November 30, 2010


how many mormons does it take to hang a light bulb?
i guess it depends how late at night it is...
we had one full day of arranging tables... hot gluing muslin to the sides of the tables... and HANGING tulle and lights...
oh what a day.
it is REALLY beginning to look a lot like Christmas-- and, i'm so excited!!
hope your day is bright!!

November 28, 2010

nativity exhibit.

I can't hear you...
I'm singing Christmas carols.
to myself
as i wander down the hallways of church.
feasting in the symbols of Christ that are filling the building

Oh how I LOVE Christmas...
and, I'm excited to see how my home and my children survive this next week...
the professor is officially the Stay At Home DAD... and i'm going to work.
for the Lord.
i feel so blessed to have been a part of this event...  and, i know i'll be disappointed when it's over.
i'm that kinda person... i LOVE the planning and anticipation, i'll crash when it's over...

i know i'll miss you... i'll TRY to take a few pictures and post something...
but if you don't hear from me, just know i'm singing Christmas songs.
to myself
while i wander down the hallway.
oh, and i'm making up answers... to questions that people ask me that i have never thought about before.
it will be great fun!!

if you live in Lubbock, please come see me!! 
(oh, i mean please come see the 100+ Nativities that we will be displaying... and hear the beautiful AMAZING music.... and get a picture in a stable with your family dressed in nativity clothes...  AND see me.)
it's a great way to kick-off the Christmas season!! 
i can't wait!!

November 27, 2010

christmas cards.

today is the last day to order Christmas Cards from Sam's Club.
I think it's a great deal... 100 cards for $15.
They have a lot of designs and are easy to order online.
Plus, they are available the next day for pick up at your local Sam's...
I'm excited to pick mine up on Monday!!

November 26, 2010

black friday.

{MOSS KIDS- DON'T read this OK??!!  Seriously, Don't READ it.}

guess what we did?
we rolled out of bed and headed to the stores.
the professor and i...
i had invited him to join me, he was a bit begrudging.
on the way to store ONE he said, "I'm so glad i can be doing this with you."
i said, "i HOPE i'm glad you're doing this with me..."
(i did have girlfriends that invited me to shop with them, but i bailed... i LOVE doing Christmas with my husband...)

The NIGHT BEFORE Black Friday--
So, for sure it was the night before that made Black Friday so great...
we spent some time after the kids went to bed looking at this site
at this site you can enter "barbies" and it will show you all the deals so you can compare.
this year, we are doing 3 gifts each per kid.
we're combining lots of ideas we'd heard and sticking with
Something to WEAR, DO and PLAY  plus stockings.
We had been brainstorming and had a pretty set list of what each kid would get for each of their gifts.
I had shopped a few stores so i knew the prices before sales...

Store ONE- AMAZON...
we placed an order at Amazon Thursday night taking advantage of their free shipping and good deals.
one thing i HATED was finding a good deal and realizing at the checkout that it wasn't coming from Amazon so it may have been only $3.99 but was $8 shipping.
hated that.
loved having a list that we stuck to...
we found some great deals online and got a big bulk of our shopping done Thanksgiving night.
i took the Lego stuff out of my shopping cart... i'm afraid i like Legos a bit more than my kids do.

Store TWO- Target...
to get 24 cases of play-doh for $5.96 and Memory for $3.99, and fleece gloves/hats for $2.
yup.  4am for Play-doh.
our tip-- head for the CENTER lines.
while i headed to the toys, the professor got in line.
There were lines all the way to the back of the store... insane!
but, the center lines were normal-sized.
thank goodness we weren't in line for an hour... 

Store THREE- CVS...
besides Target, the roads were clear and the stores weren't too croweded.
of course, it was 5 am

there was nothing i wanted at CVS... i got my ads mixed up.

Store FOUR- um I mean Walgreens...
at Walgreens I got Lil'Kinz 2/$5 for their stockings, and $1 eyeshadow and nail polish kits for the girl's stockings

Store FIVE- Michael's
the coupon said Michael's would open at 5am... it really opened at 6am.
but, this was a GREAT black Friday store.  i'm so excited for the art stuff we got here...
we had printed out a coupon for 30% off your entire order... even sale items.
and, we got a great art kit and eisle 50% off from $50 to $17.
another water color/acrylic metal case kit from $25 to $7.
and art paper from $10 to $3.
we got some mythical Sheik animals for 30% off.
we got stocking stuffers and cute ribbon for 60 cents each.

Store SIX- Old Navy
the professor and i each got a pair of jeans for $15- mine are cute maternity
and i got a cute sweater and maternity dress for $15.
some cozy socks for $3-- they will be on sale for $2.50 tomorrow, but $3 was still a great stocking stuffer for me.

Store SEVEN- Big 5 Sporting Goods

Store EIGHT- Payless
i want some black flats... but they didn't have any good deals.

Store NINE- Academy
this was my second favorite store...  because we were surprised.
we hadn't been able to find a few big things and we decided to stop here to see what they had...
i'm so glad we did...
we found a $70 girl's bike on sale for $34... and, it so cute... she's going to LOVE it.
and, i got some art stuff and some play doh and a game fore leah, but i didn't have a big thing.
for $15 we got her a princess play house... it folds up to really small and then pops open.
no, not a great quality item, but it's big and will be fun for Christmas morning AND the little girls really will play in it every day AND i can store it easily when we're moving.
AND, my boys have asked for some fun outdoors things like air soft guns, a compound bow n arrow set, fishing poles, etc.  some things we couldn't find for less than $50... and at Academy we found them... for $17 and $10 on Friday morning deals...  i'm SOO excited
plus, at the checkout we found CHICKEN POOP CHAPSTICK, so we got one to send to Todd's brother.
funny huh?!

Store TEN- Walmart
we got here around 8am, and it was pretty quiet.  the aisles were empty, we found what we wanted and went home.
i needed GLITTER CRAYONS... they were up by the books at the front.
seriously, i looked everywhere for glitter crayons and a big coloring book for my little girls.
they are going to be so excited.
we didn't get any big deals here, just picked up our final stocking stuffers and things we needed to finish the list...  earphones for an MP3 player we ordered from Amazon, dress up gloves to your elbows, a barbie, and glitter crayons.

i feel so excited for Christmas.
i know, when i was writing out what we got i noticed that i'm excited about LITTLE things.
but really, that is how i am... i'm so excited about the little things we got because i KNOW my kids will LOVE them.
AND we stayed in our budget.
AND we're DONE.

NOW, i can do some craft projects, plan our 12 days before Christmas gift drop off, and figure out something for our parents.
i need to sew stockings for leah, lily and baby 7... so that will be fun...
i have some ideas for the professor... but i wish i had big money to get him things he'd LOVE like a flat screen tv or a back up hard drive.  i keep saying, NEXT YEAR we'll shop for electronics honey, next year.

i think i'm going to steal a wrapping idea that i heard from someone...
buying a different wrapping paper for each kid...
cute huh?!

Ho! Ho! Ho!
Christmas is on it's way!!!
{i think i'm going to pull out Christmas stuff tomorrow...}
did you go shopping?
what was your favorite find??


Thanksgiving 2010
yesterday was delicious.
i missed the big rush of family that comes when we visit, but enjoyed the simplicity of being at home with just my family, my mother, and my neighbors.

i tried some new recipes and some old recipes...
lots of help in the kitchen!
my simple table with my signature linen...
the girls worked together to create personalized napkin rings- they just glued the turkeys onto toilet paper rolls cut in half.

lion house rolls... i should have tripled the recipe!!
i LOVE oatmeal stuffing... this year i added cranberries to everything
we eat sweet potatoes so much, i had to put marshmallows to make it feel like thanksgiving...
it was fun to have my mom and the Delweste's visiting... and, fun to add Philipino egg rolls to our American feast.

i'm not sure that the little girls ate any food... but they did drink egg nog and sparkling cider till they were extra happy!!
 really, thanksgiving just felt like a regular Sunday meal, with more leftovers.
 mmm.  this is going to be my lunch today!!
what?  no pictures of the dessert table...  just know it was SO yummy.
and,  all the pies are waiting patiently for me to sample them again this afternoon.

here are links to some of the recipes i used...
gravy- so good!
roasted brussels sprouts- i don't add mushrooms
nantucket cranberry pie- honestly, i haven't tasted this yet so i don't even know if it was good...
pumpkin cheese cake- this was the professor's request.  he bought me a set of 3 spring release pans for $9 at walmart that morning...  i think cheesecakes are in our future!!
sour cream apple pie- a request from my mom.  so good.
lion house rolls

November 25, 2010

happy day!

by. Anna (age 8)
Thanksgiveing is a happy time,
It's a time for love and chear.
I love to share and give 
and give some more.
So everyone is happy.

November 24, 2010

tradition- the day before thanksgiving.

 so, you've read the post where i wrote what i wanted to do...
this is the post where i tell you what we did.

goal: help my kids realize how fortunate we are and feel grateful.

i was a bit depressed after spending the morning watching video clips of abused, starving children...
i tried to pick uplifting, mild clips for my kids to watch.
but i did laugh with my sister in law at the emotionally scarred children i could be creating...

that night, before dinner, we had them all lay on my bed and watch some of the clips i'd found.
i edited them by hand because they were too long.
and, my favorite is the guy with no legs and arms... i love that guy.
he just wrote a book (i saw it on sale at Wal-mart)
we talked about stuff like kids with cancer, kids who are homeless, orphans, countries where they don't have hospitals or enough food...
it was sad, but not negative.
leah kept asking, "When I have a birthday am I going to have no arms or legs?"
or lifting her shirt and comparing her bones to the starving African children...  so funny.

later, when the kids said what they were thankful for... i felt that their answers were real.
they said things like a home, or their health.
and... i'm more grateful for those things too.
Starvation Dinner- 2010

for our "Starvation Dinner" we had WATER and RICE and BLACK BEANS.
(actually, the beans were made using Martha Stewart's recipe... they were good)
my kids whine a bit... but, not because of the dinner, just because of the name.
they THINK they are getting a raw deal.
really, we'd eat black beans and rice as a regular dinner... but because of the title and the lesson, this meal works.
i told the kids that they were going to sleep outside by the dumpster on boxes that night.
they were like, "Really?!"
no.  i didn't make them.  but, it was funny watching them THINK i might.
can you imagine what our kids would feel like ONE NIGHT without a home?

after our Starvation Dinner, we put the little kids to bed and had a family game night.
it was so fun.
except that i bought prizes and tons of treats...
so my "Starvation Dinner" ended up being followed by a candy feast... hah!
game night... May I? with prizes...

just doing SOMETHING purposeful the day before Thanksgiving ALWAYS makes me happy.
i LOVE this tradition.


I've spent a lot of time this past month thinking about how i can help my children understand how much they have to be thankful for...

I wish i could take them to places where we could all see how some people live, what some people wear and eat and play with.
I wish they could understand what some children live with ... physical, sexual, emotion abuse.
I spent some time on Youtube watching videos about child abuse... but, they're too much for my little children to handle.
I don't want them to be afraid of the world.
Just to be grateful for all they have.
So, here are some of the videos I'm going to show them tonight.


Family Body Food Education Safety Medical Care

November 23, 2010

green smoothies.

 my sister in law's family is on a health kick... they've read some books that advocate more fresh fruits and veggies and less man-made food. 
in addition to cutting off refined sugars and white flours, they recommend no milk, meat, eggs, yogurt, etc...
AND very little GRAINS- sprouted grains are OK.  (huh?!)
from what i understand (not having read the books)
the philosophy is Vegetables and Fruit FUEL your body.
grains are fillers.
meat is to be used sparingly.
and animal products were never meant to be mass produced as a staple in our diet.
ultimately, if you followed the diet you would be considered a vegan...

i am not a person who lives in EXTREMES. 
extremes to me are as difficult as schedules.
but, i like this concept... 
and, as i've thought about it more i've noticed just how FEW fruits and vegetables we eat.
it is HARD to make green veggies the main thing we eat...
my kids are used to a plate of white rice with a few veggies and some meat...
NOT a plate of veggies with a small cup of rice.

i am amazed at how many carbs i eat... fillers... instead of using my food to feul my body.

plus, i LOVE vegetables.  LOVE them.
my body is naturally vegan...
i do eat meat, and i can't eat pb&j without a cup of milk... but, my FAVORITE meals are green.  for sure.

the other thing i like about this concept is that it is natural. 
one of the things i HATE about "natural" foods is that as soon as you go to the health store they try to sell you hundreds of dollars of additives and pills and creams and tinctures to add to your diet.
i can handle "eat more salad" or "eat an apple".  it feels right.

i don't have $400 to buy a turbo mixer... but my bosch mixer works pretty well.
i'm still buying milk, and still serving eggs for breakfast sometimes...
but, i do drink a "green smoothie" every day- usually after i exercise.
(for me, this is just a smoothie with frozen fruit and lots of spinach or mixed greens and a banana)
and, i feel energized.
i try to eat more fresh stuff.
i try to feed my family more veggies at dinner time than starches or proteins...
and, it's going good.
how about you?
have you heard about the green smoothie diet?
don't you love RAW fruits and veggies?
look at your diet, i bet you'll be surprised how few you eat...
Here are some links i've found, if you want to read more...
green smoothie girl
whole foods vegan momma
vegan dad
nope.  not vegan... but trying to be more veggie-an.

November 22, 2010

together outside.

i'm having issues.
with industrialization...
and schedules...

sometimes it feels like all we do is
1)clean our house
2)drive to practices or games
3)hurry the kids into the car or into bed


to maintain peace in my home, i stay at home with the younger kids while the professor commutes to practices and games.
my toddlers are happy when they get their naps and my family is happy when we have an orderly home and cooked meals.
so, i stay home.
sometimes we trade off and the professor stays home.
sometimes stuff overlaps and we divide and conquer. 
we do a great tag-team.
but, this weekend i got SICK of the tag team life...
I desperately craved TOGETHER time.
and, we did it.
Friday afternoon i cried to the professor and he met me for lunch at the mall.
we just sat together and let the little girls play at the mall park and then hold some cute puppies at the pet store...
After school Friday, we met at a park and watched the sunset.
we had our weekly Papa Murphy's Friday dinner and watched Superman 2 (the old one)
The professor and i met some friends for the late night showing of Harry Potter 7 part 1.
yes, i fell asleep... i'm horrible during late night movies- even when we're sitting on the first row.

on Saturday, we went TOGETHER to help our friends move.
then we went to the Texas Tech Museum...
it was SO fun... why don't we do this more?
oh yeah, because it's NOT ON OUR SCHEDULE.

we had plans to attend basketball games together that afternoon...
but, our little kids needed naps.
so the professor stayed home and i took Anna and Drew to basketball.
we arrived a little early to one game and so we decided to go outside...
the kids wanted to find a park.
i decided, right then and there, that I HATE PARKS.

i didn't want them climbing on some metal interpretation of a fire truck... i wanted them to touch a TREE.

we stopped a grassy field and they found "the perfect tree"
they climbed and when it was time to go they asked to climb some more...
"Mom, in our new house in Oregon, can we have a tree?"  they both begged.
"Yes!"  i promised.  "For sure, we can have a tree in Oregon."
my poor, dessert/city kids...
Less man made play sets... MORE God made play sets...  that's my goal.

Saturday night the professor and i went to a Pie Party...
it was fun to visit with friends, even though i'm definitely at the I'M TOO FAT FOR MY CLOTHES stage of life...
Sunday, i was again in the I'M TOO FAT FOR MY SUNDAY CLOTHES mood and kinda cranky at church...

Right after church, we stopped at home, grabbed some quilts and snacks and headed back to the perfect tree.
i actually fell asleep outside in the sunshine while my kids climbed trees (in their church clothes) and played with sticks.
life was good.

i'm NOT a schedule person.
i hate them.
i think way too much and i re-evaluate daily.
i'm grateful to be married to Mr. Consistent.
he would be happy knowing we'd cuddle every Sunday and Thursday evening- for the rest of our lives...
me, i'm a cuddle me in the morning... when you're all dressed, smelling good, clean-shaven, and determined to get to work... because you choose me over schedules- type person.
it's Quality Time...  and we'd be a mess if it weren't for Mr. Consistent.
cause, i don't care if they miss practices.
i dream of MEMORIES.
and TOGETHER time.
and memories are made while we eat pop tarts, in a field, climbing in our church clothes.
touching stuff that's real.

we might not have horses or chickens... but gosh darn it, we CAN have STICKS.

November 19, 2010

moments by jakob.

i was finishing bath time...
jakob asked if he could take some pictures.
he was laughing when he showed me how lily was just playing the piano and almost fell off the bench.
i love jakob's progressive shots.
and, that he found the moment.

by far, the best thing about having a big family is watching your kids love each other...
Jane Covey, mother of 10, once told me...
"With a large family, you will NEVER be able to give your children what they could have had from you if they were only children.  But, you've given them siblings and their siblings will give them more than you could ever give."

i love this.
and, i love cute piano playing fingers as much as i love blurry 11 year old photography.

enjoy your weekend!

November 17, 2010

Light Awards- FHE idea

A long time ago, I heard of "family awards" from the Eyres.
I thought it sounded like fun, but not really something we'd try.
Recently, I have felt the need for some positive reinforcement in my family...
and so, we initiated the LIGHT AWARDS.
(we talked for a second about Light vs. Dark... how sometimes mom spends all her time correcting the kid who hasn't made his bed instead of praising the kid who DID make their bed... these awards were for the LIGHT in our lives.)

Because I had grand plans of crafting darling awards that never came to pass, I sat down at the computer 10 minutes before family night and printed out our awards.
on yellow paper...
with a fun font...
no, i don't win an award for cute- but i do win an award for "just do it."
jakob taught the lesson last night on establishing a personal relationship with God.
it was adorable.
then, i announced our award assembly.
i had 8 awards.
i told the kids that i would describe each award first and then we would nominate people from our family for each award.
you could not nominate yourself, and we wanted to try and give everyone an award... so i encouraged the kids to think of a different person for each thing.
they were so excited.
I couldn't find tape, except for duct tape... so i put a piece of duct tape on the back of their award and they stuck them on their bed.
i had bought special treats at the store that morning... but i ended up NOT giving treats with the awards.
the papers stood on their own...
the papers and the words of the family...
we didn't ever have to vote- most of the times all the kids agreed with the consensus.
i imagined a lot of squabbling and contention over who got what award, but there was NONE.
When one person nominated someone, we went around the circle and everyone told why that person should get the award.

This idea was PERFECT!!  It could not have gone any better...

Here are my awards...
 Scripture Power- This was given to the person who participated most fully in scripture time each morning.  Anna was nominated because she ALWAYS has her scriptures and wants to read.  At home, at church, daily...
Service of Your God- This was given to the person who served others happily.  Drew was nominated for being quick to do his chores without complaining and for offering to help whenever anyone needed him.
Holy Sabbath- For the person who did good things on the Sabbath day, holy things.  I got this award.
Kindness Begins With Me- For the person who was quick to love someone else who was cranky.  Ellie got this award for being sweet with Leah and Lily.  Anna said whenever she is cranky Ellie always helps her to be happy and forget about it.  cute.

Clothed in Charity- For the person who did the best with their CLOTHES.  Putting them in the hamper, putting their clean laundry away, etc.  Drew nominated Grandma for this award.  :)
Peacemaker- This was for the person who was most like Jesus.  Leah was nominated and everyone told cute stories about how she was always kind to them and Lily.  She was SOO excited to put her award on her bed!
Sleep in Heavenly Peace- This went to the best bed maker... and the person easiest to put to sleep.  Jakob got this award and he totally deserved it.
Armor of God- This was for the person who has been doing personal prayer and personal scripture study.  The kids nominated their dad.  So cute.  They said that they see him reading his scriptures every morning before scripture time.  He definitely deserves this award.  And, the cute thing is, Anna, Drew and Jakob have all started getting up 30 minutes early to read with him.
The BEST thing about this night was hearing the kids say good things about each other.
They were SOO sweet.  And, they really need to hear their brothers and sisters saying good things about them.

I did notice last night that they were all more aware of their clothes and their beds and they are making efforts to be kind.  Everyone was smiling and dressed at scripture time this morning.
And, i didn't give one lecture.
When I was getting ready for bed, I looked over and saw my sweet husband saying his evening prayers.
He is always SO diligent.  Praying, reading, kneeling, everyday, same time, same place...
I saw his little "Armor of God" award on his bed and I just smiled.

My mom moved in with us last week.
Having her here makes me very aware of how imperfect my family is.
It seems that we sit down to a beautiful dinner and my kids start bickering.
Right before Family Night last night, the kids were throwing stuffed animals back and forth in the family room, scaring each other in the hallway, complaining about getting their pjs on...  it is loud and contentious and embarrassing.
my life is hectic and crazy sometimes,
my kids are out of control sometimes,
the professor and i are battling for order sometimes... .
And then, somehow, everyone settles down.
we sing, we pray, we find seats that makes everyone semi-happy.
jakob teaches a lesson.
a lesson where all the kids are paying attention...
he asks questions, uses scriptures, shares what he believes with his brothers and sisters, encourages them all to read their scriptures and pray to have a personal relationship with God.
i'm amazed at how much he knows and how well he teaches others.
i hear things we have taught him being echoed.
and i capture THIS moment in my heart.

Later, when we're doing family awards, it is the same.
One kid nominates Ellie for the Kindness Begins with Me award.  I hear the story they tell and watch her face as she listens.  I know that praise from an older brother means MORE to her than praise from me or her father.
i am proud of my sweet family.
and, thankful for the traditions we have established.
really, our family is a MESS a lot of the times.
it's CRAZY.  my kids are BAD.
i am a cranky mom or a distracted mom or a cranky wife.
for real.
but, we have many, many, amazing MOMENTS.
Moments that remind me, my family is AMAZING.
These kids are good.
in spite of me, in spite of their weakness...
i believe they are amazing kids.
and, i'm a good mother.
i have a great husband,
and i believe in GRACE.
i receive His grace in moments.

every day... for a moment... i feel Heavenly Peace and i am grateful.
just sayin.
maybe this is God's plan.
maybe he wants us to experience the chaos so we can appreciate the peace.
maybe he lets us feel extreme frustration so we know, without a doubt that we DESIRE joy and harmony.
can you imagine what life will be like when we are free from our own weakness?
if i could be all that i desired to be my potential would be limitless...
but, for now, i am mortal and weak and imperfect.
i have a family that is young, and mortal and imperfect.
and so, i live in normal and i see glimpses of eternity.
my house has moments of clean, i have moments of great mothering, my husband and i are perfectly unified at times...
but, much to my chagrin, we have ups and downs.
good moments and crazy moments.
maybe we are just below average.
for sure we are still improving...
i'm sure there are families out their that can stay up longer than we can.

i don't know how other families are...
if you find the blog of the perfect family please let me know.
this blog is real.
and real, in my life, is perfect moments.
not overall perfection... but sweet, perfect moments amidst the chaos of everyday life.

have you had a moment lately?  i'd love to hear about it...
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