October 31, 2013


Here's just a sneak peek of our Halloween fun..,

I believe our family does NERD naturally.

October 30, 2013

Hey Good-lookin, What's cookin?

(Don't you love everything about this picture?  Did you see the big carrot?  The worm in the bird's mouth? The fluffy red tail? Love. It.)

It is getting cold here and all I want to do is wear sweats and cook soup.
My mother-in-law taught me to eat chicken noodle soup over mashed potatoes.  So good.

I'm making ghost beef stew for Halloween.
With these cute pumpkin rolls.
Tonight I'm making sausage/kale soup.  I'm using sweet Italian sausage.

I bought some cool bread, but I do want to try this Dutch oven bread sometime.
source- No Knead Bread Recipe Mark Bittman
water, flour, yeast, salt.

And, these pumpkin cookies sound soo good.
I went grocery shopping yesterday and I'm so excited to move things around in my pantry this morning.  (I can't find anything!)

It's fall!
I still have pictures to be hung and a counter in my kitchen that attracts JUNK-- but...
I have fresh apple cider in my fridge, pumpkin bread on my counter, a very empty apple pie plate in the dishwasher and cabbage in my garage.
There is a chill in the air and Halloween is tomorrow!
I very nearly almost could have missed this!!!
Life is grand.

October 29, 2013

Parenting Without Pride

Just thought I'd share a little gem I learned recently.

You know how sometimes your kids are pretty good?  Doesn't it seem like they are worse when you want them to be their best?  Church, stores, and when we have company are a few possible problem areas.

Over the years I've thought OFTEN about how to teach your children to be reverent during church.  Our church is long and I have a lot of children.  I watched other families who have really well-behaved children and I learned a few tips.

Reverent families all look pretty similar.  

I realized that I spent all my time teaching why I wanted my kids to be reverent and not enough time teaching them what that looks like.  

Now I say things like, reverent kids sit in their seats.  Reverent kids sing the songs.  Reverent kids go potty before church starts.  Reverent kids bow their head, fold their arms and close their eyes during prayer.  Reverent kids listen to the speaker with their ears, and their eyes, and their smile.  Reverent kids remember Jesus.

Kids who forget to be reverent during church, practice being reverent when we get home.

We have assigned seats at church.
I'm not a big fan of bringing things to entertain my kids during church- I want them to listen.  (But, I do bring a few things for the youngest kids.  And, I totally understand that every child is different.  Moms need to do what they think is best for their kids.)

I am quick to take a noisy baby out into the foyer.

With years of learning and pondering reverence, I was SO excited to learn another truth in Sunday School.  I felt like THIS was the missing link!!! 

Ready...  This is good.

In Chapter 18 of the book about an early Mormon prophet named Lorenzo Snow.  President Snow tells about a leader who seemed to be doing everything right and yet still struggled with contention in his Branch.  The prophet couldn't figure out what was wrong, until he prayed and felt inspired to tell this leader to beware of pride.  

He said, "I found the brother possessed of a kind of half-hidden, concealed spirit of self-exaltation which was directing him in many of his movements. He would send out a brother to fill an appointment but had a suppressed wish to have the honor of it himself; if the appointment was not attended to, he would chasten the delinquent, not because the work of the Lord was in any degree frustrated or that the brother lost a blessing, but because [he] himself was so despised in being disobeyed. In [a] case where a number were baptized by a brother, his heart rejoiced not so much because the persons were brought into the covenant but because it was done under his superintendency, secretly wishing no person under his charge to obtain much honor unless his own name were brought into connection.”

This is IT!!!  This is the reason why we sometimes parent all wrong in public-- PRIDE.  Sometimes I feel SO angry at my little kids, who are just acting like little kids.  I know my heart isn't right, but I don't know how to fix it.  This is is answer.  Be HUMBLE!!

We need to care more about teaching our child, so that they can feel church is a loving, good place to be, than we need to be teaching them to be quiet so they don't embarrass us.  

We need to evaluate HOW we are teaching, WHAT we are teaching, and... WHY we are teaching.

In the grocery store... Are we trying to teach and love, or are we worried about what other people are thinking about us as mothers? What, how and WHY.

It is hard to give up PRIDE in parenting.  Because, well-behaved children are a reflection on their parents.  I honestly thought I had most of my pride burned out of me with years of humbling parenting experiences.  Oh you young mothers- just wait!  Parenting is really a wonderfully humbling experience.

Even as I learned this lesson, I never really labeled it.  I missed that sneaky pride that would creep in.

Mothers, I just know that Heaven will help us as we try to teach our children how to behave, how to be respectful and mannerly.  This is a long, gradual process.  And, we need to beware of pride!  We need to recognize the feelings behind our teaching.  Because if we aren't motivated by love, we aren't teaching what we think we're teaching.  

You are doing a great work!!
I love being a mom!!!
Life is good.

October 28, 2013

A few pictures from my weekend...

Wow.  That was a fast weekend.
My dad came to visit, which was fun.
We went to an apple orchard (twice, it was closed the first time), to a barn dance, and to church.
Then, I took a nap.

The hardest thing about getting back into the swing of things is the constancy.
Every night these kids want dinner... 
Then dishes...
Then bedtime...
Then breakfast.

I'm remembering how important it is for me to pace myself.  If I work through my afternoon nap, I'm a beast by bedtime.  If I stay up too late, my morning is shot.

You see, it is not supermom to work so hard in one shift that you drop the ball in the next shift.  My job is to anticipate and fill my tank BEFORE I run out of gas.  Which means, I sneak away with Ben after church for a little rest.  I leave the barn dance early so my kids are in bed on time-- Sunday morning is a nightmare if we don't plan ahead on Saturday.

Most of my cute pictures are on my real camera-- we still have not found our cord to download them.
Here are a few phone pictures!
Enjoy Fall!

October 25, 2013

I will talk sweetly to my mother.

(Just so you know, "I will not do it again", in my opinion, is a pointless sentence to repeat.)

As I re-throne myself as the queen of this monarchy, I'm finding a few bad habits.
I LOVE to teach in a fun, effective way.

Although I don't hit my kids with a ruler, I do adopt a few old fashioned ideas.

When a couple kids turned the TV on after school and insisted they FORGOT they had to ask first, I smiled and asked them write 100 times "I will ask before I watch TV." (To help them remember.)

-You act like you don't really care if they do it or not, but hope they write quickly so they can join the family for fun stuff- like dinner.  Then, walk away!!  Don't sit there arguing with them if they whine about it.

While my kids were writing, the other kids wanted to play a fun game outside.  The younger convict cried that she wanted to go out too.  After some pleading from the older kids, I did let them help their younger sister.  I think each kid wrote 5 sentences for her.  Darling.  

A couple days later, there was a repeat offender.  I simply asked her, with a big, real smile on my face, if she remembered the rule about watching TV?  She argued, "I thought Eve (the two year old) already asked."  I smiled and handed her a pencil and paper.  The second time I told her to make her I's extra bold.  "I will ask before I watch TV."  (We taped her sentences up near the TV.)

-When making up sentences, keep them short and POSITIVE.  Say what they will do, not reminding them what you don't want them to do.  "I will not spit water at my mother" for example, is a bad sentence.  It even makes me want to go spit water. :)

-Little kids need you to write the first sentence at the top of the page, so they can copy it.  Really little kids can trace your letters.  Write "I love to share."  Or, for a hitting child, "I will be SOFT."  Sometimes just the word "K I N D".

-And, I insist they write the whole sentence.  Not, 100 "I" then 100 "will" then 100 "be".  I want them repeating to themselves "I will be kind."  

This is a GREAT way to distract and teach.  It is especially good for kids who are smart and busy.  Smart kids will quickly learn that it takes less effort to listen than it does to write.

Sometimes I need a faster consequence.
I use VERBAL sentences.
Today, I had a child say 30 times (or 10 fingers three times) "I will listen the FIRST time."  

The second time I had her repeat the sentences she wasn't so happy about doing it.  I asked her if she thought I enjoyed repeating "Go get dressed first" to her 30 times.  She laughed and repeated her sentences.

Sometimes I have them SING to me.  "I want to be kind to everyone, for that is right you see.  So I say to myself, remember this.  Kindness begins with me." Or, "When we're helping we're happy."  Or, "If you chance to meet a frown."  Or, "Little bunny Foo Foo."  Love it.

-To help children remember and learn, they need to ACT.  Writing, singing, repeating sentences, clearing their plate 47 times, etc., helps them to use their agency to learn.  It works.  I think.  (Obviously I still need these tactics so I'm no expert.  Ha.)

-Don't go crazy with how many you tell them to say or write.  I'd say, long enough to get their attention and be annoying to them, but not so long that they are discouraged and apathetic.  Ten for little kids.  30 for middle.  100 for kids too big to be needing this reminder.  :)

-Yes, I make my big kids have silly consequences. BECAUSE they are teaching the little kids.  When they say, "Really Mom?"  I tell them, if you are going to teach my little kids to be sassy, I'm going to use you as an example of what happens when you are sassy."  100 times, "I am happy taking out the trash the FIRST time my beloved mother asks me to."  Ha.  I really haven't had to use that on them yet, but I would.

I also love funny sentences like, "I will ALWAYS talk KINDLY to my favorite mother."  Or, "When my mother calls me, QUICKLY I'll obey."

-The first time you tell them the sentence to say, say it in a happy, emphasizing voice.

-Have them say their sentences loud.  Everyone heard them be unkind, let everyone hear them being kind.  I say, "smile while you say them, talk in your sweetest voice."

Just some ideas I have for teaching your kids...
Fun and Effective.
If I'm going to spend my whole day teaching little stinks, I have to find some way to keep a smile on my face.
I really like sentence repetition.
They ALL laugh when I start repeating.  "I will ALWAYS talk sweetly."

Oh, how I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being a mother.
(I'm typing this on my phone one handed while Ben sleeps in my arms.  Yesterday I made Beef Stew and pumpkin bread and homemade granola.  Today we are decorating pumpkins and going apple picking.)

Life is lovely, just lovely!!)

October 23, 2013


I watched this video the other day and it stuck with me.

(I have heard this story before, but it was different to me this time.  Go ahead, watch it again.  It takes 3 minutes.)

Today, I feel like that currant bush.
I just know, if I were more healthy, I could do great things.
I've been pruned.
I'm learning to trust my Gardener.
To realize that I don't need to run faster than I have strength given me.
Today, that means I'm not running.  I'm walking.
I love the end quote where he says, "All of us can meet God's high expectations however great or small our capacity may be."
Only, he should have said, "All of us can meet God's expectations even when they are not as high or as great or as small as our own idea of our capacity may be."
Sometimes God's HIGH expectations for us require us to lower ourselves, sometimes He asks us to stretch.
It's funny that you can stretch even as you are being cut back.

There is actually peace in accepting that I really don't NEED to do anything more than I am able to do.
Perhaps I have grand visions of being a 6 foot tree.
I feel myself saying to God-- you should see how much I could do if I were just a bit healthier and could stretch myself a little bit further.
He is saying back to me... I don't need you stretching, I need you content and centered.
Today I am a small currant bush trying to nourish a few leaves and my own little batch of fruit.
I'm not doing anything glamorous or grand, but I'm currently happy (pun intended).

Life is good from down here.  :)


If I wasn't folding laundry yesterday, I wouldn't have found this...

A blue wad of fabric stuck inside a baby sock.

Upon closer inspection we notice that this blue fabric wad is actually a pair of homemade Barbie panties.  Priceless.

The mother of a boy on Jakob's soccer team called me yesterday and asked if she could bring my family dinner.  She said she was laying in bed and just kept thinking that she should call and offer dinner.  I told her she was sweet and inspired.  I thanked her.  She concluded, "I really think God told me to bring you a meal."

I felt loved when she brought me dinner later that day.  As I shut the door behind my new friend, I jokingly said to Heaven, "Don't think one silly meal is going to make up for all this mess."

And, I thought about that the rest of the day.

How often do we feel sorry for ourselves and honestly believe our life is harder than most?  I'm embarrassed at how I sometimes pull away from God with a little 36 year old tantrum.  Not really cursing Him, just not really thanking Him either.  I literally witnessed God intervening in my behalf and STILL refused to feel his total love for me.

I don't believe any of us are ever given challenges without also being given compensating blessings.  We might not see the sunshine through the clouds but it is there and we are being warmed even as the storm rages.  We don't lack blessings, we lack vision to see them.

I'm embarrassed to even admit to you one moment of self-pity.  Because really, really I have so much to be grateful for.  (We all do, you might have different trials than me, but you also have different blessings.)

-I have been given an unreal baby.  He sleeps for hours and hours.  He is almost always giggling or smiling.  When he is not eating, sleeping, or burping, he happily sits in his bouncy chair cooing at anyone who passes by.  He is a beautiful gift of a baby.  (I do love babies- even when they're fussy.  But this kid is just special.)

-Eve is a blessing.  She really is the most darling, easy 2 year old ever.  She is so helpful and smart and fun.  I have had my share of normal, active, messy tots.  Eve is abnormal.  I wish I could take credit for her easiest potty training ever.  But, I hardly did anything.  She just comes to me with a big smile on her face and says, "Mom, I went potty.  Pee downstairs and then poop upstairs."  All day long she is a joy to have.

-My laundry is all washed, folded and put away.  My house is pretty well organized and it stays pretty clean.  For years this was my challenge.  (Of course I'm only on day three of life without a live-in grandmother.)

-I have been blessed with a really great extended family, they are even better than I realized at times.  They have all cared for me and my gang so much this past year.  I'm so grateful for my family and a bit ashamed I didn't know how much they all loved me before I ended up in the hospital.

-My big kids are hard right now, really hard.  They're fighting a lot and we're trying to redefine our relationship (mainly that I am their beloved mother whom they respect, help, and happily obey).  With a large family you must have the big kids on your side or chaos reigns.  We're getting there.  As I've been alone here, and sick (again), they have stepped up without me having to ask.  They are being the kids I remember them to be.  Another little (huge) blessing.  

-I am blessed with kind and good friends.  Real life friends, blog friends, phone friends, people who send me kind cards or leave sweet messages.  Thank you!!  Thank.  You.  How could I ever feel alone when I am surrounded by such goodness?  We are never alone.  Good people are everywhere... Even in a little New York town.

-I have a beautiful marriage and a beautiful home and my heart is at peace.

My soul reaches out to each of you... Oh, let us SEE our blessings.  We are so blessed-- even if our life is hard.  Why is it easier to feel our challenges than it is to feel our blessings?

Want to know another blessing?  As I was typing this I got a call from a doctor's office reminding me of an appointment I have in an hour.  Another possible surgeon.  I didn't know about this appointment, but since two of my big kids are home sick and yet feeling better, they can babysit for me while I run out.  Just another little blessing.

Today, I humbly tell Heaven.  Sorry I missed the sun rays, sorry I missed the rainbow, sorry I complained about the rain that even as it fell was a gift.  The good always outweighs the bad.  Once again I am humbled and grateful.

Life is really good.
God loves us.
We are blessed.  

October 22, 2013


My hair is falling out.
It's really gross.
Someone asked me if I had cancer.
I said, "I hope not."

We bought this little sucker thing-- and I love it.
It is a Black&Decker DustBuster 15.6v.
I use it daily to vacuum up my master bathroom.  It also works great to vacuum around the high chair and it's easy for the rugs in the car.
Love it.

Ben and Eve sit near me as I dress in the morning.  Before I turn on my little vacuum, I make the vacuum noise with my mouth so they aren't scared.  Today I smiled-- Eve backed out of the bathroom saying she was scared and Ben smiled big making his own growling noise.  Oh, little boys!

Guess what else?  This morning I was standing by the changing table getting Ben dressed for the day.  He thinks getting dressed is hilarious and giggles the whole time.  I realized that I can actually stand still long enough to dress him.  (Standing still was actually the most painful for me- I could walk or sit, but not stand.). I used to have to sit by him on the bed to dress him.  

It is so easy to see everything that I still can't do.  I'm grateful today for one more thing I can do.

Want to know something else?  Eve is really amazing at potty training.  She's still only two, but has trained easily and happily.  

Anna and Ellie were both auditioning for their school play.  (Poor Anna was so sick on the day of auditions.) I have loved hearing them singing Annie's "Tomorrow" in their cutest voices.  

Drew decided not to do football this year, but he is a superstar helper in the yard.  He is always volunteering to blow leaves, rake, and especially MOW.  Todd let him mow some straight fields... I might never get the mower back.  

Drew is also learning to play so many hymns on the piano.  We did offer $5 for every hymn he could play well enough to accompany singing.  He's been playing for our scripture time since then.  :). This could get expensive.  (We haven't gotten them signed up for lessons yet... So it's still cheaper than lessons.)

Jakob is just a sweet boy and great help.  He is really darling with Ben and Eve.  I love the young man he is becoming.

Leah and Lily are joyful.  They sing and dance and tell me all about their friends at school and who they sit by on the bus home. Lily brings home her friend Gracie's school work everyday.  When I tell her she needs to give it back, she insists, "No Mom, Gracie gave that paper to me."

I LOVE being a mom.
What a great blessing it is to be alive and able to raise my children.
Today I am going to FOLD MY LAUNDRY!!
What a ridiculously hum drum, glorious way to spend my day...

October 21, 2013

A day in the life.

My MIL left on Saturday.  Yesterday and today were my first days flying solo since this year began.

Sunday is a busy day for our family.
We had to leave extra early to pick up one of our new church friends (who actually had open-heart surgery last week).  

I enjoyed sitting with my little family as we took a whole pew at church.  My kids were pretty good.  We narrowly avoided one fist fight and had a few distracting notes to mom being passed.  But, overall they were good kids.

Although I made a special trip to the grocery store on Saturday, I couldn't find my dinner ingredients anywhere.  I must have left a bag at the checkout.  Ugh.  My plans for chili quickly morphed into spaghetti.

The worst part of today and yesterday is that I AM SICK!  Fever and sore throat.  Come on!?  I'm ashamed to admit I was a bit mad at God over this one.  I'm just trying to be a wife and mother- why does it continue to be so hard?  Why couldn't I have gotten sick last week when I had back-up?  I really think I could rock my life if I could just get to ride it with air in my tires.

I was blessed to talk to a sweet friend who re-lit my faith.  

I'm not sure what my Heavenly Father wants me to learn.  But, I am sure that He could make me well if He needed me well.  Today, I can do exactly what He wants me to do with my limited capacity. I'm learning something this year... And I'm determined to learn with grace.

As I lay in bed feeling sorry for myself this morning, I thought of the pioneers.  I heard them telling me to just keep walking.  

I sorted the laundry.
Did you hear that?!!
I sorted the laundry for the first time in months!!
I shoved my washer and drier full of clothes and I felt so grateful to be here- doing this.
I was home with my two youngest and Anna who is also sick.
I was able to run Jakob his soccer things so he could play in his game today.
I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup for dinner and a treat for family night.
Leah ran over Lily's leg and I was here to hug and kiss her better.

Yes, I feel awful.  But I feel grateful to be right where I am.

Julie Beck, a woman I love and admire, said, "You don't have to feel good to be effective."  

I wasn't perfectly effective today, but I am grateful to be home.

October 18, 2013

New Friends...

As I was sorting the pile of papers on my counter, I found this sweet note from one of Leah's new friends.
To Leah
From Danny
You should play with us.

I love first grade.

October 17, 2013


This is one of those life-changing posts!!
Wait for it...
Wait for it...

I was putting on mascara this morning and I noticed the longest eyebrow hair ever.  Seriously!! It was like four inches long.

How could I miss this?

October 16, 2013

A daily journal.

My blog is like my journal.
I love reading past entries and remembering life then.
I have a new journal that I love!

The "One Line A Day" journal I bought from Target.
Every night I write one sentence about how I felt God in my life that day.

On Sunday, I fasted two meals (first time I've done that in years).
I started my fast with a private prayer that God would bless me with more love for others.
That afternoon at church I was given a blessing to set me apart as a teacher.  The man giving me a blessing said, "I bless you with more love for those you teach and for your family."  I knew that God had heard my prayer and answered me.

Yesterday, I was mowing the lawn and got stuck in the mud.
We also had our new/old piano delivered to us.

The piano movers helped to pull me out of the mud.  Nice guys!  I took a picture of them and put my phone back into my pocket.

As I was mowing I felt "Call home and tell them you will be home soon to start dinner."  I thought I would call home when I finished that field.  I felt prompted again, "Call home."  Again I decided to call in a little while.  The third time I felt a strong prompting to "Stop NOW and call home."  So, I did.  I turned my mower all the way off and tried to call home.

Only, I couldn't find my phone anywhere. I knew I had it with me when I took a picture and that it must have fallen in the grass.  Getting off my mower I started to look around and found my phone a few steps away in the grass clippings.  Had I driven further I would have destroyed it.

Now, I don't think God cares that much about my phone.  But, I do think He cares that much about me and you.  He wanted me to know that He was thinking of me, and that He talks to me, and that He loves me.

I'm grateful for my little journal where I can keep track of these little moments.
Life is good.

October 15, 2013


Sometimes I try to bathe and dress baby Ben before feeding him breakfast.
He is patient and darling...

Until he decides he has waited long enough.

As soon as he starts to fuss, sisters come from the four corners of our home to coo and soothe.

Oh Ben- you have so many who love you.
Time for breakfast!!

October 14, 2013

i am thine.

"I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts."  Psalms 119:94

Today I am humble. 
I'm a bit overwhelmed with little things and a bit cranky.
I found solace in these words...
I am thine, save me.

I pray, "Oh God.  Here I am.  I am tired and I need you, again.  Forgive me for my weakness, my ignorance, and my sins.  Bless me with healing and strength and joy.  Help me to love more, to be humble, to be patient.  Show me your power in my life.  Bless my children.  They are yours.  I am thine.  Please Father, save me."  And He does.  Every. time.  God is real.

In a talk about Grace- "His Grace is Sufficient." By Brad Wilcox, He says, "Think of your friends and family members who have chosen to live without faith and without repentance. They don’t want to change. They are not trying to abandon sin and become comfortable with God. Rather, they are trying to abandon God and become comfortable with sin."

I hope we are living with faith and repentance.  I hope we have made holy covenants with God.  I hope we are praying daily for strength.  But most importantly, I hope we are feeling His power in our lives every day.  God is REAL.  He IS blessing us.  He wants to bless us.

Want to know what I honestly think about gay/lesbian marriage?  I think these good people are trying to create a good, happy life together.  Only, no matter how the laws of the land change or how loving and accepting society is, they will ALWAYS be thirsty for more.  Because God's law is eternal.  Marriage, between a man and a women is ordained of God.  Children need both a mother and a father.  This is an eternal law of happiness and safety and peace. 

The real problem is NOT gay/lesbian marriage.  The real problem is that God has given us all commandments and holy covenants and words of scripture that teach us how to be good so that we can have happy families.  We are all living well below our privilege. 

Are WE happy?

We have gotten lazy!  We have forgotten Him.  Christ has become our wise grandfather NOT our daily bread and water.  Personal prayer, meditation and holy INSPIRATION have taken second place to Oprah, Dr. Phil, volumes of books written by imperfect people on parenting, worldly ideas of success, and just plain busyness. 

God is REAL.  He is our Heavenly Father and He wants us to be filled with joy.  He has power to bless our lives, to teach us how to parent our children, to heal us and give us strength.  He answers prayers.  We need to spend more time seeking Him and less time trying to be happy without Him.

We have gotten proud!  When did PRIDE become a virtue and HUMILITY a vice?  We are too capable.  We are so smart that we can't see how little we know.  We have so much to eat that we don't even realize we are starving ourselves.  When we feel our weakness we just try harder to compensate for them.  Sometimes I think we need to give up and fall into GRACE. 

I love this verse in 2 Corinthians 12:9
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

I want the POWER of Christ to rest upon me.

I found solace in the words of a man I believe to be a modern-day apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Elder Bednar gave a beautiful talk "The Windows of Heaven" about blessings that come from paying your tithing.  I believe he could have given the same talk about obeying ANY of God's commandments.  As we do what is right we qualify for great blessings.  We need to SEE and FEEL God's hand more in our lives.  I love these words as Elder Bednar describes blessings that are "Significant but subtle." 

He says, "Sometimes we may ask God for success, and He gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals. And when we plead for relief from physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties, He may increase our resolve and resilience."

I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!

God doesn't always give us miracle grow.  He doesn't always take our puny beanstalk organization skills and advance them into perfect homemaker as an answer to our prayers.  He doesn't always zap our young children into perfectly behaved and mature specimens or make us holy, patient, and completely put together mothers.  Sometimes as we are praying for GROWTH-- He blesses us with GRACE.

Today, I want His grace.
I want to fall down at His feet empty and know that He is filling me up.
I want to be His child and rock for a moment with Him.
Today, I want to stop trying and thinking and planning and worrying and just listen while He tells me what to do next. 
Because I know Him, I know He loves me imperfect.  He is waiting for me to remember Him and return to Him.  

I am thine, save me.  For I have sought thy precepts.

October 11, 2013


We finally got our new lawn mower.
It's a Ferris IS 3100.
It is huge and strong and really fun to drive.
(It is worth more than Todd's car.  Ha!)

I mowed yesterday and today.
It is SO fun!  The most fun I've had all year.
That baby goes fast and does awesome doughnuts. 
I may or may not have left a few tire tracks in our moist lawn from turning too fast.

I may or may not have mowed a significant length of time before Drew flagged me down and told me I needed to push a lever to lower the blades to actually cut the grass.

I may or may not have ducked below some low-lying branches and forgotten the roll bar sticking out above me.  Which may or may not have led to a largepine tree  branch getting lodged above my head for a few lanes of mowing- while I was being showered by pine needles and laughing at the thought of how I must look.  Maybe, I was unexpectedly rescued when another low-lying branch dislodged the original branch (about 5 inches in diameter) from my back.  Oops.

The weather is beautiful here.
I felt a bit like a working girl and it felt good.
Figuring out how to steer to get pretty lines is harder than you think- it takes SKILLZ.  I do not have great lawn mowing skills, yet.
But now I notice the lines as I drive past other lawns.

It was SO nice to spend some time outdoors while Ben was napping.
(My big kids followed me around cheering me on.)

(Especially after a doctor appointment today confirmed I do have a hernia... They will combine that surgery with the other one I need this winter.  Love-e-ly.)

I wasn't too sad Todd had to work late.
Perhaps I will assume the lawn mowing duties and assign him the laundry.  ;)

Life is good!

October 10, 2013

A room to live in...

love this room.
want to live in it.
Recovering takes a lot of energy and mind-space.
Things that I used to love (like birthday parties, holidays, decorating, etc.) just seemed like such a waste of time. 
I really didn't care where my pictures were hung or how my furniture was placed.

In some ways, near-death-experiences are good because they help put things in perspective.
Once I was sitting on the toilet in my new house (I do this often).
All around me, the floor and walls are cream, the woodwork is wood, the tub and toilets are khaki colored.
I imagined painting the walls and woodwork white, and then changing the tile floor and replacing the tub and toilet.
I thought of the time and money that it would cost to make these changes.
What a huge waste of life.
There are people in the world who are starving and I was considering renovations costing thousands of dollars to change the SHADE of white in my house. 
I'm sorry.  It really is shameful how we spend our money sometimes.

I remember my friend Josie who visited from the Philipeans.
She came with me to Target when I spent $40 on tampons and panty liners.
I remember her shock at how much I spent on something so disposable. 
We didn't get into an in depth conversation that day about what she used, but I often think of her pure shock at the excess we have here in America. 

Saying that...
I'm waking up a bit and beginning to make my new home mine.
I can tell I'm feeling better because I'm planning and dreaming and getting excited about Halloween and pictures for my wall.

Want to see some ideas I have for my Living Room?
Not that I'm actually going to buy any furniture any time soon... we are spending all our money on snow blowers and lawn mowers and rakes and wheel barrows and snow tires.
But, someday I will get new furniture and today I'm liking blue/brown.
Please forgive my non-sources.  I just saved pictures from the internet onto my phone and didn't save the source.  I really should look stuff up on Pinterest, but I'm not there yet. 

I love these rooms...


And these curtains...

I love these color combos and these pictures show me that I love fun throw pillows...





 I like darker blue also... darker blue vs lighter blue, hmmmm?

 Don't you love these couches from Macy's?  They're Martha Stewart.


 I kind of want to combine a fancy couch with a sectional like these from JC Penney...

 And a few accessories...


It feels good to dream again!
Life is good.
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