Something To Think About

Monday, May 31, 2010

(I would like credit to the person that took this picture - thank you whoever you are, it makes me laugh)
I recently read, "You might as well toot your own horn, cause no one else will do it for you." I thought that this was great advise and it got me to thinking, Why are we so afraid to do this, toot our own horns? Are we afraid of coming across as arrogant and offending people? I think that is what it is for me. We all know the person who never has anything to say unless it is about themselves and how great they are doing. And yet don't we admire the person who can confidently except a compliment, tell modestly of some accomplishment they achieved or just share how wonderful their children are or how amazing their husband is. Is there a difference then between the 2? I think so. The first is not really the kind of person I'd want to get stuck next to on a long airplane ride, the latter is the kind of person I want to be. Maybe it is because the second person, being genuinely confident is able to be sincerely just as pleased with others accomplishments as with their own and they want to hear about it and I believe we, as human beings, can feel this! These aren't usually the people we are envious of, they are the ones who inspire us, they are also the ones who are able to say, "today was not so good", and I think that too comes from an inner peace and confidence that the outward stuff does not define who they are and therefore does not affect their self-worth. I hope to be able to find this balance and hope that you will feel comfortable (at least begin with me) to toot your own horn, cause honey, no one else is gonna do it for ya! Happy honking!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

As I sit here in my bed and type I think of two things: Stephanie Nielson - who has gone through more surgeries and pain that I can imagine, and mums. I can hear my mother-in-law downstairs right now - Darren had to go with our oldest daughter, Noelle, to have her picture taken with her dance class and my mother-in-law just stepped right in and took over (in the best way), just as she did while I was having the surgery. Likewise my mother took the children yesterday to her house so that I could have some peace and quiet and rest. Between those 2 ladies I am the most blest daughter when it comes to loving mothers! Thank you for your love for me and all my babies.

Down and out...and up as high as I can get it!

I had my foot surgery on Thursday and from what they tell me it went really well. Everyone was so nice and took such good care of me. It all went so well in fact that I didn't even really feel like I had anything done at all. Before surgery the doctor told me that I had my choice of either being put to sleep or just having a local. Because of my experience with my wisdom teeth (horrible) I chose a local. The Anesthetist said that they routinely give you something for the nausea and that usually surgery for removal of wisdom teeth and surgery on another body part is quite different - you don't know it but you actually swallow quite a bit if blood when you have your wisdom teeth out. They said that they would try the local first but if it didn't take they would have to put me to sleep. In the operating room they started to freeze my foot, but I still had some sensation, so the doctor put in some more but I could still feel him. The last thing I remember was the doctor saying, "Can you feel this?" and I said, "yes", then the anesthetist said I am going to put you to sleep now...then I woke up, which felt like 2 minutes later, but was really an hour and a half later. I felt so good - too good - no pain, no nausea or vomiting. I just felt relaxed and sleepy. I was able to go almost right away. Darren took me out for soup on the way home and we filled my prescription for Tylenol 3, just in case I needed them. I had never taken them before and although I am not opposed to taking medication when needed, I am also very careful, especially if it can be addictive. That always scares me. I thought maybe I could get away with extra strength Tylenol and Advil, but I didn't want to be stuck in the middle of the night in pain with nothing to take. We arrived home around 7 p.m. and I went up stairs to bed. The kids came in to say goodnight and about that time I was just beginning to get some feeling back in my foot. By 8 p.m. I decided to take one pill in the hope that I would be able to sleep, as the pain was coming on fast. A few minutes later I took another one. By midnight I needed to take 2 more and by 2 in the morning I was in tears and I had Darren call the nurses line to ask if I was able to take Advil with the Tylenol 3's and if I could take more sooner than the 4 hour mark. By the 2 hour mark I was in such pain it was all I could do to hold off until the 3 hour mark. They told me I could for the next 2 doses, but by morning if it wasn't working I would have to call my doctor and get something stronger. So I took some Advil and some more Tylenol 3's and I cried and cried and held Darren's hand and felt like I was in labor, only in my foot, without any brake between contractions and I wasn't even going to get a beautiful a baby at the end of it all. That first night was the worst, and since then it has gotten a little better. The pain is at least manageable now with the medication. My life consists of 4 hour increments. I count down until the next block of time that I am allowed to take more medication. My foot hurts, my head feels unattached, I am unable to really concentrate on anything, I can barely keep my eyes open (I worried about the medication making me unable to sleep, I was so very wrong) I only get up to use the washroom and even then I crawl with my one foot up in the air as high as I can get it so that the blood doesn't rush down and cause terrible pain and pressure), but other than that I am doing well! I am very grateful to be on this end of it and that that first night is over. I have no idea when I will be able to walk, but for now I am being really well taken care of so I will just try to relax and enjoy it while I can. Oh, and if my skin is looking a little orange, it is the iodine - this concerned the children, I think, most of all.......I need to go to sleep now.......

Bucket Day

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One way I stay sane is to have buckets for my children's toys that go away in a closet and only come out when mom or dad says. Each child has one bucket (they are quite large, you can see them in the picture) During the week we are just far to busy and they can be very distracting, especially when home schooling. So we have something called Bucket Day. Before you think me too cruel, please know that the kids are far from deprived, they have a school room full of things to do and are never left bored. These buckets are for the little piddley toys with all the tiny pieces and I just don't love to have scattered from one end of the house to the other. Needless to say, bucket day is very much looked forward to! When they are done playing it all goes back into the bucket and put back into the special closet, not to be seen again until next bucket day. It works for us and keeps me sane -win/win for everyone (maybe a little more win for me!)

Sewing Club

The girls and I have started a sewing club. We get together with once a month and sew a project. This month we made chickens (inspired by a rooster that Debra Moore made years ago and gave to the kids) They turned out super cute. They were fun and easy to make. Noelle now wants to make a rooster to go with her chicken and 3 little chicks.

It's a girl thing

Can a girl have too many pillows? Probably! But I do love them. I am one of those people who has to take all the pillows off the bed each night and put them back on in the morning. I don't mind at all though and my sweet husband never complains.
My children have learned to sleep with all their pillows on their beds as so not to have to put them on again in the morning. It is kind of clever actually. One day we had our good friends the Zecks over and we were in the girls room and Sean (being Sean) upon seeing the mountain of pillows on the girls beds said, "oh, now I see where you women get it from, it is ingrained in you from early on!" He is probably right.
I have been wanting to make some new pillow's for our living room and I finally found some fabric that I have been looking for. I had some natural colored fabric left over from another project and thought I would make some pillows with birds on them, inspired by a picture I saw on the internet (I also have this thing with birds, I don't know why, I just love them too!) I am not finished with all the pillows yet but I was so pleased about how the first ones turned out, and they were so easy to make, that I just thought I'd share. (You might even be able to tell from the picture that I didn't even take the time to sew up the bottoms of the bird pillows before I took the picture) I love being a girl!

Towel Please

If the sun is out that is good enough for my kids, it doesn't even necessarily need to be hot out or even warm. Around here you've got to play before the sun goes away!

Mr. Flippers

Tate: Mom can you please get the flippers for me?
Me: o.k.
Enter Tate, 3 minutes later!


This is the scene everyday. At least she loves books, right?


Every Saturday we have a secret family field trip. The kids get so excited about this. They ask every time, "What are we going to do for secret family filed trip." To which we respond, "It's a secret." Last Saturday we got to go to a farm in our community as apart of our Stake day of service, and paint a fence. The kids thought that this was so great. Every time I paint they ask if they can help - sometimes they can, sometimes they can't. So painting all by themselves, outside, over grass was such a great opportunity. They had so much fun and they did a really great job. Near the end as we were cleaning up I heard the girls screaming (the 'someone is chasing me and I like it' kind of scream) and there was Tate running after all the girls with wet paint brush in hand!
After we finished up there we went to a new park and then to Home Depot to pick up some wood. The children designed and then built there own birdhouses. It started to rain in the middle of our project so we had to move it inside to the kitchen counter. Trying to make dinner while listening to four hammers working away was noisy and I was wanting it to be over sooner than later, but I was so proud of them. I thought that they would get tired and that Darren and I would be left to finish up 4 little birdhouses, but they keep going until the last nail was in. It was a great day!

o.k. seriously, could that face be cuter? The concentration! He worked hard to make that birdhouse.

Above: The Queen on her throne
Below: Her subjects hard at work
(just kidding - Noelle worked just as hard if not more than anyone else)


You Missed A Spot

Nya is becoming more and more independent and wanting to do things for herself. She can get very offended if you do something for her! This is what she looks like after feeding herself her breakfast. All in all she did a pretty good job and she was mighty proud of herself.

Thank You Stephanie

Through a friend I have come into contact with a person named Stephanie (you can read her Blog here) She wrote a post about a chart she made for her children (inspired by the Duggar family) - every time they said Yes, Ma'am or something polite they got to mark off a square. I struggle with having to call the kids more than once or ask them to do something several times before they listen, so I thought it was worth a try. I made a chart for the kids and every time they come the first time I call or do what I have ask the first time I ask, they get to put a sticker on the chart. As soon as they get a certain amount of stickers they get to pick a small reward. It is working really well (so far). I am all for rewarding good behavior if it will help establish good habits.


Bergen has been researching possible pets for the past year and trying to decide which one he would like that would work best for our family. He finally decided on a hedgehog. Then it was Darren's turn to do the research. He found a hedgehog with a cage and everything on Used Victoria and since Bergen's birthday was coming up, we thought it would make a great gift. I contacted the girl selling the hedgehog and talked to her and her mom on the phone for quite a while. We discovered that we both have 5 children, that we home school and that we are Christian. She was such a great person. I found myself wanting to be friends with her, but she and her family are moving to Alberta this summer for her husbands work. We took the kids up to Nanaimo to the sellers home. Bergen had no idea why we were there. It was fun to see him start to realize what was happening as we went in and played with the hedgehog. He was so excited. We bought him and took him home with us. Bergen named him Furlough from The Tale of Despereaux - He is the cutest thing! We love having him around. He is very quiet. He sleeps all day (unless you take him out out play). He is very low energy and needs little, but he is still fun enough to interact with and the kids even pick him up, which can be intimidating with all those spikes! Perfect pet for us.

I Am A Gardener

Friday, May 21, 2010

As I was reading the blog 320 Sycamore I came across this. Just thought I would share!

“As far as I’m concerned, one of the silliest bits of “wisdom” ever imparted to parents goes like this: ‘Children are like lumps of clay, and parents are the sculptors.’ This leads parent to believe that with the proper time and influence children can be shaped in to whatever parents would like them to be. So not true!

I’d rather think of children as seedlings. Even though tiny seedlings look very similar as they sprout, in the end they will become who they are…A sunflower can’t be changed to an apple no matter how hard you try! The secret to how well each little seedling grows to become its best self depends on the gardener giving it the appropriate light, water, fertilizer, and love.

(-Linda Eyre, p. 99 A Mother’s Book of Secrets)

This reminded me of a post I made some time ago. 'I'm not finished yet', has become my philosophy since that day.

(excerpt from post)

The other day I was out with all 5 kids by myself, at the library of all places! It is one thing to behave, it is quite another to behave and be quiet! The kids were well enough behaved, but still and always, little children filled with energy and excitement. I felt a little like there were those looking at me and judging. This is not the first time I have ever felt this way, but in this case a thought entered my mind that never has before, I'm not finished yet. Meaning, come back in 20 years and judge me and my children then, when I have finished the job, don't judge me in the middle of my life's work!

-link to entire post-

I need to be reminded often, sometimes several times a day, that my children are not lumps of clay but little tender seedlings. My job is only ever to nurture and teach.

Happy Mother's day

Sunday, May 9, 2010

You have nothing in this world more precious than your children. When you grow old, when your hair turns white and your body grows weary, when you are prone to sit in a rocker and meditate on the things of your life, nothing will be so important as the question of how well your children have turned out. It will not be the money you have made. It will not be the cars you have owned. It will not be the large house in which you live. The searing question that will cross your mind again and again will be, How well have my children done? Do not trade your birthright as a mother for some bauble of passing value. Let your first interest be in your home. The baby you hold in your arms will grow quickly as the sunrise and the sunset of the rushing days. I hope that you have every reason to be proud concerning your children, to have love for them, to have faith in them, to see them become useful and productive members of society. May the blessings of heaven rest upon you. May the virtue of your children's lives sanctify and hallow your old age. May you be led to exclaim with gratitude as John, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth". Pres. Gordon B. Hinckly

I would love to wish a very happy day to all the mother hearts out there and leave you with a few thoughts:

President Gordon B. Hinckley after being questioned about what the church does for it's women, when to some we can appear to be second class citizens, replied as only he could, "People wonder what we do for our women. I will tell you what we do. We get out of there way and look with wonder at what they are accomplishing".

President Hinckley has also given the credit for raising 5 faithful accomplished children to his wife. He described the essence of her mothering by simply saying, "She helped the children feel well about themselves."

Pres. Joseph F. Smith said, "The love of a true mother comes nearer to being like the love of God than any other kind of love."

Sheri Dew stated, "If ever there were a time when the Lord needed righteous, determined women who can distinguish between the adversary's deceptions and the voice of the Lord, it is now. If ever there were a time when the Lord needed women of integrity and purity who live in the world but rise above it, it is now. If ever there were a time when the Lord needed His daughters to be alert to what is happening in society and to defend the sanctity of the home and family, it is now. If ever there were a time when the Lord needed mothers and grandmothers, leaders and friends to safeguard their youth and children, it is now. If there were ever a time when the Lord needed us to have a clear vision of who we are, where we are, and what is important, it is now."

I can honestly say that I feel the way that President Hinckley did when he described his feelings this way, "The responsibility I carry frightens me....I pray each day for strength and wisdom and inspiration .... Sometimes I could weep with concern. But there comes the assurance that the Lord put me here for His purpose, and if I will be humble and seek direction of the Holy Spirit He will use me according to His will to accomplish His purposes".

Happy Mothers Day

2 Games In One

Saturday, May 8, 2010

It is always challenging to have a toddler around the house, oh so fun and cute, but challenging. She gets into everything she can. The other day the kids were playing a game at the coffee table (it doesn't really matter where they play - coffee table, dining room table, top bunk bed, bedroom loft- Nya would climb right up! While one person took their turn the other chased Nya away. They all thought that this was super, especially Nya!

Love Is In The Air

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Today as I was taking Noelle to dance, I saw Darren's truck at the studio. He forgot to take his cell phone to work and had come to ask me if he was suppose to bring Noelle home. He walked her to the door then came back and said, "I was thinking about you today". Whenever he says that, I know that it means flowers! Not flowers from a store, but flowers from someone's garden that he has been working on (just for the record, he doesn't steal them - he saves them from what he is pruning or removing) Now I am the kind of girl that will go to the super market and happily buy herself some flowers simply because I love them and I love having fresh flowers in the house - But when they come from a garden, from my husband, who says that he was thinking about me as he worked, well that is the best. So as Darren walked back to his truck, I waited and wondered what kind of flowers it would be today and I was filled with gratitude - for a husband who loves me. I love what he does, he makes everything beautiful! He returned with his arms filled with lilacs. I love lilacs. My parents use to have a huge lilac tree at there old house, from which I benefited every spring as I snuck over there and "pruned" their lilac tree for them (I said Darren doesn't steal, I do....from my own parents anyways). But sadly since their move to a new house, I have been without the smell of lilacs in the spring. As I drove home with that sweet scent filling the van and a huge smile on my face, I felt happy and loved.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Inspired by my mom who has lost 38 pounds in the last 6 months (way to go mom!) and looks fantastic, I have recently changed my eating habits, drastically, for the better, and I feel better. One of the things I did was to completely cut out eating after dinner (which previous to the change was my most favorite time to eat, all the yummy things that I shouldn't). I am amazed at how easy it has become. I thought that it would be harder than it has been. I am surprised by how little I am tempted. Apples have become delicious again and I have found a new love - nuts! I love them, all of them. Cashews and almonds (without the chocolate coating) especially! I have to restrain myself. At this point I would choose them over chocolate, I never thought I would ever be saying those words! Since the change I have also fallen in love with cooking. If you know me well you will know that being in the kitchen was not my most favorite place to be. Also something I thought I'd never say, I LOVE COOKING! I love making healthy and tasty food for my family. I feel so....motherly (that is good in my eyes). I must publicly thank my dear friend Rachel as she has been such an inspiration in this arena. Thank you Rachel for your yummy recipes, your clever tips and your amazing friendship. (Can you believe it?)

No Doubt About It

As much as I write this blog for family and friends to see what we are up to, I also write it as a journal, a place to record the things that I am learning in my life. This post is one of those. These kinds of posts always mean more to the writer than the reader as I am the one who has had the changing experience. Feel free to read it if you want or leave it just for me.
I recently read the book 'No Doubt About It', by Sheri Dew - I loved it! I would recommended it to every woman. For me the entire book was like one big pep talk, filling me with courage and hope and a deeper sense of who I really am and the importance of my mission here on earth.
I watched a documentary on a farmer in Africa who has devoted his life to the Lord and spreading the gospel. Although he is not of my faith I was in awe of his sacrifice and dedication to the Lords work. The amount of time that he devoted to studying his scriptures and doing good to all those he meets, as well as being a farmer, husband, father of 4 and a friend. At one point during the documentary he said, "This is not our life, this is the time to prepare for our life." Although I knew this, the simplicity of his words has stuck with me, changed me, and helped me to contemplate the decisions I am making in my life.
It would be impossible for me to write my favorite parts of Sheri Dew's book, as I took pages and pages of notes, but I will share just a few and hope that they will be inspiring instead of overwhelming. All of these quotes I took from Sheri's book, although some quotes she shares are from other great leaders.
- Everyone has the power to close his heart against doubt, against darkness, against unbelief, against depression, against anger, against hatred, against jealousy, against malice, against envy. God has given this power unto all of us, and we can gain still greater power by calling upon Him for that which we lack. Elder George Q. Cannon
- We are not women of the world, we are women of God - which means that we no longer have the luxury of spending our energy on anything that doesn't lead us and our families to Christ.
- If we insist on spending all our time and resources building up for ourselves a worldly kingdom, that is exactly what we will inherit. Pres. Spencer W. Kimball
- The only way we can overcome the world is by coming unto Christ. And coming unto Christ means walking away from the world.
- If you expect glory, intelligence, and endless lives, let the world go. Pres. Joseph F. Smith
- A casual commitment to Christ will not carry us through.
- We are not panicked about perfection, but we are working to become increasingly pure.
- No women is a more vibrant instrument in the hands of the Lord than a women of God who is thrilled to be who she is!
- Ultimately we will become what we give our hearts to, for we are shaped by what we desire and seek after. If we love the Lord such that our hearts are changed, His image will fill our countenances.
- The spirit cannot dwell in a home, a ward, or a relationship where there is criticism. Contention neutralizes us spiritually.
- Only when the Lord is directing our lives can we have peace about our choices. And His approval is so much more vital than anyone else's.
This last quote in particular inspires me. I do worry too much of what others think. I do put my priorities in the wrong order. I do have to be humbled, and over and over commit to change and do better everyday. The possibility of change excites me though! I want to be better tomorrow that I am today. I want to be like the lady described by Marjorie Hinckley, when she talks about how she wants to arrive at the pearly gates (read it here). I want to be strong in the Lord. The way to do this is to seek Him. "We seek him not only by studying and searching, by pleading and praying and watching always lest we enter into temptation, but by giving up worldly indulgences that straddle the line between God and mammon. Otherwise we risk being called but not chosen because our hearts are set so much upon the things of the world." Sheri Dew
I was called to this task of which I now perform. Satan would have us rationalize away our weaknesses for the things of the world and convince us that good, instead of great, is good enough. There is a real war between good and evil, but there is no question of the outcome. Christ will be victorious. Good will triumph. The only choice left is which side we will be on at the end. I will be one of the chosen ones.