Monday, December 9, 2013

Clutter Attracts Clutter

Daryl Hoole teaches an important lesson in her book, "The Ultimate Career."  She says that

"Clutter attracts clutter" 
"messes multiply".

Last week we got home from grocery shopping and I had to carry in the baby, my purse, groceries, and a bunch of coats.  My arms were so full I just dropped three coats on the bench in the mudroom and forgot to go back and pick them up before the kids came home from school.

I laughed out load when I walked past the mudroom a few hours later.  When the kids came home from school and noticed the coats thrown on the bench (including mine) and they just threw theirs on top of the stack. They didn't hang them as usual because they followed my lead.

I guess the lesson learned is that if you want your children to pick up and be organized you have to set the example :)

I love babies.

One of the kids snapped some pictures of me holding the baby, while we were watching my daughter at gymnastics.  Just so you know, I love babies!  I wish they stayed little for longer :)  

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Learning about Work, Responsibility, and Independence

Growing up my dad had his own business which presented us with ample opportunities to learn to work.  Our kids can't go to work with their dad, so I try to provide jobs at home to teach them to work and give them a chance to earn money.  They save some money for their missions and they learn to pay their tithing.  

A few jobs they have had lately to earn money are:

Help with the Christmas Cards:
 Our Oldest daughter helped organize the Spices and medicine cupboards:

 Over the Summer she also went through the bins of clothes that we are saving for little kids to grow into and cleaned them out and organized them.
  Our oldest son research, organized, and updated our 72 hour kits so that we are ready for an emergency.

They learn responsibility by completing their daily chores and being responsible to pick up after themselves.  

They are learning to be independent by learning to cook.  I really enjoy teaching them to cook! When they leave home I want them to know how to cook healthy meals, keep a house clean, and be organized.  

I also believe it is important to teach them while they are young and have time to learn.  When they get into High School they seem to be so busy and involved that they don't have as much time to learn these essential life lessons.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Creating Margins

I have been watching a Virtual Retreat on the Power of Moms website.  A section that I listened to recently while exercising was very inspiring.  Sadie Eyre Shumway talked about how as mother we often feel overloaded.  She explained that we need to create margins in our life.  When you are given a piece of lined paper to write on in school it is expected that you leave the margins clear and just write in the middle of the paper.   Sadie had many good ideas about how we can simplify so that we have time in our life to enjoy the beautiful moments.  We all need to create margins of space in our lives.

a few of the thoughts that stuck with me are:

- evaluate all our commitments

- less clothes for kids and us (less laundry, shopping, less to clean up)

- less extra curricular activities

- decided when we are available (if it isn't convienient don't answer the phone or respond to a text immediately)

- No debt (act your wage) live on what you make

- cut back on magazines and other information that comes to your home or email inbox and takes your time.

- if it doesn't inspire you cut it out of your life (blogs or websites)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Choose to be Grateful

Monday night was a typical night.  My daughter had voice lessons, we did homework, and ate dinner as a family.  After dinner on Mondays we have Family Home Evening. Our oldest son taught a wonderful lesson.  Before going to bed that night I said my prayers and thanked Heavenly Father that I have everything that I ever wanted.   I have a good husband and wonderful children who are learning and growing.  My heart was so filled with gratitude.  

The next morning I attended an exercise class and we started visiting about what we wanted to get our kids for Christmas.  After the class the little kids and I ran errands.  As I shopped I started to think about all the things we don't have and all the things we want.  Suddenly, I realized how discontent I am when I focus on all the worldly things we lack: flat screen TVs, lap tops, and new clothes in the latest fashion. 

We are approaching Thanksgiving, a time of year to realize how blessed we are.  It seems Thanksgiving is being overshadowed by the glitz and glamor of Christmas; not the focus on Christ Christmastime, but the commercial craze of "I want."   I don't want to forget to be grateful for what really matters.  I don't want to forget to focus energy and effort on what will last.  When we are chasing the latest and greatest in "worldly stuff" we find ourselves chasing our own tail.  You can never catch it.  

I love these quotes from President Thomas S. Monson's talk, "Finding Joy in The Journey":

This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now.

Said one well-known author: “Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.” 
(Sarah Ban Breathnach, in John Cook, comp., The Book of Positive Quotations, 2nd ed. (2007), 342.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Highlights

This year we were Cave People.  My mom made the outfit that Abigail is wearing (my little sister wore it a few years ago) and it was the inspiration for all of our outfits.  The costumes were fun and easy to sew!  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hugs From Heaven

I am a mother.   Some days are long and hard.  I spend the day:

Cooking, cleaning, caring
Dressing, dusting, driving,
Loving, listening, learning,
Hugging, helping, hearing.

Each day I am constantly caring for others.  Night comes and the house is quiet, but random toys still need to be picked up, a few stray dishes are left in the sink, and crumbs still litter the floor.  As the mother who has so busily worked throughout the day I am tired, exhausted, and long for someone to wrap their arms around me, look me in the eye, and say, 

“You did a great job today, you: 

Cooked, cleaned, cared,
Dressed, dusted, drove,
Loved, listened, learned,
Hugged, helped, heard."

As a mother we seldom have someone wrap their arms around us and recognize what a great job we have done in our daily work; but as I fall on my knees at night I can’t help but feel that we do have a Father in Heaven who is thankful and knows the effort it has taken to

Cook, clean, care,
Dress, dust, drive,
Love, listen, learn,
Hug, help, hear.

Someday I will be in Heavenly Father's arms again and I will feel his infinite love and know that in my simple daily acts as a mother I was able to pass his love to the children that he has allowed me to care for.

But for now, I will feel hugs from Heaven in my heart.  

We are so blessed!

In our church babies receive a special blessing at church.  Our sweet baby was able to have both Grandparents here for her blessing.  

Be still and know that I am God

(I wrote this awhile ago)

Our baby is one month old today.  From the first minute she was born I knew I wanted to cherish every minute that she is a tiny newborn.  I did such a great job at the beginning of the month, but as we have stopped receiving meals, and life has transition back to full speed, I have also increased expectations for myself.  The last two days I have notice that aside from feeling sleep deprived I also felt frustrated that at the end of the day I wasn't able to accomplish more.  Tonight after dinner, I picked up our little bundle of joy and I sat on the couch and just talked to her and admired her sweet innocence.  The past two days I have forgotten to sit and just enjoy.  When Alexis was born the hospital gave me a little poem that I appreciate more now than ever before because I realize how quickly babies grow.

Cooking and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,

but babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow.

So go away, cobwebs and dust, go to sleep,

I'm rocking my baby, for babies don't keep.

I think that whether we have a new baby or not, we need time everyday to be still and know that I am God (Psalms 46:10).  When we are still we recognize his power, see the beauty, and feel his love.
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