September 30, 2011

scrub a dub dub.

oh my, how i love this little chubbers...

September 29, 2011

all better.

why is it that band aids and kisses make everything better?
they must have some magic worked into the formula.
for real.

leah got attacked by a prickly bush.
in her tears she said, "i think i need SEVEN band aids."
after she was all bandaged up and happy... she said, "I can't wait to show dad how many hurts i got."

yesterday, lily fell and bonked her bum.
she cried, "i need a band aid... i need a band aid."
i put one on her hand and she said, "no, on my bottom."
so i put one right at the top of her bum where her pants and shirt just met.
all day long i smiled every time i saw the sparkles peaking through.

yes, band aids and kisses are magical.

September 28, 2011

thursday night lights..

we went to the farm for dinner (Old McDonald's) and then headed out of town to a varisty soccer game.
it was SO fun.
the ride was beautiful.
we always sing as we drive.
i learned that from someone.
we sing, so we don't fight in the car.
and, it's beautiful.
i love hearing my kids sing together.

here are all my kids dispersed in the crowd.
(i always start out with them sitting by me, but i cave in and let them disperse after awhile.)
they are loved.
it was a beautiful night.
these boys were AWESOME soccer players.
for sure, it was the most fun i have ever had at a soccer game.

sometimes, you just have to load everybody up and do random things...

i love her bow.
even on a school night.
even if the game is an hour away.
just because.

  you'll NEVER forget it.

September 27, 2011

creation cleaning.

i have spent many, many years trying to learn to be a better homemaker. 
for me, homemaking is not something that came naturally... it is something that i really, really, really had to try hard to learn.
when i was younger i was creative, and lazy, and i rebelled against spending time cleaning.
as i got older, i had many young children and couldn't figure out HOW to keep everything orderly.
i prayed a lot asking God to help me learn to be a better homemaker.
i read many books.  i talked to many women who i could see were great homemakers and i would ask them how they did it... again, and again.
these women, are the ones that should write blogs on how to clean your house.
today, i am pretty consistent in my homemaking.
(in younger years i was VERY cyclical-- messy, clean, messy, clean)
my house is never perfect, and i am still learning new things every day.
i'm sharing this tidbit with you, because it changed my life when i was really searching...

i went to the temple one evening pondering strongly WHAT i could do to be a better homemaker.
my thoughts were directed to the creation.
As I was thinking about God organizing the worlds, the Spirit said to me very clearly...
Jen, it is important to organize/plan first.
Then I was thinking about God, separating the waters from the land.
The Spirit said, after you organize, cleanse.
By this time I was quite interested and I was thinking, organize, cleanse... i wonder what comes next.
And, next I almost laughed out loud.
The Spirit whispered to me, Organize, Cleanse, Then separate the LIGHT from the DARK... ahhh laundry!!
(That was my favorite creation/cleaning comparison.)
Fourth came plants/trees/bushes... food.
Fifth came BEASTS in all their variety...  friends/kids.
and Sixth came MEN... a day focused on my husband.
and of course, seventh was a day of rest.

For many, many years I ordered my week around this creation cleaning schedule.
I also have friends who used this idea and created a home that was much, much more ordered than mine ever became.
I don't believe there is ever ONE perfect way to order your home.
{I do know the KEY to a clean house is PURGING... not having too much stuff.
That is a continual battle.}
I also believe cleaning a little at a time is better than doing major overhauls.
And finally, I think creating your own set cleaning schedule is great because it takes away the overwhelming questions "What should I do today?"  You already know, because you do the same thing every Tuesday.

Because my cleaning schedule reminded me of God creating the world, I was able to find NOBILITY in HOMEMAKING.  As I cleaned I would think about the world I was CREATING here on Earth, with God's help. 

I also have spent many hours thinking of what Christ did when He was here on the Earth.  He cleansed the lepers, He healed the sick, He calmed the waters, He preached, He endured, He created, He fed...  I have found nobility in many of my everyday mundane homemaking tasks as I thought how similar they were to what the creator of all mankind did when He was on the earth.

I don't think it's as important WHAT you do, or HOW you do it... but, having a really great WHY can get you through many repetitive tasks.

I have a dear, dear friend who completely mastered creation cleaning, even with 6 young children.
We would talk on the phone every Tuesday while we both scoured our toilets and floors.
I have many sacred memories of the spiritual things we would discuss as we cleaned together.
Tuesdays became a sacred day for me... a day that I would magically cleanse my home while I was on the phone cleansing my spirit. 
Life gets busier as our children get older and our Tuesday conversations are more sporadic... but we still laugh because anytime we have a minute to chat, our floors just magically are cleaned and our toilets sparkle.  It's instinct for me to clean while I'm talking. 

So, one more time... here was the schedule we used--
Monday- Organize your home (Just do a quick run through and put things away.  I liked to vacuum on Monday.)
Tuesday- Cleanse (Bathrooms and floors and windows.)  I always picture the ocean waves as I'm cleansing my home... :)
Wednesday- Laundry (Yup, all in one day... it is possible.  You may have to do a load or two on another day, but it's nice to plan the bulk of a day for laundry once a week.  If you gather and sort on Tuesday night, you can wash and fold on Wednesday and have the kids put their laundry away after school on Wednesday night.)
Thursday- Shopping (I still plan my grocery shopping trips on Thursday... this was always a long, fun day.  I always tried to plan a menu, shop, put it all away and cook some good things on Thursday.)
Friday- The Beasts.  (We love to invite people over on Friday... usually play dates or families over for dinner.  Friday is the best day-- Saturday just made me tired on Sunday, and Sunday made Sundays hard work NOT restful at all.  Oh how I LOVED my many, many Friday night friends... in all their variety.  I tried to do fun things with my little girls during the day.  And, have friends over after school or for dinner.  On days when we didn't have friends over, we ALWAYS have pizza and a movie night on Friday.  love those beasts...)
Saturday- the MAN.  (I am happier when I focus my Saturday on loving my husband.  When I try to make a great, productive plan for Saturday we clash heads.  When I say that Saturday is time we spend with Dad, life is good.  Sometimes we would plan our date nights on Saturday night.  i love Saturday date nights.  These days, Saturday is sports and i suppose that is pretty much a man thing, right?)
Sunday- a Holy Sabbath day. 

Today, I hope you enjoy your work of CREATION!!

September 26, 2011

made me smile.

1. this morning drew could only find one cleat for his after school football practice.  the professor was a bit stressed out.  drew said, "dad, it's ok.  mom will find it before she picks me up."  the professor, teaching an important lesson, "drew, you can't leave everything for mom to find."  the kids in the car are all anxious to get to school...  i come out of the bathroom into the heat of the professor explaining, "DREW CAN'T FIND HIS CLEAT... I FOUND ONE IN HIS SHOE BASKET, BUT I CAN'T FIND THE OTHER ONE."  i smile and tell him, while i'm looking in the shoe closet, "Just take the kids to school and I'll find it and bring it up when I meet drew after school."  He huffs and explains to me, "Drew needs to find his own things."  I explain to him, "I'd rather have him go to school feeling peaceful than get him all stressed out over a silly cleat."  Then I hand him the cleat that was just behind drew's shoe box... not far from exactly where it should have been.  As they drove out the driveway i just smiled... children need two parents.  And this is exactly why!! 
2.  we had a busy day yesterday.  i was in charge of a 2 hour practice for the children's program at church, then i had a presidency meeting, then my husband was gone for 2 hours while i prepared for company to come over for dinner, then we had a family with 6 older boys over-- that was 17 people total for dinner.  We played the thimble game and Mafia/Werewolves.  Then, I was EXHAUSTED.  I took care of the baby, and the professor put ALL the kids to bed and did ALL the dishes with the boys.   He sent me to bed while he finished up.  Nice huh?!!!
3.  i'm studying "Preach My Gospel" for my personal scripture time and i LOVE it.  LOVE. LOVE. LOVE it.  I've started a composition notebook of THINGS TO TEACH MY KIDS.  Thinking about ways I teach principles gives PURPOSE to my scripture study.  I write a different lesson on top of each page and when i read a good scripture or hear a good quote or get a great idea, i jot it down.  I'm surprised at how many things i've already used in teaching my kids.  i'm a full-time teacher by the way.   actually, preacher... that's what i would say my job is.  Mother/Preacher.  :)
4.  anna took this picture of me...  my kids think it's so funny to make my face funny.  Ellie said, "Mom, you should put that picture on your blog and then write... I'm getting old!"  Nice...
I'm getting old...
5.  we were out at the soccer fields the other day (don't you know we live on the soccer fields)?  I told the girls that I would race them to the car.  And, i won.  Anna said, "mom, i didn't even know you knew how to run?"  hah!  nice...

6.Want to do one great thing today?  Just one thing that WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE??  watch this... It's a talk from an apostle of God about 5 things that we shouldn't forget.  it's so good. Here's a snipet...


7.  Want to do one more great thing?  Watch this... my sister showed it to me.  It's darling.  And, we all need a little dark side!

ps.  i think i have pink eye?! and... need some make-up.
Have a GREAT Monday!!

September 23, 2011

real-life lunch ideas...

i'm a little embarrassed posting these.
i know they are nothing special.
honestly, i have A LOT of kids and my mornings are hectic.
we only have one set of Tupperware per kid, so they are washed at night and i have to make lunch quickly in the morning...
in addition to breakfast, and getting dressed, and scripture time, and finding a lost shoe, etc, etc...
so, lunches are quick!
i try to be healthy.
i try not to use plastic bags or individually wrapped things. (reduce, reuse, recycle!)
and, i try to be fun.
my favorite are the tiny little Tupperware (try the dollar store)...
they are perfect for dip, a kiwi, caramel, peanut butter, etc.
i love putting in a hard-boiled egg with a face.
we took extra little salts on our last trip to the Farm (you know, Old McDonald's).
it makes me smile every time i put an egg with a little salt packet... who even uses those salt packets?
seriously?  do they add salt to their fries??  ugh!
i ALWAYS write a note.
(when i go to the kids' school, their friends always say, "I love the notes you send.")
i love to put fun, random things in.
i love to buy cute little erasers and stick them in (sorry, no pictures?!)
I get really fun, japanesse erasers at expensive toy shops.  i try to find packs-- they usually cost me about 50 cents each for really fun ones, like babies or cars or frogs.
You can also find cute erasers at the grocery store or cvs.  There you can buy a whole pack cheap, so they only cost about 10 cents each.
I don't put an eraser every day... but i do something fun every day.
(Ellie tells me her friends say she is SO LUCKY because her mom always gives her fun things at lunch.)

i love using cookie cutters to cut out shapes of things.
i LOVE these little toothpick swords-- I use them almost every day instead of utensils.
the pictures of lunches do not include everything that they eat that day.
i often throw in trail mix, pretzels, homemade cookies that are frozen, etc.
i love the bulk food bins because i can buy just what i want.
sometime i'll type a list of ideas... but my time is up today!
what are your favorite lunch ideas?

September 22, 2011

eve- 5 months

have you seen the movie, "Master of Disguise"?
we call eve, "the cuteness", named after pistachio's dog.
she really is the Cuteness.
eve is busy, and active.
on the ground she rolls and squirms all the way across the room.
she loves plastic bags (i KNOW, "this is not a toy").
she loves open mouthed kisses.
she wore her first ponytail this month, although i probably could have put her hair in a pony when she was born.
she still eats 4 times a night.
but, after she eats she goes back to sleep in her crib.
she takes good naps during the day and wakes up happy and cooing in her crib.
she is very noisey.  ahhhhhhhhhh and maaaaaammmaaaaaaammaaaa.
we had to take her out of sacrament meeting because she was so talkative (it's really cute, just not quiet).

she likes to play with my mouth when she nurses or falls asleep. 
if you hold her in a cradle hold, immediately, she sticks one hand in the air.
i always have little cuts near my lips because of her little nails.
sometimes, when she is laying by me, her little hand is straight up in the air, waiting for me to kiss it.
she sticks her hand in my mouth, or pinches my lips.
she is SO kissable and very happy.
eve is funny to nurse.  funny, not really fun.
she sucks and cries, sucks and cries, until my milk lets down.
when she is nursing, she often stops and smiles at me or stops and looks around.
when i'm in the rocking chair her feet rest on the arm rest.
as she sucks she kicks, to the rhythm... suck, kick, suck, kick, suck kick...
she's squirmy and funny and very smiley.
often people tell me i have the cutest baby they have ever seen.
i'm sure she is!!  :)

eve is too smart for multi-tasking.
she loves to be the center of all my smiles and attention.
she hates when i hold her and try to do something else.
she screams if i ever sit down at the computer while i'm holding her.
and, as happy as she is most of the time...  when she is falling asleep or wanting to nurse when i think she's finished, she cries so hard-- it's like pushing out a scream.
my favorite thing about her is her funny "i'm hungry cry"
she coughs... over and over... right before i nurse her.
someone said, "i wonder if she has allergies."
i laughed... nope.  she's just a funny, funny girl.

don't you want to eat her?
oh, how i LOVE every minute of this child.
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