Tuesday, December 21, 2010

merry Christmas

Blogging just isn't the same from my phone so this will be short.
I wish You all a very happy holiday week and wonderful new year!
I am so grateful for the gifts I have received this year;
The gift of friendship, generosity, warmth, love. The gift of de-cluttering, gift of learning from experiences, the gift of being surrounded by beautiful people. The gift of being humbled, of beauty all around us. The gift of being loved, the gift of art and creativity. The gift of health insurance and great doctors, the gift of adorable children. The gift of color, the gift of family, the gift of faith in my Savior Jesus Christ. The gift of patience and forgiveness in my complaining and heard-headed attitudes. The gift of nature, the gift of good books, the gift of mercy.
What gifts are you thankful for this year?
Sailing on into a new year,
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

she's tired

She's tired of computer crashes and hard drive replacements.  She wonders what she is doing wrong, why nothing can work out.  Her camera needs repairs.   She made the soup too spicy for dinner and the kids were upset.  She's having a hard time feeling like it's really Christmas - should the kids use brown paper sacks for stockings or just not have one?  She can't remember a year without a tree.  She can't keep anything clean or organized and isn't sure she wants to try anymore.  Her kids are adorable and smart and they fight too much.  She wants her life back.  She knows it isn't true but she looks around and it looks like everyone else is living the dream that she can't reach.   She is supposed to get a few Christmas gifts for the kids but really needs to buy a  house, and a fridge, and a washer.  She can't win.  Everything feels too heavy today.  She knows it will get better, she just wonders if it will be in this lifetime?  She complains too much.  She knows she should be thankful in all things, even microwaves without handles, getting out of bed to start a fire at 3 am, being able to move and walk even though it hurts, having a great car even if the doors stopped working and she has to climb through the back, she needs to be thankful.  She has lost her touch - in pretty much every area of her life.  She needs to find the Christmas spirit - even if that means in one bedroom.  It's not what she was prepared for.  Why is she never prepared for what's coming?  Why hasn't she progressed farther than this?  Where are the lucky breaks?  Is she really supposed to love all of this?  She has no more tears to cry.  She raised her voice again today.  She misses her computer and her photos, how silly she is.  She fights on.  She knows there is no other way.  She will get up and do it all again anyway. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This poor girl...

This is my three year old's life for the past two months:

Vomit for 4 days.  Be ok for 5 days.  Vomit for 2 days. Be ok for 3 days.  Vomit for 3 days.  Be ok for 4 days.  Vomit for 3 days, be ok for 7 days.  You get the idea, right?  For two months now, on and on.  The longest the vomiting goes is for 4 days and the longest break we have had is 7 days.  We spent another day at the doctor today.  More tests, 6 vials of blood drawn for tests.  She was so good, not even a bit of crying.  My poor girl, last night as another round began and I was holding her hair back (this is the one thing I can do for her that she likes, that comforts her) she cried to me 'Mom, why won't my sickness go away?'

Oh my heart ached at that moment.  I am wondering the very same thing.  I'm sad for a 3 year old girl who should be having much more fun than this.  I'm just sure there is something strange going on - she is swelling and her skin is breaking out in welts too.  Anyone out there know what this is?  Even today, at the doctor, not 2 mintues after they had swiped that thermometer across her forehead, a streak of red swelling right where it had touched her skin formed.  For now we are on Zofran (to try to stop the vomiting) and dairy avoidance.  While we wait for the tests results I told Kurt my conclusion:
She is allergic to not having a home!  :)

still sailing,

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It feels great

To laugh.  Last night we went out to celebrate our anniversary and one of my sisters and her husband had popped into town on a whim.. so we went out together.  I'm not sure what exact combination of being tired/funny/crazy/silly came together but I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.  Our husbands were in rare form ... on quite the comedian kick.  I wish I had a photo of us all laughing.  Good times.  Then I got these photos today taken of my family this past week by a very talented lady - and saw this:
 I was sitting on the ground because i was trying to get my 3 year old to sit (which she never did what a shock!)
I love that she took these candids, and that my children make me laugh.  It feels good.  And I had no idea that while this was going on big brother was planting a kiss on little brother... how sweet!
I could use a few more things to laugh about!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I've been 'Thrilled'

This post goes out to all of my Christmas time Mint M&M loving sistas!  I have been telling my boyfriend (husband) that I want to get a bag of these and send them to all of you.  Then I realized that
a) it would cost more to ship than to purchase them initially.
b) they would get all banged up/melted/mashed in the mail
c) you would only have one bag and may need more than that!  :)
So I will instead share with you my discovery.

I love all things mint.  Mint ice cream, mint hot chocolate, mint brownies, mint icing, mint italian sodas, mint cookies, you get the idea.  So when there is a new mint candy on the market I take it upon myself to try them out and see where they weigh in.  Mind you, I have tried many new mint chocolates, candies, and flavorings in the past few years (and I've got the hips to prove it!).  This is the only one I find worth mentioning.  After I discovered these a few months ago; I have cruised right past the "regular" holiday mint m&m's.  Just try them and you will COMPLETELY understand (and possibly curse me for telling you how good they are).
 So far, the only store I have found that carries Mint Thrills is  Target.  I think they may have an exculsive on them.  Go ahead, get yourself some and try them and let me know what YOU think!
They also have a purple bag that is dark chocolate and my boyfriend has verified they are fantastic as well.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I found it...

In one simple photo I found the house I want.  Can I move in?

Unfortunately, this book I found the photo in (cheap chic) didn't disclose where the home is and when it would be ready for my move in.  Bummer.  So we keep waiting to hear back on the most recent offer we have made on yet another possible home for my family...  And I keep cleaning up vomit and praying for that to stop.  Pray with me, ok?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Deliciously Cute

Honestly, if this boy gets any cuter I might just eat him up!  What a fun week we have had with our new 2 year old!  I have never had a two year old get into the opening of presents like he did.  He would open a gift, look at it, say thank you, then ask "another present please?"  It was so fun to watch him loving his big day so much.  We had a great lunch at Chick-fil-A with some friends during the day and some one on one time with Mom as well.  He had a big bowl of ice cream for his treat and blew each candle out separately.
At two:
Favortie drink:  chocolate milk
Favorite movie:  CARS
Favorite Book:  The Best Mouse Cookie
Favorite outside activity:  Throwing rocks and collecting sticks
Favorite inside activity:  Playing Lightning McQueen or in the sink
Favorite place to go:  Mrs. Sheri's house
Favorite object:  Pacifier
Favorite Color:  Pink
Favorite comfort:  Blankie from Grandma Sheffield
Exceptional Skills:  talking, running, throwing, eating chocolate with no end in sight, being adorable.

Happy Birthday, big 2 year old boy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

10 years

I guess when you are ten years old you are old enough to light your own candles.  Or so she told me.  So many thoughts have passed through my mind as I watched my oldest turn 10 this week.   The one thought that dominated has been this:  wow, have I really been a parent for 10 years now?  Shouldn't I know more, shouldn't I be farther along with my parenting skills?  Hmmm.

We had an American Girl Mystery party at a generous friends house (since we are homeless).  It was delightful.  We also got to have a fun birthday dinner at Grandma and Grandpa Sheffield's house.  She even got a special birthday phone call from Jamaica from Grandma and Grandpa Smith.  Now I am left with this very grown up girl who is teaching me a lot.  Being 10 can be hard.  Being the oldest and being 10 is even harder.  We love Maddie Jo so much and we are so thankful for her courage to lead our children.  We love her so.

She loved that the celebration lasted all weekend:  friday I brought treats in at school, saturday was the party, and sunday was the 'real' day.  It was also the children's primary program at church and she loved that.  It was a very fun weekend for her.
I enjoyed watching her interact with her friends and it made me proud of her to watch her at school and at the party.  She is a wonderful young lady. She tries so hard to always do things well and she succeeds.  I am happy I am her mom!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

oil pastel

My children recently discovered oil pastels.  They love the way you can really lay down the color thick and rich  (as do I).  The afternoon that this was created I believe between all the kids we demolished a set of oil pastels, which is ok, because they are not the expensive kind and it was totally worth it.  I love to watch children create.  When children create they don't hold back; they aren't worried if their friends are going to like it or if it will be worthy of a blog post or pretty enough to use as home decor.  They create for the joy of it; sometimes knowing that they will immediately throw it away and start again.  I have a hard time throwing it away so now I scan it all and THEN dispose of it.  This is a current favorite of mine from my 6 year old son.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Hey Mom, watch - I'm catching snowflakes on my tongue and it's awesome.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Two options

She is wondering if she will ever get things right.  She is frustrated and tired of looking at houses; finding something that will work only to have it not be for her.  She is behind on the laundry.  She hasn't been exercising for weeks.  She eats too many chocolate covered pretzels.  She feels like a burder to her friends and an extreme failure as a mother.  She should be more patient and understanding.  She wants to scream when its bedtime and she is trying to get all five children to fall asleep in the same room.  In her heart she believes and trusts yet at times the darkness surrounds her and she feels heavy and discouraged.  She knows she has blessings yet she is drowning in the mess.  She hasn't been volunteering at school.  She forgets to check the website for what the kids need to bring to school and then causes embarassment to her little loves.  She drives the kids to school in her pajamas and glasses.  She has lost her sense of style.  She wants to write and read and create yet has little to no time to do any of it.  She can't sleep.  She lays there thinking about all the things she is doing wrong and all the ways she is failing.  The baby has a fresh set of stitches.   Her jeans are too tight.  She wonders if she should be working; making money to change this situation.  She feels like she is always behind on everything.  The kids were late to school again.  She wishes it would snow so much that she could hibernate for a while.  She is trying desperately to be brave.  Her daughter cracked her front adult tooth to the nerve - what is going on?  She wonders.  She needs to renew her costco membership.  She misses her art room - how selfish.  She can't answer the question 'how are you?' without fighting back tears.  She feels ridiculous.  She failed with dinner again.  She can't keep anything clean.  She sometimes wishes that quitting was an option.  She has two options - laugh or cry.  She starts to cry; she wants to sob.  She laughs anyway.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween Recap 2010

I'm late on this but at least I'm recording it.  Halloween was a weekend long celebration.  There was so much going on and so many different places I needed to be to that I didn't get photos of all the kids in costume (what mother does that?).  We had the school parties, the church party, the friend party, the halloween dinner party with more great friends.  All in all, we are partied out!  It was an exhausting, wonderful, exciting, sugar filled weekend.  I'm still trying to catch my breath.   To make life more exciting, add to that house hunting and you have one tired set of parents.
 The only photo I got of my cute little cowboy is this one sharing licks of his sucker with his hippie friend.  By the time he was actually awarded 2nd prize in the costume contest (how funny!) he was too tired to have his costume on.

We had a Renaissance queen, Amelia Bedilia, two cowboys and strawberry shortcake.   Dad was an awesome Halloween crafter!
 this cutie just ate the frosting right off the knife rather than bothering to put it on the cookie.

Ah well, ever forward, but ever so slowly.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Moments that make it all worth it

I love having a three year old.  For those of you who know my daughter who is three right now, she has forever changed our lives.  She has changed our bedtime routines, our morning rountines, our patience threshold, our ability to ignore loud batches of screaming and throwing fits, and many many other things.  Then today she does things like this and I remember that really, I love having a three year old!

We all got in the car to go get older sister from school to take her to an ortho appointment.  I ran back inside to get a ballot and snack for the kids.  I grabbed the bag of MY favorite snacks:  York peppermint pretzel sandwiches dipped in chocolate.  I brought them out to the car and she said

"Mom, I knew I could count on you!"

really, just like that.  And I know I can count on her to continue to make me smile and make me a better person.  Isn't this fun?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Soul Restoration

I just signed up for this online course.
 Because I have been to Brave Girl Camp I know with 100% surety that this course will be a good thing for me.  Join us!  You won't be disappointed.  I am looking forward to re-focusing myself for the new year and remembering truths that guide me on my journey.  I am excited to re-connect with friends and of course, to create!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I recenlty found this book at a second hand store.  I paid $1 for it.  At first glace, I thought it would be a riot to read through the leading advice and ideas on 'mothercraft' as they called motherhood in the 50's and 60's.    As I have continued to read however, I find myself wishing this was a book on the top ten best sellers list today.  Truth never changes.  Truth is never outdated and it never stops producing the same results.  I will share just one of my favorite parts; perhaps its my favorite because it supports my belief on how I like my home to feel.  My home is definitely a place where children are children... perhaps because in some ways it continues to give me an excuse to be a child still (especially when doing art projeccts!).

The book was printed in 1952.  The pages are yellowed and worn.  I love it.  I am acutally using some of the pages for an art project but I wanted to scan some of these that I thought were great sections.  
Speaking of children being children, don't you think that the combination of a swing from the swingset hooked through the handle of a wagon makes the perfect child-drawn carraige?  Genius.

Life is so interesting right now.  And by interesting I mean crazy, tiring, cramped, busy, out of the ordinary.  Yet I can see blessings every day.  I can see beauty in the change of seasons, in people, and mostly; in my children.  Surely the Lord cannot forget any of us... I belive that.

sailing on to dance class with one 3 year old who dresses up for it for 2 house before and has yet to actually DANCE during the class.


Monday, October 25, 2010

excuse me

for just a minute while I go and think about how these are some of the most beautiful faces this world has ever seen.....

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I was just kindof wondering today... is it really ok to be in bed with stomach flu three times in eight days? Because I am ready to be healthy again.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Littleton Historical Farm Museum

I grew up in Littleton, so I naturally I love it.  I even love the name.  I love that my parents still live there.  I love that I had a bunch of friends from home at college and we called it L-town.  The Littleton Historical Farm is not a disappointment.  With fall break this week we took a day to spend time there with the family checking out the 1960's and 1930's farms.  Again it reminded me that I love old stuff.  And flower gardens.  And taking endless photos of my children.  If you ever have the chance you should check it out - plus, its free!

I really love fun outings like this one.  I hope you had one this week too!

Memo to me

A few items you should Definitely leave out of storage next time you move and pack your belongings away for months.
I'm just covering essentials here.

garlic press. 
serving spoons.
baby wash.
colored pencils.
vegetable peeler.
a full set of measuring cups.
more than 2 skirts for yourself. 
your camera flash.

the end.

Monday, October 11, 2010

21 Days

In the past 21 days myself and my family have experienced a myriad of emotions and many life changing events.  We have laughed, we have cried, we have screamed in frustration, we have celebrated with joy and counted our blessings, well, it feels like there are not many emotions we haven't experienced.  In the past 21 days we have:

Attended a funeral in Idaho for my sweet Uncle who unexpectedly passed away.
Had a massive garage sale.
Put 80% of our belongings in storage.
Finished a soccer season.
Slept in 4 different houses and a hotel.
De-junked our life.
Mourned with family and friends.
Gone without a computer or internet (until today - yea!)
Been in 4 different states (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho)
Celebrated my son's 6th birthday.
Attended the baptism of a precious friend.
De-junked again.
Lived out of our van and changed clothes in various public restrooms.
Driven 2800+ miles.
Moved into temporary housing while we figure out the (hopeful) building of our new home.
Been blessed and helped by the efforts of an army of people who love us.
Moved 5 children into 1 bedroom together.  no further comment.
Flu shots for the family.
Had kindness and generosity poured out upon us by sweet people.
Said goodbye to amazing neighbors ( we are going through serious withdraw!)
Stored some of our junk in a kind friend's garage (thank you!!!)
Moved out of our home of 4 years in 3 weeks notice.
Cried through sleepless nights
Been uplifted by listening to General Conference
Attended the temple.
Prayed.  A lot.
Took 3 children in for yearly checkups and had shots.
Watched the leaves change color & flutter to the ground.
Bought new shoes for children who suddenly had bare feet because somehow their shoes all got packed into storage.
Packed up my creative space.  I'm still in shock.
Thrown away more junk.  Why did I move this stuff?
Packed school lunches out of my car.
Had a child in the emergency room.
Stayed the weekend in the mountains in between moving out and available temporary housing due to the generosity of kind people.
Attended parent teacher conferences.
Taken birthday treats into school for sweet 6 year old son.
Finished coaching another soccer season.
Played battleship with my children for the first time.
Sobbed in sheer frustration.
Put together a 'super star' poster for a child for school.  Could this asssignment not fall on another month?
Had our hearts aching for our friends who lost their most precious 5 year old daughter.
Talked with our children about life and death and grieving.
Felt a lot of sadness.
Visited Kurt's grandparents grave.
Watch the entire deal on our future home that we have been planning for months fall apart in one fell swoop.  Where to go from here?
Got an oil change in my van.
Enjoyed a birthday celebration breakfast at Uncle Bob and Aunt Fay's house in Idaho Falls.
Trapped 12 mice in the temporary house since we moved in.  no further comment.
Done homework assignments and packed lunches at Grandma and Grandpa's house - they have a printer and paper and pencils and food everything!  It's amazing!
Bid farewell to Kurt's parents the night before they left for a 2 year mission in Jamaica.
Bought deodorant 3 times because I couldn't find it (again)!
Found peace in the scriptures and promised myself to increase my faith.
Hugged my children and looked into their eyes - realizing they are growing at a rapid pace.
Spent a lot of time thinking about WHAT REALLY MATTERS.
Stayed at my sister's house and snuggled up to hear her read stories to the children.
Carried sleeping children into their beds late at night.  More than once.

As I reflect on our life right now and all of these experiences we have had - favorable or not - I feel like I am greatly blessed.  Even when life seems to be storming against us there are others who are suffering so deeply that it throws your trails right back into perspective.  I am so thankful to know that God truly does care about my family and where we end up.  I know he has a plan for us.  I am forever grateful for all those who have come and helped us in so many ways.    Thank you.
I am tired, I am weary, but not worn out.
In the end, we are sailing on, at the time being the course is just a bit unsure.  We are looking ahead and hoping for more sunny skies.