June 30, 2011

love notes.

i found a whole bunch of love notes in my scriptures.
from my sweet husband.
he did a little scavenger hunt through the scriptures.
i'm not sure if he meant them more as love notes, or as a reminder for me to SEARCH the scriptures.
i laughed.
because i have NO IDEA how long ago he put them in there.
for family scripture time i've been using random scriptures in our scripture basket.
i haven't even brought my scriptures to church-- cause my hands are full of baby.
i suppose my days of reading a random verse, or religious article while i'm going to the bathroom should come to an end.
i do miss my dear scriptures.

June 29, 2011


a few weeks ago we had our sweet friends over for dinner.
yolanda is from Hawaii and made us the BEST pork-- usually it is cooked over coals in the ground.
so good.

i overheard the following conversaion as leah was rubbing ronald's belly
"wow, you really do have a big, round belly."
{a mother sigh...}
and then, "and, you have a big, funny nose.  How did you get a nose like that?"
i intervened with a warning, "Leah...."
She said, "No Mom!  Look.  He really does have a big funny nose."
Oh my... 
The next day we had a family night where we practiced kind compliments and things we should NEVER say.
The joy of a precocious four year old.

June 28, 2011

a curl.

 how i love this funny, funny baby.
(she just started LAUGHING!  oh my, SO cute!)
and, she reminds me of this dog- droopy...
love. her.

June 27, 2011


i HATE saying goodbye.
and so, i don't.
but, we have been having lots of friends over...
and trying to squeeze in every last minute of Lubbock that we can.
Friday we spent the morning having piano lessons, the afternoon at the pool and the evening with good friends.

Saturday we sent jakob off to scout camp...
had a house showing from 4:30-5:50pm and had two families over for dinner at 6pm!
AND-- I LOST MY CAMERA, so i have no pictures.

I found my camera-- stuck in the CRAFT cabinet (must of been the last minute straightening for a showing).
We had some friends from Todd's PhD program over last night...

and have some more friends coming tonight.
Yes, I'm still packing.
And yes, Todd is still up at school grading papers and fixing format stuff on his dissertation.
My friends are having a late-night appetizers at Applebee's to say goodbye-- on Tuesday at 9pm.
Let's see if I can make it through the night WITHOUT saying goodbye.
My father-in-law arrives late Tuesday night to help us pack-- what a saint!
Today, I'm doing laundry and packing some more.
We are driving away next week... 
How I will miss this place.

sigh... can i say one more thing?
(i'm a bit teary)
i really, really LOVE people.
this world is so full of so many GOOD people.
i cry thinking of the people who have touched my life over the past five years.
and, i feel such JOY when I think about my friends and how far they have come since I've known them.
The mother side of me wants to stay here in Lubbock forever, so I can be here for them.
Not that I actually DO anything, but just having people over, feeding them, letting them know that I love them and that I'm here.
I'm going to miss that.
People-- that's what I'm going to miss most about Texas.
Hopefully, we can be friends long-distance.
Because I hate saying goodbye...

June 25, 2011

fortune tellers.

i believe they predict the future quite accurately...
we are going to move to oregon.
we NEED a vacation.

June 24, 2011

hair things.

5 little girls = lots and lots of bows
i had hair things everywhere.
in the bathroom drawer (where they belonged), in the kitchen junk drawer, on top of dressers in the big girls room and the little girls room, in the car, in the master bathroom cabinet, behind the couch, etc.

FINALLY, i bought myself a pink hair tackle box (from Wal-Mart, $12).
i love it.
why has it taken me so long to do this?

June 23, 2011

driving summer.

Mothers drive the home, especially during the summer.
I've learned that sometimes it's difficult to figure out the right speed limit.

Most days I try to keep myself in a low gear.
When I have low expectations for my day, I tend to be more kind and able to handle distractions.
I pick one or two things that I would like to accomplish, but basically just focus on the basics.
Dressing, feeding, cleaning, calming, directing, etc.
On slow days we don't go anywhere.  We just hang out.
I talk on the phone or check my blog or read a book or just spend the day doing whatever it is we do when we don't get anything done...
My kids play together and make messes. 
They laugh and fight, read, watch tv, and graze on food all day long.
I love slow days.
But, after a few slow days, my insides start to scream!
My husband comes and goes, accomplishing tasks.
And I'm stagnating at home, drowning in the slowness and monotony of my life.
I feel an intense desire to get something DONE.

Some days I have a list of "destinations", and I go fast.
Speeding fast.
On these days I have a long list of To Do's... and, I try hard to accomplish them.
If I try to bring my kids along, I'm a mac truck.
Usually I'm trying to fill my day with just one more thing and urging my family forward FASTER. 
Let's GO!!  Let's DO!  Faster!!
Clean the house so we can go someplace fun.
Hurry up, we have people coming over.
We just need to run to this store, and then this store, and then this store.
OR, I do as little as possible for my kids and I try to become a one-woman goal accomplishing machine.
My little girls are in their pjs at 4pm, I have the bigger kids make breakfast and lunch so my kitchen is a mess, the kids are watching tv or playing video games all day, and I'm DOING things I need to get done.
My kids can only handle a few of these days before they get lost in the background and begin to rebel with contention.

I do love my fast days.  I find great joy in crossing things off my lists.
Sometimes, I feel exhilarated after a speedy day. 
But often, I feel bothered and annoyed.
As soon as I complete one task, I begin to thirst for more and more and then I am frustrated that I have to stop and cook lunch, or calm an argument, or feed a fussy baby.
The faster I go, the more I crave speed.
My mind is naturally Nascar fast.  My soul is a horse drawn carriage.
Oh how I struggle to find the balance between my mind and my soul. 

Sometimes my life is fast and I'm just the passenger...  my car is automatic.
We are running all over town, dropping off one kid here, picking up another kid there.
Home for a few minutes and then running again.
Quickly finding shoes and spraying sunblock, buckling car seats, filling our backseat with Happy Meal wrappers..
Kids hanging out the windows of my life... laughing and pointing "Mom, let's go here."
I love these days... but after a few fast and crazy, friend filled days, we are sunburned and windblown and we all need some time at home.

I believe in life we need SLOW days and FAST days.
They're just part of our journey.
BUT, I do feel like the perfect speed is not too fast and not too slow.
The perfect days are days that I plan well or just navigate well.
Days when I'm driving, and BRINGING my children some place that I want them to be.
Days when my kids are on my To Do list and I am thinking about my To Be list.

This summer has been interesting for me.
I have a new baby, and so my days are naturally slower.
But, I am also MOVING and need to pack my house, so I'm naturally in a revved up frame of mind trying to accomplish super-human preparations.

Because of my baby, I begin to feel like I can NEVER get ANYTHING done.
I'm a victim to my children with a list of important, unfinished tasks piling up in my mind.
I don't like feeling like my children are speed bumps, so I often just switch into neutral and glide through my days.
It's better than screaming and going crazy, but neutral is not a great place to be in.
After a few days in neutral, I'm smoking internally.  Unhappy, but not sure why.
I honestly have to give myself mental permission to set a goal and accomplish it.
I have to get my husband and family on board.  I let them know that I'm on the brink and I need some time to get something DONE.
My husband is good about giving me a few hours on Saturday morning to run errands sans children.
I need that time, especially during the summer.

Because of my move, I look around and panic.  I have so much that needs to get done.
I become a mac truck, moving everyone forward.
When I'm in mac truck mode, my days involve cleaning, packing, being the task master for my kids.
And at the end of the day I remember it's summer and my children need more time to enjoy their summer days.

Because of my six older kids, somedays are full of balancing schedules and carpools and fun stuff.
Older kids are a down hill ride. 
Life naturally speeds up if I take my foot off the brake.
Play dates, summer camps, scouts, sports, friends, swimming, library, museums, water parks, etc.
Big kids can fill a calender VERY quickly.
Most of my days I coast down the hill with them enjoying the wind in our faces.
But sometimes, I need to brake from the fun and regain our family life.

Life is a journey and my car is packed full.
I am never happy when I completely loose myself. 
And, at the same time I am never completely happy when I focus on myself.
That's why I've learned it's a great journey where we must learn to control the speed limit.

I love road trips.
I love driving.
I really love being a mother, who is at home each day for the journey of family.
Each morning the road stretches before me, and I can choose our destination.
I set goals, like speed limits in my life.
Before 9am, 25 mph.  Dressing, eating, watching tv...
Toll booth at 9am-- family devotional. 
We decide where we are heading for the day and how fast we will travel.

Yesterday was a perfect, cruise through daily life.
We had a slow early morning, and quick chore filled mid-morning. 
I crossed things off my list... and my list was full of tasks and relationship builders. 
My kids set their own goals and spent the afternoon in drivers ed.
They wrote fiction stories, and read books to their little sisters. 
They practiced math facts on the computer, drew pictures, went for walks outside, read books, read scriptures.
We read two chapters of Robin Hood together as a family- oh how I love spending time with my kids.
Todd got home from work and took the kids swimming while I cooked a nice dinner and tried a new recipe for dessert.
I remembered to love and bond with my baby every time I fed her.  I spent time looking her into her eyes and enjoying the hours we spent together.
I packed a few boxes and organized all my cds and dvds (a BIG check off my list).
Oh, the joy of the journey.

Yes, I am driving this bus.  I'm driving it.
And, I have many passengers, but I can still choose where we go each day and how fast we travel.
I love this journey.
I love setting the speed limit.
Speed limits are hard to be respected

June 22, 2011


Yesterday we met with a sweet woman who is putting our house on the market to LEASE.
Because we are moving in TWO WEEKS and still haven't had an offer on our home.
I'm feeling a bit sick inside-- a kind of deja vu... 
5 years ago we were in the SAME predicament.
Surely that wouldn't happen to us TWICE?  right?!

Today I really, really want to sell my house. 
I don't want to rent it-- I want to be DONE with it.
I want to see a miracle in my life.

I had a friend tell me yesterday, while we were packing up my linen closet,
"Let it go.  Just accept whatever happens.  It doesn't have to be your plan to be a great plan." (thanks julie)
And then I read the quote "Faith in God includes faith in his timing." from this blog (thanks Heather)

And I thought... 
1. I can't change my situation.
2. I can change my attitude.
and I remembered this scripture...
"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."
D&C 123:17

I think I want that scripture tattooed across my chest...
It's all about timing!! 
And I'm trying not to yell at God to HURRY UP!!
Life is good... (and hopefully better tomorrow.)

and, can't i just whine for a little bit?
Life is good... but it's HARD!!!!
ok, i'm done...
time to turn OFF my tv (for kids) and computer (for me) and start scripture time...
another day, another day...

June 21, 2011

this big.

Drew says his fish was actually BIGGER than Jakob's... it's just bent in this picture.
6 am fishing in Lubbock, TX.
Soo fun!

June 20, 2011


i think i have a disability.
i am slower in all things cosmotology.
hair/makeup/nails etc.
i try... but it's just not my thing.
i get SO nervous on my way to get my hair done.
someday I'll find the PERFECT hairdresser.
someone who will look at me and say, "Oh, you would look great with this kind of style..."
But, until then, I take baby steps and PRAY.
On Saturday I tried highlights and bangs.
i'm not sure, but I think i like it...

June 19, 2011

Father's Day.

Do you know how hard it is for me to type a father's day post?

I sit here at the computer typing, while my husband is in the family room mediating arguments about gum.
(This is the fifth time I've started over.)
I hear him say, "Yes, I believe Anna should share her gum with you.  But, I am not going to force her to share."
A minute later I hear, "Thank you Anna."
My kids have the BEST dad.
They are SO lucky, and I am so grateful.

I come from a twice divorced family.
I have a biological father and a step-father (I haven't spoken with either of them in years).
I have a sister who is a single mother.
I have a mother who suffers because of her relationships with my fathers.
I have relatives who like to tell me what I should be doing differently as a daughter.
I have no idea what kind of relationship I should have with my fathers.
Father's day is both happy and sad for me.

I have often questioned what it means to be a father.
Perhaps, "father" is a title that one inherits the day he helps to create a baby.
Perhaps, "father" is a legal term that is bestowed upon the man who marries your mother.
Perhaps, "father" is more than a title... it is a role that one can choose to accept or not accept.
Divorce makes family relationships very difficult to maintain. It's sad.
It's also sad that we live in a day and age where men choose not to father and abandon their children.
And, it's a cycle.
Girls from dysfunctional families tend to create dysfunctional families themselves.

Although I am one who loves easily, I was VERY CAREFUL to marry a man who would be a great father for my future children.
I would picture each man that I dated pushing our future children on a swing.
I wanted to be able to tell my kids, "I hope you grow up to be just like your father."
And, today, I can say that.

Todd is now in the bathroom. 
His razor just turned off and I can hear him saying "AAAGGOOOOOOO" over and over to my baby. 
He laughs when she goos back to him.`
As I was typing that sentence he walked out of the bathroom with my baby in his arms.
I took this picture just now.
It's beautiful huh?!

Fatherhood is a sacred responsibility and a privilege.
As a man learns to be a Father, he becomes more and more like God.
A God who prefers the title Father over all other names.

My children will know what their Heavenly Father is like, because they have been loved and nurtured by a good earthly father.
My husband is a good father, and he was raised by a good man.
How I love my father in law.
I have learned that FATHER is not just a title. 
It is a VERB... to father.
My husband fathers daily. 
My father in law shows me what it means to father.
I am so grateful.
I have sons, that will someday grow up to be men. 
I hope they choose to become FATHERS.
I hope they learn from the example of those who have gone before them.

THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.  (Read The Proclamation to the World on Families here.)
There are many, many children today who don't have father's that they want to emulate.
There are many single mothers who are struggling to raise their children without the help of a good man.
And today, my heart goes out to them too.
I know one thing. 
Not everyone has a father here on earth to lead them and guide them and walk beside them..
And, that is very sad.
But each and every one of us has a Father in Heaven.
We are children of God. 
And He loves us. 
He leads us and guides us and walks beside us.
He compensates and He teaches us how to parent.
I am grateful for all that I have learned from my Father.

And now,
I am going to cook a fabulous brunch with my children and we are going to slather the man in our lives with a full day of love!!
I sure love this man.
Life is good.
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