"We can do no great things, only small things with great love." - Mother Teresa

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Catch up

I now have a camera, and since it has been a while, I am just going to post random pictures that have been taken over the last couple of days so you can see what we look like. I don't change much, so no pictures of me. I know, I know, you are terribly disappointed. But, that is life.

Hyrum being cute.

I walked into the living room and found Joy holding Brigham on her lap working on the Magna Doodle. Very sweet. She is working on being a "great big sister."

John and the kids.

Paul and his pancakes. The kids like little ones, so after breakfast one day Paul confiscated the extras and used them for some avantgaurde art.

Brigham in Joy's shawl. It was removed as soon as I got a picture.

Landscaping project. I have been tired of the wild bushes in front of our house for a year now, so I ripped almost all of them out one morning.
This is before:

This is after:

I will put something new in, but I have decided to try and not be rash about it. I am intentionally leaving it empty for a week or two while I visualize.

I never can get enough of naked bums.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


The kids and I were over at a friend's house today, and after about 1.5 hours I started thinking, "Hmm, I wonder if it is time for us to go?" We were having a great time and I could have stayed for a lot longer, but I know that, on occasion, people have stayed at my house longer that I would have chosen. I watched my host carefully for tell-tale signs of over-stay, but she is too polite to do that to a slug. Fortunately, something came up (I think Brigham wet his pants) so it was a clear easy break. But it left me wondering about the appropriate times. I am sure there is a rule of thumb out there, but I don't know what it is. Any ideas?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another Tag

I guess it is all my own fault. I decided that after not having cleaned for a week while family was here, I needed to clean after the kids went to bed this evening. I did the boys' bathroom and decided that I really could spare a few minutes to look at blogs. So, I gave myself 8 minutes and sat down. And, who should I check, but Celeste. So, here is my extra dirty house in blog tag. Oh, first, the rules:
The rules are you have to take ten pictures of the following things. And you have to do it right away. No straightening, cleaning or wiping your child's nose. Then you tag five others.


1. The kitchen sink - Some things look better in wide shot

2. The toilet - I did mention that I just finished cleaning the boys' bathroom before I got tagged, right?

3. Laundry room - Please note the self-propaganda above the window. This room usually is very organized, but with the boys still working on potty training, we do A LOT of laundry. I have been ignoring it for days now.

4. The fridge - It's where we keep the food, what else can I say? (Although, I usually like to look in my freezer because it is so useable. Again, I've been ignoring it.)

5. What are your kids doing right now? Well, sleeping, actually. And, there is no way under the sun I am going to risk waking them up. So, here is a picture I took earlier today of what they were doing.

6. My favorite shoes - Can I have two? I have never really owned great shoes before, but I splurged this year. Comfy and versatile.

7. My favorite room - I wish it was clean and that I could get a real 360 picture. As I have told John on many occasions, my room is my sanctuary. It is the one spot in the house I can go without worrying about little hands getting into stuff. And, although you can't see it, there are 7 paintings on the walls I did myself to match my curtains. I love them and the creative part of my they represent. So, it is my favorite.

8. My closet - As my closet also doubles as Hyrum's bedroom and he is sleeping at the moment, you get my entryway closet. Sorry, I don't wake up babies.

9. My dream vacation - I must admit I have never really thought about it. Vacations seem like something that other people do, so I haven't spent much time considering it. Sad, but it isn't so difficult to let something go when you haven't wasted a bunch of time and effort on it.
10. Self portrait - I dislike most pictures of myself, but self-portraits most of all!

I tag Jenna, Brooks, Angela, Lyndee and Stacie.

As a side note, although I was a mortified at the state of my house, after thinking about it a bit, I was really glad it wasn't in its kids-have-gone-to-bed-for-the-night cleaned condition. I don't clean house during the day when the kids will pull it to bits moments afterwards. I think it is a waste of time and effort and it completely disheartens me. Yet, I want it to be clean whenever anyone comes over, because what will they think of me? Maybe the truth. I am busy and have four small children. I think we would all like our homes to look as if we had live-in help, but that just isn't the case. I hope when my kids get bigger, they remember the fun things I did with them, not me shoving them outside so I could get the house cleaned. I had a friend once who refused to clean her house just because people were coming over. "If they don't like me the way I am, they don't need to come." I think there was a lot of truth to that, and I always felt more comfortable around her because I didn't think she was judging me or my lived in home.
Sorry, those things come out on occasion, no matter what I do to bottle them up. And please, don't clean your house for me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hyrum Hugs

I have never been around a baby this small who hugs, but Hyrum does. He wraps his right arm around your neck, grabs your hair in the back, burrows his face into your shoulder and squeezes. And, he holds the squeeze. This isn't just a momentary thing, it lasts. I can't think of anything sweeter.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


It is nice to know someone loved me enough to tag me, so I am playing along...

Okay here are the rules just write 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 goals, 3 obsessions, 3 random facts and 3 people to tag.

3 Joys -
  1. Creating - i love to create stuff - quilts, books, baskets, baby shoes, hair bows, it doesn't really matter what, I just love to create (see my link for A Place for Crafts)
  2. My family - what would life be without someone who needs you?
  3. Quiet time - i just can't seem to get enough of it

3 Fears -

  1. Okay, I know this is exposing a lot but and I am not asking for reassurance but... I am always afraid people will think I am a big dork. I know, I shouldn't worry about what other people think, but I do.
  2. Loosing Joy; not the boys, just Joy. Weird, I know.
  3. The Laurels won't like my lesson on Sunday. (Refer to #1 on this list)

3 Goals -

  1. To spend my time profitably this summer. I want to start working with Joy on her reading and other schooly-type things, with Paul on his physical and occupational therapy, and the kids on art and other projects. I want to get together with friends regularly, with and without kids. I want to work on a bunch of craft projects.
  2. To establish healthy eating and exercising habits. I am already well on my way in the exercise category, but I also want to eat, and teach my children about eating, a more balanced diet. More fruits, vegetables, fiber and water.
  3. To develop a more Christ-like attitude.

3 Obsessions -

  1. Organization - I have a new disorder - LCD: label compulsive disorder. One of my favorite toys is my shiny, red label maker.
  2. People - I think people are fascinating! I love to watch people, and read their blogs!
  3. Learning how to do new crafts

3 Random Facts -

  1. I have a really hard time getting to bed at night. If I make it before midnight, it is a good night. This might not be an issue if the kids didn't get up at 6am.
  2. I cannot sleep without my body pillow.
  3. I find that my life is much happier if I clean house before I go to bed at night. It is much easier to get up in the morning and be happy if I don't start behind. (Can you tell I am doing this right before bed?)

3 Tags -

  1. Chivaun (to help in your start blogging ;) )
  2. Amanda
  3. Becky

Beyond Gross!

So, let me just preface this with a caution. DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH! Nothing vulgar, but life with kids can be a little disgusting at times.

We were over at my parents house today for Sunday dinner. The food had been eaten and the grown ups were sitting around eating Dad's famous caramel popcorn in the living room. I heard Paul and Brigham laughing in the hallway and didn't think much of it until I heard them spitting. Obviously, spitting isn't a behavior that I encourage in the kids, but if that would have been all, I would have been glowing with pride. Oh, on a side note, the boys like to drink out of puddles. It doesn't really matter that puddles are on the ground, in fact, I think that is why they like it so much. The lay on their stomachs, stick out their lips, and suck up the puddle. Back to the story. I went to investigate the boys and found them laying on their stomachs spitting on the ground. Then, I noticed that Brigham had wet his pants. He can be fully potty trained if he wants, but frequently decides it is not worth the effort to take off his pants and go the bathroom. So, there they are, laying on the floor, with Brigham soaked when I start to look closer. Are they spitting? No, they appear to be sucking up a puddle. A puddle? My slow-moving brain starts to work very quickly. There are no faucets in the hallway by the front door, there are no empty glasses laying around, Brigham is very wet...

Yes, my boys are truly revolting. What else can I say? You were warned.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

As many of you know, John is currently at the end of his one year contract with his current company. Yes, he can continue to work for them indefinitely, but we don't really want him to. In fact, we really DON'T want him to. Some jobs aren't so hard on the family, this one is HORRENDOUS! So, we are hoping that he will get a different job sometime soon, yesterday would be best. And, herein lies the dilemna. We try our hardest to recieve counsel from Heavenly Father on things that effect our lives, so we have been praying about the search for a new job. In fact, we have been doing this since December. And, since December, we have both recieved the direction that we are to wait and things will work out. In December, that seemed reasonable. In January, Feburary and even part of March, that sounded okay. April, May and now June it is much harder to follow the counsel. But, when do you say, "Sorry Lord, I know better than you do. Here is what we are going to do." As soon as we consider it, it just doesn't feel right. And, I am left dumbfounded and a furstrated. One of the hardest things to deal with is how to answer the question, "How is the job hunt going? Who has John submitted resumes to?" It feels ridiculous to say, "Well, no one, actually. We keep being prompted to wait, so we are trying to be faithful." I know that the Lord will bless us, but I also am aware that I sound like a RAVING LUNATIC! As there is already so much cause for people to think I am a raving lunatic, I hate to give them more ammuntion. ;) So, we wait. And, until we are directed (and trust me, we pray about this daily) we are not taking steps to actively pursue another job. And, I know the Lord will bless us. He loves His children and wants to give us the good and righteous things we desire. I am convinced that John's desire to provide for and be with his family is a good and righteous desire, so I am convinced that the Lord will do what He has promised. I guess I should just give a bland meaningless answer to the job hunt question when it is asked, but I just can't be anything less than completely honest. I promise that as soon as we find anything out about a new job for John, I will blog it in big bold letters. Feel free to ask in the meantime, but if I get a crazed look in my eyes, it is nothing personal.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Again, what!?

This morning John decided to take Paul and Brigham for an outing to fly kites. Yeah! I thought to myself, I will get some things done now. No.

"Can you get the boys' shoes and socks on while I get dressed?"
"Where are the boys' jackets?"
"Do you have a quarter?"
"Do you have two quarters?"
"Where are the kites?"
"Where is the cell?"

I finally stopped him, took his hands and said, "If I spend my entire day doing piddly things for you, I will never get my stuff done!" To which he laughed, asked where HIS jacket was, and left. As soon as the door closed I made a frustrated noise and asked, of no one in particular, "What am I going to do with that man?"

"Well, since you married him, you can't kill him." - Yes, Joy was in the living room, calmly building a train. I don't think I will encourage her to go into practice as a marital counselor. Maybe I will stop asking rhetorical questions where she can hear, her solutions are a little too, enticing.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Amazing Hyrum

This boy is developing so fast, it is hard for me to keep track. And, I realized the other day that I haven't blogged any of his most recent milestones. While he was 8 months he:
  • cut THREE teeth, including one today
  • started crawling
  • pulled himself to standing (three days after he started crawling)
  • uses the pincer grasp to feed himself
  • refuses to eat baby food - we do our best to break things into bite-sized pieces so he can feed himself
  • and, now that he is mobile, he follows us all over the house and is a much more content baby

I have to say, this has been a month of blooming, and if he keeps up at this pace he will be potty trained by the end of the year!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What's on YOUR bookshelf?

So, my first peek into the world of blogging came when, at a playgroup, the ladies were discussing the answers to questions that someone had posted on their blog. It really got some interesting conversation going, and it made me realize how much blogging can connect people. Since that time, the idea has flitted on the outskirts of my mind that it would be really fun to do something similar. However, exactly what question to ask has evaded me. Until tonight. I have been doing a bit of straightening in my room and happened to notice the assortment of books I have on my bedside stand/bookshelf. All are there for a specific reason, and each is in some degree of progress. And, it was an interesting snapshot of me. So, what is on your bookshelf? Me, I have:
  1. The Chronicles of Narnia
  2. 365 Days of Creative Play
  3. Mothers of the Prophets
  4. Lord of the Rings
  5. The History of the Prophet Joseph Smith by His Mother, Lucy Mack Smith
  6. The Five Love Languages
  7. Charmed: 50 Bracelets, Necklaces and Earrings to Make and Give
  8. Anne of the Island
  9. Crossroads of Twilight
  10. The Book of Mormon
  11. my journal
  12. a blank book that I use to record snippets about each of my children each month

I know, I need to clear out my bookshelf.

Friday, June 6, 2008


So, I am in need of some ideas. Paul and Brigham are both potty trained and don't have much problem with urinating in the seat. However, if I have to clean poop out of one more pair of underwear, I think I will lose it permanently. As of now, both boys have each had one or two bowel movements on the seat, but both of those were about a month ago. When they go in their underwear they get a cool shower to wash of the offending matter, and then they personally clean their underwear out in the toilet. I have a jar of mini-candy bars in the bathroom and they get one if they manage a BM on the seat. So far, neither of them have earned a single one. Also, the boys sometimes go for a couple of days without a BM, and some days they have a couple a day; I never can tell which kind of a day it is going to be. So, if you have any suggestions (or the names of any good obedience schools) I would love them! Thanks!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Automatic Sprinkler

As you know, Paul is now potty trained. He sits just like a big boy and does a pretty good job. Well, somehow he got the idea in his head that he should stand to go. I was willing to let him, but, no more. As a side note, the toilet in our downstairs bathroom is booby trapped for boys. If you lift the seat, it falls back down after a few seconds. This has never really been a concern for me, but this day it proved fatal. Paul stood in front of the seat, and I stood directly behind him with my knees against his back to keep him close enough to the seat. I also held the lid so it wouldn't fall and injure/scare him. So, it started. And, I assumed that aiming was just like aiming a gun, point and shoot. No. Things don't always come out the way you expect. So, Paul's first shot hit the bathroom wall and started to swing wildly from there. In panic, I let go of the seat and tried to steady his aim. SLAM!! The seat slammed down hard and fast. I grabbed it up again, but Paul was on a roll. This boy could get a part time job as an automatic sprinkler. By the time we were done, he had sprayed the entire seat, three walls, his pants and ME! I was standing BEHIND him, so don't ask how it happened. All I know is that, between me trying to steady him a couple more times, the seat trying to fall a couple more times, and a bladder that has never been more full, it was a wet mess. I wish I could say that I kept my temper and all ended well, but that would be someone else's mom. I put my hands on the toilet tank and gave it a bit of a shove, hoping that I could push it back just enough to keep it from knocking over the lid. Bad idea. The tank now has a hairline fracture on the back and a very slow drip. Fortunately, my dad is a great fixer guy, and he says it will only take a little JB Weld and work, so the story ends well. In the meantime, Paul does not stand and go. Sitting will be just fine until he is a little older and a little more controlled.

BEST Friend

I have had to reflect on what a wonderful gift friends are. On Tuesday afternoon, one of my very best (and definitely oldest) friends in the whole world came up to see me. Angela was up for her cousin's wedding about three hours south of here, and planned an extra day into her trip so she could see me. Can I just tell you how blessed I feel? Our husbands served on the same base in the Marine Corps when we were both newly married, and we haven't gotten to see each other for YEARS. Some people just click again easily, and I know Angela will be a friend forever. What a gift. We got to spend Tuesday afternoon/and evening and then back to the airport Wednesday noon. But, what a wonderful 20 hours. I feel truly blessed. And, since my camera is out, I will have to wait until Angela emails me some pictures before I can show you my beautiful friend.

Experiencing Technical Difficulties

I think this is the story of my life. Right now my camera is experiencing technical difficulties, so I am not blogging as much. I have tons of things to blog, but the camera is my excuse. And, life, like the camera, seems to be experiencing technical difficulties. I can only seem to get one or two areas of my life together at a time. If I am blogging, other things are definitely being ignored. So, maybe I will try short little blogs at a time, instead of working to be an amateur novelist.