August 31, 2010


the professor finished it first and didn't love it.
not a great ending, and he got tired of  Katniss Everdeen's insanity...
he has issues with Bella too.

i defended them both... my sisters.
as i was reading, i totally disagreed with him.
i was hooked, it pulled me through,

then i finished it.
and, i realized i hated it.

i decided i don't like the whole series.

well written + bad message = not worth the time i spent.

harsh, maybe.
but, unlike Suzanne Collins i feel that life is good.
most people are good.
and we can experience a fullness of joy.
Collins seems to stay between really crappy and enduring.

i'm kinda sick of the emotionally unstable female heroins...
everything doesn't have to be happy all the time... but i'm definitely a happy ending person.

i hate reading a book that leaves me down.

hopefully, the movie will be better.

August 30, 2010


i hate dirty, long fingernails.
like messy hair and mismatched clothes, long fingernails shout to the world that i am an incompetent mother.
a mother that is too busy for the details and grooming of her young.
even mother gorillas spend the day picking gnats off their young.
mothers showing the world, we care.  we clean.  we notice.  we take the time.

like messy hair, and mismatched clothes... i restrain the bestial mother inside to teach
independence, self care, life skills.
it is difficult.
but grooming (for the most part) is a responsibility i allow my young children to learn.

when i see dirty fingernails i take a breath.
i gasp a little and look right into the eyes of my growing child
and remark with surprise... "your nails!"
their eyes go down and they laugh a little nervous laugh.
i ask with concern, "what are you going to do about that?"
they stammer their explanation... they were already on the way to the bathroom to find a clipper, or they were just about to borrow mine from my purse.
"oh, great thinking."  i assure them.
and it is finished.
and i smile.
(sometimes i snip right hands... but only after intense effort on their part.)

because my monkeys crack eggs.
they can do ponytails and cook and play the piano way better than i can.
they are not afraid of new things or people or learning life skills
and so, sometimes i sacrifice my reputation for theirs.
and, i'm ok with that.
just sayin.

August 28, 2010

remembering joy.

yesterday i had time to be.
and i remembered...

God is good.
Life is good.
Men are that they might have joy.
He wants us to be happy.

Somehow, amidst our month long vacation I forgot.

having 6 kids is hard.
babies are hard.
school aged kids are hard.
tweenagers are hard.
being married is hard.
not feeling good is hard.
cooking, cleaning, laundry... hard.
worrying about money is hard.
being in school is hard.
being in the car for 22 hours is hard.
staying with another family is hard.
(even if you have GREAT friends and GREAT family).
summer is hard.
swimming and packing and planning and constantly doing is hard.
being with people all the time is hard (for me).
back to school planning is hard.
calming the chaos, answering with a soft answer, teaching principles, corralling the energy, etc., etc.,
yes.  this is the life i CHOOSE.
yes.  this is the life i LOVE (most of the time).
but it is still HARD much of the time.

Life seemed hard.
God seemed harsh.
I measured my days by the hours of sleep i wasn't getting, the number of times my children disobeyed and the countdown- till i was in my own home.
My prayers had become obligations or blank pleas for help...
"please help me be enough..."
but deep down i felt ALONE.
alone and inadequate.
i felt God looking at me and shaking His head...
i could hear His whisper...
"Oh Jen.  BUCK UP."
i KNEW He would not take away the hard.
sometimes regular life is just hard.
and so i trudged on.
my strength- my endurance- my hard work...
a little resentful.
very tired.
i wasn't in a BAD place, just distant and ALONE.

yesterday i was reminded,
and i repented.
my idea of God, of Christ was mistaken.

yes.  He wants us to grow.  but, amidst our growing He blesses us.
He isn't just "cheering us on from the sidelines"
He is watching, He is waiting, He is calling us to come to Him.
He holds water... pure water of peace and joy.
He wants us to come and drink and find REST...
even during the game.
His yoke is easy and His burden is LIGHT.

But, I think I just get so busy, and so distracted, and so tired that i forget to STOP and find REST.

i forgot joy.

Yesterday, i was born again, again.
i remembered that He is real.
and, He is my SAVIOR.
everyday, every moment.
i remembered and i drank HIS peace.
i let myself feast and be filled.
and... i didn't clean my house yet.
peace and joy amidst the chaos.
how i have missed Him.

"ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is PRESERVING you from day to day, by LENDING you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even SUPPORTING you from one moment to another..."  Mosiah 2:21

This is my Savior.
He preserves me from day to day
He lends me breath
He supports me from moment to moment

He calls to me...
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I SHALL GIVE THEE REST... ye SHALL find REST for your souls.
Matthew 11:28-30

this is for ME.
this is for YOU.
He will give us REST.
it's NOT EARNED, it's GIVEN...
because HE is good enough.
because HE loves perfectly.
because HE promised.
because HE is mercy and grace.
and all i need to do is REMEMBER Him and COME to Him.
psalms 16:11...  isaiah 50:11... John 16:20... doctrine and covenants 101:36... John 14:27...  John 15:11... John 17:13... Eph 2:14... isaiah 48:22... doctrine and covenants 121:7

I had a friend who said once, "I know God is talking to me when I learn something that I didn't know before."
That is how he recognized when the Spirit was talking to him.

I can add my testimony to this.
I know God is real.  I know Christ is my Savior because yesterday, he took my cranky, exhausted, overwhelmed, martyr of a spirit and he gave me peace and joy.
Peace and Joy that i could not find on my own.
It was a gift.
It was real.  It was miraculous.  It was life changing.
I pray I will remember.
and come again and again to the living water
"whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."  john 4:14

i guess the moral of my story is...
If you are constantly RUNNING, don't forget to be continually DRINKING.
peace and joy.
it's free.
nope, not free. 
paid for... and waiting for pick up.

ps.  sometimes i smile at my religious posts.
you see, in general, Mormons are private religious worshipers.
perhaps it is just tradition, perhaps it is the fear of being judged, perhaps it is the feeling that to openly talk about what is dear to your heart somehow cheapens the experience.
i have learned much from my sweet, texas, Christian friends.
they testify openly, and i love it.
and so, i have become more like them.
in my Mormon way.

August 27, 2010


yesterday was a bummy day.
i NEED to clean my house.
it's the worst... piles-o-crap... from our trip
and suitcases that i still haven't unpacked...
and... i just forgot how to be superwoman and swoop through in an afternoon.

actually, truth be told, it is SO NICE to lay my little girls down to naps in the afternoon, in their own beds, where they sleep for 3 hours... that i can't help laying right down with them and enjoying a lazy- "school is in session and i have NO ONE that needs me for the next 3 hours"- nap.

only, my house is still messy when i wake up.
and i hate that.
and so, yesterday was restful but bummy.

want to chat?
call me this afternoon...  keep me awake and distracted and MAYBE i'll tackle the piles.
i need to stop by a health store and buy me some essential oil...
i have only used them briefly at a friends house, but i have visions of a quiet afternoon... my bed is calling...  i pull out my SUPERWOMAN essential oil, rub some on my feet and TAH DAH!!!!

oh, i really need some of that stuff.
hope your day is grand...
not bummy.
hmm.  not sure why i was a bit bum focused on this trip... but just between you and me, i think the professor has a darling bootie.

August 26, 2010

pregnant but don't know it??!! really??

This is me 9 months pregnant with Leah...
i hardly even knew i was pregnant.
My friends and family couldn't tell.
I only gained 5 pounds per week.
Yes, some days I craved sugar but on the whole nothing was different.
I may have felt a random leg protruding from my belly, but i just thought I ate too much for dinner.
when my water broke, i thought i had peed my pants,
and when I was screaming with pain that came in 5 minute intervals, i thought i was constipated.
i didn't even realize i had a baby until i looked in the toilet and saw a baby.
i thought it was just one big poop.
you can imagine my surprise when they told me all this time... i had been pregnant and didn't even know. 

have you seen this show on TLC?
"I didn't know i was pregnant."
i've seen it twice... once at a hotel, and once while i was exercising yesterday.
it's these woman who get pregnant... many take a test and it's negative, many are overweight but not huge, many say they don't miss their period...
they go 9 months and don't figure out they are in labor until they feel hair coming out of them instead of poop.

i'm totally intrigued and want to shout--  SERIOUSLY?!!!!!
NINE MONTHS and you DON'T KNOW???!!!
You're sleeping in the same bed with someone else and they don't know?
it doesn't even go through your mind??  for 9 months??
it's unreal to me...
unreal.  outrageous.

i can tell the day i'm pregnant.
it's my super-sonic nose...  faster than a pregnancy test
MAYBE you could get to 5, 6, 7 months and not know...
BUT 9 MONTHS... with a living organism inside you... and you don't wonder, you don't know...
you are sitting on the toilet SCREAMING and it doesn't go thru your mind... this could be labor NOT indigestion.
you feel a foot sticking out of your stomach and you just keep thinking... i ate too many tacos.
without sounding too crass, i just have to ask how NUMB can you be?
numb to your body, numb to the sign that HAVE to be there, numb to the presence of a living BEING within you, numb to the promptings you must be receiving as you pick up a glass of wine...
SERIOUSLY... 9 months with NO IDEA.
i don't know.
Then, this lady yesterday is SCREAMING on the toilet trying to get out her SUPER LARGE poop and when it comes out she takes a deep breath... after a few minutes she looks in the toilet and realizes it wasn't poop, it was a baby.
she screams for her husband.
SERIOUSLY... your husband lets you SCREAM out a poop and stays asleep.
he sees the baby, still in the toilet and runs to call 911.
after he's on the phone with 911 he hears crying and thinks... Oh, maybe i should check on the baby.
SERIOUSLY???!!!!  you see a baby in your toilet and you don't think to take it OUT??!!!

ok.  my husband heard my ranting last night...
he laughs at me and thinks i'm stupid for watching the show.
i try to explain to why this is so weird to me...
part of me WISHES i could be someone who is pregnant for 9 months and doesn't know it.
who goes to the doctor for "muscle relaxers" because my back is hurting when reallly i'm dialated to an 8 and ready to push.
pregnancy so mild that you don't even realize it.
you gain 5 lbs and have a little heartburn but besides that you feel normal.
i guess there are woman like that.

it baffles me.
and so i write this sillly blog.
 oh, ok... just one baby picture because they were in the folder of my pregnant picture...
How could you not know you had a BABY in your body?
You might miss a half inch lump in your breast...
but 7 pounds of movable, kicking, breathing baby????
i just don't get it...
you may NOT tell your fiance' you're pregnant.  you many not tell your family, but you KNOW.
you have to know... right?

August 25, 2010

little girls.

i was grocery shopping yesterday and it hit me...  my babies are gone.
over the summer they grew into little girls.
big helpers.
yes.  we still have baby talk... but no babies.
summer took them from me.
i think i need another one...

funny.  today was the day i had NOTHING planned.
i was going to clean up from my trip ALL DAY long.
we started with breakfast, scripture time, drop off at 2 schools...
now, i'm off to the gym, to the school to bring a forgotten lunch, play date at the park at 10am and a PTA lunch date at noon...
THEN nap time and clean the house time...
IF i don't take a nap.
then pick the kids up from school, chores, dinner, showers, family prayer, bed...

all summer long i kept wondering why it was so hard for me to go to the gym everyday during the school year.
i remember.

ps.  i don't believe in cleaning all day long anyway.
i try to save the middle of my day for eternal things... like relationships.
and thus off to the park we go...
i'm afraid my little girls will be grown before i know it!

what are you doing with your afternoon??

August 24, 2010

another first.

and so 2010-2011 begins.
we got home late last night and registered the kids this morning.
i LOVE being home.
my home is my peace... how i miss her when we are gone.
it is SOO good to be home.

i DON'T love starting this new school year a step behind... 
missing the real first day of school yesterday... 
not being able to find the last of the school supplies my kids needed for today (target doesn't have dividers or plastic folders with brads)...
not having gone to back to school night to unpack all their supplies BEFORE the first day of school...
and the worst-- dropping of my middle schooler without having practiced and rehearsed opening lockers, finding classes, etc. 
um.  not lovin' middle school yet.

we had a good morning.
my kids were giddy with anticipation.
i LOVE my elementary school.
we are known.  we were missed.  i saw sweet friends in the hallways and i handed my children into the arms of great teachers- fellow mothers who will love and teach them better than i can...
my kids have GREAT teachers.
i'm pretty insistent that they get the best.
i LOVE school. 
i feel excited and peaceful saying goodbye to my little ones.
Ellie- 2nd grade with Mrs. Smith
Anna- 3rd grade with Mrs. Hines
Drew- 5th grade with Mrs. Bevly

my oldest, Jakob, starts middle school today.
he's all alone.
the only other time he went to school without another sibling was kindergarten.
i felt the same nervousness...
i'm confidant that he'll do well-- he is a GREAT kid.
but, i cried as he walked into his first period and i walked the hallway away from him.
we did take some time to walk the halls and find his classes.
Jakob- 6th grade at Terra Vista Middle School

(um... no, i wasn't about to let him wander the halls on his own-- despite the secretary's assurance that it was an easy school to navigate.  i wasn't worried about HIM, i was worried about ME... can you imagine the horrid day i'd have imagining him lost his first day of middle school??  i wanted to introduce myself.  "Hello middle school, my name is Jenifer Moss.  I am the mother of 6.  I am involved.  I am protective.  I am kind.  Please let me parent and I will support you teaching.  Today, Jakob is a bit nervous about his first day of middle school, and so am I.  I will not leave him with you until the moment that I feel he is ready to go.  I did the same thing in pre-school and he is a very well adjusted 11 year old.  Thank you.")
he was late for his first period, but it was worth it.
we drew out his walking route on his map and made an index card of Gold day and Blue day.
we found gym and band and GT and lunch.
i felt him near me as we walked around, nervous but brave.

just last week Jakob jumped off a bridge into a river with my older cousins.
he went second and wasn't even scared.
he's growing up.  he's brave.
i'm proud of him.
but, i still cry for my little guy that is growing
how i will miss him.

he has a love note tucked in his lunch.
but no nail polish.
on the first day of kindergarten i painted one nail green so he could always see it and know that i was thinking of him.
i sure love that big/little guy.

How i will miss all of them...

but, i will enjoy going to the GYM again...
FINISHING my laundry...
QUIET afternoons...
having a house of ORDER... oh how i love structure. LOVE it and NEED it.
scripture time, oatmeal on Mondays, cream of wheat on Tuesdays, early bedtimes, homework, soccer, dance, music...
and before we know it Fall and Halloween and sweaters.
life is good.

now... time to UNPACK.

it's so good to be HOME!!!
i missed you...

August 08, 2010

birthday traditions.

borrowing a tradition from the EYRE's, we are trying to start some fun birthday traditions.
Ellie decided that every year on her birthday she wanted to "go camping"
that's easy, i thought, we could just set up a tent in the backyard... or have a sleeping bag sleepover in the basement.
to ellie, "camping" doesn't mean tent. 
it means camp fire. 

with marshmallows.

sounds fun!!
so, we had our first annual birthday bash ala camping.
we had fun family and friends and MARSHMALLOWS.

even though ellie doesn't like to eat marshmallows.
it's all about the cooking anyway.
did you notice our watermelon?

yeah.  i cut it all jagged with a knife... i've always wanted to do that.
yes.  my brother in law has a carrot up his nose.
he's like that.
and how about another picture for those of you who cringe at my NO PAD trampoline...
it's so fun to hang out with family...
and i sure love that ellie girl...
7 years.  can you believe it?

August 07, 2010

grandma's flowers.

my mother in law always has beautiful flowers surrounder her home.
it's a shame they are so tempting to pick...
i love the dialog between the picker and those who have discovered him.
"see, the pretty flower?"
"No!!  do NOT pick grandma's flowers.  now it will be dead."

and oh, the regret of the murderer.

August 06, 2010

hard work.

sometimes i worry that my kids are entertained all day long
and that they miss the joy that comes from old fashioned hard work.

so... one lazy afternoon, we put them to work.
cleaning the car.
i didn't have high expectations, so it was great to sit back and watch while they worked together.
fun cousin memories.


grandpa started chopping wood for our campfire...
another great work project.

and an impromptu class on ax safety


some boys came back from the dirt hills across the street
with duck decoys
they were hard workers-hunters and gatherers.

see, those early pioneers had nothing on us.
we love us some hard work.

and a clean car.

August 04, 2010

too busy.

yesterday was a lovely day.
my sister in law, lanette, and i took our 11 kids to the lake.
her van is broken, so we piled like sardines into my suburban.
kids, towels, toys, sunscreen, floaties, and bags.
the weather was perfect. 
the kids were good, aside from an occasional sand throwing time out.
when it was time to go we piled in all our towels, all our bags, all our sand toys and headed home.
then we unpacked and bathed and cared for the little ones while the big ones played.

i had just sat down to read a chapter of my book when the phone rang.
it was the police.
they had anna.
i had forgotten her at the lake.
FORGOTTEN my child.
i didn't even know it.

this was one of the WORST moments of my life.
horrible, pit in the stomach, how on the earth could this happen moment.
my mind raced over the whole exit from the lake 100 times on the way to get her...
i was just busy. 
busy with the group and i missed the one.
my mind was racing with replays of every moment of packing up to leave...

calling the kids, rinsing off the sand, packing the sand toys and the trash and the leftover lunch stuff.
saying goodbye to the people who sat near us and shared their dogs with us, carrying the babies, directing the bigger kids, towels on the seats, getting leah off the playground, encouraging lily to keep up while i carried the mountain of towels... calming ellie who didn't want to leave... piling all the kids into our suburban...
how could i have forgotten to count?  that is instinctual.

on the way home i was distracted by my silly 2 year old in the backseat who is infatuated with taking things from her 2 year old cousin and hearing her scream to get them back while she says,
"Say PLEASE Annie, say please!".
wondering if my conversation sounded too gossipy at the lake...
planning how we would unpack and de-sand.
wondering if i got sunblock on everyone and if they would be crying tonight because i missed a spot.
feeling the heat on my back and knowing that i missed a spot.
worried that everyone had seat belts, and that we were home in time for dinner...
i was too busy and too worried,
and i missed the signs...
i missed the many promptings that i was receiving...
i heard them all in slow motion in replay...
"will someone grab anna's flip flops and bring them to the car..."
the 100 times i looked in the back seat and felt "boy the car seams so much more empty on the way home."
grabbing anna's clothes from the back seat and feeling "i should call her and have her get dressed." and then my dismissal, "No, just let her play with her cousins."
i just thought she was part of the group.

anna was building a sand castle with a new friend that she had met.
when she realized that we were gone she wasn't scared, she thought i had just left for a minute.
that i was pretending to leave to teach her to come the first time i called her.
she walked to the office where we bought our entrance ticket and asked the man if he had seen her mom leave.
he called the police.
she said it was fun waving to everyone as they came into the park.
and really fun to ride in a police car to the station.
she told them the professor's cell phone number and they called us.
when i asked to talk to her on the phone she started to sob.
my poor, poor baby.
we raced to her side.
me yelling at the professor the whole time as he drove the scenic route
(he says it was faster because it had no stop lights, he was wrong)
and as he refused to go one mile over the speed limit.
i was a mother lion trying to get to her lost cub.
i would have driven at mock speed.

when i ran into the office she was sitting there in her swim suit surrounded by nice officers.
i was sobbing and couldn't stop touching her.
my child that i forgot.

i know that i was prompted to remember her.
and, i missed it because i was too busy and worried.

a friend of mine once told me that she wanted to have more children but was worried that she couldn't handle it.  that she couldn't care for all of their individual needs.
i told her what i know to be true.
you don't have to.
you just have to listen.
God will tell you when one child needs something, then you act.
He has trillions of children, and yet he knows each of us individually.
we do not have to be perfect, because He is.

i missed it.
but, He still held her in His arms.
He is good.
it was HORRIBLE.  horrible.
and it shouldn't have happened.
i am so grateful.
she was ok and i was reminded.
even on the crazy days...
i need to be still, and aware, and listening, and watching.

{feel free to call cps after reading this blog, or shake your head and say "i knew she had too many kids", or gasp like you do when you see pictures of my trampoline with no net and no pad...  i am not a perfect mother.  none of us are.  we try, and yet, despite us, our children somehow survive... and we learn.  thank GOD.}

August 02, 2010

sabbath moments.

sabbath is hard with kids.
there is a balance we must find between making Sunday a day of REST and making Sunday a day of CONTENTION.
true Jewish orthodox, put on their best clothes and dance in the street on the eve of the Sabbath.
I'm afraid that my children put on a face of mourning and count the hours until they can return to their gameboys.

yesterday, we had a morning devotional and talked about some things that we do not do on Sunday
(we had 5)
and things that we DO on Sunday
(we had 30)
{{My favorite-- Ellie suggested that we "teach Aunt Marilyn to walk."-- Aunt Marilyn is Ellie's great aunt.  She has Multiple Sclerosis.}}
We narrowed it down to this principle...
Sunday is a day to draw closer to God and draw closer to Family.

After dinner, the professor and i gathered our kids and drove over to visit with GG... Great Grandma Moss.
We spent the evening performing on her piano (where she taught my mother-in-law to play the piano BEFORE she knew she would one day marry her son.)
We told stories of when GG was little and many stories of Great Grandpa Moss who my children never knew.

There was a moment, while we were sitting there, that tears came to my eyes.
I could feel their Great Grandfather with us.
Smiling and grateful that we took the time to introduce him to them.
I felt the love of eternal families.

On the way home we stopped by the Sugar City Cemetery and visited the graves of our family that has passed on.
my eyes again filled with tears as i saw Great Grandpa Gee's gravestone...

yesterday was the anniversary of his death.
i am grateful that we took time for Sabbath moments.
truly, it was a day to draw closer to family and draw closer to the Lord.
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