February 26, 2010

the doctrine of family.

this is just my favorite talk ever on FAMILY.
want a good read?  check it out http://www.lds.org/pa/rs/pdf/CES_2009_Beck_eng.pdf.

it is written to those in our Church who teach the teenagers, but i think it applies directly to us moms.

this paragraph just keeps going over and over in my mind (as i clean the kitchen and try to watch ET with my kids... it's almost the sad part, i hate the sad part)
Live in your home so that you’re brilliant in the
basics, so that you’re intentional about your
roles and responsibilities in the family. You
think in terms of precision, not perfection.
(Perfection is difficult to obtain in this life, but
live your family life with precision.)
If you have
your goals and you’re precise in how you go
about them in your homes, your students will
learn from you. They learn that you pray, you
study the scriptures together, you have family
home evening together, you make a priority of
mealtimes and teach your family during those
times. You are constantly teaching your families
the same things that you’re teaching your
students. You speak respectfully of your
marriage partners. Then from your example the
rising generation will gain great hope and will
understand—not just from the words you teach,
but from the way you feel and emanate the
spirit of family.

now, back to E.T.  so i can watch his skin peeling...

yup. ice cream for BREAKFAST!!!

my kids had a PERFECT week-- chores, piano, violin, perfect attendance at scripture time in the morning.
they all MEMORIZED the 10 commandments and Moses 33:11  And God spoke to Moses face to face, as a friend speaketh to another (yes, i typed it from memory)...
so, we surprised them.
i was so excited i told a random guy that i saw at the gym this morning...
guess what we're having for breakfast?
the professor laughed and rolled his eyes at me.
(did i tell you i ALMOST wake my kids up on Christmas morning?)

i warned them NOT to tell their teachers...
we'll see about that.

February 25, 2010

sweet notes from my kids...

bandera is ellie's best friend.
she is constantly writing her letters that she never delivers.
i love this one.
and yes, some days PIANO is a PAIN  Oh!!

February 24, 2010

a tree.

leah and lily needed a tree.
this was my inspiration photo... sorry, i'm not sure where i found it but i really LOVE this room.
here are some other trees that i liked...

i used contact paper-- just cut it out and stuck it to the wall, rubbed real good with a towel (to push it into the texture of my wall), painted over top of it, then pealed off the paper to reveal the white underneath.
 like most of my projects it's not perfect (i wish i'd made the branches skinnier), but i love it anyway!!

February 22, 2010

44 wipes.

leah came to tell me that lily had poop.
i was going to change her.
in a minute.

i was just going to check my blog REAL QUICK
and then i started reading cjane and nienie and mymixof6 and linked over to a cool free online photography school.

no worries... leah helped.

44 wipes!
lily's bum was shiny clean.
leah explained,
"mom, she had a lot of poop in her bum.
i wiped her.
i promise.  it was really gross.
mom, she loves leah. sure she does!!"

(this is one of my favorite pictures EVER.  can't you just imagine poor lily trying to escape while leah chased her with another wipe?!-- 44 times!!)
yup.  lily does love leah.  and so do i.
i'm grateful for all my little helpers.
i told leah, "great job."
she smiled.
"just don't ever do that again, ok?"
"yeah" she laughed, "that's only for moms."

body for life- day 1

The professor and I are doing a 12 week challenge.
Have you heard about Body for Life?
You can check out the website here www.bodyforlife.com.
Today, February 22, we are beginning day ONE.
(we took our before pictures on Saturday... they will NOT be posted on our blog!!)
Want to do it with us?  You just have to sign up by March 11th.  And, it's FREE.  And, you could win $25,000.  :)  except that i'm going to win it...
i heard about this from my aunt.  She's done the program and has lots of friends who've done it... she says it works better than anything she's ever seen.
we bought the book here for 6 cents plus $4 shipping.

11 weeks and 6 days to go!!

February 20, 2010

fun stuff.

we do stuff.
it's always a party at our house.
last weekend was busy, but so fun.
first we had tons of kids here on Friday
(i let the kids invite friends over Friday afterschool... that plus neighbors equal a lot of friends)
i usually invite a couple of families over on Friday night for dinner and games.
Friday is my favorite for friend-time.
a few weeks ago we celebrated Ellie's best friend, Bandera's, birthday.  That night we had the Ure's, Samson's, Parkers, our friends Claudia and Adrian, and the Sister Missionaries stopped by.  I had seen this fun recipe for potstickers so i fried some up.  It was really fun and yummy.  Bandera's mom brought fried rice.  TON'S OF FRIED RICE.  It fed my family for a week!!  We still joke about that.  If ever there is a famine, I'm heading over to the Samson's for RICE!!
 i LOVE friends on Friday!!  and, i can kinda sleep in on Saturday.
mmm.  those pictures make me want pot stickers again!  here is the link where i learned how to make them.

Saturday we do projects.
last Saturday i did a big shopping trip... lots of stores.
and, Saturday night we celebrated the Chinesse New Year.
There was a big show up on campus and afterwards a free chinesse dinner.
it was crazy (with our big family) but, fun.
and, hopefully, memorable.
Jakob got choosen to play a charade game on stage and him and his cute college-kid partner WON!!

Sunday morning we HEART-ATTACKED our favorite neighbor, Mr. Bill's, door.
The kids had so much fun cutting out hearts, writing sweet valentine's on them, and stealthily taping them all to his door.
(They were aiming for it to be a surprise... even though he is VERY hard of hearing, I'm not sure they were able to pull it off!)  we sure love this man.

Sunday night we had a couple of our good friends (McCombs and Samson's) over for Valentine's Dinner.
it was pink... but not anything amazing.
i didn't get a picture, but i just did dumb things like write X's and O's on the rolls, put almonds and craisins in the green beans, made pinkish steak for adults, shaped little meatloafs into hearts for the kids, and my friend brought pink mashed potatoes.  i made heart-peanut butter cookies and two heart decorated pies with pink ice cream.  i actually had my texas-cowgirl friend, Jennifer, come to dinner early to COOK the steaks for us... isn't that horrible of me?  she did a MUCH BETTER job than i ever have.  mmmm.  i love steak.  ps-- i accidently dumped a LOT of cinnamon in my apple pie-- it was NASTY.  and, people still ate it (or tried to feed it to their kids).  i warned them, but everyone was too nice to admit how gross it was.

and, on Monday night we had one of our favorite Lubbock families (Merrill's) over for Family Night.  Once again I mooched.  I told them I'd cook dinner if THEY'D teach my kids a lesson-- on the Sacrament.  I'm still not sure how to keep my active bunch reverent for an extended period of time, but I think it is just continuing to teach them again, and again, and again.   So, we had fun.  I always learn stuff from the Merrill's.   
(i wanted to make a themed-meal for Monday night, but the Merrill's have teenage boys, so we settled on "What Jesus would have eaten if he went to Mexico"-- enchiladas, rice and salad, with Italian Soda (thanks Aunt Mil!)  it was fun.  and, have i told you how much i love teenagers?  love them.  i love that my kids have these kids to look up to... i hope they grow up to be just like them.

and.  that was our life last weekend.  now... on to this weekend.
we do have grand plans, but no company!

February 19, 2010


i was thinking about "perfect" this morning as i was getting ready.
(full length mirrors will do that for you)
i believe that we will be resurrected in our "perfect" form.
so, does that mean that my nose will be smaller, my chest will be bigger, my bum will be smoother?
what really will "perfect" look like on me?
sometimes, perfect seems imperfect.
and imperfect is perfect.

i have issues with people's perception of Christ- perfect.
we sing, "he never got vexed when the games went wrong" and, i don't know.
can a child be perfect and still get vexed?
when i write a book, (no, not really), i want to write about Christ as a PERFECT CHILD. 
because, i think it would surprise most of us, exactly what a PERFECT, strong-spirited, half-God, half-BOY, would be like.
i think He climbed the walls in his little home.
i think He ate dirt.
i think He wandered and explored and watched and sometimes had a hard time going to sleep when Mary tucked him in at 8pm each night.
i know he was "perfect" i'm just not sure "perfect" is what we imagined it to be.

why do little babies seem perfect?
even when they are born very imperfect, there is a perfection about their imperfection.
at what age does cute chubby baby start to be not cute?
because, i know where my kids get their adorable, dimpled bum cheeks...

February 18, 2010

my babies...

last night lily woke up A LOT.  she was happy, chatty awake from 1-3am.
as i cuddled with her in the living room chair she felt different.
she's feeling more toddler than baby these day.
chunky, solid, bigger, very funny and very determined.
i love it.
but, i miss sweet, tiny baby cuddles.
i can feel time going faster.
my baby is going to middle school next year.

he still needs mom time.
i've found it's natural to cuddle a baby... but, my big kids still crave physical touch.
they still needs hugs and kisses and cuddling even though they fit a little different in my arms
jakob sits close to me and leans.  that's when i know he needs me to ruffle his hair and kiss his cheek and hug him as tight as i can.  he gives me a cute, embarrassed laugh but i know he needs me still.
i love to hug drew right as he's about to be sassy.
he melts when i tell him he's my favorite and remind him what a great helper he always is.
and... sometimes when i'm cranky, he rubs my back or whispers in my ear, and he can melt me too.

my friend valerie has this quote on the sidebar of her blog.
i love it.
Help me understand that there will be NO GRAND ANNOUNCEMENT stating, “Mommy, this is the last time I will sleep in your bed or ask you to push me on the swing or need you to quiz me on my spelling words or want you to play Candy Land with me or tie my shoes or brush my hair or get me a drink.” Remind me never to overlook these moments as ordinary, because as sure as the seasons change, there will be a last time. (adapted from a post by Sandy at God Speaks)

i imagine that in a few more sleeps, my boys will be men and my girls will have girls of their own.
i imagine that i will miss the gangly, teethy, goofy 10 and 11 year old stages.
the lovely 6 and 7 year old hair styles.
the 3 year old logic and confidence.
thumb sucking toddlers.
and, the tupperwares of crayons and water colors that daily find their way to my counter tops.
like the sunshine that is warming up my winter, i can feel our seasons changing.
and, i love spring like i love winter.
but i know that as my babies grow i will never forget those magical newborn moments...
those sweet years of attachment and dependance.
i can still feel my jakob.  i remember nursing him and measuring- his toes just reached my other arm.
those perfect babies, they're still inside those bigger kids.
but you only glimpse their attachment and dependence during sweet vulnerable moments- when they're sick or tired or overwhelmed.
i'm grateful that i really lived and enjoyed the younger years with my children.
the memory of past seasons is a part of me.
because, when jakob was younger i drank him and ate him and held him and smelled him and loved baby mode...
he's a part of my senses... and i can still know him like he was then.
i can find the perfect little guy under the bigger guy's skin.
drew and ellie were my most needy babies... we spent years connected and rocking and cuddling.  they needed me the most.  and they still do.  touching, hugging, cuddling... they mellow with a touch.
anna, she was happy and adored.  she still needs to laugh with me and feel how cherished she is.
"mom!!" she used to say, whenever baby ellie smiled, "Mom!!  Ellie love me.  WE HAPPY FAMILY!!"
leah is my "best friend"... she was the happiest, most perfect baby-- her joy was easier to contain in a baby chair and is a bit more difficult with 3 year mobility... but i still see that joy and want her to feel my adoration not just my frustration.  
and sweet baby lily.  just look at her and she will show you that she knows she's adorable. i hope we always cherish and enjoy her like we have this first year of her life.  she cuddles and laughs and sucks her thumb like a cat purrs.
what a gift these little ones have been in my life.
there is wisdom in seasons.
and today, i can feel the season changing.

February 16, 2010

i'd make this...

if... i didn't have 6 kids.
if... i weren't TRYING to plan a 5k for PTA.
if... i had a maid.
if... i didn't already have 20,000 projects started.
if... i were a speed-crocheter. or a more experienced crocheter.
if... i didn't think it would cost me $200 and many hours picking out yarn.
if... i weren't certain i'd get to block number 61 and stop... leaving the unfinished squares in my "to finish" pile.
if... i were a grandmother.
if... i were going to my in-laws for a month and needed a small take along project for the car.
if... it shows up in my dreams the next few nights and on the spur of the moment i'm looking at the pattern and i accidentally push "buy it"
then, i would make this--
don't you love it?
you can download the pattern here for only $6.
and... if you do download the pattern, and decide to make one, can you make two?
everyone NEEDS a granny square afghan in their house.
and, i need six, to pass down to my children. 
cause really, i'd make this.
if only...

a cash bash.

jakob's getting a bit old for the themed birthday parties.
but, this year it was a lot of fun... he wanted a Money Party.
yes, he's male.  (and um, i want a money party for my birthday too...)

i had a lot of fun thinking of things to do with lots of 11 year old boys...
these were the invitations...
we made banks (i don't think i got a picture)  my favorite part of the banks was collecting quotes about money that they could modge podge on them-- like "money can buy a dog, but it can't make it's tail wag" i made the kids listen while i read them the whole list of quotes i loved... see, still a mom even at a party...
we hung money from a rope on the ceiling and they had to shoot it down with darts- they could keep the money they shot down (up to 2 bills per turn).  we had $1's $2's and one $20 that i stealthily hot glued on the rope... they didn't figure it out till they had spent a LONG time trying to shoot it down. (so fun!)...
we folded dollars into shirts and rings (here are the instructions)...
we ate cheesecake and opened presents...
the kids "bought" their own take home prizes (stuff i picked up from the dollar store)...
we gave them dollar coins and if they could drop them from their forehead into a bowl, they got to keep them...
we did silly string and wrestling on the trampoline- boys...
and we played the good, old fashioned name game.

even though they all left with some money, i didn't spend more than we normally do (no party favors)... and, it was a lot cheaper than taking them somewhere for a party.  i really think birthday parties are important, i loved that my jakob felt special, that he had fun with his friends and that i got to meet a few of his school friends that i didn't know before.  and, i liked seeing how they all interacted together.  he has really nice friends... i HOPE that trend continues.

just fyi... i REALLY like this boy.

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