Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Three Little Pigs

My kindergartener is learning so rapidly it is amazing me daily.  I love what she brought home yesterday:  Her drawing of the Three Little Pigs story.  The pig was sad the wolf was there.  This girl is all about emotion so I just think it is so funny that in the entire story what she wrote about was how the pig was FEELING.  It made me smile.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Nurture NO. 8

This week has been an amazing juxtaposition of fun and delight and downright despair.  I'm anxious to work through some of it and start a new week so I don't feel up to going through my word.  I'll share some photos from the fun part and leave it at that.
Sailing On, 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Nurture, No. 7

Happy week 7.  Seven weeks.  I'm thinking about if I am ok with that so far this year.  Not really.  I'm already wishing I had made more progress and I don't even want to talk about the state of my body right now so I'll leave it at that.

Nurture.  I have been trying so hard to remind myself about this word.  I have been reminding myself that this is the life I wanted and that I am living it by my choice.  I'm sure that sounds silly -- it isn't that I am unhappy with it at all, I would choose it again over and over again.  I choose it again each morning when I wake up.  Sometimes when it all is exhausting and I'm just plain worn out and not performing so hot I feel like quitting {for a few days} and these are the times I remind myself that
1. I know many people who would love to have my life, and 2.  I chose this life and if there is something I want to change about it the power to change that lies within myself.

The week flew by so quickly -- I'm happy that I take photographs every day so I can look back and remember what has happened.  Sometimes I say to Kurt remember that {enter event} that we did a few days ago?  Doesn't that seem like it happened a long time ago because so much has happened since then?  It's all good, it's just busy.

Notice the needs:  I am genuinely happy with the extra effort I put into this area and the results.  As it has always been said:  Children spell love T-I-M-E.  An Uno game here, a book reading there, some snuggles on the couch even when I'm very busy, looking at a football clip together, listening to something I already know and have already heard but which needs hearing again because the teller needs to be listened to.  I'm getting better, incrementally, but that's progress.

Understanding:  I can't say I've gained in this area this week.  Moving forward...

Read:  I am currently rotating my reading through several books I am really enjoying.  I love good books.  Thank you writers for your talent.

Tune in:  While tuning in this past week I listened to myself a little bit enough to know that I have some really sad habits that need changing.  It is so hard when the thing that needs to change is me!  Can I have another answer?

Use time wisely:  The thing about this area is that I have to be careful how I measure this.  Was it a wise use of time to sit down and watch Man From Snowy River with my children this week?  Surely I could have used that time to clean the hall closet or mop the dirty floor or paint the half finished bathroom.  But I had a sad, sick baby to cuddle and others who needed me close by to be sure of me.  I've made progress on my Scrappy Swoon Along and I love it.  Now I am piecing the back.

Reach out:  I am turning into a hugger!  And that isn't really 'me'.  But people need hugs and they love them.  Try it, it works. We except for the times when children yell "I don't want a hug!" Which really means that they NEED a hug but are too upset to allow it.  So you have to sneak it in.

Energy:  I have got to kick this sickness that I have had for way too long.  I'm going back to the gym this week regardless.  This needs to change.

We had a good Valentines Day.  The house is in pretty good shape.  I'm getting rid of a few things each week that I don't need to keep around (this is very hard for me to do so this is a huge accomplishment). I'm totally caught up on the laundry and all the clothes are put away.  Until tomorrow.  My bedroom is spotless and it's been at least a year since it was that clean.  I love it clean and I'm going to make an effort to keep it that way.   We had a fun weekend that included ice cream sundaes with friends, cousins, movies, a day out together to see a 3D movie about baby fuzzy animals, and frozen yogurt.  It is easy for me to overlook all the drops of awesome when I focus on the fights that took place about seating in the van (in spite of the fact that we have assigned seats), the football being thrown all over the house and occasionally at my head, the wii being turned on before morning jobs are complete, the messy bedrooms and dirty clothes on the floor....
Something came to my mind while standing in the parking lot AFTER a movie and frozen yogurt listening to children bicker.  I heard it several years ago on a "Family Answers" vhs put out by the church.  A counselor who works with families said "I'm not much of a believer of quality time over quantity family time.  You just have to be together in order for the quality to come out".
The more I experience time with my family the more wise I find this statement to be.  Sure, we have rough patches and junk every day.  But if I focus on that I will miss all the beautiful moments we have just as frequently.  Everything takes practice to be good at it and to produce high quality work.  Doesn't the same principle apply to me being a parent and to my family?

As I try each day to be who I think God wants me to become I realize that I am a slow learner.  And that's why His patience and grace are so miraculous.  He isn't angry with me.  He is still there.  He provides safety for my soul and waits patiently.  Is that not the perfect description of the best Father there ever was?
Sailing On,

Friday, February 15, 2013

Photo Favorite

I cannot resist the light in the ballet room where Emma dances.  Because they were having a Valentine party this week we all got to come in and watch which turned into Faye running around and dancing.  Have I mentioned how much Faye loves to dance?  Anyway, I love this picture.

Happy Valentines Day!

It's the little things that seem to really matter to my family.  Today I happy that we did a few small things that made everyone feel loved and important.  Both Kurt and I picked the children up from school and this is something that they LOVE and beg for {which is also usually impossible due to Kurt's work schedule}.  We put on pink mustaches and opened the door saying "Happy Valentines Day" in funny accents.  It was super goofy but they loved it, just like I thought they would.
I made them each a photo book covering 2012 and wrapped them up in pink polka dotted paper.  We made a quick stop to Wendys to eat a frosty, a few french fries, and open the gifts.  It was easy and inexpensive.  They are still looking through their books and I'm so happy I did that a few weeks ago since I didn't get them done in time for Christmas.  I'm hoping that scrapbooking enters my life again at some point in the future but for now the photobooks are working well.  I had saved up several coupon codes and $20 credits so I was able to do all 6 books for under $60 which is pretty awesome.  

Faye could not figure out why we were wearing pink mustaches but it was worth the good laugh and the children loved it.  I must remember to do things like this more often.  

They are small things, I mean, we have never been on a trip to Hawaii or anything like that, yet they bring happiness and sometimes even magic.  We can each do something small each day to bring happiness and magic.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Can this be true?

This boy had another ear check up this past week because, well, you guessed it, his hearing is down again.

One ear is totally retracted and the tubes are out.  It's looking like another set, which would be set number 7.  No, that wasn't a typo, that would be seven sets of tubes.  He's not liking the idea of surgery again {the anesthesia is the worst!}.  We go back in a few weeks to confirm and schedule.  I'm hoping for a miracle.  And so is he.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Someone is 6 years old!

Emma is a happy, and well celebrated six year old.  Emma is a riot, so fun to have around {most of the time} and so loud and willing to share when she is unhappy.  We love her so much.  Even when she is being a diva and dancing on the furniture.
She is a princess, loves pink, dancing, barbie movies {much to the dismay of her mother} and all things that glitter.  She cannot wear only one outfit per day.

We had a wonderful family party, a rockstar friend party, treats at school, breakfast in bed, and then she ended the night going to the sweetheart dance at school with her Dad and sisters.
Leave it to Emma to strike a pose anywhere.   I love you, birthday girl! 

Nurture, No. 6

It has been a good week.  Emma reminded us each day about her approaching birthday and was successfully (and perhaps excessively) celebrated over the weekend.  She is quite a girl.

I feel happier about the upcoming week largely because I have been able to make a paradigm shift within myself to see how I can improve and be more of who I need to be.   I have been able to do this with the help of an awesome book, The Anatomy of Peace, my scriptures, prayer, good conversations with friends, and listening to this talk by an Apostle of the Lord whom I honor and love.  I've learned a few things about myself (sigh) and that I have so much more to learn.  I acknowledged that I haven't been leaning on God enough, or asking for forgiveness from MY Savior, Jesus Christ, as often as I need to.

Notice the Needs:
I am getting better at this!  I am slowing down at times that matter to notice how people are doing.

Understanding:  As mentioned above, I gained some understanding about myself and the nature of God this week that will help me move forward.  I'm so thankful for it.  I am thankful that God waits patiently by until we remember Him and come to Him.

Read:  This week was a good reading week!  Sleep has been down around here for several reasons and I have been able to fill some of that late night time with sick children by reading.  It has been fun to read with the children as well.

Tune In:  while I cannot report that I did well with this, I can say that I know I will be this next week.  I am sad to admit {but it is true} that some of the times when I am feeling the most frustrated is when other people {often children} are not following along with MY plan, how I want things to go, so I end up really frustrated.  The lesson here is that I need to remember that it isn't MY plan, its the FAMILY plan that matters.  It's about WHO WE ARE, not what we are doing right now.

Use time wisely:  Does sewing buttons on a shirt all day while running children to piano count for good time management?  I know I can always use my time more wisely -- I have many time wasters that I just love!  Instragram is a favorite and I can get sucked into Pinterest sometimes as well.  I have been playing around in the craft room which always helps and I'm happy to report that I feel like my skills in many areas are improving.

Reach out and Show affection:  I am happy with how many hugs I gave this past week!  I found many times that my children were unexpectedly reaching out to hold my hand too, even walking up the stairs.  I am happy to be showing them more affection and I wish that sometimes it came more naturally to me and I didn't have to think about doing it so much!   I'm getting better.

Energy:  this continues to be a struggle as I am going into week 4 of being sick.  We have gone from a nasty flu to a household of strep to croup.  I am taking vitamins, eating my veggies, drinking my smoothies and doing everything I can to get back to healthy!  I know that more sleep is a part of this as well and I look forward to the children being healthy and sleeping through the night once again.   Being sick and having sick children also prevents me from attending the gym which is hard as well.  I want to get back.  Until then I guess its the boring videos at home and a little P90x.

I'm happy I took the time to play in the snow with my children this week -- and even happier that we finally had a little bit of snow to play in.  I'm thankful for the sunny Colorado sky, it is so nice!  Even when it is cold I'm happy to see the sun.  I'm really happy with the quilt I am working on and feel good about moving forward this week.  Even though this post is late I'm counting it as a victory that I finished it and then I'm sailing on.
Sailing On,

Friday, February 8, 2013

100 Days

Yesterday Emma celebrated her 100th Day of Kindergarten.  She had to bring in something with 100 items on it.  She decided she wanted a shirt with 100 buttons on it.  I thought it sounded like a great idea at first, then half way through wondered why I had agreed to do it.  I fell asleep sewing on buttons and woke up early yesterday morning with a start thinking "Ah, 13 more buttons!".  I got them on in time and she looked great.  I'm glad I did it and happy that she was happy about it.  Of course this would have been a much easier project if I would have remembered to begin sooner than the day before.  Emma carefully counted out and chose the buttons.  When she had them counted out and then would find another button she liked better she replaced it.  The blue tea pot button is her favorite.

Through this project I thought about it -- 100 days.  It really is a thing to celebrate when we have accomplished something for 100 days.  {to be fair, Emma probably is only at her 75th day between her being sick and refusing to attend school but we are trying to look for the positive here}.  What I'm saying is though is that this is a victory!  We have made it through 100 days of the school year.  I'll take it.  I think we should all celebrate when we have done something 100 times that we are proud of, something that takes hard work, consistency, effort, and discipline.  GO Emma!
I'm glad we sewed on the buttons and that now it's a cute shirt she can wear all summer long.  I attached some white felt on the back so that all that thread wouldn't pull through the shirt and the buttons would be securely sewn on.  I think it turned out cute. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Nurture NO. 5

I'm feeling down and not in a great place so I considered bagging this post entirely.  Then I saw this post and remembered that we did have a few drops of awesome.  I also had lunch with a sweet woman who reminded me about Grace and how it works, about how Jesus Christ makes us whole because He never expected us to do it alone.  So I'm going to wrap this up, crawl into bed and try again tomorrow.

Noticing the Needs.  I leaned a powerful lesson this week.  The lesson is this:  God never intended for me to be able to meet all the needs of the people that rely on me each day.  He never intended that any of our needs be 100% met without Him.  He knew that we would be lacking and that is why His grace fills us up to the 100%.   I vow this next week to not beat myself up over the needs I am not meeting and instead to do what my friend has done:  to teach my children that when I am not always there to meet their need they need to turn to and rely on their Savior, Jesus Christ.  He can be there for them anytime in anyplace for anything -- especially when I cannot.  This doesn't mean I won't continue to look for ways to fill needs all around me all day long.  It does mean that I will view needs in a new light; as an opportunity to come closer to Jesus Christ.

Understanding.  I'm lacking.  I am thankful to know so many people who have this figured out much more than I do.  I've learned much and I need to improve.

Read.  I am finding it difficult to have reading time so far this year.  I've stashed a book in my van for this upcoming week hoping to make some progress.  I have been reading with the children and I have come across many books I had forgotten about since Clark was a baby, books that we had outgrown a bit yet are still delightful to read.  It has been fun to see Faye enjoy them, along with the rest of us.

Tune In.  I'm still sick and I'm finding it difficult to master my spirits and body this week.  My mind has been distracted and I'm feeling upset about something that feels rather major to me.  I'm finding that being upset is draining way too much emotional energy and I need to figure out how to apply the Atonement of JEsus Christ to my aching heart to be able to move forward.  For me.  Why are these lessons so difficult for me to learn?

Use Time Wisely.  I have been doing a good job of completing tasks when I think of them.  I have realized that my morning routine needs a serious revamp and that will be happening this week.

Reach out.  I am giving more hugs and spending more time tucking children in bed at night.  I admit that I sometimes feel like it takes to tuck everyone in.  Yet it really saves time because when I spend the time with each child individually they tend to stay in bed more and actually go to sleep. So who knows, maybe I'm actually getting time and energy back?

Energy.  I am really struggling with this, going on 2 weeks of being sick.  Not stay in bed all day sick but sick enough to zap my energy every day by noon.  Further, every time I see a mirror I cringe and want to crawl back in bed and just put up a sign that says FAIL.  This week will be better, right?

I did record all expenditures this week for budgeting purposes.   Any improvement counts.

Drops of Awesome this week:
The oldest 3 children went skiing for their first time ever with Dad and had a great time.
I spent time with friends that I love.
Faye was mesmerized watching Emma at ballet and stood at the window watching.
I planned a birthday party for Emma (on a much smaller scale than she wants, but I did it)

Sailing On,