Friday, April 19, 2013


It's Friday!  Do you ever wonder if you will make it to this day?
Here are some of the things I did this week:

  • Took treats (capri suns and homemade rice krispy treats) to three different baseball games---pheeew!  Now our treat duty is done for the season!
  • Dressed two ballerinas for ballet portraits in recital outfits.
  • Attended 1 tball game, 2 fastpitch games, and 2 machine pitch games.
  • Took children to music group to grow their talent in guitar playing (or maybe just to have fun)
  • Went to a women's church activity--Swap Meet this month.  I did pass on (get rid of!) three boxes of clothing, 1 box spring, 1 old Christmas tree, some random toys, and maybe a few other pieces of junk  treasures for others to have.
  • Have washed and dried many loads of laundry, of which NONE are folded yet.
  • Put a child in braces, and am now feeling $5,000 poorer.
  • e-filed my taxes (nothing like procrastinating until the day they are due)
  • Taught my 5th grade math team about "the great problem" that they will need to conquer at the next competition
  • Woke up at 5:00 every day this week, that is no small task!  I wouldn't have done it if I hadn't had a friend meeting me to go running---nothing like peer pressure.
  • It's hard to say what else happened this week. . . . . . .I can't always remember that far back!

I'm tired.  It's only 5:13 pm on Friday.  I feel like crawling in my bed and watching a movie.  I don't feel like making dinner.  But, as mothers always do------we muster up a little energy and get things done.  Somedays our efforts are gourmet, and sometimes they just work---but both are good to me.  Somedays its chicken nuggets, and somedays its homemade bread and soup.  My list might look supernatural, but its not.  Write down all of the things you've done this week as a mom.  You'll surprise yourself.  We don't have to mention that my sink is currently full of dishes, my bedroom is yearning to be clean, and that the baby is running around the house in just a onesie.  It's a great day.  It's a great week.  Even when we're tired.

Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm having the urge to start blogging again.  Do I just add to my "journal" blog of family pictures and events?  Or do I start up this one too?  It is a personal dilemma that I am having.  It's not that I have any followers to this blog, or anyone in particular I am writing to.  I just really do love writing. . .
Reading some of my past posts has inspired me to keep adding.  Someday, I may read them all again.

I had a 7th child 18 months ago.  I am still home educating (let's not say "homeschooling" and make people think that we are weird) this bundle of children.  I still have a very time demanding responsibility at my church.  I'm coaching the 5th grade math team, chasing 4 different little league teams, not keeping a clean house, and some days I feel like I am drowning.  Let's just say---blogging has been slipping my the wayside.  We could also blame Facebook, and Pinterest, and all of those other ways to fulfill the "sharing with others" desire.  But now I am back (we'll see if I live up to that statement).

 I HAVE to record some of the spontaneity of motherhood.  I HAVE to record some of my memories in the moment.

I HAVE to let my children know that even though motherhood is hard, it is so very worth it!file://localhost/Users/Melissa/Downloads/journal-writing-me.jpg

Friday, November 5, 2010

I love Friday.

I just really love Friday.  I love coming to the end of a school week.  I love heading into the weekend.  I love staying up later and letting the kids stay up a little later too.  I love making pizza, and we almost have it every Friday.  I like cleaning my house---and this is a cleaning day for me.  I just love Fridays!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Potty Training

I am barely surviving potty training........
--can't go anywhere that doesn't have a toilet within 10 yards running distance
--can't have a conversation without saying, "Excuse me, I have to run her to the potty."
--I just really don't love cleaning up accidents
--cold weather clothing just doesn't always come off fast enough

You could say that this is my own fault for choosing to potty train my 20 month old during the cold weather.  But I have really had no choice.  Last week she started potty training herself, stripping down the clothes and not quite making it to the potty.  Saying she needed to go, and then REALLY doing it when I took her.  She basically was demanding that now was the time.  And so we venture into the realm of potty training.  You would think that after 6 kids I would be a master.  I do have my tried and true methods..........but it is NEVER easy!  I just like getting out too much : )

Some tried and true methods I have found from potty training 6 (boys and girls)

*There is something to be said about waiting until they are "ready".
*"Ready" to me is being able to communicate enough to tell you they need to go, and having some desire.  I had a very early talker that took forever to potty train to "fool proof".  I also had a 2 1/2 year old who couldn't talk at all and potty trained to "fool proof" in one day.  Don't wait too long though.  "Ready" means THEY are ready, not YOU.  Sometimes if you miss the window, you could have a battle of the wills with an older child.  I like to potty train at age 2- 2 1/2 ish.  Some I have done a little later, and some a little earlier....
*I aim for SUMMER---clothes are much easier on and off in this season.  If you don't believe me, try it.  As you see, I don't always potty train in summer, but I definitely prefer it.
*Block out 2 weeks of time.  Some will be faster, and some S L O W E R, but you pretty much have to not go out too much for too long during this time.
*As silly as it seems, I always do the bare bum method the FIRST day.  They wear a shirt but nothing else.  This expedites recognizing potty time faster than anything.  If you put underwear on them the first day, they will pee right through them.  
*Pull-ups do NOT work.  Kids are smarter than that.  They realize very quickly that it works just like a diaper.  As much as you don't want wet undies, that is the best way.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lioness at the Gate

Mothers need empowering every so often.  This message was empowering to me.

Here is a direct cut from a speech given by Julie B. Beck at this year's BYU Women's Conference.  No matter your religion, these are powerful words:

(For the full text go here)

"I have said lately that women are like lionesses at the gate of the home. Whatever happens in that home and family happens because she cares about it and it matters to her. She guards that gate, and things matter to that family if they matter to her. For example, if the lioness at the gate believes in the law of tithing, tithing will be paid in that family. If that family has a humble little portion of ten pesos coming in, that lioness will safeguard the one peso if tithing is important to her. If that lioness at the gate knows about renewing her baptismal covenants with God, she will be in sacrament meeting on Sunday, and she will prepare her children to be there. They will be washed, cleaned, combed, and taught about that meeting and what happens there. It isn’t a casual event, but it is serious to her, and it will be serious to them. The lioness at the gate ensures that temple worship is taken care of in the family. She encourages that participation. She cares about seeking after her ancestors. If the lioness at the gate knows about and understands missions, missionaries, and the mission of the house of Israel, she will prepare future missionaries to go out from that home. It is very difficult to get a lion cub away from a lioness who doesn’t believe in missions, but if the lioness believes in a mission, she will devote her life to preparing the cub to go out and serve the Lord. That’s how important she is. Service happens if she cares about it.

Sisters, you are each like the lioness at the gate. This means that there has to be some prioritizing. I was taught years ago that when our priorities are out of order, we lose power. If we need power and influence to carry out our mission, then our priorities have to be straight.

Years ago I began using a system that works for me, and maybe it will work for you. There was a time when I needed to prioritize, and in one of those sacred meetings between me and the Lord, He gave me three categories that I have worked from, and they have been a guide in my life. The categories are the essential things, the necessary things, and the nice-to-do things. I started writing those things down. I asked, “What has to go in the category of essential?” What things must be taken care of, and if I don’t take care of them, the blessings of eternal life won’t be mine nor will they be my family’s.

I wrote at the top of the essential list revelation. I have to be able to know the mind and will of God. Therefore, I have to do the things in my life that put me in a position to hear His voice. Reading the scriptures then became an essential for me because the scriptures contain the mind and will of God, and by reading and studying from them, I can hear His voice and receive His guidance in all aspects of my life. I came up with a simple rule that was easy for me to keep: Every day I will spend some time in the scriptures. The accumulative power and learning of that commitment has changed my life and helped me learn daily the mind and will of God.

Personal prayer took on new meaning when I knew that I needed to know the mind and will of God. I have taken a paper and pencil with me most of the time since then to my prayers. I don’t always receive an answer or instruction, but I am ready. I want to be ready to learn what the Lord would have me do in my day. Who needs my help? How can I increase my faith this day? How can I strengthen my family? What things do I need to correct in order to be worthy to receive His Spirit? He will tell me.

Taking time to ponder and fast with sincerity took on added meaning when I knew that revelation was an essential for me. Making covenants and keeping covenants is on the essential list. Going to sacrament meeting and repenting every week took on added meaning. Going to the temple and fulfilling that responsibility frequently became an essential. Sharing the gospel is something the Lord tells us is an essential, and we are charged as part of the house of Israel to share that message. I need to open my mouth and find ways to share and express my testimony. Service took on added meaning. The Lord said if you want eternal life, give all that you have and follow me.4 So those things went on my essentials list. The list wasn’t very long, but there were essential things that I could see to and make sure that they were taken care of.

On my necessary list, then, went some other things. I started thinking about my home and family and what was necessary to create an environment or climate where the Spirit of the Lord would be. There were some necessary things to take care of. Homemaking took on a new meaning for me. I wanted to make a home where the Spirit of the Lord was present. That meant that even mundane tasks like picking things up and cleaning, became necessary to keep a house of order. I wanted to model my house after the temple. Though that is the ideal, it has never been that perfect. We have to live there after all. A house is peopled with people. People make messes, and we can’t be little soldiers, but it made a difference to me to know that I wanted a house of order. It became a priority to make a place where the Spirit of the Lord could come.

Cooking meals for my family took on added meaning because I needed a place to teach and gather and have the Lord’s Spirit there. It was important to invest my effort in making a home.

At one time I was going through some challenges, and one of my daughters came home from school and put another item on my necessary list. I said, “I don’t feel like I’m contributing what I should or what I could,” and she said, “You could smile. Mother, you could smile.” I thought, “That is a great service.” Smiling took on added meaning for me. Being happy around my family and other people was necessary.

I learned some things from the scriptures—that it is necessary to teach my children to pray and walk uprightly before the Lord. Things like family home evening and time recreating with our family became more necessary and more important. I thought more about my husband and supporting him, and I studied Doctrine and Covenants section 25, in which the Lord tells Emma Smith to be a comfort to her husband with consoling words and a spirit of meekness.5 That took on more importance, and it was more necessary to me to be kind to my husband and to support him in his heavy responsibilities. I also learned from that section in verse 10 to “lay aside the things of [the] world, and seek for the things of a better,” to not ask him to provide things for me we couldn’t afford but value the things that were important for our family—to “seek for the things of a better” and not be tantalized by “the things of the world” that were glamorous. Becoming self-reliant became more important to me.

I have been reviewing Elder Hales’s words in his talk on provident living and self-reliance about debt.6 When we go into debt, we give away some of our precious, priceless agency and place ourselves in self-imposed servitude. As our freedom is diminished by debt, increasing hopelessness depletes us physically, depresses us mentally, burdens us spiritually. Our self-image is affected, as well as our relationships with our spouse and children, with our friends and neighbors, and ultimately with the Lord.

Becoming self-reliant temporally affects our spiritual self-reliance, and we are going to need to be more temporally self-reliant in the days to come in order to have strong spirits and help the Lord.

Loving one another goes on the necessary list and a few other things. You can make your own list of what is necessary, but there are things that are essential and things that are necessary in order for us to fulfill our responsibilities in the house of Israel and to fulfill our mission.

The third category has to do with the nice-to-do things. Those are crafts and hobbies and recreational reading and movies and travel and lunches with friends. A lot of women call this “time out.” These things won’t save us. They add variety to our lives, but they won’t save us. When our priorities are on that list, and our time is devoted to those nice-to-do things, our priorities are out of order, and we lose power.

To walk with the Lord, we have to know what is essential, what is necessary, and what is nice to do. There is a lot to do, but I find that it is amazing how much I get to do on my nice-to-do list. The Lord blesses us with those mercies, but only if the other priorities are in order."

Thursday, July 15, 2010


We released the butterflies! We were (or maybe just me?) a little sad to send them off, but it was so fun. They flittered off to our flowers, and some stayed around. We had 11. It was such a fun summer project. I would definitely recommend it!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


First day of summer was yesterday! Have you written down your Summer Bucket List?
A mom has to be prepared.
Not only is summer a time to throw schedules out the window, it is a time of project doing, craft making, exploring, and learning (don't tell the kids!). I have my own personal mile long list of project "to do's". But this year I made a family fun list too, things we definitely want to do before summer's end.
We ARE NOT summer schoolers at this house. But we LOVE some fun projects. Here are some things I thought would keep my kids entertained this summer:
  • We are raising Painted Lady Butterflies, the caterpillars have double quadrupled their size this week. It is absolutely amazing. One (out of 8) started his cocoon today. All ages (even me!) love checking on the caterpillars several times through the day.
  • Got a jumprope making kit--makes 6 I think. You get to choose your own colors of beads and pattern to make your jump rope--the beaded kind you had back in elementary school, but this one is CUSTOM patterned by each child. And then of course, we will have to have jump competitions throughout the whole summer! (fun stuff here)
  • We are using plaster of paris to make stepping stones, and decorating them with glass, pebbles, jewels--making a mosaic design. We need some stepping stones for the garden, so everyone gets to personalize one.
  • planted a garden---always fun things to explore here every day. How do those seeds grow so fast?
  • and then I let the kids brainstorm some more things that they would like to do this summer--camp, roast marshmallows, a baseball game, swimming with friends, do paintings, sprinklers, cousins, and more! We have pinned down one day each week as the fun project day. The other days will be fun filled to, but some with summer work! At least this way, we do something fun each week.
Write it down. From experience---the things that get written down get done! Make your own summer bucket list today!