Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Half way there, hopefully more

      So maybe it's time to write this out in plain English. Not that I've been hiding it exactly but I kinda have been sometimes. We are expecting baby #6 in early March (I am hoping for mid to late February). It's a girl. I think it's the girl I thought was coming when I was pregnant with Zachary. I can still hide it if I'm wearing a jacket and I do sometimes. There are just times when I don't feel like talking about it with people I don't know super well. That's usually when I am taking multiple kids to the park for soccer or baseball or whatever. As we had general conference and then stake conference the following week and I think it was during those weeks when I really started showing as pregnant and not just putting on weight, there are still people at church who are learning I am pregnant, 21 weeks pregnant. I vacillate between being really excited to meet this little one and snuggle and hold and enjoy little baby and feeling like I am looking into the abyss. We all know what a newborn brings, sleepless nights, endless crying, nursing every two hours EVERY two hours, etc. As fun as newborns are, they aren't that fun at times and to have the other five, the oldest being eight, I am a little afraid. But it will all work out in the end. I heard this at Time Out For Women and it feels appropriate, "This too shall pass... like a kidney stone" Yup. That says it all.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Trying new things

    I have five little kids, and even when I only have one or two, I only get a number of things done, even with a to-do list that gets longer and longer everyday it seems. There are just so many things to do, to make, to be, places to go, people to see, things to try. But I will never have time for all of them, it's Elder Oaks' talk about Good-Better-Best in real time. I am constantly having to choose what is gong to get done, and what is going to have to have till another day, or another life stage. There are pieces of material cut of just waiting to be sewn into a new dress for me, there are pages of notes about the different tasks needing attention for my music callings at church, the books and stacks of books that I want to read so badly, the coloring book I got for mother's day that hasn't seen a single mark, the 60 books on the shelf that we checked out from the library. But to any mother of children, this is just a different list comparable to her own. A lesson in picking those things that matter most.
  Well, we did pick one thing that will matter, we finally took the kids camping. Joe and I had camped a number of times together before we had kids, each of us had camped before we met, but have not done more with the kids than set up the tent in the backyard for the night (we didn't end up lasting the night though so it didn't really count). SO after the ward's father-son camping trip to which Joe took Sean, I decided that we needed a family camping trip, and invited a bunch of friends to join us. It was awesome. The site was about 30 minutes from home, but really only about 15 miles. Though I have lived here all my life almost, I had never been there, what a shame. I have already booked the same site for August. About 25 people from our ward came and it was amazing, so much fun. I did learn that June camping means an early wake up time and late bed time. That will be a nice thing about going in August, it will be at least as hot then, and there is about 90 minutes less sun light, mostly less morning sun, Yeah. The kids had a blast, Joe and I worked hard to get the tents set up and down and I spent lots of time cleaning up afterward, but the kids had so much fun with their friends, and want to go back. Yeah.
  A few months ago I was looking at our town recreation guide and saw the drama camps and noticed that there was a play that I could put all three girls in. The practices are only for three and four weeks, for Julia/Molly and for Cassidy respectively. We went to a orientation two weeks ago and got to see the people who work the various drama camps. Watching them be flamboyant and lively and silly and just be themselves, was great, and made me remember how much I want for them the be free and not worried about what others think of them. That is so different from how I grew up, I was always aware that others were thinking of me, whether they really were or not. I was too caught up in them and didn't let myself be free enough. I am slowly learning how to not care, but I am hoping that I can stop the girls from starting to care too much. Cassidy has begun but the other two not so much. They all love to say hi to so many of the people we meet on the street, in the store, at the fair, etc. I am excited for the girls to be off for 1.5 and 4 hours a day, learning how to follow another person and be free.
  oops i ran out of time... until the next time

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Has it really been almost five months? guess so

   Oh my, how boring is my blog when it is only updated once in almost five months. So what has been going on my you ask? A lot.
   In November, right before the last post we took a family trip to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. My mother-in-law had been talking for months about taking the kids to the aquarium so when I found out the aquarium offered free admission to home school families, with up to four adults, I was sold. So we planned on my in-laws going down to Monterrey where we would stay at a hotel Monday night and then go to the aquarium Tuesday. The weather was great. In fact it had been so great that the first outing in Monterrey, Pacific Grove, was a bust. We went to a grove where monarchs usually congregate during the winter months. So despite it being late November there were only a few trees with butterflies. The worst part came when child #not going to disclose decided to step on a butterfly on the ground for whatever reason. That is an offense punishable with up to a $1000 fine, besides being not okay on any level. And it was done in front of a docent. Oh the things kids do. Then we went to Asilomar State Beach. So awesome. The kids had so much fun running in the sand and the sun was just setting and it was gorgeous. The kids went back to the beach Tuesday morning while Zach should have been sleeping. Zach didn't sleep and the kids loved the beach. I think we should have just gone home from there. The Aquarium was a bust for sure. I thought the kids were going to be enthralled with the animals. They love going to the zoo near our house, but the aquarium just wasn't there thing. Thank goodness the tickets were free. Maybe when they are older it will be more interesting. But the 1 and 2 year old were just not that into it. Oh well. It was a good time overall.
   December was marked with the addition of two new baby chicks. We wanted to try and 'save' our lonely depressed Whitey hen, so we got her some playmates. They are named 'Sarah' and 'Valkyrie'. Both are Rhode Island Reds and we are hoping that there typically more assertive natures will shake up the pecking order of our flock and allow all seven to be in the same area together without any being dominated into submission which was happening with the Big Reds and Whitey. It is amazing to watch how quickly chicks develop and become able to take care of themselves, even if it is in a box only a square foot in size. Those same chicks are now almost 18 weeks old and are holding there own, on their own side of the fence albeit. Now it is only a month or so until they start laying eggs. Woohoo, more eggs.
  Christmas was Christmas and nothing stands out to vividly. Sad, but true. Molly turned six just before Christmas and I think we did a great job making sure that she had her day despite it being Christmas Eve. Six years since that fateful day in the mountains. Such a great memory.
  January was good. February was great. March was rainy. Really rainy which was amazing. March was Julia's birthday, she's now five, FIVE. Crazy. She's a pistol. So sharp, so aware, so determined to do what she wants when she wants to, even if that means sitting at the dinning table for THREE hours because she doesn't want to wash it. Really, that has happened, a couple of times.
  Speaking of chores. I OFTEN have to remind myself that there is importance in making sure that the kids are doing their assigned chores. We don't ask them to do hard things, or things that take a lot of time (except to clean up the messes they made). They do things like clear and clean the table, sweep the floor, empty the dishwasher, sort out their clean clothes and put them away, straighten their rooms. Some things they do a lot, like the table chores they do after every meal (or I try to have them do them after every meal) and others only happen a couple times a week. In all there is about 30 minutes of work a day, but some days the girls make it last for HOURS!!! It is frustrating, tiring, insane, and so necessary. Cassidy has finally figured out that I will have them do their work or they will sit. She knows to just do it and then she can play and do whatever. I need to tell myself that although it takes so much longer to have the kids do the work, they NEED to know how to be a productive member of a family and they NEED to know how to do these skills that will have to do for the rest of their lives. Hopefully they can learn that there are things that just need to be done and that it does no good to fight and stall and resist, it is much easier to just DO them. That is my work, to get them to learn how to do the things that will help them as people once they leave my house.
   What else? Oh yeah. In February I learned that there were more tickets available for the Provo City Center Temple open house. With the love I have of the temple, and with the old Provo temple I HAD to take my kids to that open house. I NEEDED to take them inside a temple open house. So we drove out 750 miles to Provo Tuesday morning, went to the open house Wedneday afternoon, saw some old friends Wednesday night, saw my mission president and wife Thursday afternoon, visited with Joe's last mission companion Thursday night (whose parents' are the current president of my mission) and then drove home Friday morning. A quick LONG drive trip. We loved being there except for the pollution which was awful (3 of the 5 worst cities in the country were in Utah that week).  We took the kids to see the Jordan River Temple as well as the open house. Oh my goodness. The Provo City Center temple is GORGEOUS. It is absolutely spectacular. I will forever be glad that we took those days to show the girls just how much I love the temple. And we got to be in the temple together, which won't happen for the next 11 years. Coming down with the flu on our way home was a nice way to end the trip. Actually it was awful, but I wouldn't take back the trip to avoid that nasty bug. It was so worth it.

Our buddies, there are TEN kids between us, all under seven years old.
The Hobsons, the best mission president and wife, EVER
Will and Zach, pizza eating buddies for life
The princesses in there favorite accessories
Don't let that smile fool you, the rest of the ride home was all crying and fighting and a couple of movies
Snow was probably their favorite part of the trip, except for Zachary, he HATED the snot

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A room with a view

   I love having our kitchen in the front of the house. I can look out at our court and be aware of who is getting a FedEx delivery, who is getting dry cleaning picked up, who is leaving and returning in five minutes flat. I like knowing what is going on in our neck of the woods. It makes me feel a little safer.
   A couple of days ago I watched as a couple of neighbors were clearing a lot of items out of their house. Lots of small pieces of furniture and such. With each load out I would see what it was and think, ooh that would be nice in so and so's room. Or ooh I like that.
   On my counter is, was, the big ten page black friday ad for Jo-Ann fabrics store. I have had it on the counter since it arrived Monday. I have perused those pages many, many times. I love that store. I have had to put down some strict rules about that store, and limiting my going into that store. Well for this week they are having 75% of sales for flannel and fleece. Fun fabric, soft fabric, there is always some project that can use flannel or fleece. There are a few other deals that piqued my interest but I had to remind myself that I am in the middle of TWO sewing projects, both of which have fabric already cut on the office table. There was another that I sewed last week that I had cut out at least six months ago. I need to get these done so that I can move on to the ten other patterns for which I have already bought fabric.
  So I mention these two experiences because they are so related for me. I love getting new things, even if those things aren't new. I won't pass up hand me downs, especially for the kids, and clothes for me. Most of our furniture are hand me downs or second hand, only the beds and mattresses are all new. And I am more than fine with that. It is so fun to get a new thing, but with seven people in the family, there are a LOT of "new" things coming into our house. And it is harder for me to get rid of things than to get things. I feel like if the item is usable than it shouldn't be tossed unless it's nice enough to put in the DI truck, and with five kids I also think that another of the kids will want it. That is especially true with clothing as their likes are so different and you never know what will be in good enough shape to be passed on to the next sibling. But I have learned that too much is too much, even if it is good clothes, good furniture, anything really. The last few months I have had to purge the kids drawers of extra clothing, anything they didn't like or wear had to be removed. It was overwhelming. There is a happy medium of enough that can quickly move to stifling fairly quickly. So it is with seeing the furniture leaving my neighbors' house, we have no NEED of any more furniture. So it is with the fabric store, there are a few things that I would LIKE a lot, but I don't really need. Too much stuff is awful. It takes time to organize, time to keep organized, money to acquire, energy to move and organize, and energy to remember what you have and where in the house it is. Oh that last one is a killer, the I-Know-I-Have-It-But-Where-Is-It brain teaser.
   The tail end of the having process involves a little thought about part of the whole picture. When I don't want, need or use this, or it breaks, now what do I do with it? We had to deal with that a cople weeks ago. Joe was given a Lay-Z-Boy chair 11 years ago from a lady who had had it at least that long. This chair was in good cosmetic condition but that back support was gone and the kids were destroying it slowly with all the rough housing. My M-I-L got us a new one as new baby gift and now we needed to get rid of the old one. You know how big they are, they don't fit in the garbage, you have to pay to get rid of it at the dumps. No thanks. So I spent a couple hours dismantling it down to the frame and was able to get it into about four garbage cans around our block. We even got the metal parts off to recycle. Man, it was work. Things are work. That chair was 27 years old!!! It was well used but the wood frame was in perfect condition. That chair was solid except for the comfort part. What a lot of resources went into making it and into getting rid of it.
   In reading the creation story God told Adam and Eve to take GOOD care of the earth. I do think we will be responsible for how we use the resources of the earth. I don't think we need to live in a shanty with no amenities like running water or luxuries like hanging christmas lights. But I do think that our overall impart will be part of our character. Am I extravagant? Am I oblivicous? Am I extreme in my non-impact dedication? Am I trying to be wise and prudent and use what I have to the fullest? I use the sun, I use our windows and blankets and jackets, I capture rain water, we turn gray water into black water in the bathrooms. I will not give up my disposable diapers so I try to offset it with being extra frugal in other places.
   We live in such a disposable society that it's easy to get caught up in it. But I have found that the simpler (to a point) things are the easier it is to function and enjoy them and life. Enjoy deep stuff...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

a day

  Tonight was one of those nights that I need sometimes. Where I start a project and finish it, all in one fell swoop. A project that has an end and won't need to be done again, and again, and again, and probably again. I just needed it for me. To do something and be done. So I made a clothes pin holder. It is quite the sight. I wanted to make it pretty out of pretty fabric and then I got real. Where is it going to hang? Outside in the sun and heat so I went utilitarian. Duck clothe. Bright orange duck clothe mind you. The same orange duck clothe I used to make fishing pole lure covers (don't ask) for Joe. Oh and bean bags. So it should last. It may fade but it should last longer that the nifty pop up one I was given, whose strap frayed, no disintegrated from the harsh sun rays.I found a really cute hanger that has a metal hook and a cute little star and covered it with the newly made clothes pin bag and it's awesome. And it's done. I don't have to think about it anymore, except to bring it in from the rain, and use it. Maybe then my clothespins won't disappear and weather so badly, and stay in one place. Sometimes you just need to be able to check something off a list, somewhere.
   It really helped that the kids have been doing so much better at bedtime. I had a near breakdown a few weeks ago that coincided with the kids deciding that bedtime wasn't at 645 anymore, but more like 930. I was at wits end. I need, need, NEED those few hours at the end of the night to be kid free. When they are up at 615 every morning, and all five are at home all day, there needs to be an end to the chaos and loudness and the whys (which now will earn 5 push ups). I need to go shopping without kids at times, clean up the kitchen sometimes, sit down and read sometimes, go to the temple sometimes (okay more than sometimes, it's my therapist). It just needs to be me, sometimes with the chickens because they can be calming, sometimes with Joe, sometimes with other people, just without the kids.
   The last few nights that I have been out with the chickens I have felt and smelt the changing of the seasons and makes me so happy. I LOVE fall. I love the colors and the change in temperature. I love to wear sweaters and jackets and feel the cool air on my face. If we had one, I would want to curl up in front of the fireplace, with a cozy blanket and a good book. I just read one. The Unlikely Journey of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. Except for the few swear words, I thought it was an amazing book. Made an impression on me. I hate having to qualify things, except for... aghh. If only I could push the edit button, they didn't add anything to the book. Swear words rarely do add anything anyway.
   Our chickens are doing a little better, there is still a definite pecking order, but number 3 has joined the "Mean Girl Group" and can be the most aggressive, she just seems to want to bother Whitey. But in whole the 2 Big Reds (the original Mean Girl Group) have mellowed a bit towards Whitey. That allows us to let them all out for 60-90 minutes at night. For a while it seemed like they would boot her out of the coop at night but no longer. Also, we are up to four laying hens out of the six. I am really hoping that Scout and Whitey start laying in the next month. That would really help with the egg production. Have you seen the price of eggs lately? Safeway is charging $7.50 for 18 eggs!!! That is nuts. I would not spend that much for eggs. Free range eggs go for $6 a dozen and we have a friend selling their eggs for $9 a dozen. A dozen. That is unreal. I can't believe anyone would spend that much for chicken eggs. I never would. I balk at spending $3.50 a dozen.
   My calling in our ward is Music Chairman. So I get to arrange all the special musical numbers. It awesome!! I get to pick the music and the songs and it's the best calling ever. This Sunday I am leading, conducting sounds to formal but it's the right word, a large group in singing "Come Thou Fount". I am so excited. I love that hymn (and am sad it's not in the hymn book anymore). We are going to change a bunch of things while still keeping the original beauty of the words and music. Oh I am excited. You know what sounds awesome to me? Having the primary sing "When He Comes Again" the Sunday AFTER Christmas. What a beautiful thought, having just celebrating His birth to think about preparing for Him to come again. Therein lies the awesomeness of my calling. I get to make that decision. :)

   Okay, I have a question for all you that read this post. Please give your response in a comment, please please please. I need feedback. This shows that I spend way too much time thinking up these special numbers, and well in advance.  Do you think that the primary should sing on Mother's Day, or is it okay to have a group that sings to the role of mothers and women? My thought is that Adam calls Eve "the mother of all living" before she is the mother of all living, before they are even married in fact. So the role of mothering and the attributes it describes are in use by many who aren't in fact "mothers". There was an amazing song about womanhood presented in the Relief Society general session a few years back. So please tell me what you think. I asked someone in my ward, and the response was an emphatic no way, primary must sing. But I still wonder. What do you think??