Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow

The predomiate theme this past week has been snow.  We have about a foot of snow on the ground now.  It has been a fun week building snow forts and shoveling driveways!  Madeline endured the disappointment of the church dance being cancelled saturday night but church NOT being cancelled on sunday.  Thankfully we did get a plow on our street and haven't had any trouble!

 My children are pretty darn lucky they have such a fun dad who pulls them around in the snow.  I'm so happy that we agree on giving our children a good, old fashioned childhood.


This delightful young lady has been a joy lately.  Recently when I was out at the store with all the children (am I REALLY supposed to not take them all to the store so they can pick out their own Valentines?  Someone suggested that I just pick them, which of course makes my life easier but is no fun for them)  someone at the store asked me if they were all mine.  When I replied YES this someone said 'you're crazy'!  And this lovely daughter of mine responded "CRAZY AWESOME".  I could not have loved her more in that moment.  All of her 14 year old self standing in the middle of the store declaring her love for her family to the world.  
For some reason dressing your baby brother up in a scarf is the most entertaining thing in the world lately.  :)

E






Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Thoughts on the body of a mother


Keep trying.
That's what we are doing over here;  continuing on.
Every day I wake up and do what in my heart I know is the single most important thing I can do; I am a mother.  I don't 'contribute in the workforce' and I don't do anything noteworthy by the world's terms.  What I do matters quite a lot to the 7 people who depend on me and I'm happy I get to do it. 
I've given a lot of things to be the mother of seven children.  My body, for one.  It's been on my mind a lot lately as I've wondered how obsessed I should become with getting "thin" again.  I've started to wonder if maybe this part, the part where I give even my body, is part of the plan in the first place.  How can we rightly say we have sacrificed all if we get to keep all of those "pre-parent" parts of ourselves?  Is this my excuse for not fitting into my clothing?  Perhaps.  Yet I keep having this thought tugging at the back of my mind, after all, when you look at a photo of my family SHOULDN'T I be the one who LOOKS like the mother?  The one who looks like she's had some sleepless nights, some worrisome years, some long pregnancies and other struggles.  

I think so.  I think I owe to my children; and especially my daughters to let them know that when you choose to love something so fiercely; when you choose family at the same time there are things you are NOT choosing.  I'm not choosing to spend hours each day at the gym and I'm not choosing to harbor an eating disorder in order to get skinny.  I've done that before and I'm not proud of it.  I don't want that for my daughters.  Somewhere in between here I'm hoping for some middle ground, some way to eat healthy, exercise a reasonable amount of time each week, still enjoy treats here and there, and leave the remainder of my time and energy for what I love most: my faith and my family.  

When I see other women I know and love who are mothers who have this daily struggle as well I hope they know that I see them.  I see their souls,  I see the beautiful women that they are and I see the brave things they do each day.  I see the love they give and the encouragement they give and the joy they bring to their families as well.  I secretly hope that they see me that way too; and are able to overlook the fact that I'm wearing the same thing to church; again; because it is the only thing that fits.  I refuse to believe that is all they see of me.  Because we are so much more.  

Sailing On, 
E


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

All Seasons

I'm pretty sure in the month of February we have experienced all the seasons.  We have had 75 degrees and the children begging me to put the sprinkler underneath the trampoline and then we have had 6 inches of snow.  It makes me laugh because it feels so true to life; unpredicable, fun, exciting, work, and inconsistent!
When the sun in shining we go to the park and enjoy it while we can.

When the snow is here Savanna and Christian jump out of bed and go around the neighborhood hiring out their snow shoveling skills.  

Do you think this little boy will grow up with an aversion to kisses?  Because I'm pretty sure he gets attacked with them hourly.

I realize that my children should not be playing in the back of their father's truck.  I ask them all the time to get out.  'Come on' they tell me; apparently it is the best place for playing Navy Seals.



A plug for dolls here.  If you every buy an American Girl doll I will tell you this:  WORTH.  EVERY. PENNY.  Even if you can get ahold of one secondhand {we have!} you can send them in to the doll hospital and it is awesome.  Madeline has had her doll for over 10 years now and it looks like new.  The accessories that Target sells are a fraction of the price and are fantastic additions as well.  I'm a fan of having my girls play with them as long as possible.  What's the rush for growing up? 


 When the snow is melted again we ride bicycles and get as much Vitamin D as possible until the snow comes again!

Meanwhile, I'm here; holding my baby and trying to capture it all.  Some memories I just try to memorize but for the most part I grab my camera.  For some reason being behind the lens makes me feel happy.  And commits the moment to memory even deeper. 
Sailing On, 
E



Thursday, February 12, 2015

It's GREAT to be 8!

This has been such a fun birthday to celebrate!  Emma's excitement and enthusiasm for her upcoming baptism is contagious and invigorating.  I love her so much.

Emma wanted twice baked potatoes, ham, cantaloupe, rice, and salad for her dinner.  She wanted a layered blue cake and thankfully she was thrilled with what I came up with.  She is always pushing my abilities :).  Uncle Brent came up with the awesome 'banana game' where you lay on the floor and pass a banana with your feet down the line to the end of your team.  Emma loved it and I think it will be a famous game at our house from now on!  We all filled out questionnaires to see if we knew all of her favorite things.  It was a blast!  I had just learned that this year her favorite color changed from pink to blue.  


Kurt and I decided that this year for the gifts we give our children we will focus more on experiences than objects.  We took Emma out on a date with just us {and the baby} and she dressed up fancy and chose to go to Qdoba.  We tried to talk her into a sit down restaurant but she had her mind set on Qdoba.  After that we got shakes at Chick-fil-A.  Kurt also put new tires on her bike and got it all fixed up for her so she can get back to riding {and wear out that back tire again by making skid marks}.   
Emma is so passionate and full of emotion.  I love that and sometimes I don't love it.  It love it when she throws all of her feeling into her excitement and into choosing the right.  It isn't as much fun when she has all that emotion to share about a small scrape or about not being included in a game.  She loves all things fancy and she has become very responsible.  She wears high heels everywhere we go and even rides her bicycle in them.  Emma enjoys playing with her doll and has grown to be completely engrossed in reading this year.  Going to the library once a week is often not enough for her.  Emma loves to write out place cards for dinner every night and to set the table nicely with candles.  She loves music and dancing and all things fairy, princess, or royalty.  Emma does not love cleaning her room and when it comes to chores she is a professional at making herself scarce:).  We're working on it.  
We love our Emma. 
Sailing On, 
E




Happenings

Emma's upcoming baptism is the excitement around here!  It has been all she is thinking about and talking about and I love to see her so happy about it.  I finally got her invites made and mailed and she was happy that it got done:).

All of the children continue to love our district homeschool program, especially with the fun art and science projects they worked on this week.





1pm Church definitely has some challenges.  It's tough on the nap schedules.  We are very slowly adapting!
E

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

High School

 I have a daughter registering for High School.  Can this be true?
In my mind I'm still a young mother, just learning how to raise her family.  In reality I'm a middle aged mother with a high schooler and a baby; trying to learn how to raise her family.  Wow, that happened quickly.
I look at her and wonder how I was blessed with such an amazing person as a daughter.  She is doing so many good things in her life and loves the gospel.  It makes me happy to see the joy she finds in following the Savior.  I love her strength of testimony.   I'm a little bit concerned about the environment she will be in with high school and yet I am confident that she will do well and it will provide yet another growing experience for her.  
E


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Catch up {again!}

Here I am playing catch up again.  Days will go by and I realize I haven't even sat down in at my computer.  I've been thinking a lot about all of the electronic devices we have and whether or not they make our lives better.  They are convenient, to be sure, but sometimes I wonder if they just push us to be more caught up in 'the thick of thin things'.  I get caught up so easily myself, which is why I have taken great efforts this year to remove myself from mailings, email lists, and messages that tell me I need to buy more, be more, and keep myself more busy.
Our hike last week was more of a trek through mud; which means the children loved it even more.  Emma hiked in curlers because she wanted her hair curled for her baptism invite photos and she was set on me taking them this weekend.  It's amazing what a child will do when their mind is made up.  

I can't even look at these family pictures without a huge swelling in my heart.  


One of the things Emma has been doing to prepare for baptism is meeting with the Sister Missionaries.  We love them.

Sheffield is so lucky he gets rides all over the house in various modes of transportation.  Thankfully this one is soft and safe.  

I really wish I could say this was an off day and the girls' bedroom doesn't usually look like this.  But the truth is, it looks like this most of the time.  These two have so many clothing changes each day it's amazing.  

Sheffield received his sweet new baby quilt from Grandma Sheffield.  He loves it already.  It must have magic dust on it because the first two nights of putting it on him he has slept better than any other night since he was born.  I think I actually got a solid 5 hours of sleep!  

It's been an amazing 10 days.  We feel so blessed to have a new vehicle that our whole family can fit in safely with their own seats and seat belts and everything.  Dream come true for the Mom  :).  We have been so richly blessed and I have a testimony more than ever that Heavenly Father is aware of our daily lives and that He is in the details. 
Sailing On, 
E