Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Boogy down

Did you know....

....that you can totally......

....rock out.......... the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Handel's Messiah?

Me neither.

But Henry taught us something new about enjoying music....

and the importance of pulling up your pants when you dance.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'm reminded once again, how much our Father in Heaven loves us.
He sent His son, the Savior of the world, to be born in a stable, to be crucified, to atone for all the sins of the world.
What greater sacrafice is there than that?

So at Christmas, I hope we can remember the real reason for the presents and bows and scrumptious food.

Go here to for a wonderful little video on the real reason for Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone, see you Monday.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Faith in Humanity...Restored

It's never really been lost. My faith, that is.

There are just days when I wonder where the good people are.

I hear the news, read the stories of all the horrible things that people do to eachother, and I wonder, can we ever be good enough to counteract all that evil?

It can be a hopeless feeling, a suffocating feeling.

And then something happens, something small, perhaps not a big enough to make the news, but big enough to help me see that Heavenly Father has sprinkled more good people around the world than I realized.

Yesterday, half an hour before I headed out the door with the kids to go to their dentist appointments, (all 6 of them) I thought I should check our new insurance (since Jeff got a new job) and make sure that we could still see our most favorite dentist ever!

Well, as luck would have it, our new insurance seems to only cover walk-in dental clinic type places situated in strip malls.

So I told my children, some of whom began to cry, that we wouldn't be able to go to our dentist anymore and then I started to cry (yes, we love their dentist that much) and I tearfully called the office to inform them that we would not be able to keep our appointment and how sad we were about the whole thing.

I called Jeff, crying, Julia and Anne Marie sat and cried with me and then the phone rang.

It was our dentist's office.

The gal I had talked to had gone in to Dr. Cody, told him what happened and how I was crying and how she could hear the kids crying in the background and that she didn't know what to do and felt so bad for us, and he said "Well call her back and tell her to come in anyway, it will be an early Christmas present to help with their transition."

I. Kid. You. Not.

I was stunned, almost speechless, I started crying some more. I told the kids, they couldn't believe it. I called Jeff, he couldn't believe it.

Can you believe it?

Did you know people still did that sort of thing?

And it's not like it was just one kid I was bringing in, he knew I have 6 children.

So we piled into the car and made our 50 minute trek (yes, we love our dentist that much).

Everyone got their teeth cleaned, flouride, checkups, no cavities in sight. They left with their goody bags full of new toothbrushes, floss toothpaste and stickers.

I even got a new toothbrush, and the dear little baby that I tend got a little baby toothbrush as well.

I thanked Dr. Cody profusely, told him how much we loved them all and that we were going to try and figure out how to get our own dental insurance so that we could keep coming to him. (We love them THAT much, have I mentioned that?)

He seemed a little embarassed at our gratitude and said "Well, this is a tough thing this time of year, and money isn't everything."

I started to cry again.

And are you imagining some older dentist with a lot of world exerience, student loans paid off and money in the bank to spare?

Well guess what? He's younger than me with a wife and 2 little children.
Somebody raised him right.

It was such a Christlike example of giving and love. It humbled me to see that kind of generosity alive and well in the world.

Dr. Cody made my children's day a little brighter, instead of being a sad day.

And he didn't have to do any of it. We have insurance, I could have just found another dentist later on. He could have gone about his day and not worried about the feelings of my sweet children. But he didn't. And it made all the difference in the world to our little family.

Now doesn't that just make you want to be a better person, to run out and help someone else?

It's really the true spirit of Christmas.

I saw a sticker on my neighbor's car yesterday that said "Keep Christ in Christmas"

I couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Last year, having recently moved into our new house, I had a picture perfect idea of how I wanted things decorated for Christmas.

But knowing that children have their own ideas, I came up with a brilliant plan of "their tree" and "my tree".

It was fun having two trees, one blue, one red-ish with all the homemade ornaments, one in the family room, one in the living room.

I could decorate to my hearts content, have my tree all "perfect" and color coordinated and they could cluster too many ornaments on one part of their tree, and I didn't have to worry about it.

Something has happened to me over this past year, though.
I'm not sure how to explain it.

I guess, I am coming to a greater understanding of my own issues with control, the nature of that control, and when it matters to control a situation, and when it does not.

This year, I realized, finally, that the experience with my children and my husband of decorating the house for Christmas is not about the end result.

It is not about whether every light is blinking, whether every ornament is placed in the correct zone of the tree. Or whether everyone's stockings hang in order of birth-when in fact some children are happier if their stocking hangs on the A of the SANTA stocking holders, even if it puts her behind Henry and Nora in birth order.

We only had one rule this year with the tree. And that was to hang anything breakable up higher so that little hands could not get to it. But other than that, we just went for it.

And I have to say, it may have been the most fun ever, for me.
I can't speak for everyone else, but when I let go of the control that I always seem to hold onto so tightly, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and enjoyed my children in the process.

Now, I'm not saying that there will never be another year of two trees, or that have a perfectly symmetrical tree is wrong in any way. I'm just sharing what brought happiness to my family this year.

And for your viewing pleasure, photos of our perfectly, not-so-perfect Christmas decorating 2009.

I love Christmas, I do I do.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a young mother.

Her tale is as follows:

With a spring in her step and a smile on her face she greeted the day happily.

Bathtime for the whole family was an almost daily event. Laundry was done, house was tidy, dinner on the table at 5:30 when hubby walked through the door.

Children were in bed at 7:30 so that dad and mom could spend some time together.

Time outs were given at appropriate times, hitting and fighting were not tolerated, and inconsquential behavior was treated accordingly-it was ignored.

Life was blissful, there were no infectious diseases, or small bugs running rampant throughout the house. Lysol was used when necessary and everything was clean and fresh. Potty training occured with a good amount of ease and everyone slept through the night.

Mom got her hair done every 8 weeks, she exercised, bought healthy food for the family and would have been mortified to go out in public without makeup on.

Grocery shopping was done quite easily, even with 2 children in tow.

Fast forward 10 years.

I'm currently a mess. Yes, that young mother was me. I didn't know it at the time, but life was pretty awesome. As close to practically perfect in every way as a person could get.

Now, currently, this very minute, I am sitting at the computer,
teeth unbrushed,
Henry in just a shirt and underwear because he has already pooped his pants today,
house a mess,
dinner leftovers still sitting around,
piles and piles of clean laundry needing to be put away after days of washing everything in hot water trying to eradicate tiny little bugs in my house,
and yes, my worst nightmare.
Passed on by some unknowing child at school to one of my children. Now we are in the maddening efforts of trying to rid our lives of it.
Spraying, washing, combing, quarantining, picking through hair and walking around constantly on edge and thouroughly grossed out.

Do you know how much hair 6 children have combined? To look through, to de-louse?

Right now I am wishing for 2 things:
1. That I could slap myself 10 years ago for being so smug.
2. That I could kindly ask anyone whose child may ever get lice, to make a pledge now, that they will inform the school(which I did), so that other parents can be on the look out, so that other families don't spend horrendous amounts of time and effort on something that could have been prevented, or at least forwarned.

And finally, do you know how sad it is to have to shave your 3 year olds head because you are so frustrated that you just take the most drastic measure possible? Then only to have him cry"I want my hair back on!"

Please, please, teach your children to not share hats, brushes, coats, scarves or anything else that can pass on the little pests.

And now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to scour some more.

Post edit: After going through this, talking to the school nurse, and researching online, I have found the following things to be true:

1. Lice like clean hair. They are not attracted to your child because your child's hair, your house, or anything about you is unclean. Only "dirty" people having lice is a myth.

2. Washing with the lice shampoo does not get rid of lice permanently. You must also remove all of the nits(eggs). THe most effective way is by hand. They look a lot like dandruff, but they stick to the hair, they do not move easily. If you do not get rid of all the nits, they will hatch and you will have lice problems all over again.

3. You cannot get lice from someone else simply by touching them. You must share something like a brush(which was the culprit in our case), a hat, a scarf a coat, a pillow.

4. Please don't send your child to school until they are nit free. And please don't let other kids come over until you are sure your family is lice free. I had to make 5 phone calls, plus talk to a couple of people in person to inform them that either their children had been at my house when we were not aware of the problem, or to prevent them from coming over as scheduled once we realized the problem. Plus I had to call the school to inform them of the problem.
-Humiliating? Yes. Necessary and the right thing to do? Yes.

5.Finally, if your child has lice, your own head will itch incessantly. You will imagine tiny bugs crawling all over you, you will dream about it, you will think you see the little critters in every bit of dust, fluff, fuzz or what have you. You will ask your husband to check your head over and over.

I know this can be a normal part of childhood. And I know there are worse things. But some parents pride and worry about telling others is why we're in this predicament. So I'm sharing my agony mostly to educate and to give awareness.

(Now try not to scratch your head after reading this. ) I didn't give you lice through this blog. Promise. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Right now, it is 17 degrees here.
The place with "mild" winters.
Granted, this has been record breaking cold for our part of the Northwest.
But the days are mighty cold.
And it has me wishin', and hopin', and hopin' and thinkin' about other days.
Days where you can do this:

And this.

And this.

And this.

And did I mention this?

Yeah, I'm over winter already.
And I'm wishing for the heat.
And yes, I know it's not even Christmas yet.
But a girl can dream of warm, sunny days, can't she?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Apparently, addictions can be passed on from parent to child.

Do you think that is a nature or nurture thing?

Monday, December 7, 2009


I am always amazed at my own ability to take my blessings for granted.

Of course it requires an awakening of sorts for me to realize that I am taking things for granted.
Sometimes it is an event in my own life that leads to the awareness, other times it is an event in someone else's life.

All things converged this weekend for me.

Awareness of my blessings, realization of what I take for granted, seeing a glimpse into the sorrow and tragedy that others face.

This weekend Maile and I and our oldest girls went to a time share in Port Townsend to celebrate Megan's birthday.

It was a very interesting weekend to be sure. There might have been some stomach flu present, I might have learned what the term nit-picky originated from. Gross. And I might have felt a little sorry for myself that de-lousing and no sleep were part of our weekend.

But Sunday morning I talked to Jeff for a while on the phone. And we realized that yesterday was the 6 month anniversary of our dear friend dying in a plane crash, leaving behind a wife and 2 children. Jeff called her and it was sobering for us both to know of the pain they are still in. That sadness is such a part of their existence still. But also love, memories and no regrets.

Then there is the story of a little family that lost their husband and father over Thanksgiving weekend. He died spelunking in a cave in Utah leaving behind a pregnant wife and 14 month old little girl. There is a gal who held an auction for them on her blog, she herself having lost her 14 month old daughter a year ago to a drowning accident.

I could go on and on and on with stories like these. Loss, families torn apart, heartache and sorrow. I cried and cried this morning reading these stories. I cried for them, I cried for me that I'm so pathetic and self-centered sometimes that I fail to fully realize how blessed I really am.

Tragedy happens to good people everyday. People who didn't deserve it, people who had all the hopes and dreams we all do. Who loved their families and made plans for the future.

But I think, one of the biggest tragedies is if we don't realize how much we really have.
Right now, I am blessed to have 6 healthy children and a faithful husband who loves me.
So instead of letting little things frustrate me, or irritation at a messy house cause me to be cranky at my family, or sigh heavily as I make dinner for the 10,000th time, maybe I will smile more, giggle more, hug my children instead of growling at them, and not take myself so seriously.

Do you think I can do it?
I'm going to do it.
I am.
No more forgetting how fortunate I am.
No more feeling sorry for myself when I have everything in the world.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

View of a 6 year old

My kids are obsessed with the camera lately. I have such a variety of bizarre pictures on my camera, you wouldn't even believe it, you wouldn't.

But I have noticed that out of everyone, myself and Jeff included, Anne marie is the best at taking pictures.

None of her pictures are ever fuzzy and they have a certain artistic quality to them.

I'm biased, of course.

And I like the material she has chosen.

Pure talent, I tell you.
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