Friday, October 30, 2009

Red Ribbon Week

It was Red Ribbon week at Moiola Elementary this week. Each day was early release schedule for parent conferences, and the kids got to do something fun every day. Monday they received their "Say No To Drugs" wrist bands. Thursday they wore all red. Here were the other fun days...

Tuesday -- Crazy Sock Day

Wednesday -- Crazy Hair Day

Friday -- Costume Contest

No princesses in our house. This year it is Servant of Lord Hades from the Percy Jackson series. Jenna has been feverish all week and has missed all the fun. Hopefully she'll be good for Halloween.
"To become a servant of Lord Hades dial 1-800-UNDRWLD"
I thought this phone number was pretty clever if I do say so myself. Hee, hee.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What to say when the kids are being naughty...

I found this today on the NieNie Dialogues (see side bar) and thought it was quite hilarious. I hope Stephanie doesn't mind me quoting her. She was talking about the events of the day and the unique qualities of each of her children in various circumstances. Here is how the day ended. Have a giggle.

I was downstairs and overheard Mr. Nielson upstairs attending to two screaming girls in the shower.

Then he said:
"Oh girls, guess what? The devil called and said you guys were doing awesome."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Do Vampires Brush Their Teeth?

Jenna is going to be a vampire for Halloween. She loves the new series My Sister The Vampire and she wants to be Ivy. Ivy wears all black, so Jenna wore all black on Sunday. She wanted to wear red lipstick, but I told her she'd have to wait until Halloween. The conversation about lip stick and make up was occurring while I was rushing to get myself ready for church. I thought about telling her we'd talk later, but she was so cute talking to me while I was getting ready. I'm so glad I didn't stop her. This was the end of the conversation before we left for church...

Jenna "Do vampires brush their teeth?"
Mom "Vampires aren't real honey, so I don't know."
Jenna "Well you know a lot about vampires because you read Twilight. I thought you'd know."

Clever girl.

Friday, October 23, 2009

That's My Girl

As I walked through the kitchen last night, I noticed Heather missing from her homework spot at the table. Thinking she left, I called for her. I heard a voice near her chair and stepped around to take a look. Here she was in the laundry basket doing her homework. She said it was quite comfortable. She likes being surrounded by things--hugs, stuffed animals, blankets--it's been that way since we brought her home from the hospital. She often surprises me with her 'out-of-the-box' thinking, but it usually makes me smile.

If you know Heather, you know that one of the best words to describe her is joyful. She is full of joy every minute of every day. She is happy and compassionate and loving and a joy to have around. I think she gets that from her dad. She springs out of bed in the morning and is ready to greet the day. I am just so glad she is in my life. She reminds me not to be so serious, and she's shown me that a little more carefree is not that big a deal. Her heart is so open, and she is so kind that when she is hurt, she hurts deeply. I am trying to teach her how to deal with that which I think will be a lifelong process for her. I do know, though, that I have been sent the little ones that I have to teach me and help me grow. She has been a great teacher in opening my mind to new possibilities and new ways of thinking. I am more flexible and compassionate because of this little ball of joy. I just love her so much. Can ya tell?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Jenna is our fashionista. Check out this ensemble. The girls had showered on Monday night when we decided to go out to dinner. I told them to grab a comfy dress and some shoes to throw on instead of wearing p.j.s. Heather did just that, but Jenna came out in this get up. I looked at her with her big smile (and her purse, not pictured) and decided that it was more important to let her have some creativity than have her change. I decided to take part in her joy and just smile right back at her. When Jenna is cute, she is just really too darn cute. It was more fun to be in the moment with her than to worry about what other people were going to think or to have her comply with fashion standards. Perhaps she'll be a famous designer one day?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pressure and Peace

*Warning. This post contains journal style narrative that will probably tell you way too much about me. Read at your own risk.*

Pressure. I cracked. It was Sunday morning just two days ago. Didn't even see it coming. I don't normally crack. In fact I can't remember losing it like I lost it Sunday morning. Ever. I believe the exact words I screamed, full volume, blow-out-the-vocal-chords-loud, for the entire neighborhood to hear were, "I'm sick of this! Sick of it!" I then went to my room, slammed my door (which felt really good) and proceeded to cry. The anguish that I felt was really surprising, but the experience has been quite liberating.

You're probably dying to hear my tale so I'll tell it for what it's worth. We were all getting ready for church where we were to go stand in a perfect little family vignette for the Primary Program. What a lovely display by the mother of the perfect little family just before we head off to church, huh? It was almost comical. Almost, but not really. I was putting on my make up and could hear my girls beginning to bicker. They had run around the house giggling that morning and playing. Now I heard, "Okay, Jenna. Now I get to do it back to you!!!" Then the hysterical panicked scream from Jenna. I could tell someone had been hurt. I ran in the room to find Jenna on the floor holding her arms. When I examined what had been inflicted upon her, I found purplish finger print marks around each of her upper arms where she'd been squeezed really hard. Knowing that my other daughter has a really strong grip, I knew that it had hurt. I was instantly mad at Heather for inflicting that kind of pain, and really mad at Jenna for instigating it, and really mad that I've saved my own children from the pain of their mother leaving marks on them, but they go ahead and do it to each other... I've already told you what happened next. Mom screams, slams door and disappears to sob.

What was the "it" I was sick of? Here is the short list:

•Jenna's physical boundary crossing when we've told her so many times not to touch Heather
•Heather's feeling the need to dish out severe justice in her own defense
•The unkind exchanges between my kids
•Having to endure Jenna's verbal displeasure about whatever directed at me every single morning for months on end
My failure to teach Jenna that you can attract more flies with honey than you can with vinegar
•The fact that I don't yell or hit my children, but they do it to each other--this floors me!
•My grumpiness
•The reasons for my grumpiness
•I can't keep up with the housework
•All the organizational tools in my house that can't seem to save us from ourselves
•I can't keep up with the laundry
•I can't find time to play games with my kids
•I can't find time to cook with my kids or show them how to do anything fun
•All the wonderful things I want to do that don't get done
•The stress I feel because the house is cluttered and the laundry isn't done
•The stress of knowing that I'm not enough in so many ways
•Dealing with my hormones and the aging process
•Knowing that I'm not the best example for my girls
•Knowing that I have clearly not taught them how to love and care for each other
•Missed family night lesson opportunities
•The constant hurried/disorganized state we're always in coupled with the fact that I know how to organize! And I'm really good at it!

Oh my gosh. I could go on. I'm sure you have the picture? It just all exploded in that one little sentence. Seeing the marks on my daughter's arm set off the explosion, but the fuel was already there.

Here comes the important component. I already know that with outbursts of rage like this, it is usually not the event that provokes it, but rather whatever is amiss in the person who exploded. Fortunately, I knew not to harm anyone or say anything that I would later regret. I actually felt relief. I knew that change needed to happen. Church was actually a good thing. I sat through all my meetings in my sadness, but I also felt the peace of my Savior.

Peace. The day ended well. I came home from church and tidied up the kitchen. I invited my girls in to don an apron and be my sous chefs. They were very excited. I played Celtic flute music in the background and we peeled carrots and potatoes, set the table and lit candles. I smiled and let myself be cheerful right in front of that stupid pile of laundry next to the kitchen table. I am still sick of that stupid pile of laundry, but man, if I keep tripping over it every time I walk past it, my kids will be grown and off to college before I realize that it's just a stupid pile of clothing. I think that's the point. I'm worried about the wrong things. I worry about them because I think other people worry about them, therefore I should be worried. It's not workin' for me anymore.

Time for some change.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I have been absent from friendship connections, blogs, facebook, Twilightmoms' Healthy Living Challenge, email, laundry, dirty dishes and regretfully, even some much need family fun time. Why? It can all be summed up in one little word...


This is one of the numbers for our upcoming "Big Show" that I have been asked to work on. The Broadway choreography is so exceptional that I was asked to learn it, teach it and perform it. For those of you attending the show, or for anyone that is interested in what the heck I'm talking about, you can view a clip of the madness here. Although it may take me months of recovery, it is going to be awesome.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Halloween Candy is EVIL

Halloween candy. Sweet treat or spawn of the devil? You decide.

It sits in the pretty bowl waiting for the 31st day of October. It is not satisfied with looking pretty. No. It calls to you, by name. If you ignore it, it just calls louder. You eventually give in and decide to have just one or two pieces. The pieces are little, so what harm can be done?


Need I say more? No humorous description is going to bring a different ending to my little blurb. Our bowl is gone. I keep saying we should get a dog so I can blame some of the food disappearance on it.

I will not be replacing our bowl of candy until October 31 at 2:00 p.m. The candy should last long enough to make it into the hands of the little treaters. Maybe. I'm going to get some ear plugs too. That way I'll be able to tune out the spawn.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Have A Giggle

When was the last time you had a good laugh? The button-busting, snort-inducing, pee-your-pants, tears-rolling-down-your-cheeks, can't-form-a-sentence kind of laugh? Can you remember? These girls have one every day.

Go on. Have a giggle.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Continuous Learning

If I am older, shouldn't I be wiser? That's what I've always heard. I guess I am wiser about a lot of things. What is surprising to me is that after years and years of acquiring wisdom, some things still elude me. Things that are relatively simple.

So here is my most recent epiphany. There are important things that need to happen every day for me to feel accomplished. They are not grand things by worldly standards, but simple things. It is strange how we can take simple things for granted simply because after hearing the ideas over and over, they become too bland or generic to maintain importance on our list of pressing 'to-do's'.

I tried a new list this week. The list has only 5 items on it. Any additional to-do items are listed after these are done. These five items were the things missing on my daily to-do list, and my spirit was finally shouting loud enough for me to take notice. I am constantly in a state of agitation worrying about things that I know I need to get to, but that I can't seem to fit in because I'm busy doing everything else, or sometimes just plain old wasting time. My soul needed peace. This is what I came up with:

• Meaningful morning prayer (the kind where you kneel, unrushed)
• Read from scriptures (a verse or a chapter, whatever will fit)
• Exercise (just gotta do it, first thing)
• Shower (it's just not funny how fast the day can go by)
• Bless home (from The Fly Lady; it means quick tidying up of the house and putting all in order each day so that it doesn't become overwhelming)

I have tried this list this week and it was very odd to see what happened. I was at peace every day. I didn't spend as much time on the computer. Errands that used to take precedence over my home waited a day or two until they fit into the schedule. It was truly miraculous.

I don't know about older and wiser, but I'm definitely sure that continuous learning will be a hallmark of my life. At least I'm getting some of the lessons learned. Better late than never, right?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pay It Forward - Completed!

Kathy H.
Michelle B.
Amy H.
Angie H.
Katie B.

The US Mail will be coming your way girls! My handmade items are complete and ready to ship! Although small and humble, they are useful and I hope you love them. Send me a picture of you with your items, and I'll post them here. This has been so fun!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Prayer of Thanks

While tidying up this evening, I pondered on the state of disorganization in my home. I posed the question to myself, "If we are truly thankful for our home, as we tell the Lord we are in our prayers each evening, wouldn't we show more care in the way we take care of it?" I had to write about it. Here is my offering for today...

A Prayer of Thanks

Help me be thankful for my home

As would the man who stands in front of the place where his home used to be.

Help me be thankful for the food on our table

As would a child who has not eaten for a week.

Help me be thankful for my comfortable bed

As would the woman who helps comfort her children as they sleep on the sidewalk.

Help me be thankful for clean water

As would the families who travel miles to collect and carry theirs home.

Help me be thankful for shelter, clothes and shoes

As would the homeless who live on the street and huddle in the cold.

Help me be thankful for my education

As would a woman who is not allowed to go to school.

Help me be thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ

As would the family who dares not worship for fear of death.

Help me show the thanks in my heart and treat my blessings as treasures

As would so many given the chance to be in my shoes.

~ Melissa C. Peterson

Friday, October 2, 2009

What Are You Going To Be For Halloween?

Wouldn't it have been fun if your mom and/or dad dressed up for Halloween? Maybe yours did. I'm hoping my kids remember my dress up adventures with fondness. If not, I still have fun donning my costume each year. Come on... I know there's a kid inside you that just can't wait for October 31.

What will you be this year for Halloween?

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I went to the fabric store a couple of days ago to pick up some ribbon. As I was looking at the different colors, I heard a woman say, "Okay, let's go pick out the fabric for the skirt...". I turned to look and saw a little girl with her grandma, and both were looking at fabric for a pattern they had. The memories came instantly. I remembered when Carmen and I would go to the fabric store to look at material for something she was going to sew for the girls. They were too little at the time to realize how fabulously talented their grandma was. I could picture how much fun it would be for Heather and Jenna at their current ages to go to the fabric store with Grandma. I imagined what fun conversations they would have had. Then I walked to my car with my ribbon and my memories, and I dried a couple of tears.

Above, Carmen works on the hem for Heather's witchy skirt. Below, Heather in her finished costume with Jenna as a Hershey's Kiss. Grandma made that one when Heather was about 15 months old.