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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!



Such a busy holiday season! Dance recitals, my father in laws 91st birthday, piano recitals, choir concerts, exams, shopping for everyone with a puny budget. Somehow, someway we pulled it off by the grace of heaven. Hope yours was a wonderful holiday. We barely got a picture we could use for our Christmas card, so we had to include a few of the mess ups. Merry Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, September 27, 2010

kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens- 4 of em...

A stray (and feral) cat started hanging around a few months ago and we noticed she looked pregnant one day but the next day she didn't so we figured she lost the babies because she was pretty tiny herself to be having kittens. Alas... the other day my daughter came running in screaming "Mom, your not going to believe this! Kitten had kittens! They are playing behind the wall!" Oh great...

Sure enough she did. There were 4 kittens back there with the mama cat behind our back wall where there is a gully and a field back there, a perfect playground and lots of hiding spots. SO many hiding spots that it has taken me 4 days of trying to catch the kittens and they freak out and run away from me. They are never in the same spot so I have to wait for them to come out to know what the spot of the day is. Mama has taught them well.

I caught one kitten on friday with food and sitting behind a bush for an hour til he got brave enough to come eat. He is gray and white and is already used to us and playing. Todays goal... get the other 3 buggers. They are old enough to be without mama cat, they are almost as big as she is. Never give up, never surrender!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another twist in the road...

I don't want to burst any bubbles but I am learning a very interesting life lesson over and over again lately and I just want to warn you all. Sorry Moms of young childern in advance!
Here it is...
"KIDS DO NOT GET EASIER AS THEY GET OLDER".
Just the opposite in fact. My mom used to say kids are physically exhausting when they are little, emotionally exhausting as teens, financially exhausting in college, and then they are all three at random moments to keep you on your toes.
I am off to the hospital bright and early tomorrow to have my daughter get her stomach scoped in order to figure out what the heck is causing so much pain for her. She is always nauseous, bent over, and no pill will touch it. It's been progressively worse over the past year. I would really love some answers. Not gonna be a fun day. He thinks she may have celiac disease, ulcer, IBS, dairy allergies, or another fun thing but I can't remember what. Poor girl.
All kids are challenging at any age and I mean SO much more than physically challenging. I am a Mom of 4 and to them I am the coach, the pep talk giver, the one who holds their hand when they are unsure, the cheer leader, the go and get em encourager, the congratulator, the pick em up and brush em off-er, and sometimes it's a bit draining but always always always worth every minute.
Today I looked at her and thought, I would do anything for u. Anything. I would give you my stomach, my life, to make yours better. I have been thru so much with this child... emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst, xrays, mri's, cat scans, scoliosis adjustments, dermatologists, and braces TWICE. I love all my kids but I am so grateful for Corynn, she is my right hand, my sweetheart, my little mommy to her sisters, our voice of conscience. She is so smart, so wise, and at 14 is becoming a little to pretty for her own good. All these things shall be for our good and our experience, right! How amazing is it that we are placed in families on this earth? Who else would go thru all the yuck with us?!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The old girl AINT what she used to be...

Back in April my neighbor made me try ZUMBA. I had never tried it before and had only heard of it. So we went to the gym down the street and I LOVED it! It felt SO good to dance again. I spent my high school years on the school dance team and my first year of college doing ballroom classes but then I completely stopped and dived into studies... then I got married... then I had babies... and that was that, dancing days were done.

Then after the class, this neighbor tells me she has been certified in zumba and wants to start teaching her own classes. She had found a dance studio that wanted to offer adult classes and she was all set and wanted me to come. So I went and the classes started April 9th. In Mid May she tells me that she needs to train me to substitute for her and be a fill in teacher if I was interested. By then I had most of the dances memorized but was still running a lot and doing races. So I ran my last race memorial day weekend and started to work on choreography and early June I was teaching the classs. TOTALLY intimidating but so good for me, the back row girl too comfortable behind the scenes.

So I taught my first class on a Saturday morning and got a ton of people, most first timers who had never done Zumba before. I broke down dances and TAUGHT the steps, I encouraged them and coached them through the foriegn (literally foreign... African, Ballywood, and Latin) choreography as I did it in front of them. Then, I realized that I LOVED being up there in front- it was totally scary but it was so much fun to watch them learn from me and to tell them how great they were doing.

However............ now its become a full time thing. I am teaching at least 4 times a week and always practicing, learning new routines at home, finding new music, etc. We have gone from 5 classes a week to 10 classes. I hope my body holds out! Today my knee decided to grow a little swollen again (reoccurring running injury)and I am just thinking... the old girl, she AINT what she used to be. I am happy, swollen, sore, tired, but still thru it all I am motivated to always improve. Thank u ZUMBA for reminding me how important dance is to me physically and mentally...BUT U ARE KICKING THIS OLD GIRLS BUTT!!! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This whole year has flown by! I can't believe it's almost September and so many things have happened. My life has become so complicated. There are so many blessings and quite a few challenges to keep things balanced I suppose. The challenge at the moment is that my elderly inlaws are struggling. They are 90 years old and my father in law has been diagnosed with dementia years back and last week my mother in law had a personality change and was diagnosed with senile dementia with manic disorder. She is falling about every other month just to recover and fall again. The nurse came and spoke to us and suggested a care center. Its so sad. I don't know how u do this. How do u bring that up with them without making them feel like u don't want to be bothered with them, that they aren't loved anymore or useful anymore. It's breaking my heart. I need to read about it and discuss it with professionals I guess. They aren't my birth parents but I love them like my own and I want to do this in a respectful, careful way. I would love to have them move in with us and care for them if there weren't incontinence issues, constant arguing and meanness, and mass chaos when they are around. Somehow I need to raise my 4 kids and they are full time job as it is, and so would be taking them on. They can no longer care for the house they live in. Sad. I am learning way way too much about being 90 and it is losing its appeal to me strangely. Wonder why that is. I just pray that I can make the Lord pleased with our behavior and efforts and that he will sustain us and them as we try to come up with the best solutions.

I have to also get it off my chest some of the other issues that are weighing on me... Lets start kid by kid-
Christian, 16. Is driving, dating, junior in high school, does lighting for the school play which keeps him busy. Has ADD and needs lots of help keeping on task and staying organized.
Corynn,14. My MOST high maintenance child. She has scoliosis and is being treated at a chiropractor. She has constant sinus infections for which the doctors have no explaination. She has stomach issues. She has allergies and is getting shots for that once a week. She needs to be monitored on her cell phone, computer, and piano lessons.
Chloe, 9. She is the one I struggle with most with behavior. She struggles so hard with anxiety, has ADD, is behind in school and needs tutoring. She is completely disorganized and SUPER sensitive. She has lots of quirks but is the most talented little artist I know. She is very kind but needs a lot of encouragement and guidance.
Sadie,4. In preschool. I have to remember to make time for her, the poor girl. She is learning to write her name, letters, and ride her bike. She is an amazing even tempered child for who I am SO grateful.
On top of that...
All blessings, trying to not see anymore challenges until they rear their ugly head and demand to be dealt with. One day at a time. One prayer at a time. One breath at a time. Life is good!

Saturday, August 7, 2010





Sunday, June 27, 2010

Disneyland O Rama











These pictures are in reverse order but Disneyland actually came after our trip to Santa Monica. The funniest part of Disney for me was the fact that my youngest kids could care less about the rides and just wanted pictures with the characters. Trust me, the lines were just as bad to see them as they were to get on rides. Exhausting but great fun!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Comfort zone


Lesson: Growth occurs outside ones comfort zone, as long as feet step carefully and courageously into the possibilities and opportunities that surround them.

Note: It is easy to stay in ones comfort zone where things are easy and normal and it is a great place to retreat to once in a while. Sometimes we need that "zone" to regroup and recover after stretching" oneself. Sometimes we don't have a choice in our growth or when we are stretched however, see below...

One church leader said it like this, and I appreciate that we can become better from tough situations that are not voluntary:

"Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (see Proverbs 3:11-12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."

So... we just need to HANG on tight.

(BTW- that's me in the tree picture at about age 9, totally tomboy).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Never in a million years


Zumba has brought me to purchasing this... a jingly belly dance thingy which I never in a million years would have EVER imagined on my body. It is completely optional mind you, but I can't be the only instructor without it. And yes, ladies and gentlemen... I am so gonna rock this thing!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Frustrating

I just have one thing to say today because I have a problem that never ends around here... I've got so much laundry backed up the wazoo that I may become eternally constipated!! I know, that is so wrong and yep, fairly crude, but so very true and completely frustrating.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Challenges


This past year and a half has been full of unexpected challenges. The latest and greatest is my oldest daughters diagnosis with scoliosis. She was screened at school and told she had a 7 degree curve so we got a letter in the mail and I took it and her to the doctor. That led to an x-ray where I was told the curvature was more like 17 degrees. That meant an appointment with a back surgeon. The spine doctor re-evaluated the x-rays and said the curvature was 21 degrees and that she needed a back brace so that she could avoid it worsening to the point where she needs surgery to put rods in her back. So... this meant we went over to the specialized bracing clinic where my daughter got her first look at the "brace" aka torture device and it was all tears and drama after that. They make a cast of your body and the brace is a hard plastic tortoise shell looking bustier thing that needs to be worn as close to 24 hours a day as possible. Now the tears were really flowing from that 13 year old of mine, despite my attempt to make the whole thing seem like no big deal and joke about how we should get it in titanium and she could be like wonder woman and deflect bullets. Not funny Mom. Oh and did I mention that our insurance deductible is $1000.00 and the dang thing would cost $1060.00 so it would basically be all our expense? Ya... that sucks.

Putting myself in her place I can see where this is whole brace thing is worse than the diagnosis itself. Her comments (thru her tears were): so if someone comes up to me and hugs me they will feel that hard thing and be like what are u wearing under that shirt? The boys are gonna feel that at dances!! What about in gym class, sleep overs, or when its 110 degrees outside... they can't expect me to wear it then! If I sit down in my desk at school it is gonna clank against the back rest! On and on and on... so sad. I couldn't take this away or make it better. I couldn't tell her it wasn't going to get worse. I couldn't help but worry that it was going to get to the point of surgery. We discovered that there is a night brace that she only sleeps in but if I can avoid the pain, cost, and problem of a brace I'm all for it.

Then I got this idea... I wonder if a chiropractor can work on her back and realign it over and over again, retrain the muscles and tendons that are pulling her spine all screwy and make it at least NOT get worse. Funny thing, her best friends dad is a chiropractor and he deals with scoliosis all the time! So we have taken that route and will check back with the spine doctor in a couple months to make sure that it is not worsening. I am very very hopeful and very grateful for another option.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzuuuummmbbbbaaaa


Running is killing my knees lately so I've backed way off. I can feel my knees swelling, it swells in back of my knees which is the same reoccurring old injury I fight every time I overdo it (I fell once on the mountain and have never been the same since then as a runner). This even happens after I run even short distances so so much for that until I recover properly and it will take time, lots of it, I've been here before. Once a doctor told me I wasn't built for running and he should have known better. Anytime someone says I can't I have a mission to prove them wrong and kept doing it and got pretty good too until the injury. I am only temporarily out of service but love it too much to not do it again once I'm bounced back.

In the mean time on to my other new favorite form of cardio... zumba! My neighbor introduced me to it and I fell in love with it right away. It reminds me so much of my dance team days, so much fun! I am learning to shake it again, it's been so long. If I can't memorize the choreography for the routines to the zumba songs it drives me insane. I wish I had more time to obsess over it and get better! Determined Cinda still lives, I spend more time trying to remember steps than I do with the laundry these days. Sometimes I do them both at the same time. My kids love it when I dance all over the house (not) especially when friends are over. I just really want to give them a healthy dose of trauma, embarrass them when I can, as they watch my groove thing doing its jello wiggle impression. Yep, I'm a giver...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Recitals.... recitals





MAYZILLA is in full force at the moment but the gloriously promising brightly beaming light at the end of the tunnel is finally in view. This means we have almost ended the school year and maneuvered our way through the following...
*Band Concert for 8th grade Marching Band
*Piano Recital for my oldest 2 daughters
*Theater Tech responsibilities
*Dance Recital (3 nights worth -- ouch) see above pictures
*Choir concert for child #3
*Testing- end of levels at school= cranky, stressed kids
*Opening & heating of the Pool in our backyard
*More doctor appointments that u can imagine for all of our many issues, all of which we are grateful for because none of them are life threatening. As hard as our issues are we know it could definitely be worse.


STILL TO COME:
*The last day of school
*Honors program
*Son to find, and begin, his first job (asap kiddo)w/Moms help.
*Our annual BIG garage sale pain in the butt on Saturday.
*Planning our upcoming trips
*Youth conference
*Scout hikes
*Especially for Youth Program (6 days away & 3 1/2 hrs from Mom!)for my oldest daughter
*Yearly trip to see family in MI---- BIG drive for us
*Trip to CA for a baptism coupled with Disneyland
*Summer school, summer programs, entertaining, HOT temps... EXHAUSTED already!

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Moment

Just caught my 4 year old looking at herself in the bathroom mirror and singing "all the single ladies" while doing the dance (very accurately I might add). Very funny. Technically, she is a single (little) lady! Love it!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Race Results


Did it. Painful. Tough Run. Gold! First place in my division by 6 minutes! Yeah! I'm feeling it today in my knees. Will take it easy this week, cross train more. Ouch!

7th overall female...
16th finisher, and only one person older than me in top 16.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Hell Hole

The above title is the name of the next race that I am running on Saturday. It's another 5K, I am hooked all of a sudden on the competition. I don't know why I picked this one, the title didn't scare me off but instead intrigued me. I think that must be because of all the parallels in my life with the words "Hell Hole". Apparently it is named because it's a tough course, mostly uphill, and being that I am slightly insane, something inside me screamed BRING IT ON! I train on hills, I know the pain of them intimately, it's gonna be extremely painful but I have no doubt I can do it without walking it. The goal here is to finish with a decent time, not to burn out in the first 2 miles, and kick the hell holes flaming hot fanny.

The parallels to my life are as follows...
1- I believe, on occasion, that I live in purgatory itself (yes, hell), because this place can get so hot in the certain months of the year that blacktop surfaces melt my flip flops... they become squishy marshmallows under my feet. No smore's in hell tho to make that connection with.
2- My life is as crazy, chaotic, difficult, and frustrating as being in that 'place'. Blessed beyond comprehension and NOT complaining, but if on a normal day you were to see the state of my house, my car, or my un-showered overworked self u may agree with me!
3- Racing is so hard, it hurts. It is legs of fire that want to stop and u have to keep telling them it will be worth it, push it a little further.... you're half way, you're almost there, you see the finish line, give it all u've got no matter what. Think I'm gonna pass out? (Every race I've ever done) Concentrate on breathing. It not only helps that feeling of hyperventilation, asthma, lightheadedness, but keeps my brain occupied and time passes more quickly. I have to tell myself to 'just breathe' all the time in life and oxygen is a close personal friend. To keep a fire burning oxygen is an essential.
4- At this race, u are encouraged to dress up as an angel, a devil, a reverend, the pope, whatever. I think I run with angels and devils every day in life, costumes aside.
5- I want to make it thru the hell hole and win something. Yes, it will be a tremendous sense of accomplishment to finish but a medal again, or a trophy... that will inspire me to beat the "hell" out of the pavement, my running shoes, my overly protruding hips, in the future. If I can endure hell on this run, I will be all the better for having done so. When I overcome the hell hole, I am climbing to new heights, rising above the difficult, THAT is inspiring. Proof that I can change and get myself out of that place physically.... mentally... spiritually... in any possible way really where I need a tweaking. Very symbolic and I hope, very very worth it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wings

Last night I was chatting with an old, dear friend who was down because of some problems. Things like that really bother me, I am the fixer, the helper, the one who can't leave something like that alone... at least let me make them crack up over something completely stupid that I say and get a laugh so I know there was a smile amongst the misery. Anyway... didn't get a chance to do that last night and it bothered me. My heart goes out to them on so many levels and I truly love and am concerned about each of my friends and loved ones. So this morning I was thinking about them again and how I could help. Sometimes a good poem or a quote from a wise author or scholar is helpful so I began my quest. I searched all morning for just the right thing.... nothing fit. Nothing seemed to ring true enough for my friends situation so I gave up and did my cleaning. Somewhere amongst the dirty laundry it hit me, what I should tell them...

"Sometimes we must open our wings, close our eyes, and trust God in our faith, to be the wind that carries us for a time... just until we are strong again and can look down from where He has taken us with a new perspective. That is the point when we truly see the beauty of our friends and loved ones in all their brilliant colors, strategically placed in our lives just when He knew they would be needed most."

Anonymous... because I could never sign my name to words that were not mine, but given to me yet created by a far greater source. I believe these words did what they were meant to do, in a way that was far above my understanding. I love when that happens! So rare for me... so dang cool!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

5K

I signed up for a race. Haven't done one in a long time. Since 2007 I believe. So, I'm nervous.Not nervous about doing it alone, that is usually the case. No one will run with me these days, not even my dear husband. Either that means I'm too good or that I'm just too competitive. Not sure which but it's such a bummer and honestly, the truth is I KNOW I am not too good so (head hung low in shame) I must be wickedly competitive. I need to feel that once in a while though... thus, the race.
I'm nervous about my knees holding out til Saturday and beating my last time. The last time I ran this race I won for my division... pressure! Of course that was before child #4 was born and I was super fit and 7 lbs lighter. This year the course has been changed and it's on dirt so how I will beat my time will be the question and the challenge. Wish me luck! We shall see!!!

Results are in... whew. THAT WAS COLD!!! Froze but did it. Got 2nd in my division- SILVER MEDAL. The girl who beat me was my friend though and a marathoner (curse her from stealing my chances) so I was happy for her and that I did my best. Now the problem becomes Cinda wants to do more and is addicted to racing. There are worse problems I guess! :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Live

I want to live my life today like this;

"Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says "Oh crap, she's up!"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dare

Love this. I heard it on a Brittish tv show that I'm hooked on last night and I had never heard it before. It is part of an old Christian song I guess but just love this chorus...

Dare to be a Daniel
Dare to stand alone
Dare to have a purpose firm
Dare to make it known.

The actual song can be found here.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Angel

My daughter Chloe is unique. I honestly think she is an angel and it will truly take a miracle for me to raise her right. She is a challenge, a blessing, and a roller coaster ride all in one. She is without a doubt the most sensitive of my 3 girls in every way that one can be sensitive. She won't kill bugs she finds in the house, she catches them and releases them outdoors because killing makes her feel bad. (So of course her brother makes sure to smash any bug possible right in front of her and announce it so she has a meltdown.) Siblings....

The other day this child was playing outside and it was a warm day so I was glad she was out getting some fresh air. Apparently while she was out there, completely on here own and not to our knowledge, she wrote the elderly man next door a note, folded it up, and placed it in his mailbox. We had no idea she had done this. Until that sweet little man walked over with tears in his eyes and told my husband about the letter he had received the day before from our daughter, the sweetest note he had ever been given. He wrote her back and gave his note to my husband for her when she returned home from school.

When she got home I asked "Chloe, did you write a nice letter to the neighbors?

Chloe: "Yes Mom, because they are good neighbors and I think they must be lonely."

(Keep in mind these neighbors tell us every year to let our kids know that they will not pass out Halloween candy so don't bother knocking! Kinda funny).

Me: "Do you know how much they loved that. The man brought you back a note and told us with tears in his eyes how much that touched his heart."

Chloe: "Well, I just thought they'd like a letter Mom, no big deal."

No Chloe, big big deal. She doesn't know how thrown away elderly people can feel or how society is moving so fast that it doesn't have time for them as the slow movers. She just does things like this. Oh, and yesterday, she decided to go over and knock on their door for a bandaid. I had to have the "maybe not every day" talk with her. She is a sweet one.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Full circle





I think I am at the age where I finally welcome those "blasts from the past" moments both in person (and via the wonder that is facebook). I have been becoming reacquainted with friends from childhood, high school, college, married years, dating years, pretty much every year and stage of my life. I used to live as a newlywed in the same town I grew up in and used to walk down the isle in the grocery store and retreat when I saw someone from my stupid days that I was always sure I offended. Silly thinking, I know.

For 20+ years I thought I hated high school with a passion, but today I see what good came of it. Now I have friendships and treasured relationships with people from that very place that I would not trade for the world. The joy of adulthood is that we move on, forget, forgive, and get sappy and sentimental about things easier. It has been very fun for me to play catch up with them and it has actually helped me to appreciate all the things I went through in life. I like to look at it as coming full circle and making peace... man, was it worth the wait.

I am proud to say I was a:

Martell Mustang

Boulan Bronco

Troy Colt (on dance team we were the "Fillies")

Ricks College Viking

Friday, February 19, 2010

To Do the Dew (or not to)


This is a week of firsts for my son. First day actually calling a car his 'first' car, first day driving legally with his license, and (drum roll please)...first time he was asked to a dance, yes a date, with a girl. I guess she asked him to go to "Preference" with her which is a semi-formal dance at the school. It seems to be a UT thing I guess that you can't just ask out someone to a dance, you have to creatively ask out someone to a dance.

She was very clever and had a case of mountain dew delivered to his classroom and he had to assemble the cans with the words on them that spelled out...."DEW you want to go to Preference with me, Christian ? Katlyn. (12 cans, and then he gave them away so he didn't have to carry a case of soda around all day, typical Christian). NOW the trouble is that he can't just answer her, he has to answer her back in a creative way. He is going to say yes but truly, the kid doesn't have a creative way. It's gonna be interesting. He doesn't want me to help him either so I am just hoping he doesn't blow it...the ideas he has ran past me so far were completely scary. I love you Son, but I am totally crossing my fingers that one of your friends gives you a good idea or you use good judgment and come up with a nice way of answering her SOON.

To add to this, he came downstairs today with cologne on this morning. So help me, I'm not ready for all the drama that will accompany this madness... I hope he is but I think he just innocently has NO idea.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day...

Wishing all of you a Happy Valentines Day full of little acts of love!

***A few fun Valentine facts:

According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.)

Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women. In addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap".

I GET TO PLAY NURSE TODAY TO MY SICK YOUNGEST (CROUP) AND OLDEST (STOMACH FLU). SO WE ARE CAREFULLY SHOWING THE LOVE TODAY SO AS TO NOT SPREAD IT! HAPPY VDAY!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Accomplished

This one is for you Stay at Home Moms...

One of the things that people say when they find out that I do not work outside the home is, "So what do you do all day?" That kills me. How does one answer that question and still feel worthwhile and accomplished these days? Did you know that devoting your life to raising the children you bring into the world is "old fashioned"? Why is that? Being a birth mother is a totally different story than mothering. Birthing is the easy part- the sprint, raising them into adulthood, now THAT is extreme marathon... the long haul, the hardest job in the world.

Let me just say for the record that I did NOT complete my nursing degree back in my college days. I dropped out when I found out I was pregnant with my first child 2 yrs after Tony and I were married. I do not have that big degree yet,someday I will, but I am NOT stupid and am capable of intellectual thought right along with making some killer playdough monsters. ALL of my priorities changed when I my 6 lb 9 oz little blue bundle was placed in my arms... I wanted every minute I could have with him. I felt that same feeling with the 3 pink bundles that have followed him. Looking back over my life, when people would ask me what I wanted to be someday I would SAY a nurse, but THINK a mother.

My life is not like anyone else's, it's mine, it's unique to me and my circumstances. It would drive YOU crazy perhaps, actually I have no doubt on that, but to me it is my calling. So to you who have asked or are thinking that the life of a stay at home Mom is glamorous, carefree days of soap operas and bon bons... how wrong you are. Lets take a look at mine as an example shall we? My days: I care for 4 children, 2 elderly in-laws, and a handicapped sister in law. I get up at 5:30 am to drive my son to drivers education. I medicate my children with health issues and send them off to school. I have a husband who works out of the home and all day Sadie and I are to remain quiet as to not disturb business calls which is great fun with an active 4 yr old. I have a dog and a cat that need attending to. I have friends and loved ones that I check in with and pray for continuously. I run 6 miles 3 days a week up a mountain. I clean, fix, budget, cook, nurse, launder, garden, and practice the domestic duties daily with a tarnished, crooked tiara on my head. I drive my children to marching band, play practice, activity days, story time, dance class, preschool, and play dates. I check in with my in-laws each day to see if they are in need of help and usually they are, so off either Tony or I go to help. I pull individual kids aside to spend one on one time with each of them as much as I can. I live by medication schedules, children schedules, work schedules, and doctor visits. I attempt to have the occasional date with my husband of 18 yrs and keep our marriage from falling apart. I pay the bills, cut the coupons, and try to keep life organized.

Splurging to me is buying something on clearance- always under $20.00 but preferably under $10. Being able to think of something I want to do and not something everyone else will enjoy. Stealing some time away to read a book that is gathering dust on my end table is a luxury. Watching a cooking show I've had DVR'd for weeks is heaven! Finding a few minutes to keep a blog for my parents who live across the country (why I do this) is something enjoyable to me! I'd love to sew more, craft more, scrapbook beautiful pages for all of my children, but let's be realistic. Somethings just have to give... for now anyway.

I wouldn't trade anything for my life. Not a billboard, not a gold metal, any amount of money, nothing. As busy as my days become I have no doubt that I am irreplaceable. I am molding young minds, old minds, & teaching faith and character. I am married to my best friend that lets me pummel him with problems and never flinches. I screw up and I am forgiven. I am hugged, spit up on, neglected, and yet completely fulfilled and happy to live it all.

So you tell me, does what I do all day warrant the blank look? The lack of a more impressive career? That "what are you contributing to society" connotation? The lack of applause or accolade? All I know is that when I fall in bed at night I am completely exhausted and to me THAT means I have most definitely been accomplished.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snowflakes



Okay... I made 7... yes 7.... giagantic snowflakes for that event I mentioned below. They turned out beautifully though and I was happy with the finished product. It took a little time to cut and tape each section and then assemble them and get the right sides together. I also used card stock because they were big and I needed them to be heavy duty. I originally tried to do it with wrapping paper (small ones) but they didn't work because the paper collapsed under the weight of the things when I hung them up.

I made 3 sizes and got so many compliments on them, one lady came up to me afterward and asked me if she could use them for the schools winter dance. So they got recycled and I didn't have to haul them home. Glad it's over. The pattern can be found here. I made the individual sections in 12 x 12 (giant), 10 x 10 (medium), and 8 x 8 for the smallest of these big daddy thingies. The hardest part was getting the individual sections to stay together, they kept wanting to pop open. What I finally figured out was that I used the THICK large glue dots and then used scotch tape over the top of that and then they didn't do that anymore and stayed together nicely. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Individual Worth

My daughter was asked to give a quick thought on Sunday night to a group of girls and their parents. (And YES, someone planned this on Superbowl sunday, so likely it will just be girls and MOMS that show). Apparently, different girls are getting up to speak about different scripture stories and the values they represent. I, admit, I wrote this paragraph for her to read because she is never home long enough to set down and do it (and I do kinda love writing). Anyway, I am really happy with how it turned out and thought I would post it as a little inspirational thought (I kinda like those as well). Oh, and get this, now they have also asked me to decorate for the event. How do I get sucked into these things? (Those decorations are a WHOLE different post, it's been challenging. The theme of the night has complicated THIS YEARS "Opening Ceremonies").

Esther:

Esther was a girl that had to show great faith and courage. When her mission was presented to her, she knew that she needed much more than beauty to accomplish such a great task as to save her people. She knew that it was only she, who had found favor with the King, that could save the Jewish people from the evil plan against them. Esther prayed and prepared wisely, fasting for 3 days and waiting for the right moment, to make her plea. When the situation presented itself she knew she must have faith and bravely stated, “If I perish, I perish”. In the end, she was able to convince the King not to allow the injustice against her people to be carried out. Esther was told by her uncle, “who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this”. We have come today to the Earth as daughters of God, each given our own unique missions, and are of as much individual worth and value to our time as Esther was in hers.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

i love em! If you don't already have a good chocolate chip cookie recipe, try this one...

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES:

2 Sticks of Better
2 Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
3 Cups Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Salt
1 bag chocolate chips

Bake at 375 for 8-11 minutes. Wish I had a picture but they never stick around long enough :(

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cocoon


I have been doing a LOT of thinking again this week. I'm completely sick of it! I over analyze everything & I get myself very frustrated sometimes. Being introspective caused me, over the years, to build a little wall around myself. I finally have realized that I need to stop thinking small, cocoon size small, and start thinking BIG. To get out of that safe little cocoon a bit more. My little safe space had great benefits for protecting my kids once upon a time but I now realize it has had some undesirable side effects on me over time. I have kind of lost myself in the little details and really want to get back to the big picture. I know who I am and what I stand for, but I guess I've avoided like the plague anything that puts it to the test. Translation: I've lost a big chunk confidence in myself and my abilities.

So I've been going about life getting really good at certain things and yet I've lost a lot of other skills. That was a signal to me that it might be time to start working my way out of the "cocoon" and learn that I can do more with my life than ignore things around me, and reality (past and present), to keep myself hidden away. Perhaps it is time for a little metamorphosis, I do enjoy change. I don't want to wait till my world is shaken off it's safe foundation to appreciate, really appreciate life, and everyone in it. I want to feel the sun on my wings and just share the reality that I do, in fact, have wings and they are unique to me and not like anyone else. I want to use them to make a difference in my home AND in the world around me as well, even if I fly into a window now and then I will have been brave enough to fly... Even if I only manage to accomplish something so small, so insignificant that only God himself will appreciate it.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fog

It was foggy this morning and I had an interesting thought as I drove the kids to school and it set off my anolytical mind- really love analogies...

Fog is strange, some parts are harder to see through than others and sometimes I find that I am at the mercy of the 5 feet ahead rule. Today as I was in the thickest part of a fog, not sure what was very far ahead of me and I had an epiphany of sorts. I wanted to hurry but knew it was best to take an unclear path slowly, simple enough. As I approached the distance, little by little things started to look clearer. I realized that this is where I am in my life right now. I've been struggling through the fog, trying to take it slow, fight the urge to look too far ahead and get frustrated or confused by the slow pace, but now things are starting to look clearer. Things I struggled with but learned some lessons from are making sense finally- I'm seeing the WHY! I suppose the fog is our living by faith (trusting when we cannot see), inching along in our embryonic state as we learn to be bigger, better, and more brave while approaching the unknown. The sun is the WHY, it comes out and burns off the fog and then if we are looking, we will see where we've ended up and why/how we got there. Today, for me, the sun is coming out and I see the road much, much, clearer and I stand in awe. I suppose I am grateful for fog, it makes me appreciate the clarity and honesty of the sun.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sweet 16 to my Sonshine.

Finally, he got his laptop!

Sweet 16!

Enough pictures mom, really....

Not sure why he was SO determined not to smile on camera, must be a teenager boy thing.

Dear Christian...
You probably have heard this story a million times but I never want you to forget it and someday you will miss my constantly play by play of your birth. You were born on my grandmothers birthday back in 1994, so your Dad and I decided to use her fathers name... Christian. You're middle name is after your dad... Anthony. Somehow, you are turning 16! It's a big milestone. I have been at your side for every birthday and all those parties... the alien one, the army guy one, the cars, the Chuck E Cheese party, it all was joy to me. You have been one of the biggest gifts in my life. This birthday has caused me to look back over the years with a little sadness. It has everything to do with you only being 2 yrs away from 18. I can't look beyond that or it breaks my heart. You have grown into a handsome, strong, incredibly good young man my son, no wonder I was only blessed with one boy- I got the BEST!! I have every confidence in your future. I love you Chi Chi! Mom

Monday, January 18, 2010

Diet tip #1


Got a good diet tip today...

Eat BREAKFAST like a KING (or QUEEN)
Eat LUNCH like a PRINCE (or PRINCESS)
Eat DINNER like a PAUPER

and don't forget to play ball in your tiara!

In other words I need to do a 360 on my meals but it's doable!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Birthday Blocks


I made these little blocks to give the kids at church when they have a birthday since I'm in charge of them a little longer. It's kept me very busy this week. So far I've done 30 with 8 to go. I think I may now be a Modge Podge expert. It's fun stuff! The problem is that my sander is dull and needs a new belt before I do any more. My garage is one big pile of sawdust. LOVE getting my hands dirty but think I love using hubby's power tools most of all. My girls loved them, hope the other kids enjoy them too.

UPDATE as of January 17: I have finally passed the torch to the next willing parent and am no longer in charge of the children. I did hear them singing in church last Sunday and felt a twinge of sadness that the torch was passed but I also NEEDED to do something new and say goodbye to that, as hard as it was.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Answered Prayers

I was very blessed this past weekend. I had prayers answered. I mean COMPLETELY answered, down to the details. I am SO grateful. It makes it very obvious to me that I have a living Savior listening to my prayers everyday. I already knew this but it was such a powerful affirmation. I should never doubt it but sometimes I let stress take over my brain and my heart. I have been feeling so worn out and dried up spiritually lately... my spiritual "well was dry" as they say. Sometimes I doubt that my pleading is even getting past the ceiling and it seems many go unanswered. I should never doubt. Someday I will learn to wait on the Lord.... in His time and in His way answers come, not up to me or my time line. Patience, however, is not something I have in great supply, gotta work on that.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Here we go... 2010!!!

Goodbye 2009... I will NOT miss you!

Hello, New Year! So full of promise.... and repentance. Time to do the dirty work, the sweat equity, recommit to doing better when I've screwed up, and avoiding stepping in any mountainous piles of ca-ca.

This year, I will try to look at everyday as a new beginning.
I will learn from every slip.
I am one of the thousands that is determined to get in shape this year.
I want to eat better and get my kids to want to do the same.
I want to think of others and not be too focused on me that I do not see a need in someone else.
I hope I am able to feel more gratitude and have less of an "attitude".
I will organize this massive pile of clutter I call a home.
I want to be my kids example of courageous, strong, kind, gentle, and balanced.
I want to laugh more and open my eyes to all the precious, irreplaceable moments.
I will try to better all past & present relationships.
I want to do what God would want me to be doing with my time on Earth.
I will simplify.
Mostly, I just want to enjoy the journey.
And then I'd like to retire the letter "I" from my vocabulary. (As seen in the above list, far too overused).

To help me remember there were good moments in the past year I created a little video diary. Enjoy this little recap of 2009, I'm not so good at slide shows yet but here she is...

video