Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Every day is a tea party

That's the thing about having a four year old daughter around.  Tea Parties every single day.  I love it.
This is why I have fancy glass plates and little cups and cloth napkins.  Why save these things for a special occasion when they can be used every day to make a little girl amazingly happy?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


This boy is more trouble than I have ever had.  If there is any liquid, glass, ball, food, utensil, ok basically any thing at all - he will climb to it, throw it, spill it, pour it, and generally make a huge mess.  Good thing he is adorable.
Do you see all of those pencils and papers and older brother's school work on the floor?  He had to push all of that off {and naturally tear some of it up} in order to climb up on the desk.  

If there is an open door he will find it.  Especially if it is the open bathroom door which leads to a large bucket of water that he thinks is awesome to play in.  

For the record Savanna got up and sat on the wall AFTER Sheffield had put himself up there.  We did not arrange this for a cute photo op:).

In other news, Faye is sporting a new pixie cut that she did herself.  Trouble?  Yes.  Adorable?  That too. 

While I'm on the subject of adorable I have to add this photo of Madeline and her amazing Auntie Emilee. 


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Listen Up! Your Soul is Speaking!

Happy New YEar!
How did it become week 52 and then the New Year?  Well here we are and I am happy to write that we have continued stong with the weekly family photo and even though I haven't posted them here I have most certainly taken them.  One of the 3 gifts that my children recieved for Christmas was a photobook of all of the photos of themselves from 2014.  It was magical when after they had all opened them the wrapping paper was quiet and they all sat {all 7 of them!} and looked at their books smiling and laughing before continuing to open their other gifts.  I love it!  I'm excited to make the 2015 books for next year that will have all of the weekly family photos in them.  I'm such a photo taking nerd and I love having them.  I think they will be treasures in the future.  I will send those books off with them when they get married and I feel like it will be something worth taking.

With the new year I have had so many thoughts and ideas and expereinces telling me how to be better and what I need to do.  I've never been one of those people overly 'thankful' for the very hard things I have had to go through in life but I know that these things are helping to knock off my rough edges and to open up places in my heart for better things.  I've gained a whole new perspective on heartbreak reading this.
"True worship begins when our hearts are right before the Father and the Son. Paradoxically, in order to have a healed and faithful heart, we must first allow it to break before the Lord. “Ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit,”7 the Lord declares. The result of sacrificing our heart, or our will, to the Lord is that we receive the spiritual guidance we need.
With a growing understanding of the Lord’s grace and mercy, we will find that our self-willed hearts begin to crack and break in gratitude. Then we reach for Him, yearning to yoke ourselves to the Only Begotten Son of God. In our brokenhearted reaching and yoking, we receive new hope and fresh guidance through the Holy Ghost."

I have concluded that I should indeed be grateful for the experiences that break my heart so that I do have a broken heart and contrite spirit to offer so He can make something better of me. 

What happens to a seed when it cracks and breaks open?  That’s how the light gets in.  Then the inside of that seed has a new path to become what it was truly created to be as it grows into something new; something different and much larger and more productive than that seed could have ever been on it’s own. 
The other conclusion I reached is that I don't need a list of goals or resolutions for the new year.  I need to listen to my soul speaking.  I need to listen to hear what my spirit wants my life to be like.  Instead of lists and goals and reminders on my mirror this year I carefully wrote up my ideal life.  I wrote and wrote and edited and added and listened and wrote until I let my soul tell me all about my future life and now it is written down and recorded on my phone and I listen to it each morning when I wake up.  I'm calling it my soul speaking prophesy.  I'm believing in it.  Because this I know:  the subconscious is a powerful tool.  When I listen to myself telling myself {whoa that sounds really funny} saying that I only speak in uplifting and inspiring ways, even though that isn't always true right now, when I go to speak in a way that is not uplifting and inspiring my subconscious will wave a reg flag telling me how I speak.  
Is your soul speaking?  Maybe you should listen.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Week 43

I almost forgot to take our photo on Sunday because it was raining after church.  It's a dark one but we got it .

ps.  Can you believe it is the 43rd week of the year?
Sailing on,

Monday, October 19, 2015

Beach Magic

How could I have forgotten how magical the beach is? 
We skipped our beach trip last year for unforseen reasons and I am SO happy we went this year, even though we waited until October to do it.  It was AMAZING.
The water was the warmest I have ever felt it.  The waves were powerful and beautiful.  The beach was open and unpopulated; just the way we like it best.  We are so blessed to have these memories. 

Sheffield loved the sand, the waves, and especially the sea gulls.  He spent hours chasing them around and it was so funny to watch.  He would even get down and crawl toward them, growling.
We had the chance to drive down to the San Diego temple which is so beautiful!  The children were not thrilled about the drive yet Kurt really wanted to take them there and I love that he felt like that was important.  It was closed because we went on Sunday but we loved exploring the grounds.  

Richard came out with James and Andrew for 2 days and it was awesome to have counsins to play with us at the beach.  Nothing better. 

I always find myself feeling self conscious at the beach and this year was no exception.  I felt frustrated with myself that I haven't worked to get back in shape since Sheffield was born.  The good thing I guess is that I refused to hide my body and I played with my family on the beach and came home with some solid goals about doing a better job of fitting exercise back into my life.  That has been the hardest thing for me since we began our homeschooling journey.  

Kurt is such a great sport to allow the children to bury him in the sand and they love it.  Sheffield thought it was pretty funny that all he could see of his Dad was his head.  He gave us some funny looks!  Seeing this photo again just reminds me how much we had the beach to ourselves! 
I'ts a good thing that taking a family photo every week this year has cured me of thinking we will ever have the "perfect" one.  Now I go for the photo and not perfection.  So many life lessons right there:). 
The Balboa Candy Shop did not disappoint, as usual.  When I see this picture all I can think of is 'Like a kid in a candy store'.  He loved it so much he tasted one wrapper and all.  Another huge highlight of the trip for the children is that cable tv was available at the beach house which they have never in their lives experienced at home.  Watching the MLB games and two BYU football games, both with great wins, was a fun thing for the whole familiy.  As to the other shows the children wanted to watch, leaving that tv behind is one thing that helped me say my final goodbyes and finally I was willing to leave!  
Until next time... oh Newport Beach we love you.  
Thanks again, Grandpa Gill.  
Sailing On, 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


There just isn't anything better than family.  I love having different family members in our home any time.  These relationships brighten up our life so much.  I am loving this photo of Sheffield with his cousin, James.  I am so thankful that I get to witness these sweet moments watching these cousins interact with each other.
I've tried to have the door to our home open as much as possible to children of all ages and from many different families.  I love that they feel comfortable here and that they know they are welcome. These boys feel like an extension of our family; we love them so much.  They are funny and creative, helpful and so very sweet with the little ones. 
I feel Blessed. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

One year old

The interesting thing about watching your children grow up is that while the days sometimes seem very long the years go by in a flash.  It really does feel like I just had him and BAM!  He is one year old!  I'm not sure how to deal in real time very well.  If you ask me about all the events that took place this past Friday, for example {just 3 days ago} I will have to really think about it because so much has happened in the days in between so as to make it feel that Friday was much more than three days ago.  Yet when you ask me about May when we began summer and the pool opened I would say it seems like that just barely happened.

This was so cute and funny; before he did anything to the cake Sheffield very slowly dipped one finger in the frosting and then tasted it.  After that he dug right in! 

One thing I love the most about celebrating my children's birthdays is watching how much joy it brings to their siblings to watch them celebrate.  The older children were so happy about him being able to eat his cake and about him opening a few gifts.  It's so sweet and pure and fun to see.  

One thing I have repeatedly thought this past week is this; parenting is not for the faint hearted.  

There is so much more on my heart to say but we are off to the horse barn! 
Sailing On,