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

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.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Busy day




A couple of days ago Eli climbed in my bed early in the morning.  He was being pretty still, but I could tell the wheels in his head were turning.  Pretty soon he let out a sigh.

"I have lots to do today."

Oh yeah?  What do you have planned? I wondered

"I have to build dis sing (this thing) with my legos," which he went on to describe in detail.

He also described a "sing" to tape on his leg that would hold his sword.

Before long he decided to get up and get working.

I love how his mind is always working!







Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Moments of Joy

This Christmas season I have been making a conscious effort to find moments of real joy amid all the hustle and bustle.

On Monday I went shopping (at the dollar store) with Eli to pick out his gifts for everyone.  It was so sweet to watch how much thought he put into each gift!  He really wanted to find something that each sibling would really love.

On the way over he told me he knew for sure what to get for Savannah.   He was planning on picking out some "kafume," also known as "girl smell" that she could spray on herself.  I agreed that perfume was a good choice for Savannah.  But as we were walking down the beauty products aisle (or island, as he calls it) he spotted some lip balm that really grabbed his attention.  "I can get DIS for Savannah AND Becca, because it's really for girls!"

He decided on band-aids for Caleb "because he always gets hurt, but he doesn't even cry!"

Each of the gifts he picked was equally as thoughtful. He searched until he found something he was excited to give.  I couldn't stop smiling the whole time.  I am so glad I still have a five year old!  And especially one as fun as Eli!

Yesterday was full of the joy of Christmas baking.


We made LOTS of cookies, and spent the evening caroling and delivering.  The caroling was especially successful this year.  We pulled a trailer full of kids behind the car, which alleviated all the fighting that happens while getting in and out of the car.  And as we drove I could hear everyone singing together at the top of their lungs, laughing, and enjoying each other.  That sound especially warmed my heart because I had to really put my foot down and insist that this was an important family activity.  Even though a couple of them had really tried to get out of this outing, they still chose to participate with good attitudes, and it ended up being a great bonding time.

I did have a moment of sadness when I realized that I will have no girls living at home with me next Christmas.  And the girls have been my allies when it comes to keeping traditions alive!  The boys (at least the older ones) seem to fight against them.  I need my girls!!

In this last general conference, Elder Russell M Nelson gave a talk about JOY that spoke straight to my heart.  One of the things he said was "Joy is powerful, and focusing on joy brings God's power into our lives."  As I have looked for moments of joy, I have felt an increase of the Spirit in our home.  And an increase of the Spirit makes for a happier home for sure!  

Monday, October 3, 2016

Eli is 5!

Savannah was walking by Eli's door at 5:45 am and she heard  him talking to himself.  "Today is my birthday!  Today is my birthday!"

So began the most anticipated day in Eli's life to this point.


The first wonderful thing of the day was going to preschool.  Eli got to choose a treat for the class, and take in a giant poster "All About Me." (Special thanks to the lady at Walmart that gave him a birthday sticker which he chose to wear smack dab in the middle of his forehead.)



After asking approximately 8 million times "How much more minutes until Peter Piper Pizza?" the moment finally arrived!  Devin and Nettie joined us for the party.  Eli was actually shaking with excitement at one point as he came to get more tokens!


All the siblings pitched in the tickets they earned so Eli could get a really great prize.  He had 2,700 tickets to spend!  We were trying to point out all of the wonderful options, and the first thing he chose was a little plastic snake!



When the tokens were all gone, we could focus on gifts.  Eli genuinely loved every gift he received, squealing with joy each time he opened one.


He got a hunting vest and a nerf gun, camouflage sunglasses, new jeans, Legos handed down from Simon, and a baby book of himself from Jeff and I.


 Some things I really love about Eli:
-His enthusiasm for life!  He is so animated and excited about pretty much everything!
-His determination. Once he sets his mind to something, he really sticks with it.  He has been focused on hunting, for example, for MONTHS now!  He never gets discouraged!
-He is responsible.  He loves having things that he owns, and he takes good care of his special things.
-His silly use of pronouns. i.e. "Dat is mine toy!" or "Her is mine friend."


I had envisioned a cute cake in the shape of a number 5, but Eli really wanted a dinosaur cake.  This was my compromise.  A volcano cake with dinosaurs stuck to the sides.


About an hour after tucked him into bed, Eli came out hunting.  It was hard to be mad at this cute face!

Happy Birthday to my sweet Eli!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sisters trip

Last month my sister Kathy planned a fabulous sisters trip for us.  We went to San Diego and stayed at Capri by the Sea- the place we went for many consecutive summers as teenagers.  It is literally right on the beach, and we kept the window open to enjoy the cool breeze and sound of the waves.

We were pretty happy to be together!



We have some pretty dedicated healthy eaters amongst us, so the food was mostly high quality, fancy, organic and delicious! (This picture was the one exception to that.)  Honestly, my favorite part of get-aways without kids is the break from food preparation.



We decided for old time's sake that it was important that we go boogie boarding.  The water was freezing, but by golly, we played in it!  We didn't last nearly as long as we used to, and it may have been more trouble than it was worth, but we've still got it!  We can ride waves just as well as any of our kids!

Feeling proud:


And maybe just a little worn out:


On Sunday we sang in Kathy's ward before we headed home.  I sure do love those sisters and mom of mine! There is something about being with siblings that brings out the most relaxed, silly side of us all.  But we also had some moments where we talked about really meaningful spiritual things.  I love those women, and draw strength from each of their strengths.

Best of all, I came home feeling rejuvenated and even more grateful for my own family.  Thanks for the great time, sisters!  Let's do it again next year!!

Friday, September 16, 2016

My privilege

I've just returned from raking the sandbox in the park.  Last night I took the little boys to the park to celebrate the "beautiful wedder" (weather, as per Eli.)  Eli had gotten a little plastic "poison dart frog" from preschool, and he really wanted to play with it at the park.  I knew (having been through similar scenarios MANY times before) that the frog would get lost forever in the sand, but Eli would not believe me.  He insisted he would be able to see it just fine.  So he climbed to the top of the play structure and threw the frog into the sand for a "body slam." (I seem to use quotation marks a lot when talking about Eli, don't I?)

Of course, no matter how hard we all looked, the frog was gone.  I promised we could return when it was light to try again.  So the first question he asked when he stumbled out of bed this morning was "Can we go right now to look for my frog?"  We took a rake back to the park.  We found a lot of cat poop, but alas, no frog.


Last night around midnight, Simon came stumbling into my room, really upset by a nightmare.  He said he felt too insecure to go back to his own room. I made a cozy bed for him on the floor next to my bed, and he fell right back to sleep.  Much faster than I did.


My alarm went off at 5:30 this morning.  I had to get up extra early to allow time to change the gauze on Caleb's back.  He was riding (standing up) on an old mattress, being pulled by a friend driving a car around the dirt lot behind us.  Was there any question how that would end???  But the poor guy can hardly move now, and he needed his bandages changed in time to get to school.  So I was up at 5:30.

This is after 3 days of healing


So I am feeling a little tired today, but mostly really blessed.  What a privilege it is to be a mother!  I am so grateful that I get to be the one to be here, in the moments that are so important to these sweet children.  I wouldn't trade that privilege for anything in the world.