Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Memories (Wordless Wednesday)

We spent the weekend before Thanksgiving in Park City. We enjoyed lots of art projects . . .

Swimming . . .










sledding . . .



And having a great time.

Thanksgiving was spent at our house with our family and the addition of my in-laws. DH cooked a seriously delicious deep-fried turkey plus a few other things, I added some amazing rolls and brownies, and the food was wonderful.






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After eating, Lillian pulled out her gratitude jar, a tradition she started last year. She'd asked us all to name things we were grateful for. As she read off each item, we were supposed to guess who had said it. Some of them were very funny.


It was a lovely day. Our house felt full to overflowing even with "just" our family and the grandparents, and I couldn't help imagining the gatherings we might have in the future, with dozens of grandkids and our grown-up kids joining us for fun and celebration. What a blessing it is to belong to a family.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Why am I doing this again? (Friday Favorites)

I loved what Janene Baadsgaard, a mother of ten, has to say in this experience she had while expecting yet another child:

One day I was waiting in line for my child’s evaluation with his new kindergarten teacher. A stylish young mother and her son sat in the chairs next to us because the teacher was running behind. I was obviously eight months pregnant and hovering on the huge side of big.

This young mother stared at my belly and asked, “Why do you want to do that again?” Her question caught me off guard. I blushed. “This is it for me,” she added. “Boy am I ever ready to get this last one in school. Now it’s my turn for me.” She was wearing beautifully tailored clothes, her hair was elegantly styled and her long fake fingernails were polished pink with jeweled flowers on the tips. “Just bought that,” she finished pointing to a shiny red sports car in the parking lot. “Nice huh.”

I looked down at my protruding mid-section and asked myself . . . Why am I doing this again? My worn maternity clothes were stained orange across the belly with my preschooler’s spaghetti from lunch. I still had dirt under my fingernails from playing in the sandbox. My wind-blown hair was stuck to several sticky kisses on my cheeks. The old van I drove was covered with mud and still smelled like hot dog and marshmallow smoke from our last family camp out. Yet, I knew exactly why I was doing this again.

I cleared my throat several times, turned to this woman and asked, “What if a highly important person brought you to the opening of a diamond mine and said you could go inside and gather as many diamonds as you wanted? But, there was one condition. You only had a certain amount of time before your opportunity was over and then you couldn’t gather any more diamonds. Would you do it?”

“Sure, who wouldn’t,” the stylish young mother answered.

“What if some of the diamonds were hidden in the rocks and you had to work really hard to find them and keep them?”

“I’d be willing to do whatever it took to get those diamonds because then I’d be rich,” the young mother answered. “Even one diamond is worth a fortune.”

“That’s why I’m doing this again,” I answered patting my abdomen.

I’m not sure that woman understood what I was trying to say. But I noticed that my little boy, who was seated next to me, took my hand and quite literally beamed.

Children always know when they’re somebody’s treasure.

Wiping runny noses, changing messy diapers, fixing endless meals, sorting dirty laundry, soothing crying infants, waiting up for teenagers, supervising homework, cleaning up after the stomach flu, washing dishes, bringing in a paycheck and picking up after another toddler tornado doesn’t seem like important work. It is. Loving and serving children of all ages is the only work that really matters. The value of each person’s soul is priceless.

So, the next time you’re in the middle of cleaning up yet another mess, repeat these words . . . Children are my diamonds. I’ll do whatever it takes to nurture their souls because then I’ll be rich with love forever.


Many people ask me if I'm planning on more kids. Up until a few weeks ago, my answer has been, "Sure, I'm only 33; I've got time." But being confronted with the number 34, which seems not so far from 35 and so on, I decided to see how much time I really do have.

This site points out:

Declining fertility is more of an issue for women than for men. Assuming that [husband and wife are actively trying to conceive] and that there are no medical or health problems, statistics show that:

  • At the age of 25, a woman has a 30% –35% chance of conceiving per cycle.
  • At the age of 35, a woman has a 15% –20% chance of conceiving per cycle.
  • At the age of 45, a woman has a 3% –5% chance of conceiving per cycle.
And I also found this chart interesting, showing the likelihood of a woman getting pregnant over the course of a year:
Assuming those averages prove true in my case, it shows me that I really don't have that much time. The years to be gathering our treasures are surprisingly short.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall Trip to Cedar Breaks & Bryce Canyon (Wordless Wednesday)

We had a fabulous time staying a week in Brian Head in mid October. We went hiking every day, swimming nearly every day (an indoor pool made that nice), and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Many of our hikes were at high elevation -- as much as 11,000 feet -- and with Katie going through a "mommy-only" phase, I carried her on a lot of them. It made me very grateful for the fitness I've worked so hard for this year.

I went up a day early with the seven youngest kids. DH, who had some work things to finish up and Lillian, who had a school project to finish, came up later. Our first hike was to an amazing waterfall.






Cedar Breaks:






My five little girls in a row. I'm so excited they'll get another sister in February:

Bryce Canyon:





Notice the chipmunk posing perfectly for this one?




On the Twisted Forest Trail, among the Ancient Bristlecone Pines, some of the oldest trees in the world:
And we saw lots of these:

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