through how we cook and what I’m putting in there. She just LOVES IT! She just sits squats there and watches me. When it is time to mix, I make sure to grab two forks/spoons/whisks. And she helps stir!! I cannot believe how smart she is! You should see how excited she gets when I start getting ready to cook. She knows when I’m going to let her help.

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On Sunday, we made a peanut butter chocolate pie for family dinner. Her favorite part was licking the bowl. 🙂

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Some times it gets messy, but messes can be cleaned up. I’d rather make the memories. 🙂 This girl is my motivation. I ache to be a work at home mom. When I get discouraged with my job, I just have to tell myself “Soon, Amanda. Soon you’ll be home”. Until then, we’ll spend our evenings cooking together. 🙂

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Thanks for visiting. 🙂 See you tomorrow!

-Amanda

The importance of talking to your kids about sex.

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This is always a hard topic to address. Yes, it is an intimate subject – because it’s an intimate and sacred activity to participate in. For some reason, parents are so intimidated to talk to their kids about sex. I’m going to start off by saying: It is no ones job but YOURS to talk to YOUR kids about sex.

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Both my mom and grandma were teenage parents. And in both instances, the biological father did not stick around. Luckily my mom and grandma both later married wonderful men, who I proudly can call my dad and grandpa. Clearly sex wasn’t talked about appropriately in the generations before me.

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(this is my Grandma, Grandpa and mom at my wedding)

I remember when I was about 8 years old, I was at the store with my grandma. Earlier that week, I had heard someone say that you should only have kids when your married. That confused me as a young girl because I knew that my mom was not married when she had me and my older sister. So I asked my grandma “How can people that aren’t married have babies?”. I don’t remember what my Grandma said, but she obviously talked to my mom. I remember my mom bringing up the topic in the car one day. I remember that it was short and sweet and to the point. “People don’t have to be married to have babies, they just have to have sex.” – that might be paraphrased a little but it’s as best as I could remember. But that was all that was said. It didn’t turn into a long conversation of who, what, why, when or how. It was just left at that.

I was in 3rd grade the first time I heard my peers talk about sex. I learned about sex through peers. My mom always said “If you are going to do it, be safe about it!” But I don’t remember ever having a conversation about the different types of contraceptives. I’m pretty sure I learned that in school.

I was 16 when I lost my virginity. And the guy was a TOTAL jerk. I went to his house “to watch a movie”. He gave me my first beer and… well, you can put the rest of the story together. I struggled a lot after that point. Constantly feeling the need to feel wanted, attractive and loved, I had multiple partners. I just thought that’s what your supposed to do when you are dating. No one ever told me other wise. I didn’t have good quality friends at that time. In fact, the quality friends I had before I had sex, decided that it was best that we weren’t friends any more. I lost sight of my dreams, goals and ambitions. And I was confused with my sexuality. I got into drugs and alcohol. I snuck out at night and wouldn’t come home. I was a mess.

When I was 17, I was with a friend at a party. We were the only two girls there with 7 or 8 guys. We were all intoxicated. My friend went in the back room with one of the guys. I didn’t know any of these boys so I had told another guy that I didn’t want to go back with him. I heard one of the boys say “lets rape her”.

Terrified, I snuck away to my car, locked the doors, drove my car around the block and called any friends that I thought would be up at 2 am. My friend, Jeron came to my rescue. To this day, I am incredibly grateful for his willingness to be there for me at a drop of a hat. He left on his mission shortly after that. I wrote him a lot while he was out. He not only saved me that scary night, but he saved my spirit. In our letters, he never once talked to me about the church. But he treated me like a person, he never judged and he was just there. Always.

In December of 2008 after getting one of his letters, I took a look at my life. I didn’t like where my life was headed. It was a dark scary road that I no longer wanted to be part of.

At the time, I feel like my transformation took FOREVER. But looking back, it was pretty quick. But it was baby steps.

I started by moving back with my dad. I was living in a house with several roommates and there were always parties there. I figured I couldn’t change if I didn’t move. After I moved back with my dad, I said “No more sex, no more alcohol.” I was proud of my self for sticking with it. In June of 2009 I went to church for the first time in YEARS. I went with Jeron’s family before he came home from his mission. Jeron came home from his mission at the end of June and took me to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House on July 9 2009. I remember falling in love with this temple. In 2011 I took my endowments out at this temple. 🙂

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I also approached one of my old friends, Patricia. We had lost contact and our friendship fell apart when I started misbehaving. I apologized to her and asked if we could be friends again.

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I kept going to church. In September of 2009, I went to a Young Single Adult activity with Patricia’s ward. I met my husband there. My husband and I were not sealed when we were married, but we were sealed 13 months after.

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Thinking back on it, I pin point my mess of teenage years to that one summer day. I spent the day a lone with the JERK at his house. I think “If I would have never went there that day, I would have been a perfect teenager”. But that’s not true. If it wasn’t that day, it would have been another. I wasn’t armed with the knowledge that I needed to avoid it. This story is MY story. I may not be proud of my past, but I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for the mistakes I made.

I do however think this could have been avoided if sex would have been addressed early, often and thoroughly in my home. I will repeat: IT IS NO ONES JOB BUT YOURS TO TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX. If you don’t talk to them about it who will? The boy your daughter has a crush on? Your son’s buddies? Will their curiosity lead them to pornography? Do you really think other children and the media are the most reliable source to teach your kids about sex? Do you really think their sex ed teacher will pull them each a side and tell them how special their purity is? If you think that, you are NAIVE! No wonder babies are having babies. I don’t want my daughter to have the same teen years that I did.

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Talk to your kids! Tell them how special their wedding night will be if they wait. Talk to them about dating and what is appropriate. Be involved in their lives. Make sure they aren’t going to some ones house a lone. Know their friends personally. Group dates are best. Dates should always be in public; group or single. Talk to your daughter about how boys should treat her. Defend her. Demand respect for your daughter. Teach your sons how to treat a lady. Teach them how to open doors. Make sure your son’s don’t honk for their date. In return, make sure your daughters don’t come out if her date does have the edacity to honk! Teach your kids to be respectful. Teach your kids the blessings of following Heavenly Father’s plan. Have a strict curfew. Set rules and follow through with consequences. You are not their friend, you are their parent. Help them feel special, beautiful and loved. Take them to church. Don’t shelter them. Sheltered teens are rebellious teens. Be an example. Dads, hold the door open for women. Moms, dress modestly. Demand respect for your self and your kids. Your kids will do what they see.

As you can see, there are lots of opportunities to approach this.  There are so many opportunities and no one takes them these days.

Teen pregnancy is 100% preventable. Guarding your kid’s purity is so so so so important!! If you need help, I’ve provided a few websites for resources. I also LOVE the way this mom talked to her daughter about sex.

www.stayteen.org

http://www.valuesparenting.com/talktokids.php

http://www.parenting.com/article/talking-to-kids-about-sex-21335549

Good luck.

-Amanda.

10 activities that will help your toddler learn

My one year old, Chelae (pronounced sha-lay), and I went on a walk a few weeks ago. Since she is really good at walking now, I decided to let her walk instead of taking the stroller. It was so fun to see the world through a child’s eye! She was so enamored by the sprinklers, the grass, the bushes. She had never really seen or felt any of those things. It was so fun to watch. The best part is, we never felt rushed. I just walked around and let her explore. SHE LOVE IT! I feel like she learned so much that day! I think everyone needs to slow down and play with their kids more. Let them learn. Let them get dirty. Let them live. Take time to focus on letting your kids learn new things.

When she is getting into all the cupboards, its hard not to think ‘Hey, get out of there!” She’s just learning. She doesn’t know what a curling iron is. So it looks like fun to play with. I need to remember that more. She’s learning.

According to Albert Einstein, play is the highest form of research.

So if you are like me (and almost any other mom) you are probably always feeling like you don’t get out and do much. Here is a list of 10 activities you can do with your toddlers to help them learn new things. All of these are so simple, and you probably have the stuff lying around your house. I’m cheap. So are these ideas.

1. Let them play in a bucket of water. Put toys in the water that they don’t play with in the bathtub already. Like spoons and cups. This is best for out side when it is warm. It’s starting to get cold here, so I did this activity in my kitchen. It was messy. But it was just water! Easy clean up and she had a blast!

2. Let them put balls in a tissue box. They love it! And it enhances fine motor skills.

3. Cut up paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls into smaller circular rolls. let them put it in the spaces in a muffin tin.

4. Find several different textures around your house or out side. Walk around and show them how cool each item is.

5. Put together a “learning basket” you can put ribbons, magnets, brushes, little hoops, pom poms and pipe cleaners. Let them dig right into this basket. They will learn new textures and shapes.

6. Put rice or uncooked beans in a Tupperware or mason jar. Let them shake it around.

7. Let them play with your pots/pans or bowls.

8. edible finger paints. Some people just use baby foods for these. My mom used whipped cream and food coloring.

9. Marble painting. Put a piece of card stock at the bottom of a Tupperware. Add marbles and a couple drops of different colored paint. Put a lid on it and let them go to town on their own art piece!

10. Show them how they can put golf tees in a foam square.

I’ve tried a few of these, but I found a lot of these ideas by searching pinterest. I’m going to try some new ones!

What ones have you tried? Do you have any other ideas? I’d love to hear them! 🙂

Thanks for joining me for Thinkin’ Tuesdays. Come back tomorrow for Workin’ Wednesdays!

Service opportunities in SLC that your kids can do too!

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Get this here.

I’m not nearly as spiritual as most members of my faith. But I do believe in good values. Service is where my heart is. I want to volunteer a lot this season. I have a one year old daughter, so finding services for her to get involved in and understand what is going on is kind of hard. But, I can teach by example. Kids understand emotion. They know when people are happy and sad. She gets when she does something nice. There is nothing wrong with starting young.  As the holiday season is fast approaching, I’d like to take a moment to remind you of different charities/volunteer work/service projects you can do with your kids. These are great around Christmas time, but can (and should) be thought about all other times of year. Hopefully it will help encourage to offer your services throughout the year.

The Christmas Box House is a home for children 11 and younger who have been separated from their homes due to abuse or neglect. These children rely on the services of others. Volunteers have to be 12 years or older and your group size can be up to 10 at a time. If you have older children you can volunteer your time, or even families with younger children can also provide gifts for the children. To find out what items the kids need/want go to this link. If you would like to learn more about volunteer services, please email keeley@thechristmasboxhouse.org.

Primary Childrens Hospital is always looking for blankets and craft kits. You can make those and get your kids involved to help make them. They also have a need for different toys and new clothing. There are lots of sick children there that could use our help. For more information about what products you can donate click here.

My mother in law always liked to help families in her neighborhood. My husbands family and 3 other families would pull together and provide pillowcases full of gifts to a family in need. They called themselves the pillowcase bandits. They custom made each pillowcase with the child’s name on it. That whole pillowcase was gifts just for that child. The families providing the service would have the kids take the pillowcases up to the door, ring the bell and run away. The kids loved it. I’ve always thought that was a great way to get your kids involved with service.

One year, my sisters and I appeared extremely ungrateful for the gifts that we received. My mom said “No more!” So the next year, she said we are going to give, not receive. It taught us a huge lesson and I will always remember it. She took us out shopping and instead of getting presents for us, we got to help shop for families in need. We were involved with every part of the process! Including offering ideas, shopping, packaging and delivering. It put a new meaning of Christmas in my mind that I will never erase.

I think overall, teach your kids to do something nice for some one in need! This is something that we should do more than at Christmas time. This is my favorite resource with great ideas to help get your kids involved!

 

Questions to think about

1. Does my family often volunteer our time or services to families in need?

2. Do we get caught up in buying TONS of stuff for our kids each year?

3. What valuable lessons can we teach our kids about helping others?

 

Make A Goal:

Think about an area that you want to focus on. Do you want your kids to have a big or small part in the service? Do you know a family in need? What can you do to help them this week? Set aside time to brainstorm with your family. I bet your kids know some great ideas and will surprise you. Make a goal that is realistic to your family schedule and financial commitments.