Friday, August 12, 2016

Worth a Look: Olympics, The Dance of Doing all the things, Wrestling, and Never Trust a Map


The Olympics


*  Need a laugh?


* And speaking of race walking, 10 of the Strangest Events at the 2016 Olympics

On Motherhood:

* I love this!  Turn Around:

""You can't think of what you need to accomplish as a list," my mom told me. "It's a circle."
When you're too close to what's happening, it feels like that circle is really a whirlpool. Your days leave you feeling dizzy.
But step back--way back, tired mama--and what you see is a dance.

It's a beautiful dance of nurturing, growing, and loving, this thing we call motherhood. It's maddening and wonderful at the same time."
*  Life Saving Tips for the Mother of a Big Family.  I agree with most of these, especially #17: 
And about those mom systems.
You will encounter dozens of mom systems (chore charts, reward systems, schedules) that seem like The Answer. Please remember every system requires a system manager. The system only works because the manager is managing. No system works on its own.

On Politics:

A bit of humor in what is definitely not a funny presidential race this year.

Interesting:

* Never Trust a Map! (from my sister-in-law, who always posts mind-boggling things on Facebook)


Inspiring

My Deceased Son's Answer to What It's All About.

Will You Engage in The Wrestle?  Loved this devotional by Sheri Dew, CEO of Deseret Book.

Champion wrestlers tell me that it isn't necessarily the strongest wrestler who wins. It is the wrestler who knows how to leverage his strength to overpower his opponent. Spiritual wrestling leverages the strength of true doctrine to overpower our weaknesses, our wavering faith, and our lack of knowledge. Spiritual wrestlers are seekers. They are men and women of faith who want to understand more than they presently do and who are serious about increasing the light and knowledge in their lives.  
&
Seekers have certain habits that are key to learning to communicate with God. For starters, they engage in the wrestle, meaning they work at it. They immerse themselves regularly in the scriptures, because the scriptures are the textbook for the Lord's language. They also work to be increasingly pure-pure in their heart and thoughts, pure in what they say, watch, read, and listen to. Purity invites the Spirit. And then, pure seekers listen. One of my former institute students periodically turns everything electronic off. TV off. Music off. Phone off. Computer off. She says, "I like to let the Lord know I'm listening."
As you cultivate these spiritual habits, there are two questions that will help open the heavens. First, ask the Lord to teach you what it feels and sounds like for you when He is speaking to you via the Holy Ghost, and then watch how He tutors you. And, second, if you've never asked the Lord how He feels about you, that is a great question to ask. In time, He will tell you, and as He does, you'll learn more about speaking His language. 
When the Lord sees that you want to communicate with Him, He will teach you how.          

* My husband spent two years in Brazil as a missionary (it was helpful to have him around to translate some of the culture -- especially the Oopah Loompahs -- at the Olympic opening ceremonies).

This story is especially meaningful to me, given his service:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

One a Day, Weeks 26-30

Our summer break is nearly over.  DH has taken our older kids on a Daddy Trip to California.  I finally sorted all the mail, added all the back to school stuff to my calendar, got some scheduling changes made for two of the middle schooler's, worked on setting some fall goals and setting up a routine and making assignments, and now I sit down to spend a bit of time on this neglected blog.

This year will the last year with all of my kids living under one roof.  It's hitting me a little hard to realize how fast the years pass but how slow the days.  I'm grateful for the chance I have to document in words and photos the beautiful, crazy, intense, relaxed, playful, hard work of it all.


Benji is the center of attention, as always!

"Don't take my picture!"

This lovely woman lives across the street from me.  She treats my kids as if they were her grandkids and is always telling me I'm a great mom.  She's easy to love!  On this day, she ended up with 6 girls from the neighborhood at her house baking and decorating cookies.  No wonder they all adore her.

Best friends

Love that face!

Our neighbors found a stray male rabbit hanging around their semi-wild females.  For obvious reasons, they wanted a different home for the male.  We seem to have a habit of acquiring hand-me-down animals right around the twins' birthday.  Sarah named him Horace and he is a sweet little thing.  Happy Birthday, Allison and Sarah!



The five older kids volunteered at the Colonial Days festival.  Allison enjoyed demonstrating how to twist rope.

Hanging out

Harmony wrote a book

My two helpers, scouting out locations right before an extended family photo shoot

This is my desktop background right now.  I love it.

That weekend when my brother and his wife and eight kids came to visit from Texas

Joey on TV, take two -- this time, he showed off one of his favorite top secret mountain creeks.

My brother's family

Breanna was our horseback riding teacher before she went to Mexico on a mission for our Church.  I was thrilled to do her bridals two days before her wedding.  I think we even managed to keep her dress pretty clean! More from her session here.


Stake Picnic

At a family reunion

I love my in-laws!

I forgot to take a photo on this day, so you'll have to put up with one of Joey's.  In between life-guarding, he's gotten in as much fishing as possible.

Home from a birthday party

Did I mention Benji is the center of everything around here?

Sunday dinners are always yummy, usually cooked by DH and Lillian

He's a year old!

Playing games in the backyard

Swimming

Best friends.  These two melt my heart all the time.  Both are full to the brim of sweetness!

Joey insisted on waking Benji up early in the morning for some last-minute snuggles before he headed off to New York for a month (he's off at a leadership camp he got into).  There is nothing so wonderful as a teenage boy in love with his baby brother.

Sweet baptism day for our friends.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

One a Day, Weeks 18-25

Helping Lillian with Teacher Appreciation Posters

Our friends helped us set up a swing in the backyard trees



Happy Birthday Katie!





Kid's Marathon

Mother's Day Photo

Happy 14th!




We had big dreams for our garden this year, but sadly, most of the seeds failed to sprout



FHE "talent"


Preschool Graduation

Early Birthday Party ~ Easier to carry out before summer break

And why not celebrate Harmony's summer birthday the next day while we are at it?

Oldest and youngest

New Fridges ~ 40% more space.



Harmony's giraffe creation


Rockhounding with friends





Favorite Geodes from our rockhunting trip

Picnic at the park

Utah Lake Festival

Hiking near Park City

Fishing at Pass Lake, Mirror Lake Highway

Crafts at the hotel

I got to spend several days with just these five in Park City.


Opening up the last of our geodes

Various flowers from our yard have been on the table since April

These two don't always get along so well, so these moments of friendship and fun are precious!

Our cousins came and brought a ukelele

Joey's largest carp catch ever

LOVE him!

Cousins

New shelves





A little fuzzy in the focus, but oh, that expressive tongue!

Heading to the pool


Back from girls' camp, tired but happy (and the only one of the three who would let me take her picture).

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