Thursday, September 22, 2011


This word has been on my mind a lot the last couple of days. And it has meaning on so many different levels. In particular, I've been thinking of what it means to me in the sphere of mothering. I wish I could say that I have perfect perspective. I wish I could say that I think eternally if something really is worth my time and effort, all the time. But I can't. So much of the time I find myself just struggling to stay afloat, and then after a whirlwind of a day I think to myself, "what did I actually do today? What did I do that made a difference?" Sure I mopped the floor, scrubbed the toilet, folded a couple loads of laundry, made meals for everyone in our family and some neighbor kids, paid bills, picked up the kindergarten car pool, went to an appointment, helped the kids with their homework, cleaned up countless messes, and changed several diapers, etc. But what did I really do?
Don't get me wrong, we certainly would notice if I decided not to do any of the above listed things. They are important in their own right. But, I want to make sure that I am actually making a difference in my childrens' lives every day, even if it is in some small way. If I am not careful, I can go about a days business without taking a moment to "be there" with my kids. Things have definitely gone up a notch in busy-ness the last couple of weeks....but still....if I am not carving out time to be with them every day, I fear my perspective is out of whack. I should be more careful to take into account the real purpose of what I am doing. Why am I a mom? What do I want my relationship with my kids to be like when they are teenagers? What are my hopes for my children? I really want the eternal perspective to be at the forefront of my mind every day.
Maybe I could take a break every so often from the chores with my little ones to read a few stories together. To cuddle and tell them why I love them so so so much. Ask them what they want to do for the next 20 minutes, and then do it! Ask them out of the blue if they will play barbies with me ....or something else they really want me do, but know I am making dinner so they don't ask. I want to take the time to be with them. I want them to know that even though life gets crazy, that they take precedence over a sparkling clean toilet or whatever else.
I am certainly not there yet. I have a long way to go, but that is the mom I want to be.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wrapping up Summer

Summer was good to us. We very much enjoyed it here. I am already missing the "freedom" of summer and trying to get a handle on the new scheduled mode. I like schedules too, it just requires a transition!

Drew loved every bit of the soccer season. He still steals me whenever he can to go play a soccer match with him outside.

He is already looking forward to next year.

It is sad to say I never wrote anything about our nations birthday. We had a quieter 4th of July this year. We squeezed in several fireworks shows, and a pretty darn good one from our porch late at night that our neighbors put on--can't beat that!

Lily's look of shock, her first memorable fireworks.

Doesn't this picture just look like a fire hazard? ...that lovely pile of dead grass right next to the fireworks.... :)

We had blueberry pancakes with strawberry sauce and whipped cream for breakfast.

Nice and easy traditional breakfast.

Swimming lesson season is over too. And I couldn't resist but breathe a huge sigh of relief. Drew and Madelyn were in different classes back to back this year....and Hannah and Lily were a handful every time--don't let those cuties deceive you.... :)

I don't think the observation deck has been cleaned ever, so every time we went those two little girls were eating the most DEEESGUSTING things ever. I always brought plenty of snacks, but they preferred the old ,stale, moldy, nasty treats from 10 years ago. Don't forget the eating of already been chewed gum. Bleh!! We are still working on that with Hannah and pretty much nothing disgusts me more.

The pictures are horrible, but they are pictures. :) Madelyn had a really fun time in her class. She had some fun little friends to socialize with!

Drew finished his lessons as an entirely different swimmer. Wow. He really pushed himself and did great!

One of the goals my all of my kids wanted to do over the summer was to learn about the world. So we did. My mom took my kids and I to the International Folk Dance Festival--we did that every year growing up.

Since we had been learning about the world, it made the experience even more special. My kids loved looking at all the different flags they had displayed.

We had fun learning dances and observing them. Lily was a pro at making all sorts of international friends. :)

Sorry for the sideways picture. This was our Chilean culture night. We had empanaditas, rice, and beans. I didn't know how to cook the beans...they were non-traditional, but I think the empanaditas were pretty close!! Jed taught/talked about Chile that night after the kids and I had studied up on it.

Our good friends Brett and Leslie hosted a Japan night and it was awesome. The food was delish--I wish I could remember what the dishes were called.... Brett showed pictures, answered the kids' questions, let us use official chopsticks, and shared some Japanese trinkets with us. Thank you so much, it was very fun!!

Our very first one was a USA culture night. Good ole hot dogs, corn on the cob, watermelon, etc. We also decorated heartily for that one with all of the projects we worked on together. It was very fun.

We still have one more culture night to celebrate with their Uncle Gerald on South Africa. It should be fun.

Whew. It was a fun and busy summer. A lot of really fun times to remember!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back To School

The first day of school was anticipated nearly as much as Christmas this year. Madelyn came in my room at 5 AM wondering if it was time. Drew told me he couldn't sleep well at all and woke up several times....

Of course there had to be a little picture taking.

My big girl just starting school.
And my growing Drew.
They both had their clothes laid out and ready the night before. I remember those days. Such fun times. Even though it is hard to say goodbye to summer, I do love this time of year!! Just like spring, the fall has its own feeling of "newness." I love fall.

Waving at the bus stop.

The bus ride!! Very exciting. :)

Hannah and Lily and I enjoyed some quiet time at home together before we had to get Madelyn. It is so nice to give them focused time, they desperately needed it! It is amazing how much different it is at home with just the three of us. Jed asked me over the phone how my "day off" was going. It definitely is simpler with less constant needs!

When Madelyn was home we whipped up a batch of Rice Crispy treats, our special 1st day after school snack.

This had to be one of my very favorite things of the day. All of the girls ran out of the house as soon as I announced Drew was home. There were hugs all around..........I loved that.

Just so sweet!!!

I love those kiddos.

We all got caught up on what happened on the first day over our Rice Crispy treats. Lots of stories were shared and there was a general consensus that school is going great thus far!!

Lily had little crispies stuck everywhere....

Showing each other their cool projects and special things they got.

It was a great day! I was asked by a friend if I was someone who was happy to send their kids out the door or if I am a crier......well, I didn't actually cry...but I definitely favor that side of the spectrum. I love that they go and learn and have a great time. I love that I have some time to spend with my younger ones. But man, I miss those guys!!!

A couple of weeks before school started, Madelyn was starting to feel nervous about school. I told her that Dad would give her a blessing and that would help her feel better. We had planned a time to have the blessings, but something came up...that happened several times until finally we set it in stone that the night before, Jed would give the blessings. It was such a neat experience. I felt the spirit strongly and I know that the children did too. I'm so grateful for the priesthood. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father is watching them always. I'm so grateful for the peace I felt after the blessings were given. Madelyn's nerves were soothed and after that it was just pure excitement!
So here's to a new school year!!