Friday, April 30, 2010

Befriending Those In Need

My children ride the bus everyday to school.  They are one of the first ones on and one of the last ones off.  They spend a lot of time on the bus.  It's not always a good experience and they come home with stories at times that make me sad and upset.  It has given us many teaching opportunities over the last year and a half.  Most of the time they are learning from what we tell them.  However, this week, we have learned from them. 

A few months ago, a new family moved in and their three kids ride the bus with our kids.  We don't know the family, but the kids have gotten to know each other.  One is a fifth grade girl and then there is a third grade boy and a second gade boy.  Makenna came home the other day telling me of the mean things that th other kids do to these three on the bus.  They are called names and picked on by all the elementary kids on the bus except for 5.  Four of those kids are mine.  Makenna was very disturbed by it all and didn't know what to do to help the three that were being picked on.  I told her all they could do was to stand up for them and to continue being friends with them. 

Yesterday, Maddi came home and told me that Alex (the girl) was going to call in 30 minutes and come over to play.  I thought, yeah right, but she did!  As Michael and I sat on the porch and watched them play, he said how good it felt to know that our kids had befriended them when they needed it and that this little girl felt comfortable enough to call and come play with them.  What a great example they are!  In a world where judgements can be so harsh and children can be so cruel, they looked past it all and saw some children that needed friends.  They didn't notice the outward appearance, they noticed the person.  I am so thankful for them.  How often do we walk by people and not speak or help because they don't look like "our type"? 

My children have once again shown why the statement made by the Savior is one we should follow, to be as a little child.  To be pure and kind, trusting and gentle, full of the spirit.  I know it is a parents job to teach their children and bring them up in righteousness, but children can teach their parents powerful lessons too, like how to befriend those in need.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Question of the Day

"Mom, what are all these flags up for?"

"They are for garage sales."

"How do you sell a garage?"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

10 Years

Today is our 10th anniversary.  It seems crazy to think that 10 years have passed.  Time has gone so quickly, yet so much has happened.  We have lived in 10 different houses, moved across country between Idaho and South Dakota twice.  We've been through several jobs.  We've given birth to six children and also dealt with a miscarriage.  Michael has baptized two of our children so far. We have served in many different positions in church, travelling anywhere from 10 minutes to 50 minues to get to our church meetings each week.  We have gone through some very hard times and we have seen and been the recipients of many wonderful blessings.  We have sat next to a very sick little boy in the hospital and watched with joy as his strength and health returned.  We have said goodbye to loved ones who have passed on and taught our children about God's plan and the opportunity that we will have to be together forever.  We have had challenges that have strengthened us as a family and casued us to turn to each other for love and support. We have been through broken noses, broken ribs, bumps on the head and scrapes on the knees.  We have celebrated taking off training wheels and taking first steps.  We have gone through first day of school jitters and new school jitters.  We have had visits from leprechauns, the back pack fairy, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny.  We have made new friends that stretch from Oklahoma to Minnesota to Idaho and more.  We have watched our children learn to sing their abc's, write their names and read.  Through all of this, Michael and I have been able to grow closer together and strengthen our love for each other.  The love that we started out with 10 years ago has become greater than I could have imagined at that time.  We have walked through all this hand in hand, side by side, with love and respect for each other.  What a wonderful blessing we have to not only share our lives together here on this earth but to be sealed together for eternity.  The love that we share for each other now will stretch on forever and ever, nothing will stop it.  Nothing will break it.  No one can take it away from us.  So, here's to the 10 years we have just shared and here's to the future years we have yet to share!  I love you Michael!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Charity

"[The Relief Society] is composed of women whose feelings of charity spring from hearts changed by qualifying for and by keeping covenants offered only in the Lord's true Church. Their feelings of charity come from Him through His Atonement. Their acts of charity are guided by His example—and come out of gratitude for His infinite gift of mercy—and by the Holy Spirit, which He sends to accompany His servants on their missions of mercy. Because of that, they have done and are able to do uncommon things for others and to find joy even when their own unmet needs are great."


Henry B. Eyring
 
I got this quote in my email today.  For those who don't know, the Relief Society is the women's organization in our church.  Every woman over 18 belongs to it.  It is set up to help each other and those around us.  Every woman in the church has women assigned to them to help them and look after them and serve them.  It is also set up to carry out service in the community in times of need.  It is a wonderful organization.  It also teaches women, not only about Christ, but about homemaking, mothering, life skills and preparedness.  Our theme church wide (throughout the entire world) is "Charity Never Faileth."  Charity, of course, is the pure love of Christ.
 
As a member of this organization, I am supposed to not only be learning charity, but acting in charity.  Sometimes I feel I fall short.  Yes, I do service for those around me, but do I do it with charity?  Not always.  Does the service still get done?  Yes.  Do I receive the same blessings?  No.  Serving with charity should bring joy like the quote said.  That joy is one of the greatest personal blessings of service.  If I don't have charity, I am not acting after the example of the Savior.  Everything He did was and is through charity, pure love.  If I am not acting after the example of the Savior, then the spirit is probably not with me like it needs to be.  Therefore, my heart is really not being changed and I need a changed heart in order to be like the Savior.
 
My question is, how do I always have charity?  Sometimes I just don't like the task at hand no matter how hard I try!  Well, I had a thought as I read this quote.  It didn't say we have to love what we are doing, we just have to love the Savior.  If I do what I do because I know it is His will and because I love Him, then I will have His spirit and the joy and charity will follow.  Right?  For example, I hate pulling weeds.  Hate it!  We had a service project once to go and pull weeds and plant flowers around one of our church buildings.  I went, despite my dislike of the activity.  I pulled weeds because I loved the Savior and because I wanted to serve like He has asked us to do.  Did I love it?  No.  Did I feel joy?  Yes.  Because I had gone with the attitude of love for my Savior.
 
My point to all this rambling?  Sometimes we are asked or needed to do things that we don't find pleasant or enjoyable.  If we go with the attitude of hating it, we will not find joy through the service.  If we go with the attitude of love for the Savior, His love and His spirit will fill our souls and our joy will be great and as the quote says, we will "have done and [will be] able to do uncommon things for others and to find joy even when [our] own unmet needs are great."

Question of the Day

I have started watching a little 4 month old boy on occasion to help out a family from church.  Olivia has been very interested in this little baby and seems to like when he comes over.  However, she's not always sure how he gets to our house.  So the question of the day comes from her. I walked into the kitchen with my purse and she looked at me and asked, "Mom, you got the baby?  The baby in your purse?"

And just so you know, the baby was not in my purse.  He did come over later yesterday and Olivia was very excited to see him.  She was even more excited when I told her she could hold him.  I put him in her lap and a few seconds later he let out a huge burp.  Olivia made the funniest face and started gagging and saying that the baby was stinky and very quickly turned him back over to me.  She wouldn't hold him the rest of the day.  I guess the formula burp was a little too much!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rain Clouds

I know why they are called rain clouds, because they are clouds and they rain on people and cars and dirt and grass and houses and trucks and trailers and horses and barns and all sorts of stuff.  Like school busses and telephone wires and stores and toys that we leave outside and don't put away!

Question of the day

Having six little children gives me the opportunity to answer all kinds of questions.  Simple ones like "What's for supper?"  And more difficult ones like "Why do we die?"  Then there are funny ones like, "Did you have so many kids so you wouldn't have to do any work?"  HAHA!!  So I thought I might start sharing some of these questions with you.  Yesterday Zeke had the best question.  He was getting ready for church and came in my room.  He came and stood next to me and with a very serious face asked, "Momma, why do we wear underwear?"  After I was done giggling I told him it was so we wouldn't get poo stains on our pants.  Since he is in the pocess of learng to wipe his own bum that seemed to make perfect sense to him and there were no more questions.

So my question of the day to you is, "Why do we wear underwear?"  And please don't answer that out loud because I really don't want to hear your reasons:)  I just think it's cute to watch the mind of a 4 year old figure out the world around him.

Another I Know Why...

I know why it's called a goal pole (post), because you use it to make a goal and it's a pole.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

All Dressed Up

I took pictures of the kids this morning before church.  I thought they were so cute.  The girls got to sing in Stake Conference today with the senior primary.  They did a good job. We also got to see some of our friends from Brookings and Watertown which was very nice.

I had to get a picture of Maddi and Makenna back to back.  Most of the school year they have been the same height.  Well, obviousy Maddi had a growth spurt and has passed Makenna up.  She was quite excited about that.  Everything is a competition between them.  Maddi pulled a tooth the other day so she was even with Makenna in the number lost, so Makenna came in and pulled a tooth too (it was already loose) so she could be ahead again!  Crazy girls :)  The two oldest boys are just as bad. Sibling rivalry is always part of family life!  Keeps things interesting, that's for sure!  But no matter what, I love my little step stools.  They are good kids and teach me a lot of things that I wouldn't be able to learn any other way.  And though some days are hard, they are a blessing from heaven for which I will always be grateful.

Ice Cream

I know why it's called ice cream, because it's made of ice and it's cream!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Love You, Mother

A dear friend of mine just had to go through the one year mark of her mother passing away.   I did not know her mother very well, but I have many good memories with this friend.  I can't imagine how hard it would be to be a young mother, raising a family, without my mother to share it with.   As I thought about her this week, I wrote this:

Though you are gone from this home we call earth,
I feel your presence with each breath that I take.
I feel you surround me with beauty and love,
I feel you guide me with each choice that I make.
I long for your touch and to hear your voice,
Overwhelmed with memories of time gone past.
I gather up my baby and hold her tight in my arms,
Rocking her gently as the tears come at last.
And then all around me I feel warmth and love
I know you are with me, nothing will keep us apart.
Your strength fills my soul and I know all will be right
Hand in hand with my baby we will walk heart to heart.
"I love you, mommy", my little girl says with a smile.
I hug her and squeeze her with an "I love you too."
Then I look up to heaven and picture you there, whispering
"I love you, mother." Then whispering back comes an "I love you too."

Once again, I am so thankful for the opportunity we have to be together forever.  These family ties that we have here on earth will be able to go with us in the eternities.  Our Savior made that possible.  I do believe, with all my heart, that our loved ones that have passed on are watching us and cheering for us.  They want us to come home to them.  They want us to live our lives righteously so that we can be together forever in happiness.   I know that knowledge will not take all the pain away, but I know that it will provide hope in the difficult times.

Doctor Results

Well, after waiting almost a week, I got my results back.  I am Vitamin D deficient.  Levels are supposed to be above 40 and I am at 28.  I will have to go on prescription meds for 12 weeks and then go have my levels checked again.  That should explain my overhwelming tiredness and once I get my levels back up my energy should increase.  I don't know much about this, so I guess it will give me something to read and learn about.  I have learned though, that if not fixed it can lead to a lot of other stuff that I don't want to deal with. I'm glad I went and got everything checked out.  I hope that soon I will be able to feel like a normal person again and have the energy I need to accomplish all that I have to do.  I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Busy Day

The weather is beautiful today so we have spent the majority of it outside.  This morning I emptied out the garage and cleaned and swept it, then put everything back in while Olivia and Zeke played in the dirt.  Then we got Hunter out and cleaned his cage.  When we finished that, Michael came home and we went to the barn to see the baby cows, the new baby draft horse and get tootsie rolls (of course).  We ate lunch and then I took Zeke and Olivia to the park.  After the park we stopped at Dairy Queen and got ice cream and a lemonade (for Olivia, she's not an ice cream girl).  When we got home, we washed the windows in the kitchen and the living room, emptied the garbage and played some more in the sunshine.  Now we have had our 30 minute breather and it's back outside we go.  The big kids will be home from school soon so I am sure there will be more playing to be done!  I love these beautiful days!  The only drawback, the inside of the house doesn't get cleaned like it needs to be.  Oh well, we have the winter to clean the inside...

I'm a Little Chunk

The other day Dillon was singing me a song by Lady Antebellum.  Made me giggle just a little.  He was really putting his heart into it and singing the best he could...

"It's a quarter after one and I'm a little chunk (supposed to be drunk) and I need you now..."

"Mommy, what's a little chunk?  What's that mean?  Maybe it  means they're singing while they're drinking."

Maybe it does, who knows!  In the meantime I have made that my new theme song when I see ice cream or chocolate, "I'm a little chunk and I need you now!"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bug Juice and Mac & Cheese

I know why it's called Bug Juice.  Because it has bugs on it and it's juice.

I know why it's called mac & cheese. Because it's mac and it has cheese on it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Little One on One

Yesterday I had the privilege of watching Zane and Dillon play a little one on one in football.   It was quite interesting (and a little humorous) to say the least.  Zane had the ball first and ended up turning it over to Dillon after 4 downs and not quite enough yardage.  Dillon got the ball and burned past Zane running it all the way in for a touchdown.  As he came running back out of the end zone he had a big smile on his face and said "Man, I am fast!"  He kicked it to Zane who once again had to hand it over after 4 downs and 4 two hand touches from Dillon.  Dillon got the ball and once again scored.  2 to 0.  Zane got the ball and ended up scoring with Dillon doing the same, making it 3 to 1 in favor of Dillon.  This time he said "Man, I am so good!"  And so went the game.  When it was about 7 to 3 Dillon stated the fact that he was indeed faster than Zane.  Zane started to argue, but it's true.  Dillon is much faster.  I told Zane it was okay, there's always going to be some one faster.  The game finished with a score of 10 to 4.  Dillon was the winner.  Zane surprisingly made it all the way through without any tears (except when he hit his head on a rock).  He came close a few times, but we got the tears stopped before they started.  However, when Dillon made the winning touchdown, the tears came.  He claimed it was his leg hurting that was making him cry.  It wasn't.  He got over it quickly though and came back out to join me and Dillon in another football game, of which I won :)  That one on one game was a huge mileage point for Dillon.  He can finally beat his big brother, which is big stuff for a little boy.  It was also a huge mileage point for Zane.  He finally accepted (at least for the day) that his little brother is faster and that's okay.  I was quite proud of him for taking it as well as he did.  So if anyone is looking for a little competition in a one on one game of football,  Dillon's ready and waiting...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Girl After My Own Heart

When I was younger, my dream was to be a pro football player.  Being surrounded by four brothers with a younger sister that was too little to play with headed me in that direction I suppose.  I was a part of every backyard football game that we had until the dreadful day when I was about 13.  My mom called me in from a great game and told me that I was too old to be coming into that kind of physical contact with boys.  What ?!?!  No more football.  I now had to sit on the sideline with my friends. All my dreams gone... ;)

Well, now my little Maddi loves football.  She plays at recess with all the boys and at home anytime she can get a game organized.  I love it!  Friday she came home from school all bandaged up.  During one of their games she was running and someone else ran across in front of her and she ended up sliding across the cement on her knee and the backs of her hands.  They are bruised and cut up.  She said she was lucky she had her baseball cap on otherwise her head would have gotten scraped up too (thank goodness for 3rd grade hat day:) ).  Her main brag in all of this is that she didn't even cry.  I must say, I am a proud mamma!  I never cried either.  Of course, it never slowed her dow.  She spent the weekend playing catch with who ever would play with her, riding her bike and skidding on the dirt road, and jumping on the tramp.

When you're a tomboy, wounds are bagging rights.  Scars are great, the more the better.  So here are some pictures of Maddi's trophies from Friday recess...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Doctor Update

Well, the docotor visit didn't turn out as I planned and hoped.  No one told me that the blood work I was going to have done needed to be done fasting.  So, I will have to go back at 7:30 Monday morning and have all of that done.  Then it will be 3 to 5 days before I hear anything.  I know it's no big deal, but it's frustrating.  As I stated earlier, I am not good at waiting.  But wait is what I will have to do.  I did get a tetanus shot though! I guess that was something!  I wonder how much this tetanus shot will cost me...

Anxious

Today I have a doctors appointment.  I am very nervous and anxious about it.  I probably should have gone a few year ago but thought it was just me being a dork.  I finally took the step and made the appointment.  It wasn't suppose to be until May but I got moved up to today.  I am glad and scared all at the same time.  I am hoping to find answers.  I am hoping for a good doctor that knows what she is doing.  I am hopin that she doesn't just look at me, tell me I'm crazy and walk out :)  If I don't find answers here, I don't know what I will do or where I will go next.  It's nothing serious so sorry if I freaked you all out.  It's serious to me, but not life or death stuff.  I just need answers.  I fasted earlier this week in hopes for extra help from above, both for me and the doctor.  Now I just have to wait and see what happens.  I am not good at waiting unfortunately!  Michael will come home and watch the kids so I don't have to worry about that.  Thank goodness for him! 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Coming out both ends

I know, lovely picture that paints - and yes, it is what is says.  Olivia has had diarrhea for a few days.  Yesterday Zeke got it.  It was horrible.  I'm not sure how many pairs of underwear that I cleaned out yesteday and how many little bums I wiped.  By the end of the day their little bums were so sore that they screamed anytime I had to wipe them.  It even hurt Zeke to sit he said.  When they took bathes last night they both sat and cried when the water touched their little backsides.  I covered them with bum cream and hoped that they wouldn't have any issues during the night so it could heal a little.  It seems much better this morning.  Unfortunately, Zeke just got done throwing up.  Olivia has already had diarrhea this morning.  Zeke hasn't yet.  He tried to eat a yogurt and threw it up (all over my bedroom floor) almost immediately.  Poor kid.  Looks like it will be another day inside near the bathroom.  I sure hope this doesn't pass to the other kids.  Keeping my fingers crossed...

Water

Saturday Michael went downstairs to find the carpet all wet in front of the double door.  It stunk really bad and we have spent the last few days cleaning it and trying to dry it out.  I think it is ruined.  It totally stinks.  It was just put in last spring.  This morning I went to the storage room only to discover water all over the floor in there.  Apparently the outlet that the freezer was pluged into had been tripped (?) and consequently he freezer off.  Everything was thawed and lovely freezer juices were all over the floor and anything that was on the floor.  I had to throw everything out.  Unfortunately it was not enough damage to meet the insurance deductable so that won't help us replace anything.  It wasn't tons - maybe $100 worth, but still frustrating.  I cleaned that all up and hopefully we won't have anymore water to be found on any floors in the house!  The freezer seemed to be fine.  It is plugged back in and running.  We'll see what happens now...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Zane's Birthday

Yesterday we celebrated Zane's 7th birthday.  He was so excited for it to come.  We let him open a few presents before school.  Zeke, Olivia and I delivered cupcakes to his classroom later that morning.  For supper he chose mac & cheese and hotdogs as the main course and then we had cupcakes and ice cream for desert.  He loves football so I made the cupcakes into a football shape.  It impressed him so that was all that mattered :)

We are so thankful for Zane.  He is our "tenderhearted" boy - easily hurt but bounces back pretty quick.  He loves to run and play and be slly.  He also loves to "rock out" to music - singing and dancing and playing air guitar and drums!  He is growing up into quite the little man.  He always likes to look good and impress the ladies.  It all spells trouble for the future but it's cute right now!

Bowling for Family Night

Monday night we decided to go bowling for our famiy night in celebration of Zane's birthday.  We went to the Ten Pin Bowling Alley in Hartford.  It is a really nice set up and we had lots of fun.  We had pizza and all the pop we could drink (and many, many trips to the bathroom).  Zeke and Olivia took turns bowling with me and Michael during our turns.  Olivia even got a strike for Michael!  The kids loved the neon green and pink shoes.  Dillon was hoping to keep his.  Anyways, it was a lot of fun to be together and celebrate Zane!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Guess the Lyrics

My kids love to sing along to the radio.  Some of the things they come up with while thinking they are singing the right words are quite hillarious.  See if you can guess the real words...

One, two , three like a bird I scream...

It's time to say, kick those girls out on the road...

Oh to see the ladies, oh to see the ladies...

You wreck that heart break who's really bad at lying...

She had a shiny little beamer with a raptop down, sittin in the grab but she wouldn't get out...

Jeremiah was a boat rock, was a good friend of mine...

A man stood up in the back and said "Hot like Joe", ... if your gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band...

I love you a bushey and a peck...

Pigs in the pigpen, run boys run, the devil's in the house of the rising sun...

So watch me strike out mad with all your wasted time, sorry I can't turn that just another picture of burn...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tea Time with Royalty

Our play group this week was a "tea" party.  All the little kids dressed up and we met at the church.  They made crowns with foam stickers, crayons and markers so they could look like princes and princesses.  Then they also got to make fruit loop necklaces (Zeke couldn't be bothered with that and Olivia did it so she could eat the fruit loops). They played for a while and then they had their snack.  They had little juice boxes, little bite sized hotdogs with little cookies and fruit snacks.  That was the part of the party that Zeke liked!  Before they left they each got a sucker that had been turned into a flower- which they promptly destroyed and ate!  It was cute to see them all dressed up, but Zeke is looking forward to next week when he doesn't have to dress up and he can play on the play sets at the Rainbow Play Systems Company!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Going to the Barn

Olivia's new favorite thing is to go to the barn.  We have some baby cows there that she loves to go "check" on. Sometimes she brings things to show them.  She has brought her stuffed dog and squealed when they tried to lick it as she held it up to them.  She has shown them her shoes and her sunglasses and other things.  She also likes to go see her daddy.  We go up there at least once a day, sometimes twice.  Her other motivation for going to the barn is tootsie rolls.  Michael has a big bag of tootsie rolls in his office.  Everytime we go he gives her and Zeke some before they leave.  He ran out a few days ago and Olivia insisted that we go to the store and get some more.  She held them in her lap all through the store and then hand delivered them to Michael, waiting ever so patiently for him to open the new bag and give her some.  Yesterday was a yucky cold rainy day with winds near 40mph.  Olivia and Zeke insisted that it was warm and so dressed themselves in shorts.  They even went out on the porch to prove to me that it was warm.  Zeke opens the door, "Yep it's warm!"  Olivia agreed with Zeke as she comes running back in "Brrrrr it is warm!"  Then they wanted to go to the barn that afternoon.  I told them they would have to put on long pants if we were going to go. Zeke immediately went and changed.  Olivia, on the other hand, got very concerned.  She NEEDED daddy to see her flower shorts.  Eventually she figured it all out and found an outfit to meet everyone's needs and the cold weather.  She put black leggings on under her yellow flowered shorts, her pink flip flops (because it was warm), her pink jacket and her pink winter hat with the ear flaps.  Then to top it off she put on her new pink sunglasses!  She looked good and she knew it. In fact when I was taking her picture she had me take another one because she "messed up" on the first one - she didn't say "cheese".  All I can say is watch out world, Olivia is coming!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Shoelaces

I know why they are called shoe laces.  Because they are laces and you put them in your shoes!

What Really Counts

A conversation I had with my sister yesterday resulted in a lot of thinking through the rest of the day.  Really, in all seriousness, what really does count in this life?  So often we are judged by what people can see.  Our size and body shape, our job, our number of children, the house we live in, the clothes we wear, the car we drive.  You get the picture.  As a result we start to base our worth as individuals on these things.  Are these the things that really matter?  A few years ago, when I was pregnant with my third, I decided I wanted to go back to school.  Part of my drive at that point in time was (if I am completely honest with myself) that I was feeling very judged. According to wordly standards, I wasn't much of anything.  I wanted to prove that I was.  During that semester, I realized that school was not what I was supposed to be doing at that point in time.  I gave birth to child number three, took my finals, and said goodbye to school for a while.  Other times I have contemplated getting a job.  Not because I wanted one, but because financially it would be nicer.  Our worldly standards would be raised (although after paying child care for 6 children it probably would've ended up being lowered!).  Once again, I was told that now is not the time.  At other points in my life I have felt very judged beause of my extra weight that I have gained through all my pregnancies.  I, more than anyone, am aware of my current size and the fact that from behind, in certain clothing, I can look like cauliflower in spandex!  So my focus went to losing weight and exerising and trying to prove that I didn't have to be an overweight mother of six, I could be a swimsuit model mother of six.  Ha!  We all have dreams...Through that process, I discovered what, to me, really counts.  We are always going to be judged.  We are going to have people that we love hut us.  We are going to have to learn to take those judgements and hurts and remember what really matters.  We will have to look past it. 

The summer after I had my 5th child.  I got pregnant again.  This preganacy ended in a miscarriage in the early months.  It was really hard for me.  While dealing with it, I was also getting comments and "helpful" advice from those I loved that maybe it was my fault I had the miscarriage.  They had all sorts of reasons why it might be my fault.  I turned to my doctor for advice.  Come to find out, 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage and there's no real reason why!  Ha!  Who knew:)  I had to turn inward at that point in time a find out what really mattered. 

Judgements hurt.  Judgements, usually, are based on very little information and fact.  People see me with my "herd" as we are so affectionately called, and they don't see much past that.  They may see that their clothes don't always match, that they wear boots with shorts, that their ponytails are off center, that I am slightly overweight and may not have make up on.  They may see that my house is not as clutter free as it should be and that my windows have not been washed in years.  But they don't see me. 

They don't see the kisses that I give to hurt little knees.  They don't see me snuggling on the couch watching a movie with my little herd instead of cleaning the house.  They don't see the little herd with their noses and hands pressed against the smudged windows waiting for daddy to come home.  They don't see me stopping to play kickball instead of going out for a run.  They don't see a table full of freshly decorated sugar cookies to give out to neighbors and friends.  They don't see us each night gather as a family and read the scriptures and pray together. 

According to the world's standards, we have not accomplished much.  We have too many children and not enoungh income.  We don't live in a big exciting place and we don't go on big exciting vacations.  We like to play in the dirt and hay stacks and ride horses.  Luckily for us, the world standards aren't what really count.

What really counts goes beyond this world.  I have taken on the responsibility to be a mother.  What I do with that is what matters.  Do I teach my children?  Do I love my children?  Do I take time for my children?  The things that people don't see, that's what the Lord sees.  His judgements are what really count.  What He thinks of me is what I focus on. Sometimes it is hard.  People can be so in your face and judgements can be so hurtful.  But it's not what really counts.  All these things that the world places value on don't carry on past this life.  Our money doesn't go with us, our clothes, cars, jobs and things stay here and become of no value.  It's the other things that make the difference.  Did we take time to love and care about others?  Did we serve those around us?  Did we live up to our responsibilities as mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, children of God? 

I have done a lot of soul searching over the last few months.  I have tried to weed out these other focuses and do what is most important, what really counts.  Now, don't get me wrong, jobs, homes, education, and health are obviously very important.  We need all of them to survive in life.  But none of them should be all consuming.  None of them should drive our existence and none of them can provide true happiness.  The quiet things we do in the walls of our homes are the most important things that we can do.  The world will continue to judge and we will have times when we are hurt by those judgements.  But if we can focus our hearts and minds on what really counts, those judgements won't determine our lives and cause us to be consumed and lose focus. 

So I continue to go day to day doing my best.  I am still overweight, but I exercise when I can and play kickball when I am needed by my chidren.  I do clean the house, but not when I have the opportunity to bake cookies with my kids or snuggle on the couch with my family and watch a movie.  I read and learn what I can.  Sometimes, the learning revolves around Skippy Jon Jones and the latest news from the playground.   I will always be the mother of a small herd and will forever be grateful for that opportunity.  And I will always try to keep my focus on what really counts and push the judgements of the world out of my focus.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Fun

Saturday night was pretty exciting for the kids.  The two youger ones didn't really remember much about the Easter Bunny but they were feeding off the excitement of the four older ones who did remember!   I think they were all finally asleep by 11:15pm.  We let them all sleep in the basement.  They love that.  Michael had to get up at 6:15 to go feed calves.  Makenna was awake about the same time and on her way upstairs. I told her no one could come up until Daddy got home.  Shortly after, ALL the kids were awake.  Kenna claims she had nothing to do with it!  Michael got home around 6:45 and the kids came bounding up the stairs.  There were treats all over the table and each had a prize at their spot on the table.  The Easter Bunny had eaten the carrots that the kids got out for him (Kenna's idea) and he had filled the bowl with jelly beans and M&Ms.  He had also taken the picture Kenna had colored for him. Each kid got a shovel, bubbles, sunglasses, flip flops and a new outfit.  We didn't do Easter dresses and such this year, we did shorts and shirts instead.  They also got either a sand pail, watering can or frisbee.  Anyways, they were excited and had a lot of fun trying on their new things and wearing their sunglasses.  The bubbles were all spilt and gone within a few minutes of taking them outside. We also decorated cookies for all the boys at the ranch.  We sent about 8 dozen to them and we still had 3 or 4 dozen left at home.  The kids love the boys here and they love it when we take them treats (and from what I've been told, the boys love it too)!

Easter Poem

Our Savior suffered and bled for us.
He gave His life upon the cross.
His love for us so complete and true
He fulfilled His promise to me and you.
On the third day He rose again.
The fight over death, He did win.
Triumphant and glorious to the end
Our risen Savior, our Brother, our Friend
He lives again and we can too
A wonderful gift for me and you.