My inspiration for this record of my days:

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen

Friday, May 18, 2018

Eli

I sure have loved having Eli home with me this year!  He is in afternoon kindergarten, so we have all morning together.  We read books, do homework and chores, run errands, and generally have "special time agether."  






Here are a few random things about Eli that I want to remember:

He is pretty obsessed with muscles and strength.  He is always planning ways to invite all of his friends over at the same time so they can form an army.  He does exercises to build up his muscles, and comments on nice muscles whenever he sees them.  He loves karate and secretly wishes that a bad guy would come try to steal him so he could unleash his mad skills of self defense.  We have to talk a lot about never using karate moves on other people.  And about not bragging.


Eli to Clayton: We're both really strong, huh?
Ya.
We're both the same strong, huh?
Ya.
But we're just saying that to make each other feel happy, right?
Ya.






He's also "a big fan of girls."  He has had multiple crushes this year, and always lets everybody know about it.  Apparently the girls like him a lot too!  One day he came home and said in exasperation, "Mom, all the girls keep on falling in love with me!"

I asked how he could tell, and he said that they kept on looking at him "with a love face."  I chuckled to myself and figure that was all in his head until I went on a field trip with him.  He pointed out one little girl and said "See mom... she has a love face!"

Sure enough... I turned to see Belle, peeking around a corner, smiling a "love smile" and batting her eyelashes at him!!  He knew a love face when he saw one!

Monday, May 14, 2018

A farewell to scouts

Recently the church announced it's "break up" with the scouting program.  If I am being honest, I have wished for this to happen- usually while searching for lost scout shirts, ironing on patches, or sitting through my 7,000th pack meeting.

But at the same time... I have to recognize the wonderful things that scouting has done for my boys! 

They have learned some great "man skills" from some great leaders.  They have learned to set goals and follow through with them.  They have learned to do hard things, to serve others, and to stick with a task even when it's not fun.  They have built some great friendships and had so much fun along the way!  

This picture feels to me like the PERFECT illustration of what cub scouts is all about!  I can't stop looking at it!  It makes me teary-eyed to think that Eli will never get to have this experience!


I am looking forward to the changes coming.  I have full confidence that the church will come up with a great program for boys and girls.  But I sure am grateful for what scouting has done for our family!

Friday, April 13, 2018

2017




Last week's project was putting highlights from my 2017 photos into an album.  I'm not one to make a super creative book.  If I put pressure on myself to make it fabulous, it would never actually happen... so I kept it really basic.

Today the physical book arrived on my doorstep.

As I took a minute to look it over, I was struck by how many big things have happened in our family this year!

A Jr college graduation. A high school graduation. Broken bones. Births in the extended family. My baby starting kindergarten. Four surgeries.  A wedding, adding a new person to our family!

I guess I have been so caught up in living it, I haven't had much time to contemplate.  But as I see it all compressed into a little book, it feels like stepping back and looking at my life from a distance.

It really does feel like yesterday that I was knee-deep in diapers and carseats and nap times and sippy cups.  Now here I am helping people move and teaching people to drive and planning receptions and going to visit children in their own homes.  It feels surreal.  Not sad, necessarily, but surreal.  I love all the growth and change I see in my children and in myself. I love the things we are learning along the way.  And I especially love each of these people- my people.



The wind is blowing hard today,  and somehow it feels like a metaphor for how fast my life is passing.  Before I know it, my (now) little boys will all be grown up too.  My life will be filled with wonderful new experiences, new people and new joys.  I welcome it all!

But just for a minute, it feels important to acknowledge how fast it is flying by.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

First day of kindergarten

Eli was SO READY to start school!


In the car on the way I asked him "Are you nervous buddy?  Or just excited?"
His answer: "I don't know what nervous means, but I am really excited!"
Me: "Nervous is when you feel a little scared, because you don't know exactly what something will be like."
Him: "Ya, I don't feel that at all.  Just excited!"



His cute teacher is Miss Riggs


At meet the teacher he filled out this darling All About Me paper


 Luckily, he had recovered from his on-the-way-to-meet-the-teacher injury a few days before:


And a story from two weeks into the school year:
We were all talking at the dinner table when Eli announced "I need to share a word with all of you." That got everyone's attention. "Today at school on the playground I saw something like a really rough crowd.  I looked in the middle of everyone, and somebody pushed a girl on the ground.  So I went and helped her up."  He was feeling pretty confident that he was choosing the right.  We were all very proud!

Eli is off to a great start in Kindergarten!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Long boarding without pads

A couple weeks ago I got a call from Caleb, who was in Utah with a friend's family.  His voice sounded shaky and he was talking fast.

"Hi Mom.  I need you to call Grandpa.  I wrecked on my long board and I broke my tooth.  I can't find it anywhere, and I think I have two broken wrists and I'm really bloody and can you call Grandpa and see what I should do?  Also I think I might be in shock a little."

I know Caleb well enough to know that this kind of a call is ALWAYS a possibility, so I wasn't actually surprised.  I was, however, a little concerned.  I told him to get to an adult ASAP to get cleaned up and checked out, and I would talk to Grandpa.

These are the pictures I got:



He flew home the next day, and I spent the next couple of days getting him all patched up.  Sure enough- two broken wrists.  He got a full cast on the right one, but they let him off with just a brace for the left, since it wasn't as severe.  Grandpa worked his magic on that front tooth, and it looks good as new.  

Unfortunately, there is no way Caleb can continue working as an AC technician (helper) for the summer.  He can't even open the peanut butter without help!  It's put quite a damper on his plans for the next few weeks.  Maybe next time his mom texts "Don't forget to wear your pads!" he might listen!  Probably not.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Warm fuzzies

Nothing makes my heart happier than seeing that my children love each other.



Recently Simon asked me "Mom, have you ever had the feeling that one of your siblings is actually your best friend?"

I answered that my sisters were actually my very best friends.

"Ya, I sorta feel that way about Josh."

Josh is such a good big brother.  When he's home he plays with Simon a lot- video games, board games, trampoline and ping-pong are some of their favorites.  When Josh is gone, Simon asks repeatedly when he'll be home.

The other day I heard him explaining to one of his friends in the car, "I'm pretty much a mini Josh."

Savannah is another one that puts significant effort into building relationships with her siblings.  She will play with them and tuck the little boys into bed at night- they love to have her tell stories.

Eli often begs for people to ride bikes with him.  Savannah couldn't resist his pleadings.


These are some lucky little boys to have such great older brothers and sisters!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Perspective

Today I am learning again that perspective is everything.

This morning in my prayers I thought about the day ahead of me.  I went through the usual tasks, and asked Father in Heaven to consecrate those things- to make them holy.  I asked for help to see the beauty in the normally mundane.

When I woke the boys up, I had one who was off to a rocky start.  He hated breakfast, he hated sharing a room, he hated noises and lights and smells and... you get the idea.  Normally that behavior is nothing but irritating to me.  Especially at 6:45 am!  But this morning I took the time to explain that in families we all have flaws, and we all need to be patient with each other.  I was reminded what a privilege it is to live in a family, and what a solemn responsibility I have to lovingly teach this boy.

As I folded laundry, it felt like a meaningful service.  I was happy to help pack lunches, to comb down unruly hair, and to smooth over minor disagreements.

I was especially happy to listen to Eli singing his heart out from the bathroom!  Something about gopher guts and tigers.

I am so grateful for the reminder that there is nothing in the world more important than teaching children.  God's "work and glory" is to bring to pass the eternal life of His children.  I am trying to be like Him.  My work and my glory is to love and teach my children- and to lead them to the Lord.

Motherhood is a holy work.