i've been counting down since last Dec 26 ... are you ready? me neither!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Forgiveness ...

My notes from our combined Relief Society and Priesthood meeting ...

Forgiveness: we need to let others repent, let it go ... bury the hatchet
It does take time ...
My responsibility, the Savior died for them too.

D&C 64:8-11

a grudge is a heavy burden, not worth carrying around ...
Brigham Young's parable of the poisonous snakebite ...
in this talk by David E. Sorensen
Compared to President Monson's talk on Anger from Oct. Conf. 2009
Spilled Milk story about Thomas B. Marsh's wife stealing cream (found in Monson's talk)

check out what the New Era says about forgiveness here.

I have experienced a time when forgiveness was required of me - I found it hard to do ... especially under the circumstances. I cried a lot, prayed a lot, was angry a long time, was stubborn a long time, felt 'justified' in it ... but didn't find peace until I honestly let it go. I still find myself getting twinges now and again of the hurt and the anger ... but I try to quickly remind myself that 'it's all under control ... just not my control' (Acts 1:7).

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday AGAIN!?

Our Saturday activities in pictures ...
size = amount of time spent - notice the reason we have a messy house!?

and after that was done ...

we saw the demise of our poor Christmas Tree ...

and then ran errands and emptied the JUNK from the van so that we could go pick up our best friends who were flying in from ...

Happiest Place On Earth!

lovely busy day ...

Friday, January 29, 2010

on being sick as a mother ...

Last night I started having a sore throat and splitting headache ... I even went to bed at 10:30pm ... I haven't gone to bed that early in many moons! All thru the night I was hot and then cold and sweaty and then freezing ... I woke up this morning at 7:15 and felt like I had been hit by a truck. I took a shower, and some tylenol and went about my day.

Mom's shouldn't be able to get sick! It's not like I am able to call in and say, "I'm sorry you're going to have to get yourself to school today - I'm taking a sick day..." I can't say, "I'm not feeling well so you're going to have to make your own lunch ... " "My throat is killing me, so if you need anything, I'll be in bed!"

That kind of nonsense would NEVER fly! So I did my thing ... I helped Andy drop off my van at the shop ... came back and went to Yoga (I have it easy today - Andy was able to take the boys with him!!) and came home to do laundry and clean up my room!

All in all I'm not doing too terribly awful - I'm still planning to go out to dinner and a movie with my girlfriends - shoot, like a little ol' sore thoat and achy body is going to stop that!!

But I still think that there should be a law written and an antibiotic made because the world really does come to a screeching halt when mom's sick!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

and speaking of TOFW

Toward the end we had a chance for Q&A ... one of the questions was "How do I make time for myself?" One of the answers was: Don't lose yourself in your family, put yourself back in your life.

I went Visiting Teaching today and the message this month is about being Self Reliant. When I hear those words I automatically think "food storage" ... but we talked about how if you don't take care of yourself, then you can't take care of your family or church callings or anything else.

A few years ago one of my good friends and I planned a trip to visit another of our friends in Las Vegas (where she had recently moved) and we spent 3 days there. We left our husbands with our then 2 and 3 children (respectively) and hopped on a plane! It was a great getaway and we had a ton of fun! I remember thinking - 'are we crazy?' 'can our husbands handle this?' 'what if the plane crashes??' But upon arriving in Nevada ... I was free to remember myself ... who I was and that I had friends and I didn't have to involve a playdate to visit them!!

Andy and I try to be vigilant about a weekly date. I feel like it keeps us on the same page as far as our family life but also we get to reconnect to one another each time we leave the kids behind. I always think about how someday my kids will all be grown up and moved out of the house ... and that I don't want to be stuck with a stranger living in the same empty house as me! I want to have that weekly connection ... we don't ALWAYS make it out ... and quite frankly it does get expensive after paying for dinner or what ever we do while we're out and then paying the babysitter ... but really in the long run it's cheaper than marriage counseling would cost!

Now ... since I am writing this for my kids to look back on and see what I thought about and how I did things while they were growing up ... I want to tell them that I never in a million billion years wish that they will grow up faster. I never want them to go away from me. I don't wish that I didn't have to deal with them. I love each of them, individually, with all my heart. I hope that they will remember me as a fun/funny mommy that loved to hold them and snuggle them and have them around. I do however need time on my own, time with daddy alone, and time away sometimes. Dates are good for mom and dad, and someday you will start dating and figuring these things out for yourselves. I pray that you will find a partner/companion that will take you on a weekly date and show you the love and respect you deserve.

Just to clarify ... I am not scolding people that don't go out on a weekly date - sometimes going out isn't possible. But I believe that setting time aside for husband and wife is essential! Whether you get a babysitter and go out, put the kids to bed and stay in, swap babysitting with a friend or lock yourselves in your bedroom for a couple hours ... it's all about time! Family time is lovely ... but if you want to build on/nurture/develop a relationship that will last through eternity ... you better be doing something about it!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the lunchbox mystery ...

Since we returned to school from Christmas, Abi's lunch box has gone missing TWICE! The first time I got upset with her ... thinking that she lost it, put it in the wrong box to be returned to her classroom ... or she maybe had lost it in her locker?? I got after her to look for it and she has yet to find it. Then today she was upset when I picked her up from school. She said that she put her lunch box in her locker (this was confirmed by her friends, whose lockers flank hers) and when she went to get it for lunch time ... it was missing! Mind you, these elementary lockers are not locked ... they are simply a glorified cubby with a door. Anyone could have walked by and looked in there and decided to swipe her yummy lunch containing a devil's food cake mix cookie - lovingly made for her by her dad! This is a problem! I emailed her school teacher to that effect and I'm hoping that something will be done! Especially since she is so upset about it AND she had to 'borrow' a lunch today and pay back the school tomorrow! She didn't call me because she thought I'd be mad!

OH NO!! I'm writing this down so that I am held accountable ... I never want this to happen again - not the lunch box missing thing (well I don't want that to happen anymore either ...) - I don't want my kids to be afraid to tell me things for fear that I'll be upset with them!!

I remember going to a Time Out For Women where Emily Watts spoke - she's quite hilarious to listen to ... not stand-up-comic hilarious, real-life-no-holds-barred hilarious! She talked about parenting and said something that hit home: "Heavenly Father loves your children as much as you do, even more possibly - He doesn't get provoked ... "

In my every effort to be more like my Heavenly Father, I need to add 'not easily provoked' ... I shout too much ... the first step is to admit you have a problem ... I recognize that I need to do something about it! I'm going to start praying for help and start whispering more! Wish me luck - and check up on me! I need the help!

BTW: the second missing lunchbox has been found ...
it never did make it to school -
it was on the floor in the living room the whole time!
Embarrassing - I sent a witty and blistering email to the teacher
about Abi needing to feel safe at school!!
Note to self: stop overreacting ... stop and think before making rash and blanket statements!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

day 2 and still on track!

One of my Goals for 2010 is to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover in 30 consecutive days. This means roughly 17 pages a day=45-ish minutes a day=a big commitment. I want to do this for 2 reasons, 1) I haven't read from cover to cover in quite a while ... 2) I can read 500 pages of a novel in a few days ... but 530 of scripture is difficult - I want it to be like a novel and get the story in my head.

I have started reading about 4 times ... and get to about chapter 6 and get distracted ... so I start over the next time I pick it up ... days later! But I am determined this time. I have decided that it's not cheating to listen to it! I downloaded it to my zune from lds.org and I have listened to it for 2 days in a row now ... and ya know - I'm really liking it! My plan is to spend those 45ish minutes on the eliptical ... that part hasn't happened yet ... but I'm listening and getting the story and my 'required' chapters in to meet my goal!

I know the Book of Mormon is true scripture and that by reading it you can get closer to our Heavenly Father and learn the mysteries of God ... you will also learn about His "tender mercies" as promised by Nephi in the first chapter, twentieth verse ... have faith and He will "make [you] mighty even unto the power of deliverance." Who doesn't want that??

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rhino ...

she is on an extended stay ... so her accomodations were upgraded from this stinky box that was causing a little bit of claustrophobia - to (drumroll please ... )

this lovely, spacious, entertainment-filled, happy home that doesn't seem like a cage at all, but a fun house full of surprises!!
(and with an extra ball ... i forsee a friend in the not so distant future - if the girls have anything to say about it all!! they made a plan that if they kept their room clean for 30 consecutive days they could get a hamster ... and there's about 7 days left ... we'll see ... )

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Our ward conference today was all about patterns - ones we make and ones we should follow ...

Isn't it interesting that as we go along our lives that we make our mark in the grand scheme of things and it's either for the good or bad ... but a mark just the same?

I learned today that I want to follow a perfect pattern ... but sometimes I need to make it work for me - and that's ok. I also learned that as I teach my children, I am creating a pattern for them to follow ... and that if they choose not to follow my pattern that's ok too ... because we all have agency. I want to set an example that they will want to follow but sometimes I fail and need to change - and that's ok ... Heavenly Father rewards us for trying!

Philippians 3:13-14 "forgetting those things which are behind," {i have made mistakes but i don't dwell on them} ... "I press toward the mark for the prize ... " {i keep going ... trying to do my best!} This can be cross referenced to Alma 32:27 "... if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, ... let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words."

'Tis a lesson you should heed,
Try, try again.
If at first you don't succeed,
Try, try again.
[1840 T.H. Palmer Teacher's Manual 223]

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday is a special day ...

it's the day we get Christmas all put away!
We moved things around in the attic - got down things to donate to the Y and put all the Christmas boxes up! And - shocker - there's so much room up there when it's organized. Now if the organization could rain from above and cause the rest of the house to have everything have a place and be in it's place ... that would be lovely!

After we descended the attic ... we rushed (with 1 grandma, 1 granny and 1 papa) to the boys games ... that were at the exact same time on either side of the curtain drawn to make the full size court into 2 kid size courts! so fun! and FUNNY!

Tonight we went with our ward to the temple and were blessed with the opportunity to do sealings. What beautiful blessings are promised to those who are sealed! And the best part ... we were among friends! (and we all went out to dinner together after! the fun part!)

Here's to good days, great friends and wonderful babysitters that make it all possible!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

after many long years ...

Andy has spent many hours ... days, nights and all-nighters even ... at the skate deck. He practically grew up there. He is quite comfortable gliding on the smooth wood floor and even now as a grown-up, he's still able to skate backward and in circles around his wabbly-legged-not-as-comfortable-with-wheels-on wife. I never knew him as a teenager but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have given him a second glance back-in-the-day ... he was truly a skater-dude. That being said, I have been watching him skate these past few times that we've been there, in awe and loving the fact that he's just that good! (and looks good doing it!) Here's the problem: the skate deck has had the same skates for rent for the past 30 some-odd years! Andy has been skating there for at least 20 years (gasp!), renting their same old speed skates, getting blisters from the not so comfortable, not so snug fitting, wonky-soled skates.


Andy is the proud owner of his very own Riedell Speed Skates!

(It's hard to believe that this is his very first pair he's ever owned!)

Happy early Birthday!!

Now who wants to go skating?

{added at 11:30pm}

He took them out for a maiden voyage tonight ...
after Monday, Thursday and Friday night skates
legs are sore and out of practice ...
I foresee more dates at the Skate Deck!!
Seriously, who wants to join us?! ANYBODY!?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

there's a first time for everything ...

I was blessed with the opportunity to teach seminary this morning! Alma chapter 12 ... one of the great missionaries in the scriptures and his awesome companion, Amulek. They teach Zeezrom a thing or two and astonish the multitude ... it's a great chapter - chock-full of good stuff! We scratched the surface today ... luckily I get to go back tomorrow and finish what I started! What a great way to start the day! {except it's really early!}

I have been reading and studying Alma 12 and 13 for the last few days ... so much good stuff!! Great principles and doctrine. It reminds me that I love the scriptures and that I really do want to spend more time reading and studying them. I have been inspired today ... now if I can just keep this feeling alive, and get myself out of bed every morning ... my days will be so much happier!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

i'm in it to win it!

something you maybe didn't know about me: i've never done step aerobics, taken a step class, or tried to step up on one of those steps except maybe in PE as a child. Oh, i've done aerobics, NIA, tried Zumba, done water aerobics and even took aerobics instructing class in college ... but i've never done 'step' ... until today!

am i coordinated? not so much ...
did i totally get lost in the middle? absolutely!
did i have a good workout (read: did i sweat a LOT?)? uh yeah.
will i be going back next week? you bet your gym shoes!
i asked the instructor ... "so since i didn't get it right the first time ... that means i have to come back?!" she said, "see you next week!!"

baby steps ... and one and two and one and two ...

and by the way ... it was really fun! the best part: i was front and center (the only spot left when i got there ... ) and blessed with the ability to laugh at myself!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

i'm a little weepy today

Then I run across pictures like this:

What is there to be weepy about, you ask?

Just a few things ... christmas is over, my house is in a constant state of disaster, and my best friends are planning a drastic change of scenery ...

all things that make me feel like crying big crocodile tears!!

But for now ... {chuckle} I'm just gonna look at pictures like this, that I can't help but laugh at!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

what do you do when you're down by 2?

The girls decided to spend the night at grandma's house since there was no school today - thank you, Martin Luther King Jr. So, we were down by 2 ... it was just us and the boys ... i went to yoga while the 3 of them went for a drive to get some photos for dad's work, i came home and took the ornaments off the tree ... notice i didn't say took the tree down ... cuz it's still up - just naked now ... lights and star only, give me a few more days! We had lunch and went to ... {drumroll please ... }


Ammon was getting really good after about a half hour ... i was really impressed! Maybe he'll be as good as his dad someday! Easton told me that when he gets big he'll skate like daddy - and backwards too! It was really fun!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I am a child of God ...

and He has sent me here.

has given me an earthly home
with parents, kind and dear.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
to live with Him someday.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

GO Blue Whales! GO Bulldogs!

See that number 1?? That's our star football ...er... basketball player! He runs, he dribbles (sort of), he blocks, he shoots ... he scores(?!) not so much - but he sure looks cute doing it ... and he only shot at the wrong basket twice! It gets so confusing you know, when all the kids are chasing you as you carry the basketball in a football hold ... stiff-arming the competition and your own team mates down the court! Parents and siblings cheering and shouting, "Run! Get the ball! Shoot it! No, the other way! Arms up! Get the ball! Run!!" No wonder he was ready for a drink and a time out 3 minutes into the first quarter!!

Funniest thing I have seen in a while - well this sports season anyway!

And this guy ... he can do it all! Run, dribble (sort of), guard, shoot, and he scores! He's the smilely-est kid on the court! He's just happy to be here and played almost the whole game! Sweaty kid! What a fun way to spend 2 hours today!

Friday, January 15, 2010

'tis the season ... still

When you get a late start to the Christmas season on account of you're helping your mom with her Christmas Decorations so that she can have a "Lighting Celebration" and as a result of too much to do and no time to do it in and due to the fact that you're a mom of 4 busy-bodies that like to touch things that are 'for display only' ... you [read: I] get to keep the tree up as long as you want ... except if it's real and is becoming a fire hazard ...

BUT you know that it's been up just a bit long when you find these:

And if you think you heard Christmas music in the background the last time you talked to me ... keep in mind I get to listen to it as long as there are decorations up at my house ... it's still Christmas here! Come on over and enjoy the season a little longer with us!


We've been rodent sitting for my little sister that 'accidentally' left Rhino behind ... when she moved to Utah. My children are ECSTATIC that we have a pet!!

This is Rhino

she's a hampster ... she's fun to watch, the kids like to hold her, her ball keeps her out of trouble (she's only escaped 3 times ... ) and the best thing is ... her poops are miniature!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

goals, plans, schedules and wagon rides

I'm back on the wagon ... move over girls - Emily Shaw is back!! I know I've said that before and I have even blog-promised (which is similar to pinky promising!) ... but this time I am determined. I have set my phone to remind me to blog ... and I feel like this is the best way to keep up with our 'family history'!!

I plan to post daily and 'blog without obligation' except to myself. I feel like I am more eloquent and fun when I blog. And I really want my kids to be able to look back on this and say to themselves - our mom was one crazy girl and she loved us!

That being said:

This is the reason I blog ... to remember when I did fun things like braving the Seattle Aquarium with my 4 crazies and sack lunches. Ahh the joys of motherhood with 'membership'!