May 31, 2010

happy memorial day- 2010.

i'm grateful...
for this country.
for freedom.
for the men and woman who protect us.
for those who try hard each day to serve and lead and make this a better place to raise our families.
The Pioneer Woman is holding a welcome home photography contest.
this picture made me cry...  i feel that momma- it's that let down moment... 
so sweet...
i love this cross picture... it's true, even though we mourn each loss as a person, sometimes the sacrifice just blurs together... together, we are grateful for those who have given their life.

i'm making this...  i'm sure mine won't look as pretty!

Happy Memorial Day!

Summer Ideas- plan a picnic

This summer, let your KIDS plan a picnic.

Let them plan...
at your morning scripture time say, do you think it would be fun to go on a picnic today?
Where should we go?
What should we eat?
What should we bring?
Let's leave by noon.  When do you think you should start getting your part ready?

Divide the jobs...
someone makes kool-aid (or crystal light- that's my favorite)- this works great for little ones.
someone makes sandwiches
someone packs snacks
someone is the organizer (not mom)- this person packs the blanket, the cups, the napkins, the stuff other people have made...

Tips for mom--
Let them REALLY plan the meal.   It doesn't have to be perfect picnic food... remember, we brought homemade funnel cakes??  Let them pack what they are excited about.
Don't NAG... DON'T remind.
Let this be their picnic, let them be responsible for their own part of it.
You'll probably laugh as they watch the clock and ask you every 2 minutes... is it almost 11... do i need to start yet??!!
When it's close to leaving time, IF a child hasn't done their job (this really doesn't happen often) just say, "Well, it's time to get in the car.  I guess we won't have sandwiches this time, that's sad."
If the organizer forgets the napkins-- don't pack them.  If the organizer forgets the cups-- DON'T remind or pack them.
At the picnic, when your looking for cups, just smile and say, "Anna, how do you think we can drink our lemonade?"  Laugh with the organizer with an "oops, next time" shrug. 
What will probably happen is that you'll be surprised that the organizer has thought of more things than you have.

Do you like reading posts like this or are you like, DUH!??  

May 29, 2010

M.E. + Tree

Once there was a tree...
she loved a little boy.
(well two really.  and four little girls.)
Seriously, did the last week of school kill any of you?
Hmm.  Only one day left and I already feel like a tree... and Dory... "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming."
Have i told you that I HATE the story of The Giving Tree.
Hate it.
It's dumb.
stupid tree.  selfish boy.
but... it's fun to read.
and--- it is what popped into my mind when i started writing this chapter of my life... so lets go with it.
And every day, the boy would come.
and gather her leaves, and eat apples.
or pancakes.
"3 days of school left!"  pancakes.
even if they were mutilated in the flipping.
the boy loved the tree.
even if she looked lovely in the morning.

The tree
loved end of the year award ceremonies.
where she learned  that the girl's favorite memory of 1st grade is... the VALENTINE'S party. 
 or that the other girl's favorite memory was playing with her friends?
and the tree loved these cute pictures of the boy.
grade 4.
hair done independently.
smile- completely posed and completely adorable. 
Doesn't he remind you of Calivin from Calvin and Hobbs?

the tree loved the school.
a. lot.
loved it.

and everyday the boy would bring home a note.
telling of another party.
needing dollars.
and pool towels.
and games.
and treats.
and kindergarten pictures.

and the tree was happy.
the professor, not really.
the tree cried during 5th grade graduation!
the professor did not.
the tree also cried on the first day of kindergarten.
the professor did not.
that is why, the tree is female.
she allows the boy to swing from her branches.
she sits through 2 hour long 5th grade graduation ceremonies.
she loves the boy.
and the boy loves the tree.
M.E. + T
the tree also loves the boy's friends.
(especially when the boy's best friends are the valedictorian and salutatorian- they gave speeches.)
seriously, 5th grade graduation is BIG here.
it's TEXAS.
NOT a cute curl for a tree.
lily did not love 5th grade graduation.
perhaps the professor did not cry, because he was in the hall with the beast...
the cute beast.
come.  i have no more apples.
just cut my branches and make yourself a boat.
the tree loved the boy.
and so, she took pictures of all his domino creations.
because, they were cool.
kind of.
the kids loved their Hooray for summer!! buckets.
the professor thought they were a bit unnecessary.
blah him.
that is why he is a professor and the tree is a mother.
the tree LOVED the buckets.
drew spent all day today reading about Percy Jackson.
he calls him Pierce-y.
And... drew also make funnel cakes for our FIRST DAY OF SUMMER picnic.
yes.  we brought homemade funnel cakes to the park.
the funnel cake box was in his bucket.

and see ellie's cute "last day of school" dress...  isn't she funny?
and don't i look tired?
i am.
the tree LOVED the buckets.
and the tree HATED the buckets.
because she had the great idea to include sweet midgets in the buckets.
you know, sweet pickles.
and, someone dropped their summer bucket on the floor and broke the pickles, which spilled all over every cool new book and project in the bucket... AND dumped on the LIVING ROOM carpet.
PICKLE juice.
that same day...
someone spilled a whole thermos full of lemonade all over the trunk of the suburban.
sticky, sweet lemonade.
the tree hates sticky stuff...
but the tree was still happy.
and calm.
and said it was no big deal.
it could be cleaned.
but really...
the tree lied.

Here's some pictures from our FIRST DAY OF SUMMER picnic.

this was our picnic.

leah made the lemonade.
jakob made the tuna fish and hard boiled eggs.

nope- the "shake all the eggs in the pot" didn't work too well for us.
ellie made the sandwiches.
anna packed everything.
and, drew made the funnel cake.

but i was wishing this was our table.
Mickey D's gets expensive with 6 kids.
so.  we loved our tuna.
And really.  the tree was happy.
photos by leah.
book- Man's Search for Meaning... never opened.
still searching.
oh... kiss that cute baby.  (she's going "mmmmmm" kissin' momma...)
cause someday, they will leave.
someday they will be too big to climb and play.

and the tree will often be alone...
and the tree will miss these days.
even if alone doesn't sound tooooo bad.
summer is here.
kids are home.
the carpet smells like pickles...
and the tree is happy.
the end.

May 26, 2010

teacher thank you notes.

I love these.  Funny kids.  and AMAZING teachers.  What a great year my kiddos had...


this week is busy.
i hate busy weeks.
yesterday, i looked at my home that is missing me already and told the professor
"i got nothing done today"
he reminded me that i had been going all day.
"nothing" in my home got done, but i was doing a lot.

this morning as i was waking up, i was reminded a sweet lesson...
it's not really about what i've done.  it's about what i'm doing.  right now.
i cannot re-do yesterday.
i don't know what tomorrow will bring.
but today, right now, i can be doing good things.
and, that is what God wants me to do.
choose good.  right now.
perhaps it is Satan who whispers the "should haves"
perhaps it is Satan who whispers the fear about tomorrow.

sometimes when a child is sassy with me... i think of their teenage years and respond with anxiety.
truth is, there is still time.  i can respond gently and teach.  i haven't ruined them yet.
anticipating is always worse than enduring.

life is like labor.
trials come on gradually, in waves.
if we can just endure what we're feeling right now and not panic about what the future holds, we can do it.
we are always given what we need in the moment we need it.

oh.  to have more patience, hope, faith, charity...

God has promised me...
"I will go before your face.  I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."  (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88)

we named lily after the lilies of the field.  because she came to us at a time we didn't know how we were going to feed and clothe her...
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."  Matthew 6:28

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."  Matthew 6:34

"Blessed is that servant whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing;"  (JS-Matthew 1:50)

This summer i want to be doing.
one day at a time.
one moment at a time.
breathing deep. 
walking with peace.
 remember this day?  it was good.  (You can read about it here.)
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