Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Wow...it's been some time

It brings unexpected emotion to look back at our last Shane update. I am so grateful for this little person in my life. Oh, those cheeks are still sweet to kiss and he is talking now more than ever. He army crawls everywhere. He goes from the kitchen to my bedroom with no problem. He is great at problem solving, often getting through our makeshift barrier from the living room to the kitchen. He is happy and has 2 teeth on bottom, 3 on top and a 4th is very swollen and should cut through in the next week or so. He is down to two naps a day and wakes up around 4:30/5 every morning for at least the last week. Which means I am off to bed.

Pictures to come.

Love to all!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

"When You Believe"

Sorry for all of those looking for more pictures of Shane. I promise we have them and it is a little hard to post them here and on Facebook. But I will earnestly try to update and post tomorrow.

However, I have important thoughts that I must get out on paper (figuratively speaking).
We (Ron and I) are LDS (Latter-day Saint) aka Mormon. I have a solid belief in Jesus Christ in ALL of his titles. We hosted the missionaries for dinner a couple of nights back (actually hosted both sets in our ward, elders first and a week later, the sisters). It was fun to see the dynamic differences between all 4 missionaries. I also attended an additional Relief Society meeting on Tuesday evening. I give all three of these scenes so that I can express my thoughts to these amazing 5 people.

First off- To the Elder P (senior companion, 18 years old, served 6 months so far, expressed he has no idea what he is doing, feels very inadequate as a missionary): Believe in yourself. You are Son of the Almighty! His name is "I Am" for a reason. He has no question who He is. He created you! Stop listening to The Evil One! You have been to serve Jesus Christ in a full-time ministry. He loves you. So start believing He knew what he was doing when you were asked to be the senior companion.

To Elder S- (junior companion, 23, has served 1 month, struggling, but faithful): I very much appreciated your thought at dinner. There are many here to learn from you and your spirit. You have the gift of faith. Utilize that gift. You are very patient and you will be blessed because of your obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to be more like you and the kindness you treat everyone with.

To Sister Q- (don't know if junior or senior, has been serving 6 months, beautiful in every way) You are a gift of faith and joy. Thank you for serving and being humble and obedient to that prompting to serve. Yes, you are very aware of yourself and your weaknesses and strengths. I promise that as you look back and see how Father's hand has brought you to this place, you will have a great ability to endure what is on your mortal sojourn. I am excited for you to continue to grow and to be happy. You have already blessed so many people's lives. Continue and you will be blessed and happy beyond your greatest imagination.

To Sister B- (see note above, serving 7.5 months and counting) You have a great mind and are open to lots of perspective. I give similar thoughts about believing in yourself. I have been study my Primary lesson on Enoch and the account in Moses 7 about watching the Lord weep over his children is what I wish to have your read.

And to Sister D- See the note for Elder P! I would, however, make it gender specific to you. Daughter of Deity! You have come so far. Believe in yourself.

I guess what I am saying to all of these people, I really am saying to myself. I hope to listen better.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Shane's Six Month Update and 7th (while we are at it)

Kinda weird to have a 6 month old( ahem......now 7month old) I can't believe it.

Here are the highlights from the last 2 months:

- We celebrated Thanksgiving! S's first. It was great. S ate candied yams and mashed potatoes. He still eats yams but we have added oatmeal, avocado, and applesauce to this diet. We are going to try carrots, pumpkin, peas, and green beans soon. I am excited.

- The nurse asked at his checkup: "What are you feeding this kid? He is the size of a 9mo old!" I am thinking this is a compliment.

-Becoming more vocal. Grunts a lot and babbles all the time....

-Started solids officially. A friend of ours has a boy just a couple months older than Shane and had a TON of extra pureed foods that her boy didn't want anymore (he is on to table food). We had fun with that.

-There are a lot of things that happened between Shane's 6th and 7th month of life. He had is first Christmas (spent it at an italian dinner, pretty yummy)

-He can completely sit up on his own.

- He is staying up longer and is coming more into his own of his personality. (Sweet and funny, but a little stubborn).

-We are working on crawling and scooting. Not very successful however. Shane does well for about 5 mins on his tummy (if he has distractions) and then starts to fuss. I work with him for another 5 mins. trying to distract him, but it's not all that easy....

-He has 2 solid bottom teeth and really likes to gnaw on things, including my finger. He has only bitten me twice while nursing. But not too hard. If so, we would not be nursing still.

Lots of other things have happened, little things like discovering moving toys back and forth from hand to hand. He follows sound. He has started Stranger Danger looks and knows Mommy and Daddy. It is fun to be loved and have a little person be excited when you enter the room.

I can't think of any more little things off the top of my head (thus why I need to write more often.) But here are some pictures from the last couple of months.

Here are only a few because the rest are on Ron's phone and he is at work, but I HAVE to get these pictures up!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Oh, Yeah...That one time Shane turned 4 mos. & 5 mos. old!

This is Hannah writing under the name of Ron. He has most of our pictures saved to his google drive, so I thought I would write under his profile.

There is no particular reason why I didn't write an update on Shane when he turned 4 months old, or for when he turned 5 months old either. There was no pressing need with work, or any special occasion that was consuming my attention. So, there you have it.

By way of information:
He was in the 89th % for his weight,
the 98th% for his height and,
the 55th% for his head circumference at his 4 month checkup.

He can roll from back to front and front to back now. We have let him taste applesauce, but we haven't really started solids (my goals it to get to Thanksgiving, which is about a week before he is 6 mos. old.). He can sit up by himself for about 3 secs before tipping over. He sits in his bumbo a lot. He is getting two cute little teeth in the front. They haven't popped threw the skin yet, but you can see the great big bumps they are creating in his gum line. He talks all the time (more like grunting) and chews on everything. He has great "Slobber Bombs" as Ron calls them and is growing up well.

And without further adieu, here are some pics.

Morning snuggles! 

Before bed time. So cute!

Some Father/Son bonding. (I Love It!)

We spiked his hair after a bath and went to church this way. He looks so impressed in this picture! NOT!

Starting to drool ALL of the time.

We decided to draw on small pumpkins this year instead of carving. Can you tell which one belongs to who?

Ron had left to get something from the room and I was working. This is what he came back to. Not even a cry! Just talking to himself.

Tummy time at Minky's

His Halloween costume. Thank you Aunt Alisa!

His other Halloween costume. (From the same day :) ) Thank you Nanny and Kiley!

Getting ready for the feast!
Playing with Minky's hats!

Here are some videos
I don't know if you will be able to see this, but he LOVES stretching out his legs. He also arches his back often.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Have We Lost Our Humanity?

This is a question that most people don't even consider. Most of the time, I would say, we go about our daily life and never even think about how distant we are to everyone around us. When we walk down the street and pass by someone, what is our natural instinct? For must people I would say it would be just walk around them without saying a word. Some people may venture far enough to lift their head and node or even say "Hi" as they pass by. But how many people would stop and talk to them? How many would give the other a hug? What about a kiss? Most people who will read this blog may look at these questions and snarl there nose at the idea of getting that close to a total stranger, and to be completely honest, I am right there with you. So I have one more question.

What is wrong with us???

Human beings are social creatures. Despite how solitary you may think you are the simple fact remains that we, as human beings, crave contact with other human beings including physical and emotional interaction. We were meant to be with one another. It is in our DNA. I want you to take a moment and think about "The old days". I'm talking about back when America was still pretty new. Think about the people of that age. We still had much of our culture from England at that time and it was not uncommon to greet someone with a hug or even a small kiss on the cheek. Today, they still greet people with a kiss in Europe, though I suspect that has greatly diminished as well. I once heard of a study that was done on American teenagers compared with teenagers in Europe. They found that coming out of school, American teenagers where all either walking alone barely acknowledging anyone around them, hunched over looking at their cell phones, or if they were in a group, they were not making much contact with the others. The European teenagers, however, were quite the contrast. While they still had some of the same attributes, the researchers noticed that much more people where leaving the school with arms intertwined or holding hands or hugging goodbye. I wish I had a reference for this, but I was only told this by my professor in college. Though I don't have a reference, there are plenty of studies that show the importance of touch. One such being this article from the NY Times.http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/health/23mind.html?_r=0

I believe the hesitation we have to be close to another person is primarily instinctive and primal. When we think of the period of the "Hunter Gatherer", or prehistoric time period, it's easy to see why we are hesitant to get close to anything. Back then getting close to another person or any living thing could potentially mean death, and if you think about it, we really haven't evolved much since then. We are still living life watching over out backs and being scared of death. So we trust nothing. And sure, we have good reason with the world we live in.

But just because it is instinctive does not mean it is what we need or really what our body wants. We need each other. We need physical touch. I don't know what it is but there is some sort of energy that is passed from one person to another when you are touched. Don't believe me? Watch this video and listen how these total strangers started to care for the others after just a brief moment of awkwardness.

We are social creatures and need to get back to being social..... And this is coming from one of the most anti social people you may know. I have some work to do.

Friday, October 11, 2013

What does the future hold?

Recently, I have been thinking about my job / career. I had a very good talk with Hannah the other day and think I have figured out some things, or at least think I am in the right direction. I'm going to try and duplicate what we talked about so I am going to start from the beginning.

I have pretty much been working my whole life. When I was 15 I got my first job working at a drive through convenience store in the tiny town I lived in. I started to save money the best I could and I believe I learned the value of money and work. In the subsequent years I have worked as a stocker, waiter, window washer, cart pusher, fast food worker, call center representative, customer support, salesman, cashier, field worker, sand blaster, welder assistant, graphic designer, musician, IT technician, and of course 2 years as a missionary. Work is not a foreign concept to me or maybe better to say I have no idea what life is like without working. Even in the few times when I was not working it usually only took a few days before I was board out of my mind. Most, if not all, of these jobs were not taken in the hopes of finding joy in my work, but were, in fact, taken to pay the bills. What I realized in talking to Hannah is that in the years of working at these jobs I completely forgot or perhaps never learned that you could actually WANT to go to work; that it might actually be possible to go to your job and feel accomplished or feel genuinely happy there. For years my job was just a means to stay alive and hold off until the days off, but I have realized that that is just meager living. I need to find something that fulfills me.

There is a slight problem with this. It has been said that you should find something you are passionate about and make a career out of it. Unfortunately, my three passions in life are my family, music, and art. My family being the most important.

I love music and have actually taken much of my time to learn quite a bit about it. As far back as I can remember I have been playing some sort of instrument. In order to make it in the music industry you really have to be willing to give up quite a bit. One of the biggest things that I have discovered is that you have to give up much of your family life and that is just not something I well ever be willing to give up. So that leave out music, and no, I don't want to teach it either! ;)

With art I would not have to sacrifice my family, however, the pay for any type of artist, graphic or otherwise, is not much to support a family on. The only artists that seem to make a decent amount of money are the ones that have been working at it for years and have established their artistry. I originally thought this would be the best field to go into and actually got a degree in graphic design. The problem here is that everyone is a "graphic designer" or at least thinks they are. When you are a small business owner and you need some graphic work done you are looking for the cheapest way possible. Who are you going to pick; the guy down the street that has played with Photoshop for a while and will make you a logo for free or the graphic designer that is going to charge you $20-$30 an hour? Graphic designers are a dime a dozen and they are all trying to make a name for themselves.

I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I can at least see the direction I should go, and that is encouraging. I'm just confused is all. The good news is that I am hopeful!... Don't ask me tomorrow because that might change, but right now I am good! :)

Your thoughts are appreciated.

~ Ron Beck

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Faith, Hope, Charity

So this isn't a baby update. That is in a week and a day. But there have been many things on my mind and I wanted to write them out. It's kinda long. Basically, It is a part of my witness (testimony) of truth! Read at your own risk.

I have a boss, K, who came out and did annual inspections with me on Thursday. (Quick update: I am an apartment manager for a 51-unit complex). After a long day (like from 9 to 3 straight) my boss left. I told her we (Ron and I) were going on a date to Lake Oswego. She wished me luck. I didn't tell her that I was going to the Temple with my husband because I didn't feel like explaining what it was all about. While we were doing inspections we came across a good handful of religious people (the decor in their homes were a dead give away). I asked her if she was religious. She answered no. During the endowment session all I could think about was my boss. She is a single 32 year old woman who lives alone and works super hard. I thought about what would happen if she joined the church. I thought about how being a single adult in our church is really hard. Anything outside of the "normal" is hard. With all that being said, the answer I kept getting was "Hope". The Savior brings Hope to all of God's children. As long as we are making and keeping covenants, we have hope, and we are not lost. We are known to the Great Shepherd.

Which brings me to my next thought: I want to make it home. And the only way I can do that is by following truth and eternal laws. Today I went to the library and before going in, I was stopped by a couple of people asking if I supported Same-Sex Marriage in the state of Oregon. I had to stop and think about what they were asking because I was rushing. But this is how I responded: "I believe in equal rights, but I also believe in the institution of Marriage." I love that in a simple, non-offensive, but straightforward way, I was able to share my beliefs with others not of my faith. Too often I find it hard to "open my mouth" and share the knowledge that I have gained through personal experience. I know that Marriage is ordained of God and that anything that goes against eternal law (in this case the Law of Chastity) is not what I want.

Which brings me to my last thought: the annual general Relief Society meeting that occurs every last Saturday of September. Tonight they especially focused on making and keeping covenants and how our love for Jesus Christ is indicative of our love for him and Heavenly Father. It has become clearer to me how much God really loves His children and how he has made it possible to return to live with Him. In the endowment session with Ron, I felt the love of Heavenly Father and how important it is to him that all of his children who choose to live with him, come back to him.

Like so many other times, words fail me this evening. I have been greatly edified by the Spirit and its personal teachings to me of what this life is truly about, of how I want to get back to Heavenly Father and how to go about help others who want to return to him, return to him.

These are some of the things I KNOW:
-I am a daughter of God.
-I can return to live with him someday.
-There has been a plan given so I can become like him.
-He loves me more than any words can express. And he loves all of his children that way.
-I love him and I show him this love by making and keeping promises with him to live the way he has commanded me to live.
-The promises I have made are real and binding. They bring me peace and hope and courage to endure to the end.
-I want to live my life in a way that people can tell I love God and that that is what will bring them most happiness in this life.
-I want to shout it from the rooftops that I know God lives and loves us and has given us a way to be truly happy and return to live with him FOREVER.

These are just SOME of the things I know. I believe all things, I hope all things, I have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, I seek after these things.

-Hannah Richins Beck