Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Coffee Filter Project

I did a fun little project with coffee filters yesterday and today.  You can check it out on Sisterview.

Have a great wednesday.
E

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brilliant

My children are brilliant.  Let me just show you an example!
Savanna used to be bothered by how it is difficult to keep socks up and pants down under her snow pants inside of her snow boots.  She no longer has that problem since she has taken matters into her own hands.  She simple safety pins her socks and pants together.  I'm still cracking up.
Well, it worked for both of us.  Problem solved, happy girl.  And just for the record this is how she looks after playing in the snow for two hours on a snow day.   Still beautiful. 
E

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Light No. 8

As February draws to a close I have a lot of mixed feelings.  This past week was probably my personally hardest week so far.  It was a collection of a lot of little things that just generally had me angry or frustrated or down.  Yet in the midst of that I had some great times as well.  I guess that's life I am describing!

I found light again by looking into my children's eyes when they spoke to me.  I enjoyed hosting a baby shower for a new friend who recently moved into town from another state.  I really like having people over to the house - it makes me happy to have it full of people whether it is my friends or the children's friends I love it.  At the end of the shower though some of the other moms were talking about their children and conversations they have recently had with them and such.  I went to bed feeling like this:

FAIL
I felt like I had just learned about how these other women have such better relationships with their oldest children than I do and generally are better listeners and connect better with their children.  I was sad, I felt like a complete failure as a mother and I was angry with myself.  I felt especially bad because that day of the shower my children had a snow day and when I heard that school was cancelled I was a bit bugged because I had my day all planned out and now it was turned upside down.  So I was feeling major guilt too for being frustrated with the snow day rather than celebrating the time to spend with them.  I approached the day entirely wrong and I still feel bad about it.  However, that was thursday and this is sunday and we are starting a new week and I have to move on.  I hope I remember to have a better reaction next time (I was also frustrated that I had just spent an hour shoveling REALLY heavy snow to get out of the driveway and now we didn't need to leave and my back was killing me).  Anyway.  I'm still thinking about how to approach my failings in the mother/child relationship area and I'm at least glad to be aware of the huge improvements I need to make.  It makes me feel like a terrible mother, but I'm glad I'm aware.   My poor children.  They are stuck with me.  

Once again this week I was reminded by how blessed my life is with wonderful people in it.  I have felt a strong pull toward my family more and more recently and I wish I could pack up and go driving all over the country to see them all.  I have such a great respect for each of them and how they have barreled through challenges and heartbreaks and how they are trying to be the best they can.  I hope so much I can see everyone this summer and spend time with extended family as well.  I miss them.  I have friends who bless my life so much as well and this week it was fun to get together with a few of them and also to chat with a dear friend who lives in Hong Kong and always has great perspectives for me to consider.  

This week overall I felt a little ragged because the LIGHT shined so much on areas I need to improve.  I had moments of illumination that showed me areas that I really need to get to work on and it bogged me down a little.  I also realized that the little moments of light and joy come not in huge accomplishments but in the little things.  I laid out a picnic lunch for my little ones on the carpet when it was snowing outside.  I helped them build an airplane as well so they could fly to the beach.  I watched and laughed with them as they tried diva sunglasses on their baby sister.  I spent 30 minutes at the sewing machine.  I had a great talk with a friend.  I got to the gym twice.  I wrote in my journal and listened to a great TED talk about love and being vulnerable.  I organized several areas in my kitchen that have been bothering me.  I tried a new dinner recipe.  I didn't forget about piano lessons.  I finally turned in the paperwork at school for kindergarton next year.  I mailed birthday cards.  I didn't give up.  I guess that's the main thing.  


Sailing on, 
E



Friday, February 24, 2012

Photo favorite

There is something wonderful about mud.  Especially when you step in it with only one foot.  I love it. 
E

Monday, February 20, 2012

Light No. 7

I'm a day off but I was too tired last night and the pounding, dizzying headache prevailed.

Was Valentine's Day really just this past week?  It feels like that happened so long ago I had to remind myself that it was on tuesday.  This week I was able to seek light in many different ways.

For one, I went the entire week without ANY sugar.  This was part of my resolutionary challenge.  I am so glad I did it and was amazed at the difference it made for this little lady.  She was much less fussy and slept better than she ever has.  I had a treat today because I wanted to reward myself.  The amazing thing is that I think I will go back to no sugar for the remainder of the week because now I know I can do it and also I realized that most of the time I am not missing much.  In addition, I really prefer a happy baby who sleeps!
I found light this week when I had the opportunity to visit with a brother of mine who was in town.  Going to see him completely threw our schedule for a school night and was worth every second of it.  I am really working on being a better listener and am finding that when I truly listen and have a desire to really hear, deep down, what someone is saying to me that it brings my joy and makes my heart more full of light.  I feel one step closer to that person and have a little more understanding.  
While visiting with a few friends from Church this week I also found light.  One of the friends I talk with often has the most amazing eyes.  I know this sounds crazy because it is, but not until this year, this past month have I really noticed people's eyes.  You could have asked me 3 months ago what color eyes any of my children had and I couldn't tell you (terrible, I know).  It just has never been a feature that I really focus on.  I realize now what a huge mistake this is.  I am finding that when I really look into people's eyes it softens my heart towards them and allows me to listen more with my heart.  I am thankful I am {finally} learning this.  
I successfully spent at least thirty minutes each day in some form of creative exercise this week.  Doing this fills me up in so many ways and I love it.  It also allows me to grow in my creativity and ability to try new things.  Now if only I could try to not lose my patience with my children this week.  Then we would really be moving forward! 
have a great week - I'm sailing on, 
E

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

On Valentines: Auto Parts Rock


I hope you had a great Valentine's Day.  I confess it has not been a favored holiday of mine for a long time running.  Yesterday I decided that in the future we should celebrate it on the 15th at my house.  That way I can buy a few treats and other ridiculously priced items for my children the day after for 50% off and give them to them.  Ok, I'm not really going to do that.  But I have considered it.

For Valentine's Day Kurt gave me something I truly have wanted for a long time:  a new door handle for my van!  I have never been so happy in my life to see an auto part.  I really love doors that open, I mean I LOVE THEM.  When you have spent over a year getting into the drivers seat of the car by climbing through other doors (especially through a pregnancy) you begin to fall in love with things like operational door handles.





My children had a great day.  Those who particated in school parties came home with so much candy it looked like halloween all over again.  It took a while for the sugar highs to disappate but it was fun to see them open up their candy and dance all over the house with it.  I especially loved watching the way they shared with their younger siblings who were not at school in parties.

I'm glad it is over for another year.  I hope yours was great!
E

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Light No. 6

It seems ironic that I felt more cheerful this week in spite of dropping the ball on some of my personal goals.  I think it is because I was totally focused on other people (mostly Emma and her birthday) and so I didn't spend as much time thinking about my problems.  Novel idea, eh?


The younger children were sick this week which always makes things harder and makes me worry.  I do not enjoy croup or RSV.  I'm thankful we have been able to manage both at home and stay out of the hospital!  I really don't want to do that right now. 


I had a really fun time celebrating Emma's birthday this week.  She is such an enthusiastic child and so free to share her love that it is very rewarding doing things for her.  I love her. 


I tried to spend more time looking into people's eyes when I talked to them this week.  Including my own.  I tried to look myself in the eye when I looked in the mirror rather than looking at all of the other things about myself I don't like.  I tend to not be a very good listener and I am finding that if I look into the eyes and think about what is deep down inside those eyes I am a much better listener.  Maybe if I can do this more to myself I will listen to the truths I know rather than all that negative stuff I hear running around inside my head too. 
I realized that my children are REALLY growing up.  I've known it for a while now but I really THOUGHT about it this week.  It scared me a little.  Will I be able to teach them enough?  Are we having enough fun, creating enough good memories?  Am I always "making them be slaves" like they tell me?  Or is it just that children in general have a natural aversion to work when play is available?  How do I teach them about how to handle money, especially when I'm not even sure myself?  Am I projecting my negative body image onto my girls without meaning to?  Will they all be ok even though I'm messing up all the time?  I sure hope so. 

Christian got to do something that I think every boy dreams of.  He and his dad needed to break down some old glass sliding doors to go to the dump.  He was a little surprised how many times he had to hit it with a hammer and how hard before the glass shattered.  I almost wanted to take over to relieve some stress but I took photos instead.  I think he really enjoyed himself.  I had a nice time sitting with him talking while we worked on Valentines together.  I had this huge plan of making something really cool or cute and clever.  When it came right down to it he just wanted to write his name and wrap it around mini snickers bars.  Done.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that this isn't MY craft project and that second graders don't take photos of their candy for Pinterest, they eat it.  :)
   
Madeline and Savanna were able to attend the Sweetheart Ball at their school with their dad for the first time.  They absolutely LOVED it and looked so beautiful all dressed up.  
I was shot at quite a lot this week.  Clark has found his all boy machine gun sounds and sword fighting moves.  He spent a great deal of time doing away with me; in between breathing treatments and naps.  And gazing at his reflection and admiring how cool he looks holding weapons.  He's all boy.
I'm not sure why, but tonight I do feel a bit like these mini daffodils on my front porch.  For the most part I am completely spent, wiped out, not pretty to look at, and devoid of energy.  Yet I do have some color left in me, I'm still here, and deep down I have that bulb that I know will grow again.  So I'm going to bed and I'll get up and try again tomorrow.  I will try to say this each morning this coming week because I love it and I loved reading about it HERE


“Whatever I can learn, allow me to learn it, but no matter what, I’m going to give Thee my very best today.”


Sailing on, 
E






Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Week Long Birthday

Emma has quite possibly had the longest birthday celebration EVER this week.  It began on monday when Aunt Sue came over for a visit and brought an adorable twirling skirt.  Tuesday we were sick and lying on the couch all day so I let her get her Tangled movie early.  I know, not the best move but I was just going for functionality you know?  Wednesday evening Grandma and Grandpa Sheffield came over to give her a gift because they were headed out of town for the weekend and wouldn't be here.

Thursday she was spoiled all day long, beginning with breakfast in bed.
After the three oldest children were at school for my gift to Emma I cleaned her room for her.  It was a big job.  I think I am going to make this a tradition for all of my children every birthday.  They all commented on how awesome it was that I did that for her as a gift.  When I asked her to stand in her room to document the fact that her bedroom was clean she also wanted to show off her tall posture-book balancing skills (thanks to the movie Barbie Princess Charm School !*!).  She was very happy to remind me all day that you are exempt from 'jobs' on your birthday!
Then we went out to lunch at Chick-Fil-A and she even got her own kids meal (this is a once a year thing so a real treat for her!).  Notice the flip flops - which are not matching and are two left feet.  It was 19 degrees outside but that is really what she wanted to wear so oh well.  In the car she changed into crocs - which wasn't much better since they have holes in them! 
Suddenly it was afternoon, time to do school pick up and make dinner and a cake.  Uncle Rich and James and Andrew were able to join us for dinner and cake.  Emma told me that she just wanted mashed potatoes for dinner.  I added meatballs and veggies and rolls.  She ONLY ate the mashed potatoes and reminded me that on your birthday it's ok to not try everything.  Cake and ice cream, opening gifts and playing some more with cousins!  Grandma and Grandpa Smith called from Jamaica too.  It was such a fun night she did not want it to end.  
Wait, the celebration still isn't over!  Just in case she wasn't spoiled enough, she had a friend party on friday.  We had a really fun tea party with fancy dresses and fancy dishes (so fancy in fact that I served peanut butter and jam sandwiches).  We practiced using princess manners and danced and had a great time.  
I got a bunch of tea cups and plates at Goodwill for 49 cents each and that is what each princess took home with her as a party favor, along with the crown they made and a treat bag!  
With twelve 5 year olds running around this party could not have been a success with out my dear friend Sheri, and I failed to get a photo with her.  Bummer.  Thanks so much! 
After everyone left and I had picked up children from school Emma sat quietly with a pair of scissors and opened up her gifts and all of that ridiculous packaging that comes with it.  That was a great two hour project until dinner time.  I suppose this is one of those rare times you are grateful that your five year old is so adept with scissors (not so much when she cuts her hair or clothing).  
Emma was very happy and felt important and that is what I was going for.  It prompted me to get my house somewhat clean and to basically work my tail off all week long.  She's worth it.  And she is also beautiful.  And I love her.  And I'm glad the week is over because I'm not sure I can handle one more day of "Diva" Emma.  Emma just being Emma is already more than I can handle most of the time!  
Faye was happy to be along for the ride.  And she looked stunning while riding along:)
I'm exhausted.  Yet sailing on,
E







Sunday, February 5, 2012

Light No. 5

This was a great week.  The light was abundant until Thursday evening when the snow began to fall and we didn't see the sun again until Saturday afternoon.  I'm glad it's back.

There were several things this week that made my heart feel light with joy.  One thing is that in a few small ways I began to make peace with my body over how I look right now.  I will be sharing more on this as I work through it in my art journal in the future but I feel like I am headed in the right direction.  Again, I am amazed at how blessed I am to have sisters and friends in my life and a mother who don't hesitate to say "I see you as a wonderful person who is more than what you look like on the outside" and "You are doing so much better than you think you are" and "You are a good mom, that's what I see".  All of these statements lead me toward greater light and understanding about who I really am and who God wants me to be and what HE sees in me.  Which is much more than what the scale sees.

Another source of light in my life this week is that I hosted a Valentine party in my home.  I wanted to do it early enough that people could mail a card to people who may not live close by like a parent or grandparent.  It took some work, inviting, cooking and getting my house put together, but I am so glad I did it.  I want to do it again soon.  We had lunch, we chatted, and we made cards.  I set up this table in my living room for people to sit and make cards to their heart's content.  I also had a table set up in the other room for children.

 Everyone who came said the lunch was tasty and that they had a nice time and really enjoyed making the cards.  This proved to be such a great activity to create conversation as well.  No entertainment, just different ways to sit next to someone and talk.  I am one step closer to making friends in our area.
I worked in my art journal this week.  I did pretty good with my personal goals.  I got online early one morning to sign the children up for sports they want to do.  Savanna is especially excited to participate in flag football come March.  
Savanna and Madeline have been another source of light this week.  I have watched them both work so hard to be diligent students.  Their school is an excellent school, and really is a lot of hard work.  There is no question they have more homework and harder work than their friends who attend other schools.  Sometimes they get frustrated with it but for the most part they are enthusiastic about what they are learning and I am so impressed with how they handle their lists of assignments that are due each night in different subjects and what is due online and what is due in paper and when.  I do very little to oversee their homework other than to check math and ask them about what still needs to be finished.  I am very proud of them and I realized this week that I don't let them know that enough.  (Sometimes they read my blog so I hope they can feel my love!!!)
Faye is a constant source of light; especially this week as she is smiling more and we even heard a first laugh.  So precious. 


Getting together with one of my brothers and my nephews was a blast as well.  The children are always thrilled when "Uncle Rich" is here to tease them - he brings light as he is much more fun and joking with them than I am.  And he was an excellent UNO opponent.  It is so funny to me that my three and four year olds' favorite game to play is UNO!  Christian is always happier and relieved to have two more boys so close to his age around the house to be with.  

Emma has the entire house lit up wth her excitement about her birhtday this coming week.  As some friends left our home tonight she shouted out "Enjoy February 9th, because that's my birthday!"  
So, I hope you enjoy your week, because it's Emma's birthday!  :)
Sailing on, 
E

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snow baby snow

It stopped snowing this afternoon.  After 36 hours of snow.  We have 16 inches.  It was a blast.


I didn't even leave the house at all yesterday.  well, only to take photos from the protection of the garage.  I just stayed warm and cozy inside and let Kurt do all the work.

This afternoon the sun came out and started to melt things down a bit.  Thank goodness for the plow that made it down our street or we would have not made it out today.  Which would have been ok with me too.  

What a great weekend!
The end.
E

Friday, February 3, 2012

Photo Favorite

I love how this girl is writing letters and notes all the time, copying down words and writing her name.  She is going to love kindergarton this next year {if she can handle the idea of sitting in her seat and obeying authority}.  Emma is only 4 for one more week and I'm doing my best to soak it up.  She is full of personality and I love it.

We are buried in snow today with no school and the snow still coming down.  I think we have about a foot so far and another 6-12 inches is predicted.  I don't mind being snowed in now that my entire family is home.  We are warm and have plenty of food and games and crayons and messes to take care of all weekend long.  I hope yours is wonderful. 
Sailing on to spring?  Not likely in Colorado anytime soon! 
E