Friday, October 28, 2011

Through the eyes of a child

Two nights ago, Henry came into our room for the umpteenth time after being put to bed repeatedly.

Stories had been read, daddy had laid down with him for a while, he'd been given his nightly drink. But for some reason, little man just kept coming back in.

I don't know about you all, but we tend to get a little frustrated when this happens.

He would hop onto the end of our bed with his big ol' cheesy grin and just sit there and look at us.

"Henry get back in bed."


"Henry, it's time to go to sleep."

"But I want to sleep with you guys."

"No Henry."


Now as a disclaimer before I tell you what I said next, we rarely spank our kids. I don't like it, Jeff doesn't like it. But for some of the children, just the threat of a spanking works just as good. And then we cross our fingers that they won't call us on it, because most likely they will see that we got nothing but empty threats.

But I was tired. So I said, "Henry, get back in bed or I'm going to spank your bum!"

He looked at me for a second, and then said in the truest, devoid of manipulation, most innocent little boy voice,

"But I thought you loved me?"

And that's when the dagger sunk into my heart. Jeff and I just looked at each other. "Did you hear that?" Yes.

"I don't ever actually spank him. Why would he say that?" All said in hushed tones. Even though he was still sitting there staring at us.

I don't even remember what was said after that. Or how Henry got in bed finally. But I will never forget, as long as I live, "But I thought you loved me?"

And looking back at my own perceptions as a child, I know he was really trying to work out the obvious disparity between my frequent words of love, and  my threat of a spanked bum.

There is a quote that has stuck with me by Charles Dickens that says, “In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice.” 

I love Charles Dickens anyway, but oh how perceptive he is of truths we sometimes don't see. Henry knew that being spanked for not going to bed was an injustice. And how could anyone who professed their love for him, then treat him unjustly? 

It's a good question to ask ourselves. When is spanking an outward showing of our love?  Seems to contradict doesn't it? 

And I'm not trying to start a spanking vs. no spanking debate. I have spanked my kids. Am I proud of it? No. But I have also been a frustrated, imperfect, harried, tired parent. And I've made mistakes, learned from them, and then made new ones.

I just knew, at the moment Henry said that to me, I would never spank, or threaten to spank him again. Anything I would have to gain by it, would be lost in the midst of a little boy who wondered if that means I don't love him. And that, is completely unacceptable. 

Will he always want to sleep with us, be with us, cuddle and kiss us? 
But if we're careful, he will always know we love him. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

This is a shout out to Yvette and Mikayla. We all miss you guys. Utah is lucky.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Who I met!!!

When we were in Utah, out of sheer luck we got to meet Peter Breinholt. My darling friend wanted to go to a live taping of Good Things Utah for her birthday and he just happened to be performing on the show that day!

AND he happened to be performing my favorite song of his, but it's also one of my favorite songs of all time!!!

When he started singing my girls and I just got so excited, we couldn't believe it.

I have the biggest, cheesiest grin because I was so happy! I gushed all over the poor man about how much we love him and his music, and then I apologized for gushing, and he said, "No, no. I can always use a little gushing." It. Was. Awesome. Seriously.

Listen and fall in love the way we have!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween! Wait, what?

So due to some scheduling conflicts, our Harvest Party at church was a little earlier than normal this year.

Which meant that last Wednesday I realized we needed costumes for 8 people by Saturday. Um. Yeah. Can you say STRESS?

Well, it turned out to be not so bad considering I have very awesome children who are much more adaptable and easy going than I give them credit for.

I told them that we had almost zero money for costumes this year, and that everyone would have to be outfitted from what we already had in our overly large costume collection.

No one even blinked an eye. And when all was said and done we only spent 5 dollars on a little Halloween makeup and a hat.

And everyone looked great! Charlie went as one of our favorite literary characters-Skullduggery Pleasant, the Skeleton Detective. While Anne Marie's costume doubled as a opera singer and a brunette Rapunzel, depending on her mood at the moment.

Julia had her heart set on being a vampire. *sigh* long gone are the days of princesses for this girl. Last year she was a mercenary, this year a vampire. What's next? The swamp thing?  Kate is all about princesses now. And yes, that is my prom dress from 1992.

Nora was an orange witch thanks to Grandma's birthday present. And Henry ended up being a scary muscle guy. He had about 4 different wardrobe changes before settling on such an "original" costume.

And finally, Jeff and I. My sister gave me the great idea of going as a pregnant 50's housewife and a milkman.
However, Jeff felt that was a tad inappropriate for a church function. Whatevs Mr. Appropriate pants.

So I went as a pregnant housewife anyway, just to show him! (Not really. I actually wear everything I used for my costume, so it was just easier)

And Jeff managed to fit into a Central Washington University band uniform that was obviously made for a 5 ft tall girl. We were both a hit, but he was a show stealer.

So there you have it. If you are ever low on mulah and need a good costume, come on over! ( A few people actually did!) We seriously have more costumes than people and can mix and match like nobody's business!

I'll be surprised if any of the kids wear the same costumes for the actual day of Halloween. But no biggie. We have plenty to spare.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why Utah?

I feel that I am finally recovered from a ton of driving, little sleep and lots of fun with my oldest two girls.

Kate and Julia and I and a good friend of ours all went to Utah last week. Why? I will tell you!

About two years ago my friend Cindy showed up at church suddenly looking smokin! Not that she looked bad before, but she didn't stand out, does that make sense?

When I asked her what caused the changed she said, "Dressing your". I said, "huh."

So I went home looked it up, saw that you had to pay for something or other, and kind of forgot about it.

But a year went by, and EVERY TIME I saw Cindy, she looked amazing. No joke. Hair perfect, jewelry on, perfect colors, everything. So I asked her again to tell me about it. And this time, I listened.

And what I discovered in a nutshell is that Dressing Your Truth was life changing for me and my girls. Yes, LIFE CHANGING. I exaggerate not.

Dressing Your Truth is based on the research of a woman name Carol Tuttle. She found that there are 4 distinct personalities. We all have all 4 in us, but we lead with one. It's similar to the red, yellow, white personality thing. And there are other variations of it as well.

She found that each type had certain shared characteristics. Things that were a distinct part of who we are.

And she made it easy to remember. The Types are Type 1, Type2, Type 3 and Type 4.

Type 1 is bright and animated  (That's me, and Julia and Nora and Jeff).

Type 2 is  soft and subtle (that's Kate and Henry)

Type 3 is rich and dynamic . (that's charlie)

Type 4 is  bold and striking  (that's Anne Marie)

She calls them Energy types because of the energy, so to speak, that each emits.

Type 1's have the highest amount of energy and are fun to be around (aren't I fun?) and they are the talkers of the 4 types . You all know that's true about me!

Type 2's are still and soft and subtle. They are the types that everyone likes to be around because they keep us all connected and getting along.

Type 3's are the go for it, get it done types. They have a high amount of energy as well.

Type 4's are the perfecters, they can look at things and see how it will be better. They have the stillest quality to them. Not much loudness and jumping around with this folks. They are very reflective by nature.

I am a Type 1 with a secondary 4. So I lead with those Type 1 tendencies but I have enough type 4 that it becomes a major part of who I am as well. We discovered what Types we were by reading Carol's book, "It's just my nature." I could probably tell people what type they are, but it's best when people discover it for themselves.

So that's an overview. How does the dressing part come in? Well, Carol found that certain colors and fabrication and design lines worked better with different types. Types 1 were so buoyant and light and animated that certain colors or fabrics were too heavy on us. The clothing contradicted the nature of the person.

And this same principle applies to the other types. Type 2's are so soft and love comfort. They even talk quietly and hate conflict more than any other type. So a type 2 wearing something really stiff and scratchy would not match who they are.

Type 3's are so dynamic and make such a presence that if you put them in muted colors that were flowy and soft, it confuses you when they open their mouth and are not muted or soft.

Type 4's are naturally so structured in their nature, always on time, stick to schedules better than any other type, that if you throw pastels or a lot of animation(visual movement) in their clothing, you would expect them to talk more, act more bubbly. But when they stick to the bold colors, and structured clothing, then you are not surprised when they sit so still and say such bold things.

Again just an overview, there is so much info that it's hard to explain it all. So let me show you.

In Utah there is an actual Dressing Your Truth store. They sell makeup, jewelry clothes and they have a salon. It is also where they film club nights and other events that help you learn more about your type.

The girls and I have been wanting to go down there since we bought our courses. We wanted to get our hair done and meet Carol Tuttle and get to attend an event. So we went! And it was so fun. The gal who did our hair is an expert in different "types" and we've seen so many of her before and afters that we knew she would do a good job.

Now, we've all been dressing our truth for some time, so we already knew how to do our hair and makeup and what clothes to wear. But to make it fun, Nicole the stylist, had us put on the "wrong" clothes so to speak, and take off our jewelry so that she could get a before picture. Plus, we all had funky hair from traveling and not doing it that day since we knew we were going to get our hair done.

So the before pictures are a little set up, but it's not much different then before we knew about Dressing Your Truth.

So here is Kate's before picture. She is wearing a Type 3 shirt. Type 3 colors have a fall colors quality to them, some look as if they've been dipped in a tea bath. But on Kate, it makes it so that you don't notice her, you just notice the shirt.

here is Kate's after. See how flowing and soft she looks? Her personality is the same. She is flowing and soft and gentle. Her clothes and hair reflect that about her.

Here is Julia's before. She is wearing black-a type 4 color, which is a no no for type 1's. See how it kind of washes her out? It's too still, and heavy on her. It contradicts her light, happy nature.

and here is Julia's after. Again, her own clothes and jewelry that she put together, she did her own makeup. See how her clothes and jewelry support her animated face? do you see it? Say you see it. Please?

And here is my before. I'm wearing a type 2 shirt, which is just too flowy for me and the color makes me look a little drab. Plus, I think it makes me look frumpy.

and here is my after. I went a little dark in my hair for fall, but I'm thinking I will add a little more blond next time.  Notice how my highlights are random? That is a signature thing for Type 1's. We say random things, and are happiest when we allow for some randomness in our lives. So my hair supports that. I think I look like I instantly lost 10 pounds as well wearing the right shirt. See how much brighter my face is? Even my makeup shows up better.

This has been so good for me and my girls, my whole family in fact. We feel good about ourselves every day, plus I have learned to understand things about my family members that baffled me before. Like, why is Charlie so persistent in whatever he wants? Translation: why does he not stop asking once I say no? It's because he is a type 3 and will work very hard for whatever he wants in life, and not likely take no for an answer. We all know people like that right? They get things done.

And why does Anne Marie seemingly ignore me? It's because she is a Type 4 and is her own authority. She already knows what she is supposed to do. It still frustrates me, but at least I know why she does it.

And the other great thing? Kate told me that so many girls at school complain about their hair, and clothes and how fat they are, etc, etc. And Kate said, "I don't have to complain. I like the way I look." Hallelujah!! What parent doesn't want to hear that from their teenage daughter?

I could go on and on, but I won't. Check out the button on my sidebar and see for yourself. It's really one of the greatest things I've ever learned about.

And on Monday I will share some other highlights of our trip. I got to meet someone famous to us! You probably won't know who he is, but you should!!!

Have a great weekend!

P.S. I don't wander around looking to see who is dressing wrong. I promise. Dressing Your Truth is about you becoming your own beauty expert. So I worry about myself. I'm not judging the rest of you!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mommy's home!

I was pretty excited to get home on Sunday. I missed all of my children so much. Nora missed having someone to sleep with, so I happily obliged her yesterday afternoon, and we napped on the couch.

And wonderful Jeff documented it!

Why is it that I sleep so soundly with a little one snuggled in my arms?

It's good to be back.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Silly baby

I miss this phase as well. When everything is so funny. When they laugh so easily. Well, I guess she's still in this phase to some degree, simply because she has a laughing-type disposition.

But I still miss it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sometimes drool is ok

I'm out of town this week, visiting a favorite place of mine. But I thought we'd go down memory lane a bit.

Nora was in the 4-6 month range in this photo. Where does the time go? I miss the little drool spots she would leave on my bed, and me, when she slept.

Monday, October 10, 2011



Kate is beautiful.

Kate is grateful.

Kate is easy to please with a slightly lopsided, but completely homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting!

Kate is loved by her family.

Kate is loved by her awesome friends.

Kate is fortunate to have friends who know what she likes.

Kate loves her new beach cruiser that her Grandma and Grandpa Allen and her Grandma and Grandpa Granger gave her.

Kate is fun. Proving this by having a at home, live action Clue game for her birthday party.

Kate's best friend is her sister.

And if you haven't guessed by now, Kate is a fabulous dresser!

And... Kate is 14!

Happy Birthday Kate! We love and adore you!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Good things

I received an email folks. An email that I initially thought was a hoax. And then I read it more carefully.

But first, a back story.

Last April, my mom and sister and I attended an event in Seattle called Time Out For Women. Basically it's the most boss conference around. Speakers who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints travel to different cities encouraging women and telling us how awesome we are, what a great job we're doing, and why our Heavenly Father loves us so much.

We spend two days listening to speakers, hearing uplifting music, and basically laughing a lot staying up late.

I went feeling down in the dumps and discouraged about what my role in life was, and I left feeling renewed as a mother and like a million dollar woman.

So imagine my utter shock when the email I received was from the folks over at Time Out For Women, or asking me, ME!, to be a featured blogger on their website!!!!!!!!

They had come across a certain post of mine and felt it fit with the ideals of Time Out For Women. I was so completely overwhelmed and said yes immediately of course!

And guess what? That is!!!! So although you've hopefully read it here on my blog, will you head on over to and read it again? I'm in the featured blog section, yay me!

I feel so fortunate to be asked to be part of something I really believe in, even if only for the week that my blog is featured.

The mission of Time Out For Women is such a fantastic one. (from the email I received)It is "to create a place, whether at our events or on our website, that women can feel the unity and strength that they as women have to become and do good in the world. It’s a place where women can reconnect and recharge. The 2011 Theme for Time Out For Women is Choose to Become. We are inviting women everywhere to choose one thing they want to do, change, or learn to become a little closer to the woman they are meant to be. features blogs where women share something about their process of becoming."

Seriously, I'm on cloud nine today. 

Won't you join me over at Please, pretty please? And then will you come back here and tell me what you thought? 

You know I love all of you so much-my family and friends and those I have come to know through blogging, and those that read my blog quietly, but I know you're there! Thank you so much!

I love having a place to share who I am, who we are as a family, and all the little joys that add up to be Amy's Spoonful of Sugar. Thanks for going on the journey with me!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


This is my facebook photo. It's deceptively warm and inviting. Don't be fooled!

Whilst at the grocery store yesterday, I realized that I look friendly. And that means that random people say things to me because I look approachable.

One woman, who was there with her husband and son, looked at Nora and asked me why she wasn't in school. I told her, "Oh, she's only three." Cuz I was thinking that she thought Nora looked old enough to be in school. No.

"Oh, she's old enough!" She then pointed to her son and said, "He's only two, but the moment he turns three he's going to school! There has to be a preschool somewhere nearby me, and when I find it, he's going!" She said this in that exacerbated sigh-like way that says her son is a handful.

I personally was so confused by this since I'm already feeling anxious about Nora and Henry being gone from me. So I just gave a half smile and kept going. Wondering why people talk to me in the store, and offer me their opinions about what my child should be doing

As we turned a corner, Henry was playing a game with me that is slightly embarrassing in public. He runs at me from behind, and then I stopped suddenly and he slams his little fists into my backside. He finds it hilarious, I don't think it's quite as funny, but I let him do it anyway cuz it keeps him happy while we're shopping.

Well, a woman saw us doing this, and figured it meant I was laid back enough to talk to, and she scampered to turn her cart around and catch up with me. She then proceeded to tell me that even though the economy was not doing well, her company was thriving during it and would I be interested in being in her down line? I had to ask her what company. Melaleuca.  First of all, if you're trying to tell me that you're doing well at your business, you should attempt to portray yourself as doing well. Hair done, tidy clothes. Otherwise you just look desperate. Which she probably was, and my heart went out to her. So trying to be nice, I said, "You know, I have 6 kids, I'm pretty busy and don't have time." She replied with, "Well would you at least be a customer? The products could ship right to your house!"

This is all standing in the aisle at the grocery store. I politely declined, and she walked away dejected. It honestly took guts to do that. I could NEVER do that. Selling things is not my strong point. I can't stand rejection.

But I decided that I need to scowl a lot when I go to the grocery store. I need to look unapproachable. In the past I have had more comments than I can count about my kids, I've been approached about selling Mary Kay twice and some other at home business another time. And while I appreciate people's rudeness  thoughts about my children, and their efforts to expand their at home business, I'm just not interested.

Grocery shopping is already a less than serene event for me, and to have my focus and thoughts interrupted by advice and business opportunities is not ideal.

Now if you want to stop me and tell me how lovely and adorable my children are, or how great I look, or that I have toilet paper stuck to my shoe, be my guest.

Otherwise, I'm too busy, too grumpy, too mean and definitely NOT approachable!

(who am I kidding? I will always smile and nod politely. It's just who I am. How about you?)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kate is so nonchalant while I practice karate moves around her!

Ok, I don't know karate, or really any moves of any type. Well, except some outdated dance moves. Can you say Roger Rabbit? Running man? If you know those moves, you're either into the 80's/90's or you're as old as me.

What was the point of my post? Oh,right, I didn't have one.

Except that maybe I really love caffeine free diet coke? and my daughter? and talking with my hands?
Or is it that I need my roots done? or that I should wear makeup in public?

Wait, I remember, today is October 3rd! 28 more days til Halloween!

 No, that wasn't it either.

I can't remember, which is pretty much my life these days. But you love me anyway, right?
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