The Magic Mirror by Ben Sherwood

As part of Homeschool I’ve decided to let the boys dictate stories to me while I type them out. This is the first one Ben ever did. The look on his face when we printed it out and he held it in his hands was priceless. He felt so proud…like a real author. Then while his dad read out loud to all of us…oh his face! Needless to say I think I will like this tradition.

The Magic Mirror

By Ben Sherwood

Once upon a time there was a mom and she threw a mirror in the garbage and a boy was going hunting for treasure and he found it so he took it. He brought it inside and when he put in on the ground he was also scared. He stepped on the mirror and instead of stepping on the mirror he stepped into the mirror and fell into a different place that he’s never seen before.

He saw a man that looked so strange. He had a black hat that was a majesty hat. He had a red ribbon with a bow on it that he wore on his head and on his shoes. He had a magic wand in his hand. And his name was The Weird Majesty. And he lifted his hand out towards the boy and the boy disappeared.

The place where he was he saw a clown and The Weird Majesty again. But he was different. Instead of red bows on his hat and shoes it was blue bows. And the boy thought that it was snowing and there was actually a window into the whitest place you’ve ever seen. He looked closely into the window and he saw icicles and snow. And the water in the snow was actually melted Popsicle. And the normal snow was ice with it.

The Weird Majesty made the boy disappear again. This time he was wearing yellow bows on his head and shoes. There was a clown there and a summer guy this time. He looked outside and it was so bright he could barely see anything. And when he looked out there he went blind for a long time although he could still sense the light. When he was small he had touched a rock wall and now that he was bigger he knew what a rock wall felt like so he touched the rock wall and felt it and tried to climb it even though he was blind.

The Weird Majesty all the sudden made him disappear again and then he wasn’t blind anymore. He was on a trail in the woods. Also when he was little when his mom took him to Wild Island so now that was bigger he could recognize it and that’s where he was. All the sudden he saw a movement in the bushes and it was tiger. And then he found that there was a mark on the tigers face. And he remembered the tiger when his mom was out hunting for chickens on Wild Island. And his mom said that to kill the tiger you just need some hot sauce to shoot at the spot on his head. If it touches anything, the hot sauce will be on fire. And he had a pack of hot sauce on him so he threw it at the tiger and the bottle of hot sauce was tipped over upside down on his nose. It was stuck on him. His mom did not find chickens. All the sudden another movement in the bushes arrived. And there was a “BAAhhhk!” And he caught it! It was a chicken!

And all the sudden a magic wand fell from the sky. And the boy disappeared back to home. His mom was so surprised she was looking for him. The boy told her all about the stories he had and she was also surprised that there was a chicken that he found. Because without the chicken they wouldn’t have thanksgiving dinner.

The End.

Blue eyed, bald wonder baby. I love him so much! He’s a little over 3 months old now. Stop time stop! I am savoring and appreciating almost every moment (im not prefect right). He smiles everytime you look at him, he tells wonderfully adorable stories, the only time he fusses is when he’s on his back and he wants to see what’s going on, he likes to sit up and stand…basically he thinks he’s 6 months old. He’s super duper. #henryjoseph #henryjosephoneyear #3monthsold #blueeyedbabyInstagram Today

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30 Questions for Self Discovery

  1. How do I feel at the moment?

Just finished breakfast, baby is sleeping, boys are playing battleship together. I feel really good. I’m trying to overcome this notion that my life is lacking in so many areas because it’s really not. I am listening to and watching my home videos of my family growing up and I realize even more how blessed I have been. I feel nostalgic. I feel anxious for my kids to have the same blessings..the same great memories I do.

2. What do I need more of in my life?

I need more of the spirit of Christ. More christlike attributes. I need more perspective of what’s really important…the ability to see my kids as they really are instead of little men trying to drive me crazy. they are just little boys! So innocent and sweet. I also need to have more genuine silliness in my life which will require no inhibitions or pride. Spontaneity and fun.

3. What would make me happy right now?

To be able to go to church without fear of illness and show off my baby. To get dressed up and feel good. To feel sunshine on my face and skin.

4. What is going right in my life?

My children are all healthy and happy. I am married to an amazing man who is genuine and serving and just an all around good guy. We are living in a nice area in a spacious home. Business is succeeding and growing and bringing much reward to those who have been working so hard. I can’t think of anything that is really going wrong right now. Ya, we need more money for things that we think we might need but there is no hurt, no uncomfortable living situations, no panic, no urgency. Content.

5. What am I grateful for? List at least 10 things.

  • Family
  • Healthy food, healthy family
  • Home, cars, water, clothes
  • Fresh air and blue skies and sunshine
  • Birds
  • Memories and technology
  • Jesus Christ
  • Music
  • Good smells
  • Being able to sleep good

6.  When did I experience Joy this week?

Everytime I am nursing my baby I feel joy. One morning particularly this week the sunrise was beautiful out my small window and birds were flying thru the blue sky and I felt my small baby’s hands on my chest and I knew that God was listening to my thoughts and prayers. I can look down at the small miracle at my chest and feel joy. Somehow it’s also helped me feel more joy with my two older boys too.

7. List all my small victories and successes.

Everyday I feel is a small victory. Most days getting healthy food down my kids throats is a victory. Making a yummy dinner for my family for me is a victory and I feel very good about doing that. Keeping my house clean and even giving my kids a bath feels like a success to me. This isn’t because I feel incapable of these things but because the list of things to do is so long and never ending that anything checked off that list is a small victory.

When I remember to send a birthday wish or I remember somebody’s name. When I have had a good conversation with a new or old friend.

When I get homeschooling done for the day with Ben.

Seeing my baby full and satisfied after bf. Seeing him sleeping good.

Natural birth.

Not scrolling thru instagram.

8. What’s bothering me? Why?

Always the worry of getting sick. Because of this I can’t get out as much as I want to or feel like I could.

This feeling that I don’t know myself anymore (hence this exercise) that I can’t think for myself and can’t be ‘original’ in my thoughts,  new ideas etc. It’s bothering me that my ‘creative’ brain seems to be dead. SM has probably done this to me.

There is so much i want to do in this life and there is a part of me that feels like the opportunity or the time to do so is slipping away. Will it ever happen?

I’m 32 this year and yet I feel  like I am not who I want to be. I don’t know who i am and I don’t feel one with my purpose. That’s a bother.

9. What are my priorities at the moment?

to fatten my baby up, help him grow up healthy and strong and well adjusted so that we can get to a normal routine sooner rather than later.

To educate my son to the best of my ability which requires me to rekindle and refresh my education.

To make our house a home. Furniture and decor etc. while staying in the small budget.

keeping my family healthy and happy

making sure they are making great memories and spending time with cousins and friends.

Today? This week? To get my vhs digitized and my 2017 photos scrapbooked.

10. What do I love about myself?

yikes.

I’m tall? I didn’t always love that about myself though. I do now. this is a hard one for me. I guess I don’t love a whole lot about myself.

11. Who means the world to me and why?

My kids. Because along with God we created them and then they grew inside me and I’ve nurtured and cared for them and in turn have eternal love for them. something that I believe is also just god given…a god given love. My husband. Because he and I are a team. We complete each other because we choose it to be that way. My family. My parents and my brothers and their wives. My family is really close. I grew up with my cousins, aunts and uncles all around me all the time and so they are all like immediate family to me. I can’t imagine my life without it being that way. I feel so blessed.

12. If I could share one message with the world, what would it be?

I imagine this as someone saying, “Hey, the world is listening, here’s the mic, you’ve got a few minutes.” Sheesh that’s daunting. I would probably say something like this…”I know God is real. He’s there and he’s your Father…who lives in Heaven. He loves you. Just as you imagine a great dad loves his child but even more perfectly. You are his child. He is the same today as he was yesterday and a thousand years ago. This means that today he has called a prophet just as he did back then. Jesus’ church is on the earth today and I invite you to find out for yourself if I’m telling the truth. Because if I am, it’s the most important thing you’ll hear and do in this life.”

13. What advice would I give to my younger self? (Do I follow this advice now?)

Stop scowling/squinting so much you’ll make a deep wrinkle in your forehead. Stop caring about what people think and be silly. Be more open about your feelings with others, be touchy and loving, kiss more boys and tell your parents you love them more often. Wear your retainer and take better care of your teeth.

14. What lesson did I learn this week?

That I still don’t know what I am doing with this parenting thing and will always be learning.

15. If I had all the time in the world, what would I want to do first?

Travel!!! Everywhere and anywhere!

16. What’s draining my energy?  How can I reduce or cut it out?

Right now, the stress of maybe my milk not cooperating. It seems to be very sensitive to my level of stress and level of sleep and water intake. If any of those things are off it suffers and then my baby suffers. Do I just supplement with formula? Maybe he’s just going through a growth spurt?

My son William has a really nasty cough right now and I am stressing over my baby getting it too.

Just overall not getting as much sleep as I normally would, what with a new baby and all.

I’m not sure there is much I can do about any of it except for choose not to stress over things i can’t control and do what I can about the things I do have control over like drinking enough water, taking lecithin and NOT STRESSING! duh.

17. What does my ideal morning look like?

Wake up with the sun. I love seeing dawn. Reading my scriptures and being filled with the spirit. Going on a hike or bike ride or doing something active outside. Showering and getting ready, feeling pretty and then making my family a delicious breakfast while we dance in the kitchen together.

Most mornings one or two of these things happen but I guess ideally it would be cool for it happen all in one day. 🙂 But I’ll take what I can get.

18. What does my ideal day look like?

I could be doing anything as long as my kids are healthy, I am not stressed over something, no one is yelling or fighting and we are spending time together as a family, its a good day. Throw in a new experience together, some quality time with family or friends and it’s going to be a great day.

19. What makes me come alive? When was the last time I felt truly alive?

Childbirth – not so much the labor part but the moment when that child is placed on my chest after the work is when I feel most alive.

When I’m outside exercising. Hiking. Southern Utah comes to mind. Red rocks, fresh air, heart pumping. Ahhhh. Yes. It’s been too long.

When I’m testifying of Jesus Christ and the spirit fills my heart. Yes, again its been waaaay too long.

20. What/who inspires me the most? Why am I drawn to those inspirations?

She would probably be surprised at my saying so but my mom. She is more of what I want to be as a mom. She has a way with people that I’m sure she doesn’t fully realize and this extends to her kids who all love her dearly. Plus she willingly got pregnant 5 times despite being extremely ill! That is very inspirational…at least to me.

There is also just people/strangers that I see who are going through or who have gone through something so hard and excruciatingly painful but who are still alive and kicking and even happy. Inspiring others and helping others who are going through it. I guess I’m drawn to it because I can’t fathom having the kind of strength that requires such endurance. I haven’t gone through anything that hard and can’t imagine anything other than crawling up in a ball and staying there forever. haha Guess you never know what strength you have until you need it.

21. Where does my pain originate? What would need to happen for me to heal?

I’m not sure what this question is getting at. Physical pain? Emotional? Maybe both? Or maybe it’s open ended so the writer can interpret it. Hmmmm my pain. Sorry i’ve got nothing.

22. What are my strengths? What am I really good at?

Geez, I don’t know why these questions are so hard for me. I guess I have a real self love problem.

I’m a good listener. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

I’m a fairly good cook.

I’m empathetic, not just sympathetic.

23. What is something I’ve always wanted to do but was too scared?

See most of the things below.

24. What is something I would love to learn?

I want to learn Chinese. I want to learn US History and maybe expand to world history. I want to sew.  The immune system. Herbs for healing. Interior decorating. Refinishing furniture. Make the worlds best loafs of whole wheat bread. How to not worry. BALLET! Yoga. How to shoot better and from the back of a horse. Ju Jitzu and karate. There are so many more things!

25. What hobbies would I like to try?

See above.

26. Where would I want to live in my ideal life?

Ideal, not imaginary. Because if it was imaginary it would be somewhere that looked like the green mountains of Canada but felt like the climate of Hawaii.

But ideally, hmmmm probably somewhere warmer than northern utah and as long as my family is not too far away that could be anywhere. I love the feeling of a remote ranch with land all around but I also love the convenience of a city with it’s close shops and opportunities all around. So somewhere in between like a small familiar town with just enough amenities would be ideal.

27. Where would I like to travel in the next 5 years?

Oh this one is so my kind of question right now. I have such wanderlust right now. I would pack up my whole family and start an American tour first, with all the church history sights first and then the American History ones next. Then we would just explore and see the most popular sights like New York City and San Fransisco but I would also love to see the ordinary places like a small southern town in Mississippi. The National Parks would be next. Then parts of Canada and Alaska, Hawaii would be in there too cause it’s Hawaii and my family’s never seen it. Then when we felt we’d seen America sufficiently (is that even possible?) and our kids are now a bit older we would start traveling international. Where to go first?! Oh my! I have no idea! That’s a stinkin hard question! We’ve talked about Germany…maybe that’s where we’d start. Then New Zealand, and Iceland, Switzerland and France, Italy and Greece. I want to see the Holy Land and Africa, China and most of the other Asian countries. India and Australia. I guess basically everywhere. Except I don’t have a hankering to see Russia but that’s probably a mistake so I’ll have to look into it. Obviously that won’t happen in the next 5 years so for the sake of this question we will stick with…Church history, American History sights and the major National parks and cities, museums etc. So fun!

28.  What can I do to take better care of myself?

Start exercising again and get my posture corrected and prevent my back pain from getting worse.

Keep up with my spiritual goals and give my life over to God.

Serve others.

Keep journaling. More.

Read.

Learn.

Pamper myself everyonce and a while.

29. When have I done something that I thought I couldn’t do?

Natural childbirth.

Driving from St. George to Logan with newborn and 2 kids by myself.

Serving a mission, testifying of Jesus Christ to strangers, knocking on door and inviting strangers to learn more about Jesus. Teaching a room full of protestants about our church.

Lift heavy weights, do a push up, a pull up. Didn’t think it was possible!

Go on a cruise (thalassophobia), wakeboard, boating etc.

30. At the end of my life, what do I want my legacy to be?

I hope that I can say that I was genuine and that I loved the people that were in my life. But mostly that I loved God.

 

 

 

 

#fbf Miss you Grandma. I stayed at your home this last week with Grandpa and though it was lovely and Grandpa was the perfect host, I sensed your not being there and it just isn’t the same. I imagined what you would be fussing over if you were there and how you would offer to hold and help with Henry every chance you got. How you would make sure we all had breakfast in the morning shuffling around in your robe and slippers. I imagined you sitting there in the evening with me while I was feeding Henry watching jeopardy and crocheting some blanket or hat for some lucky child. I can still hear your laugh. I miss you Grandma!! #familyisforever #grandmasharp #stgeorgeInstagram Today

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January in a sentence a day

Jan 1-2 I didn’t record these days so who knows what happened?!

Jan 3 – Had my brother and his cute family come and hang out at the house most of the day and later my parents and other brother and his wife joined us for hamburgers.

bmd

Jan 4 – Cousins Beckham and Evelyn came to play at our house and then we all went to my parents with cheesecake in tow to celebrate my oldest brothers birthday.

Jan 5 – Catch up on sleep day!

Jan 6 – We ventured out to my parents house again (me and baby included despite my hesitations) to spend time with my brother and cousins and had the most wonderful time sledding the best hill ever!

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Jan 7 – I helped get the older boys ready for church and then enjoyed a quiet three hours with my baby.

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Jan 8 – After feeling like I was getting sick early this morning I was sad to have to cancel our FHE we had planned with some dear friends but fortunately as the day progressed and I got a nap I started to feel better and rescheduled for the next day!

Jan 9 – Cleaned house, made cheesecake, took baby to his 6 week checkup (he’s now 9 lbs 10 oz  yay!) all by myself, Showered, got ready and had a wonderful evening with some good friends making and eating Pho and cheesecake. Yum.

dav

Jan 10 – I worked on my family VHS videos most of the day interspersed with working on shutterfly for our 2017 family photo book and feeding and taking care of Henry and the boys. The day ended with a visit from some sisters from the ward, Gilmore Girls and cheesecake.

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bmd

Jan 11 – More VHS transferring, shutter fly, laundry and just all around housework in-between feedings.

Boys reading Henry a book

Jan 12 – Friday ??

Jan 13 – Today I decided to not use my phone for anything other than the camera or as a phone and it was so nice. We got our back ‘disaster’ room cleaned up and then had some friends show up unexpectedly which was nice for the boys to play and go to the park with them and I also took a walk with Henry and my friend Miken.

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Jan 14 – Was planning on going to church but when the morning came I chickened out (fear of catching a bug especially since my VT’s has just told me about how rampant the flu was going around in our ward) and even kept my kids home too. We enjoyed a nice evening at my parents having dinner and nice conversation where Henry even slept which is a big accomplishment sleeping somewhere new and not on me!

Jan 15 – My mom encouraged me out of my comfort zone and I went climbing with her where I surprisingly made it to the top 3 different times but am now paying for it in muscle soreness today.

Jan 16 – today was very uneventful, basically puttered around the house doing what I do.

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Jan 17 – today I ventured out to take and pick up William from preschool and I also had the luxury of getting my hair cut, I don’t want to admit it but it had been almost a year since my last one!

Jan 18 – Gave the house a much needed cleaning and my sweet baby did his part by taking long naps; a welcomed change from the past several days.

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Jan 19 – Stayed in my jammies all day.Today went by very fast despite my lack of productivity. Lots of smiles from my little one. Smiles and snuggles. Ben did school happily today which is always a win.

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Jan 20 – Went climbing again today and this time took Ben with me. We are going to get better together. Unfortunately he has inherited his dads slight fear of heights but I think we can work with it. 🙂 I was so proud of him.

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Jan 21 – David spoke in church today so it was the perfect motivation to get me to church for the first time in 2 months! He did so well and so did my 3 boys I might add. Then we enjoyed a nice evening at my parents house.

Jan 22 – Heard today that my Grandpa wasn’t doing well and would probably be passing soon. This inspired my mom and I to take our midnight drive to St. George. Talk about last minute, spontaneous packing! We left at 9 pm tonight.

Jan 23 – After only 3 hours of sleep we spent the day chilling up at my Grandma’s house (we always say ‘up’ because she lives on a hill). Unfortunately we didn’t get there before he passed but had a nice day with family helping how we could.

Jan 24 – Today we went on a hike in St. George called Turtle Rock. Henry slept the whole time and the 2 older boys did so good despite falls, meltdowns, hunger and thirst. Whew!

Jan 25 – Went to the park with cousins, ate pizza, enjoyed the sunshine, played in the red dirt at Grandmas, visited with family, good day.

Henry with cousin Logan


Jan 26 – My mom took the boys to a nature park with real dinosaur tracks! We ate mexican food and more cousin time at the park!

My favorite!!

Jan 27 – Today was the funeral and it was bittersweet. My grandpa had a full, amazing life and was ready to go. But we will miss him anyway and lots of tears were shed for that reason. The graveside dedication was wonderful too because the American Legion was there and did the whole rifle salute and folding of the flag etc. That afternoon lots of extended family played together at a park and then later got together at Village Inn for an adult dinner that I didn’t go to…I was so worn out!!

The four brothers
I wasn’t there because I had to go feed Henry darnit!

Jan 28 – Today I drove home to Logan  BY MYSELF. Before that we went on a little jaunt in the red dirt. I still don’t know how I did it (the drive, not the jaunt) but it happened! I definitely feel more empowered! It wasn’t terrible we only made 6 stops. So good to be home!

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bty

Jan 29 – Nice, quiet day at home. So nice not needing to be anywhere or do anything we just got back into the groove of our routine.

Jan 30 – Henry is 2 months old today and so so cute! I successfully taxied William to and from preschool (I survived St. George, I can do anything now!) and spent the rest of the day cleaning, finished laundry and working on home videos.

Jan 31 – Nothing very exciting happened today. Did my monthly homeschool planning for February and some meal planning for the next week. Cleaned the kitchen, snuggled my baby a lot while breastfeeding.

My Grandpa passed away early this morning hence our spontaneous trip to St. George last night. This is Henry’s Great Grandma meeting him for the first time this morning. I can’t help but cry that this little guy won’t ever know his great grandpa Stephenson because he was a giant of a man and such a special part of my life. Even my two ‘older’ boys who are still very young have been influenced by his spirit and love. We’ll miss him like crazy. #familyhistory #grandpastephenson #funeral #henryjoseph #stgeorgeInstagram Today

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Growing our family and more