Thursday, May 31, 2012

Suddenly She's 10!

Am I the only mother who thinks it a bit hard to believe when her children have yet another birthday and then are suddenly ten years old?  I know it's cliche but where did the time go?  How did this little girl
Become this girl?  How do the days seem long and the weeks and years so short?
Because Savanna's birthday fell on Memorial Day this year we got to spend a lot of time together and Kurt was even off work!  She enjoyed breakfast in bed, gifts and then as a family we went rock climbing at Castlewood Canyon.  
We came home and enjoyed a barbecue at a friends' house.  Since she had a cake with her cousin last week I didn't bake another one and instead she had a big candle in a carton of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream at our friend's house.  When I asked her if that was all ok and if she had a good birthday she told me it was the best one ever and she will never forget it.  I went to bed with relief! 
Favorites, at age 10:
color:  any bright, neon color
food:  corned beef
daytime activity:  playing outside
movie:    Soul Surfer
book:  The Call of the Wild
subject in school:  Math
store:  Michaels, JoAnns
song:  anything loud that I can dance to or blast on my ipod
I love Savanna.  She is so much fun and so very creative.
E

Monday, May 28, 2012

Light No. 21

What a week!  The end of the school year is always so hectic and then bam, it's over.  And I have this great vision of sleeping in and having a wonderful lazy morning with a quiet house and nowhere to go.  Does that happen?  No way.  Of course the next morning my children are up at the crack of dawn to revel in the fact that they don't have school.  We need to work on that.  Sleep is a wonderful thing. . .  and I wouldn't mind if we started getting more of it.

We had such a fun weekend, getting together with people we love for dinners, birthday celebrations, and just to play!  I feel happy having friends in my home; visiting with them as we hear the sounds of laughter and games going on in the backyard.  Again, I realize how blessed I have been in my life to be surrounded by remarkable people who enrich my life in so many ways.

Faye has a few new tricks this week; sitting up and blowing bubbles and rasperries.  She's awfully cute and gets mobbed more frequently now that everyone is home to hover over her and watch all of the adorable things she does all day.  

I had a terrible eye reaction this week which led to an after hours visit to the eye doctor and ultimately the banning of my wearing contacts until my 'damaged eyes'  are healed.  Wearing my glasses is driving me crazy; I'm super self conscious wearing them and the worst is when I walk inside and push them up on my head as if I'm wearing sun glasses (because they are transition lenses and change on their own when I'm in the sun).  Then I suddenly realize I am blind and just put my regular glasses up on top of my head.  Let's hope I get used to this soon.  I am thankful that the reaction led me to a good eye check and proper care; the doc spooked me out a bit about all of the bacteria that lurk in swimming pools and other places this time of year that prey on damaged eyes and can cause blindness in a matter of 72 hours.  I thought that type of thing only really still happend in other countries... but no.  And since I do treasure my eyesight I am following orders.  Bummer.

Swimteam started this week and we are first timers here.  I can't even express how proud I am of my oldest daughters for jumping in and swimming through exhaustion and learning and being brave enough to go back the next day and the next and the next.  It's tough and they are doing a great job.

I'm taking more deep breaths and trying to refrain from some of my natural reactions to sassy situations.  The summer daily challenge is up and running and the children are fully aware of their responsibilities and rewards.  I'm looking forward to having a lot of fun with them while growing and learning and working together.  I am seeing a lot of beautiful light around here.
Sailing on,
E

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wrapping up

We wrapped up the end of the school year with field day.  It was a lot of fun, although I personally think it's a bummer that all of the competition has been taken out of it.  I mean, there are not any races - only games where everyone can play and no one can win.  Because that's how real life works, right?  If I want a new car I just go down to the dealership and explain to them that even though I don't have the same amount of money as the other guy it wouldn't be FAIR to exclude me and therefore I should get a new car, I mean everyone should get the same thing no matter what.  Right?  Wrong.  But I'll stop there.

This water pipe game was my favorite.  It was fun to watch the kids hold their pieces of the pipeline together to fill up their bucket.

The best part for all of us is when we got to go into Christian's classroom and see the baby chicks that had just hatched.  Such energetic little balls of fluff!  For Emma and Clark that made all the walking around the field worth every minute.  I wish we could have held them and had photos but they were still breaking out of shells so we just looked in from the glass top of the incubator!

I'm looking ahead to June and seeing so much fun to be had and also worrying that the summer will be over too quickly.  A huge weakness of mine that I am working on -- learning to be happy with the now and not mourn the past or anticipate the future.  This first weekend has been a blast and I know we have more fun to come.  Memo to me:  Be present in the moment and look for the light in it.  Please help me remember.

Sailing on,
E

Friday, May 25, 2012

Photo Favorite

This is the most perfect photo I have taken in a long time.  Perfect light, perfect color saturation from the rainy day.  Perfect boy with a perfect smile.  I love a perfect photo!
E

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Favorite Day

Today is my favorite day of the year -- the last day of school!
Christian brought me home this picture yesterday and I love it.  I think he is just as excited as I am!  I'm looking forward to family time, the swimming pool, beach vacation, sleeping on the trampoline, camping, summer homeschool, sleepy lazy mornings, fun and more fun.  I'm sure we will also encounter some disagreements, less than cooperative times and busy moments.  But I'm so happy to have the time back to fill it up with things that I chose rather than handing my children over for 8 hours a day to someone else.  I love it when I have them back and I am promising myself I will make the most of it this summer.  Here's to the school being closed and our home being OPEN!  Welcome, welcome summer break.
I'm off to another day of field day and end of year parties!  
E

Monday, May 21, 2012

Aw, Sick

This silly girl makes me laugh {and feel frightened} all the time.
I noticed this past week that she had picked up a new little saying.  Only I have never hear anyone else ever use this expression in this way, which is par for the course with Emma.

Just like you or I would say "aw, man" or "bummer" Emma says "Aw, Sick."
Like today when she couldn't find her sunglasses she muttered under her breath "aw, sick" and then headed out the front door.  Isn't she silly?
E

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Light No. 20


Four more days of the school year.  Which really means one real day and three days of playing around and field day.  I love field day.  I love remembering Mr. Biollot at Stony Creek Elementary School who set up field day like the olympics; with each class being a country and carrying the flag, opening ceremonies, standing on a podium to receive gold, silver, bronze -- the whole deal.  It was awesome.  I remember that it was not yet politically incorrect to have winners and to give them ribbons.  Ah, the good old days.



I have had several great reminders this week that my family and my children are my true treasures in life.  I had a friend remind me that when a child is acting poorly it is more often than not because they are trying to stand up high on their tippie toes holding a red flag that reads "I need more of you.  Hug me, love me, spend time with me and help me figure out what I'm going through right now".  I'm sorry to say it has taken others reminding me of these things -- that I didn't come to them on my own and shift my paradigm sooner.

The boys went on a father/son campout friday night so I took the girls out to dinner and we watched a movie at home {my attempt to answer the "I need more of you" plea}.  As in life, all did not go as planned - the campout was rained out, the girls came down with colds, and the lazy saturday morning plan changed to cleaning the church at 8am.  This is so characteristic of life isn't it?  I'm doing a better job of rolling with it and remaing happy, smiling through the changes and being thankful for the lessons being taught along the way.  I think cleaning the church is a valuable lesson for my family - I want my children to understand that it needs to be done and who better to do it than the people who worship there?  What better gift to give than time?

I did several things this week I've been promising myself I would do for the past several weeks.  I'm happy to have followed through {even though it took a while}.  I did P90X and realized that I have muscles that are sore even when I sneeze.  I have never been so happy to see a non-workout Sabbath day arrive.  I'm back at it again tomorrow.  I know it will take a while to see the results of my labors but I also feel better knowing that I'm going for the long term healthy body plan rather than a quick fix diet.  I made home made ice cream for a family treat.  I got the girls geared up to begin swim team tomorrow.  I ordered math workbooks for the summer.  I tried new recipes.  I listened to some whisperings in my heart that pointed me in the right direction about some big steps for myself personally and emotionally.

I squared my shoulders and faced a new week, trying my best to smile more, to see the light, to be better and to see the treasure in the midst of the chaos.  The truth is, my children are amazing 80 percent of the time.  So why do I get stuck in the 20 percent?  Why don't I do a better job of remembering their 80 percent behavior?  One thing I know for sure is that a drive to a beautiful spot to take some fun pictures always makes me happy.  So yesterday when the football games were cancelled from the rain and the church was clean that is just what we did.  It was magical.  Not perfect, but magical.  It still makes me laugh to look through the many photos I took.  It makes me remember -- I love this.  If you would have asked me 15 years ago to describe the life I wanted in my 30's this is the life I would have described.  I'm so blessed.  Not perfect, but blessed.  I mean really, when was the last time you had the chance to watch a 9 year old dance her heart out Footloose style in front of a barn IN a puddle?  You missed out.
Sailing on, 
E

Friday, May 18, 2012

Photo Favorite

Me at my Uncle and Aunt's house in Idaho Falls during my Ricks College years.
love it.
E

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Light No. 19

Last Week owned me.  I'm still trying to re-group.  I'm not sure what it was about it that still has me exhausted, frustrated, stressed and just plain discouraged.  I'm working on getting out of the funk this week {I started P90X} but I think it has something to do with the end of the school year and the madness that comes with it.

I have been away from the house on appointments and errands more than usual and that always makes it more difficult for me to keep this place in order.  The van has been back and forth between the shop so many times I'm losing count and it's getting old.  {as in me, the van, and the situation!}

The weather has been beautiful and the garden is progressing nicely.  I love seeing bulbs coming up in the flower beds and I can't remember exactly what they are supposed to look like so it will be a fun surprise when they flower.

Soccer is finished and that is a relief.  We need to have our saturdays back for a few weeks.  Football has two more weeks and I am excited that I will actually get to go watch now that soccer is finished.

Mother's Day was great and not so great.  Great because Kurt did all the cooking and cleaning up and it was nice to take a break.  I received nice gifts and had a fun day.  Not so great because I had a few children who made some wrong choices and there is nothing like feeling like a failure of a mother on mother's day like having your children do something they know they shouldn't do!  We spent the better part of the afternoon looking for them {they left the house without asking, and were at a friend's house down the street on a sunday and without permission}.  It made me sad and is most likely part of my discouragement.  I feel like I need some serious mothering help around here.  In some places I feel so stuck and like nothing is working.  At the dentist yesterday they told me how well behaved and nice mannered my children all were.  I was wondering if we were talking about the same people that live here at home with me?

I guess the good news is that I haven't given up.  That school is out in one week.  That I'm still growing and learning and trying to not raise my voice in the mean time.  I'm trying to write more notes and give more hugs but more often than not I'm falling short.  I am formulating a plan for the summer as to how everyone can  help and do their math sheets and be happy each day.  I'm praying a lot.  And counting on that to carry us through.

Sailing on,
E

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Light No. 18

It's that time of year.  My children are counting down the remaining days of school until SUMMER BREAK!  They are so excited and I think we could all use a change of pace.  The weather has been gorgeous and I've found myself pulled outdoors more and more.
I loved this sight last night, reminding me with both the lamp post and the setting sun about LIGHT.  
This week I am embarrased to admit there were a lot of days that I showered around dinnertime, or later.  That is sad, but it also means that I was pretty productive throughout the day -- I exercised, I worked in the yard and the garden, I built a sand box for the children, and cleaned house.  I need to work on improving my appearance earlier in the day, yet I wonder if I should bother when I'm shoveling rock in the hot sun and digging in the dirt and cleaning toilets?  

I didn't do a very good job of lightening up and being more fun this past week.  I have been a little bit hard core about obedience and habits and cleaning things up.  I am just trying to head into summer in a good place with expectations set.  At the same time I feel bad that I'm not "more fun" all the time.  It feels like a tough balance to strike - having fun and playing around while still keeping everything running around here.  When I'm stressed and there is too much going on having fun is the first thing to go! I realized today that if I would just smile more everything would be better.  Note to self.  Smile more.  Look around for all of the many things to smile about each and every day.  Like a punchbuggie with a mohawk.

We saw a lot of friends this week and it was a delight.  I did some scrapbooking for the first time in YEARS and it felt so good.  I was able to provide some service for people I care about.  I tried a few new recipes and am getting better with my bread making.  I didn't accrue any library late book fees, that makes it a great week right there.  I got my van back out of the shop {again} and the air conditioning is working!   

My girls were able to attend a daddy daughter date at the church with Kurt and they had the most wonderful time.  It reminded me how important time is.  It is the best thing I can give my children.  I can't always give them things, money, opportunities, lessons, and so on; but I can give them my time.  I can give them a few minutes of listening without reproving when they are going to bed at night and I'm exhausted.  It's not that big of a thing for me but it's huge to them.  Why do I forget these things and become lazy and not do them?  Or sometimes I'm frustrated with their behavior throughout the day and so I don't want to go talk with them because I'm still angry.  It's silly, I know, writing it out I can see how silly it is.  But I do get frustrated and exhasuted and I forget that it is a special gift and that they deserve it. Because that's why I'm here, that's what this stage of life is for me; this is exactly what I always wanted -- a house full of children to love.  And now I have it.  

This week is a good week to be thankful for the here and now.  To be thankful for the sand in the dryer because it means that children are having fun and using their imagination and that the tv isn't on.  It's a good week to be thankful for the sunlight waking me up earlier and earlier in the morning so I can take a few mintues to lie there and hear the quiet of the house before the chaos begins.  It is a great week to celebrate the growth that I've had and to encourage the change that needs to come.  A week to eat healty and take good care of my body while at the same time stop beating myself up for looking like a mom who  had her sixth child 6 months ago.  A week to watch the sunset and remind myself that I have so many blessings in the here and now that I don't need to wish it away for what comes next.  A week to tell myself that I am enough, that I worked hard enough, that I cleaned enough, that I served enough, that I gave enough of myself.  A week to remember that I don't have to do this alone, that Jesus Christ notes the sparrows fall and certainly knows my heart.  A week to remember that he is the "LIGHT and LIFE of the world", and that HE loves me and will not leave me alone.  

I hope your week is full of light and beauty and that you do not feel alone.  Because you ARE NOT ALONE.  
Sailing on, 
E

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It goes on and on



This girl's creative abilities are amazing.  Sometimes frightening, usually messy, nevertheless, amazing.  While her cousins were here she planned and set up a full blown terrarium under the trampoline using every animal toy we own.  She made several trips to the field across the street to collect the perfect items for each animal's habitat {Mom, look, this plant looks exactly like bamboo for the panda bear!}
All of the other children were totally into it and loved her idea.  They played out there for HOURS.  When they needed a break they jumped on the trampoline or had a snack; but it was the main activity for the better pary of a saturday.  I love it.

The truth is that Savanna is so much like me that it sometimes hurts.  I want her to not be like me but to be better than me.  I want her to only have my strengths and none of my weaknesses.  Savanna is an amazing girl and of course is so much her own person and I know she has great things in her future.  For now, I love that she can singlehandedly round up seven children and provide them with hours of play.
When I saw her pushing a wagon across the street again to get more dirt and grass from the field I tried to remember that it was all ok.  And then I told her I thought we had made enough trips across to the field. 
E

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Oh Boy

This boy just owns my heart right now.  I think everything about him is absolutely adorable.  Well, except for the 3 year old tantrums.  Those I could do without.  The smile and energy, love for all things boy and balls, the sweetness in sharing and the way he coos and talks to his baby sister.  Love.
E