January 01, 2012

thinking... again.

:: THINKERS::  i once heard a talk radio host receive a compliment.  he responded with a comment where he said something like, "don't think that i have it all together, i am really a tormented soul who is continually mulling over the world's problems.  i am haunted by all that i see that is in disarray.  talking on the radio is a form of therapy to me."  i related to that man.  i am a thinker and an analyzer.  most of the time my mental energy leads to goodness and growth.  sometimes, it leaves me thinking up at night trying to shut it off.  it is who i am... and i can relate to that poor tormented radio host.  :)

::  DREW::  drew is 10.  i love that kid.  the other day he was getting dressed and put on a pair of khaki cargo pants, i thought he had worn the same pants the day before.  i encouraged him to change and he said, "No Mom, i have two pair and they just look the same."  I said, "Drew, even if they're clean people will think you're wearing the same clothes."  He put on his corduroy jacket, buttoned it up and said confidently, "Mom, don't worry.  This is my STYLE!!"  Tonight at dinner he said, "When i grow up i'm going to do survival shows as my hobby."  (He loves man vs. wild and things like that.)  Today my kids spent the whole day coming up with their own languages.  It's cute.  Drew kept saying 'Drew Rocks' in his language.  (Todd doesn't like when the boys say arrogant things so he said if he heard them saying they were awesome they would have to clean my floor.)  i said in pig latin, "Drew Rocks at cleaning my floor."  The kids laughed.  i LOVE being a mom.

:: LILY::  we got new down comforters for the girls.  last night lily woke up all sweaty.  she came upstairs and said, "mom, my jammies are all wet because i was sleeping too long."  she's so cute.  this was her first week in primary with me... she has graduated from nursery to the 3 year old class.  the whole time she kept waving at me with her pointer finger.  love, love her.

:: WISE WORDS::  went to a friend's house tonight.  they are GREAT parents with great kids.  at the end of the night we were talking and the father said to me that if he had to do it over again he would love more and not sweat the small things.  he remembers fighting with a teenage son about shaving and keeping his hair short.  it was a big deal.  today he says, it shouldn't have been a big deal.  oh how my soul loved hearing that advice.  i really want to love more.  the relationship really is the most important.  thanks for the great reminder!!  i LOVE wise people.

:: REST::  last night i was exhausted.  i thought it was due to a baby that doesn't sleep, full holiday days, and lots of kids.  i put all my kids to bed early (by 6pm-- it is pitch black here by 5pm, and the older kids could read in their beds).  I straightened up and then spent the evening reading scriptures and inspirational talks.  I was planning a lesson for church this morning and i just felt so FED.  My note pad was overflowing with inspiration and ideas.  I have lots of ideas for blogs i want to write and goals i want to set and things i'm going to do different in my family.  My soul was filled.  And, I didn't get to bed early, my baby still woke up four times last night, but i felt RESTED.  oh, why do i forget that HE will give me rest.  Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and i shall give you rest... always.  He gives me rest.  i am grateful. 

:: HELLO FRIENDS!::  follow me here...  tonight, we went to our friend's house.  and, their Aunt Amy was visiting.  Amy said she has a friend in Canada who reads my blog.  Isn't that fun?!!  So, HELLO to Amy's friend in Canada!!  Nice to meet you.  Amy is amazing, huh?!  (She's a superstar artist.)  And, her brother's family-- i love them.  i want to be like them.  i would give them one of my children to raise for a few years.  seriously.  Amy said her Canadian friend has a large family and lives in a small town.  I loved learning that.  Isn't it fun having friends that you don't even know about?

:: COMMENTS::  i always wonder who reads my blog (besides grandma).  i'm sure there is a way to figure it out but i'm not technically savvy like that.  so, if you read and you want to say Hi and let me know how you found this blog, feel free.  i LOVE reading comments.  is it bad to admit that sometimes when i write a blog that i really care about i have to check back every few minutes to see if anyone else understands what i'm trying to say.  even though i like reading comments and meeting people who read this blog, i feel a bit lame admitting it. 

:: ONE MORE DAY::  my kids go back to school on Tuesday.  i had great plans to CLEAN UP Christmas tomorrow with everyone's help.  tonight after family prayer we were just laughing and talking and i was still mulling over the wise advice i had received and i knew...  i have one more day.  one more day to love them up.  to be a fun mom.  to build the relationship.  tomorrow, maybe we'll put away Christmas.  maybe, i'll do my month grocery trip.  but maybe, maybe i'll spend the day just enjoying them and loving them and playing with them and letting them know that one person in this world thinks they are great.  we'll see.

:: GIRLS CAMP::  i've been a leader of youth for years.  Cub Scouts, Seminary, Young Women and now Primary.  I'm really good at teaching and leading and having fun with kids.  I'm positive and funny and can keep things in perspective.  at home, sometimes i am the strict, nagging, disciplinary mother.  sometimes i am two different people-- the fun girls camp, seminary teacher and the strict, disappointed mother.  i want to be the GIRLS CAMP leader mother.  is that possible?  i want to be fun and funny and inspiring and cool-- with MY kids, not just other people's kids.  just saying.

:: FOOLISH::  today i was teaching about the wise man and the foolish man.  we talked about how you build your house on a rock and how you build on the sand.  you know when you teach something that you don't know and you're like, "Wow, that's really neat."  And you know that you were inspired.  Well, that happened to me.  I said something like, "Nobody ever WANTS to build their house on sand.  Building on the sand happens when we don't look for the rock.  When we aren't purposefully trying to build on the rock, our house ends up being built on the sand."  We talked about how you can build your day on the sand... when you wake up and get dressed and start your day.  You have to consciously CHOOSE to build on the ROCK by starting your day with prayer and scriptures.  i LOVE that idea.  BUILDING ON THE ROCK takes deliberate CHOICE.  You don't have to choose to build on sand.

:: PRAYER::  i heard a great talk on prayer today.  i specifically liked two quotes.  1.  don't pray like you are ordering a pizza.  2.  When i pray, i imagine that i am climbing a marble staircase and kneeling before my Maker.  loved those images.  tonight i'm going to pray better.  AND, todd and i have gotten lazy in our night time couple prayer.  tonight we're going to be better.

::  KINDNESS::  in another talk, a sweet sister told of her aunt that was in a coma for a few weeks.  just prior to her death she was conscious enough to talk for a short time.  while her family was around her she spoke of seeing her husband, who had passed on before.  she said, "BE KIND TO EACH OTHER, EVEN MORE THAN YOU ARE NOW."  Shortly after that she passed away.  i love that thought.  i want it stitched across my forehead.

::  THANK YOU!!::  my sweet, bloggy friend, Heather sent me the quote-- "TIE ON YOUR BONNET, SISTER. WE'RE GOING TO MAKE IT TO ZION!"  I have it in my kitchen and smile every time i read it.  Thanks Heather (if you even made it through this random post).  i love heading to Zion with all of you!

:: HOME::  my mother in law told me that she used to have a quote hanging in her kitchen that said, "Home- where you grumble the most and are treated the best."  i want that hanging in my kitchen too...  and i HOPE it is true.  i hope my kids are treated the best at home. 

that's all my ramblings. 
i'm committing myself to a more refined blog this year.
more editing.
more thoughtful entries.
less complaining.
less rambling.

it's January first and i'm only one post behind.  :)
tomorrow i'll be more refined in my posting. 
promise.  i hope.
happy new year!!


Jenni Taysom said...

I don't think you should ramble less, it's one of my favorite things about reading your blog, it's so raw and real, it makes me wish I could be more open with my thoughts. I check every day to see if you have posted anything, you inspire me and uplift me regularly.

Alison said...

I check your blog every day too! I love how you can just write all your thoughts so well, it is a real talent, one I wish I had! Thank you for sharing all your wise rambles, I love them! I've even quoted you in one of my Relief Society lessons. :) And you help me be a better mom. Thank you!

My blog is private but you are more than welcome (if you want you can email me and I'll send you an invite, ali.robinson76@gmail.com).

Anyway, we moved to NYC last summer, but I met you in the mall in Idaho Falls a year ago. You're still one of my heroes!

Lots of love to you, and happy 2012!

jenifer said...

Thanks Jenni! Raw and Real are good descriptions of me. I just always admire those "everything is happy, my kids are perfect" blogs. Being from New Jersey I learned raw and real. I think sugar city did a better job of teaching refined. Maybe I'll try for Real and Refined. :)

Alison- i sent you an email. Wow! New York with your family of five?!! What a fun, hard adventure. I remember talking to Diana Gee when i was first married and she said something about Provo being a big town. I laughed, but she was serious. You are brave to go all the way from Sugar to New York.

And, probably what you quoted in RS was just me quoting someone else. Most of my ideas I've heard somewhere I'm just horrible at remembering where.

perhaps we should have a reunion sometime-- people who knew my husband when he was younger. :)

Anonymous said...

I love your blog as well-as a very young mother of 3 little girls I have learned SO much from you!

jenifer said...

Karis? Is that right? I remember working with you at youth conference!! Congratulations on your new little girl. Three girls-- SO FUN!! Your family is darling. Thanks for the comment!

The Wife said...

I've mentioned this to you before, but I found your blog by chance. You know my brother-in-law's brother and wife from Lubbock and she had a link on her blog to you blog...yada yada yada I read a couple of your posts and am hooked! I check every day for a new post. I LOVE your ramblings. They inspire me to do better. Thank you!

jenifer said...

Wife- who is your brother in law's brother and wife? I love that our large world is really so intertwined!

Marie said...

Happy New Year, Jen! Please don't change a thing while writing your blog! I think we all agree... That is what makes your blog so real...! Too many writings are so "fussed over" that the real thoughts are lost somehow. Keep doin' what you're doin'. You inspire many every day, even this 58 year old (*gasp*) mom of ONE 25 yr. old son!!!

Starr said...

I'm a subscriber! Found you via my friend Valerie's blog. Valerie goes to my church and her son is in my small group! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen, I found your blog a few years ago by following quilting blogs. I've kept following you despite the fact that we have almost nothing in common! I admire your earnest desire to be the best parent you can be and enjoy your writing. As a parent with almost grown children I have to say - Relax, you have great kids, try to enjoy them more and worry less they will turn into great adults because you and Todd are raising them in love and modeling good values. Also time does fly and your children will be grown way sooner then you think, you will have years of clean kitchens and organised closets, enjoy those kids while you can.
Hope 2012 is a wonderful year for your family!
Melanie in Canada!

CTR Mama said...

Love your random thoughts! I'm Tiffany Broberg's friend. She gave me a link last year when I was looking for things to do with my kids for the summer. And it is hard to not get addicted to the comments section... I have mine emailed to me so I don't have to keep checking! Keep up the good work!

jenifer said...

Marie- many times your sweet comments have lifted my spirits.... And one superstar son you should add! I can't wait to hear about his cd!
Hi Melanie- I KNOW! I do TRY to relax and enjoy this time... Keep reminding me of that! I don't know whether to smile or cry that you found me on a quilting blog... I used to quilt A LOT. I did just make some fun, easy quilts for Christmas that I'm excited to share... Thanks for the comment!
Ctr Momma- I remember tiffany telling me about you (wasn't your husband in school?). I love that girl. I think Tiffany is my best marketing director. :) someday we should all meet at byu Ed week and go to lunch. Isn't it the Jews who say "next year in Jerusalem" after every Passover?

Blogs are fun, aren't they?

jenifer said...

Starr- Valerie is one of my favorite people ever. I'll be excited to hear if you end up going with her to Uganda next summer!! :) Is Starr your first name? it's a pretty cool first or last name I think... Anyway, thanks for your comments!

valerie in TX said...

Let's see...how did I find you again? :D Oh, yes, it's all coming back to me. A year of torture and pain in PTA!! Hahaha - just kidding. That really was a hard year, wasn't it? But it's how we got to be friends, and I'm so glad. :)

You know I love your blog so much. Because it's (almost) like talking to you in person, and I miss you guys so much! It helps me still feel connected to your family. :) I love it the way it is, but also one of the things I LOVE about you is how you're constantly seeking change - ways to be better, do things better, love better. I wanna be like you when I grow up. :)

Love you, friend. And miss you. I'll be excited to hear when YOU will be joining me in Ugana!!

jenifer said...

i would LOVE to go to Uganda!! I just need some money and Alice (from brady bunch)... oh how my life would be better with Alice!

someday we'll save the world together! next year, let's do lunch in Uganda!!

Brandi said...

Hi, I'm Brandi from Idaho. I am also a mother of 7 who sometimes thinks too much. My sister Kat was your visiting teacher in Texas and referred me to your blog a few months ago on a day when I was really feeling down about my efforts as a mother. I don't remember what you wrote but it was exactly what I needed. Since then I've read your blog to get inspiration and to just feel better about who I am and what I'm doing with my family. Thank you for that. I hope you don't mind me reading. You're great. Don't stop what your doing.

jenifer said...

Hi Brandi! Of course I don't mind!! That is why I write a blog AND keep it public. 7 kids is a lot, isn't it?!! i love Kat and Jeremy. good, good people. Thanks for the comment!

Allie said...

Your marketing director raved about you and I got hooked...yep....Tiffany Broberg! Tiffany and I go back to our Minnesota days but I am in Dallas now. My husband is a professor, too...although not the cool kind like Chris and your husband...he's a bit more nerdy! :)

I started following you religiously when you were finishing up in Lubbock but hadn't really posted where you we moving...I called Tiffany with all the hope that you were coming to Dallas for a job at SMU so you could be my neighbor and give me personal tutorials! She had to break the news to me that it was Oregon.

Anyway, there have been many times I've wanted to comment...but felt silly doing it because, well, we don't really know each other. Usually I just call Tiffany and say "Did you read Jen's blog yet??!!!" and then we talk about how fabulous you are. But since you kinda officially asked who reads...BOY HOWDY...here's my official first comment!

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest so your photos make me homesick...the way that homes are nestled in the trees and all that good stuff.oh so homesick! And the real Christmas trees and the guy making apple cider and the beach....those posts alone make me check in on you every day. But also that I wouldn't mind putting a bid on your boys for my 10 year old girl or you can let her twin brother have your Anna....I liked your post about claiming future mates...or however you worded it. I promise I would be a good mother-in-law!

And of course, all your parenting posts. It is soothing to the soul and sometimes makes me cry. Four kids are hard enough for me but when my cup is full I think about you doing seven and that you are trying to smile about it and so I try to smile, too. I fail most of the time but I am trying! On top of the dreamy life of being married to a professor who doesn't have tenure yet (that's a joke!), my husband just got made a Bishop, too. So you'd better believe some of your more spiritual posts about mothering and leaning on the Lord make me cry, too.

I hope that if this blog becomes famous in some way someday ( I have a feeling it will!) that you don't change...I have followed some before and it seems like the larger the audience gets, the less personal they become and their heads get big and it all turns into one big advertising adventure or a place to display their case of the gimmies...I love reading of your adventures with your family and how real you are about it all. You are amazing without all the fanfare!

Anyway...that's how I found you and that's why I like you.

Now, have you considered a job transfer to SMU??!!

jenifer said...

Hah! Allie you make me laugh. I'm sure that when I get rich and famous I will still remember all the little folk. :) (double laugh). um, if i EVER, EVER even start to write a blog about everything that i know (insert blog on how to get a baby to sleep through the night or teaching children to obey here) then God lovingly reminds me that I KNOW NOTHING. i am getting his hints. i have two all time favorite mothering compliments... ok, three. 1. your kids are just like everyone elses, you just THINK they're great.
2. the best thing you do as a mother is SMILE while your kids are misbehaving.
3. you can tell you have scripture videos at your house, because your kids know all the scripture stories.

love that.
and i would love SMU-- we applied there and didn't hear back. i think our salary would triple if we worked there!! maybe in a few years (my mom still lives in Ft. Worth). But yeah, Texas is NOT pretty. I said it was, when i lived there. But, I lied.

and-- THE BISHOP?!! cuh-rah-zee!! keep commenting-- i love blog stalkers!

valerie in TX said...

Jen - yes...you, me, lunch, next summer - Uganda. It's a date! :) I know this great little restaurant....(haha)

Bryan and Amanda Russ said...

Hi, I'm Amanda. I found you through a comment on my sis-in-law's FB about "Creation Cleaning", we were both on the search for ideas on home organization, etc. My family lives in FL, have four kids...hoping for more, and I love your blog. It lifts me up and reminds me of much and I am grateful you take the time and effort to share.
Another Blog Stalker :)

jenifer said...

Hi Amanda! Thanks for commenting and reading. Do I know your sister in law? I took a peak at your blog and WOW!! A husband with Leukemia, selling a house, moving to a farm, dealing with unemployment, being a working mom, AND having some neck problems that makes you pass out in RS and have partial bed rest... sweet girl you've had a rough couple of years!! PLUS you home school?!! Please forgive me for ANY amount of whining i have done as you've been reading. Wow. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. SO glad your husband is doing better and your house sold!! Maybe 2012 will be a superstar year... i think you deserve it! (oh, and cute beach pictures... so cute!)

Bryan and Amanda Russ said...

Katie Snow Miller shared your link with my sister in law, Emily Haws Russ...I don't know if you know either of them, but it led me to your blog and I have been blessed.
We are hoping for a "Superstar Year". I am enjoying some better health and some "normalcy" right now, being grateful for all the little things we take for granted. When you sum up what you glean from our blog it even made me say, "WOW, we have survived...what miracles we have seen." Now to remember and go forth.
Thanks again :)

jenifer said...

amanda- i think i know Katie... if she's from michigan and used to be a Snow. great family. and YEAH... you have survived a lot. glad things are looking up!

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