Friday, August 16, 2013


Our oldest daughter was my helper for our 7th MOM ADVENTURE.  She thought it would be fun to go to an art museum.  The kids each took a sketch pad and a pencil.  When they found a painting or sculpture that they liked they made a quick sketch in their books.  After our picnic lunch we showed each other our sketch books and talked about our favorite pieces of art.  It was one of our favorite adventures!  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Take A Step Back

July 26, 2013

Today I had an "Aha Moment" let me explain. . .

I am 33 weeks pregnant.  I feel like I have a basketball for a stomach and I am walking around on swollen feet and ankles.  To bend over, move, or walk up stairs takes effort and exertion (you know when your out of breath after one flight of stairs :)  I am sure that people notice my swollen feet and wonder how many days I have left until I am due. I wanted to record what I look like during my 7th pregnancy and just how big I am so I had my daughter snap a few pictures today.  When the pictures were downloaded on the computer and I saw what I looked like it was like taking a step back from life to recognize that many of my problems are distorted in my head.  

I am not nearly as large as I feel and my feet aren't as obviously swollen as I thought.  Probably no one at the grocery store walks past me and thinks, "That lady has swollen ankles."  How often are we like that?  We get so caught up in our discomforts and problems that we don't realize that they aren't as serious as we make them out to be!

I have decided that when I am in the "woe is me" mind set it is time to "Take A Step Back" and realize how blessed we really are.  

To be completely truthful this is actually my favorite part of pregnancy because I made it through the nausea, then I had low iron and was so tired, now I feel good and time is flying by!  I also love this part of pregnancy because the baby is moving so much.  I already know what the baby's schedule is like and I am getting prepared to be up from 2:00 am until 3:00 :)  

The First Day

The kids had a successful first day of school yesterday!  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ready For School?

We have done 7 things to get ready to start school this week.  

1. Clean the mudroom

I wanted to make sure this room was clutter free so that we were ready for it to be filled with backpacks!

2. Get the Backpack's cleaned out and ready

I made the mistake of letting our oldest daughter pick out any backpack she wanted when she started kindergarten.  Let's just say that cheap "Hello Kitty" backpack didn't last long at all.  She actually went through three backpacks before I learned my lesson and started buying Land's End backpacks and lunch bags.  I always get them on sale for a great price and they last for many years! 

3.  Buy school supplies

While I was shopping for a cart full of school supplies my husband went shoe shopping.  Our kids have to have a pair of gym shoes to keep at school for their P.E. class and the boys needed new shoes to wear to school.   Out of the six pairs of shoes purchased, four of them were a size 3!  

4.  Have the lunch bags and containers ready

Our Ziploc containers fit perfectly in our kids lunch bags.  The water bottles that I found at Old Navy are the perfect size for the side of their bag.  

5.  Print new charts and plan the fall schedule

6.  Clean closets and buy some school clothes

I have learned the beauty of not having too many clothes!  It is much nicer to have a closet with items you love and can easily find than a closet stuffed with items you don't really like.  

7.  Have an organized system for papers

When the backpacks come home and I am sorting through papers I have my ipad handy to add anything to my calendar or to-do list.  

I also have the stadium file to file papers in one of the following folders:

Today (things that must be handled today)
Weekly Review (things that I can take care of that week, I usually have a weekly review on Fridays)
File (papers that need to be filed long term)
Read and Review (magazines or information I would like to read through)

The black accordion thing in the picture has a place for each kid to store papers that need to be filed temporarily (spelling lists, sight words to practice).

Monday, August 5, 2013

Life Lessons From The Lap Pool

(Saturday, July 20, 2013)

My wonderful husband has granted me an entire day off today!  With our 7th child coming in 7 weeks I knew I needed some time to think, prioritize and focus.

So, what would you do with an entire day to yourself?

We woke up and planned to read family scriptures together before I left.  Of course, the two year old had wet her bed, the girls wanted me to do their hair, we read scriptures, and had a few cries over a variety of things.  When I finally got out the door I was only gone for a few minutes before I realized that I had forgotten something.  When I walked back through the door my husband laughed, "I knew you couldn't make it more than 6 minutes without us!"

My first stop was the pool.  I had determined to spend an entire hour, uninterrupted, swimming laps. I don't think I have had that much personal swimming time since my days on the high school swim team.  Surprisingly, there are a lot of life lessons that come from the lap pool:

Life Lessons

1.  Get a great start-  In swimming your start is critical.  If you start with a great dive or push off you are able to glide yourself through the water and use your strength later on in the race.  In life how we start the day is critical.  I personally have found that I need to start my day by myself (before my kids get up).  If I can pray, read my scriptures, plan my to-do list and get ready.  I am a much better mom. My boys are always up early, but they know they can start reading their scriptures and making their beds or play quietly.  If your prefer to exercise first thing in the morning, great.  Just find what you need to accomplish most first thing in the morning.  That great morning start will help you glide through the day.

2.   Faster isn't better-  In swimming moving your arms and legs as rapidly as you can will actually slow you down and tire you out too quickly.   To make the most of your stroke it is best to focus on your form and glide through the water.  I know I am guilty of trying to swim too fast in life.   I must look as funny as someone trying to move their arms and legs too fast while swimming.  So today I am focusing on how to swim through life at the right speed, using my glide and enjoying the water. I think for me that means cutting the to-do list down and taking time each day to look my husband and kids in the eyes and let them have a peice of my time.  I also think it means having less so that I can do more with my family.

3.  Work all muscles at the right time-  The great part about lap swimming is that if you swim all four strokes:  free, breast, back, and butterfly, you are able to work out most of the muscles in your body. If you try to swim all four strokes at the same time I am pretty sure that you might drown.  Over my hour workout I was able to swim each stroke and at times focus on just arms or legs.  In life as a mother I try to do it all, all the time, every day.  No wonder I start drowning!  I wish that everyday I could have an hour to swim for exercise, but as a mother of 6 the schedule just doesn't allow for that.  I have to be content that sometime in the future I will be able to do that and for now I need to be content with the stroke that I am working on.  Exercise at this point in my life is a walk around the block pushing the double stroller, running on the treadmill, or doing push ups with a two year old on my back.  The truth is when I have time for an hour at the pool each day, I will long for the grown up two year old.  Take it one stroke at a time, I can work on the other strokes later.

4.  You Can't Quit Swimming-  When you are swimming quitting in the middle just isn't an option, especially when you swim in deep water.  In life and especially as a mother, quitting isn't and option. We chose to swim, we need to pace ourselves.  Fortunately, there is help.  When you're feeling out of breath grab a kick board and swim a few laps focusing on legs and give your arms a break.  When our new baby is born I realize I won't be able to swim at my usual pace, I will need a kick board for a while in order to keep swimming. My husband and kids always provide added support and I need to lessen my personal expectations.  We all have times when we can't do the full stoke, so figure out what you want to focus on in life when you find yourself in survival mode.    

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