Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Tonight at church there were 15 kids and 3 sets of besty friends.  When we were dividing up for an activity in 2 groups, the kids were counted off, 1s and 2s.  The bestys protested and the leader was giving in.  I asked if we could not give in to them and she supported me not supporting her. 

When I was serving in Young Women there were a few friends that were always together and the other 8 girls felt excluded by their closeness.  Nobody was leading, just being left out.  And then there was E who is deaf and excluded beyond exclusion.  Where the girls could have been doing good including someone, they were waiting to be included.

I hate besty behavior.  Be a friend, make new friends.  Don't use your friendship as an exclusive commodity to be coveted.  Besties are so involved in their dialogue that they disrupt and distract from lessons.  Besties mean teams are unfair for sports or academic challenges.  I'd love to see my children rise to enjoy challenging against their friends as they each lift those around them and enjoy a competition that isn't lopsided.

M's very fortunate to have a neighborhood friend who is a friend to all.  She's a great kid and includes G and lP.  She doesn't play game like pointing and whispering at people.  lP actually got in trouble because M told her to go home and PF kept bringing her back.  lP was supposed to have stayed home because I was taking the other two girls to choir.  It was tricky, but I'm so glad PF tries to include lP.

A best friend is not something to have, it is something to be.  When your friends are unkind or stupid, tell them.  When your friends are scared and doubting, support and comfort them.  Be a great friend. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018


Tonight we went to my friends house for dinner.  P was going to do the homeschool evaluation for their son.  It was so nice visiting with them.  I didn't know until today that B was in the band in high school .  It was really fun for P and B to share band stories.  I'm grateful for good people in the lives of our children.

Birthday party

Today we had a birthday party for B.  We followed my tried and true method of pizza at the park and it was great.  4 families came but we had a great crowd of kids.  I love to have a party where the whole family is welcome and we do some activities but mostly we eat and hang out. 

It was a baseball tournament day so the parking was crazy, but the pavilion was empty.
The ice pops and frozen yogurt tubes stayed frozen!

We've achieved a critical mass of kids so we can play games with the 12 handled parachute I have had for years.  The kids love the one where I say down and up, then call out someone's name, and they run under. 

I got some giant dice so now we can play giant dice games. Yep.

The kids had some unpleasant encounters with kids on the playground.  There was a group of about 5 older kids that were swearing and saying body parts.  One called lP a boy.  Life's like that sometimes.  If someone is willing to tell lies, believe that they are a liar.  If someone is willing to exclude you from their games, believe that they do not want to be nice to you.  Leave them alone.  They have nothing you want.

Thursday, May 24, 2018


I felt so involved in my children's education today.  I took G to school for an IEP meeting.  I haven't participated in one for 7 years.  We went home and I worked with the kids through all these tasks:

G: making cheese biscuits.
G: reading a general conference talk to slow down!
M: shared reading for Good and Beautiful.
M: geography cards.
G: Geography cards.
M and G: 50 nifty states song.
P: form drawing
B: kindergarten book.
B: word cards and books.

The kids are pretty good at doing many of their tasks math and piano by themselves.  But also, many things don't get done without my involvement so I'm glad for all I could do with them today.

Later in the day we did annual physicals and I taught the sign language class.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

various things

 This is our nature table.  Most of the items in it were given to us by others.  The kids do sometimes bring home a stick, leaf or other item.  They live in this basket with legs.  It's fun looking at them with our Magicscope.
After stressing over saving meats in the deep freezer last year, I'm more committed to freezing cookies, butter, bread, jam, and soup.  If we have a hurricane again this year we'll have just what we need to eat and share straight from the freezer and not worry about what is still safe.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Slow life

Yesterday the only thing on the calendar was to go to the beach at 6pm.  It started raining at 2 and was forecast to continue raining until 8, so we canceled the beach meet-up.  I love having such a relaxed life.  I love living with not much stress. 

With nothing scheduled we did have pancakes and eggs for breakfast.  Then we set out on an epic errand journey.  We stopped at 10 places ending with the bank drive-in as the storm rolled in.  The kids came to all the stops until L fell asleep and one of the big kids stayed with him for the last few stops.  One thing I was pleased about, we didn't buy anything at every store.  If they didn't have what we came for, we left.  I know that sounds like a rather low bar.  But for me to go into Ace Hardware and not find something I can justify needing, that is a good thing.  We also didn't buy anything at Target!  I know.  We went to Target looking for a specific item and we didn't find it so we left.

Here's the list of stops:
Ace:  didn't have the shop vac filter I needed.
Gas station: had gas.
Auto Zone: I needed a tire gauge and resisted buying one at the gas station but then bought the small digital one.  So I probably didn't save money overall.
Vaccum store: had the filters I needed and the owner is always showing the kids a blacksmith puzzle and has as deaf son so he signs too.
Dollar Store:  bought 16 boxes of the fabric bandaids that stay on and don't leave adhesive all over.
Target: did not find the clip-board box we saw last time but did not buy.
Fruit stand: bought tons of good food.
Library: Movies and graphic novels...  The 3 kids that read use their kindles to borrow books.  B is starting to read and we have tons of early reader books.
Thrift store: I found a real straw hat for me.  I had despaired at ever finding a straw hat rather than a woven paper!  We also got a watch for lP to desperately wanted one.  This thrift store has a nice selection of used watches and they put new batteries in them.  So it's a nice way to pay $5-$8 for a watch that will last longer than the $8 watch at Target.  It started to rain as we ran the donations to the back door.  lP and I held hands and ran back to the car.  It's nice having those small tastes of dramatic escape.
Bank: Thank goodness for the covered drive-through.
Now I hope to get things tidied up so Sunday will be more peaceful.  Sometimes I feel frustrated with the general clutter.  I did just donate a big box and bag.   I need to do more to minimize. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


Today B bought an M&M for a penny he found on the floor.  Later in the day he had several coins and I told him that it was stealing since he hadn't earned the money.  I told him to put it back or tell us where it was from.  He didn't want to.  I told him that I would spank him at night if he hadn't put the money back by the end of the day.  At 8pm he asked me if he could show me where he had gotten the money.  And "Will I still get a spank?"

I watched him put the coins back in the coin holder in the car.  "No, you don't get a spank." I told him.  I explained that it was important to not steal and that I loved him and didn't want him to become a thief so I was willing to spank him to keep him from becoming a thief.  But because he put it back, he didn't have to get a spank.

The back story that lead to this was B getting into the kitchen over the last month and sneaking candies.  He has taken the nutella jar before too and we found it behind a couch in the front room.  We keep some treats in the house and a bowl of change on top of the fridge.  The older 3 have never tried to sneak treats or money.  B at 4 was pushing that boundary and we needed to change his course.

It's my job to raise my children to behave as I want them to behave.  If I want them to be honest, I need to not freak out when they tell me hard truths.  If I want them to play piano I have to sit on their heads to make sure they progress.  If I want them to not complain and whine, I have to treat bad attitude as a crime against them that I will not tolerate.

A few weeks ago lP was in a bad attitude and I had sent her to the corner.  I often threaten lP because she does not obey quickly.  Being told "Do you need to get slapped?" is my last resort when she's laying on the floor making dying cat sounds instead of going to the corner or her room as I've told her to.  I don't slap her, it is a rhetorical question that seems to be the only thing that gets through her fog of opposition.  So I had already talked to her and reached the point of sending her to her room.  She stomped off and very clearly slung her hip into L, sending him crashing against chairs then to the floor.  She claims she did not mean to do that.  I believe that she did not mean for him to be hurt, but I've seen her lash out like this too many times.  So I caught up with her and spanked her once on the butt.

Sadly this really impacted her in a profound and positive way.  She hasn't been quite so willful the last few weeks.  I don't want to be a parent that spanks and lP does not want to be a child that is ever spanked again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Go do it

I enjoyed this ted talk about being the change in your own life.  The main idea was that when you want to do something, like dance to the music, or become a parent, you have to do something about that withing 5 seconds of having the idea, or you kill it.  When we don't act, take notes, get up, introduce ourselves, send a text, when the inspiration comes, we never will.  That was a pretty awesome idea to me.  So I'm blogging about it so my brain will remember to act upon impressions and stop thinking I will remember to do it later, because I won't.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

trials crashing upon us, pushing us toward home

I recently saved lP from a rip tide.  I didn't know that's what had happened until someone on the beach called me a mama bear and said I'd done a good job of saving her from the rip tide.  So, this is a poignant thing to consider.  Had I not been angry that she wasn't coming when I told her to, would I have waited until it was too late?  I think the spirit gives us courage, and sometimes anger, to act.

The whole experience is an amazing spiritual metaphor.  The waves crashing on you can be alternately exciting or terrifying.  We think that we'll be happier in the place with no waves.  But it is the very waves pushing us toward the shore, that keep you safe.  The place with no waves is the place where water is returning to the sea with equal relentless force as the waves. 

We may get tired of the commitments or expectations and think that life would be easier if we just put ourselves outside the burden of the family, church, or commandments.  In our lives our burdens, trials and weaknesses push us toward a stronger relationship with God.  We stand our ground and endure, or sometimes we cast ourselves upon the wave and ride it in.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Road Trip Preparation

When we take a trip this summer we'll be driving for 6-8 hours a day, for a week!  I've prepared some ideas for keeping us energized.  We have movie players in the car but that get's old.  Nobody ever agrees on what we should watch.  Here are the ideas I have so far that we can pull out like the themed hours of Dance Marathon:

Road Games: Licence Plate search, ABC's,

Sparkle Stories


Trivia with prizes: US, LDS, Science

Mental Math


ASL Hymns

Folk Song Sing a long





Accent Boot Camp

Hand Work

Piano Maestro


Family Movies

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

great joy

I have a friend that I hope may be interested in the gospel.  Today we had an in depth conversation about my church and beliefs ranging from Heaven to word of wisdom and more.  It was fun to discuss.  It definitely motivated me to get more knowledgeable so I won't feel so unsure.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

impossibly beautiful.

Living 20 minutes from the beach, when my kids ask if we can go to the beach after dinner, I can say "Yes."

There are trade offs.  When P can come with us the kids can bring boogie boards.  When it's just me we stay until the baby starts wandering down the beach, which is usually longer than P prefers.  This is a beautiful place.