You know when you're in labor and they tell you to find a focal point while you're in pain... well I'm trying that tactic while I'm attempting to survive the last month of this semester! There is sooooooooo much to do and not enough time in my day to do it! And I'm afraid if I feed my kids anything with pasta in it one more time, someone will call child services. So, I'm choosing to focus on this picture I took in the desert and see if it calms me.... or relaxes me.... or something. Or maybe I can practice Lamaze breathing... Hee Hee Hoo
Garrett and Chase both earned their Wolf badges at Scout's this past Tuesday. I am very proud of them, but I do have to brag about my Chase. He has been the one who has pushed himself and Garrett to complete the goals and go to their den meetings. He is such a self motivated kid and a very hard worker. Garrett gets really excited about things, but when it comes to actually actualizing them, he gets a little overwhelmed. As you can see in the picture, he can't even keep track of his Scout shirt...hmmm. It's a good thing he has a very patient brother to help him keep track of everything. I love my boys very much and I am so proud of them. They make a good little team.
We had a fun little break in Nevada a couple weeks ago for my Spring Break at UVU. We've been home for awhile but I've been so sick that I haven't had the energy to do anything but lay in bed and whine. Ugh... I'm finally getting it together enough to do stuff like shower....
So we spent 4 days with my parents and my siblings and their families and my grandmother who spent her first winter in Nevada as well. We had a blast. The kids were able to swim in my grandma's pool, we had lots of BBQ's, we did lots of hiking and rock climbing and the kids got to go on their first ATV adventure. They all learned how to drive on their own. Ethan was in heaven. His grandpa let him drive by himself. Mommy said no, Papa overrode her....twice. And then my brother-in-law took everyone on a little 2 mile adventure let Ethan drive back by himself....alone. He was so excited. I was very proud of him. He was very responsible with the machines. Chase was also a great driver. He LOVED driving the machines. I let him steer on his own which he loved. Mckenzie and Garrett also liked to drive, but they were afraid of turning. Carter liked to give it some gas but was still a little unsure about the whole deal.
We also got to go on a hike with a good friend of my parents,David Bly, whom I later learned is a renowned author, journalist and photographer. He's an editor for the Desert Valley Times and has written a few books. He has also taken some photos for the Ensign and contributed most of the photos for the Ensign's article on Ghana a few years ago. Anyway, he took us to see some petroglyphs and pictographs back in the mountains. It was quite the adventurous hike for this mama, but the kids were in heaven. He was so patient with them, showing them everything and answering questions. We went through tunnels, walked on rock ledges, slid down rock faces, all kinds of crazy stuff. But it was worth it to see some amazing, untouched scenery.
It was nice to get away from everything and spend that time with my kids. They were so good and had so much fun. I also love the desert. It was incredible to be there and experience its beauty and be able to heal there.... a little.
Doug works with a woman who is trying to get a photo business up and running. She and Doug arranged to take pics of my gorgeous kids and here are some of the results. I LOVE the pictures. She (Rachel) did a beautiful job! She caught each of their personalities and their quirkiness. I have cute, cute kids! (Ethan was not so cooperative...)
At some point in this process, I was asked by my bishop if I could go back and make changes, would I? I answered him at the time that I would go back and change things, but not in the way he thought. I would have gone back four years ago and gone through this while the kids were younger.
I've thought about that a lot over the last few months. Tonight through some studying and meditation, if you want to call it that, I've come up with some different answers. There are times when I wish I could go back 11 years and make much, much different choices. But then I look at the 5 beautiful faces around my dinner table and know that I wouldn't do that. And if I could go back 4 years ago and stand my ground and do this when the kids were younger, I wouldn't have. I needed these 4 years to try. I had to know this is what was the best thing.
Tonight is a bad night. I really want my mom. I really want to just hand all this over to someone else and say "you feel it, I can't feel this anymore. It's too much."
We've had a good weekend, and I must say, we've been due for one! The kids didn't have school on Friday, but I did, so Doug took half a day off to spend with the kids which allowed me to attend my afternoon classes. Earlier in the week the kids had been begging me to build a fire and roast hotdogs because the weather has been so nice. However, it has snowed like crazy but the kids were insistent that we still do the fire. So while I was at school, the boys cleared off the deck so we could do the hotdog roast! Eric and his kids came over, and Chase and Garrett each invited a friend and we had our 6th child over, Mr. Brayden, so all in all I think we had like 11 kids total. We roasted hotdogs and drank kool-aide and listened to Garrett's friend, Braden Oler tell hilarious stories.
After it started to get a little dark, we took the kids to Orchard where there's a little hill by their track. We all went night sledding and had so much fun. The kids were hilarious, orchestrating "wrecks" and doing all kinds of crazy stuff.
On the way home, I had the car full of boys. I introduced them to "Chinese fire drills", not anywhere dangerous, and it was absolutely the funniest thing I've ever seen. All these crazy boys running around my car, giggling like crazy people. I loved it.
Saturday was spent doing chores. I've introduced a "check system." The kids earn a check every day for keeping their rooms clean. They can earn extra checks for doing extra chores, like helping with household chores or extra big chores like cleaning out the garage or things like that. At the end of the week, they're rewarded with a prize. It's been working fairly well. Of course, Chase is the most motivated because he's my pleaser. Mckenzie and Carter are pretty motivated because they want stuff. Ethan is somewhat motivated, but not really. And Garrett is completely oblivious. He just does what Chase tells him to do because they share a room. However, everyone at least got a check per day and were able to go to the store and buy something. They were pretty creative in what they bought. The boys are collecting Pokemon and Mckenzie is collecting Littlest Pet Shop. We had Carter's little friend with us who bought lots of gum and a soda... I apologize to his mother.
Today was our relaxing day, Mckenzie and Carter slept with me last night so we ended up just staying in bed this morning watching TV. I like to watch whatever the kids are watching so I know if it's appropriate or not. I've gotten a kick out of shows like Spongebob and a iCarley. They make me laugh out loud. I don't know if that's because I have a simple mind or because I'm exhausted 99.9% of the time. The scripts are actually pretty witty and quick. But I'm actually surprised at how many inappropriate shows are out there aimed at young kids. WOW! Anyway... the kids have been raving about this show called Big Time Rush and apparently the son of one of our ward members is in the cast. So I watched a couple episodes with the kids and it is actually pretty funny. Garrett can pretty much repeat the script verbatim, which is kinda funny. As a trade off, since I had to watch their shows, I made them watch one of my shows.... Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. We spent a good part of the day laughing our heads off.
I was reminded at how fun my kids are, how much we laugh together. The last few months have been so stressful that I've just been in survival mode. It's been nice to just hang out and relax and enjoy everything again.
Ok girls.... Lycra and underwire. Seriously. Is it that hard to put it on when you're gonna be in public? I'm all for comfort, but there's a line, I'm not talking about the panty line.
I was raised by a woman who will not leave the house unless she is in full make up and dressed, including jewelry and matching shoes. I have been known to disappoint her by wearing sweats every now and then to the grocery store. I have also been known to not shower until after noon. I've even been known to NOT wear makeup all day. However, I am a well endowed woman and I draw the line at NOT wearing a bra in public.
Why am I ranting about this? Today I ran into two rather large older women who were swinging quite freely in oversized T-shirts and stretch pants. If they were wearing any kind of supportive undergarments, it was not visible to the casual passerby. It was a little disturbing, considering they had heavy footsteps and there was a little bit of jiggling involved. It was also a little chilly in the building and.... well, I'll just leave the result of that to your imagination.
The cost of supportive undergarments ranges from inexpensive to very expensive... but there is something to please all women, so there is just no reason to NOT slap a little lycra on the thighs and some underwire under the girls. And trust me, cheap T-shirts and stretch pants DO NOT cover up anything!!!
I hate to sound judgmental, but I'm a little scarred. One word ladies. SPANX!!
A few weeks ago I bought Ethan a couple pairs of shoes from Shoe Carnival. They were having a sale and they have the kind of shoes that Ethan loves. The brand is Zoo New York and the shoes come with these key rings that Ethan also loves. I do not love them....
So, I'm doing laundry tonight and go to check the dryer and out pops these key rings. They scare the crap out of me because guess what the key rings are..... cockroaches. Big, fat, ugly cockroaches on a key ring. And out popped 4 of them. Ethan had left them in his pants and they'd fallen out. Ick, Ick, ICK!!! I'm usually ok with icky stuff because, well, I have 4 boys and we are abundant in the icky stuff in our house. But I'm not ok with bugs and big, fat, ugly cockroaches are in that category.
What made my boys roll around on the floor with laughter was that after I'd found them and jumped and squealed, I was pulling clothes out of the dryer and I stuck my head in to get the clothes stuck in the back of the drum and there was one stuck at the top of the dryer, just hanging there. It scared me too death and I squealed again.
This may sound silly, but I've already bared my deepest feelings on here, so what's one more deep, dark secret? This past weekend, I finally saw Avatar with Eric and his son. My boys went to see it with their grandpa while Mckenzie and I went to see Princess and the Frog with my mom. I've kinda wanted to see Avatar, but it hasn't been at the top of my list.
However, I was completely blown away. Not just by James Cameron's obvious genius, because let's face it, the man is a cinema god. But I was completely touched by the story. It was sort of predictable. This marine who is basically performing espionage on this indigenous people falls in love with them and wants to save them, but I was more touched by the background story of this native people who are spiritually connected to the earth and to each other. It was very inspiring. I absolutely loved it. There were so many different underlying themes and stories to learn from. For anyone who hasn't seen it, I totally recommend it!
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say: "I used up everything you gave me." ~Erma Bombeck
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. -Nelson Mandela
"We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results." – Herman Melville
Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another. -Nelson Mandela
I am a single mom of six precious children! They are six little pieces of my heart, somehow walking independently of my body. My goal these next few years is to make sure they are going to be happy, healthy and successful.
Here's to new beginnings! Stay tuned!