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, December 23, 2009

Let’s go to the movies


Today, in an attempt to be a fun mom, I took all six kids to the dollar movies.  Actually, my motivation may have come more from terror at the idea of having all those children at home all day with nothing to do.  At any rate…we went to see G-FORCE.


I can tell you nothing about the plot or the characters of the movie, but this is what I can tell you:

I heard the word B-U-T-T used way too many times.

It takes about 10 minutes to go through the first gigantic tub of popcorn.  Then a refill becomes urgent.

They have booster seats in back for the kids who can’t see over their brothers’ heads.

Not all of my children are generous enough to share water with the brother who forgot to pack a water bottle, but some are.

Simon did not choke on any of the  popcorn he ate.  And it smells cheesy when it gets spit up on you.

About one third of Jonah’s water went to waste… in my lap.

Simon can army crawl down the entire aisle/runway in about 20 seconds.  It may have been faster, had he not been temporarily distracted by the wad of chewed up gum in the carpet.

Monday, December 21, 2009



Sometimes I feel like this at the end of the day.


Today was one of those days.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My specialist day

Friday was the Alston family Christmas party. Chinese food, talent show, pass the present game, and cousin gift exchange.

When I say gift exchange, what I mean is… everybody toss the gifts that you brought in the general direction of the intended recipient, then tear into the pile that has landed near you.

I was feeling just a tad frusterated with the amount of chaos. I was sure nobody knew who had given them what, let alone got a chance to say "Thank you," or "you're welcome." And I was correct in my prediction that all the candy would get mixed up and things would mysteriously disappear under the piles of discarded wrapping and packaging. My sister told me, "There is no point in disliking the chaos," which is, of course, true.

Despite the lack of formality, (or quite possibly because of it,) the kids thought the evening was a smashing success. The next morning Jonah was reviewing all of the wonderful gifts he received, and apparently feeling very blessed. He sighed and said, “Everybody is so good to me. This is my specialist day.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Role Reversals

Yesterday I found myself sick with the bug that has been making its way through my family. Not surprising, with as many times as I have been slobbered, slimed, and thrown up on. I woke up feeling nauseous and achy, and unable to do more than lie on the couch all day.

While it wasn’t my first choice of how to spend a day, it made me realize what a sweet, helpful family I have. Jeff got up with the kids and got everyone off to school, as well as going to the store and helping out with Simon as much as he could during the day. And when the kids came home, they all pitched in. Becca and Savannah each said “I’m sorry you’re not feeling well Mom. What can I do to help?” Then they spent the afternoon taking turns with Simon. Caleb refilled my soda and brought me something to eat. Josh helped by making something for Jonah to eat.

I’m happy to be feeling better today, but what a blessing it was to see my family all pitch in and take care of me when I needed them!

Side-note: Jonah was sleeping in a “sick bed” on my floor, in case he threw up again last night. At 4:00 am I heard a little voice, “Mom? Mom?” I whispered back “What do you need, honey?” “You forgot to listen to my prayers.” So I lay there in bed and listened to his prayers, and 2 minutes later he was snoring again.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Choirs of Angels


angel choir


Today I went to a Sacrament Meeting that was also a musical Christmas program.  The ward choir was fantastic… especially one soprano.  During The First Noel she sang the high part that rang out beautifully above everything else.  It reminded me of an angel singing with the choir to announce the birth of the Christ child.  How I want to have been in that choir!

It is a dream of mine to be in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir one day.  I haven’t figured out yet how I will work the commute to Utah, but I haven’t given it up!  If for some strange reason that doesn’t work out, then I’m aiming for the angelic choir in heaven.  In the meantime, I’m boosting my resume. 

I figure that singing in (or directing) my ward choir, singing in church, helping with the music in primary… all of these things should be earning me extra points.  When it comes time for my audition in Heaven,  my voice will be decent, but not the best they’ve heard.  Then it will be my musical service given on earth that will be the deciding factor!  Maybe I will even be blessed with the angelic voice that can sing the high part, ringing out above everything else…

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I love it, I love it not.

I love freshly-cut roses sitting in my window sill. I do not love chicken poo on my porch.

I love cold, windy days. I do not love shallow kitchen sinks.

I love the yellow leaves falling from my apricot tree, eating things I didn’t have to prepare, and lounging in my cozy bed.

I do not love wearing pants.

PS Don’t worry… I do wear them every day, I just find them (the socially acceptable ones, anyway) restrictive and unpleasant.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sissy moves in

I should have posted this when it happened, but better late than never!

This was my storage room a couple of months ago:


And this is my storage room now:


When Theresa got married, Lindsey found herself homeless, and desperate enough to clean out my (unheated or air conditioned) storage room and move in with the Davis family!

I don’t know how long  we’ll get to keep her, but we sure love having her here!  She is a breath of fresh air.  Quite literally… the storage room always smells lovely and welcoming now.  We’re hoping that her sweet smells will rub off on us to cover up some of our not-so-pleasant household smells.

The girls also pointed out that “ever since Aunt Lindsey moved in, we’re a lot more fashionable.”  Her room is a gold mine of clothing and accessories!

My favorite is when she joins me for a box of oreos and an episode of   The Office or So You Think You Can Dance!

We love you Lindsey!

Friday, December 4, 2009



Jonah has a pretty advanced vocabulary for a 4 year old.


He can carry on an intelligent conversation about gravity or a hypothesis.  He surprised me the other day by describing something as multi-colored.

But even Jonah can be stumped.  The other day Rebecca’s friend was over, and Jonah was showing her a trick.  She said, “Wow!  That’s NEAT-O!”

Jonah looked at her with a confused look on his face and said, “Wait… sometimes don’t you speak English??”

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kids live here


My house is filled with signs that kids live here.


Things are always dumped out… toyboxes, bookshelves, kitchen cupboards, etc.

IMG_2712 Jonah’s countdown to Christmas chain. In theory, this is so I don’t have to answer the question “Is Christmas this day?” ten times a day.


Josh’s job was to fold and put away the towels.


My collection of classy kitchen decor:  bubbles and homemade crafts.  I love it!  Oh, and that paper on the wall is a checklist for cleaning the kitchen.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A boy becomes a man


The Boy


The Little Man   sniff…sniff…


PS  If you can’t tell what qualifies him as a man now, it’s the haircut and a tooth!