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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Boo and Thank You

As goofy as we are, my little family had a blast this Halloween. This is us at the freezing trunk or treat. What a haul! Bananas was an Egyptian Queen complete with eye makeup which thrilled her to death. The Boy couldn't help but be Captain Jack Sparrow beard and all. Rapunzel, well, was Rapunzel this year. She grew her hair out past her bottom and boy, do I understand Tangled a lot better now. Jelly Beans, was a Sleeping Beauty and would curtsy every so gracefully with a, "Your Majesty" or "My, Lady." Quite hilarious.


But as much fun as Halloween was, I have been working on Fall/Thanksgiving decor for the last month and a half. Blame Super Saturday...it got me in the mood for a serious craft fest of goodness.

I throughally enjoyed ripping up a book making the paper pumpkin. It took about as many hours as sticking its counter part, the gold tack pumpkin. I had a bit of scrap paper left over from my 'Give Thanks' blocks and couldn't help myself and make my best knock off of a leaf garland. But those yarn wrapped candy cones where the easiest thing on the planet.  Yarn wrapping and I are going to be really good friends I think.  I saw these little ditties of framed leaves and figured out my own version as well because I was not patient enough to wait till morning to hunt down some gorgeous fall leaves.

A million candy corns later...

And a burlap table runner complete with lace trimmings.  Mine is a bit rumpled from use and since we are all on a first name basis I figured the pressing could wait. ;) Of course my pinsperation was gorgeous!  I couldn't justify purchasing new lace at over seven dollars a yard so I made do with what I had.

I am grateful for this cozy time of year when things become focused on gratitude, generosity, and blessings.  Since today is the 13th day I figured I could at least list thirteen things that I am more than blessed to have.
  1. A hard working man who loves me and my children and the Lord more than anything else in the world,  even more than football.  That is saying something.
  2. Four beautiful, sometime precocious and wild, but darling children.
  3. A home filled with love and laughter.
  4.  The full Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  5. Being able to stay home with my kiddos each and every day.
  6. Having the privilege and responsibility of teaching my children.
  7. Living in the United States.
  8. Seeing the first real snowfall and the wonder of it all through my children's eyes.
  9. New winter tires.
  10. Hands.
  11. Inspiration from the Holy Ghost when I truly need it.
  12. Walking.
  13. Trees that looked like they were blooming a sunset.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thanks again.

Homemade chicken noodles soup and chocolate mousse cake in the same day.

Orange, scarlet, and purple leaves.

Getting the very last parking spot with in a three block radius.

Holding hands with Jelly Beans.

Two working toilets.

Watching my six year old Rapunzel leap with wild graceful abandon in ballet.

Coming home to an empty kitchen trash can.

Hearing, "I love you to the moon and back, forever and ever and always." four times.

Front row seats to the retelling of "the best soccer game yet".

Being here to pick up the pieces when She needed me to.

Getting to bed 20 minutes earlier than yesterday.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Finding Joy, Day 1

It felt great to get out and have a run today.  I didn't realize how much I relied on and missed my morning therapy.  I just wish it just hadn't taken me three weeks to realize this. For exactly 30 minutes, I can think about one thing at a time.  Today it was not flying off the back of the treadmill  but that is another story. Let's just say adrenaline and endorphins...I get it. I definitely have a early morning date with the treadmill Wednesday morning minus any more snafus. 

Thankful thing number two...I had the gym to myself this morning unaccompanied by any witnesses to aforementioned treadmill shame.

School went more or less today.  Mondays are hard days.  I am not sure if it is the weekend business or the fact that it was the same darkness all day long that kept us all in hibernation mode and felt the need to take everything at the pace of a sloth but that is how today went.  Silver lining, I had the chance to talk with Bananas one on one about the "bear's" in her life that she might face and how she will react to them.  Thanks, Big Red.  I love when a book inspires my family to do better, grow better, and love better. 

My poor neighbors are making the sacrifice of a life time in their golden years to help out one of their family members and had to say goodbye to their doggy companions of over a decade.  It was distressing to see their tear stained cheeks coming in from their morning and last walk with their sweet dogs.  I have had to do some hard things, as we all do in life, but this one really resonated with me, the pure sacrifice and willingness to do good at ones own expense.  The best I could do to show that I understood them, loved them, and hoped the best for their comfort was to take a warm, fresh loaf of homemade bread, hot from the oven over to warm their souls.  I hope that it helped. 

Something to ponder.  My oldest daughter posed a good question today during family scripture study.  We are reading in 3 Nephi 9, Christ's visit to the Americas right after his resurrection.  We have been having long talks about what it would have been like, what we would have been doing, would we have listened, and so on.  So she has had some serious questions for us about how we are doing things now and I am proud of her for seeking and not just following.  But her question tonight, although something that a "seasoned" member might pass over, was, what does it mean to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit?  I love how the gospel is always new in the eyes of children.  I am always amazed how much they teach me, and how quickly I forget that they are here to teach me probably more than I could ever teach them about love and life and priorities.  So I will be thinking about this this week, do I have a broken heart and contrite spirit?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Something Old, Something New, and Something Blue.

Nope not a wedding, my living room!  Finally after a year of staring at the most awful fireplace monstrosity Mister and I pulled on the shoes of Weekend Warriors and had at it.  At first I had intended to replace the red couch with a tan one, but I found out I love, love, love turquoise and red together. 

So  BEFORE:
Yuck, yuck, yuckity yuck.
 Now it feels like home.
 A little showing off of the Pottery Barn knock-off hurricane candle holders I made for under, get this, $15 for all three!
 And the Pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance, my yarn wrapped monogram letter T with scrap paper roses and embellishments. I just need to frame this baby!

I love it.  Every time I walk in my front door and enter with a smile on my face.  It really is home now, because it looks like what home feels like in my heart.  Besides the new mantel shelf is the perfect excuse to be crafty e.v.e.r.y. season of the year.  Oh the ideas that are rolling around my brain!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Letter

Dear Father Time,
I know you get a lot of requests to extend the day maybe one, two, twenty hours, but I already know the answer to that. 

Negatory rubber duck. 
Yep, thought so.

But what about slowing it dooooooowwwwwwwnnnn.  Just for, let's say for the next 10 years even.  Really, what is a decade in regards to the infinite?     You won't even miss it!  Heck you might even get a chance to savor it! Oh, how lovely.  Savoring, not just the moment, but the entire day for the next age.  You could even name it diamond years, forget about golden.   

I know I'm wearing you down.  Think about the long sweet afternoon sipping a cool lemonade watching time float by rather than fly through that hour glass you got there. 

Just think about it.

Sincerely,
Me

P.S.   I made a deal with Santa that I would start sending you all my letters every day. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lazy Summer Days...

...are a myth, for me, at least. I can't help it. After hibernating this very cold and unusually long winter that lasted until June, it feels amazing to be out exploring, playing, and soaking up vitamin D with my kids.

So far our typical lazy summer week consists of picnics at the splash pad at least twice a week, the free movie on Friday mornings at the theater, awesome library classes to get out of the heat in the afternoon, hiking a new trail, disc golfing with Mister, having friends over for huge bubble making parties with our yarn bubble wands from Family Fun, and a trip to the Spokane River in various locations,




and walking through the English, and Rose Gardens at Manito Park.


Look how thrilled The Boy looks.
(Thank you random missionary for anchoring this shot.)

Plus going for bike rides, topped off with sewing and cooking lessons until swim lessons start at the end of the month.

We have also managed to squeeze in a road trip vacation for a week for a wedding which I managed to get absolutely zero pictures of because I left our flash card behind. I am very steamed about the whole thing, still.  Rapunzel also needed an emergency side of the road potty break, which we later found out that Jelly Beans was very covetous about because when we finally got to the much needed gas station and announced to the kids we are going potty, Jelly Beans exclaims: "Do I get to pee in the grass too!?!"  We finally consoled her with the fact that when we go camping she will get to do that a lot.

The next couple of months don't look like they will be slowing us down any either with three summer birthdays still in the forcast, two with in the two weeks, a day trip to the Grand Coolee Dam for the Lazer Light Show with some traditional fun in the sand at a sandy beach not to far from there and my anniversary (13 years, whoot!) just to name a few.

I love summer and the hubbub!
Now I need to start taking my camera with me with a flash card in it.

Plus summer means parading around with glitter toes...the icing on the cake.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

By passing Bickering

In my blogger heading I mention that there is a 30% chance for tantrums in our little slice of heaven here, but lately it has been more like 50% chance OF FLOOD. Now don't get me wrong. Usually my kiddos get along great and show respect and love toward one another but there are those days that the bicker bug runs rampant in our house biting everyone in sight.

For instance:

"He/she took all the good chores!"

"I never get to be the first to read."

"How come we are having THAT for breakfast?"

"But we had the kind of sandwich already this week."

"It is my turn to use the remote!"

"Why can't I pick the movie for movie night?"

"He/she got to say the meal prayer last time." (I know the irony is thick here.)

"But Mom said that I get to help cook, today."

"If you unlock the doors today, I get to the rest of the week."

"How come so-and-so got to do what-ever-it-is-that-i-don't-get-to-do-right-now?"

"Is his/her turn up for the computer so that I can play?"

"You sat by mom last time."

"But I never get to turn the lights out!"

"He got to the door first and it is my turn!"

"No, I get to carry the library card, Costco card, receipt..etc."

"But said sibling is standing in my spot!" (These are imaginary placements at the front door before we head out...not sure who started this but I want to pull my hair out with retraining them with the fact that the floor, all of it, belongs to me.)

And on and on and on...just think about your own childhood and I am sure you are siding with one of those comments above.

So in the trenches of sibling rivalry here, I came across a unique idea that is mind boggling in an article written in, A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion,by Diane Jeppson: give each child a day for all the privileges. There is no keeping track minute to minute, instance to instance, wracking my brain trying to remember who did what when and how long ago that it was.

We labeled it, "Kid of the Day", on our new chalkboard wall.

This has been revolutionary. Granted there is still the little skirmish here and there, but all I have to do is add my two cents of, "What does the board say, who's turn it is?" Like magic the fighting stops immediately. Because each child agreed to it, and knows the consequence of throwing a fit on their off day...they lose a turn, they usually take it in stride and sometimes seem genuinely good with it.

We are currently on the second week of testing this out and so far so good. The kids wake up and run to the board to see whose turn it is today and are amazingly happy for that individual. I make sure to vary the particular day with each kid as well. Some days are just more fun than others at our house. It would be a downer to always be the Kid of the Day on say, Tuesday. I'll be honest not much happens in the adventure department on Tuesdays. I mean how exciting is laundry day?

Just like anything I am sure it won't always work but for now we love having a Kid of the Day!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chalkboard Paint is Great

Yes, chalkboard paint and I are now friends. I want to paint every flat surface with this stuff.

I had way too much fun working on my big organization/magnet/chalkboard wall this week. Finally, I have everything that goes on in our house in one spot! Plus I get a little kick out of writing on the wall. :)

Before paint...


Painted and the long three days wait begins.


Now, rockin' it, organizational style with top right weekly menu, calendar, shopping lists, chore chart, Family Home Evening assignments, and room for all the other things that go on in our house.

Of course, this makes me want to put together cute glass magnets.  And eventually, when I am in my own house, not a rental...I will glue down some fabulous molding for a chic framed look to hide the screws.  But for now, I love having a place for our life.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Latter-day Homeschooling, Are You Next?

Latter-day Homeschooling



You thought I was going to challenge all of you to homeschool, didn't you?  Don't worry you are safe. ;)  Actually I wanted to share this blog with others in the hopes that the fine ladies who run Latter-day Homeschooling would be so kind as to include my blog on their blog list so that I can be more integrated into the blogosphere of those who choose to join this amazing, yet crazy journey of keeping your kids home and still get them educated and maintain all those things that go with raising a family and keeping a home intact.

It makes my day to see an update on my blog roll for Latter-day Homeschooling when I check my blog.  I always come away after reading with something to better in my own homeschool, or reassurance that I am not insane, or an aspect of homeschooling life that I hadn't thought of and then can ponder upon.

My homeschooling journey started over ten years ago and feel that I have much to learn still, but realized also that I am breaking into new ground and will soon be considered a "seasoned homeschooling mom" as I approach schooling with a teenager. Some how I feel more like a good piece of stake. Well salted on the outside but some what rare and squishy in the middle. ;)  But I have learned much along the way and would hope to be useful in saving someone else from my mistakes. Besides passions are to be shared!

Monday, April 4, 2011

My New Guilty Pleasures

Apparently I excel at losing weight from the hours of 6am to 3:30pm.  After that, all bets are off. 

My Weight Watchers meeting/weigh in always give me a half hour at least, to ponder, sometimes steam about, and to reflect upon what I could be doing better so as not to repeat the same old habits that got me where I am today.  (i.e. to many fruits and vegetables are not the problem.) 

So in order to beat the bulge, stay on track, and not blow the benefit of the 2 1/2 mile run for the day, every day, I succumbed to, what I hope will be, three diverting reads. 

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Water for Elephants, and The Postmistress.  

Honestly, I wanted The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, but refused to spend full price on a hardback and in so doing spent more on three paperbacks. 

Shhhh, don't tell Mister. :)  

I know nothing more about these books other than that they are best sellers, prominently displayed at the book store, with glowing recommendations by people that I have never met.  Hopefully I will be delightfully pleased, maybe even touched.

Now these three lovely distractions sit upon my nightstand, far away from the kitchen, waiting to be devoured, and the chocolate chips are safe for at least one more week.

Good bye 13 pounds, never to be seen again.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Saturday Morning Session




This is what I woke up to early Saturday morning (notice the light is on in the back which means the sun is barely up).  The bigger kids planned and schemed all week long on how, what, and where to construct their traditional tent for conference.  It was cozy and a great way to snuggle together while listening to the excellent words of this last LDS General Conference.  With the waft of warm strawberry scones hot out of the oven and the sweetness of the morning, I think it was just about the perfect way to start a fabulous family weekend.

P.S. Thank you Sugardoodle for the quiet saver conference packets for all the ages!  The treat bingo was a HUGE hit. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Finding Faith in Jesus Christ

Last Sunday I mentioned to my Relief Society president and 1st councelor how nerve wracking conducting infront of the ladies has become for me.  I of course brushed it off with the comment, I just need more practice.  Two days later...

The bishop's secretary calls me in desperation because the planned speaker had to go out of town.  So, now I really got a chance to practice my public speaking as a sacrament speaker this Sunday with less than a week to prepare.  Not to mention I had a planned Relief Society activity to execute, three out of my four children had some part in the primary opening exercises scheduled for this Sunday as well and several planned meetings for service, Relief Society, and homeschool. Let's just say I did not go to bed early last night. ;)

But here are my best efforts with a crazy week and the most fiendish preparation possible the night before...


Spring is almost here!  I can’t wait to see flower buds and tulips shooting up out of the ground.  Green grassy wisps peppering the lawns and getting a chance to throw open the windows to let the spring air in.  Everything will be fresh and new again. 

I love that the kids have been learning the song, “Gethsemane” in primary.  It is so fitting for the renewal of life that spring will hopefully bring our way very soon.   It goes like this…

He felt all that was sad, wicked or bad, all the pain we would ever know.
While his friends were asleep He fought to keep His promise made long ago.
The hardest thing that ever was done,
The greatest pain that ever was known,
The biggest battle that ever was won,
This was done by Jesus!
The fight was won by Jesus!

 As stated in the fourth Article of Faith the first principle of our gospel is faith; faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the Son of God, our Redeemer and Savior.  He is our champion.   He rallied for our cause in the premortal life and promised to come to earth so that we would have a way home.  “Here I am, send me.”  We all started with faith in Jesus Christ.  Being here in a physical body shows your willingness to trust Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness with Jesus being our way.  We are the ones who said ,”Yes! We will follow Him as our Savior and Redeemer.”   But sometimes that faith is lost or forgotten, or hibernating, or better yet still growing which is my hope.
First we need to know who He is.  The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, felt so strongly about this in 2000 that they wrote and sent out a their combined testimonies called, The Living Christ.

So how do we find faith in Jesus Christ?

 “Our spiritual journey is the process of a lifetime,” teaches Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve. “We do not know everything in the beginning or even along the way. We first build a foundation of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Our conversion comes step-by-step, line upon line. We treasure the principles and ordinances of repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. We include a continuing commitment to prayer, a willingness to be obedient, and an ongoing witness of the Book of Mormon. (The Book of Mormon is powerful spiritual nourishment.)
We then remain steady and patient as we progress through mortality. At times, the Lord’s answer will be, “You don’t know everything, but you know enough”—enough to keep the commandments and to do what is right. 

Faith is such a precious gift.  It is a shield from the fiery arrows of Satan, a comforter in time of distress, trails, and loss.  It is our eternal life vest and firm foundation.  Faith in Jesus Christ should also be the principle motivator for all that we do that is good and right.  We have been given so many resources to grow our mustard seeds of faith daily through scripture study and prayer as families and alone, in church and temple worship and work, through a living prophet’s voice, in service, in forgiveness and repentance, in charity, and in finding the good in each other.

Pres. Monson so effectively states, “To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone” (Bible Dictionary, “Faith,” 669). True faith must be centered in Jesus Christ. “Faith is a principle of action and of power” (Bible Dictionary, 670). It requires us to do, not merely to believe. Faith is a spiritual gift from God that comes through the Holy Ghost. It requires a correct understanding and knowledge of Jesus Christ, His divine attributes and perfect character, His teachings, Atonement, Resurrection, and priesthood power. Obedience to these principles develops complete trust in Him and His ordained servants and assurance of His promised blessings.
There is no other thing in which we can have absolute assurance. There is no other foundation in life that can bring the same peace, joy, and hope. In uncertain and difficult times, faith is truly a spiritual gift worthy of our utmost efforts.”

“Of our utmost efforts.”  That helps define our priorities, a bit, don’t you think?

Faith is tantamount to our earthly existence.  We must cultivate and grow our faith in Jesus Christ till we are filled to the brim with His light, that we have not a doubt, to know Him as our personal Savior.

            In Moroni 7:33 Christ said, “If ye have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.”
As we focus our hearts, minds, might, and strength toward gaining a stronger testimony of Jesus Christ and building the faith that comes with that we will be able to with stand the pressures of life and the world.  Examples of faith are all around us.  In a great missionary, a valiant and virtuous young women, and righteous mothers, fathers, and grandparents, and in diligent hometeachers and visiting teachers.  We never have to look to far to see a disciple of Christ.  


Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “Faith is a gift of God bestowed as a reward for personal righteousness. It is always given when righteousness is present, and the greater the measure of obedience to God’s laws the greater will be the endowment of faith” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 264). 

Obedience is our key to faith.  Faith builds our trust, and allows miracles to happen in ourselves and our lives.

 To the woman with an issue of blood with faith so pure that all she needed was to touch the hem of His clothing, the Savior assured her, “…thy faith hath made thee whole.”  Finding our own faith in our Lord Jesus Christ will make us whole; whole in spirit, in heart, in might, in mind, and in strength.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Top Three

My top three things that made my hectic but rewarding day worth while:

3: imagine in the daintiest and sweetest three year old speech..."Baw-bie dominows? ... Sweeet!"

2: While perusing books for teaching children, I stumbled upon a site for fathers called FamilyMan Ministries and found a book titled..."Help! I am Married to a Homeschooling Mom".

and finally

1: diriving some sort of ironic satisfaction that while I was watching Biggest Loser tonight, I was also having a lovely bowl of light chocolate chip mint ice cream, because I had points left over from my too busy to sit down and eat kind of day!

What were your top three?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Crafter-hours

I admittedly stay up waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to late doing things like watching 'Bride Wars' and 'Music and Lyrics' with a bit of crafting on the side. So here is what I have to show for myself other than dark circles under my eyes...


Inspiration Jars for Craft Night with the Relief Society Ladies.
(this is the prototype to entice comers)




The awesome, easy to make paper roses come from Little Birdie Secrets fabulous blog and then she added them to a jar, and well the rest is history! We are going to have lists of Date Night Ideas with your hubby, Family Fun Ideas, and another with daily scriptures all about charity, love, kindness..etc. This little baby is going on my nightstand when all is said and done.

And then because, well, I apparently can't be left alone with paper of any kind, I whipped up these little ditties for my girls' room.





I am now in love with rick rack and buttons.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bedtime Battle Rewards

Now my little man, is my super star sleeper. Of my four kids he rocks the nighttime kasbah like this is the last night for Mr. Sandman, so make it a good one. But the girls....oh, the giggly, talkative, Chatty Cathys just can't help themselves.

Every night it is a new antic.

...climbing the bunk bed latter because their beds, pardon me boats, are sinking...

...the rapid fire one hundred miniature stuffed animal volley...

...the contagious giggling virus that seems to infect them as soon as the lights turn off...

...the thirst epidemic that grips the girls bedroom each night at about 8pm...

..."Didn't you pee all day? Why are you out here...again? Potty...wow that's original"...

..."Mom, my rooms to hot/cold/quiet/loud/dark"...it supposed to be that way...because I said so...

..."I'm scared, Mommy."..."Of, what?"..."The breathing!"..."That is just your sister. That is the sound of sleep. Now you try it."

..."Mom, my eye, I mean my foot hurts."

..."I have a hangnail and will need a clipper and a bandaid..stat"

and my personal favorite...

..."Mom, I am not tired. Maybe if I had a cookie I think I might feel more sleepy."

Oy.

It is just after 10 pm and my littlest girl has finally joined her comrades in the fight against all that is snoozy and is finally asleep. Her last words to me were, "Mom, you tucked me in wrong."

So I reshuffle a perfectly fine blanket layer a smidgen to the right and boom...she is out like a light...seriously. I watched it with my own two eyes. But, not before her sweet angel face with hands snugly tucked under her cherub cheeks says, "Thank you, mommy.", expertly shooting an arrow straight to my heart.

And that is why I can't trade bedtime for anything else.