Saturday, March 21, 2015

In this house

Just in case I ever forget what a day at our house was like when they were all young.
We do balloons.  We play with the baby.

We practice bull riding in the living room.

Much to the dismay of the mother, we help the baby to grow up faster than she wants.  We make messes and leave piles on the dining room table for days at a time.  We try not to worry too much about the messes.  We still have Valentine's Day decorations up in March and we try not to worry too much about that, either.

We make skirts out of old sheet music.  Because we can.  And it counts as recycling.

We play with the baby because we were gone all day and we missed him.  
We dress up like the Cat in the Hat for the day and learn about Dr Suess.
And we smooch the baby because we all love him and we just can't resist. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015


We continue to swing between 70 degree record breaking days and snow.  It's a pretty great combination.  

Faye really really really wanted to trot this week and she tried to trot AND do her 'bull riding stance' at the same time.  It turns out that trotting and only holding on with one hand when you are three means that you fall off.  Choo choo is such a good pony he stopped immediately and stood still and he's not very tall so all is well.  It was actually pretty funny.  She just slid off and then said 'Um, Mom, I need some help getting back up there!".  

Christian was so proud of himself for cathcing this tiny baby mouse and then for some strange reason he was surprised when it bit him.  Even babies know how to fight back!  The kids were laughing so hard watching it scurry around.  I confess I had no desire whatsoever to touch it.  Not one. 
These eyes.  They get me every time.

What is it about a vending machine that is so alluring?  My children are mesmerized.  

This awesome dad has been on two snow camp outs so far this year.  I am seriously amazed by his willingness to freeze and camp in order to have fun with his children.  I stayed home warm in my bed.  They slept in hammocks and had a great time.  Kurt said he was 'mostly warm'.  The kids, of course, had the time of their life.

We had a great stake conference meeting.  It's always fun to get to sit with our cousins because they are in our stake!  Because they were with us I made them get in the photo too! 

I love this boy.  I love his snow boots with church clothes combination.  There was a time when I would have been worried about how this looked.  Now I just love everything about him.  I love that he got dressed and ready for church by himself and on time.  I love that he wears his suit coat.  I'm still working on the tie.  I'll take it. 

It amazes me how much play a 36 cent pack of balloons brought to our home.  Hours.  Coloring with sharpies and hours and hours of balloon games.  Amazing.  
Sometimes I worry about the things I'm not giving my children.  Sometimes I worry about the things I am giving them.  Then I worry about if we are doing too much or not enough or are even close to doing ok.  And then sometimes I look back through photographs and in my mind I can hear them laugh and talk and have fun together and I think maybe, just maybe we will all be ok.  In the mean time I pray and think a lot about the grace of Jesus Christ. 
Sailing On, 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Joy of Baptism Day!

This was the BEST day.  My favorite day so far this year.  It went smooth, and it felt so HAPPY to all of us.  I was pleased with all the effort I had done before to make it special and I felt thankful for all the people we love who we were able to share it with.

I felt so thankful for a husband who honors his priesthood and was worthy, willing, and able to baptize this lovely young lady.  I loved seeing her all dressed up in her white dress and I loved helping her with her hair and her 8 necklace and her white flower clip.  I loved wrapping her cute CTR towel from her primary leaders around her as she climbed out of the font smiling.  I love that, true to Emma form, she chose to be baptized in a white dress rather than a jumpsuit.  I love that she wanted hot cider served because it was cold and I love that she told me how happy she felt all day long.  I love that Kurt's parents traveled to be with us and that my Dad gave a tender talk about the gift of the Holy Ghost.  I love that she got to share this with her friend, Jack Fairbank, who is the son of a most amazing mother and friend of mine as well.  
I love that so many of our friends were in attendance, along with her primary teacher from last year and her current one.  I love that the circle of Priesthood that stood around her to confirm her was so large and full of love for her. 
Oh Happy Day! 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Life is so daily

Sometimes it ends up that all the kids have to go with me when Savanna and I get our allergy shots (we do this every week).  There typically are not enough chairs in the waiting room for my family so the kids are really great about sitting on the floor and reading quietly.  Especially if given a sucker :)

I love this particular scene for so many reasons; one because this is a presentation that Madeline was working hard on that I didn't even know she was doing.  I love it when I find my children working hard on learning without being pushed or reminded at all.  I also love this because in my mind I can hear what Faye is saying becase she goes around the house asking us "What ya doin'?"  Another reason I love this is that it reminds me about how much I have to be thankful for, about what a great house we live in and how lovely the light comes in through the front windows and even though it's not perfect nor is it perfectly tidy, it's home and we love it.  
The daily routine is not very exciting, I imagine, for any of us.  When I think of my ancestors that have traveled across the plains on foot or sailed across the ocean to be here I wonder how tired they became of the mundane.  Walk, unpack, cook dinner, wash, sleep, pack back up and walk again.  So much of life is lived in that mode of things that need to be done each day.  I have been making a greater effort though to see the divine and miraculous in the every day.  I can still be thankful that the children were well behaved at the doctor and that daily life gives me beauty.  Not perfection, but beauty.  And I'm thankful that my children love each other.  That matters.
Sailing On, 

Friday, March 6, 2015

March has arrived much faster than I was ready for and so I'm still catching up on February.  Whew.
Emma was so excited to go to Emerson's birthday party.  Emerson and Emma have had play dates together since they were a month old and they love to get together.  They dress up a lot so Emma found Emerson's favorite high heel shoes that she wears when she is at our house and we gave those to her for her birthday.  The rest of the family was pretty happy when we picked Emma up and there was a bunch of leftover cake that got sent home for us to eat.  Emma was pretty proud of how she decorated her cake at the party too.  

The snow continues to come and so do the family photos.  If you are wondering why we have our eyes closed it is because the snow was blowing so hard at our faces it was difficult to even squint.  After this we jumped back in the car and went to church.  A funny picture and a great memory. 
The phone debate continues around here as it seems I am the only mother who does not believe that my 14 year old needs a phone.  This is her telling me that she will steal mine instead.  If only I could make her understand how most of the time I try to lose mine and have as little to do with it as possible.  I'm hanging tough on this one as I'm watching too many parents wishing they wouldn't have gotten their children hooked on 'needing' them so early on.  What's the rush?

I love this photo because it is such a perfect depticion of Faye right now.  She is constanly brushing her hair out of her eyes.  Every day I try to style it or pull it back into a clip or pony tail and she exclaims (while tearing out the rubber band and running away) "I TOLD you, I don't like HAIRSTYLES!"  She is seriously amazing and funny. Running around the house on her imaginary horses and defying all hair styling. 
I like this photo because I'm in it!  I like it because there I am, being me, in everyday life.  Helping Emma with something she was asking me with my messy kitchen all around me that we use and live in every day.  I like it because I'm old enough and I've learned anough at this point in life that I wear whatever I want.  My kids think this tunic is a little too crazy (bright pink camo) but I love it so I wear it and I feel happy when I am being true to what I like and who I am.
Sailing On, 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


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.  :)


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,