Showing posts from November, 2008

Morning Madness

Yesterday, I decided to brave the crowds and do the early morning Black Friday thing. I've done it in the past and found it a little thrilling to go in search of that must-have doorbuster. My only rule is that I never go to Walmart. I've been there, done that, and I must say it's a little frightening. At other stores -- Shopko, Target, and the like -- there's a sort of "we're all in this together" feel from the other shoppers. People will hand you items through the crowd if you want and the mood is jolly. The hunt for bargains is an exciting treasure hunt.

At Walmart, it's a whole different story. It's like someone broke a pinata at a birthday party for mean greedy kids. It's every man for himself. So I avoid Walmart like the plague on Black Friday.

Yesterday, I broke that rule because my two boys both want Lego sets for Christmas. Walmart had a two-day special on the King's Castle Siege Set -- $110 at Amazon, but only $50 at Walm…

How to enjoy a rainy morning

I'm pretty laid back as a mom. There are certain things I don't tolerate, such as fighting, hurting, or saying mean words. We also have a strict "food stays in the kitchen" policy. But otherwise, I let the kids do a lot of what they want to do. If they start doing something unusual, I ask myself, "Are they doing any lasting damage?" and "Are they having fun or learning something?" If the answer is no to the first, and yes to the second, then I let them proceed. I think childhood should be a time to get messy, make mistakes, and explore the world.

Crayola washable markers -- they really ARE washable!

went here, had fun, the end.

I don't post a ton of "this is where we went and this is what we did" type posts on this blog. I do a lot of fun things with my kids, but I figure it's pretty boring to read. But we had such a great time Tuesday, I thought I'd break my rule. I'll keep this short and you're welcome to skip it altogether, if you like. On the other hand, if you can't wait to hear more about all the mundane things we do, leave me a comment and tell me so I can continue to delight you with my travelogues.

Tuesday, we went with our co-op preschool group to the Discovery Center in Salt Lake. I was able to use my membership to get everyone else in free, and we had a great time. We spent four hours there, including snacks/lunch.

The best part? Eliza, who is constantly hearing things like, "No, don't touch that," "Put that back," "Get out of the fridge, please," "Turn OFF the water!" "Stop" "Don't" a…

Because I know you have nothing else to do . . .

Go Elf yourself!

Send your own ElfYourselfeCards

Send your own ElfYourselfeCards

Send your own ElfYourselfeCards

Send your own ElfYourselfeCards


I was watching a home improvement show at the dentist's office this morning. As I stared at the screen in between making unintelligible conversation with the hygienist, I found myself wanting to laugh. The show was a makeover of a family's home office. The family mentioned that it was always cluttered. During the makeover, the designer kept saying, "and here we're going to add more organization," as she added various pieces of furniture to the room.

No, people, organization is not a piece of furniture or a file cabinet. Adding storage to a room, even when appealing to the eye and cleverly designed, is different than adding organization. I'm willing to bet that unless this family undertook the work of actually developing a system of organization using those storage options (highly unlikely), that the office is going to be just as cluttered in a month as it was when they started.

Our family's office may be a mess, but at least I don't think I can a…

Christmas in a Large Family

is simply magical. It's so fun to be the mother and watch it happen. We don't have a lot of family around, so mostly it's just us. Here are some of our traditions:

* We try to keep Christmas fairly simple and focused on the Savior. We usually sponsor a Sub-for-Santa family and go shopping together to pick out gifts the children would like. It is so sweet to see my children thinking about what a stranger might like.

* We keep our gift buying simple. We get several presents for the whole family (this year's gift? A counter-top ice cream maker), and then find two main presents for each child, one from Santa and one from Mom and Dad. The kids also get small things like books and socks and clothes. I don't worry too much about keeping the amount we spend the same per child, since their needs and interests are so different. I always try to find at least one gift that is hands-on. I remember one Christmas as a child being so disappointed because everyone else was …

Free Advertising for Mr. Clean

I don't know why I've never tried them before, but yesterday, I had DH pick up some Mr. Clean Magic Erasers at the store and I'm sold! With a tiny bit of scrubbing, all crayon and pencil marks came off my walls. With a bit more effort, all the scuff and shoe marks came off. The only thing that didn't come off was some of the ball-point pen. It really was magic!

So happily, my entire house is no longer a tribute to my children's artistic ability.

Reflections of Christ

If you're in Utah County, I highly recommend you head over to the BYU bookstore before November 18th to see the Reflections of Christ exhibit. We went this week for my birthday, and I was touched by photos such as these:

Next stop on the tour is Sacramento, so if you're in Utah, this is your chance! If you're not in Utah, you can still view all the images in a slideshow here: or here:

Someday, I'm sure I'll laugh.

I'll think it's the best story, how I let you go to sleep in my spot last night so you wouldn't bug your sister. I moved you to your own bed, then lay down to find out what you'd been doing to my sheets (but only where you thought you could put a pillow down to cover it up):

And how as soon as my back was turned this morning, you took a crayon and colored on the chairs:

Someday, I'm sure I'll laugh. Maybe the day you become a famous artist and buy me a pink Cadillac (which I'll trade in immediately for something much classier, like, say, a Dodge Sprinter).
Or perhaps the day other parents start calling, asking me what they can do to help their children develop into famous artists like you. "I encouraged them over and over again to only color on paper," I'll say, "but such talent cannot be restrained."

Or maybe the day you get an art scholarship to a prestigious university and I can brag to all my friends, "Yes, she got her start…

Growing old (er) . . .

This week I turn 31. I feel no need to hide my age. Last year, I turned 30 and I wondered briefly if I should feel old or depressed. I didn't then and I don't now. I suppose part of that is because everyone assumes I'm older because I have so many kids. I get some sort of strange satisfaction in being younger than everyone thinks. Odd, I know. Many women would love for people to think they are younger; I'd rather be younger. So far, I'm really enjoying my thirties. I love the stage of life I'm at, and this is why:

*DH is no longer in school. This is a big deal, as he was in school for five years of our marriage, three of them with kids. I was pregnant with #4 and #5 when he finally graduated. He was under so much pressure to support his family and do well in school and money was tight.

*DH has a very satisfying career that allows him plenty of flexibility. His commute ranges from 30 seconds (when he works from home) to 7 minutes (office #1) to 10 min…

Forgetfulness is a marvelous thing . . .

Just like you forget the utter misery of pregnancy and the pain of childbirth, you also tend to forget just how trying life with a two-year-old (even an adorable one) can be. You also forget how much they drool. Eliza's clothes have a constant ring of wetness around her neck lately. This morning, she's been into the cat food, the computer games, the computer, the bread, the butter, the books, the clothes I'm trying to fold, the sink, the spray bottle I used to mop the floor, a rag, and probably a few other things I didn't catch her at. We have a house full of toys -- TONS of them -- but if Eliza ever played with them, I think I'd faint of surprise.

Trailing Clouds of Glory

(note: Sometimes I hear criticism of large families that includes phrases such as "all those children," or "raising a litter," or "just popping them out." I find that so degrading, and so far from the reality of having and raising children. This article is my attempt to share my views on becoming a mother.)

Some people believe that you become a mother just once, at the birth (or adoption) of your first child. It isn't true. Each time I give birth to a new soul, I become a mother anew. The miracle of a precious child of God beginning its earthly life is the same. As Wordsworth put it:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us,
our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

That special peace and joy and excitement of a new baby happens every t…

For the record . . .

I did not make the matching dresses. I am certainly capable and highly talented (well, sort of) in the womanly art of sewing, but I have not the time or the inclination right now. No, the beautiful dresses are a result of a small miracle -- a clearance rack at Jolene's that had perhaps ten dresses, five of them in roughly the right size for my five girls. It was fate.

Family Pictures

It's been a very wonderful weekend. I will post later about Joey's baptism yesterday and Harmony's blessing today.

Tonight, I wanted to show off the best of our family pictures!

I was so thrilled to get these back yesterday. The colors in our backyard were so pretty and I was so surprised to see that even in the pictures where the kids weren't really paying attention it still looked pretty good. I did a tiny bit of photoshopping on some of our favorites (had to swap Allison's head in one and both twins in another). For example, this is the original of the last one above:

Eliza wouldn't stop screaming, so Toni had us all scream:

Eliza's cute even when she's crying:
And some other favorites:



These are all resized for web viewing, so the quality is much better in the originals.