August 31, 2011

wannabe farm girl.

my oregon friend, amy, has quail.
quail and bees and three cute kids (hallie, marshall and milo).
i love them, i love their life.
my girls took turns holding the quail.
the quail got away...
anna screamed and grabbed the getaway...
amy said it was a sign of a true farm girl-- anna held tight despite the flapping.
hmm... maybe we need some quail?!
they do make the cutest eggs...

have i told you i'm a wannabe farm girl too?

let me re-phrase that-- i'm a "I THINK I wannabe a farm girl"...
as in, I read Little House in the Big Woods many times as a young girl...
Oh, isn't oregon fun?!

August 30, 2011

primary chair covers.

i sewed again.
i know.  twice in one week... can you believe it?
these are chair covers for our primary (the children's Sunday school class).
i made one for each class, and one for the talk, scripture and prayer.
i measured the white square 15x18.  i cut a 5" strip for the bottom that i folded in half and sewed to the top square (so there would be a finished bottom) and then I just sewed a pillowcase.
the backs are red, yellow, and blue.
i used No-Sew Heat n Bond for the letters and numbers (it saved me a lot of sewing time- and, i don't think they will need to be washed often).
i used the font Bodoni (I think 1200 size).
i printed everything mirror imaged.
I had to cut a sheet of paper 8.5 by 12 and feed it through my printer to get the numbers big enough.
Then I just traced them onto the Heat n Bond, ironed, cut, ironed again and Tah Dah!
don't you just love to make things?

August 29, 2011

pulling teeth.

last week, we had an event.
anna and drew needed to have some teeth pulled.
i knew anna was nervous, but i was unprepared for just how nervous.
when she sat down in the chair, she started to cry.
she refused to open her mouth.
we have the NICEST, NICEST dentist ever.
he's a dad, with daughters.
after much coaxing and encouraging and explaining and bribing (i tried everything)...
we LEFT the office with all our teeth still in our mouth.
anna was VERY scared.
i was kicking myself that i hadn't prepared her better for this experience.

we talked on the way home. 
she asked if i was mad at her.
i told her i was very disappointed. 
but, that i was mostly sad for her.
because i knew she could do hard things.
we talked about different strategies when dealing with pain and fear.
(pulling the teeth wouldn't hurt, just getting the numbing shots might hurt a bit.)
i told her about labor, and blood transfusions, and how her aunt rebekah had chemo and radiation.
we discussed mental things that she could tell herself to replace the scared thoughts going through her mind.
1. That she could remember the doctor was kind and trying to help her.
(I told her that I always imagined love pouring out of the doctor's hands into my mouth.)
2.  That even if it was horrible, it would be finished by dinner time.  (Shorter than a movie.)
3.  She could pray.
4.  She could hum a song.
5.  She could think the very worst-- that she'd die.  And still, it wouldn't be that bad (she'd be in Heaven).
6.  She could think about little babies with cancer and burns and lots of hard things who have to endure pain every day-- and remember how blessed she is.
7.   She could remember that a little pain now would save her a lot of pain later (her tooth was a baby tooth that had gotten infected).
8.  She could think about how happy she would feel when she was finished.
9.  She could know that angels would be round about her and Jesus could help her do hard things.
10.  She could count to ten and the hard part would probably be finished.
11.  That NO MATTER WHAT-- she just needed to keep her mouth OPEN!!!
She could scream, she could cry, she could squeeze my hand-- she just needed to keep that mouth open wide.

Drew had an appointment the next day.
I told Anna that she should come with us and take Drew's spot.
I told her that it was her choice.
That I would pray for her, and that her dad could give her a blessing.

The next morning she said she wanted to do it.
I gave her my ipod with church music on it. 
She got a blessing, and we said a family prayer for her and drew.
we went back to the dentist.
anna went first...
she was scared, it was a bit painful, but SHE DID IT!! 
both anna and drew were very brave.
and, it was hard.
when they were finished, they were SO excited.
especially Anna.
and, i was so happy for her.
i never doubted that she could do this.
and now, she knows she can do hard things.
i don't think kind mothers just comfort their kids when they are scared.
i think kind mothers TEACH their children that they are brave.

we aren't crossing the plains or plowing the fields.
but, my kids can learn great lessons in the dentist office.

August 26, 2011

nordic ware.

i bought these plates n stuff at target.
i love them.
they're plastic-y, and microwave safe, and dishwasher friendly.
we couldn't have another large family over for dinner without using paper plates.
i love these so much better than plastic plates.
and, they look nicer than my old ikea plates/bowls/cups.
at target, i think they were around $1.50 each... they are much more expensive at Amazon.
and, they do come in colors- i just wanted white!
love them.

August 25, 2011


i was reading this morning and i was reminded...
The prophet, Lehi had a dream, in his dream he said that "after I traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.  And it came to pass that after I had prayed unto the Lord I BEHELD a large and spacious field.  And it came to pass that I BEHELD a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy." (1 Ne. 8:8-11)

When Lehi's son Nephi, prayed to know the interpretation of his fathers dream, an angel of the Lord came to him.  Over and over this scene is repeated, (1 Nephi 11 and 12)
"And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me: Look!  And I looked and BEHELD..."
"And the angel said unto me again: Look and behold the condescension of God.  And I looked and BEHELD." 
"And it came to pass that the angel said unto me:  Look, and behold thy seed."
"And the angel said unto me:  BEHOLD thy seed."
This reminded me of one of my favorite scripture passages.  When Christ visits America and blesses the children there...
"... and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.  And when he had done this he wept again;  And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: BEHOLD your little ones."  (3 Ne. 17:21-23)

I love this article, BEHOLD Your Little Ones!  It's a beautiful reminder!

Sometimes, like Lehi, my life seems dark.
When I pray, my life doesn't change... my VISION changes.
I feel the the Lord helps me to BEHOLD my little ones.
To see the good in the midst of daily life.
a. To perceive by the visual faculty; see.
b. To perceive through use of the mental faculty; comprehend.

I love that definition-- to SEE (physically) and to COMPREHEND (mentally).

today, i want to BEHOLD my children.
to see them the way God sees them.
i know He will help me to comprehend all that they are and all that they can be.
he will help me to behold their needs.
to behold ways I can love them better and teach them more. 
in the midst of darkness, prayer and the Holy Spirit can give us vision and capacity to BEHOLD our little ones.
i LOVE this.  i NEED this.
 today, may i BEHOLD.

August 24, 2011

subway art quilt.

my beautiful cousin and her husband just adopted a DARLING little guy.
i'm so happy for them!
little colston is just a few weeks younger than eve... and i FINALLY finished the baby quilt that i'm going to send her.
want to see it?

my cousin and her husband met and dated in new york city.
i thought subway art would be a fun way to welcome their new little baby.
it felt so good to sew again... it's been a long time.
i hope they love it and feel my love everytime they let little Colston drool all over it!!

August 23, 2011

together at home.

can i tell you how much i love this picture?
it's a real-live shot from my living room... with all my kiddos, reading together.
i LOVE having all my kids together, doing good things.

at the beginning of the summer i was lamenting to a friend one morning.
we were packing to move and not doing many fun things.
i said something like, "sometimes, it is just so hard to have all of them home all the time."
my friend, Michelle Smith, is a wise mother of seven or eight kids who are a bit older than mine.
Her oldest daughter is at college, her oldest son is on a mission, and her teenagers are busy.
She said, "Just enjoy this time, when they are all young and all home with you.  I love that feeling of having all my kids under one roof.  Soon, they will grow, start driving, and begin to spread out.  You will miss these days."

i read a short story in the magazine, Real Simple.  It was about a mother whose daughter got a license and all of a sudden the mother realized how much she loved driving the carpool.  She missed picking her up from school, hearing all the kids talk in the backseat, having that short drive to find out about her day.  Since i read that story i have tried to enjoy the driving times with my kids.

As i was hiking this weekend with another wise mother of seven boys, Ines Erickson, she told me a story about her ancestor.  He was crossing the plains as a Mormon pioneer and his toddler daughter died.  The next day he wrote in his journal that as they were walking, many little children prattled along beside him.  He commented at how he loved the sound of sweet children under his feet.  (I'm afraid I'm butchering that quote.)

I have thought of Michelle's quote many times this summer.
I have tried to enjoy a house full of kids.
Enjoy this time and hold it close to my heart.
Today, I have all seven pieces of my heart together.
Sometimes they bicker. 
Sometimes they whine when i ask them to help out. 
Sometimes they complain that they're bored.
But, we're together.
Soon school will start.
Soon, life will take over and my children will grow and spread themselves around the world.
Today-- we are home and I'm going to cherish this day.
Someday, I'm going to miss this.

August 22, 2011

pay attention.

Yesterday, I met with some wise women who were training us in our new callings as leaders of the children in our congregation.
I LOVED this quote...
"What you pay attention to is what you encourage."
With a house full of kids it is VERY easy to pay attention to the blaring WRONG and miss the quiet goodness.
ugh.  Why is it that most of my life is fighting against natural tendency?!
The law of atrophy... the law of negativity?
I also read this yesterday...

Elder Gordon B. Hinckley supervised the work of the church in Asia from 1960 to 1968.  During that time he met regularly with leaders in Asia.  Years later, one of those leaders shared his feelings about Elder Hinckley's visits:
"One of the things I appreciated about Elder Hinckley was that never once in my three years [as mission president] did he criticize me, despite all my weaknesses. ... And that spurred me on.  Ever time he came I thought 'I'm going to get it right between the eyes this time.  I didn't turn in this report properly or I didn't follow this program right.' But every time he came off the plane he would grab my hand like he was pumping water out of a well with great enthusiasm. "Well, President . . . , how are you getting along? . . . You're doing great work.'  He encouraged me like that... and when he left I felt I should give 105%, not just 100%."  Andy Komatsu
I want my kids to feel that encouragement from me.
Can I tell you, today I will be praying that I remember this?
Today, I want to Pay Attention to the Positive.
Because, What I pay attention to I ENCOURAGE!!!
carry on friends!!

August 21, 2011

taking the plunge.

love this guy!
 my husband, the professor, he's a different man now that we're DONE with his PhD program.
stress-- it's not so good for a man's soul.
yesterday, he said to me (10 times), "I love this!!  I haven't thought about work or school once all day!"
i loved it too.
i love this guy-- the funny one-- the one that i remember from way back when.
life is good.

ps.  that water was COLD!

Note from professor:  You know how normally, when you've been in the pool for a while and then get out, you're freezing cold until you get back in the water?  Well, for the first time I can remember, getting out of the water actually felt GOOD!  

August 20, 2011


one thing i love about my new house... the tv and toys are in the basement.
i am upstairs and so are my children.
they have been doing lots of puzzles lately.
(i have books and puzzles upstairs.)
i love it.
can you believe lily is smart enough to do a puzzle that hard?
i have got to stop thinking of her as my baby!!

the professor and i were discussing last night.
we both realized that our natural tendency is to be upset when our kids don't do what we want them to do.
upset that they haven't learned yet, instead of concerned and excited to TEACH them.
this morning i read this scripture...
Mosiah 4:14-15
And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
BUT, YE WILL TEACH THEM to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; YE WILL TEACH THEM to love one another, and to serve one another.

Today, i want to remember this.

{see ya!  we're off to Cascadia... to SWIM in the waterfalls!)

August 19, 2011

life is a bowl of cherries.

i love life here.
yesterday we picked sour cherries...
canned cherry pie filling...
and, picked wild blackberries on top of a ladder, on top of a pick-up truck, in the dark.
(dang it... i forgot to bring my camera!)
cherries, from a friend's tree.
the biggest, sweetest blackberries i've ever seen, from a friend's field.
and, today for breakfast i'm eating real-live eggs-- from my friend's chickens.
love it.
and i feel that feeling.
that gentle nudging...  this IS life.
this is REAL.
storing up food for the winter, beats Disney channel ANY DAY!
this is the life i want for my family.
life... it really is a bowl of cherries.

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