Tuesday, September 19, 2017

up early

Today I walked for the first time in 2 weeks.  I've been walking and driving for 2 weeks, but today was my first morning walk in a looong time.  It's so nice to just roll out and go walk.  I have had an entire hour to just think and cook and stretch my body before everyone wakes up and the business takes over.

I'm grateful to my friend who motivated me to walk.  I'm grateful for the blogger that motivated me to seek morning solitude.  May I be more patient today than yesterday.  Not like yesterday was terrible, but walking early helps.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


We had a harrowing trip to Louisiana but then had a lovely visit with Phillip's uncle C and aunt A.

Friday, September 8, 2017

new forecast

Sot the storm may hit more westerly.  How do they even know it will turn at all?  So maybe Gtown won't  be better, but it will be higher.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

more preparations

We're heading to Gtown and taking the generator with us.  P was able to get the tank filled up but he wasn't able to buy a second tank.  Today on my way home from our homeschool group kick-off event I stopped at Walgreens and asked if I could buy an empty tank.  They sold it to me for full price but it only cost $8 to fill it up at Tractor Supply.  All in all it's a huge blessing to have a back up tank ready to go.  I've seen many stores with tanks in their storage cage.  I don't think all stores are willing to sell them.  Or maybe nobody wants to buy an empty for full price, not knowing how easy it is to get it filled up. 

Grandparents C and S said we could come to their home and eat all their food.  Yay!  They are so good to us.  So I'm packing up non-perishable things and clothes.

It's amazing how having a food storage mindset has really blessed us in this chaos.  I'm not worried about what we'll eat for the next week.  We've got food in the pantry.  I did have to get diapers on Tuesday.  And I did pick up some water.  But we're incredibly blessed that we already had most of our preparations in place.  I know that it is a luxury to have enough money to buy things in bulk to have this advance supply.  I'm just grateful for the church teachings that help us out in these temporal crises.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

rush on the Walmart

Today I went to buy some diapers and thought I'd get some water too since there may be a hurricane next week(!)  G also needed some water balloons for class and told me at 10am(!)  So we went to walmart and found that the entire city was there too.  Yay.  It was just like Christmas but not.  The store was already out of water and the store brand diapers in baby's size.  But we did get the water balloons and the nicer diapers. 

Then we went to Save a lot where we found water back by the bathrooms and were allowed to buy 4 gallons.  Yay for rationing. 

Irma is a week off but so far G has no school on Thursday and Friday.  I'll ask P to fire up the generator and consider getting another tank of propane.  Yay!


Sunday, September 3, 2017

self reliance

I've joined a self reliance group at church.  We'll meet weekly to help each other with personal finance.  Everyone in the group knows about Dave Ramsey and most of us were raised with the idea of avoiding consumer debt.  I am really enjoying the opportunity to pursue one of my favorite hobbies with church friends.  I've done a spreadsheet for years but am going to try daily writing down my transactions and reconciling that with the spreadsheet.  I know I need to get back to using the envelope system more.  Things have been out of control for the last 3 months as I tried to help my dad.  I've been paying so much attention to his problems and loaning money to him so my own family's finances are messy.  Time to get it cleaned up!

I'm really looking forward to the end of this month when things will hopefully be fixed for my dad and I get my families finances back in order.

I set up a composition notebook to write things down in.  I am a person that processes through writing.  I am hopeful that daily writing down my transactions will help my brain get things sorted out.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

to see the temple

Today we went to Orlando.  I'm so grateful we took the time to go.  We left at 8:45 and got home around 7.  It takes all day with the drive and trading off the kids.  P went first and I took the kids to 2 different parks.  Thank goodness for big canopies over the play structures.  P took the kids to a McDonalds with a 3 story play structure.

On the way home we took a detour to Sam's club and got raisin bran.  It was a good day.

Friday, September 1, 2017

looking good

Today P and I did some clothes shopping.  Labor day weekend sales saved us a lot of money, but it's not like we would have just gone out and paid full price for this quality otherwise.  I'm glad the sales allowed us to feel better about getting some really nice items.  P got some new shoes from Bass and a sports coat from Brooks Brothers.  He looks great.   I got some new items at Lane Bryant.  It is so nice to be able to go into a store and get help with your measurements.  My new clothes feel great!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Not the lesson you thought you were learning

L is very interested in Dora.  I'm reminded of a conversation I had a few years ago with a young woman.  She criticized Dora for not being very good at teaching spanish.  I said the point of Dora was to teach children call and response, and to keep lists. 

We watched this great talk for Ted Talk Tuesday last week.   Melody tells a story of swimming laps holding her breath the entire length of the pool.  At the end she asked why they were doing it.  Her coach says the point of the exercise was to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

I think so many of the things we go through in life are not for the sake of learning how to do that thing.  If we look for the lessons we can learn in those hardships, we'll be much better off for having gone through them.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

dream home

inside%20clipartToday I'm teaching about how to help your family.  I've got this cute clip art on 3 pages.  We'll talk about what you dream home looks like, feels like, and features etc...  Then we'll talk about our future home and talk about what's important and essential for a Christ centered home.  Then we'll talk about how to have those things in our current family home.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Saturday, August 19, 2017

bigs day

Today we visited Gtown and the big kids got to do some awesome activities at a city party.
We also got to play human foosball.  lP got really incensed when the other team had 3 people on the goal rod.  It was embarrassing.  But overall we had a great time.  Thanks Gtown!

The kids also learned how to weave boondoggle today.  Fun.  Thanks Grandma!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

current times

There are some really terrible hatreds being laid to sunlight in our country and the world.  The group, white people, that has enjoyed power and position for the last 200 years in America is very upset that talent in other ethnicities is no longer under their control.  I've read from people claiming this is just a desire to honor their ancestors.  Fine.  I've also read ridiculous claims like "This country has been 90% white for hundreds of years."  The wealth and power in this country has been held by white people for hundreds of years.  Because our towns and communities are often very segregated it is easy for some people to be completely unaware that there are other races represented in our citizenry.

The church issued this statement quoting Gordon B. Hinckley: “No man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ.”

“White supremacist attitudes are morally wrong and sinful, and we condemn them.”

A blogger I have been amused to read claims that the church is being hypocritical to have a Polynesian cultural center.  This person doesn't seem to get it that BYU, and BYU-I are European cultural centers.   She must take it for granted that BYU and BYU-I are just teaching what is "normal" or all that is worth knowing.

I loved going to school at BYU.  I value the training and experiences I had there.  My professors were all wonderful Christians and excellent in their field of study.  I studied music and in that field it is particularly obvious that the only history we study is European music history.  That's OK.  Just recognize that European history is already being taught.  It is not an assault on the value of European history to teach other histories as well.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

still walking

I'm still walking.  Walking has opened up many opportunities for me.  If I hadn't been a walker on this past trip to Virginia we wouldn't have had the experience of walking to the park or the gardens.  Walking gives me a lot of quality time with the children.  I'm so grateful for walks.  It's not just good for my body, but for my mind and relationships.  I'm so grateful to be in the best health I've been in over 12 years!


I got to give a talk today in Sacrament meeting.  I thank my mother for raising a woman that loves to give talks.  It takes a lot of preparation and I cry a lot, but I always learn a lot and don't hate the actual act of public speaking.

I talked about how the scriptures help us during these trying times.  I talked about how our times are trying and that the scriptures are love letters from God.  He loves us  a lot and looks forward to seeing us again.  I included this gem from P's family history:

I concluded that I must have a house and housekeeper, for the way I had to live was too troublesome. I had agreed with a young woman in Vermont to marry her. I had written two or three times to her, but received no answer, and I concluded she had give up the bargain and thought she would not go so far from her father and mother. I wrote a letter to that effect and told her to marry to suit herself if she could. I would not stand in her way and I gave up the idea of going back to see her. I went looking about to see if I could find anyone I liked to keep house for me. I went down the creek about 10 miles from Abner's to a meeting, and I got talking with a young man there and told him what my name was and where I had my claim, and it was very unhandy for me to go so far night and morning to work and I needed a woman to keep house. He said he knew of one he thought I could get and he would introduce me to her. I stayed with her that night; she seemed very willing to marry me and wanted to know when I would come again. I told her I did not know; I had no house of my own and I didn't know when I could get one. Perhaps in a week or two...I thought I would go and see her again. I went over to the spring and was making ready to go to the meeting and see that girl, when here came a person and handed me a letter. I opened it and behold it was from my sweetheart in Vermont. She wrote with so much affection that I sat down and wept freely. She wrote that she was astonished at the last letter I wrote her--that she had written three or four letters and I had got none of them--that she had not changed her mind at all, and had been preparing to go there just as soon as I thought proper; that she was willing to go into that country and her folks were willing she should go there. We all were well acquainted with each other, for we had lived within a half mile apart for about 10 or 12 years, and had been to the same school together every winter. I did not go to see Miss Polly Done and I heard that she was very much disappointed, for she thought to catch me, and was preparing to keep house for me.

When communication breaks down we think someone doesn't love us.

The summer I met P we dated for about a month, then he went to school in Florida.  I didn't hear from him for 2 weeks.  I was pretty sure he'd gone back to Florida and moved on.  Ouch.  

He likes to point to this family history for why he didn't write, because after all....  And didn't I know he loved me?  But when you're 20 and the guy leaves, and you don't hear from him, in a time of letters, email and phone...  Sheesh.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


I've never let my kids play games with zombies.  I don't like shooting games in general.  I didn't like the idea of the undead or their receiving callous abuse.  Today the kids were playing minecraft which I specifically don't like because of the zombies.  I'm OK with creator mode. 

I think it's really toxic to create this class of people that are un-people so it's OK to kill them.  That's the basis of so much killing in the real world.  And children are practicing this mental categorization through video games from a young age.  Then when they are older and feel like someone they don't like is a zombie, it's OK to denigrate, violate and kill them.  Great.

It's interesting to me that the survival mode of Minecraft is free.  Obviously if creator mode was free, who would ever pay for the survival mode.  Clever marketing.  So if you don't want your children to play with zombies, you have to pay.  That's OK.  We'll probably never pay for it, but we definitely won't let them play survival mode.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Once Crazy Summer

School starts next week.  That's impossible!  Summer just started.  I went out to Utah at the end of May to help my dad.  P was able to take some time off work so he handled everything, everything, with the kids while I was away.  The remaining summer has been a blur of handling things for my dad and we went up to Virginia for the last 2 weeks to handle more things for my dad.  I can't believe this summer has gone by so quickly.

While in Virginia we did spend some awesome times with my sister MJ.  She came with her kids and we had fun.  The kids got to walk to Mason District park and to the Green Springs Garden.  

We'd never really explored the walkable area around my dad's house.  It was really nice.  I brought a blow up pool and the kids had fun in that one day. 
Then it rained and we took it down until the next week when we set it up and it rained with hail!
Mary brought a cotton candy machine!

We went downtown and spent time at the Natural History museum.  There was a Maori art display and a dance troop there doing traditional dances.  It was really cool! 
 It was nice to spend time with my sister's family and my dad. 
My dad gets annoyed by children running around and possibly damaging the house.  But there were several sweet moments like this where he took time to be kind.  He was trying to show L how to spin the fidgit spinner.

Another time these 3 rascals were fighting on the couch and my dad said "Don't fight, don't fight" very sweetly instead of yelling...  These 3 boys are 1 year apart each and it was my little L that was often dictating the craziness level.  L also liked to climb up into MJ's lap and say "Mine" just to drive her son crazy.

Later in the week we met up with P's gator band friend M and his family.  The playground we went to in Arlington was amazing!  We'll definitely go again.

We also went to the Medical museum at Walter Reed that afternoon.  It was intense but I'd like to make it a regular visit.

  Seeing those body parts and medical history was really different than anything I'd ever seen.  Then we went up to the temple visitor's center and had a nice visit there.

We still haven't done school shopping!  Now we're back in the coastal town and hopefully we'll have time to get to the beach.  Hopefully.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Reign of the Judges

We've been reading the Book of Mormon with the Stake since February.  We started a tradition of all saying "reign of the Judges" together and dramatically whenever that is mentioned in the scriptures. We just finished Helaman with many instances of it.  Those that are following along in their scriptures are more likely to catch on faster than those that are just listening.  B loves to echo so we wait for his little voice like the other shoe dropping, after we chime in.  Then we hear his little voice, sometimes from another room, "The Reign of the Judges!"

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ted talk Tuesday

Tonight we started a new tradition; Ted Talk Tuesday.  We watched Malcolm Gladwell's talk about Choice, happiness, and spaghetti sauce.  P and I really like Ted Talks.  The kids like watching videos but hadn't known about Ted Talks until tonight.  I hope to show the kids great ideas and also that it's really awesome to become an expert at something and be able to articulate your ideas to others.

The only other place we see people speaking in any way close to this is at church.  Most people who speak at church love the gospel but there is a culture of self depreciation at church.  People actually say they don't like to give a talk.  I think the idea is to project humility, but it comes across as is they don't want to speak.  I guess a lot of people don't want to get up and talk in front of others, but I think it's useful to force that culture on everyone else.  Lay speaking is really important and you can't leave it to just the people who like talking.  It's a service that needs to be done and complaining doesn't make it better.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Today we had various challenges.  Mostly it was a quiet day but after dropping my mom off at the airport we realized her phone was still in the car.  I sent M and G in to see if they could see her at the service desk.  Apparently they went into the bowels of the airport enough to know she had passed security.  The guy monitoring the waiting and drop off area gave me permission to take the phone to the desk myself, but they wouldn't take it.  They did page my mom so we went and parked the car to take everyone in.  I'm so glad I called P who sensibly said I should just park.  It was an obvious next step but somehow I was worried that if I left the curb, my mom may come out and I wouldn't be there.  We met up with her in the food court and got to say goodbye again.

Later in the evening we got free slurpies.  The kids were so grateful to share around 1 small slurpie.  They didn't make a mess and were so, so, so grateful.  I love to treat them and not let them get too entitled.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

We made it!

 We went to the river and got everything packed into the cars prior to boarding the trams.  One of the things that was locked in the car was my waterproof camera.  Oh well.  I was holding baby on a raft and it was sort of really top heavy.  So it's a good thing I wasn't also trying to juggle a camera.  L was so wiggly for 98% of the ride.  Those moments of serenity when I could scan for the other children and notice the clear water, were really nice.
 We had a picnic out of the back of the van.
 We didn't have a table but the rafts served us well yet again.
 Everyone had plenty to eat and time to dry off.  We hardly used any towels which was interesting to me since I'd packed a huge bucket of them.  We usually don't have enough towels.
 L is 2 now and it's interesting to see how the family dynamic changes.  He's still in diapers but not nursing.  He doesn't talk much but he communicates a lot.  We look forward to how in just a year we'll be able to enjoy a lot of activities without the baby dynamic.
At church one of us is often out in the hall with L.  The other 4 can sit in the pew and entertain themselves very well.  It's amazing to think what church will be like in just 1 or 2 years. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

lazy river

We've gone to this river many times while we've lived here.  Usually about once a year we get together with the Porters and float the river.  2 years ago we bought our own boats, but because of sickness each time we scheduled a float, we still haven't used them!

So we're planning to go this weekend and I'm excited.  I'm trying to remember to just have a good time and enjoy the beauty.  We have a waterproof camera that makes it easier to make beautiful and amazing memories. 

When my family had a family reunion in 2006 we all went.  It was so awesome to have that big group and do something so beautiful. 

Doing anything with children can make it so you can hardly enjoy the beauty or meaning of your setting.  I hope to enjoy their wonder more.  It's been long enough since we went that it will be a completely different experience for lP, and B has no memory of it.  I'm so glad we're gong to be able to go.  Fingers crossed.

Sunday, July 2, 2017


I bore my testimony today about how we're like diamonds.  We are precious and have amazing potential.  We can become something symbolic or decorative.  We can also become capable of drilling through anything.  And we can choose what we become.

lP wanted to bear her testimony too.  She stood and started talking and then signing what she was trying to express.  She told the story of how one time she fell while going down a slide.  She felt like her arm was broken.  So we went to the doctor and she prayed.  It turned out that her arm was not broken and she said prayer helps. 

I also know prayer helps.  I'm so pleased with lP's figuring this out.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

a moment to reflect

We went out to eat last night for our anniversary.  The children were pretty good.  Thanks to Wendy's 4 for $4 the kids have seen the inside of a restaurant more often than in any other period of their lives.  And thanks to our choice of Golden Corral there was no need to occupy hungry kids while we waited for dinner.  Yay!  It was hectic but not terrible.  The baby was the only one who dropped food or cried.  It was nice.

Later that night we stopped by a neighbors house for a party she'd invited us to for her sister.  It was a small party and the children were again very well behaved. 

I got to go to a wedding reception tonight and just took the 3 older children.  They each only had 1 soda and didn't make a mess or much noise.  I'm grateful for moments to just be out and not frazzled chasing them.

I was reading my old blog and I was as frazzled with 2 littles as I am with 5.  Having a baby always makes it hectic.  I'm looking forward to life in about 1-2 years when everyone is pretty chill, maybe
: )  Even going to the beach is less stressful.  The older 3 can swim and take turns playing on the beach with the little 2.  It's so nice.  I need to go more often.

When they grow up and say they're from Florida, and people ask if they went to the beach all the time, I'd like for them to say "Yeah, pretty much."

Thursday, June 22, 2017


As my friend and I sat watching the children run roam and climb around the area my friend commented that I'm so calm as they are doing things that would cause her to panic.  People often tell me I'm calm but this was the first time someone identified specifically what I'm calm about.  It's true I let my kids climb and do things many parents don't let them do.  But I try to not let them sass or be mean.  I come down on them when they hurt other people or are rude.   I wasn't at all calm today after I'd told lP we were leaving the pool and she jumped back in. 

If the kids get hurt, I know a magical place where people can fix just about anything.  But if my kids act like monsters, that's on me.  I ask them "Do I look like the kind of mom that is going to just let you act like that?"  B has a lovely habit of saying "Yes mom" and "No mom" so appropriately. 

LP has a bad habit of complaining.  We're working on it.  She'll complain that I did something wrong and I'll say "Is that how you're going to get it fixed?"  or "Do you think talking like that is going to make me want to help you?"  And as soon as she asks like a kind child, I'm very eager to help her out.  It's a process...


We went on a walk with my friend who lives by the intercoastal.  The breeze was strong and the temperature was perfect.  We found this nice grassy area with an amazing tree.  It was a wonderful way to spend an evening.  I'm so grateful to live in this beautiful place and know people full of such grace.
I love living here.

Friday, June 16, 2017

new van

Did I mention we have a new van?  It's pretty cool to have all the big kids in the back row because there are 3 shoulder belts back there.  And with this car, the middle row seats turn around.  So it's a big, loud party back there.  And I fixed the movie players, yes, there are movie players, for $20 instead of $1000.  So when we're on a longer trip, like 2 hours, I turn the little ones around so they can watch a movie.
It's also nice that the space between the driver's seat and the middle seats can function as semi-permanent storage for spare shoes and diaper bags.  And the area between all the kids feet stays less messy.  It's easier to clean out somehow when the seats are facing each other.  The kids really like the new van and feel like it is very fancy.  Heck!  So do I.

baby whisperer

P is very good at baby training.  He trained B and L to go to sleep to counting.  He frequently took an inconsolable baby from me and counted them to sleep.  Now he has another routine that is amazing.
We have scriptures and prayer at 8.  M and P brush teeth and go to their room.  G does his online math class.  B and L watch 2 episodes of Signing Time.  B gets a diaper and prayer, goes to bed.  L gets a bottle and watches the "My Day" episode of Signing time with the lights off, and he goes to sleep.  I am so amazed at P's ability to create routine and structure in a real way for the children.  I am even able to duplicate these results because of P's good teaching of them and me! 

Monday, June 12, 2017

The cat came back

I took a sudden trip out to visit family.  It was cool to visit and go places without worrying about the kids safety and entertainment.  But I missed them a lot and by the end of my visit I was falling apart.

The fun things I did were several family picnics and seeing folks I hadn't seen for years.  I also got to go to Bridal Veil Falls and just enjoy the place without worrying about keeping kids safe.  I wandered Ikea and got lost without anyone crying. 

P was able to take some time off to parent 24/7.  He took the kids to the library, museums, a tour of Everbank field, the natural history museum, the Lightner museum, the Governor's house, the GRM nature center, and the Moma!  He also fed them every day!  At each of these locations P had the children answer questions that he later used to have them solve the puzzle of when I was coming home.  He's so awesome.

Now that I'm home I find the children are so willing to help out.  They are loud, but not fighting so much.  They also put themselves to sleep.  It's strange and wonderful.  I need to spend more time hugging them.

When they picked me up from the airport L wouldn't get close to me.  He was mad I think.  He's come around now and I can be more grateful for all his love and attention.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

neckline and sleeves

 This is M's rock princess dress that I added sleeves to.  She likes to wear a black t-shirt under the dress anyway because the sequins itch on the back.
lP has a shirt that is the same color as this dress.  When M wore this dress I sewed a bib into it but that got stained and so I took it out and had lP wear an undershirt.  Then she found a t-shirt that is such a good match.  I'm glad my girls accept keeping their bodies covered.  This picture of lP also captures the state of her teeth.  Many doughnuts will be had next time we go to G-town.

keep walking

I'm still walking!  Yay!  It's becoming a habit and I don't have to try anymore.  I just get up and go.  If baby is awake I take him.  If another child is awake, I take them.  B rides his bike.  M, G and lP walk with me.  If my neighbor can walk, I ride my bike to her house and then we walk.  Sometimes I can't go because P is driving G to school early.  It's OK.  I'm so grateful that being off sugar has cured me of that morning ache that makes it so hard to get up and exercise.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Tales of Shakespeare

G is getting old enough that he needs to learn skills that are not obvious to me.  It was obvious how to work with him on learning to read, write, and math.  Now we're going into areas that are less familiar.  He is already a good writer but I don't know how to help him improve.  He reads voraciously and P feels that's the most important thing. 

This summer I plan for him to read the Tales of Shakespeare by Mary and Charles Lamb.  I want him to write down the characters, plot/summary, and moral of the story.  I also want him to keep an eye out for cultural references. 

I think I'll let him do one story a week.  Day 1: read the story.  Day 2: fill out the paper with the above information.  Day 3: read the wiki page about the story.  Day 4: look up some media adaptation of the story and watch it.  Day 5: answer some quiz questions about the story.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


 My brother was able to stop by for a couple hours yesterday.  It was nice to hang out and let the kids be reacquainted. 
What a bunch of cute kids!

camp out

I love how L and B look the same size in this picture.  P took all 3 boys to the fathers and sons camp out and his dad S also came along.  What a great time!

Thursday, May 18, 2017


P installed hooks on the eaves so he could string up a tarp.  The children have had a lot of fun with this huge shaded area.  I think it is equal to or larger than the area of the screened porch.  I set up this inflatable pool and it has been so fun for 2 days.  Then it became sort of a hassle because the kids were in there constantly and we had no more clean towels...  So we drained it tonight and I may set it up again next week.  It was so nice how much all 5 kids loved to be in it.  They have such a gift for joy.  It's amazing how when this is the only pool you have, it's awesome!  The free pool opens in a week though so I plan to be there pretty constantly.  But in the fall we'll have to remember this fun and get it out some more after the free pool is closed.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

rotating toys

B got some nice Duplos for his birthday and so we had Duplos for a few days.  Today I asked him to clean them up before watching a movie.  Then someone gave him a car toy so I just put the bucket of Duplos away and lP brought out the car bin.  Nobody is asking for computer turns or to watch a movie.  They are just happy playing with toys.  I am so grateful to have reached this moment. 

I've had a few sleepless  nights and I've still been able to get up and walk each morning.  I'm so grateful that I haven't given in to eating sugary treats.  I know it makes me achy and have less motivation when I do.  I hope I just accept that this is my reality.

In church one of the Young Women was giving the lesson and said "Some people wish they could just not be a Mormon for 1 day."  I commented that it is not being a Mormon that invokes the consequence of breaking rules.  We are all free to do whatever we want.  If we want to dress, act, or eat whatever we want, the consequences follow.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day that I'm looking forward to

Today I asked G to make breakfast.  He cooked up a bunch of the sausage biscuits I bought as a treat for him.  So nice. 

Phillip is talking in church today, lP is also giving a talk.  I'll be teaching E in YW about making our prayers more meaningful.

After church we'll pack up and go to G-town.  I'm preparing a feast of sandwiches, carrots, apples, chips and a bunt cake.  Being a bit of a controlling personality I like knowing there will be a party and plenty of food for everyone.  It doesn't bother me to make it.  I hope to raise my children up to contribute to parties as they grow up. 

Friday, May 12, 2017


P took the boys, all of them, on the father son campout.  The girls and I are hanging out watching veggi-tales and planning to sleep in the firepit area.  It's called the firepit because the fireplace is at the edge of it and it is a 2 step down area about 12x12 that the toys live in.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

summer heat

We're heading into the hot months.  There is a fire about 100 miles away and that's making the air a sludge of smoke+pollen.  Coughs abound.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


My kids have friends and they are at an age that people like to tease them about being a couple.  I'm trying to help my kids remember that they aren't even allowed to date until college.  So just enjoy having a friend and don't let other people teasing ruin your childhood friendships.  Also, don't tease people about having romantic interests in their friends.  That is never nice and you certainly don't want to have people do that to you, so don't do it!  It's never nice and is only funny to mean people.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

rainbow life

These kids got to participate in a dance class the library put on for 3 months.  The librarian that ran it grew up dancing and always wanted to teach.  She became a librarian and has been offering this program since she was hired.  I love this example of doing something secure and continuing to serve with your passion.  The classes were great and the performance was just the level of stress I can handle.  I'm so grateful for this program.

The girls have been doing gymnastics for the last 3 months too thanks to a gym that is offering homeschool lessons for just $5.

 It's hard to say no to free and $5, they are some of my best friends!  Life can get really hectic though.  I love taking the kids out and doing fun activities.  With homeschool we miss out on a lot of the good aspects of school, but we have a lot of time to go and do other things.  It's fun.

Friday, May 5, 2017


Today we cleaned the 97 sentra.  It's funny to me to have a car that would have been fancy and new when I graduated High School.  I detailed the inside as best I could while the children slapped the outside with soapy towels.  We don't have a hose outside that can easily reach the car.  I wish I'd remembered to move the car over to the side of the house where the hose would have been accessible.  But the kids had a lot of fun and I mostly let them.  The baby won the "dirtiest helper" by slipping and falling in a puddle of water and pollen.  Ick.

Life is so sweet.

Last night we took G to a vocabulary competition.  He won along with his friend D.  D has been a language and intellectual peer since kindergarten.  I'm so grateful for G to have a smart friend.

My boots came but I forgot to get the wide calf version.  Thankfully I ordered from Zappos so exchange is pretty easy.  It's interesting that they came today when I'm feeling all icky from allergies.  I also ate raisin bran yesterday which has a lot of sugar in it.  So I'm denied the boots on a day when I'm feeling the effects of trying to eat some sugar.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

talk on baptism

I was given the opportunity to speak at the baptism of a young boy yesterday.  I had it in my mind to use post it notes and show how they don't stick when the surface is dirty, or dusty.  Then I just went a little wild and used a big 24x20 framed glass.  I put rice on the glass to represent the sins we commit before we are accountable.  They just brush away.  And baptism cleans us so the Holy Ghost can really stick to us.  But then there are sins we commit after baptism and they can be washed away through repentance and taking the sacrament.  I used different condiments and put labels on them like "fighting", "lying", "anger" and sprayed them liberally on the glass.  I showed how it's best if we clean these things up quickly instead of letting them stay.  And I used a cleaning spray to represent getting help from our bishop or parents when we needed help repenting.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Adventures in getting home

We made it safely to J when P accidentally got off the interstate in a place where construction signage was a little vague.  Then within 10 minutes of navigating back to the interstate a spark plug blew up in the engine and was making a poping sound.  So we pulled over and were able to get to a service station.  We decided to take a cab home so the girls could do their activities in the afternoon.  Then 2 miles from our exit, the taxi van had to go off the road with a smoking engine.  2 small cabs came and got our family home, the last 5 miles.  What an adventure!  I'm so glad that didn't happen further from home, on the highway, or in the middle of the night. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Tonight I made flat bread and doughnuts with the YW.  I brought some dough that had been rising since 4pm.  We got our hands a little greasy then patted the dough into the shapes.  Then we cooked it and the girls took turns putting it on the griddle and flipping it.  I told them that it's not like pancakes, but you can still watch for signs that it is ready to flip. 

Then we cooked the doughnuts second and A had some cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle on them.  After that we went outside and made some dough for them to take home.  I used twist tie gallon bags to give each girl about 1-2 cups of dough.  Then they could knead it in the bag.  They can take them home and put it in the fridge to make something yummy tomorrow.

I told the girls that the most important thing about the dough was giving it time to rise.  It's interesting to me that women seem the most beautiful from age 14-16 and then go through a rough patch until about age 21-30+.  It's so tempting to try and attract attention in that early phase of rosebud beauty.  But your real beauty sets in when you're older.  I married at 21 and I just keep getting more beautiful each year!  That's what my husband says and I believe it.


Tonight at dinner G talked about how in the olden days things were really bad for women.  "They had to do whatever their husbands wanted them to do."  The kids marveled at that idea.  Then I further blew their minds by saying that I do do whatever dad wants me to do.  The trick is to marry something that wants you to be happy.  When you marry someone whose priority is your happiness, it's pretty easy to do what they want you to do.

I'm so grateful for the strong and good leadership P provides in our family.  He's so supportive of my role as a mother.  He appreciates everything I do and many things I don't do.  He even tells me that he appreciates me.

So this goes both ways because if P had married a frivolous woman (not saying I'm not...) his devotion to her happiness could lead the family into ruin.  Many families have been torn apart because pursuit of things over people.

This is heavy, but we live in a time where people get pregnant with people they don't like enough to marry.  You really shouldn't have children with someone you don't want to spend the rest of your life with.  There is so much in a child's personality that comes from their parents biology.  If your girlfriend is whiny and self centered, chances are, her baby will be too.  If the boyfriend is short tempered and can't follow up on commitments, that disposition will manifest in tantrum prone children that avoid consequences.  Actually all children are like this, that's why this is called childish behavior.  But if you're dating someone who still hasn't grown out of these behaviors, watch out!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

dressing appropriately

We were getting ready for a baptism and the children were glued to the TV.  M went and put a dress over her t-shirt and shorts.  When she came out G and lP were still in play clothes.  So M went and took off the dress, at the same time G and lP were putting on their nicer clothes.  Then it was time to go and Dad said get in the car.  So M got in the car wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt.  When we got to the baptism G had decided that if M wasn't going to be dressed up, he wasn't going to the baptism, so he didn't.  Afterward he asked if there were any brownies left.  I told him "None for you."

It can be hard to know how to behave when the people around us are doing something different than our standards.  But we have the standards in "For the Strength of Youth" and we have parents to tell us what to do.  We cannot just do what the other young people are doing.  Then we are like crabs in a bucket always pulling one another down and unable to get out.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

True lies

A little girl I know was boasting about her friend who "could have been in the olympics but she didn't want to."  I told my girls that the Olympics is something that nobody does who doesn't want it more than anything else in their life.  And I told them that many people who want it that bad still don't make it.

I'm also thinking lately about what is important for us to learn and do to live Christ centered lives.  The scriptures tell us to have a contrite spirit and broken heart.  They tell us to keep the commandments and always remember Jesus Christ. 

Can we keep the commandments if we're putting harmful things into or on our bodies? Can we claim to always remember Jesus Christ if we are unkind and judgemental of others?

Going to the temple is a great goal.  Will we find ourselves saying "I could have gone to the temple but I didn't want to..."  This is a lie because if you didn't want to go to the temple, you wouldn't make the sacrifices or be able to affirm the truths that are required.  But it is also true that you could have gone if you had wanted to.  If we want to accomplish something we have to pay the price and be what we want to be.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


P got a new phone a few months ago and I got his old phone as an ipod.  Today P got phone service for the old phone and it is so strange to me that I'm going to have a phone that I will use semi-regularly.  With my flip phone, I always left it in the car or the battery was dead...  But smart phones are pretty nice for being a phone, calendar, camera, etc...  Now I just have to try and keep my dignity by not being on the phone while my kids are wreaking havoc in public...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

my boots

So I got to day 100 and to celebrate I'm going to get the boots.  The boots I really want are only online and I wish I could find a store to go try them on.  I need the boots to remind me that I did actually accomplish something and that I don't want to go back to such a crazy life of eating sugar.  I need to eat more healthy rather than just avoiding something.  Time to grow up.   And time for some boots!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Intended results

I'm nearing the 100 mark of strict sugar avoidance.  And I've been walking a morning mile for more than a month.  I wanted to have better energy and emotional resilience from avoiding sugar.  And walking was aimed at getting me moving, maybe even having some time to think.  I must say that I'm achieving all of the intended results. 

That part of me that listens to worldly cares wishes these lifestyle changes would result in weight loss.  Thankfully that wasn't my real goal.  But I do feel great.  My legs don't ache.  I can run around with the kids.  I don't yell so much.  This is good.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

happier this way

I've been off FB since the election, mostly.  Today recently lP said something so awesome I wanted to share it.  And I was tempted.  Then I came across an article that was so upsetting, I wanted to share that too...  And that's why I had to stop.  I can't avoid the drama. 

In other news, today I bought brusselsprouts on the stem!  Yay!  I'll post a picture of that when I find the device I took it on...  I know it came home but then where did it go?

Bedtime is hard, but not so bad.  The children mostly follow their routines and don't actually cry much or often.  I'm just going to take a moment and enjoy how much better it is than at some periods in our recent past.

This guy is so sweet and adorable when he's not crying. 

I had to stay home with sick kids on Sunday and sorted out the lego area and firepit/toy area.  I felt really good about using that time to make those areas more inviting to the children.  I also read many talks and cuddled little ones with coughs.  It was a very restful Sabbath.

Friday, March 24, 2017


A few days ago G didn't have a good time at school and said he didn't want to talk about it.  The next day I deliberately asked him if he was feeling better at the dinner table.  I wanted to send the message that it's OK to talk with all of us.  P's family doesn't talk about peoples' business.  That's admirable.  I like to know when people are struggling so I can be supportive.

I think it's really important to talk things out.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Today we visited a tourist attraction in town with our Co-op.  We haven't visited this location for 4 years because they started charging residents for entry.  Can you believe it?  And it was totally worth it so I'm glad we went.  They have added several nice features.  We were there with our friends for 4 hours! 

I've been walking for the last 4 weeks thanks to some friends at church who helped me resolve to do it.  I'm so grateful for good friends that help you along the way to make good choices.  My sister and I used to walk/run when we were in college.  We had to wake up early and it was often cold.  I'm glad she helped me do that.  I feel like my body remembers that time and I'm surprised at how easily I can just get up and go walking before the whole house is awake.  I usually take at least one child with me, sometimes 4! 

We walk the mile around the block, then we have scriptures and prayer with the family.  Then by about 9am I am making breakfast.  Before I started walking we didn't have breakfast until then anyway.  So this is a great time for us.  I'm getting some exercise and we're reading the scriptures and we're not trying to fit it into a busy day.  We're just getting up earlier to get a good start on the day.

Not eating sugar helps me get up early.  When I eat sugar I wake up in pain.  It also helps that I'm not pregnant or nursing for the first time in 13 years!  But this is the first time in my life that I'm waking up to no aches and no sore feet.  I'm so grateful for the ability to avoid sugar.  In many ways I do feel better than I have felt in 13 years.  It's great!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

young love meets young testimony

I met someone who grew up in the same faith as me.  When she was a teenager she was dating someone and wound up going to church with them more often than to her parent's church.  As we discussed her understanding of Evangelical doctrine versus mine, I thought it was interesting that she had a personal relationship with Christ, but didn't have a church structure that supported that.

She said she grew up in a small congregation where everyone said the same things at Testimony meeting.  She even listed off a few points that I agree are often repeated at Testimony meeting.  They are repeated because they are important truths.  Things like "I know our Prophet is THE Prophet" and "I know families can be together forever" are important.

Our kids are currently being brainwashed to not date until college.  I hope their testimony is firmly in place by then.  Young love is addictive.  By college you are an adult and free to choose whether to go to church or not.  I hope none of the children ever stop going to church because they are in love and trying to please their girlfriend/boyfriend over serving God.

There is a doctrine that teaches that marriage is a relationship between a husband, wife and God.  And I believe that is very true.  If you marry someone who does not share a similar relationship with God, that will always be a tension in your relationship, unless you let go of your relationship with either God or your wife/husband. 

Today I also told the children that they should never take pictures of naked people or themselves naked.  This world is crazy.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


I had a decision to make.  There was a benefit I could claim if I broke the rules and lied.  So obviously I couldn't claim the benefit.  So I asked the people in charge of the benefit if we could have the benefit because we had worked hard but didn't technically qualify for the benefit.  Rather than break the rule, we asked the rule makers if they could make an exception.   We'll see how that goes.  It did actually hurt my pride to ask, but at least my integrity is intact today.


For FHE we did a timeline activity.  I made labels for the various pre-historic eras and asked the children to draw pictures of animals.  The scribbles are B's contributions.  The one on the left is a jellyfish.  The dark blue one is "the biggest fish ever".  I wanted to post these eras of time on the fireplace because many of the rocks have fossils in them.  It's so cool.

I love doing these timeline activities with the children.  I feel like it's so educational to learn about things and be able to stick them in a context of history that you can see.

We read scriptures in the morning.  I've started to create a page about each book and post it on the wall as we finish.  I'm so grateful to have this time and mindset to focus on the children learning.