Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Sign of the Times

We are trying to raise good Christian boys. Boys with testimonies of who they are, where they came from, and where they are going. Sometimes we are so pleased. Sometimes we are, well...

When Taran was around two years old he was quietly sitting on the floor playing with a white cloth napkin. He would pick it up in two fingers and drop it to see what shape it made. One drop made peaks of different sizes. He looked at it and then said so sweetly, “Temple. House a’ da’ Lord.”
We were shocked and surprised, pleasantly.
Then Taran got a really intense look on his face and clenched his whole body and concentrating on his newly made temple, he proclaimed, “Burns! Burns in the firebox.”

One morning as I was kneeling down to say my prayers Enoch came to ask where his “letter shirt” was. I told him that it was probably dirty. He said it wasn't and needed to wear it. I told him to go find it. He was adamant I find it.
Finally, since I was on my knees and wanted to say my prayers (teaching opportunity)I said, “You can pray and ask Heavenly Father for help to find your shirt.”
Enoch replied contemptuously, “He’s not coming down.”

Background: We try to teach our children Baby Signs so they can communicate with us before they can talk. The only signs we've really had any luck with are "more" and "all gone." "All gone" is performed by putting both hands in front of you, palms up and gently shaking them back and forth to show that there is nothing there.
So, while sitting reading my scriptures on my bed Calvin joined me. He rifled through my scripture case and found my scripture journal. Calvin looked at it and announced, "Jeeesaah [Jesus]. Nandy [Candy] all gone."

Onward Christian soldiers...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Miss Emma Daisie Martin invites you to join her for a
Birthday Tea Party
celebrating her 9th birthday on
June 7th, 2008.
Games will begin at noon.
Tea, lemonade, refreshments & cake will be served at 12:30,
the party will then commence with charming entertainments, ending promptly at 2pm.
Please wear an elegant party dress for this afternoon tea.
You may also wish to don a hat and gloves.
Miss Martin lives at South Avenue.

Emma turned 9! Well, she will soon. We had her party early so her school friends could come, of course, none were able to attend. Still, we had a wonderful time with neighbors and church friends. After all, Emma had been planning her Birthday Tea for 5 months!
We were inspired by finding white gloves in the dollar bins at Target. From there, we spent some months looking for pretty tea cups and accessories at second hand stores. The games and invitations were discussed at length (Please see May 29th post, "I'm Going To Be a Better Mom, I Promise.") The menu was also a topic of great debate.
Finally, the night before, everything was together. The decorations and food were finished the morning of. Unexpectedly, but happily, fortunately, providentially, blessedly, my sister Kirsti came for the weekend. She helped a ton. (Thank you Kirsti, the party would not have been as much fun for me without your calm, steady help.)

The party started with a guessing game, charades, and light chatter. The girls were SOOO prim and proper. It was adorable, but after a bit, a little too stale. I had to remind Emma that it was a party and they were allowed to laugh.

Here are the girls in all their finery in front of the table.
The menu:
raspberry herbal tea with cream & sugar, lemonade, crustless-mini PB&J, mini-corn dogs, and mini-pizzas (they are only 6-10 years old), strawberries, apples, frosted cookies, and petite-fours. They ate like dainty locusts.

Here Kirsti pours out the tea. Each girl was able to choose her tea cup and then take it home as a favor. (Did I thank you Kirsti?)

As the girls relaxed, the party became much more lively. Here they play Pass the Parcel. Soon they were telling questionable grade school jokes. They had fun.

Emma in her almost-nine-years-old glory. Happy Birthday my Daisie!

Post Script I had a great time. It was so fun to be graceful and girlie. Watching the little ladies ham it up proper was a delight. I may have gone a bit overboard, but she she's my only girl after all. Still, I don't think I'll have the energy to put together another party like this until her reception.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Martin Quote

David [while laying out on the sofa with papers]: I need to read [study] tonight.
Lisa: You'd better not sit like that, you'll fall asleep.
David: No, I won't.
[Repeat every other night.]

Notice the sock action.
What's that about?
Until he sees this post, he'll have no idea I took this picture.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Reuben, Rueben I've Been Thinking...

Sometime in college, I took a class where the gender neutral debate was discussed with some heat. Are boys and girls forced into gender roles by society or do they naturally choose them? We couldn't come to a conclusion. Some in the seminar were convinced that "society provides a string of prescriptions, templates, or models of behaviours appropriate to the one sex or the other" (Connell, R 1987, Gender & Power, Polity Press, Cambridge.), while others took the "snips & snails" and "sugar & spice" philosophy. I myself was confused. Growing up with three brothers, my motto was "Anything you can do, I can do better." I wasn't quite sure what side of the fence that viewpoint put me on.
To be safe, and teach my children that they are not limited to what society expects of them, I have given Emma trains and cars and video games, Taran dolls, Enoch pink and purple toys, and Calvin a big plastic kitchen with pots and pans and food. Actually, I feel a bit of pride well up when I see Calvin wearing purple pumps, "Way to buck the system!" But my children seem to really embrace traditional gender roles. So what is it? Nature? Nurture?
Well, after this weekend's antics, I now feel I have something more concrete to contribute to the debate.

I give you Exhibit A...

Emma has started a ballet class. She wrote up invitations two days early and walked them around to her neighborhood friends. On Saturday all but one (she was sick) arrived promptly at 10 o'clock ready to dance. Emma took them to the basement, put on some music, and began her class. Snacks were provided.

Exhibit B...

Saturday morning Taran asked if he could play with Sully. He knocked on his door and then he and his friend ran around the yard throwing balls at each other and playing on the swing set. They were joined by Enoch and Calvin.

Somewhere around 11 o'clock the class ended and the boys and girls played with, more like against, each other.

Conclusion, it's not the activities that they chose that struck me, although I think it's telling, after all Taran has access to the same book that Emma used as her inspiration and he's been invited to join ballet classes; it's the way they went about doing them. There's certainly something for the whole "boys will be boys" and "girls will be girls" system of logic.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Martin Quote

Taran [In the car, after Enoch got a bloody nose at a mosquito infested park.]: When I'm 7, I'm going to tell the president that no one should wear too much red or bump into a Frisbee, or the mosquitoes will get you.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I'm Very Glad That He's My Dad

Happy Father's Day! To celebrate the wonderful men in our lives, here is a video and picture montage of the men who "can add up any sum" and "knows the name of every kind of jet."

Grandpa Martin
These precious videos were taken in 2005 at the Martin home around Christmas.

We love you and miss you, Dad, Grandpa Martin, and Bob.

Bumpa Hasleton
This video was an accident. I meant to take a picture, but the camera was on video. Although it's not as sentimental as above, I like my Father's teasy voice and it shows that he loves to hold his grand-babies. It was taken 2005 around Christmas.

The picture I was supposed to get. He and Enoch are playing with a "be-be" (pacifier).

More proof that he loves to hold the grandkids. This was taken last summer 2007 in Winfred, SD.

Calvin napping on Bumpa in DeSmett, SD, summer 2007. I recall that it was a really muggy day, not the best condition to hold a sleeping, sweaty baby, but that's what Daddies are for.

David, Super-Daddy
This is another random video, but once you get past the uneventful first part (in which I complain so graciously) you can see one of David's amazing talents. "He's a tiger I tell you."

Taken Summer 2007 at the St. Paul temple by Cheryl Martin. The Paul and Christine Martin family had come for a visit from Virgina so Avery and Sydney could enjoy Uncle David's special talent too.

But galloping on his hands and knees to play with his children isn't the only thing that makes our Daddy super...

He's a patient and enthusiastic teacher. Here he sits with Taran Christmas morning 2006, showing him how to put together that blasted marble set.

He takes us wonderful places, like the zoo. April 2007

He's just a good place to hang out. Calvin, Summer 2007

He cuts his boys' hair (and his own!). Enoch, April 2007

He strives to head our family with the priesthood... "by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
By kindness, and pure knowledge, which greatly...enlarge[s] the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile" (Doctrine and Covenants 121:41-42)
St. Paul Temple, Summer 2007

We love our Daddy and our Grandpas! We're so grateful for the chance to be together forever!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Martin Quote

Enoch: Mom, can I have the biggest hammer in the world? Plea-ssse?

Martin Quote

David: I wish I wanted to get up, ya’ know. But I don’t.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

One of the Many Things

One thing I love about my boy Taran is that he does not, cannot, distinguish between the words “breakfast” and “lunch.” I'll ask him what he had for school lunch. Often, he replies, “Which one is that? First or second?” Sometimes he tells me what he had for breakfast. Mostly he just shrugs; he can’t remember what he ate, first or second.

The picture was taken January 2007 at the food court in the MOA.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Martin Park est. 2008

Our backyard is summer ready!
We found an old used swing set on Craig's List. David took a look at the disassembled pieces and figured that he could build it. He loaded it up into our amazing hold anything, take us anywhere, mini-van, nicknamed "Dently," and brought it home. With only the picture from Craig's List and his own musings, David put it together. When Enoch saw the finished structure he declared, "We have a park!"

Our green space, painted with Dandelions.

David putting on the last bolt.

Two "rocket swings!"

A pole to slide down.

A small red slide.

And a big wavy slide...

It's a great place to play, reconnect with friends, have a picnic, or just sun yourself. Come and play.