This last Sunday I was trying to think of ways to keep the boys reverent during the sacrament when it came to me to have them each make a plan to do one act of service for someone else this week. They were a little belligerent at first, mostly because I made them close their books and focus on this until they had their plans firmly in their minds. Anders kept telling me he was finished, but when I would ask him what his plan was, he would respond, "To do something nice for you" (sweet boy). So, we kept at it until he had something specific and the sacrament was passed and we were left with a nice spirit for the rest of the meeting.
Well, fast forward to this morning, when all thought of the aforementioned goals was absent from my over-stuffed and poorly-performing mind. The boys were actively working on their morning chores that I had listed for them on the whiteboard. One of the chores on Anders' side was hanging up (or throwing in the dirty clothes, depending on their level of wear and tear) all the shirts he tends to stuff on top of the dresser. He hates this job. He can't reach the rod well, so he has to grab a stool and it takes a lot of effort for him to get the shirts to hang right on the hangers. This is probably why they end up on the dresser in the first place, but I try to tell him all the time that it would be easier to hang up one shirt every day than 10 on one day. Anyway, as Anders proceeded to empty the dishwasher, I went looking for a missing Soren, ready to berate him for lollygagging the morning away. He showed me. There he was in their bedroom, hanging up all of Anders' shirts, beaming at me with this blessed, goofy grin on his face.
I shouldn't be surprised anymore at the things this kid is able to remember.
I went straight over to him and gave him a big hug and thanked him for taking this assignment seriously. He had a great time surprising Anders and, of course, Anders was so thankful. Another bonus? The praise I lavished on him for hanging up Anders' shirts earned me a clean playroom and tidy bookshelves, two jobs that weren't on anyone's lists, but that Soren took it upon himself to oversee. I say "oversee" because he actually had Karsten help him clean them as I listened to him encouraging and praising his little brother.
I love it when we have a sweet spirit in our home. It makes me smile all day long.
P.S. Anders came up to me at lunch time with this awesomely excited expression on his face, "Mom! I know what service I'm going to do for you! I'm going to . . . O-BEY!" Ha ha haaaaa. Nice try little man. I thanked him for his desire to do that, but reminded him that obedience was expected of him every day. :) We're still working on coming up with a service project for him, but I have an inkling that Soren's stellar example today will give Anders some ideas.