Saturday, March 31, 2012

the week

Has escaped me again.  I didn't take any photos the entire spring break and now I wish I had.  We did visit two different zoos, monkey bizness, play with friends and try not to blow away in the terrible wind.  We also did a good bit of yardwork and wii play.  Monday morning is not going to be too fun but it's time.

I failed to post about Kurt's birthday last week as well.  A photo will have to suffice.


  Back at it again...
E

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Light No. 12

There has been so much beautiful sunshine around here this past week it has helped me tremendously!  Why is it so much easier for me to stay patient and happy when the sun is shining and the kids can go play outside?  :)

I had a few fabulous experiences this week that filled me with light.   Two were small, absolutely perfect moments with two of my children that allowed me to look deep inside their soul and adore them in all of their imperfect beauty for who they are.  Another was last night when I was able to attend the Young Women Broadcast for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  My niece was a part of the special choir that was singing and so we wanted me make sure we got to see her.  The entire experience gave me so much joy and light and faith and belief in the rising generation of young people who know who they are and who will "Arise and Shine Forth" as a light to those around them.  It reminded me what a remarkable young person my own daughter is who was seated next to me.  I remembered that as imperfect as I am as her mother and as imperfect as she is as her daughter, that we both have divine missions to fulfill and that most days we are doing our very best and are standing up for right and good things.  It was a treat as well to have MY mother with us and to be able to refect on the many times I have sat with her in similar settings and have my belief grow and been touched by her and her constant, faithful example.  It is an evening I will not soon forget.

I loved the time we were able to spend outside this week and was so excited to see my asparagus and a few other things coming up!  I know this weather is Colorado's great trick - because a big snow almost always comes in April.  I hope I can wait long enough to time the gardening just right this year... this weather sure is tempting me to fall for the trick though!

I realized a few more things about myself this week that made me truly understand how weak and broken I am sometimes.  I don't like that.  I don't like finding more weaknesses.  I do like that it allows me to turn to my Savior and rely more wholly upon Him for help and guidance.

Somehow we survived the first week of two soccer games and two football games and team photos all in the space of a few hours.  It's going to be an interesting next two months.  We are all learning a lot and I think this is a great practice in working together and cheering each other on.  Madeline is helping me as my assitant coach with Clark's team and she is so wonderful.  I am coaching Emma's team as well and that has been a riot so far.  I find it interesting that 16 sets of parents are able to come and sit and watch every single practice/game yet none was able to volunteer to coach... ?  The best part is how completely adorable they both look in their soccer get up.  Oh man, I love soccer.  I love my children playing soccer even more.

This upcoming week is spring break.  Can you hear my sigh of relief?  Having had two rather large projects due with different children this past week at school which were last minute on account of "forgetting because they were assigned so long ago" I have to say that not having any homework to worry about is break enough!  I don't know yet how we will be spending our week but I hope it includes sleeping past 6am and playing ouside a lot.

Sailing on.
E

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Photo Favorite

This girl is growing up.  The other day she was drawing chalk outside and then began to write the alphabet.  I was stunned and impressed.  We have been working on letters and sounds together during the day but I had no idea just how much her brain was soaking up!  I love that when she came to a letter that she did not write correctly she crossed it out and tried again.  What a girl.  I love her!
Sailing on,
E

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Kitchen: Makeover complete!

It should not surprise me that it has taken me just as long to acutally take photos and POST about my kitchen makeover than it did to do the work.  Having a clean kitchen, clean counters, sunlight, and a few moments to take some photos took a lot of collaboration to get all together :)

I will begin by saying this:  When I started this project there are SO MANY items of business that I did not consider.  Next time I do something this big I will make sure to write down the individual steps and be more realistic about how much time it will take me.  It took me four months to complete this - of course I am still a mom running and family and I couldn't work on it every day but I did work on it for about 10 hours a week I would say and then some weeks not at all because things were too crazy.  I am SO GLAD I DID THIS; likewise I am SO GLAD IT IS FINISHED!

One of the things that I liked about this house was the big open kitchen.  I spend a lot of time in the kitchen whether it is cooking yet another meal (it's amazing, no matter how many times I feed my children, they always get hungry again), doing homework, coloring, practicing letters, arts and crafts, eating together, you get the idea.  I think of it as our main gathering place as a family.  I did not like all the oak everywhere and so much brown and tan that was drowning me.  This wall of cabinets looked like it went on forever and ever into the distance...
So the first idea I had was to bump up these middle cabinets to create more of what looked like a built in hutch or desk area to break up that long line. So this 


became this (and was cleaned too:)
My husband kindly added the crown moulding around the top for me which makes a huge difference.  One of these days I will learn that 45 degree cut matching up angle business but not for now.  Then the bead board was added here as well as on all the sides of cabinets and ends everywhere else in the kitchen.  Then I sanded, removed doors and drawer fronts, and gave everything a primer coat of Gripper.  I am a huge fan of Gripper.  We are good friends.  It is so worth it to take your time and use this stuff.  
Then I set up a paint station in my garage and began spraying all the doors and drawer fronts with my sprayer.  At this point my kitchen looked like this a lot.  Just keeping it real for you here.  I could never ever do open cabinets.  Not having the doors on drove me crazy.  And other rooms of my house looked like this:
A little bit at at time, I just kept at it.  I had help from friends and finally finsihed everything, all the coats of paint, caulking, the underside, drying, drying and more drying, and then added the drawer pulls and knobs.  What a difference that makes!!! And I have been loving the change ever since.  I spent around $250 on the entire project (I didn't keep all receipts and I already had some of the knobs but I know it wasn't more than that).  I did spend a lot of my time which I know is valuable but I would not have been able to pay some one else to do it for me.  I'm proud of my work and so happy its over!  
before:
after:
before: 
after: 


There you have it.  My kitchen my style my budget.  In my dream world I would have replaced the counters with soapstone or quartz and put up a tile backsplash all the way around but I had a pretty tight budget.  I'm happy with how it turned out as you can tell by the one million pictures I just posted.  If you scrolled through all of them you deserve a prize. 

If I can do this anyone can.  Go ahead and try!  Start with a piece of furniture or something small; a mirror or photo frame.  have fun. 
sailing on, 
E

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Light No. 11

11 weeks in?
Yikes.  That is my initial reaction.  Yet I have to stop and say wait a minute, progress is happening even if it is incremental.

A few ways I enjoyed light this week:
Right now I want to curse the wind a bit as it has made the otherwise lovely sunny weather unbearable to be out in.  Then I remembered that wind sometimes provides work for my husband which equals income and that we enjoyed flying the kite this week.  We purchased a high quality kite about ten years ago and at the time I was pretty outraged that my husband would spend $40 on a kite.  Now I realize that this kite was worth every penny and that every family should own a nice kite.  All of my children now have memories with the same ladybug kite with the tail.  I love it as well.  I have to credit my husband for looking down the road on this one.
I spent a little bit of time each day listening to things that inspire me and fill me up.  I listened to this particular sermon several times on my ipod: Children  
This serves as a good reminder to me about who I really need to be.  
I did a good job keeping my house cleaned up even though I was down and out in bed sick one day this week.  A friend of mine came over who is basically my clean house inspiration model and she told me what a great job I was doing and that my home really looked beautiful.  I have spoken that compliment back to myself many times over and it meant so much to me.  Not just because of the way my house looks but because she knows me well enough to know that it requires a great deal of effort on my part that is a sacrifice to me of other ways I much more enjoy spending my time.  She knows what my house looks like when I haven't made that effort and she knows we have a lot going on.  So I guess in essence I felt like the compliment was about ME growing and doing better and widening my capacity to handle my own life, which is a good thing.  :)

I finished a gift for a friend this week and have a very good start on a gift for another friend I am working on.  This makes me feel so good to be productive in some way.  I love giving gifts and need to do more of it, even little things.  It feels so fun to give something to someone hoping they will love it and that it will brighten their day.  
I took care of myself when I was sick.  And I was sick.  I don't usually get wiped out like that but wow I did.  So I did what I needed to do:  I stayed in bed ALL DAY.  Sure, I got up when kids needed things and fed them lunch and nursed the baby and picked up the kids from school.  But other than that I either laid in my bed or laid on the couch the entire day and really rested and let my body recover.  It was hard for me to do and every few hours that voice would creep into my head telling me that I needed to get going and get a bunch of things done.  Yet I rested and because I did I was able to really recover and stare life in the face again the following morning.  Lesson learned.  

I did have some moments, long moments, when I wanted to pack a bag and skip town.  So I could totally relate when one of my daughters tried that very thing this afternoon upon learning that I expected her to clean up her own mess that she had created in her own bedroom.  I have made sure to tell her several times throughout the remainder of the day how much I love her and how happy I am that she made the choice to come back to us.  Life is tough you know? 
So... 
happy new week!  let there be light! 
Sailing on, 
E



Friday, March 16, 2012

Photo Favorite

The sun has been out all week which helps my soul to feel more light.  I'm really working hard this week to smile and have a nice tone of voice.  Some days I do pretty good; other days are a fail.

I was particularly annoyed last weekend when I went a few places to do errands and to pick up a child from a birthday party. Is it really necessary to have music playing AND tv's on AND arcade sounds blaring for children to have a good time?  I was so bothered by the incesant soud and the volume of it that I wondered how the girls even interacted for the party.  Likewise at the stores are we such reactionary shoppers that we need the music blaring, the signs in huge bubble letters jumping out at every endcap, the isles and isles of items that are tagged "must haves" for babies that are  honestly things I have not only ever needed in all of my six children, but things I can't imagine ever wanting to find a place for.  There is too much of everything coming at us all the time.  TOO MUCH.

What type of messages are we sending to this next generation of people who at the same time as all of this is happening are also plugged into their ipods AND are texting AND are checking their facebook pages? Will these kids even know what CASH money looks like?   I'm worried.  Which is why I bought a 4 sqaure ball this week and some sidewalk chalk and encouraged my children to have fun the good old fashioned ways.  And you know what?  They did and they still are and they love it.  No batteries necesarry - only the natural sound of ouside and children.  What a relief.
happy friday.  May your weekend be one of good old fashioned fun. 
E

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Light No. 10

Here we are and we have made it through another week! We did a lot of this this past week.

I'm glad we are over that.  We didn't do nearly enough sleeping.  The mom didn't have a soft enough voice.   She yelled.  She cried.  She was exhausted.  She needs to do much better.  She feels like she is failing in varying degrees at everything.  She kept going anyway. 

One thing that happened this week that was definitely the light for me was having Emma unexpectedly lose her first tooth.  None of us knew it was even loose.  She and Clark were painting and she went to try to open the paint with her teeth and her tooth just popped out into her hand.  We laughed and laughed about it and she has loved feeling so grown up.  It was a really fun thing to have happen on an otherwise dreary day.  

I need to re-invent myself this week; because I don't want to be anything like I was this past week.  Yet here I am, the same me I've always been and will be again.  I didn't do much this week to fill myself up and I can tell I'm running on empty.  It's hard to dish out what you don't have yourself.  

On a side note, we discovered that Faye looks great in 3-D glasses
And that blowing q-tips through straws at your cousins and grandparents is a really really fun game. 
My resolution for this week is to not run away.  ha.  as if that's even an option.  
Sailing on, 
E



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Light No. 9

What a week.  It feels like so much has happened this week.  It has been a fun, sun shining, heartbreaking week.  We have experienced great memories and extreme sadness.  I suppose those two must always exist simultaneously.

I realized too late today that as my sister has taught me today is a very important day.  The date demands something of us.  After all, is is MARCH FORTH.  We must march onwards and I think it comes at such a great time of year.  The time of year where in my mind I am battling with myself over whether I ought to give up on a few resolutions or get myself in gear again and act like I mean it.  Then I saw this on Pinterest.




So I'm not going to quit.  I'm already bugged with myself for the things I did quit.  I'm going to bed and I'm going to try again tomorrow.


This week I found light in simply trying my very best to give my love and serve those in need.  I didn't do enough and I wasn't much comfort but I tried my best.  I really made a deliberate effort to work on my relationships with my children and I think they noticed.  I went to bed earlier and wow what a difference that makes.  I played soccer with my kids.  I finished a few things that will stay finished and that always makes me happy.
I hope it's a great new week. I really need to repair my attitude and I'm hoping that some serious prayer and a good night sleep and renewed determination will do the trick.
Sailing on,
E

Friday, March 2, 2012

Photo Favorite

Clark was lying next to Faye on the couch this week.  I looked over and asked what he was doing (noticing that his elbow was suddenly raised I was worried)  he said Mom, Faye is trying to give me an elbow so I'm giving her an elbow. Too cute.

E