Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks


Every year I have great plans for holidays, everything from New Year’s to Christmas, including birthdays, and first and last days of school.  I’m going to make them more meaningful, more memorable, more fun.  But inevitably things don’t work out for one reason or another – schedules, health, life circumstances.  Last year Seminary threw a wrench into virtually everything (a good wrench, but a wrench, nonetheless).  This year was going to be different. Alas, it was not to be.  You see, I have a wee little babe in my belly at the moment, and man oh, man, does that wipe me out.


So, while I read some lovely articles on meaningful family traditions for Thanksgiving, I was instantly disappointed knowing these ideas were not going to make it into our celebrations this year.  But then I had a brilliant idea in the middle of dinner one night.  Maybe I wasn’t going to get a Gratitude Tree crafted from branches in my backyard, complete with hand-cut leaves for writing our many blessings on, but we could go round and round the table talking about our blessings.  And a few nights later we could do an ABC list of blessings going around the table again, but only saying a blessing that begins with each letter of the alphabet in order (zippers are an often overlooked blessing).


One quiet Sunday evening, while Sean and Djeryd were gone, the littles and I cut up some scrapbooking cardstock and made Thank You cards for anyone we could think of.  They wrote out cards for teachers and grandparents and cousins, the mailman and garbage man.  Admittedly, after Alyx’s tenth card of nothing but scribbles, I had to put a kibosh on her use of the cards and just give her blank paper for her “writings”.  But the other kids had free reign.  I even decided to leave a little basket of cards and envelopes on the table for the rest of the month so they could say “thanks” whenever the mood struck.


So even though we have not done all the marvelous grateful things I wanted to for the month of November, we have managed to squeak in a few things.  And that makes me happy.  All of it was spontaneous because planning, at the moment, is just an exercise in frustration for me (planning is over-rated anyway).  ;>  I am just grateful we’ve taken a few minutes here and there to take stock of our blessings and the people who bless our lives this month.  It was not what I imagined in my perfect, white-frosty-glowing imagination, but hopefully the kids will take away something from our impromptu “traditions” this year.  I hope they are thankful we took a moment to say “thanks”.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In Process


I thought you all might enjoy a little peak into our house as it has been over the past month, so you can be thankful that it’s not your house.  ;>


Sean and I got this crazy notion to rip out almost all of the flooring downstairs and replace it with hardwood.  (Really, if you think we’re crazy, try living with four little kids and “white” carpet in your dining room.  Believe me, if you don’t start out crazy, you will be shortly.)


We’ve also been wanting to repaint the kitchen and laundry room.


All of that beautifying makes a lot of mess.  The master bedroom is now graced with a piano, which my children wander in and play whenever they darn well please.


And you can no longer walk into the office without taking your life in your hands.


Oh, and then there are the anticipated and unanticipated hiccups.  Always an adventure.


But, things are actually moving along now.  With any luck, we’ll be done by the time my family floods our house for Thanksgivagain.  Ah!  The race is on!  (Sean, you’re amazing, by the way.)

Full story and big reveal coming soon . . . like when it’s actually finished.

Monday, November 25, 2013

LuLu Lops Her Locks

LuLu has curly hair the color of honey.  Aside from a trim here and there to keep things even and tidy, Lu has never had an honest to goodness chop-it-all-off kind of haircut.


That is, until this happened.


It was a late sort of evening.  Family Night, actually, which always seems to push things later than normal.  We thought everyone was downstairs wrapping up the evening with reminders about permissions slips that needed signing, stories from the day that hadn’t been told yet; you know how it is.


Then Anna’s voice rings out, “Mom? You’re gonna want to see this!”  We all raced upstairs. 

Now that was one thing I did not want to see.


My past self would have totally freaked out, I think.  A later me would have sighed heavily, given my three-year-old a pointless lecture and been ticked off the rest of the night.  Instead I just started laughing and sent someone downstairs to get the camera.  The giggles continued was the kids kept finding little piles of hair all around the room, mostly in front of the big mirror that sits on the floor and behind the door where Lu was hiding after the alarm was sounded.


Alyx had taken a fistful of curls off of each side right over her ears.  The back was left long and mullet flashbacks of the 80’s were flooding my brain.  I trotted her into the bathroom (the whole family followed) and we set to work laughing some more and trying to make her presentable in public.


As much as I miss her lovely locks, she’s so stinkin’ cute that I’m equally tickled with her little mess of pixie curls.  The moral of the story is: When life gives you fistfuls of perfectly good hair (that should be attached to your three-year-old’s head) . . . laugh . . . and make sure you grab the camera.

Friday, November 15, 2013


A week or two ago Alyx and I picked up a book from the library called Applesauce Season by Eden Ross Lipson.  That book made applesauce-making look so easy and so fun and so yummy that I could not pass up the apples at the grocery store yesterday.  It’s apple season so prices are great and the fruit is fresh and crispy and juicy. 

1-Floor, applesauce

We followed the instructions from the simple picture book and made the very best applesauce we’ve ever had.  Delicious!  The littles had to go to bed before we finished, so Djeryd, Sean and I took care of the last few steps.  This morning we had pancakes and fresh applesauce.  It all felt so good and homey and comforting in the way food can be when you know it is made with love.  I may not eek out another batch this season, but I feel good about making even just this one small one with my children.  A lot of apples, a little sugar and spice, a lot of love, and a memory.  Yummy!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Family Photo Shoot


My wonderful daddy took some family pictures for me a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately, we did not get a decent shot of everyone all together, but we wound up with some pretty fun ones otherwise.  Perhaps we shall try again.


This is a pretty decent reality shot – Anna’s fake smile, me trying to tell my dad what I want, and Lu . . . exploring.


This is honestly my very best all-boys shot.  The boys and their smiles were less than cooperative.  While it is not “picture perfect”, it certainly tells a story about that shoot.


Now to pick the ones I like best for hanging on some walls around here.  I want to put some of these on canvas, but I’m not sure which ones or where to hang them.  These are fun decisions to make, though.  I can’t help but smile at these beautiful people I love so much.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

One of My Nicer Moments


In something of relation to my messy projects post from the other day, I present something I have only done maybe five times in the past fifteen years: let my kids build a fort and then sleep in it.  I think five is an exaggerated number.  I think the actual number is probably closer to two.  I have a whole list of reasons why I don’t like forts and sleeping on the floor, but last month I was in a sweet, peaceful mommy mood and set all of that aside in the name of creating happy memories.


The crazy thing about it all was that it wasn’t a big deal.  At all.  The kids were great.  Everyone was happy and got along.  We got the mess all cleaned up in the morning without any complaints.  And best of all, I really enjoyed my evening that night.  Sean and Djeryd were at a campout, so once the kids went down I was all alone.  Normally I put the kids to bed upstairs, then wander downstairs and stay up way too late watching Netflix so I don’t miss Sean too much.  But on this night, I tucked the kids under the table, curled up on the couch so I could keep an eye on the wiggles and giggles, and took care of a bunch of stuff for my Primary calling at church.  I went to bed early and happy and content.  So did my sweet children.

I almost can’t wait for the next campout. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Lu Post


I know I should write down all the wacky things she says . . .


and does . . .


She’s at that delightful stage where virtually everything makes me laugh . . .


and it’s so hard to discipline all that cuteness . . .


So I just try to soak up every little bit of my wonderful little Lu.

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