Monday, October 31, 2011

Flying Lessons

Lesson 30:
Sometimes you just have to do what you just have to do.
For me this is way too big of a deal.  I packed up my camera today to send in for repairs.  OH!  Can I live without my camera?  I don't know.... it's going to be a test.  But I figured I better get it fixed and back in time for some family photo shoots and so I can have great pictures of the new baby.
Seriously, though.  I find myself telling my children this and it is an important lesson.  You just have to take care of things when they need taking care of.  I know from experience that when you let them go on for too long past the point of needing attention I wish I would have addressed them earlier.  I'm still learning this.
We do have a little digital point and shoot camera around.... how spoiled and sassy am I that it seems an insult to me to try to capture a Halloween photo of my children with that little thing?  I know... poor me.
Here is the beginning of some very sad, photo - free blog posts.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Photo Favorite: Cowboy UP

I love my cowboys.  I love that these costumes have been used multiple times.  The vest and chaps Christian has on were worn by my brothers when we were his age.  Real leather, authentic cowboy style.  Excuse me for thinking they are the best looking cowboys the world has ever seen.


Friday, October 28, 2011


I thought these were small yellow squash but apparently I was mistaken!

I find this especially funny because children of this generation have never acutally seen a telephone shaped this way.  Everything they have ever seen has been in the shape of a straight rectangular cell phone type.  That just goes to show you that children know everything really! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Flying Lessons

Lesson 29:
Taking a break is a really good thing.

Fall Break was this past week for us.  We had a wonderful time.  We didn't do anything spectacular - no big trip out of town or a visit to the zoo.  We went to two really fun parks near by that we have not played at for a long time and ate lunch there with friends.  The children all played for several hours and had a great time.  Christian has become quite the snake finder and even found a little snake to play with at one park.  I love how he shared his find with his little brother.

We slept in every morning (7am! and even 8 one day!)  We had waffles for breakfast and ate lunch outside.  The weather was AMAZING - between 65 and 80 degrees every day.  We raked leaves and made leaf crafts.  Madeline made me this awesome garland for the mantel.

 I let go of expectations and didn't mention schoolwork once.   We had a movie night and stayed up late eating popcorn.  Kurt took the the children one night to the local stadium to watch a huge marching band competition.  We did a little cleaning and re-organizing of bedrooms and did art in the basement.  We learned how to make yo-yo's and created huge bubbles in the front yard and painted the sidewalk with soapy water.  We picked more veggies from the garden (at the end of October in Colorado - I still can't get over this!).

It was a great week.  After sending the big kids back to school monday morning (on time and ready to go!) I felt ready to tackle all that needs to happen in the next three weeks before baby girl is born.  I can't wait to show you how my HUGE kitchen project is turning out (because that will mean that I am finally FINISHED with it).

Sometimes it doesn't seem logical to take a break and I often feel like I CAN'T because there is always so much to be done.  Yet it is necessary, rejuvinating.  Not too much of a break; I can't just let things go completely - but all work and no play makes for an unhappy Mom and stressed out home.  So take a break when you need it - then get back at it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

All Dressed Up

We dress up for church every sunday.  Today was special because my two oldest girls were wearing new fancy outfits which came from a delightful shopping trip with Grandma yesterday.  They both got up and were ready for church right away today because they were so excited to wear their new clothes; especially the shoes.  Sometimes when I don't slow down and look deep into their faces for a while I forget how much they are growing up.  Fourth and Fifth grade this year is a lot of work and they both shoulder a lot of responsibility.  I'm so proud of them for being great kids and for striving to be kind and helpful individuals. When emotions are running high and sleep is low and they don't want to be helpful it is easy for me to forget about the other 90% of the time when they ARE something to brag about.  They are helpful and creative; kind and capable.  And LOVELY in their new outfits!

Of course the first thing Christian picked up upon getting out of the car after church is a football.  

This photo is so funny to me.  Clark was standing there waiting to take a photo with Emma next to him, which never happened because this is all she ever did.  Silly girl.
Now I must remind myself that it is the latter part of October while I mentally prepare for the snow coming this week and sadly wave goodbye to the beautiful sunshiny, warm days we have had.  
I'll survive; but maybe just barely.  
It's been such a fabulous fall I'm having a hard time letting it go.  
Sailing on anyway...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Football and a toothless grin

There has been a lot of teeth coming out at our house this past week.  Both Madeline and Christian have lost 2 teeth.  Madeline's are farther back and not very noticable.  For Christian, you can't miss it !

This saturday is the ending of a first for him and very fun football season.  It has been so fun to have his Uncle as one of the coaches and his cousins on the team to play with.  There is definitely a new passion brewing here.  I'm not sure if the mom is ready for this!

Sailing into winter...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flying Lessons

Lesson 28: Compassion

Life is an interesting thing.  The more I experience and the more I learn the more I find myself being ruled by compassion.  I hate to admit it, but in the past I often sat in judgement of others.  I always knew what they should be doing with their circumstances and what the answer was {of course I did; because I didn't live their life!} It has taken some serious circumstances in my own life for me to learn that there is no perfect answer for everyone; there is no perfect life; there are many complex circumstances.  The best thing I can do is to not focus on WHAT someone should or should not be doing in a particular circumstance but rather HOW I can help them, encourage them and help them find their own strength to choose what path they are taking next.  I can let them know that I am sorry for the situation they are in; I'm sorry they are in pain.  I can help them to feel strong and loved and encouraged.
Truly, how can I know what someone is really going through when I am not the one going through it?  And how much does everyone else really know about the details of YOUR life?  Have you even been the one being judged?  Have you ever been the one who had people telling you what you should do and how to do it and trying to make your choices for you?   Was that helpful?  I know that for me I have found that people who honestly care about me and my happiness do NOT tell me WHAT to do; rather they tell me HOW to be strong, remind me who I am; help me find answers from God that are catered just FOR ME, and ask how they can help me in my journey.   The more compassion I have in my heart, the less judgement I have in my mind.  Does that mean that I stand in tolerance when principles that I believe are fundamentally wrong are being attacked?  No.  Does that mean that I apoligize for the fact that I believe in God and that I belong to a church that I absolutely believe is true?  No.  It does mean that I believe that people need encouragement and smiles; love and compassion.  Am I good at this all the time?  NO - I wish I was.  I want to do more of it.  I stand for what I believe is right and good and true.  I stand with compassion and with the hope that I can help others {and myself} find our own strength through the Lord to follow the path that is uniquely ours to live.
All I can say is that I'm so glad I've changed.  I'm never going back.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'm so Proud

This girl has never done anything like this before.  She made up her mind to join the cross country team this year (5th grade) and went for it.  I am so proud of her for showing up, trying even when she needed to stop and walk, and finishing.  She has been running about 9 miles a week.  I think that is fantastic for a 10 year old.  She feels so strong and good and she should!  It has been fun to see her gain endurance and confidence.  Exercise does a body good.  Yea for you, Madeline!

Atta Girl!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Flying Lessons

Lesson 27:  It is ok to have help.  I am still ok if I need help.
I am a pretty independant, do it yourself person.  As far as my parents have said, that started at a young age and came with my personality.  I like feeling like I can do things on my own and I feel strong when I can complete a project or event or anything without help.  Having said that; I also get tired.  I get tired of always having do it on my own.  I know; I'm such a contradiction.  I like to do it and feel strong yet I realize I'm not always strong and when I'm not I like help.  The problem comes when I realize I need help much later than I actually do, and in the interim I isolate myself and that never goes well.

I have had a lot of times in my life recently, and in the past several years, where there is no way I can make it through without help.  And I'm not just talking about the help that comes from God, divine strength which is always what ultimately keeps me moving.  I'm talking about people who are the literal angels in my life on a regular basis.  I've been blessed to be part of a really great family with a lot of members and incredible heritage and an amazing network of caring friends.  I have been the recipiant of so many generous acts and prayers and emotional support and temporal support and 'help' of every kind you can imagine.  I hope in the future to be on the giving end rather than this one.  I have had times when it has made me REALLY uncomfortable and feel bad about myself for needing or accepting the help.  And then I've realized how I feel when I get to help someone else in that way.  And I realized what a blessing it is TO ME when I get to be the giver.  In the end, when we need help and caring people come to offer that help, we both receive blessings.

I don't think that God ever intended for us to go through this life doing everything alone; that is why he left us with his Holy Spirit.  Even God was not ok with leaving us alone and comfortless.  So why do we beat ourselves up over it when we DO need the help?  I am done doing that.  I am so grateful to the many people who help me in all aspects of my life and I can say it now:  Sometimes I need help.  And I am still good enough and capable enough and just ENOUGH when I need help.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

How to frost a cookie

One two and half year old and one four year old will now teach you.

Step 1:
Have your mom make cream cheese frosting and make sure you squeeze in A LOT of bright food coloring.

Step 2.  Frost cookies liberally by spreading frosting out with a knife, your hands, or whatever it takes. Squeeze entire contents of icing bag onto 3 cookies.

Step 3.  Dump on as many sprinkles as you possibly can, so that you can not see any of the frosting underneath.

TA-DA!!!  You did it!  Now run and play.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Birthday Boy

I love this boy.  It has been such a nice weekend celebrating his birthday.  It is also fun that his birthday falls on General Conference weekend.  I love that.  We had a great friend party saturday after his football game, then a fabulous dinner at a friend's home.  A good friend of mine had recently done a 'minute to win it' party for her daughter and offered me some of her games to use, which I did.  The boys loved it - especially the game where you get vaseline on your nose and move cotton balls by sticking them to your nose.  It was SO funny.  The games were great and I owe Brandi big time for having the party ready-made for me!

Sunday we got to spend the day with Grandma and Grandpa where the celebration continued.  This boy is spolied I tell you!

Favorites at age 7:
sport:  football
color:  blue  (BYU blue)
food:  mashed potatoes
book: Mighty Machines
toys:  Legos and Playmobiles
activity:  Throwing, batting, or kicking a ball outside
movie:  Popular Mechanics for Kids

He is sadly becoming my most picky eater.  He loves to wear shorts and has become one of those funny people who will wear shorts all year round, silly boy.  He loves to wear his cowboy gear and go 'exploring' in the nearby field.  He loves to catch snakes and toads and grashoppers.  He loves mud and dirt and sports and being loud.  I love him.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Flying Lessons

Lesson 26: Happiness and pain seem to always present themselves simultaneously.

 It should be against the rules of life for Moms to get sick.Seriously.  I usually get sick after the kids get it - right? That way you can take care of the kids and then slowly work through it yourself afterwards.  Not this time.  We have all been wiped out, laying on the couch together, watching movies and eating soup.  There was a lot of moaning and crying too.  Just when I thought we had worked our way through that virus the stomach flu arrives.  Ugh.  This too shall pass, and its all fine, but I really think that it should not be allowed for Moms to get sick.  there is just too much to do!  There have been so many painful and hard things in life in the past several years, months and weeks.  At the same time there have been things that I love and that are little miracles and blessings.  My challenge remains balancing the two and choosing to not stay stuck on the pain.  I constantly struggle with this.  There are parts of my life that I absolutely LOVE and parts of my life that wrap me in pain and darkness.  I feel stuck in between the two.  I realize I have much to be thankful for.  I also sometimes find myself wondering HOW it is exactly in many other areas of my life that "life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."  Maybe I'm the only one who does this, but it's a tough one for me.  Maybe its especially obvious with my 32 week pregnant emotions, I'm not sure.  I just know that I do find joy in many things in my life; there are many things I want to change and there are yet others I feel bound to live with yet do not enjoy at all.  I'm hoping that sometime before my life is finished I will know how to fly above all of it.