April 30, 2010

Looking Back-- 2006

This is a letter I wrote for my family history right BEFORE we moved to Lubbock.
Jakob was 7, Drew was 6, Anna was 4, Ellie was 3 and I was pregnant with Leah.
It's so funny to see how my life is pretty similar (add two kids) and pretty different (on the tail-end of school not the beginning...)

I LOVE to read back over things I have written---  I can still feel my life then, and I know that someday my life now will be a sweet memory!!

Life is good.

July 23, 2006
Life is good!  We just got back from our second ever family bike ride.  Jakob and Drew are both proficient riders now, and the girls ride in a little yellow buggy attached to Todd’s bike.  Todd and I bought bikes over the 4th of July weekend—mine has a good wide seat with springs underneath to support my maternally blossoming behind.  Yesterday as I was riding one of my neighbors said, “I thought you were expecting.”  I laughed.  I’m not sure anyone can really miss my HUGE tummy.  She made my day. 

Yesterday, Drew stopped at every curve- he thought he couldn’t turn corners, and he stopped at every incline or decline in the sidewalk- he was worried that he would go too fast.  It was a LONG ride around the lake.  He was sure that he couldn’t do it, but with a lot of encouragement (Todd and I took turns) we made it home and he was thrilled.  I want to teach Anna to ride a two wheeler pretty soon so that Ellie and the baby can sit in the buggy.  Once we learned the trick- to hold onto the child’s arm not the seat of the bike- it was pretty easy to teach the boys. 

Tonight I rode in the back.  What an adorable sight it was watching my family.  Jakob is fast and has to continually lap back to keep up with us.  Drew rides fine, until he gets scared and then he swerves and slows down.  Most of the time his little legs just pedal and pedal trying to catch up with Jakob.  Those boys are growing up so quickly.  They are really cute kids.  The girls are funny zipped up in their little yellow buggy.  Whenever we would pass another person you would hear shouts of greeting from the buggy.  Anna was continually yelling, “Mamma, Mamma…” and then waving “HI!”  Todd is just a perfect husband and father.  He is so cute and so patient with the kids.  I really think that I have a perfect little family.  I feel so blessed.

This is an odd, crazy transition time of life for us.  We will close on our new house in Texas on August 19th, Todd’s school starts August 28th and I am due September 1st.  We still haven’t sold our home here in Michigan.  Last week my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, she and Wally are going through a pretty nasty divorce.  Eric is also living with us for the summer as he completes an internship here in Michigan

Todd and I both just finished a hectic month with our stake callings.  With the Stake Young Men’s presidency Todd had scout camp and youth conference.  The next week I was in charge of Stake Girl’s Camp.  Both of us have learned so much from these callings the past few years.  It has been amazing associating with the good people of the Stake and we have come to love the youth in this area.  I have learned so much about leadership and confidence in my callings.  It was really neat to see my dreams become a reality and to feel the hand of the Lord directing me as I planned camp.  My testimony has been strengthened and I am more confidant to serve the Lord in the future.

As I write down my life, I feel so confidant and hopeful.  I am sure that we are supposed to go back to school in Texas, and I know that everything is going to work out for our good.  It is different when I wake up in the morning with the cares of the world pressing down on me.  I often wonder if I am crazy to pack my house and move across country with no assurance that we will be able to feed our growing family. 

Logically, it is crazy that I am doing all this nine months pregnant.  But spiritually I feel peaceful, I always have felt peaceful about this baby.  She is calm inside my womb- by far the most gentle of all the children I have carried.  I can’t wait to meet her.  I can’t wait for her to meet her brothers and sisters.  They are so excited for this new baby to come out of my tummy.  She will be loved and cherished by all.  (Hopefully not loved too much!)

I think we are going to name her Leah Lynette Moss.  [Note- in the hospital we decided on Leah Jenifer... but, we still love the lanettes in our lives!!]  Leah from the bible and Lynette after Todd’s grandmother Erma Lynette Gee and his sister Lanette Moss Carter.  I don’t love the story of Leah in the Bible, but she was a good, strong woman—Leah is a sweet name that seems to match this gentle spirit in my womb.  Lynette means attractive and little lion.  I think that’s cute and if this is the case she will fit right into our family.  I have felt especially close to Grandma Gee since I started having my children.  She is said to have been a blunt, strict, capable woman and was a teacher and mother of a large family.  She is the daughter of Thomas E. Ricks- good pioneer stock.  From the day I first gave birth to Jakob I have felt her presence in my life.  I think I would have loved her had I met her, and I look forward to meeting her someday.  I am excited to name little leah after her great grandmother. 

Jakob is seven and preparing to be baptized this winter.   I can’t believe how much he has grown in the past year.  I often catch myself staring at him, my baby… growing up into a little man.  He is already as tall as my chest.  He’s really cute, skinny but not scrawny.  He is a good boy.  We do battle his sassing mouth.  Jakob is good, but when he makes a mistake he has a hard time backing down.  He’ll fight the same fight for a whole evening rather than just take the consequence he’s been given and move on.  He is kind, but not a sissy. 

Jakob tries hard at everything that he does.  I loved to bring him to soccer and watch his determination and effort.  He would run one drill and he might not be the first one to the finish line.  The next time he would just try a little harder and he’d be the first one.  He was a quiet, thinking soccer player.  His coach said that he had amazing foot work.  Even though he wasn’t the fastest, superstar player, he was consistent, he tried hard and he played very well.  I was so proud of him and his work ethic.  He is like this in most things.  He quietly works at them until he has mastered them. 

Jakob reminds me a lot of his dad.  Another thing they share is a love for gaming.  Todd, Jakob, Drew and Eric play these advanced strategy games all the time.  Tonight Jakob won.  Later I heard Eric and Todd talking about how surprised they were that Jakob had beat them and they assured themselves if the game had lasted another few rounds they would have passed him up.  Jakob plays with a consistent strategy and sticks to his plan.  He loves to collect development cards in Settlers and blue cards in Puerto Rico.  I have no doubt that he will join the adult game table at family reunions soon. 

Jakob is really cute with the baby in my tummy.  He loves to hear that Todd used to read him stories when he was in my belly and he laughs when I tell him that he would kick back at us mathematically.  If we tapped twice, he’d kick twice.  He will come up to me during the day and just kiss my belly and whisper “HI Leah.”  He’s sweet.  When Ellie was born he said that he wanted 72 more sisters.  Whenever he puts his hand on my belly he says that he can feel her moving… if he hears my tummy rumble he is certain that he has heard the baby burp.  This is his favorite, he tells the rest of the kids and they laugh and laugh. 

I have so much that I want to be sure that he knows before he is baptized.  I want to read the Book of Mormon with him from cover to cover, and I want to be sure that he has his own testimony before he joins the church.  But, I feel comforted to know that Jakob came to our family with a strong knowledge of eternal things.  He is a good, elect, righteous leader.  He was this before he came here and I am blessed to have him in my family.

Drew…  as he writes on his papers, DREW KLUDEN MOSS.  I asked him once if he wanted to learn how to spell his middle name, Clendon, correctly.  He said, “No, I like it my way.”  Drew has a mind of his own.  Most of the time he is a sweet, easy going, fun natured kid.  He loves to laugh and tease.  He is my most cuddley and kissy kid.  He has a teddy bear that he sleeps with every night.  We made a pillow and sleeping bag for his bear and now he is tucked in beside Drew each night.  Drew is kind and loves his little sisters.  He will play family with them for hours and has an adorable imagination.  Drew is always the Dad, one of the girls is the Mom and the other girl is the Sweetie.  Once I asked Drew what the Sweetie was.  He said, “The girl brother.”  

Drew loves to write, and he is very smart.  He writes pages and pages of stories with his own creative spelling.  You can usually figure them out if you read them out loud.  It’s like that game Blurt or something where you have to read the words out loud to figure out the phrase.  Drew and Jakob spend many hours quizzing each other on math facts.  Drew particularly likes to quiz Anna and have her give the wrong answer.  Our car rides are filled with things like, “Anna, what’s four hundred and five million times one?”  She will make up and answer and Drew will laugh… “No Anna, that was even an easy one.”  Anna says, “Drew, I told you I don’t want to play this game.” 

Drew is curious about the baby in my tummy, but unlike Jakob, he can NEVER feel her when he touches my belly.  He is usually frustrated within a few seconds and I have to distract him with stories of his acrobats inside my womb when he was a baby.  He laughs and laughs as I describe the arms and legs he’d stick out all over the place.  Drew loves hearing stories of his active, mischievous toddler years.  He still has the cutest belly laugh that he had as a baby.  Drew wanted to name the baby Clever.  Now he keeps asking me if we are really going to name it Falipa or some girl yugioh that he knows.  I keep telling him yes and he looks at me with a smile in his eyes.  He has been a handful, but he is so much fun.  Drew has an electric personality that just makes you want to laugh and hug him.  Even when he is in an angry rage- which happens anytime his sense of justice is violated, it’s funny.  He’s a strong spirit with a clear, active mind. 

At basketball one night Drew’s primary teacher told Todd that he was a bit worried about Drew.  I guess the teacher taught a lesson on prayer and Drew told the class that Heavenly Father didn’t answer his prayers.  Once he lost his wallet and he prayed and he never found his wallet, so he knew that Heavenly Father didn’t answer his prayers.  We talked about this later, and while he was at school I looked and found his wallet piled in the craft room.  We talked about how sometimes it takes time to receive answers and that just because Heavenly Father doesn’t answer how or when we think he should, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t hear our prayers.  Drew accepted this explanation with his childlike faith.  He now tells the story of his missing wallet as an example of how come he knows his prayers are heard.  I love that he thinks for himself, that he questions and then that he believes.  Drew is a strong, great kid.  He says the most adorable prayers- they are sincere and complete.  I don’t think Drew will do many things halfway.  He is a hot or cold kind of guy.

Anna, Anna… She was born mature and continues to be four going on sixteen.  Anna has this adorable confidence and extroverted nature.  She is sweet and interactive with everyone.  We went to the library and I had her sit at a table for a minute while I picked out some adult videos to rent.  She moved to sit by this elderly black man.  I could hear her quizzing him.  “Hi, my name’s Anna, What’s your name?”  She went on, “What’s your dad’s name?  How old is he? Is he dead?  What’s your mom’s name?  How old is she?  Is she dead too?  Where does she live?  Do you have any children?  Where are they?  Why?  Where is your wife?   Is she at home?  What’s her name?  How old is she?...”  I just laugh and that poor man just answered all of her questions with a smile on his face.  When I finally told her to say goodbye the man said, “Wow, she is very bright and inquisitive isn’t she?”  YES!  That’s my Anna. 

At the store she talks to everyone.  By the end of her shopping trip she’s talking to people and they are all saying things like, “Yes, I know your name is Anna.”  At Kohl’s the other day, I was looking at some maternity clothes and there was another pregnant lady nearby.  Anna was talking to her and said, “I think this shirt will look nice on you.”  She goes on to point out that we are having a girl baby and asks the lady what kind of baby she is having.  When she finds out the lady is having a boy, she picks out a few boy outfits and suggests that the other expectant mother buy her baby some new clothes.  There was one time that a lady was nearby and she said, “Excuse me, can you help me find my mother?”  The lady looked at me with a worried look on her face and said, “Are you lost little girl?”  Anna smiled and I shook my head calling her closer to me.  She is so funny. 

We went shopping for school clothes this week.  The kids were all excited and funny.  Since we’ve been home, they’ve all changed quite a few times, but Anna gets the award.  She seriously changes every ten minutes during the day.  On the way home from the stores she said, “Mom, how come my legs are hairy like Daddy’s?”  I just died.  I didn’t think that I would have a conversation with my little girls about shaving their legs before kindergarten.  Honestly, she is four going on sixteen. 

Most of the time she is good.  We do have problems with her leaving the house when we don’t know it and going to the neighbors.  They say, “Anna, is your mom taking a nap?”  She’ll say yes and play with their children for awhile.  Once we had another family over for dinner.  We assumed that she was in the basement with the rest of the kids playing, but around 9pm she came walking in the door.  She said, Mom, Josh’s mom says it’s time for me to take a bath since I’ve been playing in their sandbox for so long.  We don’t even know Josh’s mom, and we didn’t know she was gone.   Although Todd and I were both playing games, he looked at me shocked and said, “Jen, did you even know Anna was gone?  That’s really bad.”  I put the question right back to him explaining that we were both doing the same thing and both of us missed her exit. 

Anna has the most questions about the baby.  How did she get in there?  Is she going to have a baby in her tummy when she’s a mom?  When are these going to grow she asked me one day, pointing to her chest.  She isn’t easy to distract either.  When I give her a broad answer like, you need a mommy and a daddy to make a baby, she wants to know specifically, but how mom?  How does Daddy’s seed get into your tummy?  I tell her honestly.  I swallowed it.  J

Twice the past week she and Ellie have squeezed Ranch dressing and chocolate syrup all over the kitchen table.  I think Anna will do very well once school starts for her.  She gets bored here all day and is very creative in coming up with things to keep her busy.  I have a feeling that she will keep us hopping.  But, she is a good, bright, happy girl.  She is quick to apologize and has strong desires to please and love and make us happy.  I’m excited to watch her as she grows.

Ellie Elisabeth as she refers to herself, has been our baby longer than any other child.  She is beautiful and is the dancing, doll playing, dressing up little sister that we imagined she’d be.  She’s stubborn and manipulative, but as the youngest she really doesn’t get away with much.  The kids are pretty good at bargaining her out of any initial resistance.  You often hear, come on Ellie, put your shoes on and then I’ll let you hold my favorite Poke’mon card.  She is not great at potty training or going to bed at night.  I think it’s funny that she always wants Daddy at night, because she knows he’ll bring her 5 drinks of water.  I hear her explaining to him, “Just one more, Dad, just one more.”  I can picture her holding up four fingers.  He always give in. 

Ellie is the most musical.  She is constantly playing the piano and singing her made up songs.  Anna memorizes real songs, Ellie creates her own.  Many times, they are cute songs.  Most of the time, in the car, she sings things like, “I don’t like Anna, Anna is a poopy head.”  Then Anna yells, “Mom, Ellie isn’t using nice words.”  Ellie ignores any pleading from the front of the van and continues with her blaring poopy head songs.  Ellie plays each of the kids.  When they don’t do something that she wants them to do she says fine, I don’t like you or I don’t love you.  They continually petition her, do you like me now?  She holds them at bay, I like you a little bit, or I like you, but I don’t love you.  If she’s really mad it’s fine, but I will never love you again.  Followed by her song, “I don’t like Jakob, Jakob is stupid.”  If she does something wrong and I am upset with her she’ll say, “Are you happy about this?”  I’ll assure her that I am not happy about this.  Then she says, “Are you happy with Anna?  Anna didn’t go poop in her pants.”  I’ll affirm, Yes, I’m happy with Anna.  She continues, “Are you happy with Jakob and Drew?”  She’s funny. 

Ellie loves to wear her pink leotard, ballerina outfit.  She calls it her “Bal la le Dress”.  She strips all day to put on this leotard and erupts into tears if we make her change so that we can go out.  It’s funny to see her spin around, watching the skirt flare out.  She says, “Mom, don’t I look beautiful?”  The other day Jakob and Drew fought over who could paint Anna and Ellie’s toes and fingers with nail polish.  Ellie picked cotton candy pink nails with blue toes.  For two days afterwards (even though the boys didn’t do a very good job painting—because her nails were so small they explained)  every time Ellie would see her toes she’d stick out her foot and exclaim to no one in particular, “My feet look beautiful!”

Ellie is the most obsessed with the baby.  She asks everyone if they have a baby in their tummy.  One night she was on Todd’s lap and patted his stomach.  She said, “Dad, you have a lot of babies in your tummy.”  We all laughed.  Ellie loves babies.  She is very maternal and nurturing.  She says the funniest things to babies, considering that she is still a baby herself.  She’s the little mommy in nursery.  I know she’ll love little leah when she comes out.  I’m only concerned at how much she will love her.

When David and Rebekah were visiting I let Ellie stay up late on night because she had a long nap.  She misunderstood my reasoning and spent half the night showing everyone her neck and commenting how long it was.  It took us a while to figure out that she thought she was being aloud to stay awake because she had a long neck.  She’s funny.

Ellie is going to transition the most with the birth of this new baby.  I’m excited to see her personality emerge as she hands over her “baby” throne in our family.  I think she’ll really grow up a lot in the next year, and I’m excited to get to know her better as the year progresses and Anna attends preschool.  We were eating celery and dip this afternoon and I dropped some dip on my tummy.  Ellie laughed and said, “Mom, you need a bib, don’t you?”  She’s a hoot!!

Well, these are my family ramblings.  I haven’t written in a while and I wanted to have some record of this time in our lives printed out in my albums.  As I’ve said many times before.  We are so blessed.  This is a fun time of life and I’m tired, but enjoying life as I watch my little family grow.  I’m so glad that I had my first four kids so close together.  It has been really tough, but I’ve learned a lot and I love watching them interact.  I’m also so glad that I have had this space between Ellie and this new little one.  I am really craving a baby.  I know that she’ll bring so much joy into our home and we’ll all just eat her up. 
 Love you all!
 --What a sweet time of life??!!
Can't wait to see what the summer of 2010 is like!!!

April 29, 2010

a bird and eggs.

sorry--- stinky picture. (that's what you get when you say CHEESE! on the way to school in the morning).
just want you to know that i'm SEWING!!

i even cleaned my craft room yesterday!!  YAY!!
and, dare i say it, i may have finally gotten my laundry tamed.
it's been a month now and laundry hasn't drowned me ONCE.
13 years and i think i finally got it.
(i know, i'm a slow laundry learner...)

and, this is dumb... but i've been on a quest to learn how to cook a hard boiled egg that is easy to peel.
i HATE when you cook an egg and the shells all peel with the egg.
i even buy Eggland's Best eggs...
i'm serious about my eggs.

my red cookbook says
boil, turn it lower, and simmer for 16 minutes... then rinse with ice water.
i tried 3 different groups all cooked for 16 minutes.
1-cool in the pot
2-cool with cold water
3-cool with ice
i know, i'm dumb like that.
and.... with the initial peeling, group 1, the eggs that were still warm, peeled the best.
but, i haven't come to any final conclusions because, the next day, all the eggs still stuck to the shell a little bit.
my quest continues...
do you know how to cook a hard boiled egg that is easy to peel??
(i've even bought hard boiled eggs before... they are perfect and smooth, no shell-y peeled parts.)
Someone must know how to do it...
Now- I'm off to change a poopy diaper.  NOT my kids, my friend's little boy.  
Isn't it always harder to change someone elses poopy kid?? 
i know.  it's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it...

April 28, 2010


Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action.  
Mother Theresa
If we fail in our homes, we fail in our lives. No man is truly successful who has failed in his home. ... Pray for guidance, for help, for direction, and then follow the whisperings of the Spirit to guide you in the most serious of all responsibilities, for the consequences of your leadership in your home will be eternal and everlasting.
President Gordon B. Hinckley
 A true Mormon's home is one in which, if Christ should chance to enter, He would be inclined to linger and to rest.  
President David O. McKay 
i love to be home.
i love my adorable husband, my MEET.
i am so grateful for my lively children.
today, there is no place i'd rather be, no one i'd rather be with, and no cause i'd rather devote my life to.
i'm home.

April 27, 2010

tv homeschooling.

i love school.
but, i do like controlling what, when, where and how my children are exposed to new ideas and moral decay.

i love teaching my kids.
i am constantly thinking about what i want my kids to learn and how i can teach them and expose them to grand ideas.
i want them to LOVE learning and always be SEEKING knowledge.
this is something the professor and i do a good job of...

and, in the light of these opinions i have to tell you my latest FAVORITE thing.

netflix is my idea of homeschooling.
:)  Ha!!  (now you're laughing?!)

we watch movies every Friday night-- usually redbox $1.
i'm picky-- no PG13, no R, some PG (must be parent approved)
i felt the red box lacked options and Blockbuster is pricey.

i LOVE the old movies... classic... musical.. sweet... moral movies.
and, sometimes i like new movies.

i LOVE netflix.
for $8.99 a month we get one movie at a time... they come VERY fast.  but, my FAVORITE thing is the selection.  We've watched really great old movies... Pipi Longstocking, the Little Princess, Music Man, Counte of Monte Cristo, Labrynth, etc.  I love that I get to pick and the kids either watch it or don't.  They ALWAYS watch and they ALWAYS love them... even if they think they won't.

And, I get to rate movies so they know what i like and they are always recommending movies to me that are similar... they put stars under the movies listed showing their guess of what i would like.
that's cool.

this weekend (before we hooked up the Wii-- see below) we didn't have a netflix movie and so we stopped at Redbox. 
We got 2 movies, accidently kept them for 4 days and paid $8.  dumb.

they have TONS of WATCH NOW options.
movies that I LOVE.
i started WATCHING NOW, with Leah.
If she wants a movie I just open Netflix on my computer and I can pick lots of cute, short TV shows or Movies...  (she can watch things like LIBERTY KIDS...)
Or, i give the kids the professor's laptop and let them watch a movie in their "forts"
and... I saw that they have BBC movies,
Like Pride and Prejudice... Emma... North and South... Wives and Daughters...

ooohhhhh.  I LOVE these.
I've been watching them while i fold laundry...  at night if the professor is up at school while i crotchet.
my computer is in my bedroom, but it's on the side of my bed and i kinda hated turning to watch a movie...

i just saw a button where you can get a free disk for your Wii.
they sent me a dvd and we put it in... i never had my Wii hooked up to internet...
it took the professor like 5 minutes to enter some code and TAH DAH!!!!!
now we can WATCH NOW thousands of movies on our Wii.
It's JUST LIKE Pay Per View for only $8.99 a month.
The professor and i watched North and South on Sunday.
it was PERFECT.
i cried when they kissed at the end.
so sweet, on my tv, i didn't have to buy it, i don't have to figure out where i'm going to keep the disk, and i can watch it again and again any time i want to.

we don't have cable... so that could be another reason why i love Netflix.
i know i'm a bit late in jumping on this band wagon.
but, just want you to know.
today Netflix is my fav!!
and, definitly my kind of HOMESCHOOL.

Note-- this is NOT a paid advertisement.
and, i promise not to devote every post of mine to selling things...

ps-- not sure that anyone actually reads these wordy posts, BUT, i do have to say one more thing.
i HATE pressing buttons on the DVD player. (i know the professor thinks i'm silly too.)
i HATE finding remotes and juggling this one for volume that one to push play...
with movies on the Wii, it's more fun, i just have to use the Wii remote and Tah DAH!  i don't even have to skip previews. 
love it.

April 24, 2010


i love rainy days.
love them.

but, i hate feeling overcast.
do you know that most people are vitamin D deficient?
because we don't get out in the sun enough, AND because sunglasses and sunblock block vitamin D absorption.

i have a friend who took her hardest child to the pediatrician...
they tested her vitamin D, turns out she was severely deficient.
they started giving her vitamin D and after a few weeks they have noticed a HUGE difference in her behavior.
i thought it was interesting, that all her other kids have olive complexions--
this one daughter burns easily and is always slathered in sunblock.

Reader's Digest says that vitamins don't work, except for Vitamin D.
Personally, I just feel better taking vitamins and I think, what can they hurt?
So, I added "liquid sunshine" to my multi-vitamin plus iron.

and--- i'm not sure if it's the actual sun outside, the fact that i went tanning a few times to get rid of my winter pastiness, or the fact that i think vitamin D is cute... but i AM feeling a bit sunnier these days!
(it is cute huh?! in a pill kinda way.)
oh- how excited i am for summer!!
one more month!!

April 23, 2010

do something.

today my mind is on PTA.
honestly, when my kids first started going to school i saw the pta moms and i thought it was a little fundraising click that i wasn't sure i wanted to be a part of.
since moving to texas i have been a part of pta.

for the past 2 years i have served as president at our elementary school, and this year i have also served as the 2nd Vice President at the district level.

i haven't always loved it, but i have learned so much.
and i BELIEVE in PTA.

from pta i have seen first-hand the financial concerns the schools are faced with.
i've seen and gotten to know the GREAT people that are in the education system.
teachers and staff who really dedicate their whole lives for the love of children.
i've seen involved parents and not involved parents.
i've seen how important it is for people with high moral standards to be involved in making decisions about how and where money is spent.
pta is like congress/senate, it adds a balance to school politics-- a voice from the people.
not that we have that much influence, but we do have a voice, and eyes.
because we're involved we see what is happening at the schools and can make a difference.
i know the school superintendent personally.  i know the people at the district office and i know the teachers and principals at my kids' school very well.
i know some teachers who i would give my child to, and some teachers who i wouldn't.

and, because of pta i have met great friends... other mothers and fathers who care and who are involved.
i know kids that i want my kids to be friends with and i have a whole group of people i would call to pick my kids up from school if i were stuck at a doctors appointment.
i know the personal struggles of many of the parents and i can reach out.
i have friends who don't go to church with me or live on my street.
and, i'm better friends with people who do live on my street.

pta provides an opportunity for good people to meet and know one another.

i know about budget cuts and boundary issues and title one funding and district issues like indoor football stadiums that are built BEFORE science classrooms...
because i was at the forum last night (one of about 20 people) where each of the current school board nominees answered questions-- i know who i want to vote for in the upcoming election and WHY i want to vote.
[1.  this school board will decide WHERE my kids go to middle school.  2. these school board nominees will decide how to spend the money from the state... Our school is a Title One school, that means that because we have a poorer population we receive government funds to subsidize learning.  One of the nominees hinted at the unfairness of this and advocated the school boards role in "equalizing" the funding throughout the district.  That means he would vote to give more district money to the schools who don't receive Title One funds.  Sorry, but i think it does make a difference for the teachers when they are teaching a Title One population.  I think they deserve more funding because overall their students struggle more, they have less parental involvement and fund raising is MUCH more difficult because these parents can not afford to give as much.  And, i'm not sure i could vote for someone who says they are running for office because they want to make a difference in the school district but they are not even a member of their child's PTA.]

i don't believe that everyone has to dedicate tons of time to pta.
i don't believe it has to be an ALL or NOTHING mindset.
in fact, i believe the best functioning pta will have many parents on board helping in smaller ways... not just 4 or 5 superwoman contributors.

you can do something.
just being a part of an organization, adding your email to the list they contact when they need volunteers, coming to the meetings and using your voice to vote how you think the money should be spent, sending cookies with your child when a teacher passes away, helping to clean up after a school activity so that the 5 teachers who do EVERYTHING who plan and teach and grade and volunteer and give their money, so those teachers can go home before 11pm and spent time with THEIR family.
you can do something.

and, i'm grateful for my opportunity to learn and serve and be more involved.
even though my life is busy.
even though my kids are young.
even though i HATE fund raising.
i did something.
and today, i'm glad.

April 21, 2010

my house.

this is what i wish my home looked like (notice the white pitchers in the kitchen-- LOVE)...
with those bedrooms and this craft room...
and, this bathroom.  for sure this bathroom.

but, my house does NOT look like this.
it is dark.
and cluttery.
yes.  it's fun and alive and full of kids and full of friends and full of memories (like yesterdays tuesday folder papers all over the coffee table)...

but, i really want to BECOME a bit more clean and crisp and organized and empty.

i have posted my efforts at organization.
i work VERY hard at organization.
AND i REALLY try to get rid of stuff.
i love my house.
but, it isn't everything i hope it can be.

i have a best friend who i've talked to every week for the past 10 years.
she is a gifted organizer.
even with 5 (almost 6) kids...
she reads my blog and thinks my house is organized like hers.
it's NOT.
(actually, this post is really for her... today on the phone she told me i had to post some real pictures because my house always LOOKS clean.  DUH.  why would i want to SHOW everyone my MESS.  yes.  i spend a lot of time cleaning... not much time arriving.  but, i am humble.  So Taneil... take a look at my REAL life and i hope you'll still be my friend tomorrow.)

i have pretty spots, that i show.
i have organized places...
but, i definitely have places of disorder.
and... this spring i am not pregnant or nursing and i REALLY want to tackle my spaces.
but... this is not my GOAL.
my goal is to NURTURE... kicking clutter is what i do in my SPARE time.

so, in the air of full disclosure... please come on in.  and view my REAL, not so clean house.
this is what you would see if you happened to knock on my door this afternoon, and let your little kid run all over my house, and chased him so you REALLY got to see my messy spots-- like my craft room, and my boys unmade beds and my tupperware full of little girl clothes that i JUST FINISHED sorting and my messy desks, and the clutter that i'm always TRYING to do away with...  you get the idea.

my house. (in a very tight little neighborhood with a beautiful sky).
my messy garage. (it's getting better!!)

my bedroom and the professor's office.
the master bathroom.
my closet.
 the professor's closet (with my mess of unsorted old pictures in boxes).

the kitchen/dining room/laundry room- with a pile of stuff to take to Goodwill waiting by the garage and a full length mirror waiting to be hung in the girls room and the red rain boots that leah just found in a box and wears ALL day long).

my craft room. (AHHH!)
my living room (with clothes boxes).
the girls room (big girls only-- sorry, lily was asleep in the little girls room.)
the boys room (they usually do make their bed... well, Jakob usually does).
That's my house today.
Some days it is cleaner.  Some days it is messier.
Overall.  I love my home.
I wouldn't trade MY LIFE for a cleaner, more expensive HOME.

but, like my kids who i will never stop teaching... i have a home that i will never stop cleaning.
i hope that someday it becomes a little more like the house that i KNOW it can be.

disclaimer-- i did NOT write this post fishing for compliments about my house.  seriously.  NO "you look great in your DI shirt" comments allowed.  i am 33 years old and just fine with my clean/messy house.  i balance TONS of stuff and so, some mornings the boys don't make their beds and I'M OK with that.
and someday, when i have NO young children at home, my house will SHINE.  unless, of course, i am lucky enough to have grandkids who leave their fingerprints all over my windows.  I would take kid fingerprints over clean ANY DAY.  i'd take POOR and HAPPY over rich and happy any day (ha! just kidding).  i'd take OVERWHELMED over LONELY any day.  today i don't have a magazine house-- but, i do have my FAIRY TALE life.  i really, really do.  and, one of my favorite things in the WHOLE world is spending time with someone who cares more about PEOPLE, FAMILY, KIDS than their HOUSE. 
and, i'm like that.
and, that is why my poor garage needs a little TLC. 
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