Monday, November 25, 2013

5 years old!

This boy is a miracle.  When I look at his {mostly} strong 5 year old body now his tiny frame for the first year of his life is a distant memory.  He has already taught me so much and I'm so thankful that I get to be his mother.  He possesses a sweetness that I cherish.

As always, he was delighted and thankful for each little thing he received on his birthday.  Always so happy and grateful.  I hope that never fades!

Favorites at age 5:
Color:  Orange
Food:  Watermellon
Toy:  playmobiles and guns
Movie:  Planes
Book:  Katie and the Big Snow

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A teenager in the House

It is hard for me to believe I now have a teenage daughter.  She is so many things -- intelligent, serious, helpful, studious, dramatic, beautiful, organized, and a great example in many ways.  She really wanted to celebrate this year with a friend party and so that is what we did.  I also took her to get a manicure and that was fun.

She was showered with gifts from many who love her and she had a lot of thank you cards to write!
E


Sunday, November 17, 2013

She's two!

This fun little girl had a great two year old birthday!
I am constanlty amazed by how much she learns from her older siblings -- a good reminder that someone is always watching and learning from us.  She is so much fun and makes us all laugh and smile every day.


 Her favorite gift is this American Girl doll horse that I scored second hand at a price I couldn't refuse.  She has since carried it around with her eveywhere brushing it's hair and talking to it.  She takes it to bed with her at night and asks if she can bring it with us in the car anytime we leave the house.
She also loves her doggie purse which is a lot easier to carry than the horse!  Her new church bag from Grandma Smith is awesome too and helped her to be so much happier at church last sunday!


Watching her blow out birthday candles makes her look so grown up.  She knew just what to do and blew them out (one at a time) right away! 
We love you cute girl! 
Age 2 favorites: 
color:  pink
animal:  horse
Food:  cheese, crackers, quoina, chocolate
movie:  Strwberry Shortcake
other things she loves:  music, dancing, playing outside, bubbles, and her siblings. 





Friday, November 15, 2013

Photo Favorite

Emma was so kind to help Faye open her new bubbles.  This photo makes me smile.
E

Monday, November 11, 2013

Home from Brave Girl Camp

There really is not an adequate way to describe what camp is like if you haven't been there.  I'm so happy I went, I'm so blessed for who I met and what I learned, and I'm so happy to be back home with my beautiful family.


I feel grateful for so many things and I am happy to have the month of November to celebrate that gratitude.
Sailing On, 
E

Friday, October 18, 2013

Photo Favorite

This photo is from a few weeks ago.  The 4 wheeler belongs to our neighbor and my children are shamelessly always asking to ride it.  I think it's so great that Christian gave his little sister a ride.
E

Nurture No. 21

It was a great week not because I have a lot to show for it but because I made some great progress internally.

Sometimes there are so many voices that I struggle to hear the right one.  'I should spend more time cleaning the house'  'I need to starve myself so I lose more weight' 'I need to learn to do my makeup better (or at all)' 'I feel better when I get up early and spend time reading holy text - I should do that every day' 'I need to get rid of more junk' 'Maybe my house shouldn't look so creatively decorated but more like other people's' 'Why do I spend so much time trying so hard when it doesn't seem to matter?'

Now I may be the only one who does this all day long when I'm down and discouraged.  I've noticed that when I am the most vulnerable to the lies (life will be better if I starve myself to lose 10 pounds) I'm tired and I'm not connected emotionally to my truth teller or to people who know my soul.  I was blessed this past week to have some angels in my life see me and tell me the things that I needed to help me at just the right times.

Now it is snowing and it's Friday morning.  This post has been underway all week.  I just don't have much time during the days with homeschool to blog or do anything else!  We are busy with good things and we are busy working on family relationships.

Sailing On,
E

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

One year older

We had a fun birthday bash last week to celebrate this boy (he doesn't seem much like a boy now, more like a young man).

For monday night family night we had dinner, games, and cake and ice cream.   It was so much fun to have Uncle Sam in town from Alaska to join the party.  That was a gift all by itself, although the slingshot and rubber band gun that came along with it have been favorites.


From mom and dad he got a Manning Jersey (have I mentioned that I love TJMaxx? I would never pay full price for a jersey - I'm too cheap for that)  and a covered wagon playmobil set.  I cannot believe how much cash he collected as well - he is definitely spoiled.  Thanks Uncle Rich, James and Andrew for the awesome new football gloves.

There are so many things I love about him, I'm so happy I get to be his mother.  He is sensitive and kind.  He has a pure, kind heart.  He makes mistakes every day just like I do and I am constantly told by people how much the enjoy being around him.  It is difficult to know exactly how to teach him each day what I feel he needs to know while still remembering his sensitivity.  I'm working hard to connect with him the way that he feels love; which means a lot of times I am trying (unsuccessfully) to throw spirals to him or give him the right pitch to hit.  I'm glad he's here and he makes me better than who I am without him.  I love him.

E

Monday, October 7, 2013

Nurture No. 40

I loved the weekend.  I loved General Conference.  I'm always sad when it gets to the end.  I never want it to really be over.  I look forward to being able to download all the talks to my phone and listen to them all over again.

Aspen/Snowmass was beautiful but cold.  I didn't really want to go outside and the children were completely bugged by my laziness.  We took a few short walks but didn't do all the hiking around we did last year, mostly because we sat in traffic for 4+ hours on Friday on the way up.  There were at least 4 wrecks in front of us because of the crazy snow storm that blew in and iced everything up.  It always seems a little bit strange to me that the first storm of the year brings so many accidents with people being so careless - I mean it was snowing and icy just 6 months ago but we forgot how to drive in it already?  Silly.

I did get to work on finishing up Emma's new quilt while we were sitting in that terrible traffic and she loves it.  I don't love it but I'm glad it's done and I want to start another for Clark.  My 'just wing it' mentality that gets me through so many moments in my daily life doesn't work nearly as well with planning out a quilt.  Actually, it doesn't work at all.  I'm bothering with myself for not making a better plan.  I do like to plan and I feel like I've gotten so much better at it this year.  Then again, that church lesson I taught last week where I left all of my lesson notes/plan at home went OK because I was able to wing it.  Mostly, though, because I prayed so hard when I stood up and realized I didn't have all my notes that the spirit would guide the lesson and help me to remember all that I had studied and my prayer was answered.


Sometimes I find myself just snap at my children and then when I hear myself I wonder why I'm talking that way.  I don't want to be critical but sometimes I am just that.   I think it is partially so difficult because I see what great people they are and what their potential for becoming is and I want them to be so much better than I am.  What I tend to forget about is that encouragement is a better teacher than criticism.  I am going to remember that more this week.

I'm having a serious parenting struggle with a particular child and I'm working really hard to let go of what I think needs to be happening.  She is really an amazing girl.  What's hard is that so many of her talents are 'outside the box' type of talents and sometimes that is hard to work with.  I'm grateful for the reminders in General Conference about how I need to love her.

Of course, as usual, the attempt photo shoot was a fail.  A nice lady walked by and asked if she could help us take a few - which was so nice.  The only thing is that every single photo she took was out of focus.  Funny.  I think I'm going to bite the bullet and actually hire someone to take a family photo for us.  I've never done that I'm ready to have someone else calling the shots (literally), in hopes that my family would then cooperate.  Maybe if it isn't me who is in charge they will listen to someone who is?
Calling a friend of mine who takes great photos is on my list for this week.  My fingers are crossed! 
I just want a cute photo like this with ALL of us smiling, is that too much to ask or are the numbers against me here?

I have been using my time wisely, I feel like I've made improvement in that area.  I'm getting up early each morning and making bread, reading my scriptures, making applesauce and listening to books and talks on cd.  I feel like all my down time is filled with learning and preparation - for home school or church lessons and that is a good thing.  I hardly get on the computer during the week anymore, which I think is a good thing for me so I don't see so many pretty things that I 'think' I really need but do not in fact need at all.   In the past month I've made 3 batches of salsa using the tomatillos from my garden, I've canned peaches and pears and blueberries and strawberries and applesauce is cooking right this minute.  I've learned new things about canning and I've bottled grape juice from our own grapes, nectarine jelly, and homemade fruit pancake syrup!  I have peaches and pesto in freezer

I have really been wanting to move.  I've been wanting is so badly that I was forcing myself to believe that the time was right.  I know now that it isn't and that we should stay in this house for a little bit longer but when I was looking at houses online with 30 and 40 acres I felt my future life calling me and wanted to be there right now.  I feel drawn to following my dreams and making the life that calls to me but had the reminder also that it doesn't all have to happen right now.  There are a lot of good things about where I live right now.  I am going to focus on those good things until the time is right for us to chase down that dream.   Sometimes I get worried that if I let go of a dream for now that means it won't ever happen.  Then I remember that God doesn't stop giving out blessings or help or dreams -- he never runs out of goodness or patience.  Patience is important here :)

My energy is better because I'm being really careful about how I take care of my body right now.  This is requiring a lot of self mastery which is really good for me.  I love food and I love chocolate so making myself only eat healthy things is hard for me, yet something I know I can do for a short period of time.  I realized that doing this is something that I need personally to reach more personal happiness with myself and I'm glad I finally realized that it was going to take a serious commitment.  There are a lot of nights when I'm not proud to say that I've just gone to bed with dishes on the counter and a mess on the floor.  I love waking up to a tidy house but I also love waking up not already exhausted.  So when the night needs to end, I'm ok with climbing into bed and knowing that I can tackle it tomorrow.  Sometimes sleep is what I need worse that I need a tidy house. 

I've had some time to read at night and that always makes me happy.  My sisters, mother, and sisters in law and I are in a long distance book club together and after our joint phone call to discuss the book this past week I realized how much I love this book club.  I think it is my favorite book club of any I have ever been in.  I'm reading a lot with the children too and it is fun to see them devouring books.  

Reaching out and showing affection is not something I'm getting better at.  Sometimes I am climbed on and hugged and touched so much that the last thing I want is more physical contact.  Yet I have to remind myself that I get all of that contact from 6 little ones every day and they may only get it from me so I better shape up my attitude!  Madeline got braces this past week and it has been hard for me to watch how much her mouth has been hurting her.  I keep reminding her that it will be worth it in the end... isn't so much of life that way?


Well, it's Monday.  Faye is sick again and I've got bedding to wash.  Oh and maybe some fabric to buy since I peeked while I was online typing this :)  
Sailing On,
E








Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Nurture No. 39

When I saw the other day that there are 13 weeks until Christmas I started to have some worries.  Not because of Christmas but because of knowing that shortly thereafter comes the end of the year.  And with that brings questions to myself like 'am I doing ANYTHING better, like I wanted to?'.  Am I different at all?  Have I improved on anything or am I still making the same old mistakes?


This past week I can't say that I make big progress or did anything that made me a different person than I was at the start of this year.  Homeschool is getting better into routine each day and I feel happy about that.  My workout routine is suffering and I'm not sure how to fix that, and I'm bothered by it.

I've been getting up early each morning to study my scriptures and prepare for the day.  I love the quiet of the house and with the colder weather I love having some warm cider or hot cocoa ready when the children come downstairs.

I'm making loads of mistakes and yet I feel ok because I am constantly remembering that because of Jesus Christ I can keep trying.  I'm so looking forward to this weekend because of General Conference -- where I get to hear from modern prophets on the earth and know how to better myself and my life in a way that God wants me to.  I love these church leaders and I love to listen to their messages.  I've realized that one of the reasons I have been enjoying sewing lately is that I have it paired up wtih listening to conference talks while I do it and that always makes me feel better.

I'm constanlty fighting that feeling of feeling weary; feeling like I try hard and nothing sticks.  Revernce at church with my children has been a recent struggle and it frustrates me.  What frustrates me the most is knowing that in all things I need to be a better example.  It's hard to be better when sometimes I'm just so tired and I want to get THROUGH today.  When I'm in a survivor mentatlity I am not in a looking forward improving mentality.

Soccer season is in full swing and I really do enjoy it.  I love watching my children run and work hard.

I'm now so tired that I can't remember what else I was going to write and I want this post to happen so I'm calling it here.

Sailing On ,
E

Monday, September 16, 2013

Beach 2013

I'm not sure what week it is now.   Yet I feel happy about the progress on nurturing we are making in our home.  Homeschooling has brought on a whole new meaning for nurturing for me.  I love to have my children tell me all the amazing things they are learning about as they read history and science books and to see them delve deeper into subjects that they want to spend more time on.  We are still learning how to run everything but I continually feel at peace with this decision and I like that feeling.




The beach was great; we always love being there.  Clark was pretty sick and I felt bad for him that he spent so much time being sick rather than playing in the water with his siblings.  We had such a fun time playing in the sand; the sand was the huge attraction for Faye this year.  I didn't take enough photos this year and feeling sad about that.  With Kurt gone at the ER or urgent care with Clark two of the days I didn't really think about toting the camera around as much as I normally do.  Still, we have some really fun photos.






At the beach I'm always reminded of Grandpa and how much we all love.  All of the children mentioned him at one point throughout the trip and commented on how much we love him.  Being around the majesty and beauty of the ocean brings me cause to reflect on this beautiful word and plan of life on earth as well.  I felt so blessed to be there with my family spending time together.





Since we've been back home It's been sad to watch so much flooding in Colorado.  I know that similar things take place all over the world on a regular basis, and my heart goes out to those whose lives are altered by such events.

Here's to hoping for a great, organized, sun shining week.
Sailing On,
E

Friday, August 16, 2013

Worth Doing

This summer has been very busy.  Too busy.  I haven't kept up with the blog, the housework, the yardwork, my sewing, and pretty much everything else you can think of.  I've neglected a lot of things. We have been working so hard around here this summer to open up our Shaved Ice Trailer, which has been a dream of mine for about 8 years now.

I have learned a few things about this business venture.  It has been more work and taken more time than we ever imagined.  We had hoops to jump through (thank you, government regulations piled upon more regulations) that we didn't see coming and obstacles to overcome that we didn't see solutions for.  Kurt slaved away building me a beautiful little house of wheels to serve shaved ice out of.  All the while we helped plan a family reunion, helped plan girls camp, took a trip to Utah where the transmission of my van went out which led to another adventure entirely, and continued to work toward our new year of homeschooling my children.  I'm exhausted.  I've not spent the amount of down time just hanging out with my children that I would have liked to.  But we have learned a lot.

The main thing I've learned is that every good thing in life is 100 times more work than you ever
thought it would be.  BUT IT IS STILL WORTH DOING.

That's the trouble with our world sometimes.  That people have given up believing that it's worth it.  Well it is.  It's still worth it.  That's why I raise a family and that's why I opened Pure Bliss Shaved Ice this summer.  That's why I do laundry every day, dishes, cook meals and clean up messes.  Because although the work is hard and long and tiresome; it's rewarding.  I am saying that having my little business is as rewarding as my children?  No.  I am saying that if you see something in your future that you want but as you get closer to it you feel that it is more difficult to reach -- if that happens don't stop reaching.  You learn so much about yourself as your stretch that it makes the stretching worthwhile even if the end isn't exactly what you thought.

We are headed to the beach for family vacation.  I'm beyond excited to play with my children for a week with no work and no distractions.  Happy Summer's End!
Sailing on,
E

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Another week, more pictures

So much to say in so little time so the photos are doing the work for me again.  In the morning we will leave for a family reunion and then are off an more adventures at home after that.

I think we are pretty fun - 2 parades in 2 weekends.  I had to continue to remind my children on other days when I required work from them that we do a lot of fun things, that I try to say YES a lot.  But sometimes the answer is 'now we need to do some work'.  Which isn't recieved all that well.  Yet the children do need to be taught about hard work so we keep trying to find a balance.

Faye is currently fascinated with all things horse.  It was so fun to watch her wave and talk to the ponies and horses in the parade.  She makes us all smile.

I'll be back!
E