Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sombreros and Pinatas

One Friday night at home we decided to do something a little out of the ordinary as a family activity. We decided to make homemade pinatas--and when you make homemade pinatas, you "have" to wear sombreros. We don't own any, so we made some out of Jed's endless supply of baseball caps.
Our kids humor us!
It was so funny as we began dipping newspaper in the flour and water paste to hear that Hannah would have nothing to do with making them anymore. It was way too "gross!"

So she just watched as the rest of us glued and glued and glued. It was certainly a very messy activity.

We hung them to dry. This was about more than the children could bear as it took several days for them to completely dry. We finally decided to finalize the date we would use them for FHE to set their excited minds at ease.

By Sunday, we were able to pop the balloon.

And decorate and fill them.

Drew, Madelyn, and I's was an Easter Egg.

Lily, Dad, and Hannah's was an "Indian."

Monday night we let the games begin with the smallest batting first--with much coaching to not let go of the bat!!

A mad house of collecting little trinkets and treats.

Drew broke through the egg one. They didn't get to keep any of their treats--we all pooled them back together and tried to divvy them out slowly....... We had just gotten over the treats from Valentine's Day and I had had enough of candy wrappers being everywhere constantly. :)

So theses pinatas were a big success and a test of their patience!!

Monday, March 19, 2012


A few weeks ago we snuck our older children out of school and headed to Salt Lake for a mini vacation. The occasaion was Jed's youngest brother was coming home from his mission in Ecuador, so we decided to make the most of it!The pictures are a little out of order...we did visit the Church History museum and checked out their new Book of Mormon exhibit. The girls really loved trying on the dresses, of course, and loved playing with their cousins.

The dresses were obviously made for older girls, but we made do.

There was lots to do and see and we spent a long time there.

With just our little family we checked out the Clark planetarium. The kids really enjoyed that place too. Drew loves science and planets so this was right up his alley.

We had to go see a 3-D IMAX movie. It was about dinosaurs which Drew had just studied in school, so that was another bonus.

Barefoot....we were warned about that at the planetarium.

Swimming in the cool tub at the condo. Lily didn't pack her suit, but she can still get away with that.... :)

At the airport we did a lot of waiting and escalator rides until the big moment.

We decorated this segment of poster for FHE for the big homecoming.

There is the rest of the puzzle.....

And the big man himself. We are happy to have Troy back and his nieces and nephew are too.

The little girls were so funny, they were pushing everyone's luggage around the carosel. I hoped people didn't mind the little girls handling all the bags....but it was late and it was keeping them occupied so....I let it slide.

My kids' lifelong wish of going to Chuck E. Cheese was finally granted when Grandma and Grandpa treated us to lunch and games there. It was fun and they definitely got their fill! And they got to play with all those cousins of theirs too. It was a fun little break from everyday life!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


A couple of weeks ago, we had a pretty darn good windstorm--the winds got up to about 70 mph. A couple of our shingles had gotten loose before the storm, and then things just snowballed from there. I gave the first phone call to Jed to let him know about 8 shingles had come loose. I felt horrible having to call him with the news, but wanted him to know what was going on. A couple hours later....I couldn't even count how many had flown off. I spent the better part of my day collecting as many shingles as I could and trying to save them from being totally destroyed. My girls were so worried for my life as I went out there into the intense wind. It was so strong that when I picked up one of the shingles the wind just tore it from my grip and slammed it against my leg leaving me with the most gruesome bruise I've ever had.

Here's a look at the damage:

It was horrible having to sit inside the house and cringe as more and more of the shingles tore off the roof and were sent flying every which way......

The best part of the storm was the loss of power for several hours. We just had tuna sandwiches for dinner since we couldn't cook. The kids thought it was funny that I was telling them not to flush the toilet (unless, you know, it was too gross) to preserve water since we didn't know how long the power would be out. And of course the kids magically remembered to flush every time--even though on any other given day they must be constantly reminded. :) Funny. And just as things were getting fun--candles ready to be lit, games ready to be played,......the power came back on and life resumed.

So we've got a pretty good repair project ahead of us......

Monday, March 5, 2012

Church Excitement.

Doing church solo has had its challenges, most of them we've gotten used to and tried to make necessary adjustments in order to make things work as smooth as possible. I've been fortunate to atleast have one of the Young Women girls I teach come and sit by me most Sundays. I've never been in as much need of help as I was yesterday and I was grateful I had helpful hands at church. Things were going normally to begin with. Now normal doesn't necessarily mean picture perfect and all children folding their arms and no no. Lily was running up and down the pews and climbing all over and spitting at everyone...that's normal. Hannah was being pretty reverent and later I discovered why. About halfway through our testimony meeting, I hear Hannah dry heaving. As soon as I turn to look at her she just started heaving! It was all I could do to just cup my hands and catch what I could. With cupped hands filled to capacity, she goes for round two. Here I am trying to catch what I can with no way to handle or control rambunctious Lily or anyway to look through my bag for anything to rescue me. I was so embarrassed/not thinking clearly/in shock and tears unexpectedly start welling my eyes. Not necessarily because I was sad....that is just what happens. Things start getting thrown over the pews: a hanky from someone a couple rows empty ziploc baggie from someone up front. The young lady behind me darted to get some paper towels. The girl helping me out offered to stay with the kids if I needed to go home. Using my scant supplies I did my best to clean up the mess--at this point just chuckling to myself as I look up at Jed and see him looking down at me wondering what in the world I am up to. I unsuccessfully tried to subtly sign to him that we just had a throwing up episode.... The girl behind me took Hannah to the bathroom and cleaned up her dress. What a champ! I was so grateful for everyone's help and for everyone's understanding. I'm sure a lot of mothers have been there. :) I told Hannah after the meeting was over that I should probably take her home--she was livid. So I kept her with me sitting far away from everyone in primary. But while in primary, her name got drawn to help out with something at the board. She jumped on board and went to the front and Madelyn yells out "She might throw up on you!!!" ohhhhh....too funny. She has felt pretty much well after that and hasn't thrown up since, or anyone else in the family for that matter. Just a fluke incident and just had to happen in the middle of sacrament meeting of all places.... :) Oh what a treasure of fun stories we will have for future retelling!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


This last Sunday, I had the opportunity to teach the Sunday lesson to my 14-15 year old YW girls about being a wife and mother. There are few subjects that are nearer and dearer to my heart than that one. I love being a wife and mother and I learn so much about myself on a constant basis--not all pleasant. :)
As I prepared the lesson, of course I had to have some absolutely stretching mothering days. As I was loading the Mormon Message "Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God" to show to my girls, I just started bawling. I was so grateful for the message there. Sometimes I find it so easy to forget how blessed I am, even when I try to recognize it regularly. I know without a doubt that being a mother is what I am supposed to be doing. I truly do love being a mom. But there are some days that I feel completely worn out, exhausted, totally impatient and snippy, and just downright not the mom that I am trying to be. In Jeffrey R. Holland's talk "Because She is a Mother," he informs, ,"If you try to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do." I loved that assurance. But then sometimes I feel like my best one day is certainly not the best I can do on another day. Why is there such a wide range of my best? Some days I feel like my best is acceptable, and other days I am not so sure. Some days I can be so hard on myself to feel like I just went through that day and received an "F" on my mothering report card. And it breaks my heart.
But I am so grateful for Elder Holland's counsel and words, "You can’t possibly do this alone, but you do have help. The Master of Heaven and Earth is there to bless you—He who resolutely goes after the lost sheep, sweeps thoroughly to find the lost coin, waits everlastingly for the return of the prodigal son. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are and better than you have ever been as you try to make honest effort, however feeble you may sometimes feel that to be."
I'm just so grateful that even when I feel like I'm a hopeless case, that there is always hope. I'm so grateful for a Savior who knows how I feel. And who has made it possible for me to be better, to move on, and just do my best to improve--however slow my progress may be. I'm so grateful for a forgiving family that forgives me when I slip up. Sometimes I need to follow their examples and be a little more forgiving of myself and just press forward.
I certainly needed to hear these words from Elder Holland, they help me feel recharged. They remind me that what I am doing right now is the most important thing I will ever do. And I do love it. I wouldn't want to miss all that comes with motherhood for anything else in the world. It constantly stretches me, and I am hoping that it is refining me in the process.
Here are some of my other favorite words of counsel from Elder Holland's talk. And because they are so encouraging to me, maybe they will encourage others as well: "Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And 'press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.' You are doing God’s work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging."