Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reclaiming Myself

Happy New YEar! Wham, here it goes. A very long post. Feel free to run away now if you need to. This is more for me than anyone (we already knew that though) but here goes.
Happy new year!

Although my home looks like this

And this

I NEEDED some time to reclaim myself. I feel much better, and I am on a bit of a roll. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing but I'm not sleeping much or very well on account of all the wild ideas swimming around up there. ah. if only I had the time to execute all that I dream up!

just some cards

I love how my Christmas card display turned out this year. It has been fun to flip through!
This blanket is a bit on the wild side but I like how it turned out and I hope that baby Olivia likes it as well! It has been needing some love to get it finished for a while now so I am so happy to have been able to do it!

AND while i was crafting Christian did some crafting of his own, which he is so very proud of and it stands outside his door! There has been a lot of hammering going on in the basement!

oh. AND I wanted to share my current favorite recipe. I find myself making this delicious (and easy) dish over and over. My children eat it, we have leftovers that are great for tacos, sandwiches, or just plain eating, and it has great flavor! I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!
Pulled Pork

First you mix up this rub and rub it into the rinsed pork roast. ( When I make up this I usually have enough to use it 3 or so times: use about 3TBS to rub on) Keep your mixture for up to 6 months in an airtight container.

2 TBS paprika
1 TBS groung red pepper
1 TBS kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. powdered garlic
1 tsp. powdered onion
1 TBS chili powder
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
Place in crockpot with 4-6 cups of apple cider (depending on the size of your roast) , 3-6 fresh rosemary sprigs and 2 sliced jalapeno peppers. lay the peppers across the top of the meat. I also use dehydrated jalapeno peppers and that works well too. You may want to pull the peppers off before serving, but so much of the 'hotness' cooks out of them that our family likes to mix them in and eat it all together!

I know it seems ludicrous to others - spending time slicing paper in crisp lines, sewing and watching the beautiful stitches punch through that pretty fabric, gluing buttons, flowers, and occasionally my fingers to more pretty paper, thumbing through endless photos, and in general stacking up countless craft items to be put away 'when I'm finished' on all areas of my work desk - all of this takes me back. Return to me. Reminds me that to create something fills up my spirit, reawakens my soul, allows me to breathe deeply again. Only now can I resolutely look ahead to getting the children back to school (preferably on time!), dentist appointments, piano, dance, karate, homework, reading logs (this I have noticed makes reading much less enjoyable!) you get the picture.... REAL LIFE!!!

I am happy that it is a new year. The past few years have been very painful. I still feel a lot of pain. I'm making my way through it. This year I am doing just ONE thing, every day, to make myself better. And by that I mean baby steps. Nothing huge, no big list to post here, just some heartfelt notes in my journals to remind me I need to practice becoming more of myself than I have been these past few years. A lot of me has been hidden under the pain. But I'm still here. This year I will be doing a lot of digging!
and lastly, I was scrapbooking and found this beautilful piece by Melody Ross and I LOVE it so much!

This year I am going to PRACTICE, every day, listening for what I need to hear. Maybe if you listen you will hear too! Happy New Year ~ may we all be better listeners!
Emily Laurel - still sailing on

Friday, December 25, 2009

A very MERRY Christmas to all!

These past weeks have been filled with wonderful holiday activities, school parties, carriage rides, a piano recital, and my favorite: reading christmas stories around the tree with the family each night. We have truly experienced "advent" in the traditional meaning: to prepare ourselves to receive Christ into our hearts on Christmas day. It has been a wonderful month and I feel happy with what I did, and that is was ok to let go of all that I did not get to.

This year we burned a collection of our favorite christmas songs and shared it with friends close by. It was fun to have our friends enjoy some of the music that we love so much! We carried on our tradition of all the kids sleeping under the tree and started a few new traditions too.

I feel so blessed today. It has been perfect. Last night our family (who live in CO) were able to come over and we shared a wonderful evening of acting out the nativity and spending some time together. The kids got to bed at a decent time and all went as planned for the rest of the night!

This morning I have LOVED watching my children enjoy their gifts and smile and laugh. My favorite thing is hearing their prayers today ....
"thank you for Jesus being born so that we could celebrate this wonderful day. Thank you that Jesus is our best present ever but that we can still have fun presents and remember him. "

They have all been so sweet in reminding each other the reason for all of this fun. It makes me happy to overhear them telling each other such sweet things.

We have loved spending the day together playing and staying in our pajamas until after lunch time!

OH and last but NOT least - my new computer arrived! MERRY CHRISTMAS to me! I am so thankful for this ! I should be able to stay online from now on without multiple crashes per month! YEA!!!

Has everything REALLY been perfect? NO. But its been a perfectly imperfect mess for me, just the way I like it.

May your holidays be as wonderful as ours. May you be thankful that Jesus was born so we can have all of this fun!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where has the time gone?

As we begin December I find myself, as usual, behind on everything and wondering where all my time is going?
Madeline turned 9 years old in November. We had a fun birthday lunch celebration and she had a great day. Favorite gifts include: a CTR ring from Grandparents, a mini Rebecca doll from Grandparents, and her bitty baby dolls got a visit to the hospital and came back just like new! Madeline is a wonderful girl who is in such a growth spurt it's frustrating for me to try to keep her in clothes that fit! Shoes, pants, dresses that all fit 2 months ago and still have A LOT of wear left in them are TOO SMALL! WHAT? I know Savanna and Emma will get some wear out of them but it will be years before that happens. Oh well. Madeline's greatest challenge continues to be controlling her anger and staying at a good even pace. We sure love her.

Clark is now one year old. We had a little party for Clark as well that was great fun. He loves to eat and went right at the cake and was extremely messy just like a one year old should be! He is adorable and we are all smitten with him. He is ridiculously attached to his mother which can sometimes make her crazy but hey, we have been through a lot together so I understand. I think.

Thanksgiving was fun, packed with family and many activities including dinner, christmas tree cutting, games, a movie and football. My mom put on this wonderful dinner for 30 people or something like that. It was all delicious! My dad set up the go-go gadget table which extended out into two rooms, it was great!

We all had fun hunting for the perfect trees this year and the kids loved being in the mountains.

Thanksgiving is a great holiday and I have really tried to keep it with me. Yet I find that one day I have this huge list of things I am thankful for and the next all of those things are masked by the screaming children and the realities of my daily life. Sad to admit, but true indeed. This sunday listening to the First Presidency Christmas devotional I found myself being described and realized that too often I have life all coordinated and working and don't always stop to feel it. Good reminders.
After Thanksgiving we were on to the School broadway music show and piano recital. We made it through all of that in flying colors and now await the return of any temperature above zero. Seriously. I feel like I am in Rexburg ID again in the dead of winter and it's NOT very fun! This makes the carpool pickup line at the school take over an hour. There are no words for how that makes me feel. yea.
On the bright side, Apple Computers has heard my plea for help with a constantly crashing computer and will be shipping me a replacement soon. So all my photos of above mentioned performances will have to wait the arrival of the new computer. I hope I can smoothly get all info off my backup hard drive and find any other photos I may have lost in recent crashes and get them all restored to the new computer. Whew! I just know I will love it when all this is over.
Stay warm, snuggle up with a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy December!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Emily + Photography = LOVE (still, yes, always!)

I LOVE this cute Emma face!!!!

We have coached and watched our fair share of soccer games (Christian is a little superstar!)

I finally got the computer working again (don't ask!!!) enough to upload my 4GB camera card from the past few months. I have millions of other things I should be doing but I love looking through these photos and it has brought me to say 2 things:
1. I LOVE photographs! I am so thankful that we have the ability to capture these moments. I love love love love love it!
2. We are a fun family! We have done a lot of fun things together these past few months. I am thankful for these activities and hope my children have fond memories and that they bring us together as a family. For family night we worked on our family mission statement and came up with something simple that we can all remember:

We are Children Of God. We are a Loving Family. We are happy as we Choose the Right.

We picked 48 bags of veggies and canned, dehydrated and
blanched and froze all of them!

OH and if you come to visit us you simply MUST go to the Cheyenne
Mountain Zoo and feed the giraffe's. Its an awesome experience. We love the entire zoo so much we bought a membership. I'm a big fan!