Friday, January 29, 2010

Updated Crafts

I just updated my craft blog. Check it out if you are interested.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A thought from a book...

So often I will read a book and find something I want to remember or think others would benefit from what I have read. I am reading "What the Scriptures Teach Us about Raising a Child" by S. Micheal Wilcox. I am not very far into it but I came across a section that really got me thinking.

He is talking about Mary the mother of Jesus. The part where Jesus as a young child wanders from his parents and is found teaching scholars in the temple. I am not a gospel scholar so I will just quote his understanding.

"When Jesus was found teaching in the temple at the age of twelve, Mary's mildly chiding question, his seemingly enigmatical reply, which she did not fully understand, gives added insight (see Luke 2:43-50). This was no power struggle by either of them, yet even at this early moment in his development, when the dawning realization of his life's mission was settling upon him "he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these saying in her heart"(Luke 2:51)

"There will be in our lives moments when our children say or do things under the guiding influence of the Father, things which we do not understand. These will be moments to ponder, to keep in the heart, as Mary did at this time, as she had earlier after the visit of the shepherds (see Luke 2:19). In time, awareness will come as we gratefully realize forces are at work in the lives of our offspring to shape them and prepare them beyond the scope of our own efforts. We are not alone in our responsibility to create the foundations upon which they will build their lives. There is much comfort in that thought."

I thought this was a profound thought especially since my children are so young and fresh from our Heavenly Father they are less polluted by the world than I am. I am pretty sure that Heavenly Father uses that sweet pureness to teach me a thing or two or a million!

Last week Miranda decided she wanted to plan a meal so we let her. She scoured the cookbooks and came up with spaghetti and meatballs, a green salad (with the toppings), garlic bread and brownies from scratch. She found the ingredients and told me what she needed. Turns out neither of us knew this was an activity that helps her earn her Faith in God award. Woo-hoo! Tonight we decided was the night she would cook. The brownies took FOR-E-VER to make, but she did it and it surpassed any home made brownies that I have made. I realize I have a control issue (this isn't new). Not that I need to control everything but it is so much easier for me to do it myself especially when I am more knowledgeable or experienced. This means I am a lousy teacher, funny since I am a mother to six! Anyways, I lectured myself silently about 12 thousand times to let Miranda do it even if I can do it better, faster and more efficient (yes this is arrogant and lack humility, lesson learned...again!). She would ask for my help then tell me she could do it, or ask for my help then when I jumped in she would get in front of me. At one point I threw a minor temper tantrum and stormed away (knocking over the 10 pound bag of sugar!) because I didn't want to blow a gasket. (Ridiculous that I had such little patience huh?) So I went to my bed and kneeled down to plead with my Heavenly Father to have more patience and that I can control myself. I can't say that when I walked out to help her that I was 100% perfect but it helped. She did it and she did a great job. I am in awe that my eight year old little girl made brownies from scratch, something I didn't do until a few months ago! I have so much to learn from these amazing children that I have been so wonderfully blessed with. I am also amazed that I have 7 people in my house who can teach me lessons that my Heavenly Father feels I stand in need of, even if they aren't flattering, appealing or even what I feel I stand in need of. I realize this is opposite of what I quoted above, but I know that our Father in Heaven will never leave us alone especially if we are giving our best effort for all the right reasons.

Another thing that I learned from the example or thought from this book is that sometimes it is so important to just listen and "file it away." I pray to Heavenly Father but it is not too often that I kneel and listen and wait for guidance, answers or even affirmation that I am doing the right thing. I treat prayer like a check list. I kneel to pray before I go to bed, check! I read the scriptures, check! I brush my teeth, check! I so badly need to get in the habit of listening. There is probably lots of guidance and inspiration that I am missing out on for the simple reason of not listening. Like I mentioned here, I don't do well with silence.

In summary:
Don't dismiss my children, because they are children, CHECK!
Be willing to learn from my children, CHECK!
LISTEN more often than I pray! CHECK!

Baby Blvd.

It has been a while since I have done one of these but I found an adorable contest at one of my favorite crafting blogs Make it and Love it. You can go there and check it out. It is for a gift card $25.00 to Baby Blvd. There are totes and scripture covers, as well as scripture covers with handles. I think I have my eye on this:
Picture taken from Baby Blvd.

Go on over to Make It and Love it to join in the fun!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


This is it, it is official, we no longer have a baby in the house. Our baby turned one last week. Oh that kid is so sweet and one of a kind. He has been the perfect addition to our perfect family (I can say that with humility, because I am pretty sure you think your own family is perfect as well!)

I love being his mom and feeling him cling to me as he watches the world around him. He is a mover and you can believe he knows life is not a specator sport. He gets in there and has no idea that he is not the same age and size as all his siblings. Jackson and Logan continue to adore each other. Lauren and Jackson are probably going to be Bonnie and Clyde as soon as Jackson becomes of some use to her. As it stands she is waiting patiently for that change. When he wakes up from his nap she opens the door and closes it, that's the easiest way to not get caught. then she climbs in his crib and talks to him, he enjoys it and I think she loves a student to teach!

Jackson about 1 week...

...about 3 months...

...about 6 months...

...about 9 months

...about 11 months

...finally Jackson at 1 year.

We celebrated his birthday a little bit late but we did get the traditional smearing of the cupcake!

He enjoyed his cupcake and had no problem making a mess. He also enjoyed the bath and nice warm jammies afterwards. Not to mention the many gifts from his many adoring fans. Thanks to all of you who helped us celebrate this milestone!

Just let me get through this week...

Having jury duty gave me a little taste of what a mom who works outside the home must have to deal with. It is exhausting trying to figure out needs, prepare for them and be on time. As I was trying to just "get through" this last week, I realized I have been saying that a lot lately. I know that this is just how life is for me, well for everyone. (If you don't think you have a lot on your plate or are busy, please comment!) There are so many fun things that I like to do but don't really enjoy them as much because I am trying to just get through it.

This is especially relevant in watching the munchkins grow. In trying to get through the week I miss the opportunities to sit and stare at these gorgeous kids I have been blessed with and be amazed by them. They surprise me all the time and I can't help but wish I could catalog all the cute moments I see, such as when Hannah, on her own accord, grabs a Kleenex and wipes her baby brother's snotty nose. There are so many moments I don't want to miss or forget, because I was too busy trying to get through life. Life is what it is and I need to choose to appreciate all the wonderful moments that surround me. That is not to say I won't be busy or I will do less, but I will try to focus more on the moment and less on getting through it. Hopefully with that change I will be able to see more ways in which I am blessed!


to sum it up, I had a great time. It was fun to be a part of something so essential to our community and truly get the opportunity to see how the judicial system works. Fascinating, even if at times a little boring.

I am extremely grateful to Hayley, Brittany, Tamra and Jen who took my kids so Jeremy didn't have to abandon work. Not only were you willing but had nice things to say about my kids after it was done! Just as a thank you, each of you have at least one funny story to remember the event by, I think collectively there was a locked bathroom door experience courtesy of Lauren! I am also grateful to the many others who offered to help out. I can't tell you how loved I feel.

Most days were typical, unfortunately I don't get to share what cases I worked on, there were five, but I can tell you of a heart stopping trip to jury duty!

I need to say this up front, Jeremy LOVES his car. I have come to call the quirks "personality." His car has an abundance of it! I really don't like driving it for multiple reasons, the biggest is simply because getting into it is a little on the difficult side. The driver side door does not open from the outside. For Jeremy's long arms it is not a problem, he reaches in through the rear drivers side door and can grab the inside handle of the driver's door to pop the door open. For me and my short arms I can not manage such a feat. I have to reach over from the passenger side door pop it open, then run around the car. If the car jostles too much the door will click just enough that I have to do it again...and again...and again. The other option is just to climb over from the passenger side into the driver's seat. Depending on my wardrobe it isn't too difficult, just a little on the embarrassing side. The next bit of personality which is actually relevant to my story is that the driver's side window doesn't roll down. Image driving through a toll both (we live near a few toll bridges!). My mom borrowed the car and had to travel across one. Imagine her surprise as she pulls up to the toll booth and can't figure out how to roll down the window to pay the toll. She quickly remembered and made the necessary adjustment of pulling forward enough to be able to open the door and pay the toll to the operator who is wondering what is going on!

So it started on Thursday morning as I was happily driving to do my civil duty. The windows were fogged up so I had a little bit of a difficult time with my peripheral vision. I used the windshield wipers to get the morning dew off the front and it kind of smeared more than cleared. I was more or less able to see and drive safely forward. Then I turned on to the freeway and had to merge. BIG PROBLEM! I couldn't see and traffic I was merging into. Both side windows were glistening brightly in the sun and the side mirror was covered in dew as well, not to mention the rear view mirror was useless since the back window was covered as well! I turned on my blinker tried several times to look and see who I was going to crash into but couldn't. Closed my eyes and went for it! Phew, there was no sound of crunching metal. I started freaking out when it dawned on me that I HAD to get over two lanes of traffic because the freeway was splitting and I needed to be on the other side. I think I used up a weeks of earned blessings as I tried to responsibly change lanes with no help from visual confirmation. I made it, only to be behind a garbage truck. I used up enough of my luck so I didn't feel I should push it by trying to go around. So as little specks of garbage kept flying at me, I had to remind myself to be grateful for the safety I had managed thus far. A few miles later the windows and mirror started clearing and I could make out enough to see that it was going to be OK and my heart could decelerate. Then I look up to see a black thing moving on the edge of the garbage truck, as it fell off the garbage truck going about 50mph I realized this was not garbage but a living breathing cat. It rolled and rolled towards my ever nearing car. I steered as close as I could to the left side lane markers and closed my eyes sending a quick prayer that I would not feel the inevitable bump. I never did. I looked out the passenger side mirror to see the cat running along the shoulder with it's tail up in the air like it had just gotten off the bus at his expected stop. Apparently I have a very strong heart because I thought for sure that was more than I could handle for the 15 minute drive from home to the court house.

Then I immediately called Jeremy to explain that he is lucky he has a 4 minute commute all on city streets otherwise I would insist that we find a way to get him a car that wasn't a death trap! Another realization that came to me is that when he drives the van, he waits for a very long time to use the windshield wipers, it drives me nuts, but I can't say anything since he seems to be okay with it. I simply choose to look out the passenger side window to avoid irritation. After driving his car I realized that he is simply used to his wipers that work better when you don't use them.

Enough about bashing his car, like I said in the beginning, he loves his car, and I love giving him a bad time about it. I am grateful we have a second car and it is, more or less, safe and reliable. The things that are hard for me are things he has a routine for, like I always wondered why he keeps a dirty old towel in the back is to wipe down all the mirrors and windows before he drives!

Friday, January 08, 2010

A series of unfortunate events.

I woke up this morning knowing it would be a rough day. The fun news is that Jackson is 1 today. I am so abundantly blessed to have him as a part of our family. We all adore him. Now I understand why the baby of the family is always so spoiled! After kissing him and wishing him a happy birthday I headed out to Jury duty. I can honestly say I was really nervous but also want my kids to know that I am willing to do my part for our community. I did look forward to hours of un-interrupted reading then telling them I have 6 little kids and get dismissed. They explained that basically you can't park anywhere near the courthouse, which I did because I didn't read the fine print. I did get very little reading done when I got called up with about 44 other people. They asked for people who were seeking postponement, I was looking to be excused since my excuse wouldn't change much in 3 months or 3 years...unfortunately I never got the opportunity but was still hopeful since there was a 50% chance I would full fill my responsibilities. Turns out I am grand jury material and got chosen with 18 other individuals. When they called my name I wanted to cry since finding childcare for 4-6 kids would be difficult and Jeremy's boss, well his wife, just had a baby and was planning on taking sometime off this week as well. I was a little on the edge. They walked us over to where we would spend our time next week and explained our schedule. After it was over I walked outside and it started raining. I said out loud "fabulous" and a nice gentleman struck up a conversation with me. As I got to my car I could see the next unfortunate event, the expected parking ticket that was issued about 10 minutes before I got to the car no less. I get in on the passenger side, since the driver side door on Jer's car doesn't open. Then I tried to start the car, there was a "ding" then nothing. That is about when I lost it. I called my knight in shining armor to come to my rescue, which he did. At the end of the conversation I was barely able to speak clearly between the gasping sobs! Jeremy shows up, as I am sitting there in the car wondering why this is happening, I have just recommitted to kneeling down to pray EVERYDAY and read my scriptures EVERYDAY. I have been stellar I might add. I know it wasn't a punishment, but the "poor me" couldn't be kept from my thoughts. Then a passerby stopped and asked if it was the battery. Turns out he had a portable battery charger in the back of his slick black car. (Funny: I had to tell them how to hook up the cables...I looked it up in our car manual.) It was a gentle reminder that I am not alone and that Heavenly Father is always watching. This doesn't mean it worked, because it didn't, then we tried using the van to Jump start the car. That didn't work either. We decided to try one more time, but Jeremy had locked his car after giving up the last time. If this was a car with less personality it would be no big deal. He tried unlocking the door that does work from the outside and it didn't work. So we tried the other one, the door would lock and unlock just fine but the handle doesn't work so we were locked out of the car, that was parked in a metered spot with a parking ticket, no longer in plain view! Jeremy called our insurance and it turns out we have roadside assistance on both cars Hallelujah! Jeremy didn't want me and the kids to have to hang out for the tow truck so I left and went to Costco. He called and said the tow truck guy came and everything was fine and he was on his way home. He backed out of the spot drove to the corner (two parking spots) turned the corner and it died again! This time in the middle of traffic on a main road surround the court house. He couldn't even turn on his hazards. Oh and he doesn't have one of those rods that hold up the hood so he had to use a baseball bat. Another blessing, he always keeps sports equipment on hand. He had to wait another hour for a second tow truck. He had several people come talk to him and offer advice, but there was a man named Chuck who sat and talked with him as well as helped direct traffic for the entire time he was waiting. It was a neat experience for Jeremy. I may share it later. Eventually the second tow truck showed up and got him to a near by auto shop. He thinks it may be the alternator.

It was kind of stinky the way it all played out, but I am extremely grateful that it happened the way it did. We could have been charging the battery or replacing it many times over and then come to find out it was a different problem. It happened during a time when Jeremy was already taking time off so he wasn't in crisis mode and besides my emotions getting out of control for a little bit I know it is all OK.

The next task is finding child care, but I am sure it will all work out. If nothing else we will lock all our kids in the closet off of Jeremy's office, there is plenty of circulation for air! Just kidding, if all else fails I am sure Jeremy will take the needed time off. Jury Duty is never convenient, but I look forward to seeing a part of the justice system at work as well as being a part of it! Oh and I really enjoyed the judge unfortunately I won't see him until it all raps up.

Monday, January 04, 2010


For our family home evening this last week I decided instead of thinking of resolutions that we would write a letter to our future selves. The kids did pretty good but are not yet into forward thinking or writing long drawn out letters with details, details, details... I thought I would write my letter here, hopefully I won't loose it.

Dear April 2010,
I hope you have had a great year. I know as it began there were concerns with how the economy would effect our family. I also know that you had such love and confidence in our loving and compassionate heavenly Father that you realized your concerns were superficial. I hope it has all turned out well.

One thing I hope you have worked on is your testimony and relationship with Heavenly Father, getting to know him better by feasting on the scripture (I have always loved that phrase, something I could eat and not worry about my figure!), praying often, and most importantly knowing when to be silent, to listen and obey.

I hope you have spent your year looking for those in need, whether it by being a friend, a hug, a smile, a warm meal, or a kind note. Not only found them but did something about it. There are so many fabulous people out there, don't limit yourself!

I am eager to hear about your experience with the handcart trek! What fun!

Your spiritual growth is important but keeping your body healthy is as well. I hope you were able to be consistent with exercising. You want to be able to keep up with all those kids who are probably running circles around you! One goal you have made was to RUN a whole three miles (5k) There was one in May, I hope you reached that goal and had FUN doing it too!

If there was one resolution that I hope you worked on and that all the above fall under is consistency. I hope you were able to find a way to be consistent and commited to any task that you start. Crafting is always a passion, I can't wait to see how far you have come this year and what new crafts you were able to complete.
With much love,
April 2009

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Merry Christmas...Here's our letter

I am thrilled to know that we were not the only ones to busy to actually mail out a letter and picture this year. Jeremy did us semi justice by sending out an email letter with pictures. Our address books are different so if you didn't get it I apologize but we love you just the same. Here is our letter in case you missed it:

Merry Christmas everyone,
I think we have some Christmas cards with our picture around the house somewhere this year but they are not getting out this year. Maybe next year, you will get two from us. I did want to take just a moment and wish all of our family and friends a very Merry Christmas. Christmas has been such a bright spot in a gloomy world this year. What a difference mankind can make when we stop thinking about ourselves and start thinking about other like our Great Exemplar whose birthday we celebrate.

I am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a country where I am free. Some will debate that, and that is not my point. But, I am thankful for all of the years of service and blood, sweat and tears that has created this great nation. Hopefully, we will all continue to move forward with our faith in the service of our Lord to preserve our freedoms and our belief in Christ.

We have had an exciting year just like many of you. No matter how much we try and slow down time, someone always accidentally leans on the fast forward button and we find oursleves at another year passing. Here are some notes on how our family is doing:

Miranda continues to love school. She has an appetite for reading and squashes books in hours or days depending on her time that day. She loves to sing. She can be found with the hymnbook in her hand carrying it all through the house singing. She was baptized this year in March and she is a great example to her siblings. Miranda also got braces put on her teeth this year and is sporting Christmas-colored bands.

Logan grows everyday. I think little elves are sneaking into his room at night and yanking on his ears and ankles. He is very good at sports and has started finding his love of reading as well. Logan loves to play board games and also our Wii. Logan can beat me at pretty much anything on the Wii and that is okay with me. He also had a brief solo at church in the primary program this year. I couldn't believe he did it. I never would have at his age. I was very proud of him.

Haylie and Hannah are about the most fun people to watch. They are best friends and love hanging out and getting into trouble together. They love to play house and we can often hear them repeating April and I's "greatest hits" of parenting quotes. It is actually pretty humbling and a little bit embarassing. Haylie and Hannah also love dancing and singing and they are anxiously awaiting the next school year when they will be in kindergarten.

Lauren is the most unqiue and free-spirited kid I have ever met. She can be so obedient and so defiant in the same five minutes. She is very good at recognizing when April is involved in a project and sneaking off to do some of her favorite things (e.g. sneaking candy and eating it under the table, getting into mommy's make up, seeing what she can put in the toilet). Lauren loves to look at books like she is really reading them. She is also starting to sing and dance a lot more. She is very cuddly and just crashes where she is when she is tired.

Jackson will be a year old in just about two weeks. He is a great kid. He loves to smile and laugh. He loves to chase after his siblings and attack them if they are lying on the floor. He has a huge appetite but you couldn't tell from looking at the kid. Jackson is our youngest kid to actually completely entertain himself with toys. He loves driving cars all over the house. He really could do that for long periods at a time.

April is doing well and is trying to see how many hobbies she can jungle at once. There is always several projects going on in our house at any one time. April is still in the primary presidency and enjoys working with the children at church. She is also helping a lot in the kids' school rooms and she is not sure what she is going to do next year when she only has two kids home in the mornings. April continues to perfect her cooking skills and loves hanging out with her friends (I am included in her list of friends but she always has an expanding list of girlfriends as well).

I am doing well. I continue to enjoy what I do for a living. I am thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't know where I would be without it. I am thankful for loving family and good friends. I feel abundantly blessed everyday. What he didn't say is that he continues to love his job at the credit union. He also is continuing with his studies through the BYU BGS department. He has had several opportunites to speak about credit and debt management. If he could earn money doing this he would it is definitely where his passion lies! One thing I feel that is important and was earth shattering at the time was that he got called to be a counselor in the bishopric and was sustained 5 days before Jackson was born. We have adjusted to having him share his time, but are grateful for the blessings that have some from it!

I pray for your family and mine that we may remember our Savior always. I hope this time of year finds you healthy in all aspects of your life. Please feel free to contact me anytime. Merry Christmas!
Jeremy, April, Miranda, Logan, Haylie, Hannah, Lauren and Jackson

I filled in the red...and what would a boring letter be without pictures:

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