March 29, 2012


we are having so much fun around OREGON!
this year we opted for a STAYCATION...
Monday we cleaned.
Tuesday we had friends over and i cleaned some more...
 Wednesday we headed to the beach, it was wet and cold and SO BEAUTIFUL.
today we did preschool at a nursing home and are heading to Portland for a couple days.
my kids are so excited to go to the ZOO!!
and we're planning on spending some time this afternoon at OMSI the science museum.
I want to go to the art museum and the new Portland temple visitor center.
we'll see what actually happens-  um, the professor can only handle so much. ;)
my friend said to me, "Jen, you do work hard every day.  Having fun with seven kids is hard work."
and that is so true!!
our goal for spring break is TEAM BUILDING.
we're focusing on using kind, uplifting words with one another.
we have a goal of 56 kind words for today (yesterday we got to 15)...
we subtract for unkind words so the tally goes up and down quickly.
we also have a family cheer...  it's fun but silly.
do you know the hand thing where you hit someone's fist and then open your fingers?
my kids say "potato, fries."
after our family prayer we do that three times saying
"family- forever, family- forever, family- forever..."
and then as we push our fist into the air we say, "GROW MOSS!!"
yeah, kinda silly-- but the kids love it deep down...
in the car on the way to the beach yesterday i read the last chapter of Lance Richardson's book, "The Message."
It talks about a family service vacation.
My kids each have a little business card that i printed out from vistaprint
it says "smile, someone is thinking about you today."
we're looking for people to give them too as we vacation!
we have read lots of Little House on the Prairie in the car-- i still feel carsick.
and, my bathtub is full of sand
How on earth do you clean that out?
oh, life is good.
i have loved having my kids home.
i will also love for them to go back to school so i can get a real break.  :)
we're off... wish us luck!!
hope you are enjoying spring!!
ps... as you can probably see in the pictures my kids did go INTO the ocean.
it was FREEZING!!
as we were headed back to our car, and they were cold, some said "this is the worst trip ever."
i thought to myself, "Most mothers would not let their children get anywhere near this water.  What is wrong with me?"
i TOLD them it was too cold to go in the water.  But, i let them choose.
(even the dog.  todd had her tight on a leash worried that she would get swept out to sea.  i said, let her go-- she's a smart dog.  only one wave soaked her before she stayed close to shore. :)  it was so fun to watch her running from the water.  and, poor daizie needs to experience life too.  right?!)
i knew i had brought a change of clothes for them in the car.
they weren't in danger-- just cold.
and, they really had so much fun.
they also learned that Mom is wise sometimes.
what would you have done?

March 28, 2012

Moss Cafe

we woke up to hushed whispers and continual pleas for us to 'sleep in'.
i could hear magic happening in the kitchen... laughter and the screech of moving tables and chairs.
a tiny part, in the back of my mind, thought about the MESS and clean up with a sigh.
but, the bigger part of me just smiled and remembered the many restaurants that my sister and i created for my mother.
childhood is about magical menus, singing meal time entertainment, and handmade menus.
coloring while we wait for the main course...
and, of course, sharing the food afterwards.
i love being a mom.

March 26, 2012

baptism for the dead- revisited.

{You can read my original post here- I believe in baptizing dead people... yes, i do.}
Although I write often about what I believe, I do not often write about my religion.
I haven't been too excited about writing two religious posts in one week.
i hope you don't feel like i'm preachy or trying to convert you to my religion by discussing these topics.
i don't love the original post that i wrote and i don't love this follow-up post either.
i'm not someone that enjoys topics that create discord.
Like most of the blog posts i write, I wrote that post late at night as a response to an issue that was pulsing through my veins.
i was feeling so frustrated that people take something beautiful and holy and make it weird and degrading.
I wrote my blog to people who mock and persecute.
But, those people don't read my blog. 
i wish i could redo that.  Because, you are my friends. 

I wish I could take each of you with me to the temple.
I wish you could sit beside me in a white dress and see what we do.
It is beautiful.
If you are ever given the opportunity to go through a temple open house, please do it.
You will feel a little part of Heaven.
The temple feels like Heaven.

1. Yes, Mormons do believe that ordinances such as baptism are required for salvation.
In John 3:3-5 Christ teaches Nicodemus saying...
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old:  Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  

I understand that this is different from many Protestant religions, but this is not a doctrine that is uniquely Mormon.
If you are going to have an issue with Mormon temple work-- it should not be because we believe that baptism is an ordinance essential for salvation.

2. Mormons believe that everyone will be given the opportunity to know Christ and accept Him, whether in this life or the next.  
I believe this is a unique LDS doctrine.
We do not believe that men will be saved without accepting Christ.
We do not believe that there is any other way to be saved but through the atonement of Christ.
But, we do believe that there will be a time after our death and before our judgement where all men will be taught TRUTH and will be given an opportunity to accept Christ or reject Christ.
There will come a time when everyone will know that Jesus is the Christ.
When they shall say unto him, 'Lord, that our eyes may be opened'... and Jesus will have compassion on them, and touch their eyes; and immediately their eyes will receive sight, and they will follow Him.
(Matthew 20:34)
When this happens there will not be Mormon and Baptist and Catholic and Hindu and Buddhist... there will be The Church of Jesus Christ and The Church of the Devil.
People will choose, as they have here on earth-- to follow truth and light and goodness, or to follow evil, darkness, sin and wickedness. 
"Is there a God beside me?  yea, there is no God; I know not any."  Isaiah 44:8

our neighbors in Michigan were Indian.
They invited us to their house blessing ceremony.  (they are Hindu.)
i wore the most comfortable gown-- i think it's called a punjabi, it felt like jammies and i wished americans wore them every day.
and oh, the food!!  the food alone was heavenly.  :)
i was surprised at the ceremony.
the God they worship looks half elephant and half man.
they used weird herbs in the ceremony and burned incense and spoke a language i didn't understand.
ultimately, the purpose of the ceremony was to dedicate their home to their god.
and, they were good people.
i was SURPRISED that i felt, what i call, the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of the Lord burning strong in my heart during that ceremony.
i was filled with love for these people and for this culture.
i do not believe God is in the form of an elephant man.
i do not believe in the rituals that were performed.
but, these were good people who were living good lives.
they were dedicated to family.  they taught morality and charity.  they valued education.
they loved their neighbors.  there was unity and friendship NOT judgement, abuse or hatred.
as they told me the story of their half-elephant man, Ganesha, i heard references to Christ.
my memories are faded, but i seem to remember that this boy died trying to save his mother.
he was resurrected and took the form of the elephant because that was the first animal he saw as he was resurrected.
no, they did not worship a god that looked like my god.
but i'm not ready to say that he wasn't there blessing their home, filling their hearts and caring for their family.
i know He was there.
i felt Him.
i will not be surprised if we are neighbors again in Heaven.
they felt like my brothers and sisters-- we have the same Father and the same Savior.

on Earth today there are many cultures and many religions.
often people choose to worship God in the way that is traditional to their family or their culture.
perhaps these people are rejecting Jesus and choosing not to be saved through His grace and mercy.
but perhaps they are choosing to follow Him as they know Him.
i can imagine that someday, if given only ONE choice-- good or evil, Christ or Lucifer... many more will accept Christ and be saved.

If you want to talk about Jews, I will ask you one question.  
Have you ever talked to a Jew?  Have you ever asked them about their Messiah?
If you are Jewish I know you will tell me that you do believe in a Savior.
Jews do not believe that Jesus was the Christ.  But, Jews do believe in a Messiah.
They are a beautiful, believing, faithful people.  I have many Jewish friends.
My personal opinion is that the Jews around the time of Christ may have been too steeped in religious tradition that they could not accept the Christ that came more humbly than they had anticipated.
I believe that the Christ the Jews are waiting for looks more like the resurrected Christ.
The Millennial Christ who will not only be a teacher and a healer and a saver... He will come to rule and to reign.
Jews do believe in a Savior-- and when He comes again, they will know Him.  
I'm sorry if this is an offensive belief.

Please, don't tell me that I worship Satan because I do believe in temples (there are many temples in the Bible).
Please don't think that the LDS doctrine of baptisms for the dead is offensive or degrading or weird.
It is a gentle doctrine.  It is a doctrine that opens Heaven to all the inhabitants of the earth, not just a select few.
Please don't tell me that I am not Christian.
I believe in Christ.  He is my Savior.  He is my God.  He is my friend and my Father and my daily bread.  
I know Him and He knows me.

I love this quote from Ezra Taft Benson, a modern-day prophet of God, 
"Nothing will surprise us more than when we get to heaven and see the Father and realize how well we know Him and how familiar His face is to us." 

I believe this.
I would also add, "Nothing will surprise us more that when we get to heaven and see our neighbors and realize that they know Him too. "

Here is a great talk, by an apostle of God about Mormonism. 
This talk is titled Mormonism 101 and was given to the Harvard Law School.
Thank you for reading this post.
Thank you for reading my blog.
You are my friends.

i love the BOOK FAIRY...

this is a real life picture-- reading after dinner.
nobody can resist bill peet.
the book fairy came to our house this weekend.
i heard about her from a friend and knew she needed to come to our house.
she's a funny lady.
and a little ghetto.
i actually wasn't home when she stopped by, but my kids have been telling me all about her.
i think i like the book fairy better than the tooth fairy, easter bunny and maybe even santa claus.
{although, i do love Santa.}
for your enjoyment, i donned the book fairy outfit this morning...
trust me, the real book fairy was MUCH cuter.
the book fairy picked out lots of books at the library for each kid.
when all the kids were sitting in the living room, she came with her magic bag of books.
she didn't just give the kids the books-- she read the backs of the books, she read the opening pages, and sometimes she read the whole book.
there was one rule-- nobody could read until the book fairy left.
my kids tell me they were having a hard time NOT digging right into their books.
note- the real book fairy brought over 20 books in a big library bag!
they are scattered throughout our home and bedroom so i just grabbed a few for these pictures.
my favorite part of the book fairies visit-- she brought funny picture books for the big kids.
the 13 and 11 year old boys in our family got a kick out of the silly ABC books that she found for them.
AND Bill Peet... who can beat Bill Peet?
it seems the book fairy and i BOTH love that guy.
he writes THE BEST children's books.

oh, there are SO many good books at the library.
we have been reading tons since her visit.
my little girls keep whispering to me, "you're the book fairy, aren't you mom?"
and i tell them honestly, "nope.  i don't know what you're talking about."
they LOVE telling dad about her mysterious visit... they are so funny.
this was a PERFECT way to start our spring break!
trust me-- you would LOVE a visit from the book fairy.
it seems silly, but just puts a little bit of fun into reading!
being a fairy mom is the best!
have a great day!

March 24, 2012

the ideal homemaker- part one {consistency}

i honestly believe that i could have been anything i wanted to be.
i'm smart.  i'm good.  i work hard.
ok, let me revise this...
i am not super athletic, so i don't believe that even if i wanted to i could have been a professional athlete.
maybe i just never gave this a good enough chance.
but, most everything else in life i believe i could have done if i had wanted to.

i still think i could do many things great if i WANT to.
it would be easy for me to go back to school to get my PhD and become a professor.
i could write a book, if i wanted to devote the time to it.
i can sew well and fast.
if i wanted to i could spend many hours quilting and sewing and really be great at it.
i'm smart... i could learn more about politics and have a voice in the nation.
maybe not in some huge way, but in a small great way.
i would make a good lawyer or a manager or a pta president.
i could start a business or get a job and work my way up.
i even think i could learn to play the piano or be a really good painter...
i've been offered the job as an activities director for a nursing home.
i could do that really well.
if i put my mind to it, i know i can do great things.
{i mean this humbly... i think we all could be great at something if we really tried.}

just last night i was thinking, as we were driving home from the high school dance extravaganza--
is there something that i wish i devoted more time to?
i am pretty good at most things-- is there anything that i want to be REALLY good at?
have i missed my true calling in life because i'm not paying attention to my gifts and talents?

i woke up this morning with one thing clear in my mind.
do you know what i WANT to do?
more than anything else?
i want to be a really great homemaker.
i AM a really great homemaker.
but, i want to be better.
yes, i know there are times when i slip into the mode of self-incrimination.
where i, like many women, drag myself down with talk of some unbelievable ideal that i'm not measuring up to.
people are always telling me to lower my expectations.
to go easy on myself.
i know why they are saying that and i appreciate it.
But, i'm not beating myself up... i am not there right now.
i feel like i am really good.
and, i want to be BETTER.
it is my nature.
i know it is exhausting to many-- but i am a climber.

it is embarrassing to me that i continually talk about this part of my life.
i honestly think that for many people housekeeping is just not an issue.
either they have it figured out better than i do, or they don't care about it as much as i do.
i have seen this situation with many of life's pursuits.

i have friends who home school- and they are passionate about it and it consumes their life.
i love school.  i have never felt a need, or a passion, or a desire to teach my children math.
i'm glad they can learn that at school and come home so i can teach them the non-academic things that i do care about.
i don't mean this to sound demeaning to homeschoolers.  part of me WISHES i felt passionately about homeschooling because i know i would be good at it and i LOVE the idea.
but, it's not my thing.
i have friends who spend lots of time on their physical fitness.
i'm not that passionate about fitness... i'm ok without a six pack.
i have friends who sew many hours of their day-- i have been there before, i'm not there now.
i think i have enough quilts in my home.
i have one friend who HATES cleaning bathrooms.
bathrooms are not an issue for me.  i don't know how i clean my bathrooms, but i just do.
they stay pretty clean and i don't even think about it.
i teach my children easily.
i decorate my home naturally.
i talk about my religion freely.
i make friends with many people.

[NOTE-- as i've gone throughout my day pondering this post i completely DISAGREE with the tone of this section.  homemaking is not just MY thing.  homeschoolers, athletes, artists, working mothers, people without children, even movie stars-- all of us NEED the basics of life.  it's everyone's thing.  we all have unique trials as we strive to establish our happy homes, but we ALL share this quest.  yes, homemaking seems to come more naturally to some people.  But we all can learn to create a happy home.  homemaking is ESSENTIAL to a functioning society.  You do not need to be a full-time homemaker, like i am, but EVERYONE needs clean clothes, a safe and inspiring shelter, cleanliness and nourishing food.  we each have different strengths and weaknesses in our homemaking en devours... but homemaking is not just MY thing-- it's a pre-requisite.  Perhaps you eat out every meal and live in a grand hotel-- homemaking is STILL an essential part of your life-- it's just that you are hiring people to do it for you.  Perhaps you are living in a place where poverty makes homemaking near impossible.  Then, the quest for food, shelter and safety take an even more prominent role in your life.  homemaking is something i feel strongly about, and it's NOT just my thing.]

Homemaking seems to come so naturally to many people.
Some would say that homemaking comes naturally to me.
Those who know me best would say that MOTHERING comes naturally to me.
HOMEMAKING has been LEARNED through blood, sweat and tears.
i am an emotional, creative, lazy mess.
i like to clean and make things pretty-- but i am NOT consistent.
i am cyclical.
and, for the most part this works just fine for me and my family.
especially because i am married to dependable.
todd steps in when i am not disciplined.
i am fun, creative, emotional and spontaneous-- and he is scheduled, disciplined and responsible.
our life works... but it is not ideal.
i feel it in my bones.
i know there is a better way.
i know i will be happier if i am more disciplined.
i know i will enjoy my home better if i can learn the art of making housework a trail ride, not a rodeo.

when i was a young mother, i tried hard.
i have always spent a lot of time with my kids.
painting, playing, taking walks, doing crafts, reading books, etc..
that is good.
when i tried to be better at housework my kids would get in my way and i would find myself so mad at them.
they were my distraction instead of my life.
so, i always felt guilty cleaning my house.
i was a mean cleaner.
i felt guilty for not being better at housework and guilty when i was doing housework.
i would be mad at my kids for my messy house.
cleaning would come when i just couldn't stand things anymore and i would start to yell.
the kids would run around cleaning to avoid my wrath.
our house would be messy-- and then mom would get mad-- and everyone would clean.
i am still like that, in a way.

no wonder everyone (myself included) has an idea that housework is a punishment.
when my house was overwhelming, i blamed myself and husband and my kids.
Saturdays were not a special day, at our house.
Saturdays were a contentious day-- a day we would fight over cleaning our house.
it is easier to BLAME your family for your messy house than it is to CHANGE things.
this is my book.
this is my life...
i am an Almoster-- there is a whole chapter about me in this book!
i have a dear friend who has struggled with her home.
to the point that CPS was threatening to take her children from her.
i often heard her blame her active 3 year old for the mess.
her kindergarten-er had the chore of "laundry".
i would hear my friend complaining that her daughter was just not doing her part.
and i would feel sad.  because i understood.
it is easier to look outward for a fix to our homemaking issues than it is to look inward.
i don't believe a home is messy because of irresponsible children, and i don't believe a home is clean because of responsible children.
a homemaker sets the tone of the home.
it is our responsibility-- and our family will mirror our attitude.
i know how hard it is to figure things out-- to battle our own emotions and our own will and to learn the great art of homemaking.
i also know how important it is.

i had to tell myself that my house was MY RESPONSIBILITY.
yes, my children do chores and my husband helps out a lot.
but, i could not blame them for the anxiety i feel when my house is a mess.
i always remind myself there are plenty of people who have a large family and an orderly home
i have come very far in my 15 years of practical training...
i came up with an inspired house cleaning schedule-- {celestial cleaning}.
i learned to spend one day a week cleaning while i talked on the phone to a friend.
oh, how that has fed my soul while i performed the monotonous tasks of homemaking.
i learned to PURGE!!
you can NOT keep your house clean when you have too much stuff.
it is impossible.
piano lessons helped me to become a more consistent mother.
after school time began to be structured with chores and practicing and homework.
mornings became more structured with school and scripture study.
i even figured out laundry.
today my house is beautiful.
i have seven children and my home is well-maintained.
my closets are organized.
i have a system.
i am clean.
we eat good meals almost every day.
we invite people over often.
i work hard.
my children help out around the house.
we are a happy, functioning family... and, i'm not complaining at all.
but, there is just one more step...
one thing that i'm missing.

you see, i find value in being creative.
i find value in being kind.
i find value in being fun and loving with my kids.
i find value in making things beautiful.
i find value in serving others.
i have a hard time with consistency.
i feel that there is a lot WRONG with being CONSISTENT.

--CONSISTENCY makes you cranky.

--CONSISTENCY makes you selfish.

--CONSISTENCY takes away agency
when you value consistency you are not judging what you really think the most important thing is, you are just doing what you said you would do because you said you would do it.  for example- some nights i just don't think soccer practice is the most important thing.  some nights i think my kids need to focus on homework, have a good dinner, and go to bed early.  Yes, soccer is a good thing- but, it is not always the most important thing.

--CONSISTENCY is fake.
i just hate the idea of going through the motions when you don't WANT to do it.  many 'consistent' people i know seem to begrudge what they are doing.  i want to yell at them sometimes, "if you don't want to do the dishes, DON'T DO THEM."  i'd rather have a messy sink then feel someone's crankiness because they are doing something they don't want to do.  i can't stand the contention that comes from consistency.

for me, consistent people tend to place TASKS ahead of PEOPLE.  i tend to place people ahead of tasks, often.  if someone calls me on the phone my tendency is to stop everything and talk.  in my mind it is a service.  i am really good at serving others and letting others serve me even when it hurts my life and ruins my  consistency.  if someone offers to drive my kids somewhere-- and i have a whole schedule of how my afternoon will run that includes my carpooling, i say "no, it's ok."  when they insist, i just let them.  because i don't want to be offensive.  OFTEN my consistency goes right out the window because i care more about people than consistency.

But, guess what?
i KNOW that i'm missing something.
this is one of those speed bump areas in my life where i see what i believe, but i KNOW it's not quite right.
so, i need to do some REPROGRAMMING.
i can see there are some really bad things about being so FLEXIBLE.

--INCONSISTENCY makes you cranky.
a little bit of work everyday is manageable.  leaving everything for one big, crazy afternoon is really HARD.

--INCONSISTENCY is selfish.
my family should be able to depend on me.  it is selfish for me NOT to be dependable with meals, and laundry, and appointments, and pick-up times.  it is selfish for me to waste my days and then be cranky in the evenings because my house is a mess.  it is selfish for me not to have food in the house, not to do better with my budget, not to create an environment of peace for my family that they can use as a springboard to other great things.

a mother once called in to the Dave Ramsey show saying that her husband was working so hard so that she could stay at home with her children.  she asked what she could do to support him?  Dave said that he also worked hard.  He said that his wife, Sharon, was an exceptional homemaker.  He said that his home was always a place of peace.  He didn't have to worry about things at home, so he could concentrate on things at work.  He said, "Some women are just full of DRAMA.  Sharon is the opposite of drama.  She creates places of peace."  i LOVED that.  i want to be more like that.  i don't want my husband to call in the middle of the day and hear me frazzled because i am overwhelmed and can't manage my time, my home, my children or my money.  i want to be a place of peace for my family so that they can focus on great things.  i'm not there yet!!

--INCONSISTENCY takes away your agency.
when i am inconsistent with the mundane tasks of life, they rule my life.  all i do is try to catch up.  my life is just a series of selective neglect.  i imagine that if i was more consistent i would have more freedom to do things that i love doing.

i remember in my younger years, i would do some amazing events at my church.  often, the week that i was in charge of an event, my home would be HORRIFIC.  i thought that was normal.  that if you were focused on one big thing, other things would fall.  and, this is true to a point.  it is normal, but it isn't ideal.  i have learned that you CAN serve outside the home without neglecting your home.  i have gotten so much better at doing big things outside of my home without creating complete chaos inside my house.  but, i still have a ways to go.  sometimes the most real people i know are people that are quietly consistent at home without being showy outside the home.

--CONSISTENCY is personal.
sometimes i think that being consistent is doing service in your home, to the people closest to you.  and guarding yourself from the whims and fancies of outside influences.  sometimes i think that when you are consistent you are doing the things that you really think matter for the people that you think matter most.  and, i wonder if you are consistent with the menial tasks if that would open you up to even MORE opportunities to connect and serve without feeling the nagging guilt that you SHOULD be doing something else.

today i'm continuing my journey.
i don't believe you can become consistent just by TRYING HARDER.
i've tried hard.
i've tried to try harder.
trying to be consistent just keeps confirming to me what i already believe.
consistency makes me cranky.
i can do HARD things-- but i have to BELIEVE that the hard is worth it.
i think that NOW i need to VALUE consistency more.
i need to really try to see WHY consistency is important... to understand the good in it.
so i can become a true believer.

i love the quote--
True doctrine UNDERSTOOD changes attitude and behavior.  The study of doctrine will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. 
Boyd K. Packer, Do Not Fear, Ensign, May 2004, 77.

Elder Bednar makes the point (in his new book about learning) that we often focus on APPLYING principles in our lives when we need to focus more on UNDERSTANDING.
If we truly understood or believed a principle the application would be natural.

Can I give you an example?
i have ALWAYS struggled with KNEELING to pray.
i hate to kneel.
i would TRY, but i was horrible at it.
my bed is really high.
i'm always freezing and i have always enjoyed my evening prayers much more when i was wrapped in my covers.
i have never understood the PURPOSE of kneeling.
i asked a friend of mine her feeling about kneeling in prayer and she shared her testimony of it with me...
she said she likes to think about it as BOWING BEFORE THE LORD.
not just kneeling.
with tears in her eyes, she told me about an ancient temple in south america.
the temple had three statues that represented the father, son and holy ghost.
the entrances to the temple were archways that were very low.
archaeological had many hypothesis for these low archways-- they thought that maybe the people were shorter at that time.
but, they made the conclusion that the temple was built to foster worship-- that one must BOW as they entered.
she said that image always stuck with her.
guess what?  it stuck with me too.
i heard her testimony and i FELT it in my soul.
i have CONSISTENTLY found a desire to kneel each morning and each night since that discussion.
it is an honor to kneel and not just an endured duty.
because i UNDERSTAND.

i want to understand consistency more.
CONSISTENCY is my thing.
my current speed bump.
what is your thing?
what is the principle that if you UNDERSTOOD it, valued it, believed it, would make you a better homemaker?

something has happened in America.
we have LOST the art of homemaking.
we have LOST the understanding of why homemaking is important.
value has shifted... what do we value today?  money?  fame?  vacation?
my Mexican sister in law told me that in Mexico they try to stay white so they don't look like field workers.
in America we try to get tan so we look like we have the luxury of sitting in the sun all day.

i want to understand how this has happened.
have any of you read any great books about the decline of the homemaker?
was it the feminist movement?
i believe that the art of homemaking was probably lost as we were GAINING some great things.
i think we can regain our homes while maintaining our freedom.
this is my passion.

i am rereading one of my FAVORITE books- The Art of Homemaking by Daryl V. Hoole.
i LOVE it.
i once bought five copies off ebay to give to all of my daughters when they get married.
there is great value in being a happy homemaker.
even if you work outside the home.

i'm going to continue to share my homemaking journey with you.
because i'm going to figure this out.
i am close-- but not there yet.
i have friend who i have known since the early days of my marriage.
i remember her continual struggle with exercise.
her chagrin when her husband bought her cute, pink running shoes for her birthday.
on her blog the other day she posted this picture--
after years of hard work she wrote, "It's official.... I'm an athlete."
and, she is.

homemaking is my passion.
i'm going to continue to learn the ART of homemaking.
and, i'm going to continue to ENJOY the process.
life is good.

see this page?
the top one is a picture of me in the morning...
(minus the curlers... i WISH i knew how to use curlers.)
the bottom one is a picture of who i want to become...
i really NEED a donna reed dress?
do you think folding laundry would be more fun in high heels?
just wondering?
i LOVE being a homemaker!
really, i do.

read the ideal homemaker- part two {hard work}- here.

March 23, 2012

friday morning...

{i am planning a short-ish follow-up on my baptism post... but not today!}
and, i hope you enjoy the pictures i snapped of my morning from my iphone... i didn't even take the time to make them cute in instagram- dang it.
the professor is out of town.
jakob needed to be up at school by 7:15 am.
i was hoping for a 2 hour delay- didn't happen.
i don't have a lot of QUICK food-- because i like eating healthy.
only, healthy takes longer... and this morning i didn't feel like cooking.
i said a quick prayer- "Heavenly Father, help me think of something quick to feed these kids for breakfast."
and Jakob came up to me with a $20 bill in his hand.
he said he got that money from dad for dairy queen with the scouts, but scouts got cancelled so he was giving it back to me.
THANK YOU JESUS! (as my sweet neighbor used to say.)
we decided to head to the farm for breakfast.
old McDonald's.
i yelled for the little girls to get dressed quickly!

leah couldn't find any pants-- i told her to wear lily's because i still need to fold the laundry.
she said she could wear big socks to cover up the space.
i threw on a bra and wore the scrubs that i slept in.
i noticed that eve's cute little big toe had just ripped through her jammies.
she has lots of cute jammies-- but they are in baskets waiting to be folded.
my bigger kids were dressed warm, teeth brushed, hair done.
ellie wore her Uggs without socks (i hate that)... but overall we did good.
we sang a quick church song in the car.
i quoted Jacob 6:12 "O be wise, what can i say more."
we had family prayer while i turned into the middle school parking lot.
it was 7:18 am... Jakob jumped out as i slowed down, "run!  i love you!" i shouted as he ran through the slush into the school.
he's adorable.
we waved to the crossing guard again on our way to McD's
5 sausage and egg McMuffins, 2 plain sausage McMuffins, 4 waters= $15.75 (that's a lot)
ellie wanted to not eat and get the money instead for cookies from the bakery after school.
they pass Jillicious Bakery as they walk to the middle school from the Elementary school every day-- they are always begging for dollars-- i say only on friday.
So, anna and ellie got the remaining $4.25 from my $20 for after school.
anna said, "Yay!  Now I can buy a cookie for Maggie too!"
sweet girl.
when i had them hand up the trash, ellie had only eaten the english muffin and thrown the egg and sausage away.  seriously?
i handed back a bag of costco trailmix to supplement with some nuts and dried fruit...
it was one of those mornings.

past the crossing guard again (THIRD time today)- dropped drew off at the middle school.
he had been wearing snow boots and two pairs of socks, but decided to switch to sneakers when we arrived at the school.
i smiled at the discarded boots and socks next to me in the front seat-- i just cleaned out the car, but somehow half my house always migrates back!
drew had to dig through all my goodwill bags in the trunk to find his trumpet.
i thought what a cute boy he was.
his arms were full, he had jakob's egg mcmuffin to give to him, and he was missing his gelled claw (in the front of his head- it's his new style).
he groaned this morning to see that todd had taken the gel with him on his business trip.
i rolled down the window and screamed, "I LOVE YOUR GUTS DREW."
he shook his head, smiled and said, "Thanks mom!" as he pushed open those middle school doors.

we pass the crossing guard a FOURTH time on our way to the elementary school.
anna and ellie hop out of the car, literally, they're hoppy like that in the morning.
anna insists on a hug and a kiss, i think she's sweet even though that makes me a little crazy because there is a whole line of people behind us waiting.
ellie asks if i can bring her up a snack because she forgot hers, again.  i tell her to bring the trail mix.
she says "Mooooommm!", smiles, and heads to the school.
i love that those girls have each other.
i love being their mom.

i pass the crossing guard a FIFTH time as i decide to make a quick trip to the grocery store.
my girls are pounding on the window, waving and shouting hello to her, again!
i know that lady thinks i'm crazy.
once i was in a hurry and she mouthed the words, "slow down" to me.
i was miffed for a few days, but i have since forgiven her and we are friends again. :)
i notice her cute rain boots-- black and white check with a red border that matches her red winter coat.
if i was a crossing guard, i'd buy lots of cute rain boots, for sure.
cute rain boots are one of the best things about oregon.
i will pass that cute-footed lady another five times this afternoon.
my life is like that.
it makes me laugh every time she sees me drive by, again.

when we turned the opposite way from home, leah asked, "Where are we going?"
i told her to the grocery store.
she said in shock, "You're wearing your pajamas to the grocery store?!!"
"buckle your seat belt." i insisted.  that kid is always unbuckling.
i know, she should be in a car seat...  we've got to get one of those big kid ones.
i could hear that eve had gotten the costco trail mix, but when i went to unbuckle her, i was surprised to find her buried underneath trail mix with a mouth full of peanuts.
that baby! it's a miracle she didn't choke.
she was smiling wide with peanut drool down her chin.
cute girl.  she bit down tight as i tried to sweep the nuts out of her mouth.
i laughed and she laughed back.
i asked lily why she gave eve that bag.  she replied sweetly, "because mom, eve was hungry."
it was one of those mornings.

you see, i'm not a super-trendy dresser.
we don't spend a lot of money on clothes.
but, we always look nice.
there are MANY days when i look cute, my kids look cute, and nobody ever sees us.
of course, we see half the town on the one day we're not even dressed!
having a lot of kids, it really bugs me when we LOOK like scraggly orphans.
you know, peanut butter faces, hair not done, toes poking through our pjs, a mom who just woke up...
today, at the grocery store-- we were THAT family.
but, we were smiling and happy in our orphan-ness.
can you see eve's toe sticking out?  cute orphan baby...
i let the kids sit in the cart that looked like a fire engine.
i bought dark chocolate chocolate chips for the chocolate-dipped macaroons i want to make.
and a bag of junk cereal so i don't have to cook tomorrow morning.
and stuff for our PASSOVER dinner-- i love doing passover with my kids.
and, i love buying fun jewish food to celebrate with.
i LOVE the symbols of Christ that are found in passover and i love that my kids can imagine what the Last Supper was really like.
Passover is one of my favorite family traditions.
i bought a lot, so we can invite over another family!
i stopped too long looking at the dried beans, and lentils, and couscous...
leah said, "Come on Mom!  I need some more gas!"
(a reference to the fire engine, not the beans...)
she makes me laugh.
i bought a whole bunch of dried beans-- because i love them.
i always buy them.  but, i never cook them.
i'm afraid i like the concept of lentils better than the reality of lentils.
but, oh they speak to me there on the counter with all their old-fashioned coolness and bright colors- white, orange, black, green... lentils are cool.  just sayin'.
sandwich bags, snack backs- check.
as we went down the isles i kept shaking the cart back and forth- telling the girls to stop driving so crazy.
they were erupting in giggles.
sometimes i would pretend to crash and ask if they had any brakes on that thing.
lily said she couldn't find any and leah laughed saying, "You're just kidding aren't you mom?  lily, mom's just kidding."
they are funny girls.
i wasn't all fun and games.
twice leah climbed out of the fire engine and sat on top of it.
i had to use my serious mother voice to insist that she get down or loose all hope of every driving the fire engine again.

a trip to the bathroom.
for me.
i couldn't hold it.
i hate going to the bathroom in the grocery store.
i had to leave my cart-- leah and lily had to go too.
i put eve on the floor-- it was clean looking, but still nasty.
i just wasn't coordinated enough to do what i needed to do and hold her at the same time.
she crawled under to leah and i cringed-- i can't believe i put my baby on the ground in the bathroom!
my girls were screaming back and forth through the stalls and completely hysterical that eve peeked under.
when i came out, i saw unfamiliar feet in the fourth stall-- i laughed.
it was bad enough we were so loud and crazy when i thought we were alone-- but someone else HEARD our craziness.
i hope eve didn't peek in on that lady.
we washed our hands GOOD and headed back to our cart.
oh man!  i just realized i still forgot to get BREAD.
i got distracted by the cutest little appetizer forks that were silver $4.99 for 24.
i didn't get them, but i may go back.
wouldn't they be cute in lunches?
i did buy the fun polka dot cupcake liners-- pink and teal with white dots.
and some easter sprinkles- because leah begged.

oh, this is another long one...  i won't tell you every isle of the grocery store.
well, except i think i already did.
we headed out and i did make a comment to the checkout lady that we don't always go in public looking so scrubby.
she laughed and said it's just one of those fridays.
when we got to the car i realized that i didn't pull far enough forward when i parked so my suburban was totally sticking out--
i'm horrible at parking!

in the grocery store, we went through the book isle and leah saw a book she wanted me to buy.
i told her we could stop at the library afterwards.
so, we were off to the library.
only, the sign on the door said the library didn't open till 10am, and it was only 9am.
{i lied here.  i couldn't see the sign on the door and it was cold, so i googled "philomath library hours" on my i-phone and saw that it opened at 10-- i love my i-phone.}
i wondered if red box had the Muppet movie-- the one in our town said red box had it, but they were out.
i googled red box and saw that the other McDonald's in corvallis had it in stock.
i drove 20 minutes away to get the Muppet movie.
listening to talk radio, while my girls looked out the window at the "popcorn" on the trees.
that 20 minutes of talk radio is all the news i usually get for the day.

it was a beautiful ride, and i got the movie... but, we still had 15 minutes before the library opened.
so, we went to see the animals at the vet.
i think they board animals too...
anyway, my girls were SO excited.
we read the information on the bulletin boards and looked at the pamphlets.
by now i was mentally writing this blog (and taking pictures) so i was more laughing at our appearance than embarrassed by it.
my kids are really CUTE little orphans.
and i'm a... happily frazzled mother of many!
a well-dressed business lady looked sideways at me as i ushered my kids into the front seat of my car and held my baby while i started it.
she didn't know i was just going to the library at the other end of the parking lot.
while she was watching, i picked my nose just for good measure.
{no, i didn't really.  but i should have!}

we took a quick trip to the library.
how i LOVE books.
eve is a menace in the library-- although it is heaven to her.
she LOVES to tear books off shelves.
i was searching adult fiction the first time eve started emptying a shelf.
i could hear my girls scream-- "EVE!! NO!! MOM, HELP!!"
i laughed and reminded them to whisper in the library.
leah responded emphatically, "MOM!  IT'S OK YELL WHEN EVE IS DESTROYING THE LIBRARY!"
(i noticed a few curious patrons casually make their way to the children's section and then smile as they saw me re-alphabetizing the lower shelf.)

i saw an idea this week where a lady dresses up as a book fairy and brings her kids each a new book, explaining why she picked that book for them.
this lady was a bit over the top in her dress-up and in the cool huge boxes that she carried.
at first i thought it would be too expensive for me to do... but then i thought it would be funny for me to do with LIBRARY books.
I think our version-- the ghetto book fairy, may come visit this Sunday afternoon.
i'm pretty excited.
my kids will get a kick out of seeing me dressed in their princess clothes...
i had so much fun finding books (a picture book and a chapter book for each big kid, and some fun books for the little kids).
it is so fun being a mom.
and, i'm not sure you'll get a picture of this-- so just imagine!

eve started fussing while we were checking out-- she was ready for a nap.
i had to take two trips to the checkout counter because i didn't have my library bags with me.
leah had a huge pile of books to check out-- she loves the Japanese comic books.
i hate them.
oh well.
i laughed again when i was leaving the library.
there was my white suburban ridiculously parked, again.
this time i pulled into my parking spot far enough, but i was very crooked.
i snapped a picture and buckled everyone up.
on the way home we had to stop while two dear crossed the road.
can you see them in my picture?  yeah, me neither...
i wondered if these were the babies we used to see all around, all grown up?
climbing the road to my house it was foggy and romantic.
my baby was asleep before i pulled into my driveway.
my baby is asleep and my girls are reading library books while i write this post.
it's too long.
i know i need to read over it to catch all my typos...  and i know i made too many references to what we were wearing this morning when really- it wasn't that big of deal.
just a little bit funny, that's all.
but, it's lunch time and nap time and my time is up...

i hope you have a great friday!!
i'm going to... um, get dressed and fold laundry and watch the Muppet movie and make coconut macaroons (i linked to the recipe in my last post.)

life is good!
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