April 28, 2009

laundry moments...

see my socks?
they're my new, favorite, around-the-house-socks...
for years i have stolen Todd's warm, white crew socks on my house cleaning days.
(he blames me for the holes...)
now, i steal JAKOB'S.
yup. my baby has feet almost as big as mine.
can you believe it?
today is laundry day.
it's sweet to fold itty-bitty, lily t-shirts
and big boy t-shirts
and lacy little girl t-shirts
leah's pjs all have holes. that she cut.
with scissors.
more than once.
she still wears them.
somehow, i love those holes on her belly.
and i remember my other cutter-- little drew-bear.
he cut everything.
and i didn't smile when i saw his creativity.
i didn't know that he was just little and that he would grow out of it.
i hope that i smiled sometime.
i hope that i held him at the end of the day and, enjoyed him everyday.
i enjoy him now.
and because drew cut, i enjoy leah.
every moment.
along with the joy of watching my family grow, there is a sadness.
a remembering of days past.
when every load of boy laundry included batman and superman pajamas.
many moments i remember and cherish.
many moments i wish i could do over.
oh. i miss those little toes.
but i love the big, pre-young men, that they are becoming.
i love sharing socks.
i love sharing jokes, that are really funny.
i love watching them exceed me- in school, in piano, in self-discipline...
i love their style, their kindness, their independence, their logic...
watching them grow, helps me to cherish every second of the little toes that i still have.
hopefully. to cherish every 3rd and 4th grade moment.
even the not-so-ideal moments.
drew is 8.
he is into illogical, logic.
he is right. always.
and sassy. most of the time.
the other day when i sighed to the professor he reminded me.
a couple years ago. jakob was 8. he was illogical. and right. and sassy.
and now. jakob is 10. and he's better. not perfect. but. better.
i cherish the 20 pairs of silky athletic shorts that the boys wear.
the layers of under-armour shirts that jakob wears.
yes. even the white under-armour shirt that he has been known to wear under his church shirt.
i cherish drew's mis-matched outfit and pulled to the knee, crew socks.
i cherish the girls. their marathon, "design a style" pick-out-your-outfit productions... every. night.
the three loads of laundry, per week, shoved into their closet.
the bathing suits.
the dress-up dresses.
the click-clack shoes.
the fights over the one tank-top with a built in bra.  
i'm thankful for growth. and perspective. 
today. i love it.

April 27, 2009

reasons why i'm a stay at home mama...

taking afternoon walks...
love it.
Trail Ride day ??- Still clip cloppin' along... today- car, vacuum and pta... i feel my life balancing, but i'm not "there" yet.

April 24, 2009

what's your style?

i found this link on The Shabby Nest.
It's a place where you can find our your decorating style. I'm...
60% Classic
20% Wine Country
20% Traditional Country
[edit- i took the test again and i was 60% cottage chic and 40% french eclectic... i'm afraid i'm a decorating mutt.]
i'm painting my bathroom green.
(when i say "I'm painting" it means... literally. right now. i just, um, had to take a break. and. um. find out my decorating style. and. um. write a blog about it. and. now, i'm going back to painting....)
it's bright, glowing, "celery stick" green.
i like these fun prints.
i'm sure somehow it will be a Classic, florescent green.
What's your style?

April 23, 2009

bathroom moments...

OOPS-- am i PRAISING wrong??
Love this!!
I'm TOTALLY going to learn this and then teach it to my kids.
I was, um, pondering. And, reading Reader's Digest. I found this article and i had an AHA! MOMENT.
The article is all about successful people who came from big failures. But really, it's about how we think and how we teach our children to think.
They said there are two main mindsets...
Fixed Mind-set-- I am smart. The problem with this is that kids who think they are smart tend to stop trying and get discouraged when things are hard. OOOOOOHHHH- this is ME.
Growth Mind-set-- effort and learning make things possible... failure is an opportunity for growth.
Dr. Dweck, who did all this research, says that we are all born with a growth mind-set but parents, coaches and teachers can push us into a fixed mind-set by how they PRAISE.
NOT saying, "You are so smart." But, "Wow, Look how hard you're trying." or "I'm proud of your persistence."
You see, it's not about
Good Kid vs. Bad Kid.
(I'm really good at keeping my kids mentally in the "Good Kid".)
I think i need to change to...
Improving Kid vs. Stuck Kid...
Improving Mama vs. Stuck Mama...
oh... the HOPE...
Here is another great link... it's a You Tube of JK Rowling's Commencement address to Harvard Grads in 2008... 10 minutes. Funny. about life and failure and true success. check it out!
i have a feeling that this one mind-set change might change a lot for me (um. and my kids).
I'm really excited to work on this!!
and, here's a Reader's Digest joke for all of you homeschool moms...
"Following a tough day of homeschooling her children, my friend was in the kithchen muttering to herself when her 14-year-old son walked in. "What's going on?" he asked. "I'm having a parent-teacher conference," she growled."

cause we all need a little cowgirl lovin'

My sweet cowgirl cousin Shelley wrote me this comment. I just had to pass it on!
Way to go JEN!!! I think you and I have the same problem! But I learned a valuable lesson and I can't remember if I shared it with you already...so I will just share it again. I really apply's to all aspects of life. So hear it is:
Jen, don't should on yourself! :D April 22, 2009 6:05 PM
thanks shelley!!!
and thanks netty for the GREAT cowgirl bracelets... i LOVE, love em.
taneil- thanks for spurs, and encouragement...
and thanks to all of you who have listened or read my LONG, self-focused blogs not really about house cleaning-- it really is a great motivator for me to follow through...
i hardly know what to do with myself today. it's a "choose your own assigment" day...
My goal is- PTA. cause i have a meeting this afternoon.
i would like to vacuum, cause it thrills my heart
and, perhaps, paint the BATHROOM.
:) I'll try hard not to SHOULD on myself.

April 22, 2009

Day 6- Laundry...

(do you know i have almost as many pictures of my dirty laundry on this blog as i do of my kids...)

i see a mountain!

UPDATE:: it is 5:27 pm... i just returned from dropping the kids off at piano and violin... i'm on to dinner, then boys have scouts.... anyway. I had to tell y'all...

I FINISHED MY LAUNDRY!! (oh, i'm such a dork) but, seriously. EVERYTHING!! washed, dried and PUT AWAY. i had to write quick before bathtime... you know how these things go, i only get a few minutes of absolute accomplishment. YEE HAW!!

April 21, 2009

It's not really about the trail ride...

Things I'm learning...
Guess what?
This whole 21 day trail ride...
it has NOTHING to do with bulls or cleaning my house.
It's about me.
It's a journey of self discovery not arrival...
Finding a way to keep progressing while at the same time feeling like i'm good enough.
Understanding the hidden cords that bind me.
Like riding bull, it's harder than it looks.
Confessions #4
I LIKE to be mad at others for "expecting too much of me" so that i don't have to see that it is really me who expects too much of me.
Confession #5
Can I help you with that saddle? I am HORRIBLE at finishing things. IT KILLS ME. I have many ways to escape task completion. (Note: I am NOT horrible at starting things. I'm great at starting... it's the finishing that kills me... instead of FINISHING one thing, i just START something else- or start 5 other things.) Guess what? Yup. The professor finishes things for me. lots. he's a great finisher. i cook dinner and then he comes home and serves it all while i crash. it has worked for us, he doesn't mind, but i'm missing out on that ahhhhhhh.... i'm finished feeling. i get lots of mileage out of "i can do this"... i want the ahhhhhhhh, i did it. Can't you just see me in a barn with 50 horses all well-groomed and saddled up??? Or worse... half a mile down the trail. stop. run back and get the next horse. i've got horses saddled up all over the dumb hill. the professor comes home, rounds em up and delivers them quietly into their stalls while i'm limping home. sounds joyous no?
Confession #6-
Too Many Horses, Too Many Trails, it's just TOO hard. One of my favorite self deception tactics is taking on too many things so that i can look at my life and say "No one could do everything that i'm trying to do." I usually prefer to say this statement while i am laying on the couch numb to the ten unfinished tasks around me. It's the "I can't JUST give a mouse a cookie syndrome." and. It's a lie. when the mouse asks for a drink of milk, say NO. or, Choose to give him a stupid glass a milk. You don't have to give him a bubble bath just cause you decided to give him a cookie. duh. i can't believe i fall for this.
I can defeat this mentality by picking ONE goal and sticking to it. Pick and Stick... my kids are really good at this (especially on the wall near their bed). :) I mean, it's even fine if i allow myself to pick one goal and two side trails, but at the end of the day, i need to end up at the barn, not laying on a hill somewhere saying it's just too hard.
EXAMPLE... Lily's clothes. Remember I sorted Lily's clothes and put the ones that were too small in a laundry basket on Sunday. Monday, i needed to vacuum so i moved the basket onto my bed and vacuumed. At the end of the day yesterday my cowboy MIL asked me how i felt. i told her good, but my house was still a mess. Why? she asked. cause i still have stuff. what stuff? um. well, lily's laundry basket. why don't you just put that stuff away? here it comes... "um. it's too hard..." because, i don't have a place for it, i'll need to go into leah's closet and sort through all the Tupperware in there of her too small stuff and pile it on, and it's just too much. Her sage advice, "Jen, just do it. Put it in a box, label it and stick it up in the attic. It will take you five minutes and you'll feel good about yourself."
Confession #7-
My horse is broken. When my "it's tooo hard" whining doesn't work, i resort to "i don't know how." I'm defective. I didn't learn it when i was little. I like to look around at everyone else and think that i'm missing something... it's easier for them because they know how. I doubt my original goal. I go back to square one and seek for someone to teach me, or tell me what to do, because i don't know the right way. Guess what. NO ONE KNOWS THE RIGHT WAY. cause, there isn't a right way. there are just a lot of people out there who are having fun doing things their way. everyone has a broken horse. just get on and start riding.
EXAMPLE: i still haven't put away lily's clothes. i talked to taneil today and tried out my second tactic-- she's on to me. i tried the "It's just too hard" whine and she got me with her spurs. Jen. Just get out a dumb garbage bag and stick the clothes in the attic. Then i tried, "Ok, so tell me how you do your kids' clothes?" I could feel myself walking victoriously towards the couch where i could honestly lay in a heap of defeat... i just don't do it right... my whole system is flawed. only, taneil, she knows that i have read just as many house organization books as she has. she knows that she has spent years talking to me about how she organizes clothes... it isn't the system... it is the FEAR of committing that i need to work through. JUST DO IT already. as of right now, lily's clothes are still in a laundry basket on my floor. but, i'm about to discover the tactic i try next...
So. Today.
I had a goal.
I took one big, side trail...
I painted my dining room.
I almost stopped (about 100 times).
I didn't.
I even cleaned up.
and then,
just because that was the trail i CHOOSE for today.
no. they weren't that dirty. but who cares.
it's not about the house.
i organized my bathroom cupboard, which was a minor side trail.
but i choose it. and, i finished it.
and then. i stopped. and i told myself good job. just now.
good job jen.
OK-- so how does this relate to y'all?
Only ONE THING is needful. and. that one thing changes all the time.
we only get into trouble if we're careful and troubled about many things.
it's simple.
you're not broken.
Pick ONE THING that you need to work on.
It's not really a thing, it's more a way of being...
i don't know what mine is called... consistent, regular, scheduled, grounded...
maybe you want to be more uplifting, kind, creative, encouraging... the possibilities are eternal. :)
Then pick ONE GOAL for today.
just one.
small one.
do it.
say "Good Job."
and think it and feel it, cause you are great.
and, tomorrow you can pick one more thing to work on.
that's why this is a 21 day trail ride... nice and easy
and after 21 days people will say things like,
"Did you see that cowgirl?"
And, they'll be talking about you.

Trail Ride- Day 5

yesterday, Day 4- wonderful. i feel true joy in a vacuumed floor. i think i'd feel joy if i vacuumed every day. yup. all the rug lines in the same directions- joy. (i even moved the couches and vacuumed). in the girls room i couldn't help myself from singing "little bunny poo poo" (it sounds a little like Little Bunny Foo Foo...) gross, i know. No more bunnies in the house, even on bull-riding days. i did notice myself start to soar when my vacuuming was finished... now, I can Paint my bathroom and my dining room and... (actually, Grey's coming over to paint with me today... i'm HOPE i can maintain my trail ride.)
my problems are mental not physical. i create such a HUGE mental list of I SHOULD that I end up with a big ole' headache... lots of starts and not many finishes...

TODAY- Day 5- Clean the Bathrooms. see ya later!

April 20, 2009

Trail Ride- Day 4

Honestly. I woke up draggin' my feet. Mornings are hard. Especially Monday mornings. Especially Monday mornings after a whole day of the Professor herding the children into a back bedroom so that I can ride some house-work bull.
It's hard to transition from a mind-set of accomplishing tasks to dealing with children. Especially six, strong-willed, sassy at times, little brats.
(to be fair, the score this morning was... 2 brats, 2 tolerable and 2 enjoyable... if you add in todd and i, the score would have been 3 brats, 3 tolerable and 2 enjoyable.)
Day 3- so, lest i have given you the wrong impression (cause i may have forgotten myself)... riding bull isn't fun. it's hard and painful. i HATED much of my time yesterday, but i forced myself to push through it so i could enjoy the end result. the end makes me happy. so... here's what i finished.
**ALL of the laundry. from two weeks ago that was folded and not put away. from last week that was not folded or put away. and from throw-up. (i do have a couple loads of bedding that i'm still working on- it's the just-laid-on-with-germs bedding, and i'm washing toothbrushes- i always forget that.) anyway. Laundry. wash, dried and put away. it was my marathon.
**My closet. purged, sorted and in order. (not lovely, just not a mess-- todd's closet is always clean)
**Lily's clothes. purged, sorted and in order. (i still have a laundry basket full of too small that i need to put in Tupperware... poo to organization...)
**The girl's room and half of their closet. (i still need to sort and purge it- again. it is a constant To Do in my life.)
**Girls' Hair bows- yup. i went through the whole house and organized hair things. i hung all the bows on a cute little hanger thing that i bought. (it still needs to be hung up.)
**Cleaned my kitchen junk drawer.
**Straightened everything.
**added to my "things to clean list" and created a "things to buy list" and "things to make list"...
**Finished my Libba Bray books (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy). Um. Not so good. Sorry, but i can't stand the horror movie feeling... "NO! Don't DO that..." it makes me sick and cranky. And, i NEED happy endings. not just maybe happy endings-- seriously happy endings. or, at least a happy epilogue. i NEED to stick with sweet, Christian fiction, or Georgette Heyer... she knows just the perfect amount of conflict for my emotional soul and she can let me fall asleep at midnight to sweet dreams and one perfect kiss. Not so Libba Bray. (I'm afraid this is the real reason i woke up crabby.) TODAY- Day 4-- My Goal-- Vacuum. That's it. (Right Taneil?!)
I may sneak in some putting away, and I may carry around my trusty, Anti-bacterial Windex... but those are all extras.
My secondary goal-- Easter in the attic. It's just about gathered, i just need to risk the wrath of drew and delve into his hidden treasures to remove his basket and plastic eggs. He won't be mad, if i don't throw away all of his well-hoarded candy. but, it's so hard not to. when i see it sitting there, nasty, just wanting to rot his teeth slowly...
i also have a pta luncheon and FHE.
Side Note- for scripture time we are reading the kids illustrated Book of Mormon, and one section from For the Strength of Youth... love it. (we used to do this when the boys were little, but have been in the real Bible and Book of Mormon since the boys have been old enough to read... we decided to head back to the illustrated version so the little girls can learn the stories easier.) This morning I read the section on Families... Jakob was having a minor tantrum as he sat on the bench, Ellie was complaining that I said no white church shoes to school, and I was reading "Being part of a family is a great blessing. Your family can provide you with companionship and happiness, help you learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere, and help you prepare for eternal life. Not all families are the same, but each is important in Heavenly Father's plan. Do your part to build a happy home. Be cheerful, helpful, and considerate of others. Many problems in the home are created because family members speak and act selfishly or unkindly. Concern yourself with the needs of other family members. Seek to be a peacemaker rather than to tease, fight, and quarrel. Remember that the family is the most sacred unit of the church. Honor your parents by showing love and respect for them and by being obedient. Be willing to help in the home with chores that need to be done. Participate in family activities and traditions, including family prayer, family home evenings, and family scripture reading. These traditions strengthen and unify families. Set a good example for other family members..." It was EXACTLY what i needed to hear and remember... and EXACTLY what i wanted my kids to hear and remember. love it!!
Anyway, what i was going to tell you about is our little index-card goals. Jakob named them Treat Worthy Tasks. On Monday we set family goals and individual goals. We pray for each other morning and night, by name (looking at the card if we need to) and there are little boxes to mark off if we complete our goal.
Examples... my goal is to read my scriptures everyday. Anna's goal is perfect bedtimes. Ellie's goal is to say Yes Ma'm and Yes Sir... Drew's goal is to sing a song every time he wants to be mean or sassy. :) The kids decided that we should all take a trip to the grocery store to pick-out their favorite candy, for Family Night next week if we meet our goals. Sounds good to me!! We've been doing this for a few weeks now, and it's not MAGIC. But, it does teach self-improvement, it helps with family unity, and it reminds me when Anna gets out of bed ten time a night, that at least she knows what she should be doing and she's trying. Hey, I'm not perfect either.
Family Goals- they're GREAT!
ok- computer off.

Canned Yam Moments...

ok. remember my canned yam discovery? this is a close 2nd.
Honestly, we've been having hair issues. and, we have lots of hair.
it's been a couple of years now that i've been searching for the key to shiny, smooth, children's hair. some kids look put together and some kids look straggley... i've narrowed it down to hair.
(and dirty faces.) my girls- sorry to say- have had the straggley look. I've tried bathing them more, adding cute hair accesories, using tangle spray... nothing helped.
and then. in an off-handed conversation, i happened to mention my chagrin to Grey while at her MIL's house and MIRACLE OF MIRACLES... she said-- YOU HAVE TO USE CONDITIONER. that's it. Not just the two-in-one combined suave for kids tear-free shampoo and conditioner that smells like strawberries (that's fine for step one)... but you need the "sit in the hair for five minutes, adult, cheap Suave conditioner..." A Lot of it. A whole adult handful. And you really need to wait for the five minutes. especially here in dry ol' Tejas.
who knew?
last night we tried it.
it changed my life.
this morning we brushed and braided with NO TEARS and NO TANGLES.
changed my life.
please. tell me your secrets. i just know there is a whole universe of secret tips that allude me.

April 19, 2009

Trail Ride- Day 2 and 3

Day 1-- Look at that CLEAN floor!! no picture of laundry, folded and put away... cause it's not done.
Confessions of a Bull-Rider...
When I ride bull, I just hold on and ignore everything else. I'm not stressed because I don't think about anything except the bull I'm riding. Example: On Wednesday night Jakob started throwing up... it was bad, miss the bowl, nasty. (I'll spare you the details from the other end.) All my grand plans for Wednesday and Thursday went out the window... I just put my "to do" list in a numb, coma-like state and focused on my sweet, sick boy. It was a bull-ride. Not a planned adventure, but we came through smiling. Thursday night I ran to a friend's house and Todd called me panicked... there was a bull ride, i mean hail storm coming. He didn't want his car to get pummeled so he asked me to drive to sonic (it's like McD's with a covered parking lot). So, I sat in the car... eating tater tots and drinking Sprite for an hour or more... watching the rain. Todd finally called and said he thought the storm had passed and it was ok for me to drive home. Nope. On the way home i thought i was going to die. I couldn't see, it sounded like rocks were smashing into me, and i was scared... but I put on my bull-rider mentality... called Todd to let him hear what i was driving through... laughed and made it home without major incident. So much for my Thursday evening. This is a real picture from Lubbock-- Hail.
Friday-day 1, trying to clean my floors, it almost killed me. I was tormented with 100 things i should be doing. Even when i tried to focus on my job of cleaning i had to stop myself 1000 times from cleaning the doors, walls, refrigerator, pantry, cabinets, etc... my mind swirls and fills with all the things i need to do and i get overwhelmed and distracted... i crave my numb-happy place where i'm just floating without any goals. Anyway, what i learned was... I need to pretend that I'm riding bull... the only difference is, I get to pick my horse. I choose to clean my floors-- pretend that is a throwing up kid or an anxious husband. Focus on the task at hand and ignore everything else that needs to be done. I do this with my kids. When they are miss-behaving in public, instead of loosing it with them, i simply add to a mental list of "things i need to teach my children..." It totally works. I feel peace knowing that they aren't finished yet, i still have time to teach them everything i wish they would know. I can love them in an un-finished state. On Monday night, when we have Family Night, I mentally re-read my "things i need to teach my children" list and pick something. Teaching during un-stressed times is 100% more effective. Applying this to my housework, i started a list of "things i need to clean sometime..." I'm a bit worried that I'll NEVER get to that list, but i have hope that someday I'll find 10 minutes to attack the woodwork in my kitchen.
Taneil and I remembered this Covey image... you can read all about it here...

I have renamed the firefighting-quadrant 1, Bull Riding and quality time-quadrant 2, Trail Riding. I spend my life doing things that are either Urgent and Important or Urgent and Not Important. I wish that I did more things that were Important but Not Urgent.

Saturday- day 2, I got sick... really bad puking and stuff. And, so did Anna and Ellie. Bad. Puking in the bathtub bad. Puking over 30 times in 10 hours bad. It stunk. (literally.) Taneil and I wrote up a nice, trial riding plan for next week and I'm already 2 days behind. So, I called my cowgirl MIL to get permission and decided that I was going to RIDE THE BULL all day today. Yup. Sunday. I'm feeling better and I'm going to clean my house like I'm in a rodeo. I HAVE to. I can not start Monday with puke sheets everywhere and all my laundry from last week half-folded on my family room floor. It's bad ladies, real bad. My sweet husband did a great job of comforting and cleaning the little girls while i was indisposed... most of the nasty stuff is washed and dried and sitting on my laundry room floor. He tried, but he's not the bull-rider that I am. I think I can maintain life doing one simple job a day, but I can't recover from a throw-up fest. Forgive me, but I'm REALLY EXCITED to ride the bull today.

Sunday-day 3, Yee HAW!! I'm riding the BULL!!! I'm cleaning like a mad woman. I'm so excited. Even the most seasoned trail rider has to deal with a bucking bronco every now and then, right?! Nope. I'm not even going to church {gasp...} Seriously. If you were my church pew neighbor you would thank me for staying home. This little bug we got was NASTY. And, I still have 3 kids left- leah, drew and todd- who haven't puked their guts out. please, not today Lord. I'm so excited to ride my house cleaning bull.

Sweet Moments from Day 1--

Todd and I had a fun lunch date-- although egg plant Parmesan is NASTY coming out your nose.

Leah helped me clean the mega-pixi-stick spill off the kitchen floor...

I LOVED hopping sidewalk lines with Leah on the way to the car. I love pure 2 year old joy over little things.

Anna and I wrote out a chore schedule for her... she has a hard time getting her chores done because, like her mother, she is a perfectionist. She can't put away her laundry without re-folding everything in her drawers. Sharing a room with her un-perfectionistic sister creates tears of frustration on a daily basis. I loved teaching her about "daily quick cleans" and "saturday good cleans"... it was a complete AHA moment for her as she ran into her room and straightened-up making a mental list of "things i will clean on saturday..." She finished with a smile. Imagine if she can learn at 7 the things that I'm learning at 31?!

Ellie- about 100 times... it's from some movie... "Oh, that's AWESOME. It's beyond awesome, It's BE-AWESOME!!"

Drew- "Oh, so you think you can spell, try spelling Mississippi bisher-basher-bisher-basher-bisher-basher-boo.... Oh, that's what I thought. You can't spell."

while i was puking... look at these cute kids.

April 17, 2009

Join me on a TRAIL RIDE- day 1- edited

OK. Seriously. Remember this?
I'm a bull rider dreaming of a trail ride.
I had a few, major AHA! moments this week and I think I maybe can do this... with help.
Confession #1- I do a lot, but I am a 100% bull rider... do tons then crash, do tons then crash... My house is also a bull ride... clean for 8 hours, crash-- huge mess.
Confession #2- My coping mechanism is to numb out. It works well, sometimes. It doesn't help me deal with my perfectionistic expectations... I just ignore them.
Confession #3- I am a complete and total perfectionist. I want 12 perfectly well-mannered, well-groomed, well-educated, well-rounded kids, a perfectly clean and organized home, a large savings account, a day full of serving others, homemade clothes, quilts and bread, a husband that's happy and enamered with me on a daily basis, well-balance, home-cooked meals every night, daily communion with God for me and my family, and funny, creative, daily blog posts. :) I wouldn't mind... a small, thriving home business, an award winning PTA, a rock-solid totally excercisable body, a cute, trendy style and a cute trendy house, perhaps some politcal influence or a book on my shelf that I wrote, and many items on my shelf from our family's world travels. When my kids are teenagers I, for sure, want to take them to build a school house and dig a well in South America. :) That's all.
My GOAL-- A 21 day TRAIL RIDE. I want to change my bull-riding habits. I want to be more intentional with my plans and especially my home. I want to be able to maintain my carefree, fun-loving attitude with my children while at the same time completing small goals each day around my house. I want to FEEL a sense of accomplishment each day by completing my homemaking goals, instead of going to sleep each night with a huge mental list of everything I didn't accomplish.
My PARTNERS-- Yay!! My mother-in-law is going to help me!! She's going to call me once each day to help me set achievable goals and help me feel accomplishment. And, my super-planner friend Taniel is on-board. (Right Taneil?!) Taneil's been my mental coach for 10 years now. I tend to surround myself with super-planners-- (right Corrie?)... I try to soak in their skill without loosing my skill of riding bull with a smile. Grey- she's a dear friend, but also a super-bull-rider... i'm pretty sure she's laughing at me right now and would tell me to STOP fighting and just keep riding. Maybe most of you think that. Oh well. Poo to you, because I think I can get more balance and I don't think there is anything wrong with me trying. So, want to be my blog partners? OK... Feel free to set your own 21 day challange (I've heard it takes 21 days to make a habit...) This is mine... you can watch silently, cheer me on, or ignore these posts. I hope you will set your own 21 day challenge and let me know about it so I can cheer you on... That's one of the bad things about trail rides-- no cheers from the crowd. People think I'm AMAZING when I ride bull, but there are not many cheers at the end of the trail... Don't you want to join me on a trail ride? I'm here for you... :)
OK- my goal today is to clean my floors.
AHH... it's killing me. Cause I already cleaned out my bunny cage, it was a mess when i went to feed them this morning. Yes. this is Anna's job and she didn't do it for the past 2 days and i just couldn't wait another day. ok. baby steps, baby steps.
and... i have loads of laundry... some from last week that still need to be put away, some from yesterday that need to be folded and some that still need to be washed and dried. so. IF i finish my goal-- to clean the floors THAN i may fold some loads of laundry...
ok. one more thing. Todd really wants to take me out to lunch. fun. yes. but that means i need to get the little girls cute and dressed and not wear my "cleaning the floor" clothes for the day...
i know it's silly that i'm writing this blog instead of cleaning my floors, but i HAVE to. it's part of my therapy... :)
Am I riding bull if I have 3 goals (i mean 5)?
-2. bunny cage (cause i already did this)
-1. blog (cause i'm already doing this right now)
1. floors
2. lunch with todd
3. laundry
and, my REAL goal today was to stick all my kids' important papers into page protectors and put them into their scrap binders... but that is for another day. (and, i'm reading this crazy addictive series by Libba Bray... It's calling to me... READ ME... READ ME...) First. my goals.
NOT thinking about this Amy Butler fabric that i want to buy off etsy...
NOT going to check my blog again in 5 minutes to see if you left me a comment. NOT going to read another person's blog until tonight... all day long I'm going to turn off my computer... ok. go. Yee Haw!! [edit--Grey... i love you. yes, i know that everyone wants a trail ride. we don't CHOOSE to become bull-riders. we CHOOSE to become mothers. mothers of a large, bucking family. because we are mothers, because we love, because we serve, because we are at the mercy of many, bucking, needing, growing calves, we learn to ride bull. it is a gift and a talent... and, if i have to choose, i would choose bull-riding. but. my kids are getting older. and. they're gone during the day. and. i THINK i can learn to ride the trail a little better. we're all riding trails and bulls. and, i don't care how old i get or how many trails i ride, when it comes time to saddle up, i want a horse (and a life) with a little bit of spunk. i LIKE life with some buck. trust me. nothing teaches you how ride life better than a little buck. grey- you're a true, ride 'em, cowgirl... living in a tejas siesta... and when i get OLDer, i hope my family is as amazing as yours is.]

April 15, 2009


hope y'all have a lip-smackin', droolin' good day!!

April 13, 2009

easter moments...

i love holidays.
i especially love Easter and my favorite Easter tradition is our Jesus Dinner.
i love shopping for things that Jesus would have eaten. You know...
Olives (collosal and green-spicy ones), figs, unleavened bread (pita, melba toast, triscuts), fish (tuna, oysters, sardines, salmon? yes. i know he didn't really eat salmon, but what the heck kinda fish did he eat?), beef jerkey, grapes (duh. big, huge black Jesus grapes, grape jam, grape fruit roll-ups, grape juice, raisins), hummus, dates, nuts, cheese (goat cheese, wee brie, feta, mild cheddar...), trail mix, and my personal favorite this year Honey with Honey Comb in it...

yup. it's fun to plan. but, i hesitate to write about my Easter plans lest my words create an unrealistic image in your mind of my sweet holy days. Nope. We don't have vacations-- we take TRIPS. Easter at our house... it was a trip. A grand adventure. the stuff of which legends and hopefully fond memories are made...
Anna lost her first tooth on Easter Sunday. In our home, loosing your first tooth is emotional, exhausting and exhilarating!! It is a true rite of passage. For some children it may pass quietly without pain or excitement. Not so with my children. (At least not their FIRST tooth.) Anna's screamed the first time her tooth WIGGLED. Since that time, she has gingerly avoided any food contact with that tooth, cried at night because her wiggly tooth was hurting, wanted to show me how wiggly it was and then screamed and shut her mouth any time I tried to wiggle it... it had gotten to the point that it was ready to come out, and she wanted it to come out, but there was this one thread... this tiny fear that held her back. That was the BEGINNING. This is the END.
JOY!! Excitement. Sense of accomplishment and bravery.
The MIDDLE... blood, tears, screams, fights with the Professor as he tried to tie a piece of string around it and she kept moving. Shouts of encouragement from brothers who have no memory at all of their own personal first tooth struggles... it was difficult, but it was wonderful. and. we loved it. we love her. she is growing up. she screamed, but she did it. and, she'll do it again. (She prayed this morning for another loose tooth.) Despite the fact that I don't really like the pull-the-tooth-out-with-a-string thing, Anna did want too. But, she was scared. Just like shots, and ear piercing, and eating sardines... my kids can do hard things. And, seeing them at the end, makes the MIDDLE worth it. Knowing THE END, makes the BEGINNING and the MIDDLE joyful and fun and exciting-- not a vacation but a great trip. Does this make sense?
OK- so, back to Easter and our Jesus Meal.
It wasn't ideal, but it was PERFECT.
I loved Sunday.
We had Easter bunny Sunday morning, cause the Easter bunny wasn't ready for Saturday morning. We were rushed to get to church by 9am. Leah had only chocolate and jelly beans for breakfast. My kids "had to go to the bathroom" twice each during the meeting. Anna took off her modest t-shirt on the way to church and un-did her cute Easter hair, so i was a little surprised when I looked down the row at what she was wearing. I took a nap right after church while the professor and the kids watched the first half of BEN-HUR. I came out for the 2nd half and we ate our Jesus dinner on the coffee table in the living room. My kids tried most of the new foods, which was great. They fought some. They made big messes and weren't quick to help us clean-up when we asked. We had our Sunday Night Family Council (which includes watching America's Funniest Home Video, reenacting every gut smashing crash, and listening to the boys laugh like girls....) and our Sunday Night Spiritual Devotional (watching Extreme Home Makeover... mom and the girls are usually in tears by the end). And, bedtime-- bedhour-- coaxing, cuddling, comforting, threatening, begging, and then... silence. Kids sleeping. Easter remnants scattered throughout and our Jesus Meal still waiting to be cleaned up.
we did it.
our Sunday was a laughing, crying, singing, fighting, remembering, enjoying, resting, learning, teaching, worshiping, forgiving, growing... HOLY day.
it was a trip. i loved planning for it,
and, i loved the MIDDLE as much as THE END.

passover with the ures...

isn't this cute?
thanks rachel!!
i love it!
mmm. passover. matzoh... haroset... bitter herb... fresh greens... lotsa wine, i mean grape juice...
cute cousins...
tayson and ellie
mia and leah...
rachel, lily and the bunnies...
my sister-in-law's sister, Rachel, and her cute family came to Lubbock for Easter weekend.
it's always funny having company to behold our insanity.
they watched us rush out the door to the premiere showing of
love it.
we sat in the SECOND ROW!! awesome!!
bought the cd.
still trying to learn the dance.
they joined us for continual "bunny world"
ooh. i did see leah walking once with a bunny in each hand (by the ears).
crazy, not-super-spiritual, but fun, passover
followed by a Jewish- spiral ham- dinner. :)
complete with potato pancakes, matzo ball soup, and burned asparagus... mmmm.
and a mean game of wii hula hoop.
never a dull moment at our house.

April 10, 2009

good friday...

May your good friday be good.
wishing you joy... beauty,
and fullness.
May your days be fun,
surrounded by love...
and full of accomplishment.
Happy Easter!
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