Saturday, December 26, 2009

Time to Commit

So, I have this huge pile of clothes next to my side of the bed.

Yes, some of them are clean and folded and ready to put away.

But, unfortunately, there's this pile of "other" stuff, too.

I think I just figured out what it is:

Seeing as I'm the one responsible for all the laundry in the house, I find it hard to commit to what is really dirty and what might be salvageable for one more day of wear.

So, it ends up in this pile of "other" stuff.

But, then I can't really remember what I thought about it - "mostly clean or mostly dirty?"

Therefore, my first new years resolution is to commit to putting the dirty stuff (that extra 3 feet away) into the hamper.

Just don't expect any other type of resolutions about laundry this year.

(Like emptying that hamper - ha!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Grow Up

These are two words that, at times, I really want to say to my child.

But I'm also afraid of it happening.

This child is smart and hilarious and so unconcerned with what others think. Sometimes (often) it comes off as loud and obnoxious. But, because she doesn't care, she has a freedom I think most people would love to have.

She wears what she wants, cries when she's sad, and laughs really loud at jokes. She knows the answer to everything and will give the shirt off her back to anyone who needs it.

She still believes in Santa fiercely. She told me the other day that she can't believe that no one in her 6th grade class believes in Santa or the Tooth Fairy. "Can you believe I'm the only one? What's wrong with them?"

I love that innocence about her.

At the same time, I get worried because it would be nice for her to understand reality, recognize situations for what they are, and try to fit in.

But even as I write this I think, why do I want that?

I've probably spent too much of my life trying to fit in. Do I really want that for her? Not really.

But, I think that at some point it will happen. She will grow up and then all the hurtful things people say and do (especially in junior high) are going to matter.

I definitely don't want that to happen.

So I guess that I hope she stays just the way she is and everyone continues to love her and accept her for who she is.

We could use a few more grown-ups like her anyway.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bring It On!

Yesterday I turned 40.

Today, I just am 40.

About 8 months before my daughter turned 4 she started talking about her birthday. She had it all planned and would come up with new ideas all the time. She was so excited about it for the whole 8 months leading up to it.

Well, 8 years ago I heard about some friends who had just celebrated their 40th birthday by having a sleepover and watching Pride and Prejudice. It sounded like so much fun. I wanted to celebrate my 40th the same way and make it fun instead of just being "old".

It didn't happen.

At first I was sad. What was the point of turning 40 if I couldn't make it a big deal?

So, I decided I needed a new focus.

I thought about my bucket list and all the things I still need to accomplish.

Then I figured out how old each of my kids would be when I turned 50.

And I realized, wow that is a lot of life left to happen.

So, now I say: Bring it on!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Knock Knock

First, I'm probably not alone in the blogger world of being "comment needy". (I really try not to be.) Most of the time when I post, it is just for me to get it out of my head and on down on paper.

But, last week due to a post that I mistakenly thought was spam (sorry bro) I put on comment moderation and then forgot to moderate. It was a while before I remembered why I might not be getting comments.

Second, I'm always surprised when someone like my mom says so and so was reading your blog the other day . . . (really?)

It makes me wonder who is reading this stuff?

So, I put on a visitor counter thing and was once again surprised at the numbers. (Maybe its just mostly me checking on the numbers but I don't think I check that much. )

Anyway, all this got me thinking that I should find out who is really reading this blog 'o mine.

Here's the fun part: (if you wouldn't mind) I want to invite anyone who reads this blog to leave a comment [anonymously] describing yourself. You can be as specific as you want or random.

For example, I know I lurk on other people's blogs and never comment because I'm pretty sure they wouldn't know me from Adam and that just seems weird. But I would leave a comment anonymously like "found this blog from my best friends neighbors sisters aunts husbands blog" or "like you I'm mother to a cranky newborn"

Get the idea? I think it would be fun and funny.

And I'm totally admitting to my comment neediness on this one!

Thanks for playing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Ever since we have moved I feel like I have been standing still.

And not the good kind of "still".

I keep thinking things like, "once we're done with school then I'll . . ." or "when we have money again then . . . "

I finally realized the other day that we will be in this situation for 3 years. My oldest will be almost 16 when we're done here. I can't just sit around waiting for life to get started again.

Dr. Suess said it the best,

You can get so confused that you'll start in to race . . . headed, I fear,
toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place . . .for people just

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or
the mail to come, or the rain to go . . .

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night

or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a
Better Break

or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or
Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting. NO! That's not for
you! Somehow you'll escape all that waiting and staying. . .

Does anyone else ever feel like they are just waiting for life to change so they can get started with their real life?

Here is the question I've decided to ask myself from now on. What would I be doing differently if I had (insert wanted item) right now?

You know what I came up with? Not much.

Those things should not change the way I behave or parent.

So I'm done waiting and now I just have to figure out again what it is I'm supposed to be doing or where it is I am supposed to be going.

I really already know, I just have to keep reminding myself.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

War Status Update

I was told that I needed to provide an update on how "the war" is going.

There seems to be some sort of a cease-fire going on. "A" has been diligently showering everyday and paying for underwear. We did drop the prices like she asked since she has not been arguing or complaining.

Mostly, she's been wearing "B"'s clothes.

I was so ready for more tantrums about the loss of clothes, that I really wasn't prepared for this truce. In fact, I had to ask my husband how long we were going to make her pay for her clothes. We hadn't really discussed it.

This morning the question was asked:

"So, if I wash my clothes do I have to give them back to you and pay for them again? or do I get to keep them?"

"Um, yeah, you can keep them, you paid for them."

No yelling, no fighting, just an eerie calm.

She did break down and pay me $5 this morning for a whole new outfit: pants, shirt, undershirt, socks, underwear.

Do I pay tithing on that?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This Is War!

Ok, so that title might be a little much. But that is basically how I was feeling earlier this morning. You see, I have a 13 year old daughter. Enough said? She is a really good person. We just have this problem with discipline. I remember going to a class once that was on How to Discipline Your Toddler. And I remember the speaker saying, you're going to need to remember this, because toddlers and teenagers are not that different. Boy, was she right. So I was trying to remember what my teenager was like as a toddler. She was usually really good. The problem of course was when she wasn't. It was hard to discipline her because she didn't care about anything. It was hard to take things away when she didn't care. And when we would get mad at her she thought it was a funny game. The smirk on her face made us even more insane, causing her to smirk even more. Totally vicious circle. Well, now she's a teenager and guess what, she still doesn't care about much. But I think I figured something out. Here's what I got on my pillow this morning:

Dear Mom & Dad,
I am sorry about yesterday. I made bad choices, but you did make pretty violent punishments. Is there any possible way that we could lessen these punishments ever so slightly? It would make it easier on both of us. I mean, you guys have to enforce these punishments.
(it's so nice that she cares about us)
Ok, so I don't care about the no reading, no computer time, no watching other's computer time, and all that. At the moment, I think that's for the best. (so glad she agrees)
I will not rush through jobs so I can read and end up forgetting my homework. (totally not the problem) I can work on my pillowcase embroidery. I can write letters to my Lehi friends so we can be pen pals.
But the other part of the punishment is the "violent" part. Sneaking into my room and taking all my clothes while I shower is a bit overreactive. I know I showered disobediently
(we gave her the choice of showering now or in the morning, when she refused to decide we said - morning) and I'm sorry, but taking my clothes and making me pay for them is quite drastic.
(I know, awesome! and it just came to me)
I'm not going to try to persuade you out of making me pay for my clothes, I'd just like to tweak the payments a bit. (I'm glad she's not going to try and persuade us)
I'd be much more willing to pay for the clothes this way. I have 3 choices:
Option A: underwear, socks, bras, undershirts - 50c each; shirts, pants - $1 each; church outfits - $3 an outfit; school outfit (this includes undershirt, shirt, pants, socks) $5. I also get 1 article of clothing of your choice every time I do 1 extra job without complaining. This means complete and well done.
Option B: This option is just the prices lessened as show above.
Option C: This option is the job - clothes option only
These options would increase my willingness to help and pay. By the way, the prices before are way too expensive.
Happy Anniversary!

So is anyone else laughing hysterically over this letter? She is a really good writer. This letter just made my day. But here's the deal, instead of having to pay for clothes this morning, apparently she had a pair of jeans in the bathroom with her that I didn't get. And her sister, who according to her, is mean to her and annoying, let her borrow some clothes. She thought she had totally got us. The smirk was back.

But one thing I learned from her toddler years, I cannot get angry. Well, I mean I cannot lose it. I will just proceed and see how it all goes. She will get extra jobs, she will not be allowed to read. And she will have to pay for clothes to wear. And I'll also make sure that her love bucket is full so she'll want to be good.

But can you see why it's almost like war?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I was reading the scriptures the other night and came across Matthew 7:7-11:

". . .what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

. . . if ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

I remembered that before our move I had prayed very hard that we would be led to where we needed to be. To go where it was best for our family.

Reading those verses made me realize that even if I think that my life is hard right now, this is not a stone where I am. The Lord has actually given me bread.

That's my new mantra for a little while; this is not a stone, it is bread.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Birds and Bees

This is one of those topics that is never very easy to talk about - but I think it needs to be.

I've heard that the top 3 reasons people get divorced are due to problems in communication, money or sex.

There seem to be lots of classes and suggestions about the first two; but what about sex? No one wants to talk about it (which is reasonable due to the private and intimate nature of it).

But what happens if there is a problem in your relationship in that area? Who or where do you get help from?

There have been LDS books (my favorite) published recently that address this issue and they have been hugely popular. But I always think if I check one out of the library eyebrows are being raised. Especially in this time of rampant pornography it makes it more difficult to seek answers without seeming perverse.

Of course, the most important thing is to be totally candid with your spouse. But what else?

This should be the role of the parents, but how many of us are really comfortable talking about this with them, or they with us. (Luckily, I could talk about this stuff)

I am a very open person (probably too open) but I feel sorry for these young newlyweds who may not know where to turn to.

I've often wondered if there shouldn't be a Relief Society lesson on this subject at least once a year; or a more frank discussion about this in pre-marriage counseling.

There definitely is a line to draw when discussing things so they don't get too personal, but I am believer in how important this part of a marriage is.

Anyone else out there feel the same way?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Here's something I'm not spending a lot of time thinking about, but it's kind of wierd.

My son came home from school yesterday and asked if I had dated a boy named Matt before. When I said yes, he said, "my friend Paul and I could have been cousins!" His uncle is the Matt I dated.

Now I am a firm believer in children ending up with the families they belong, no matter how they get there.

The question?

Where would my children be if I had married someone different?

His family or mine?

Like I said, it hurts my brain to think about this too much. I'll just love these children to bits while I can.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Duh! I just figured out why I can't get anything done.

Baby #2 takes his nap around 9:30am; just in time for me to get ready for the day. He sleeps until it's time to take the kindergartner to school.

Baby #1 takes her nap when we come home. She sleeps until the rest of the kids come home from school; while Baby #2 has awake time.

Does anyone else see the problem here?

So, now that I understand this - what is to be done?

Any suggestions?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Personal Pep Talk

(I'm having a hard time deciding how to write this blog. It's going to sound whiny and its going to be personal, but here I go anyway.)

I'm struggling.

That's probably not a huge surprise to some.

It was to me, because I like to think that I have it all together. Even when things are kind of hard I still try and stay positive. Maybe it's an image I'm just trying to keep up.

I have awesome friends who came to visit me this week (2 hour drive visit!). I think they knew I needed it. I have friends who called just to check on me this week. I think they knew, too. Now I think that I'm finally ready to admit it to myself.

I'm struggling.

Just saying it out loud makes a difference. Does anyone else have a hard time admitting that maybe life really is hard and you can't do it on your own?

Did you know that the word struggle is in the scriptures?
"O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made." (Mosiah 7:18)

Apparently, many of my strugglings are in vain. So what is this effectual struggle that he talks about?
"But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage." (vs. 33)

That is a struggle, to trust. To turn it all over. Not a giving up but giving over. It's letting go of the control that I think I have to have. I will never be able to do it on my own. I will never be able to do it by myself. I need help. The only way I'm going to make it through is by relying on the Lord.

Unfortunately, this does not make the hard things go away. But just remembering that I don't have to do it by myself, remembering that I have someone else to rely on; it makes the struggle an effectual one.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Raising Boys

So I started out my motherhood with 2 girls. They couldn't be more opposite.

Then I got 2 boys. Again, couldn't be more different.

And now while my girls are hitting that fun hormonal stage and emotions are all over the place, my boys are coming into their own.

Perfect timing.

Just this weekend:

  • They snuck out of the house and were gone for at least the 30 minutes I spent looking for them (who knows how long before that).

  • I had to take one to the ER for a cut on his finger that I didn't even find out about until his church teacher came to tell me he was dripping blood all over. (He had woken up early, decided to carve a chestnut, and hid the fact that he had a huge gash on his finger because he thought we would be mad).

I guess I'm just not paying attention like I'm supposed to be.

But really, they're boys, right? What did I expect.


Friday, October 2, 2009

I Am Woman, Hear Me Sing!

I love being a woman!

And I love belonging to the largest women's organization in the world: The Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I know there are people out there who think that Mormon women are relegated to a lower status and have no power.


After our general meeting broadcast on Saturday, I feel like the most powerful person in the world.

I was reminded of all the influence I have as a woman. In my home, in my community, in the world.

I loved the music that they chose for the meeting. The words had such meaning to me.

First, I loved that we sang the 7th verse of 'How Firm a Foundation':
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
no never forsake.

( Can you tell that I really like that word never!)

Then for the closing hymn 'As Sisters in Zion':

As sisters in zion, we'll all work together;
The blessing of god on our labors we'll seek.
We'll build up his kingdom with earnest endeavor;
We'll comfort the weary and strengthen the weak.

The errand of angels is given to women;
and this is a gift that, as sisters, we claim;
to do whatsoever is gentle and human,
To cheer and to bless in humanity's name.

How vast is our purpose, how broad is our mission,
if we but fulfill it in spirit and deed.
Oh, naught but the Spirit's divinest tuition
Can give us the wisdom to truly succeed.

When I was serving a mission my I changed the 3rd verse to: how vast is our purpose "we're broads on a mission!" And I've already discovered that wisdom comes from experiences.

So, let me give you my interpretation of that last verse.

What is my mission? To serve others. But, only God can give me the experiences I need to succeed. (Whether I think I want those experiences or not.)

So what am I trying to say?

Just that I love being a woman - ROAR!!!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Smart Kids

Yeah, yeah, I know, I have smart kids. I hear it from people all the time.


I know its not a bad thing, but there are a few drawbacks. Mainly, that they never really have to work hard at stuff.

I was the same way as a kid. I just coasted through everything I did. It was all easy.

My dad's way of putting it was "you're not really reaching your full potential".

He was right.

Kids who have to work at school to really learn and understand are usually better off as they get older because they are used to doing hard things.

Kids who are constantly told that they are smart shy away from things that are hard because they think it should be easy because they're smart.

I see my kids doing this. Whenever something comes around that is hard for them, they freak out. They want to quit. (Luckily, we have our motto)

I try to explain to them that its good if something is hard, because then you're increasing your brain muscle. If everything is alway easy then your brain never grows.

We are working on this at home now. I hear myself using this statement a lot more: We do hard stuff.

I like saying that. It makes me feel good and reminds me not to get discouraged when life seems hard.

I'm so smart aren't I?

Monday, August 31, 2009


So I just sent my fifth child off to kindergarten.

She was soooo ready to go.

I was almost sad sending her off, but she just walked right in without looking back and didn't want me to come in or anything.

She has been waiting forever for this day. Watching all of her older siblings go.

It was only a couple of years ago that I was thinking that she would be my last one. I was so excited as I looked forward to that moment of having no children at home.

Now, here I am at home alone with my two "bonus babies".

Part of me wonders why I don't feel frustrated that I still have babies at home instead of my first plan.

But I know I am privileged to have them.

Part of me is giddy with the thought of only having 2 kids at home. (We are going to have so much fun!)

I'm sure that day will come when I finally do send the "last one" off to school. But for now I will enjoy this time in my life.

Even if it does feel a bit like a re-run.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Worth It

I have an 18 month old. (again)

She is a terror.

One day I was particularly frustrated with her. But, at night she finally let me rock her before she went to sleep. (she has never done that before)

My heart totally melted while I held her and Irealized, this is what makes it worth it.

All the tantrums and naughtiness I can deal with, if I can just hold her close to me for a little while.

Then I thought about my teenager.

She is not a terror, but not far from it some days.

And I realized that I don't get a chance to wash away those feelings by holding her and rocking her to sleep.

So what can I do instead to make me realize that it is all worth it?

Laughing with her, crying with her, letting her become more than I think she is ready for.

Of course it's worth it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Snap Out Of It!

Saturday, I got to experience what a rubber-band feels like.

I left a place where I have the lived the longest time of my married life.

It was physically painful to drive away. (I seriously almost had to pull the car over.)

I remember I had a similar feeling when I left my mission. I felt like I was leaving a part of me behind.

This time was even harder.

I feel like since I have lived there, I have become who I want to be. Not a perfect person by any means, but I feel as if I found myself.

That has everything to do with the people I associated with; my friends.

So, as I drove away I felt so stretched - - I did not want to leave and I felt that I would break at any moment.

But then I felt that I was being propelled further ahead to my new life with a determination to live the way I had been taught by the friends that I was leaving.

So as painful as the stretching was, I know that it was a means for me to be a better person.

I will serve greater, give more generously, and love more freely.

And I will never forget how I got where I am.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Just a shout out to my kids new primary teachers (whoever they may be):


This comes as I am packing and organizing my house. I have found at least 5 rings on the floor in random places. Not to mention the dozen or so rings that are tucked away in various jewelry boxes.

Please do not believe my child when they tell you they don't have one or that they lost theirs.

Not true!

Believe me when I say that I am not against "choosing the right" or kind primary teachers or the joy on my child's face when they show me the shiny new ring with a huge smile on their face.

I am against the dents these rings leave in my feet when I step on them.

And I am against the welt it leaves in my child's finger (not to mention the green stain) from the total 1 & 1/2 hours they may wear it.

And have you heard the sound they make when the vacuum is trying to suck them up? Yikes!

I guess I should just throw them away, but that seems sacrilegious. (Honestly can anyone say they would be comfortable throwing one of these away?)

In these hard economic times, I would think this is an area that we can cut back on.

I guess we could just recycle them back to the primary closet (but then you wouldn't get those lovely plastic bags they come in either).

Sunday, August 2, 2009


So I haven't really been in the blogging mode lately. But I feel like I should probably write something. For the past four weeks I've spent a lot of time sitting. And I've read a lot of books. Here is the list of what I've read:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Cellist of Sarajevo
The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
The Host
The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World
My Antonia
The Last Olympian
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
39 Clues book 3
The Optimist's Daughter

Yes, this is what I do with my time instead of sleeping now. But, if you are looking for a good book to read, or if you've just read one you want to share, let me know. My reading splurge should end sometime in the next month or so.

Monday, June 15, 2009

How to be a mom to 6 kids

I sometimes have people ask me how I can handle 6 kids. Or they say, "you are just the kind of person who could do that, I never could."

Well, I'm here to confess how I do it.

On many days I become Robo-Mom!

This means I go throughout my day in a robotic motion, with no 'e'motion at all. The kids could be screaming and fighting and whining and I am oblivious to it all. My eyes are glazed over and I just go about the little things that need to be done.

"Must make sandwiches, must fold laundry, I can't hear anything, etc."

There are even times when the Robo-Mom's laser guns are set and I become Robo-Mom-Inator. Watch out then, because you never know what will set me off. At this point the kids really do scatter.

I tell you its a survival skill.

The problem with all of this is that I miss out on the joy of everything going on around me.

So I try to not always be Robo-Mom.

But if people want to know how I do it, well you asked for it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Oh Dear Me

So my friend is putting together this great blog with letters from women to their younger selves. Anyone can do it. I thought I'd share mine here, too.

Dear Me at 14:

So, I know you’re getting ready for the biggest night of your life: your first stake dance. I mean how lucky can you be to turn 14 on the same day you get to go to the dance. And I know its black, red and white night. And I know you have your eyes on a couple of boys already. You have waited so long for this and can’t wait to flirt with those boys! Do it!! Have fun!! But, let me give you just a few suggestions about the whole boy thing. You are not going to marry any of them! Get this into your head now or else you’ll spend the next 10 years (that’s right 10 years) of your life asking yourself if this boy or that boy is the “one” for you. I’m telling you now: NO! So stop worrying about it.

Now, don’t worry. You do end up getting married. And to the most amazing person in the world. He is perfect for you, and so completely different from your image of him right now. So don’t go looking for him. He will find you. In fact, you’re not even going to want to date this boy at first.

But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out there and have fun and date. By all means, enjoy this time. It’s a blast! Date as much as you can. (Although I would stay away from that one boy in college who takes you to the basketball game. That one is totally not worth it.) But just have fun and don’t worry so much about getting serious.

You know what is more important than all these boys – your girlfriends, including your sisters. Pay more attention to them. They are the ones who will always be there for you. There will be many boys and lots of tears. But the constant thing in your life will be your girlfriends. The thing is, you can learn so much more from these girls than all those boys you end up kissing. (Yes, don’t get too excited but you will end up kissing, a lot). So instead of being worried about what these boys think of you and if they like you, (they either do or they don’t) try and build lasting relationships with your girlfriends. Listen to them and don’t just talk about boys. Talk about your goals and your dreams for the future. Forget about yourself and all those boys that you think are sooo cute. You are an amazing person no matter what any boy thinks of you. And your friends love you no matter what, so love them back more.

For now, get that eyeliner going, that permed hair teased up a little bit more, and don’t forget to run through that musk perfume. It’s a great night. “He” will be waiting for you ten years down the road. So leave all these boys in the dust and dance it up!!!


Me at 39

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer Vacation Begins

Like vultures they hover,
ready to eat.
The sound begins to increase as I scurry to get the food ready.
Then down they descend quickly,
and devour as fast as possible;
until the noise is unbearable.

Then without warning it is over.
They fly away and it is quiet once again.
I'm left to clean up and
wait . . .
wait . . .
until the hovering
and circling
begins again.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

1 Cluff 14:1-17

1. And it came to pass that the word of the Lord came unto the father of the home saying: Follow me and I will lead you to a great promised land.
2. And the father answered: Yes, we will go.
3. Then the word of the Lord came saying that the way to the promised land would pass through the valley of learning, and the father said: Yes, I will go to the promised land; but is there another way to go that does not lead through this terrible valley? (for the father had struggled in this valley before)
4. So the father took his family and began to make preparations for the journey, as there were many papers to be filled out and interviews to be had as the family sought their own way to the promised land.
5. Then the word of the Lord came again unto the father of the home saying: Follow me and I will lead you to a promised land through the valley of learning.
6. And the father answered: Yes, we will go even if we have to go through that treacherous valley.
7. So the father took his family and left their home and their comforts and began the journey towards the valley, not knowing beforehand what they should do.
8. And they were led to a not so fertile, but comfortable, land on the edge of the valley and they set up camp. And they awaited for the way through the valley to be shown.

9. And while they were camped, they met many people who sheltered them and fed them and comforted them.
10. And after many days, the word of the Lord came again saying: Here is the way through the valley. But it is not time to go yet.
11. So the family once again began preparations for the journey. And while they were preparing they discovered a different way through the valley that seemed to them to shine greater and be more acceptable to them. So they planned their journey in this better way.
12. And as they planned, they became lost and could not see their way. And they floundered in the wilderness for many days until the way was blocked before them.
13. And it came to pass that they went back and began again in the way the Lord had shown them. And though the way seemed more difficult at least there was light.
14. And now it came to pass that the word of the Lord came again saying: Thou shalt construct a vehicle to help you across this valley.
15. And the father answered: Yes, we will build it; if thou wilt show unto us how to construct it as we have no idea what we are doing.
16. And it came to pass that at this time the family is constructing a way to be able to pass through the valley of learning to the promised land. And they know that the way will take about three years. And there are many questions as to how they will live upon this vehicle and how it will run. But they will put their trust in the Lord.
17. And they know that they will be led by the Lord not knowing beforehand what will come. And they have hope in the Lord for what is ahead. And they have faith that the Lord will show them all ways through the difficulties, for there shall be many. And even if they do not actually make it to the promised land, they will be joyful in knowing that the Lord is leading them.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

And while I'm on the subject . . .

. . . of not wanting to make our kids feel bad, can I just say something about winners?

Why is it that we have to make every kid feel good, even when they lose?

Now I'm not saying that I want kids to suffer or feel bad, but I feel like we are short-changing the kids who really try hard at stuff. And we're not teaching our kids how to lose.

Two Examples: Pinewood Derby. Movie Day.

First, in our Cub Scout Pack, they just give out stickers to everyone who races in the Pinewood Derby. No prizes or anything for the fastest car. And then they make up awards for everyone. Stuff like: most colorful, best use of color, etc. They want everyone to be happy. Yea! big warm fuzzies for everyone.

Second, we recently had a Movie Day at our school. They encouraged the kids to bring cars made out of boxes. They talked about how some dads really got into the whole designing thing and what support it shows to the school. And then they said there would be prizes for the best cars. Well, once they saw all of the cars they decided that there were too many good ones to choose between and everyone got a little sticker. Rah Rah!

Think of how the world works. In the real world, you usually get paid money for high quality work. And if you don't produce the way you're supposed to, you lose your job. But that's not what we're teaching our kids.

What are we teaching our kids? "You don't really have to try that hard at stuff because everyone's going to get a prize." Or, "Why bother working at something when there's really no reward."

Well, what about internal motivators? They should just feel "special inside" for a job well done and not worry about the results. Tell your boss that next time he's not happy with your performance.

And you can't tell me the kid whose pinewood derby car barely makes it down the track is going to made happy with stickers or a made up certificate. So why not give the ones who deserve it something anyway.

Now I know there are some arguments about those kids who don't really do much anyway, "its their parents doing all the work". But then you are presented with another teaching opportunity for your own kid. And too bad if that other kid grows up thinking that someone else is responsible for their success.

I think its a cop out on the part of the judges, too. They're too scared to make decisions. "I'm afraid I'll hurt someone's feelings." But they are only thinking about the losers and not the kids who actually deserve recognition. Do they ever think that their feelings may be hurt, too.

I say let's have real contests again with winners and losers!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009


I was having a discussion with some other moms about what to do when your child does not want to go to church. Do you force them to go anyway? (When we were all little, there really wasn't an option, you had to go. )

I, personally, hate the thought of forcing anyone to do anything. So, I believe that they should be allowed to choose. Because life is about making choices.

Of course with guidelines.

If the child's choice takes away the choice of another, that makes a difference. (Like if your child is too young to stay home by themselves, "sorry you have to go. You can sit in the lobby the whole time, but you can't take away my choice to go to church.")

And they also need to be taught that they don't get to choose the consequences. (Like if you choose to stay home from church then the consequences will be-no tv, clean the house while we're gone, earlier to bed, etc.)

I decided this is what I would say:

"I'm sorry that you feel like you don't want to go to church. Church is an important part of my life. This is what we do as a family. This is what Heavenly Father wants us to do. There are reasons for this. We get to take the sacrament, we get to feel the spirit, we learn from the lessons, and we get to visit with others with the same beliefs. Choosing not to go to church is the wrong choice to make. There will be consequences. Some, you may not see for a while, but here are some that will be immediate. You will clean your room while we are gone. And you will need to go to bed 1/2 hr early tonight. I really wish that you would come because it really is the right thing to do."

Now, I really don't like telling my child that what they've done is the wrong thing or that they have sinned. It doesn't make me feel good. And I think its something that my whole generation has a problem with - making our children feel bad. Of course we want them to be happy. But how else are they going to learn about the difference between right and wrong?

There is less and less emphasis on right vs. wrong in the world. The world tells us that we shouldn't feel bad for our choices. That everyone is entitled to their own opinion. "It's just a choice; not good or bad."

But not everything is just a choice. There are such things as wrong choices and we have to be willing to teach that, even if it makes someone feel bad.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Have you ever thought how you end up being friends with the people you are friends with? I was thinking about this today and wondering how I ended up with my college friends. I wasn't roommates with any of them in the dorms. And we didn't really have a lot in common. We all liked different kinds of music, and we were all from different states.

So then I started thinking farther back to my high school friends. My best friend in HS was not into sports at all like I was. And we didn't even have a lot of classes together. So what was it?

I think most of my friendships are complementary types of relationships. And maybe that's just my personality to surround myself with people who have the attributes that I wish I had, but don't.

So then I started thinking about my best friend now. For some reason I always thought I'd marry a football player, or at least someone totally into sports like me. But as I look back on the boys I dated, none of them played any type of sport. (hindsight's 20/20 right?) So what was it? He was so totally different from me. A fact which I pointed out to him quite regularly.

But then one night he told me a story. His little 9 year old sister had gotten a "pink slip" at school because she and her friend had made up a song about their "flat-bottomed" teacher. He couldn't even get through the whole story because he was laughing so hard. And that is what made me decide to marry him. If he could make me laugh like this and even better, if we could laugh together, that was it!

I realize now that humor has always played a role in my friendships. But humor is so limiting of a description. I think its more of a "joy in the moment" kind of thing.

So, I guess if you can make me laugh - you're in.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


So, my oldest daughter has decided to try out for the junior high track team. I totally support this because she's never really joined anything. But, I was a little surprised. She hated soccer tryouts mostly because of the running. So I prepared her for what was going to happen. This is what I said:
"This is going to be hard. You are just going to be running. And you are going to feel like you want to die. You are going to want to stop running. You are going to want to quit. You may not even be able to run one lap without stopping. And then your muscles are going to be really sore. But it will get better. Maybe not the next day. In fact, the next day will probably be even worse. You will be sore and want to quit again. But by the following week you will notice that you are able to run a little bit farther than before. Also, you are not allowed to compare yourselves to others while you run. I don't care if you are the slowest or the last one in. I only want you to focus on how much you have improved over time. You are basically only racing against yourself."

Well, listening to myself I realized it was exactly what I needed to hear. Life seems kind of hard right now. And I've been complaining about it. And this little pep talk is exactly what I needed for myself. I may feel like quitting, but it will get better. Eventually it will feel easier. And I'm not competing against anyone, I'm just trying to improve myself.

Well, she's still running. And she's starting to notice that she can go a little bit farther than before. She's still getting discouraged over little things, but she's not giving up.

And neither will I.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

All Alone

So I've been thinking a lot lately about days of yore. When I had a lot of really little babies running around my house.

I always felt that there was no one else in exactly the same situation that I was in.

And I also felt that I would never be done with the picking up toys, wiping noses (and other places), kissing bumps, and the regular chaos that comes from children.

I hated running errands because I hated buckling 2 or 3 carseats, over and over again. And I was so exhausted when I came home from the "don't touch!" "come back!" "stop hitting!" "stop whining!" (actually this part never really ends).
We never went out on dates. We just put the kids to bed early and hung out.
We never really slept either, because there was always somebody up at night or crawling into bed with us.

I think the only way I made it through those times was my once a week play group (that I always started wherever I moved to) and my friends.

It was just so nice to visit with other moms and find out that I wasn't really alone in dealing with all these things; or even if I was, I could have other people laugh with me about it.

Everyone used to say to me that it goes by so fast and I'll regret it when its gone. When I was in the middle of it, I didn't want to hear about how I'd miss it someday. Yeah right. It never felt very fast to me.

Now all of a sudden I'm a somewhat older mom who seems to have it together. And now that its almost gone, I still don't really miss it.

I can run errands alone.

I have almost two built-in babysitters.

I mostly sleep at night (except when I can't fall asleep because I'm worrying).

Cleaning doesn't take as long as it used to because I have help, most can wipe stuff alone, and although the chaos is louder, its funnier, too.

There are still things to worry about; they're just not as physical. There's a lot more mental work going on. Its not easier or harder than it used to be; just different and bigger.

And guess what, I still go to play group and listen to how other people deal with these issues or at least laugh with the other moms about all of it.

But I feel for all the moms out there who are where I used to be. All I can say is that you are not alone!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Chaos Managed

So I just felt the need today to organize something; to get some part of my life in order.
I have been sick for the last two weeks and things are almost falling apart. (luckily I'm married to a lifesaver!)

So as I looked around at the stacks of dishes, piles of laundry, unvacuumed floor, scattered toys, miles of papers, etc. I decided to . . .

. . . plan and organize my garden.

I picked out what I'm going to grow and where I will plant it. I even drew a picture of what it would look like.
It just made me feel so much better.

When my lifesaver (see above) asked why the need to do that, I realized I just needed to be able to have some of my chaos managed without really putting any effort into it.

And you know what, it worked.

Later I did attack the dishes and laundry.
I even made bread.

So for me, I guess, just writing stuff down and feeling organized in one area helps me get started on the rest of the stuff.

At least I can hope so!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Blog

I'm trying out a new blog.

Mostly because I am bored with all of my recipes and I hate coming up with the 2 week menu.

Please feel free to add "comments" (recipes) so I don't have to think so much. (You can comment on any of them even the old ones.)
I've already used some of the ideas with great success!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Colored Blind

I am colored blind. But not in the way you might think. Its just that color has never mattered to me.

Color has never been the first thing I notice when I see people. (And I grew up just outside of DC, so its not like I wasn't exposed to all colors.)

Unfortunately, I'm sure there are people out there who judge based on color. And I've heard stories and read books where color mattered.

All the talk this last week has been about our first "colored" president. And while I know that this week is historic for our country, and I know how important this is as a milestone for so many people; for me, he is who he is because of his ideas, not his color.

Does this make me a bad person?

I don't want to make light of the sufferings of others. And I know in my own rose colored world I haven't experienced any of that pain.

I just wonder if there will come a time when everyone becomes colored blind.

Maybe its because my mom and I used to play this game where we would look at strangers and imagine them as a different race. Or even ourselves.

All people look different.

But I never thought that looks or skin color could be a defining factor.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Round-Trip Ticket to VA

So I am looking for anyone who might be interested in flying back to Virginia the second week of June. I need an adult who will accompany my daughter. You would have to find your own lodging but I can make the airfare worth your while (cheap cheap cheap cheap). Anyone interested? Let me know soon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


So, I was traveling down the highway the other day and saw that Quilted Bear had adopted a section of it.

My immediate thought was, "where are all the cute things?"

You know, like vinyl lettering on the guardrails? quilted road signs? etc.

If my highway looked like me. . . (instead of me looking like a highway) . . . I'd have some basketball hoops, kids artwork, book titles on the overpasses, candy bar wrappers everywhere, and more grass.

What would your highway look like?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Each Life That Touches Ours For Good

I have been thinking about friends lately. And how I have not been a very good friend.

You know how sometimes you just know that you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing, but you just go on not doing it anyway.

I've been that way for about the last 6 weeks.

And I realize that I've abandoned all of my friends in the process.

My friends could have helped me be a better person this last little while. And yet I turned away from them.

My friends make me feel good about myself. They let me talk. They encourage me. They ask the right questions. They say the right things. They believe in me. They remind me who I am.

But isn't it always true that when you are messing up your life, you don't want to be reminded by others that it's not who you really are?

Luckily, there are so many people in my life who love me and whom I consider "friends". I was reminded of this when a friend called just to see how I was doing. And another I ran into said they had been thinking about me all week. My friends never left. So where did I go?

I think I got swallowed.

"No waters can swallow the ship where lies The Master of ocean and earth and skies."

Life is hard. But when I keep God close to me, I don't get swallowed. He never leaves, but I often leave Him. And when I do turn back to Him, it is always a good thing. Sometimes hard, but always good.

It is the same with friends. It might be awkward to start being a friend again. There may be a few bumps. And I know that sometimes friendships change over time (and space). And different people will come into our lives at different times for different reasons.

But I realize how much I need friends to be the kind of person I want to be.

And I need God in my life, to become the person I want to be.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Warning: content not suitable for children

First, I've got to tell you about this great book series our family found. It's called "The Adventures of Ordinary Boy". He lives in a town where everyone has super-powers except for him. And everyone gets named after their super-powers (hence Ordinary Boy). But most of them have pretty lame powers. One of my favorite is Melonhead. His head is actually shaped like a watermelon, he spits seeds all the time, and he thinks he's the greatest thing in the world. And his best friend's name is Stench (no explanation needed hopefully). Anyway, on to my blog.

I decided that if I was to have a super hero name like from the book I would be: "Half-A#* Girl". (And no that would not have anything to do with the way I looked!!)

I just feel like I never really go full out for anything. I can start something and then it just kind of dies. I get all kinds of good ideas and then phllbbbttt . . . nothing ever happens. I do everything just half- a*#! (ok, I'll say way)

In the past I've set goals like:

Learn a new language (I know the words from the first semester of spanish - see here)
Do a triathlon (I bought a swimsuit)
Run a marathon (I ran a 5k)
Be a meteorologist (I have a weather gauge)
Lose 25 lbs (I lost 20)
Give up chocolate (I actually did this for a whole year, so I know I have it in me)
Learn to play the piano (again, since it was only half-a*# the first time)

Now my kids are starting to inherit their mother's super-powers and that is totally not acceptable.

My new years resolution is to do something all the way.

So I can change my super hero name.

Something more suitable for children.


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