Friday, May 28, 2010

Serving others {Wordfull Wednesday}

Because I was so busy serving others this week I almost missed the opportunity to write.  I look forward to this every time it comes up.  If you are interested you can go to Chocolate on My Cranium and see the schedule of topics here.

"Parents have the sacred duty to teach [their children] to love and serve one another" Family Proclamation paragraph 6

Back to my first sentence it really isn't true, but it sounded good and I truly wish it was.  There have been times when life gets difficult and it would be so easy to slip into a depression, nothing seems to be getting better, life is hard, what's the point when you can't get out of the big hole you feel you are in?  We have found that through service it makes anything better.  It is amazing how service can be such a powerful antidote to all those feelings.

I know when you serve, willingly and with a servant's heart, a couple of things will happen.  The biggest is that you stop thinking about yourself.  I have a few kids and you think it would be hard to be selfish.  I can tell you I am very selfish with my time.  I want to craft, I want to read, I want to cook, I want to stay up  super late when the house is peaceful and I can have many complete after the other uninterupted.  I don't want to sit at the table and watch the kids color, or do things that are messy, such as crafts and playdough that I have to pick up.  I don't want to be a jungle gym or Gumby, being pulled and and pushed around by three children at the same time.

On the flip side when I do those things that I "don't" like, I get to see the joy on my children's face when I give them undivided attention.  I think service is such a great medicine.  It allows you to see joy in others and share in that joy as well as when you serve, it makes you realize the blessings you have.  There have been times when life is overwhelming, then you get the opportunity to serve and you realize "Wow, my life could be a whole lot worse."

Our favorite way to serve is to make some form of food and deliver them.  People love to be thought of.  It is so wonderful when you get that surprise.  We have a neighbor who became a widow about a year after we bought our house.  We went over there and brought her some cookies and boy did that make her day.  Not only did she love that we thought of her, it improved our relationship as neighbors.  Now she adores our kids.  I know she is lonely, she has no family nearby and seldom has visitors.  I know that little thought means a great deal to her.  The kids really get a kick out of delivering things to people.  In fact there are usually arguments as to who gets to carry the treat.

In association with Mormon Helping hands, there was a statewide service project.  You can read a little about it here.  They had sites all over the state of California where service opportunities were organized.  Our ward family worked at an arboretum pulling weeds, painting signs, some planting, and various other things.  It was fun to not only serve, but serve surrounded by those that we want our children to look up to.  We got to laugh and enjoy the time we spent.  Towards the end they got to ride on the flat bed wagons when they helped unload garbage can and other various weeds.  That made things even better for the kids.  At another site there was even a story where a few people were walking through and asked what was going on and said that was pretty cool and joined in.  How cool is that?!

What was even more neat about this was that our kids were able to learn that service was rewarding.  I won't lie and say it was all perfect, it is hard to keep the kids going.  I think I pulled weeds for the first hour then pushed the two little ones in the stroller, helping to deliver water and then anything to kept them entertained.

After it was all over the person in charge of the arboretum gave all the volunteers tomato plants.  A sweet little reward was that there was a wedding scheduled that afternoon.  So not only did we help out but we helped make the location extra beautiful for a couple beginning their life together.

Lastly we teach our kids about service through serving in our callings at church.  The kids have learned that our church jobs are important.  It takes sacrifice and time, but it is rewarding in the end.  We also teach our kiddos that being an example is a form of service.  We live in a small ward as far as youth is concerned.  It is getting bigger but that is from age 5 and younger.  There is not a whole lot of older examples.  We try to make our kids understand that when they are involved they will be teaching the younger kids how to behave.  It is their choice whether or not they are a good example, but when they are good it supports their church leaders in teaching correct principles.  Especially when the little ones see someone they look up to behaving appropriately.

I do love serving at church, I am not always happy about it, sometimes overwhelmed, even burnt out at times.  For right now I am without a calling (aka a church responsibility) and it is really weird.  People say enjoy it while it lasts, but honestly, when you are serving you feel connected and right now I am just a floater.  I know it won't be long but in the mean time, I can't wait for the next opportunity.  I hope my children see that and know how important service is.

Old Treasures...

Jeremy's Grandma passed away in April, the kids still pray for her.  We all miss her but know she is in such a great state now!  With the passing of a loved one comes the part of cleaning out everything.  While it is the responsibility of her children, us grandchildren have been able to look around and request things that we are interested in.  I have only known her for the last 11 years and after seeing so much more of her stuff I realize how little I knew her, but more importantly how much we had in common.  She had tons of fabric from clothes and other various projects, some unfinished, some not even started.  I have a similar stack.  She was into crocheting, knitting, re-uhpolstering, and other similar crafts.  She kept everything!  I have come across a piece of fabric that has Jeremy's cousin's name on it (Becky if you read this I still have it if you want it I will mail to  you.)  She used to make pajamas and robes for all 14 of her grandchildren.  The patterns are still there.

She was into candy making, canning, and even dabbled in cake decorating.   The last surprised me at first then I thought about and it seemed obvious of course she could even decorate cakes.  A woman of so many talents.  This past week I went over with Bev and looked through the kitched to see if there was anything of interest. There were a few things, then looking throught the garage we came across a box that was labeled "one of a kind."  Knowing Grandma I kind of chuckled and looked at Bev and said "Should we see what Grandma thought was one of a kind?"  She smiled and we took a peek.  There were some very pretty coffee mugs and some pyrex dishes.  Amongst the "One of a kind" stuff was a box of these:
When Bev was cleaning out her kitchen, I acquired a set of these in the fabulous green of the 70's.  I LOVE them.  My mom even bought me a piece at a garage sale.  I love that they are glass so I never worry about the container being stained by whatever contents I place inside, such as any thing tomato based.  We use them like tupperware mostly, I didn't know much about the pieces.  My other favorite part is that they are flat on top so you can stack themin the fridge.  I have two sets of the new Corningware and I love them but the lid is rounded and has a handle which means you can not stack them.  So when I came across this I was screaming with glee.  A whole set and I found out is oven safe! 
I love that the price tag is still on it.  When she bought these the set was on sale for $5.48 marked down from $10.95.  There are many things that still have price tags on them such as a 1970 edition of Anne of Windy Poplars.  She bought the hardback for $2.22 at ToyRUs, the inside cover said the SRP was $2.95.  It amazes me how we see things as cheap such as a hard back book for $15.00, when it wasn't that long ago you could get it for under $3.00.  I can totally understand how people of that generation seem to be more frugal.  It is probably more related to spending $15 on something that used to only be $3 seems ridiculous.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Lauren is taking over my blog.  I think this stage always has the best stories.  I know there was a Logan period like the Hammer and Nails story or Haylie and Hannah with the rocks.  Jackson will soon be next I am sure!
This morning Lauren got a bath.  She had a BM in the tub then got herself out.  I had to bring her back unwillingly to shower her up.  After the tub was cleaned and she showered and dressed I went to do her hair.  She didn't want anything to do with getting ready for the day.  I told her I would do her hair real quick.  She was still not happy and the alligator tears were flowing fast and free.  As I was brushing her hair the following conversation occured.

Lauren "Bwah, ha haha, Bwah haha" (How do you spell the crying sound?)
Mommy "Lauren, do you want a pretty braid?"
Lauren "NO!"
Mommy "Lauren, do you want a pink ponytail?"
Lauren "NO!"
Mommy "Lauren "Do you want a purple ponytail?"
Lauren "NO!"
Because I knew she would say no to everything I said "Lauren do you want a kick in the head?" NOTE: I was not angry or frustrated and asked jokingly!!!
Lauren "NO!"
Mommy: "Lauren do you want a milk cup?"
Lauren "NO!" (This surprised me because she always wants milk.
Getting a new line of thinking, Mommy: "Lauren, do you want chocolate?"
Instantly she stops crying and looks at me with a smile "YES!" she says.

This girl has a heart like many women out there, will do anything for chocolate.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friendship, do you have it?

Warning: This post screams how nerdy I am, so feel free to skip it.

In high school I was far from the popular crowd, not really a nerd, nor a band geek, I just was.  People were nice but I never really fit it anywhere.  It bothered me then but now I look back and it is fine but I do hope my kiddos feel like they belong more, nobody likes to feel alone.

I was thinking, hold on to your hats folks, I wonder how many people feel that they don't fit it even as adults.  Do they see someone who seems put together but on the inside they are feeling worthless and friendless?  Have you ever wondered if people just say nice things because they were taught to be nice?  For example when people say "you are amazing, how do you do it all?"  Do you secretly wonder what they see and make you feel even worse because you know how much you are not doing?

There is a song by Taylor Swift Tied Together with a Smile.  Every time I hear it these lyrics stand out:

Hold on baby you're losing it
The water's high you're jumping in to it
And letting go and no one knows
That you cry but you don't tell anyone
That you might not be the golden one
And you're tied together with a smile but you're coming undone

I always wonder how many people feel this way, put on a happy face but inside you are falling apart.  I want to be clear I am very happy, I couldn't ask for a better husband, father to our children, best friend, dream job, a home that I love, but their are times when it would be nice to know what people REALLY think of you.  Why does it matter, really it doesn't, but then you would at the very least know what they see.  I found the following quote in a talk given by Marlin K. Jensen
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism.’"  That thought ought to inspire and motivate all of us because I feel that friendship is a fundamental need of our world. I think in all of us there is a profound longing for friendship, a deep yearning for the satisfaction and security that close and lasting relationships can give.
It wasn't that long ago that there were a fairly large group of us that got together frequently, it was as couples for dinner or date nights, as wives for crafting, or simply just girl time.  We saw each other close to two times a week outside of church where we actually were in all different callings so we didn't see each other too much there.  I would say there was a definite sense of belonging.  People started to move away, new people moved here and the dynamics have never been the same.  I can't help but wonder if the people who have been in the ward for years feel just as lost as the ones who are moving in and it is just taken for granted that everything is great.  Why does it always have to feel like us verse them?  Who even knew there were exclusive groups?  I guess if you are included you don't see it.

I can't say it is all the fault of some one else because you need to put in 100% if you want anything in return.  Maybe I am putting in 20% and that isn't what creates a good friendship.

Enough whining and moping.  I hope you have a great day and get the opportunity to show that you are a friend today. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I gotta Have these! is giving away these precious beauties.  While I did enter to win a free set, I think this maybe a family staple in our house, and I get a feeling they will soon be residing in my drawer!

Is that not the coolest thing you have ever seen?  I think my budget for Jeremy's birthday just went up about $20.00!  You to can have this awesome set by heading over to Bakerella and entering for a chance to win or skip the gambling aspect and go to WIlliams-Sonoma and get a set immediately...hmmmmm....we will be near Williams-Sonoma tomorrow night!!!!

Cindy, this is for you!

Have you ever heard of Cake Wrecks, well my good friend Cindy would never be featured on that web site.  She is a phenomenal cake decorator. For Jeremy's 30th birthday she made this cake.
I won't tell you that I told her it was a costume party, only her and her husband dressed up.  No one else took me seriously.  I have a picture of the two of us, but wan't sure she would appreciate my posting it, it is still a sensitive subject for her. ; )

Eight is a special age in our home so Cindy again offered to make Miranda her cake.  Jeremy took her to San Francisco to see Wicked so that was her theme.

For my birthday she made this fabulous Twilight themed birthday cake.
This year she so generously offered to make Jeremy a cake.  I can tell you from many years of experience, not only are her cakes awesome looking but they are moist and delicious.  To tell you the truth I am not a fan of cake, but I even will eat her cakes until they are gone!  It is no secret he loves Star Wars so this is what she came up with.
The cakes last for sometime.  Transition...(that's smooth huh?)  Jackson has a new trick.  He likes to climb on the dining room table.  Our other children went through this so I hope it is a short lived treat.  Or Jeremy may hope it lasts forever then the table will always be cleared!  Can you see the direction this is going?  We had about half a cake left over and didn't have a great place to store it, so the biggest space is obviously the table...when will I ever learn?

I was at the computer, actually taking care of a few things and I look over and see my little toe headed child on the dining room table where I am working on a project that needs to be completed by TONIGHT and I freak out.  Sure enough he has my almost done project spread across the table with cardstock in one hand and a pen in the other.  Don't worry he was very happy with himself.  Then I noticed brown crumbs ALL over.  This picture does not do the this creative endeaver justice.  Trust me it was messier than it looks, it is mostly behind the box! (Just in case you can't tell, there is a big divot in the cake.  He found the weekness in our very solid cake dome.

Now back to Cindy's master cake baking skills here is Jackson's opinion.
FYI: I was not smiling back at that adorable face.
P.S. Cindy does this for fun in her spare time after working full time, being a parent to two tenagers and a toddler as well as worry about a grown daughter, not to mention baseball, church and lots of other stuff.  She is simply amazing.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

10 years and counting.

Ten years ago on a day unlike today, it was an unusual 105 degrees, I married a wonderful man.  We were both a tad thinner, inexperienced and had great plans.  Marriage has been the greatest adventure.  That is not because these two
produced this many children

I have learned so much about what a marriage is supposed to be like.  Quite frequently I tell Jeremy how lucky I am that he chose me, and that I feel so fortunate to have such a great marriage.

Jeremy and I met when we were 11.  He was pretty much the tallest boy in 6th grade.  What made him particularly famous was that he was scheduled to kiss his girlfriend at a certain time.  Turns out everyone in 6th grade knew, but he didn't.  That was a 6th grade scandal!  He has signed everyone of my year books starting in 7th grade.  Junior high typically started with:  "April, May, June."  Little did I know back then he was already comparing me to two women who were amazing and meant alot to him! June is his grandma's name and his mom's middle name.  OK that information is true but I made up the comparison stuff.

We were pretty close through high school and we even dated at the end of our Junior year for like two hours?!  I have a letter asking about our last day of school plans to go to Great America.  Scattered through out the note were words in parenthesis asking if we were going out.  Yep, that is pretty much the beginning of that short dating experience.  Summer happened, I was a punk and that was the end of us.  When school started we had two classes together.  The first day of our math class I walked in, remember things may have been a little awkward between us, as always I was cutting it close to being late and he was of course early.  I saw him and he was the most familiar person I knew, sure enough there was a seat right in front of him.  He was thinking "please don't sit there, anywhere else but there."  With a smile on my face and a cheery "hi" I sat down.  We got through the weirdness but never really got passed the friends stage...except for the kiss at Homecoming!

Then, life just moved forward, we went to DVC and randomly had a 7:00am Statistics class together. Then he left on his mission.  When I say he chose me, I am not kidding he called my house a few times until my parents finally gave him my number.  Since he phoned me that time we have been pretty inseparable.

Not much for an anniversary post but know I wouldn't change a thing.  It is awesome to have so many memories to share.  He knows the good and bad of me and loves me just the same.  I love him more this day then I did 10 years ago.

Oh, P.S. happy birthday Jer,I hope it is a great one!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Birthday!

It is official all our kids are odd!  Well their ages are all odd, I mean their ages are all odd numbers.  Today Lauren turned 3.  It is the age I fear the most.  Inexperienced moms fear two.  But I would have you know two really is not that bad.  At least that was my opinion until my bouncing, 10lb 5oz, baby girl was pulled into my life!  She was a pretty easy going baby.  She had to be, Lauren has twin sisters that are 2 years older than her and were running in different directions, while she was strapped into a car seat, or stroller, or baby Bjorn...who am I kidding she was too heavy to cart around in the Bjorn!  Kidding again!  She was not that heavy.  Around one year we took her for her regular check up and we were actually told she was underweight and we needed to start putting oil on vegetables.  I might have followed that counsel, but she wouldn't eat those either.  After a year and a half of encouraging her to eat her vegetables, she will at times actually eat a serving.  Twos have been rough with her I will not lie or sugar coat it.  I just really hope threes are much better, if not better please don't let them be worse.

Lauren in a nutshell.  She is adorable. She has a great smile with personality due to thumb sucking.  Her eyes sparkle when she is in a good mood.  She dances and sings.  She loves to play by herself, but also be a part of the big girls club.  She watches her older sisters and tries to mimic them.  She gives really tight hugs, the kind that say "I think you are the best!"  Since she was born I always said she was my medicine, she can make me smile like no other.

On the flip side, you can pretty much guarantee that you will know what she is thinking, she is not one who beats around the bush.  Her mantra is "My way or the Highway!"  I kid you not she WILL be a leader, I just pray it is a good one.  If the way she sets Jackson up for getting into trouble is any indication I apologize now for all the kids she influences later in life.  She knows what "NO!" means and is not afraid to use it, with the emphasis of a foot stomp.  She can scream in decibels only audible to a dog, but just below that it is ear piercing to humans.  She has a powerful scowl, and a completely adorable pouty lip.  She is busy, she is a handful, she is sneaky, she is naughty, she is funny, she is delightful, she is creative, she is ingenious, she is unique.  When she cries her eyes hold more water than the great lakes.  She puts alligator tears to shame, and that makes it all forgivable!  The irony to it all is that I love her even more because of all these things. 

Today is her birthday, I thought I could let a few things slide like let her watch her favorite DVDs ALL DAY.  (Secretly it was a gift to me since it means she would be out of anything else.)  It didn't work, I still had to clean up dry erase marker all over the wall, put her on her bed, protect her from on coming traffic as she tried to put herself into the car, protect books from the special Lauren treatment (aka total destruction), amongst other things.  Needless to say I did bake a birthday cake that is sitting untouched on my stove.

Well it was at the beginning of the post before I added pictures.  This probably why she acts the way she does, for today my excuse is that it is her birthday.  Lauren you are one of a kind, the kind that is irreplaceable, and makes a momma's heart proud!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Funny stuff!

When I was younger I went to few comedy clubs and let me tell you, comedy is typically crude, riddled with foul language and inappropriate for my standards.  Since I have become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I have not attended anything like that.  The sad part is I love to laugh, comedy can be bust-a-gut funny.  We heard about this christian comedian Tim Hawkins. IMy fist introduction was the song "Things you don't say to your wife." So when we came across this Jeremy instantly became a fan.  He bought two of his DVDs.  Some how, some where Jeremy got on his emailing list, and now he is coming to our house for dinner...just kidding!  He is performing nearby, in Vacaville so Jeremy got tickets.  What a treat!  It isn't until August but we are pretty excited.  Here is a sample of his comedy.  I hope you get a good laugh.

She's got talent!

Miranda and her friends at school printed out the lyrics toLet's Talk About Love by David Archuleta.  They each highlighted the parts where they sing individually and parts where they sing together.  Miranda asked if I would film her.  I know she is young and has some growth, but I think she is pretty talented.  Usually she just sings one line over and over so it was nice to hear her sing a whole song.

The video may still be processing so if you are interested check back later!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lauren's To Do List

  1. Spill flour on kitchen (done yesterday)
  2. Eat Mommy's Mother's Day Chocolates (yesterday also)
  3. Pour Salt and Pepper all over the floor, then hide the shakers in a drawer.
  4. Play in Mommy's bathroom which consists of:
    1. lick Daddy's deodorant
    2. spray air freshener
    3. spray Mommy's hair spray
    4. smear lotion on the mirror
    5. unravel toilet paper
    6. dump Mommy's brand new eye makeup remover all over the toilet seat, then shove cotton pads in the bottle to fill the empty space.
  5. Open the candy bin get what I want, and set Jackson up for the blame.  Then run and discard evidence by throwing it under an end table.
  6. Open Haylie's art box and use the markers.
    1. Then proceed to write on the walls with them.
    2. When I hear Mom come hand open markers to Jackson then run down the hall
  7. Empty out the DVD binders, Mommy loves putting 50 DVD's back in their rightful homes!
  8. Use panties as a diaper...only for #2s
  9. Climb on counter to take pictures with the camera, she still hasn't figured it out that the evidence remains inside the camera.
  10. Search the net "44444asdrea44s444f4e4444f4a444asdf4a4we4d44" is her favorite.  The letters change but it often contains a billion fours.  This earns me no SWAGBUCKS.  I will have to train her to type in real words, use it to my advantage.
  11. Sneak off bed but stay undercover...undercover of my blanket! (Repeat 11 times)
I think this is pretty much her to do list and amazingly enough I think she completed it all by 2:00 this after noon.  She is amazing with her focus and ability to get so much accomplished in a relatively short time.  I really wish I had that talent.

You may ask what I was doing while all this was going on, I was cleaning up our room, it has become the trow all catch all for quite the collection of stuff.  I wonder what will be on her to do list for tomorrow and if she will get just as much accomplished.

On a positive note, she woke up dry! Woo-hoo!  Yeah for not having to wash sheets!

P.S. Lauren if you ever read this, thank you for all the time and energy you put into your accomplishments.  Persistence pays off!  And more importantly I love you!

Wordfull Wednesday {Caring for your Family}

"Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children." (Family Proclamation, paragraph 6)

When I think of our home, my family, I am quickly reminded of how much laughter these walls contain.  I have a new sense of family than I did when growing up.  It is amazing how much joy there is to be had when everyone in the home feels loved.

Lately Logan has been having a hard time.  I blame it mostly on him being a tad on the emotional side.  Jeremy being a little more intune with the spirit, sat him down to talk.  It was such a neat thing for me to hear that Logan opened up about his frustrations.  This to me shows that he knows that we are safe, that we love him.  Jeremy has started having interviews with the kids once a month.  It is a time when they get to talk to him about anything without sharing Daddy's ear.  For the younger ones it is a time to wrestle and bond.

As a family we love doing things together.  We have, so far steered clear of activities such as sports.  For a few reasons, such as, doing it for 6 kids will equate to a hectic schedule.  Another, it feels like we get too little family time and those things tend to diminish it even further.  The biggest reason is that Jeremy and I know there will be opportunities later so we don't need to rush them now.

Some fun things that we enjoy is creating fun memories.  As a family we love to do dinner and a movie.  It is still fairly new and I am finding many great ideas to make it more memorable.  What we have done so far is pick a family friendly movie and create a dinner menu based on the theme.  The kids get to help come up with the menu.  It is the only time we eat in front of the television.  We also let the children each have a special night.  This is one of the occasions that we do split Haylie and Hannah up.  They get to stay up late and pick what we will do.  Usually it involves ice cream and games or a movie.  All of them adore being the center of attention.  It is like a date night but staying in and it is something they talk about and share it with anyone with ears before and after.  To make them also feel special we try to celebrate accomplishments like perfect spelling tests or acing their math blasts as they come up.

Having 6 kids it is so easy to get overlooked and it is hard to not lump them together, but as parents we try very hard to let them be individuals, except Lauren I wish she would be a tad less individual.  Today we had a particularly hard day.  Lauren tried every last smidge of patience, which is what I get when I pray for patience!  I had sent her to her bed for the umpteenth time and told her to stay there.  I was so frustrated and beyond being a loving and caring mother.  As I could feel the steam pouring out of my ears and wondering why I pray for patience when I know how that gets answered, it came to me to pray.  So I gathered Lauren into my lap and told her how much I loved her and that I was very sorry I got so angry.  Her countenance changed instantly.  She went from cranky pouty two year old to beaming at me and giving me the tightest squeeze ever.  Then I asked her if she wanted to pray together.  She agreed and closed her eyes and bowed her head.  I decided to say it, then on her own she repeated everything I said.  Everything that I was so tense about melted away.  Then I asked her to lay down and I was able to hold her until she fell asleep.

In the June 2006 Ensign Elder L. Tom Perry said "Our Lord and Savior ministered personally to the people, lifting the downtrodden, giving hope to the discouraged, and seeking out the lost. By His words and actions, He showed the people that He loved and understood and appreciated them. He recognized the divine nature and eternal worth of each individual. Even when calling people to repentance, He condemned the sin without condemning the sinner.

Like our Savior, (insert parent) we should love the people we serve, showing care and concern for each one individually."
The Savior came to live here on this earth so that we may learn to live like he did and treat others the same way.  I am learning and plan to continue to learn my whole life through, but I do know that when we follow His example, those that we serve will KNOW that we love them unconditionally.

How does your garden grow?

Today Logan came home with our latest addition to the window sill.  In class this week they have been learning about plants and how they grow.  Last week Logan got the Sweet Potato vine homework assignment.  Unfortunately our sweet potato is not flourishing.  I am beginning to doubt it will ever grow.  In the mean time it continues to sit on my window sill.  Next, on Wednesday the kids got a baby food jar and a damp paper towel.  After stuffing the paper towel into the baby food jar, they put in two snap pea seeds.  They put the jars on their desk to watch them grow.  Then on Thursday the kids got to go to a local farm where they learned more about plants.  As a souvenir they each got a tomato plant. 

I have no green thumb, I am not sure there is any yellow there either (doesn't yellow and blue make green?).  It is kind of fun to watch them grow and take care of them.  It is like adding three little babies to our family...except they don't dump flour on the floor, or salt and pepper, or rip up books, or...Lauren has been a little trying this week.  I think she is warming up for the torturous threes!  I thought you got the terrible twos OR torturous threes, not both.  I guess I digress...Here is a picture of Logan's miniature garden. 

Oh and there are some lemon seeds that I might try to plant. Wouldn't it be great to have fresh lemons for lemonade? (I do realize it would probably be about 5 years before it produced anything.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Flour Power

Recently we have a acquired a boat load of fabric and other misc. craft stuff.  Today I decided I would go through it a little more carefully and try and be picky instead of read and eat chocolate.  I was not successful in eliminating anything, but I did consolidate and get rid of one box, that is good. Right?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I mean wherever Lauren and Jackson were this is what I discovered:

Flour Power from April Jacobs on Vimeo.

I think I need to be extra watchful of those two.  He is up for any type of adventure as long as he is with an older sibling and she is up for any adventure period, but especially one with a scapegoat involved.

My Mother's Day play-by-play

I won't go into too much detail, but yesterday was great!  Jeremy had no meetings in the morning so we actually ate breakfast as a family before church, he was able to help get the kids ready before he left.  After church I got to lounge around and Jeremy cooked Taco Salad for dinner.  We shared it with Jeremy's mom and his sister, who is about 16 weeks pregnant woo-hoo!, as well as her family.  It had been a few weeks since we have been together so it was nice.  There is always laughter all around when we are together!

On Saturday Jeremy took the kids out for "an errand" and before they left I told Miranda "just to let you know I want See's candy for Mother's Day.  Just don't tell Dad I said it OK?"  She cheerily responded with an "A-firm, mom!"  To which she proceeded to not abide the don't-tell-dad-I-said-that part!  (See he does follow my counsel.)

As mother's day came to a close I got the following gift:
He knows me huh?  Chocolate and a good book!  Before I was 30 I would not have ever asked for chocolates, and I definitely wouldn't have been so specific, then some friends got me a box of 30 See's chocolates for my 30th birthday and I learned to appreciate the good stuff!  This past Christmas we got a couple boxes of chocolates and let me tell you, if you are going to break the calorie bank make it worth it with See's!

Well I have chocolates to eat, a book to read and children to ignore!  (Jeremy, please know it is all your fault, besides the kids like it this way.  They get away with everything!)  I hope you were treated like royalty, I know I sure was.  Thanks Jeremy for all you did to make the day extra special.

Church News

For a while Jeremy has been getting hand me downs of the Church News.  Like with most things I have a rebellious spirit so I showed little to no interest in reading "more church stuff."  Church News is a weekly newspaper about things happening in the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints all over the world.    Jeremy glances through the stack reads what catches his eye then to the pile it goes (don't judge we are trying to get into the habit of recycling, we will get there!).

Last night Jeremy was doing some work on the computer.  Without the computer I get a little lost as to what I am supposed to do so I picked up the stack and glanced through.  I found some recipes, pictures and info on new Mission Presidents, and other various things happening.  As Jeremy looked through the stack after me, we found this article.  It is about a man in our ward who is 80 years old serving the youth.  We have been hearing lately that you never retire from service and he is such a great example of this.  Granted there are times when serving is difficult, but you can't tell me this is easy for him, yet he does it willingly!

What really got my attention was "A though from the scriptures" that is found on the last page.  It reads
"And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord. — Doctrine and Covenants 68:28

"The home and family have vital roles in cultivating and developing personal faith and testimony," Elder M. Russell Ballard said in his April 1996 general conference address. "The family is the basic unit of society; the best place for individuals to build faith and strong testimonies is in righteous homes filled with love. ... True principles of eternal life are embedded in the hearts and souls of young and old alike when scriptures are read and discussed, when prayers are offered morning and night, and where reverence for God and obedience to Him are modeled in everyday conduct. Just as the best meals are home-cooked, the most nourishing gospel instruction takes place at home. Strong, faithful families have the best opportunity to produce strong, faithful members of the Church."

As parents we expect so much of those people who touch our children's lives, their teachers, their coaches, youth leaders, celebrities, etc.  This thought nails it right on the head.  It is NOT their responsibility to make sure that your children get all the spiritual nourishment.  They are supplements to what is happening at home.  If a child does not know what their parents expect how does the short amount of time that is spent in the company of others going to give them a firm foundation when things get rough.

Here is an example: Modesty.  We teach our children that they need to be modest not only in how they dress but how they behave in what they wear.  Haylie and Hannah love to wear skirts, the problem is that they still love to climb, sit on the floor with their legs spread apart and such.  I can not as a parent depend on the people they see once a week to teach them this is inappropriate.  The other way around if we are teaching them that this is inappropriate at home, then they go to church and hear the SAME thing, they will learn that it is not OK.  I know if this is my biggest concern then I have it made, but remember my kids are still young and I have no doubts it will get harder.

In today's society, the home is starting to have a comeback.  People are seeing the importance of having a strong sense of family and that time as a family is important.  These are the relationships that last a lifetime, these are the memories that will be shared 50 years from now at family gatherings.  This is the time to feed the desire of these young appetites for learning.  If they crave the spiritual teachings, maintaining a firm testimony of righteousness will be so much easier.  AND if your children see you "practice what you preach"  you will have more accountability when you teach them true principles.

It is hard to make time to say prayers as a family in the morning and at night, as well as have family scripture study every day, and Family Home Evening every week.  It is hard to give up time and focus on these things.  There is truth in their necessity and as they say the more you sacrifice the more you appreciate the outcome.  Sacrificing the time I spend doing things like blogging or reading (my biggest, selfish, time-consuming activities) will be worth so much when my children are adults and "are strong, faithful members of the Church."

And as a reward for reading this here is a picture, nothing like eye candy huh?
Lauren is trying so hard to be like her big sisters, she is getting there and I can't think of better examples.  Isn't she so lucky?!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day... me!

I love when my many hours of blogstalking pays off!  The other day it did.  I found this lovely recipe for stuffed French Toast.  I instantly knew I HAD to have it for Mother's Day.  I immediately sent Jeremy an email with a link and said this is what I want.  He replied that it was a link to nothing, I had to find it and resend the right one to which he responded it may be out of his range of capabilities.  I knew that there really wasn't any time for him to actually make it for me as well, so I gave up hope.

Then today while I was helping the rest of our Primary Presidency make Mother's Day treats for tomorrow, he went shopping for groceries and "other stuff."  When he came home he had a few ingredients that wouldn't normally be on our shopping list.  Turns out he is totally up to the challange.
He is kind of grinning in this picture because I was taking the picture, but deep down inside I know it is because he loves making me happy which he does!

Are you jealous?

I think there is something awesome about a man's hands cooking!  I can't wait to taste it!
Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Where we store things

You can only image that things are a little tight in out home.  While we don't feel cramped we often wonder how things are going to change over the years.  I can tell Jackson already has some concerns about what his next bed is going to look like! I think he feels this is sturdy enough to hold him.
So here is the real story:  The sound of silence, yes it is a sound that causes weaker moms to tremble, alerted me to no good.  I walked down the hall and heard Lauren's pitter-pattering little feet heading away from me.  As I rounded the corner I say the above scene.  Upon closer inspection I realized that Lauren probably helped Jackson into the drawer where they both proceeded to clean off the top of Logan's dresser that happened to be covered in little (6 years and up only) Legos!

He actually was enjoying himself, pink cheeks from the sun, and all.  And just because he is probably the cutest little 16 month old ever I wanted to show you how much of a big boy he is growing up to be!  I love this kid!

On a side note:  Today I went to the park to meet some friends.  Jackson has been so good about the play structures I wasn't too worried and wasn't paying close attention.  Jackson decided to walk down a twirly slide and went right over the edge, it was a pretty good distance.  Luckily he landed on his side and the turf was extra spongy.  He ended up getting right back up and try for another trip down the slide.  I paid more attention.  I only share this as a gentle reminder to keep an eye on your little ones, I feel so very lucky that Heavenly Father protected him and reminded me that I need to stay focused!  With so much going on with the warmer weather, and heading into summer it is so easy to get distracted, but it is so important to keep an eye on these precious children.

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