Friday, January 30, 2015

Real Life and Exciting News


I love the quick easiness of Instagram, it is a great way to see snippets of friend's lives.  

I think that there is a lot of real life that doesn't usually show on social media.  Just so you know that we are really human, here is what doesn't appear in my Instagram pictures:

1.  I didn't post a picture of what we had for dessert on Christmas Eve.  This is what we had:




It says, "Number 8 Will be Great!  We Can't Wait! Due August 9, 2015!

We are super excited!  The kids were surprised.  Our current baby will be just under 2 years old when the new baby is born.  I like the 2 year spacing. 

2.  I haven't posted any pictures of me miserably nauseated!  

3.  I haven't posted any pictures of the stack of papers on my counter or my kitchen floor that wasn't swept.  I have been in survival mode, just basics. . . feed kids, basic house pick up, and clean laundry in the basket but not folded.

4.  Despite feeling sick I did muster enough energy to help plan a very special baptism for our daughter and we invited friends, neighbors, teachers, and family from Utah.  She was baptized on January 23. 

5.  I didn't post any pictures of what I looked like last weekend on the day of her baptism.  I woke up and was shocked when I looked in the mirror because my jaw and sides of my face were super swollen!  While our parents and my grandparents were here  I spend the day in the doctor's office doing blood tests to find out if I had the Mumps!  (Yes, my immunizations are up to date).  
I was placed in "Quarantine." Until the results from the blood work came back.  I attended the baptism, but stayed away from everyone.  I stood by the font to listen to the speakers.  It was sad, really sad.  

I stayed home while the family watched my boys play soccer and went to dinner.  The whole weekend I was home.  

It wasn't until the next Tuesday that the results came back and said that I did not have the Mumps! 
I simply had clogged parotid glands or saliva glands (it isn't contagious at all).  

6.  I had been so nauseated that in December the doctor gave me a prescription medication for nausea.  Because of my "mumps scare" they took me off of the medicine and I was so sick the whole weekend that our families were here. 

7.  For memory sake we took this picture after her baptism:
The doctor said that if I wanted to sit by people I could just wear the mask.  I opted to stay away.  

Needless to say, life is always an adventure!  On a positive note I am feeling so great this week!!  I finished the first trimester of this pregnancy and I am hopeful that I will keep feeling great!  I know I am feeling better because I have been tackling organizing projects this week!  






Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas came early. . .

In October the kids came home to find red and green balloons.  Inside the balloons was a message that the kids had to unscramble.  They discovered that their Grandparents (Justin's parents) were taking the whole family to Disneyland for their Christmas gift!!! Christmas came early because we went to Disneyland over Thanksgiving! 



We spent the first day in California at the beach!  The kids loved it!  It was their first time!  When you live in the Midwest you don't have the opportunity to visit the beach very often! 














The next three days we spent at Disneyland and California Adventure.  It was so fun, and being with all the cousins made it even more magical!  

 It is our family tradition to start on "It's a Small World," so that everyone can go together.  I love to see the excitement of the little kids!  






Happy Memories, last forever! 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

True Love

Kaden and Carianne are married!  We were so grateful to be able to share in the excitement of their wedding day!  

Just after they were married!  
The Reception.

Preparing for the reception.
At the Temple.
 Our family.

Photo courtesy of Aunt Allison
The Reception.

 The Luncheon.
Their Happily Ever After. . .

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cut the Clutter


I originally wrote this on February 20, 2008 on my personal blog, it is a cute story that illustrates that we hang onto items that we think should be valuable and we sacrafice time and space to keep these useless items :)  




One of my favorite topics to discuss is home organization. This week I went to the website of a woman who is a professional organizer. The title on the top of her website read, “Get Organized Once and For All.” I couldn’t help but laugh! “Once and for all,” if only it were that easy—do it once and you are done! This woman obviously doesn’t have elementary age children that come home from school with a back pack full of papers every afternoon. What about the preschooler who colors hundreds pictures and insists on keeping each “work of art.” I won’t even mention the things that we accumulate on Birthdays and Holidays! Needless to say organization for me is a daily battle. Perhaps that is why I enjoy learning and talking about it because it is something I focus on every day.


My years of marriage and motherhood have taught me the need to be organized and I believe organization starts by cutting out the clutter.  I must say that Justin has been very patient in my process of learning! Perhaps a story will illustrate his patients.


The Saga of the Blue Dishes

When we were married I accumulated a set of blue and white dishes that my mom, and sisters and I had found while living in Richmond, VA. There was a complete 12 place setting including everything from cups, saucers to matching serving bowls. With all the dishes wrapped and packed into boxes it took up a lot of space! Nevertheless, I love formal dinners and knew that I should haul the many boxes of blue dishes all the way to Ohio to keep in our first apartment. (I really should mention that I don’t like blue, I am a green person. I had the dishes because they were a great opportunity and not because I was in love with them. They were sentimental because they were from Virginia.) Imagine our tiny little two bedroom apartment cramped for space and I have Justin moving box after box of blue dishes into the only large closet in the house. . . .and then they sat. We didn’t even use them one time in that house, or the next, or the next, or the next, or the next. Yes, it took 5 moves and 5 years of marriage for me to come to my senses! I finally gave them to my mom who has 12 people to serve and enough room to keep them. The moral of the story is that those blue dishes took our time and space. The result of less stuff is freed-up space, less stress, and more energy for living a happier, richer life every day.

Oh, so many lesson can be learned from that one simple story about storing too much.  

Emotionally I think we save so many things because they "should be valuable" or "have so many memories" or "we love the person that gave it."  At some point we need to realize we can still keep our memories and loose the junk!  

I believe that this lesson also applies to many objects that take our time and space.  I am an art person, I spent hours drawing and coloring as a child.  Now I love to see what our kids create, but I have also learned that most of the value is in the learning and doing.  Throwing a picture away doesn't mean that it isn't amazing, we get to keep to knowledge we learned from creating the picture and the joy from accomplishing it.  I love to take pictures of my kids artwork.  Each child has a file on our computer of pictures and projects that they have done.  I also keep the very best works of art.  With less stuff there is more room to create.  

I think we all need to look through our houses and find our own, "blue dishes!"





Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Making a Meal Plan

Written Oct. 2014
The fact of the matter is. . . 

We love to eat!  
We need to eat!  
We will eat. . .

so as mothers we need to face the facts and focus on food!  Feeding our families can be such a blessing in so many ways.

It is a wonderful opportunity to bring us together.  It is a time for bonding and a time to strengthen relationships by spending time together.  I am convinced that if we, as mothers, will focus a little more on dinnertime our families will be blessed in many ways.  I know we eat so much healthier and feel better when I follow a menu plan and I am prepared.  

Today is my grocery shopping day, so I decided to tell you exactly how I plan for a great week of food.   The first thing I do is evaluate what I already have in the pantry and see what we have an abundance of and what we need to stock up on.  

We are blessed to have very large pantry so the below picture is just a portion of it.  I am not a big snack person and have been accused of being a "mean mom" because I don't buy fruit snacks, twinkies, and donuts.  I try to stick to healthy whole foods.  Like everyone else, I am busy, so I find meals that are delicious with minimal prep work.  


After going through the pantry I look at the list of things that I have written on my grocery shopping list  that I keep on my phone (in Evernote).  

Then I take a look at my calendar because if I plan a meal that takes a long time to prepare on a day that  I am extremely busy, it just isn't going to end up happening!  Here is what are evenings look like this week:

Wednesday:  Church Activities

Thursday:  Music Concert and Soccer Game (we divide the kids and each go a different way)

Friday: School Trunk or Treat

Saturday: High Priest Party (Adult Church Party)

Sunday: Nothing :)

Monday:  Family Home Evening

Tuesday: Relief Society

Wednesday:  Church Activities

Since we have something almost every evening this week, I am going to plan a lot of crock-pot meals that I can prepare in the morning so that they will be ready to go in the evening.  This will also help so that there is less to clean up when we are running out the door to our activities.  

For breakfast I make a smoothie almost every morning.  I buy a huge container of spinach then divide it into ziplock bags when I get home from the store and freeze the bags.  Each morning I put frozen fruit, a banana, spinach, (and whatever else I want) in the blender with almond milk (we have 2 non dairy kids)  and we have a smoothie along with:

boiled eggs, granola, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, cereal

or if it is a weekend we make our favorite whole wheat pancakes.  

Lunch:

I try to make the kid's lunches about 4 times each week and they usually have hot lunch 1 or 2 times per week.  

Here is the plan I have come up with for this week.  I often hear people say, "I don't meal plan, because I might not feel like making that on a certain night."  I recieved wonderful advice from a friend over 10 years ago who recommended: "Just Do It."  Just get in the habit of making a plan and sticking to it.  Once you get in the kitchen and start the hard part is over.  I took her advice and it has blessed our family for over the past decade!  




Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Family Room Now

 BEFORE:


AFTER:






I will be posting about the design process and sources soon. . .

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick-or-Treat

Kit Kitteridge (An American Girl)
 Old Man

 Elsa
 Ohio State Football Player and his Cheerleader


 Ohio State Football player without his helmet.
 It turned out to be a cold night!


 Neighbor Friends

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