Monday, November 30, 2009

Family Night Fun


Little Lou

What a cute stinker. Lydia is my little monkey (well, all of my kids have been and are monkeys, always climbing on things and into everything). All these pictures are within a 10 minute time period. We put our Christmas tree up on a stand we created out of food storage buckets and a big box, so Lydia can only reach the very bottom of the tree. After three older kids and years of not decorating the bottom half of the tree we finally got smart to move the tree out of reach. However, I think we could have put the tree at regular height. I have successfully trained Lydia to not touch the DVD player which is right at her level and very demanding of her attention. "uh-oh" is a very powerful statement, when combined with short time outs in her high chair. Now all I have to do is say "uh-oh" and she turns around and walks away from the DVD player, or whatever else it is I don't want her to touch.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Here is a funny photo to bring a smile to your face.

Friday, November 27, 2009

happy birthday

Happy Birthday to our Becca Princess.
Today she turned three years old. Becca wanted a "kitty cat" birthday with lots of pink. The above picture was our breakfast cake, which was cranberry bread (that none of the kids liked) and we had eggs and bread for breakfast. For Charlie's birthday last month we did a scavenger hunt for him to find his gift and Jeremy hid it in the oven. So this morning when Becca came downstairs and saw the table all decorated for her birthday she headed to the oven and looked in it and was disappointed that there was no gift in there. After breakfast she opened gifts.

Becca got an apron and chef hat and pots and pans. The pots and pans are made out of metal and all of the kids had great fun playing with them.

I made these little, individual cakes for Becca's birthday cake. I baked a sheet cake and then used a lid to cut the circles and layered them two high for each cake. For the frosting I tried marshmallow fondant. It was quite easy and fun to use. I was able to roll it out and just lay over each little cake and then the shapes I cut out and added on top. The kids loved having their own little cake, and we even put candles on everyone's cake and let them each blow out their own candle.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Here is a beautiful quote from Sister Hinckley:

"I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenk’s lawn. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden. I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived." 

This quote warms my hearts and lets me know that I am doing it right. My priorities are in the right place, I am focused on what is most important.

I had a fun afternoon with the girls today. Becca wanted to play a game, so she got one out of the game closet. It was a puzzle game, with a spinner and 26 cards - each one with a letter of the alphabet and a picture of the word. After getting the puzzle part put together Becca and I were trying to play the game, but Lydia wanted to be involved, but her way of being involved was to pull things apart and scatter things. Becca was getting frustrated and so I improvised and gathered all the letter cards and just started handing them to Becca one by one and asking her what the picture was. She liked doing this and I remembered I had a box full of picture flash cards. I got those out and she loved going through all the flashcards. I would show her the word and then she turned the card over to see the picture. Then I pulled out the cards that had just words and I would show her the words and she would repeat it. Then she started picking  out the letter 'o' on each word with that letter. She was having a great time and I think we did that for at least a half and hour. I had a fun time doing it with her. She turns 3 this week and I was amazed at her attention span.

We had a good family home evening tonight. Tom came home from school today and announced that he is staying home from school tomorrow. This is so not like Tom, he loves school and even when he was sick he wanted to go to school. I asked him what the problem was and he said some kids at recess were making fun of him. He was trying so hard not to cry when he was telling me this. Oh how this breaks a mothers heart. I took it in stride and talked with him, and held him.
Charlie has been having trouble with this too, so for family home evening we talked about loving others.  First we all took a turn to share what we are thankful for. We have a little footstool that each of the kids took a turn standing on to tell us their thankful list. Even little Lydia got up on the stool. It is so cute that even at the young age of one year (15 months) she sees what the other kids do and she does not want to get left out. She was mostly proud of herself that she was able to climb on the stool and stand there without falling off (because she did fall off on her first try). When it was Jeremy's turn he explained that he was glad for a loving family and how that influences us to be able to love others. He explained that sometimes other kids don't feel loved and they act that out by being mean to others. We talked about what we can do when others are mean than we did a little role playing. We sang "Jesus Said Love Everyone" multiple times until the boys could sing it by themself. I am really big on primary songs and helping my kids learn them - it might have something to do with me having that calling in four different wards, but mostly it's because I love the primary songs and think if our kids can have those songs in their hearts they will remember the messages when then need a little extra help.
The name calling seems to be the main issue both boys are having - which I think is probably a common issue for kids that age - I mean, even within our own home I hear name calling going on - I think it just hurts more coming from school kids, especially if others kids catch on and further reinforce the hurt. So we suggested to the boys that if someone calls them a name they could respond, "no, my name is...". We also suggested they could just ignore the remark and then Charlie suggested they could invite that kid to play a game with them. I hope something helps and that it doesn't become a problem that really does make my kids want to stay home from school. At bedtime Tom announced that he is staying home from school, so despite our lesson, he still doesn't want to face recess tomorrow. I'm waiting to see how he feels in the morning.


I went to the new Twilight movie on Friday with my new group of friends.  We made tshirts for the occasion that say "Twilight Geek" or "Bite Me Edward". I'm not a die hard fan, but it was a fun outing. Florida has been good for me in making friends and getting out and doing things. Nine of the girls in this picture have husbands in graduate programs and they like to get out and do things. It seems like at least every other week something is going on. I'm grateful that they are so inclusive and thoughtful to invite everyone. It's a large group, but the feeling seems to be, the more the merrier. We all have children, most have two, I have the most with four kids, but Kandis is pregnant with her fourth, so soon I won't be the only one with so many.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sweet Moment

After school we went on a bike ride with the kids. We have a bike trailer for the girls to ride in and the rest of us have bikes. We rode around our subdivision and then to the park that is in the next subdivision. The park there is nicer than our park. It has wood chips instead of sand under the play equipment and there is a nice large grassy area for running and playing soccer. The kids were having a fun time on the playground and kicking the ball with Jeremy, so I took a walk around, trying to shake off the afternoon blahs (of feeling so tired, all I really wanted to do was take a nap). Charlie came over by me and started walking with me. I asked him how life was going and he said "not very well". I asked him what was going on and he said that some of the kids at school are calling him "puffy pants". That some girl had started calling him that and some of the other kids have caught on and do it too.  I asked him if had told those kids that that hurt his feelings and is not nice to say unkind things. He hadn't. I hope he has courage to stand up to those kids, and that those kids are sensitive enough to stop teasing. We never want it to be our kid that is being teased, but I think better to be teased than to be the agressor.
So, the sweet moment came a few minutes after that conversation. On our little walk we came to a bench and sat down. I was asking him about his turning 8 next year and what he thought he needed to do to be ready to be baptized. "I need to read the scriptures". I asked him if he would like to read the whole Book of Mormon, or have me mark verses for him, and read parts of it. He was certain that he wanted to read all of it.  Then we were talking about his feelings about the gospel and he said he loves Heavenly Father and loves church and wants to be an eternal family. As I was listening to him I recognized this was not just a little boy repeating what he has learned at church, he really feels this and knows this. It was a heart warming moment. Charlie really is such a sweet little boy, although I'm excited for him to be growing up and be his own person, I am already starting to miss the little boy, so sweet and innoscent, I hope he never really grows out of that.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Today's Sunday School lesson was about family history. I usually dismiss the topic of family history thinking, "well my parents have that under control, so I don't need to worry about that". Today, however, I was feeling guilty for my dismissive attitude. The teacher mentioned that one important thing about family history is the stories - getting to know and remembering our ancestors. We need to be sharing those stories and preserving them. I think that is something I can be working on. Gathering stories and sharing those stories with my family. My grandparents (who have all passed on) and my father and mother-in-law in particular are good at sharing stories. Unfortunately I have a poor memory and only vaugely remember bits and pieces of stories they have shared. My hope is to gather some pictures and stories and maybe make little books so I can read them to my kids and so they can look at them on their own.

Friday, November 06, 2009

One Nation

I love our great country and I believe that the founding fathers had great faith in God. This Youtube shows a painting representing the faith of our fathers.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Shall I falter or shall I fiish

Have you ever watched the movie "Rudy"? It is one of my all time favorites. It is a story of a young man who had a seemingly impossible dream, who was able to realize that dream despite insurmountable odds and obstacles. A lesson to learn from Rudy's journey is to never give up. Try, try, try again. Two main qualities that he had were: 1- a positive attitude  2- he always gave his all - he didn't do things part way - he lived with all his heart. We learn from him that a winner is someone who gets up no matter how many times they fall.

I've had chronic fatigue for 11 years. I am much better than I used to be, but I still have my up days and my down days. For years I hoped for some explanation and for some hope of being "cured" so that I could be "normal" again (for those of you who have been pregnant, just think of the days when you were so exhausted and that is what I feel like on a regular basis, a better name than chronic fatigue would be chronic exhaustion, it is so much more than just being tired). I stopped looking for answers from doctors and pills and turned to God and myself. I pray for strength and understanding and then I try to apply what I learn. So many times I fail to live up to the knowledge and understanding I've been given, but I keep trying.
I know I need to get regular exercise and focus on eating nutrient dense foods. I do really well for awhile, start feeling a lot better and then I falter in my good routine, have a bad day and fall off the good habits. The one thing I have to say is I keep getting back up and try again - sometimes I'm down for a long time and pout and whine and don't want to do the hard thing, but then God blesses me with the strength I need to try again. Without God's help I don't know if I could ever generate enough strength for the catalyst I need to start the forward motion. Truly, sometimes I look back and remember how helpless and hopeless I felt one day and by the next day my attitude, outlook and ability had changed and I once again had the strength I needed to try again.

Watching the movie Rudy tonight was a good reminder of why I keep trying. Last week I was having a "wo is me" day and I thought "why should I bother to keep trying, I always end up back down here, so why get up again so I can just fall again?" I am so glad that I don't let those bad thoughts keep me down. I am so thankful that God blesses me and that my perseverance wins out in the end.