Sunday, April 29, 2012

Light No. 17

Is it possible to be making progress and sliding backwards at the same time?
That's how this week feels.  I did some things that were important to me.  They were very SMALL things, but I feel happy that I chose them and I chose them to be important.

At the same time, I had a day where I realized (too late) that I had been completely emotionally absent and not at all present in the moment of what was going on around here.  Bad news.  I don't like me when I do this.  I know better.  But I still did it.  I realized it that evening and made very deliberate efforts the remainder of the week to do the oppoosite.  Memo to me:  don't slip into that behavior.

It was another week of mostly sunshine {which means LIGHT} and growth for the garden.  I'm such a garden nerd.  I love it!  I'm learning a lot this year and have high hopes.

In the moments this week where I was frustrated, or struggling or upset or wanting to run away I took a minute to remind myself of my blessings.  I reminded myself that there are others who would give up what they have to live the family life that I live.  I reminded myself that blessings sometimes come wrapped in challenges and that it's all going to be ok in the end.

I stopped and took a photo the other night when we were in the middle of one rowdy, loud dinner with some friends added to the mix.  Just to keep things real.  Sure, I love to post on here when my kitchen is clean and 'blog worthy'.  But everything in this house gets used; WE LIVE HERE!  We mess it up, we run around in it, we cry here; we laugh here.  We clean it up and start over again and again, every single day.  I love a tidy house and an immaculate kitchen.  I also love a healthy home cooked meal being served up to little people who mean the world to me.  It lightens my heart to remember that the people and feelings are what really matters here.  I want my home to look nice but more than that I want it to FEEL nice.  I have work to do.

We had the opportunity to enjoy a birthday dinner with my Father and Mother today celebrating my Father's 63rd birthday!  It was great fun, delicious food, lots of tickles and laughter and sunshine.  It was just what I needed.  As I drove over to their house I had tears in my eyes just thinking about the things that seem hard in life right now and about how much better I need to be in so many areas.  It lightened my heart to have such a fun time and to see my children so perfectly happy just being there.  It was a nice few hours to again remind myself of my blessings.


Whatever else I was going to say about this week has disappeared into that land of sleep that I just fell into myself!  It's time to call it a night and begin again fresh tomorrow.
Sailing on,
E



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Photo Favorite

I love watching Emma learn soccer.  It has been a pleasure to be her coach.  Photo Credit:  Madeline
E

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shopping

A few weeks ago my Mom had a day off and we had a {rare} chance to spend a few hours together.  We decided to venture out to the mall {I thought it would be ok with Emma since I had a reinforcement}.  We had a great time and Grandma treated us to lunch at Chick-Fil-A which we love.

The reinforcement was definitely needed and I was reminded why I don't go to the mall very often.  The funny thing is that what I like best about it is to see the window displays and colors - more than the clothing and goods.  Seeing all of that sparks creativity in my brain and I love that.

Emma is such a bright, lovely, spunky, fun child.  Who RARELY holds still.  And dances with mannequins in the stores.

Ah, Emma.  I love you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Imagination

I looked out back and saw this cute boy.  I went out and asked him what he was doing.
"Mom, I'm playing a church movie."
I just hope we are playing the 'good guys' and not the other side!  silly boy.
E

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Excitment of the day


This snake my children immediately named "Snakie" joined us in the backyard yesterday afternoon.  A chase insued, with Savanna and Christian successfully catching it and (I'm sure) scaring it so much it will never ever ever be near our yard again.  It was a pretty good size bull snake (4 ft.)  After everyone had their fair share holding and petting we walked down to the open field and released it.  Clark cried all the way back to the house that he didn't get to hold it enough.  

We get plenty of excitement around here without even trying.  Thanks for that, Snakie. 
Sailing on, 
E

Monday, April 23, 2012

Light No. 16

I was too exhausted last night to do anything but clean up the kitchen and crawl into bed.  What an excuse.  As if I'm not usually tired  :)
This past week was a good one.  Faye didn't sleep much at night which is taking its toll but she is growing and cute as ever and can get away with anything.
I was presented with a large bunch of wildflowers this week that is still shining brightly on my kitchen table, reminding me of thoughtful children.
This week I found myself reflecting more and more on what type of example I set for my children in all areas.  Do I shout around the house to find them or do I go and look for them and then talk to them softly like I ask them to do for me?  Do I try to offer to help them with tasks and challenges, so they will learn to offer help to others and to their siblings?  It's been a good reminder how much I really set the tone here in the home.  I have so many areas that need improvement.  At the same time, I am trying to "lighten up" a little more and not be so intense all the time about staying on schedule or picking things up or getting something done.  It's a tricky balance, yet one I know is important for me to learn so I will keep trying.  

Saturday offered the most successful soccer games yet and it was really fun to see both Clark and Emma running and kicking and having so much fun.  My parents came to watch Christian and Savanna at their football games and also brought us a set of the yard game Cornhole.  It has been a wonderful addition to the great weather and we have already loved having it to play.
The weather has been amazing.  Hot, beautiful -- so much light!   It means walks as a family in the evening, working in the garden and the yard, the smell of fresh cut grass, children sneaking outside rather than doing homework, popsicles, flowers, sprinklers and swimsuits.  It means later bedtime, ice cream cones, grilled chicken, watermellon and dirty feet.  It means a lot of dirty laundry and tired, happy children.  It means jumping on the trampoline and other varioius yard games and activities.  I love it.  I love the way the light filters through the trees and the way it's light when I get up in the morning now.  I love the light shining on the garden and flowers reminding me that small things can become great and that we all need light and time to become what we are meant to be.  

Here's to hoping that if I spend more time in the light I'll grow too. 
Sailing on, 
E


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Not like she thought

This spunky five year old girl now missing not one but two front teeth had a birthday party to attend yesterday.

I dropped her off and went home -- fed the baby, made some bread, broke up the wrestling match on the trampoline, planted some seeds, did some laundry.  Suddenly I looked at the clock and realized that the party had ended.  THIRTY MINUTES AGO.  I rushed out the door without even pausing to put shoes on, leaving my oldest home to babysit everyone (!!!) since I was going just a few blocks away.  I apoligize profusely for my tardiness and the mother of the birthday girl was very gracious.  I'm glad I could make such a great first impression.  HA!  We got in the car to go home and this is what Emma said to me:
"Mom, you are not like I thought you would be."
"Emma, how did you think I would be?"
"Well, I thought you would be SMARTER.  And I thought you would never be late to pick me up."

Wow.  Thanks Emma.  I have to say, I thought I would be smarter too and I thought I would never be late to pick her up either.  Life has a funny way of exposing every inch of weakness, doesn't it?  And children have a way of pointing out every mistake as well.

another day in the life...still loving it.
Sailing on,
E

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ouch!

This is what it looks like to have a 4 foot long 2x4 coming flying off a garage shelf and hit you in the forehead.  It's a gash/scrape/bruise/cut.   It looks even worse today.

Clark asked me last night "What does Ouch mean?"  Kurt was able to describe it pretty well.
Bummer deal.
sailing on,
E

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dreaming

This boy must have had a great night of dreaming.  He came into the kitchen this morning and asked me "Mom, do we really have horses in our basement?"
He was disappointed to hear it was only in his dream.  What fun that would be.  I asked him if he had been riding them and he said "Yea."
I love this little boy.  He makes my days so bright!
E

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Light No. 15

I've had some dark glasses on this week; or something.   I wasn't feeling super great and the transmission went out on my van.  It's been an interesting week getting around with only one vehicle and I'm really hoping to have mine back tomorrow.  I don't really enjoy the whole debate about do we fix the van do we not is this going to be the end of repairs for now or should we stop?  I don't feel like its the right time to go buy a new family car, nor can the budget support it so fixing it is what we chose.  I hope it works out ok.

On the upside, being stuck at home all week, I'm completely caught up on the laundry and house is in pretty good shape.  I did great on the nap schedule for Faye this week and hope we are establishing some healthy patterns.  I've worked with Emma on her letters and sounds each day and I'm fairly sure she will be reading by summers' end.  I've played a lot of trains and cars with Clark and realized how much more grown up he looks lately.  I had a few friends over and loved catching up and spending time with them.

I've spent time literally STARING at my seeds and garden starts.  It is completely ridiculous how fascinated I am with plants and growing things.  I loved watching the seedlings follow the light this week.  It's amazing.  It has caused me to wonder how much better off I would be if I spent more time each day leaning toward the light and away from the shadows.


I gave the boys two very un-professional looking hair cuts last night and hope my lack of skills turns positive before they stop allowing it.  Christian was very patient but made sure to let me know that he wasn't thrilled about my un-professionalism.  I may be watching some tutorials on boys hair cuts this month.  I'm sure that's available on line somewhere right?  Everything else is!

I realized this week that too often I'm in a position of focusing on "hanging in there" rather than on really thriving and positively moving forward.  It's a tought one for me.  In some areas I don't see the 'hanging in there' part ever changing to happiness and then I have to ask myself what I'm in control of and what choices I have and what am I going to do about it?  Then it gets harder for me all over again.  I have a lot to think about tonight so I'm going to bed early!  I am going to remember to look at the light and the sunrise tomorrow and hope to find new ways to bring the sun back into those corners of myself that are wilting.

Here's to getting up tomorrow and trying again to be whom God sent me here to be.
Sailing on,
E

Friday, April 13, 2012

Photo Favorite

Standing on Dad's hand is a long time family tradition.  Kurt's Grandfather used to hold him up like that as well.  I used to panic when he did this but now that I've seen him hold six babies without incident I'm ok.  :) E

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What Made Me Do It?

I'm still not sure what made me do it, this really isn't my typical thing to do for my 4 month old baby girl.  Yet, isn't it adorable?  I think it's the hot pink reminding me of the 80's that got to me....

E

Monday, April 9, 2012

Light No. 14

This past week was a happy one.  I feel like I did a good job of balancing out my days and being productive while taking care of my body at the same time.  Savanna headed up a team of super heroes (masks and capes included)  that stormed through the house doing some crime fighting which helped as well.


We had an enjoyable time coloring Easter eggs (9 dozen) and made great progress preparing the garden for planting very soon.  I was able to help a friend who sadly moved this past week and it made me so happy to be able to serve her in ways that others have done for me in the past.

I made a very small amount of progress in orgaizing my craft space but I have to keep reminding myself that even minute progress is still forward motion!  If I keep moving forward I consider that a victory.
I spent time journaling about things I am grateful for each day this week and it made me realize, once again, how much I am blessed with that I sometimes forget about or take for granted.
I have begun a new journey on my after baby weight loss and so far so good.  It feels good to be careful about what I'm eating and to take care of myself.

We made it through another week of school -- it seems to become very demanding and difficult at this time of year!  My children have all developed good study habits and work very hard to be good students for which I am so proud of them.  I feel like giving them an outstanding education is one of the only gifts I truly have to offer them right now so that is important to me.

I finished reading two books this past week; both of which were very thought provoking and allowed me to reflect on some of my own styles of parenting and behaviors.  I often feel like I should expect more from my children and then I have times where I think I expect too much.  I have worked hard this year to raise the bar on my expectations in areas that I feel truly matter long term.  I have seen some fantastic improvements this week and I feel like the work is coming to fruition.  Yesterday at church all of the children sat in their seats very reverenlty for all of church and it was so nice to be able to focus on hearing the Easter messages rather than on policing little people.  We all came home happy and filled with the spirit of Easter.  We spent the remainder of the day at my parents' house having a delicious meal and enjoying the sunny weather.  I have to record here for the record book that my Mom and I beat my Dad and brother at cornhole three times in a row.  When we all left my brother demanded a rematch for next time.  It was such a perfect Easter!


The house is a bit trashed after all of the egg finding, candy opening, running around fun that came with the weekend but I know I can put it back together quickly and have everything back in order when the older children arrive home from school this afternoon.  I was a little disappointed with myself for not doing it last night, as well as posting here but with a splitting headache and backache I chose to take care of my body instead and so I went to bed!

Here's to another happy week full of productivity and smiles!
Sailing on,
E

Friday, April 6, 2012

Photo Favorite

There are so many things I love about this.
1) The cowboy get-up.  You can't see the holster, gun and boots that he has on as well.  I love it.
2) The way he is holding the marker
3) That he loves to draw in this book
4) His hand on his chin while he is 'thinking'
 I just love him.
Happy friday!
E

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Photo.

I recenlty had the opportunity to take photos of a friends' new baby boy.  What a sweetie.  I was amazed at his strength and size at just 10 days old!  I've decided that arranged marriages are ok and that Faye won't mind if I just connect the two of them now.  Ha!


I love babies!
E

Monday, April 2, 2012

Creativity

I wish there was a contest for the most creative activity for a nine year old girl to come up with in her bedroom in an hour because I'm pretty sure Savanna would have a gold medal on that one.


I sometimes wish she didn't always have papers and scissors and the missing scotch tape roll all over her bedroom.   Then I remember that she is mine and that is exactly what my craft area looks like only mine is much worse.  And I remember how much I love her.  And all is forgiven.  Even the stolen tape and other supplies.  Those freckles get me every time.  Oh, Savvie.
E
oh and by the way I guess no one can comment on here and I don't know why or how to report it to blogger.  But I wish you could :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Light No. 13

I love General Conference weekend.  It has filled me with light.

I went into the weekend with a lot on my shoulders and feeling pretty disappointed and discouraged in the direction the world is drifting in general.  I wanted to find an easter dress for my oldest daughter this week and was so saddened to see that every option around me is completely immodest and distasteful.  I did find one online which would actually cover her body but is so outrageously expensive there is no way I will be purchasing it.  I did a little bit of reading about things happening in the political arena and was even more discouraged.
Enter General Conference.
Church leaders instilled in me love, confidence, determination and hope once again.  We can make a difference.  What I do at home with my children does matter and will always matter.   How I do it matters even more.  I am in control of my life and I can be divenly guided.  I love receiving this encouragement and could tell that it affected my children similarly.
I was also lifted with light in my heart spending the day around family; watching with Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Rich and boys.  We had such a fun easter egg hunt in the yard as well.  What a light filled day!

It was a fun, full week with beautilful weather and active children.  A new apple tree is planted in the back yard.  Flower seeds and vegetable seeds are sprouting and growing in many containers all over the concrete basement floor.  {Another miracle that only happens because of light -- a good reminder again} Cousins came and played, another package of chalk was colored on the driveway and then painted off with water and paint brushes.

Another saturday with two soccer and football games went successfully.
One of the parents of a player on Clark's team told me that Madeline and I were 'top notch' coaches because when his daughter walked in  we welcomed her and remembered her name.  It made me realize how such little things can make such a large difference for people.  Just by remembering someone's name we can send the message 'I care enough to remember you'.  I was grateful to be taught again such a simple, powerful principle.

I didn't do much deep cleaning this week but still managed to keep the house looking mostly put together.  This is getting easier and I am learning that when I just look at the clock really quickly and see how few minutes it takes me to do what we call a "room rescue" I realize that it gets easier each time.  Especially when everyone helps out, everything goes so quickly and then we all feel better living here.  With our family we will always live in a bit of chaos but I find that the tidiness of the house amidst the chaos really lightens my mood and helps me breathe deeper.  Lessons I should have learned years ago.

The best part of another week gone by is that brings us one week closer to summer and having the children all home from schoool.  Spring break this week made me realize how excited I am for summer and all the fun that comes with it!  8 weeks left of the school year is hard to believe.  This is the hardest eight weeks of the year but then we will have a wonderful break and can enjoy each other more.  Look at these adorable faces.  Don't you want to spend summer with them as well?

Writing a summary of the week is an interesting thing.  When I begin, I think to myself that we didn't do much this week and there isn't much to say.  Then when I mentally comb through each day in the past seven I realize that we have had a lot take place; there is so much to learn and so much to share.  If nothing else, it is so good for me to look back and see what worked and what failed and what bombed worse than failing.  I'm glad I'm doing this and am also proud of myself for sticking with it every week so far.  I hope your spring is beautilful and filled with light; especially this week of Easter.
Sailing on,
E