Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Interesting Predicament

Picture this...
We spend the evening together as a family playing, singing, and eating together. Since it's bedtime, we agree to put the kids to bed together and then decide Mr. Wonderful needs a break, so he goes to play basketball for the night, and won't be back for at least three hours. Baby Jakey is sleeping peacefully in the room down the hall. I finally give in to the pleading of my children and bring the two older kids a drink of water, as they're frantically brainstorming more ideas to try to stay awake. I walk into their room to deliver the water and my two year old comes out from behind me and shuts the door. No big deal, right?? Well, apparently she had accidently locked the door from the outside (since I don't think she's mischievious enough yet to do it intentionally), and I was locked in! All I could think was, oh... crap. Of course, I didn't have a cell phone in the room to have Mr. Wonderful come to the rescue and their bedroom is on the second story so climbing out the window wasn't an option. Oh yeah, AND I had to go to the bathroom reallllly badly because lately I've been trying to drink 8 glasses of water a day. AHHH! Anyway, I was pretty much panicking at this point because I knew baby Jakey was going to wake up any moment and need to be fed, it was past Charity's bedtime, and I had absolutely no idea how to get myself out!

So imagine my relief when after about 30 LONG minutes (and a couple prayers) later, I was finally able to help Charity figure out how to unlock the door. She finally reached up with those little fingers of hers and was able to fumble around with the lock until it worked and she released me from my helpless panic. Whew! Thank goodness for those fine motor skills (and prayer!) It's interesting some of the stuff life throws at us, huh?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A New Day

I love the feeling of renewal offered to us every Sunday. There is something so refreshing about the start of a brand new week. Partaking of the sacrament to renew our covenants with the Lord is a highly symbolic and sacred ordinance, which draws me closer to Him and gives me courage to face another week.

I have always loved the quote, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." What a tremendous blessing it is to be able to repent of our mistakes of the past and focus our thoughts and efforts on what we can do today to live a great life and build others. A speaker in church recently shared the oft-quoted words of David O. McKay, "No success in life can compensate for failure in the home." But then he went on to define failure in a way that filled me with hope. He said, "Failure is when you stop trying." The adversary wants us to become discouraged and stop striving to overcome our weaknesses. He continually whispers... "Look at all the mistakes you've made. You're a lost cause. Your weaknesses have become habits and it's no use to try to overcome them. You can repent, but then you'll surely make the mistake again, so don't even bother." But because of Jesus Christ, our Savior, we can let go of all our past wrongs, make them right, and look forward with optimism and hope.

Last week I made too many mistakes to count. Little things usually... raising my voice here, a twinge of covetousness there, an argument here, overindulging in those brownies there... etc. so by the end of the week, the burden of it all seemed so heavy that it started to take it's toll. I find that if I don't take the time to repent each day and let go of all that baggage, I start dragging spiritually. What a blessing, to be able to try again every week, with an updated list of goals and a sense of newness and purpose for my life. It helps me remember that each day I can choose to be happy.

So during this beautiful season of gratitude I feel especially grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ which gives me hope each new day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Seriously Outnumbered

I'm going to bed tonight feeling a bit more exhausted than usual... why you might ask? Well, usually I'm exhausted being a mother of 4 kids 5 and under. But tonight I was "mother" to 9 kids ages 7 and under! My friend Shannon and I do date night swaps occasionally, and despite being totally worn out afterward, I really enjoy it! Her kids are soo adorable! I just love them! We had some crazy fun tonight at the Hudson Haven...

I was about to make dinner for everybody, but the thought of trying to come up with something everyone would eat led me to one solution... pizza!!

Daddy got quite the greeting when he came home! All the kids clobbered him the minute he walked in the door!

Welcome home Daddy!! Haha!

Baby Jacob and Baby Jacob sizing each other up. Our baby Jake is a couple months older but little Jake is catching up quickly!

The way these two interact with each other is entirely too cute.

Ok so Celeste has developed a big time crush on this sweet little boy Daniel. The other day she came home from school (they're in the same class) and she said thoughtfully, "Mommy, I think I'm gonna marry Daniel some day." "Oh really?" I responded. "When you're 40, right?" "Yup!" "Ok, I approve, I said... "Just don't tell Daddy."

And like her big sister, I suspect Charity might be developing a little crush of her own!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Back to Basics

Whew! I finally got some time to post a few things tonight. I've been struggling a little bit lately. After coming home from my trip, which was a nice getaway, I just felt totally overwhelmed and bombarded with it all. Every time I work around the house, it seems to get trashed again within one hour of unleashing the beasts! Like all moms probably feel at times, there is just so much to do, and so much more I feel like I could be doing, I just can't seem to keep up. And there are so many distractions and diversions that continually tempt me away from focusing on what is really most important in this life. But I realized tonight that I need to remember to slow down and SIMPLIFY.

So I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving week for a week long initiative to focus on the family proclamation. This is an inspired and timely document put out by the leaders of our church based on our belief about the eternal family.

Here is the information about the special week from the family proclamation week website:

The Family Proclamation Awareness Week Initiative November 23-29, 2008
Putting Family First & Bringing Families Together

Purpose: A week long initiative to put families first and bring families together to raise our voices in support of the Family Proclamation issued by the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (September 23, 1995).
Plan: Invite each family to participate in a week long challenge where the family will dedicate their time, energy, talents, and resources to their family between the hours of 5pm to bedtime with the purpose of building, nurturing, and strengthening their family.

A Plan to 'Turn From': Families would turn away from the myriad of distractions that keep us from building family. They would turn off (unplug) TV, movies, internet, MP3 players, cell phones, outside commitments, play dates, clubs, activities, meeting, classes, sports, work, etc. and dedicate the time to family dinners, family activities, family lessons, family scriptures, family prayer, and family togetherness.

A Plan to 'Turn To': Families initiate a plan to turn to their family and “devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children…” (Dallin H. Oaks, Conference Oct. 2007) by planning 7 nights of strictly family time. Family participants would commit to eat dinner together, participate in a family night of their choice, read scriptures, and kneel in prayer as a family each night of the week.

The website also offers a list of ideas and activities to strengthen our families. What an inspired and edifying initiative. It couldn't come at a better time for me. It's such a great reminder to put first things first.

Our Tony deserves a Tony!

Last week I got to take the kids to Gettysburg to watch my brother perform in a production of The West Side Story. The 8 hour drive was pretty miserable, but it was well worth it, because the show was absolutely phenomenal. And I am not just saying that because he's my little bro and if anyone said otherwise they would have to take it up with me! But his acting and singing really were truly phenomenal. I loved it so much I went to see it three nights in a row! (Thanks again for babysitting dad) and I was just floored by how fantastic he was and the entire production was. Everytime he sang, "Maria" I had tears streaming down my face. Each night the house was packed and the cast got a standing ovation. But yeah- I know I'm a little biased. But I wasn't the only one who was impressed. It turns out, Leonard Bernstein's (the composer of The West Side Story) son and daughter were there! And after the show, his daughter approached Ben and said that in the last 25 years that she had been touring around the world and watching different West Side Story productions, Ben was the best Tony she had ever seen! Seriously amazing. Way to go Uncle Ben- so proud of you!


A- Attached or Single: Beyond attached.
B-Best Friend: Mr. Wonderful of course!
C- Cake or Pie: Definitely cake... chocolate with buttercream frosting... mmm.
D- Dog or Cat: Cats, except not lately. Ours has been peeing on every towel she can find for some bizarre reason and it's driving me CRAZYYYYYYYY. Seriously, cat pee is the most repulsive smell of ALL time.
E- Essential Items: Scriptures, Dayplanner, and cherry lip gloss. (In order of imporance. ;))
F- Favorite Color: Purple
G- Gummy Bears or Worms: Bears... the white and red ones
H- Hometown: Bothell, WA
I- Indulgences: Sugar!!!
J- January or July: January, I absolutely love cuddling up next to the fireplace on cold winter evenings.
K- Kids: love em... all of them!!! I hope I never get too busy or preoccupied to stop and notice how precious each one of them is.
L- Life is incomplete without: the gospel of Jesus Christ and my loved ones
M- Marriage Date: December 28
N- Number of Siblings: 2 wonderful brothers, and anxiously waiting for a couple sister in-laws. C'mon boys! Get on it! My kids will be baby-sitting their cousins at this rate!
O- Oranges or Apples: Oranges... have you ever studied an orange carefully? It is so AMAZING! P- Phobias or Fears: Spiders and roller-coasters
Q- Quote: "We sow our thoughts, and we reap our actions; we sow our actions, and we reap our habits; we sow our habits, and we reap our characters; we sow our characters, and we reap our destiny." -Desiderius Gerhard Erasmus
R- Reason to Smile: "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give ye rest." Matthew 11:28
S- Something New: Getting certified in Turbo-kick! Woo-hoo!
T- Tag: Anyone who wants to do this. It's a great way to get to know each other better!
U- Unknown Fact About Me: I hate the Chalaze in eggs... you know that nasty white thing hanging from the yolk. When I bake something, I always take it out! Yuck!
V- Vegetarian or Oppressor Of Animal: I don't think I could live without chicken.
W- Worst Habit: Sighing when I'm annoyed or frustrated (it drives my hubby nuts!) Maybe that's why I do it.
X- X-Rays or Ultrasounds: ultrasounds... except when the technician blurts out the sex of the baby when you asked her to keep it a secret as in the case of our first baby!
Y- Your Favorite Food: Fruit! Especially nectarines and berries.
Z- Your Favorite Zoo Animal: Big cats!! They are absolutely mesmerizing.

Why I will be taking my own "school pictures" from now on

Needless to say, I wasn't too pleased with the school pictures this year!

But on a brighter note, I was thrilled to find out that there were some awards handed out at the school assembly last week and she was given an award in the Character/Moral Focus category. Of all the achievements my kids will make in this life, it is most important to me that they develop kindness, respect, and compassion for other people. Too bad this picture hardly reflects her loving and friendly nature!

My New Do

I know there are a few of you who have mentioned doing this too, so I thought I'd pass along a great article (the link below) about options for donating hair and the requirements involved. It was a little hard to say good-bye, but this picture makes it soooo worth it!! What a little sweetie! Although it was a bit of a sacrifice at first, I'm loving my new do now. It feels great to mix things up a little bit sometimes.


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