Trosper Family 2016

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


The element that I placed second in importance is to "Teach Them"!  Isn't that what we fear as parents the most?  Fear that we won't be capable of teaching our children all they need to know to grow up and become great adults?

First in importance is to love them, and then  to teach them!  Honestly we could keep it simple and say if we LOVE them and TEACH them, that is all we really need to do because the others could fall under those two categories.  My other elements could easily fall under those two.

Play with them
Respect them
Discipline them
Sacrifice for them
Love them Unconditionally

For the purpose of confusing things I will talk about teaching them with this blog and continue the others on later blogs.  

We hear the quote "It takes a village to raise a child", I agree it certainly does.  I couldn't be more grateful to my wonderful family (my kids grandparents, aunts, uncles), neighbors like Aunt Milly and Uncle Grant, all the Larkspur Lane Mafia who watched, coraled, and loved my kids.  Teachers in school and church, scout leaders, sports coaches all made our job so much easier.  BUT....that does not give us as parents the opportunity to NOT PARENT.  I think this is vitally important to re-learn.  Having been very involved in PTA's, as school district employee, and community liason in my parenting years I am sorry to say I have seen parents leave too much to "the village" that they should be taking on themselves.  With households having to have dual incomes these days it happens even more.  Please remember your children are the most important legacy you leave in this world.  Work to bring home the bacon, but don't let the bacon become more important than those little ones you are in charge of and love.  

I tried very hard to live up to this priority.  Though I did become an insurance agent with an insurance license I chose to not have a career in the industry, I just had a job.  In other words I didn't have my own agency I worked for other agents.  In many cases I did the work, but didn't collect the higher paycheck.  That was okay with me because my job was insurance, my career was my children and family.  My work gave my kids the extra things like sports, scouts, vacations, nicer clothes but it was easy to quit or work less if there was an issue that needed to be dealt with.  

So I guess the first hint in teaching our kids is to BE AVAILABLE.  Another thing that I learned was important was to LISTEN to them.  I learned from very important things about parenting from my kids.  I will give you a couple of examples,viz., One of my sons was about 2 1/2 or 3 and he kept coming into my room and saying "Mommy will you play with me?"  I would reply "Just a minute hon, Mommy's doesn't have time right now, but I will."  After the third time he came in and said "Mommy if you don't have time I will give you some of mine, cause I have lots!"  He threw his arms up and then down to his side to express his frustration.  What did I learn?  To look at things from his point of view, maybe to explain patience and the necessity of doing other duties, and to keep my priorities in order.  Don't you love being in a car with your kids?  So many things happen in a car.  Another time two of my sons were squabbling in the back of the car.  The oldest one about 3, hit the younger one.  I turned around and smacked him making that ironical statement, "Don't you hit your brother, ever!"  Pouting for a few minutes he was brave enough to say, "Mommy, if I'm not supposed to hit, why did you hit me?"  Now some mothers or fathers might have considered him to be a little smart aleck, but it struck me so hard that I listened to him.  It didn't make sense to hit when I was teaching not to hit, or bite when I was teaching not to bite, or yell when I was teaching not to yell.  Not to say that I always was able to avoid those things, but I tried, because it made sense.  I will talk more about that in the DISCIPLINE THEM part.  

What do we teach them?  This is part of intentional parenting instead of reactive parenting.  We need to actively participate with the other parent to decide what it is you want to teach.  It can come from our own experiences, how we were raised, what do we want them to learn?  Bud and I had conversations before we were married about what was important to us.  Bud joined my church so we could raise our kids with faith and with a religion we felt focused on family values.  We spoke many times as we were waiting that first 9 months.  Then it is an ongoing conversation.  One thing I think is vital is that parents be united in front of the children.  There may be differences about what to teach or how, but those decisions need to be ironed out before presenting to the kids.  Some of those things I think we chose to be the most important things we taught were:

(ours not someone else's)

There were several things I have learned since that I wish we had taught them, or done a better job at teaching.  They say however you can't give a gift you don't have.  So things that we didn't teach them were things we didn't know well enough to teach them.  Again, that's why you always have to keep learning so you can keep teaching.  One biggie was financial knowledge.  We did get life insurance as one of our first steps in marriage, we did always pay our bills on time, we did know how to squeeze a dollar and we taught our kids those things, but we didn't save for college, we didn't plan for retirement, and we did have a bit of a scarcity thought process.  My kids are successful and learned so many things on their own and will pass what they know on to their kids.  There are always regrets about what you didn't teach.  That's when I remind myself  "I did the best I could with the knowledge that I had at the time".  When you get frustrated with your parenting, you need to give yourself a break and tell yourself  "I am doing the best I can with the knowledge that I have right now", then maybe determine to find a way to improve.  It's always one step at a time!

I  hope these little blogs can help you in some way if you are in the middle of parenting.  Please share some of your ideas as well.  Afterall, I'm not an expert.  I didn't get that little manual with my children either.   We just all have to help each other.  

Saturday, September 23, 2017


Yesterday I posted on Parenting 101--Trosper Style.  Again I want to remind you that no one can be the parent you can be to YOUR child.  Sometimes, we think we have to listen to other people, and that is okay.  It is okay to listen to other opinions and consider them, but don't follow someone else's advise "willy nilly" because they say it worked for them.  Your parenting style, your children, and your circumstances are different from anyone else's.  Your children are your stewardship and no one else can do the best job raising them.

This, however, is my soapbox so I get to share what worked, and didn't work in the Trosper house. No parent is perfect all the time, so these suggestions go with the disclaimer that it may not work for you just because it worked for Bud and I, and it didn't always work for us either. We found if we focused on these things then at least we are parenting with a purpose, not just flying by the seat of our pants.  Intentional  (Proactive) parenting always seems to work better than Emotional (Reactive) parenting.  When we respond to situations in a reactive way we can say or do something we regret, or that can damage our children.  So it's better to be prepared.  To remind you our Seven Elements for parenting are to :


Today we will start with the First and most important element, LOVE THEM.  I thank God for his amazing design that allows us 9 months to prepare for each child.  While the baby is forming in the mommy's belly in such a well planned organized process, we as mother's get to change too.  We have the chance to prepare our bodies, spirits, and minds for the upcoming birth, and for many years of motherhood to follow.  Father's watch and play there part in the process preparing themselves as well.  We are bonding with this "wee one" during this period carrying them with us wherever we go.  We have to connect don't we?  If the baby is a "surprise" then the 9 months can give us time to go from that surprise, to acceptance, and adoration.  Even birth mother's choosing to give their babies up for adoption bond with the child and desire to make the best choices for a whole life.  Adoptive parents usually have sooooo much time to plan and prepare for the little one as they pray a baby into their lives.  Oh we certainly go through a lot of fear as we are preparing as well.  "Will I be a good mother?"  "Will he be a good father?"  "What if we break him?"  "How will we teach him?"  "What will we name her?"  "Will she be teased about her name?"  We have fear about the actual birth process too, but we will realize for the first time that "what is bought with coin of pain is dearly kept." 

I remember that I was expecting my first baby that I kept a little journal about all those feelings.  Somehow, we as mothers, don't need that journal because we seem to remember every detail about what we thought and felt.  We were trying to decide on names and I have to admit we focused on girls names because we were convinced we would probably have a girl.  In my family we had 5 girls and 2 boys and the girls outnumbered the boys in my extended families as well.  In Bud's family the girls were way more plentiful than the boys so we had just sort of accepted we would have a girl.  When the Dr. told me after a C-section that we had a boy I actually said, "Are you sure?"  He assured me that he definitely could verify that Marque was a boy.  I couldn't quite figure out why Bud wanted to name his baby after him when he always hated his name, Raymond Marquist Trosper.  He also didn't want to call him Raymond, he wanted to call him Mark after his father.    So we considered Mark Raymond, but there is a little egotism in naming your son a Jr.  so that's what we did.  
Jimmy was always going to be James after his grandfather's middle name.  His middle name was going to be Gavin after the family name of my patriarchal grandmother, McGavin.  Somehow in gratitude to my doctor we ended up changing it to James David.  Two very plain names for not plain Jimmy.  
We had a funny story about Scott's naming too.  My mother liked the name Scott and when she mentioned it we loved it too.  He was going to be Scott Timothy.  I had a dream in the hospital the night before having him c-section.  When I had the baby (in my dream) it was a boy.  See we were getting very used to the ideas of boys by this time.  Anyway in my dream they announced he was a boy and the "drug dealer" that was controlling my happy feelings said.  "What are you going to name him?"  I replied "Scott Timothy"  He said, "Scott Timothy Trosper, too many T's".  So the next morning before he was born Bud and I changed it to Scott Andrew.  

With all these plannings and imaginings, we are so primed and ready to LOVE the baby as it is born.  No one ever can imagine just how much they love that baby though.  When looking into the newborn's eyes, feeling their skin, counting their toes, smelling their smell, we are hooked.  Our hearts seem to stretch way out of our chests to encompass this little spirit straight from heaven.  The love grows beyond the baby, the family, the room, it seems to stretch out to all human kind because LOVE for a child is a gift that can't be explained.  I have heard it said that it isn't that dramatic for the daddy's, but I don't believe it.  All the daddies in my family have been swept into love and tears immediately by their newborn.  

So this one is easy, right?  

Luckily we have people to turn to for help.  New grandparents are usually very willing to lend a hand, neighbors, community members, church friends, but mainly God.  God is in partnership with you in raising these children.  He understands.  He has children of His own.  He has been frustrated with us at times, He has seen us not reach our potential, He keeps telling us over and over again.   Yep, he understands.  He mostly understands and tells us that LOVE is most important because He loves us.  

Even when that first child is laid on your chest, or your arms you can't imagine how much more your love will grow.  There will be times you may wonder if you "like" your child, but you will never not LOVE him.  

This might be a good time to tell you, or remind you.  These are not steps, they are elements of raising children that you will pass through again and again.  They will not go in order either.  It would be nice if we could get one down, and then the next.  

This is by far the easiest element though.  You did all the thinking and planning 9 months ago.  Now just go and LOVE THEM. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Parenthood 101--Trosper Style

A few weeks ago I volunteered to speak at Toastmaster's the next day to replace someone who wasn't able to be there for their speech.  I just had a couple of hours to prepare so I had to choose something I felt comfortable to talk about without much research and preparation.  So I decided to speak about Parenthood.  Now I'm sure I could find really wise advise if I did research.  After all Parenthood is one of the most difficult, and important subjects.  It is also one with many varying opinions. So, I decided to just consider it from my point of view and my own experiences.  

Parenthood 101.  "Wouldn't it be wonderful", we all say, "if each baby came with a manual?"  Why yes it would!  Especially if it was particular to that specific child.  Heaven knows one manual wouldn't work for all children.  I found that out raising my three boys.  Each one was incredibly unique.  There are a few general points to start from but then we have to individualize raising each child.  What works for one kid certainly won't work for the next.  That would just be too easy.  

I am not an expert on Parenting.  However, I do have some expertise because I was a child once.  My parents were great parents.   I didn't start admiring them after I became an adult, I thought they were pretty amazing even when I was a teen.  .  There were things I wanted to follow that my folks did, and things I wanted to change.  Added to the things I learned  as a child being parented, there were even more bounteous lessons in the 47 years I have been a parent to my three son's.  Again, some good, and some bad choices taught me what to do the next time I needed to use those skills.  There was no option.  I couldn't fail, and then give up.  There was no abdicating on Parenthood, so I needed to learn from challenges, successes, and failures.  Furthermore, my kids are now Parents and I can continue learning from their styles of Parenting.  I personally think they are doing a great job of Intentional Parenting their sweet adorable grandchildren.  So you see I do have a bit of a soapbox I can stand on here.  

Back to Toastmasters and my speech on Parenting.  Time was an issue.  It always is.  I have so much more to say on any given subject than the clock allows.  Silly me to think I could cover Parenting in 6-8 minutes.  It just couldn't happen and didn't.  I need to learn to break huge subjects into much smaller bites.  I will try to do the same with these blogs.  

I feel there are seven key elements to Parenting.  These are.... them

.....teach them with them

.....respect them

......discipline them

......sacrifice for them them, unconditionally

My intent is to write a blog on each of these seven elements for the next seven days.  It will be a challenge for me.  Maybe you can gain something as well.  Maybe it will  be a springboard to a conversation between you and your spouse for your kids!  

One thing I want to clarify right now is that even though I have expertise on Parenting, and there are certainly other experts on Parenting that you can research.  YOU, however, are the most important person raising your children.  YOU and the other parent you parented with, have the clearest cut expertise for your child.  There will be times in your life that you will think anyone can do a better job, but that is not true.  

Combine your efforts with your Heavenly Father and your stewardship over your children will flourish.  When you forget to work with your spouse (or the other parent) and your Heavenly Father you may flounder.  Also, you will have many challenges along the way.  As stated earlier the challenges will differ with each child.  We also need to keep up to date with possible chasms that our kids can fall into in each generation.  

Those of us that willingly choose Parenthood as our main career don't get to get off the ride before it is completed.  So buckle up and enjoy this "white knuckler ride".