Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Catch up

Well, a lot has happened since I turned 34. I went and spent 3 weeks visiting family in Texas from the end of July to the middle of August. It felt like it was too little time, and too quick. I got back in time to get the boys ready for school, I had 1 week before their school started.  Then I finished up my Associates program through University of Phoenix and I'm now officially a college graduate! I also started my Bachelor program through the University of Phoenix. Time is flying by. And in the mean time I'm working on schooling, the kids are in school, and I started working part-time. As I have been trying to keep up, I've been a little crazy. Bill and I are still Sunbeam teachers at church, and are about to get another calling on top everything else. My head spins sometimes, but that's good, because it hasn't killed me yet! :) The boys are busy busy busy with their scouting advancements and schedules. That right now between their school and scouting, I just don't have the time to add any other extra-curricular activities to our family schedule.

I know it sounds a little crazy to be so busy, but we work really hard to have time with the family, even with our crazy schedules.

I am so grateful for everything that the Lord has blessed me with! We are so blessed to be busy, have jobs, and to support our selves. I am grateful for the ability to juggle many things, and stay sane. I don't get many breaks, but today I had one. I watch two little boys one day a week. They were supposed to come today, but their dad is home today until their mom gets home from work, so I didn't watch them today. This freed me up to write on my family blog a little. Also, I have some great recipes on my cooking blog if you'd like to check them out.

Bill and I are getting ready to start a juice fast. Juicing fruits and veggies to help repair our bodies. We have both gained excessive weight and are trying to take it off, and get healthy in the process. We will probably start the juice fast within the next few weeks. What got us to do this juice fast is watching the netflix documentary called "fat, sick and nearly dead" it's an eye opener. check it out.

Well, until next time. Enjoy your day and may God Bless you!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Good Deed Ideas

As I just celebrated my 34th birthday I am wanting to encourage my children to do random acts of kindness and good deeds for each other daily. I have added this as a requirement as a chore to hopefully get them in the habit of doing this. I am however hitting a brick wall as to what they can do for each other or another family member. Since this will need to be something that is FREE I have decided that I want to create slips of paper in a jar with ideas on it, they can pull a paper out of the jar with a good deed on it, and they can decide who to do it for. I am looking for ideas from my friends and family a far of what kinds of things I can add to this. I have posted my list so far on the bottom. Please comment so I can add to the list. Thanks so much for your help. :)

Ideas for good deeds jar:

make someone's bed
pick up their toys on their bedroom floor
write a thank-you note
write a why I love you note
read a story to someone
play a game of their choice
let a sibling tag along with your friends and make them feel welcome
volunteer to help with their chores
pull weeds in the flower bed
sweep the kitchen floor
clean the back door windows
mow the lawn
make mom & dad's bed
Take out the trash
start a load of laundry for someone
process the laundry
clean out the kitty litter

This is the list I have so far. If you have any ideas that could be added to this list please let me know. I really want them to think outside of themselves and encourage helping each other. Thank you so much for your help :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Break

Here we are chilling in California! Trying to figure out what we're gonna do in Los Angeles, as we have spent two days in LegoLand. Now that we're almost all sunburned, we'd like to spend a day not in too much sun. We are talking about going to the Los Angeles Temple and seeing the new visitors center. It's a way cool temple. I also would like to see the San Diego Temple, it's my favorite one! I have been making dinner in the crock pot every day, breakfast of cereal, english muffins, pancakes with bacon and eggs, cinnamon raisin bread and lunches are sandwiches with carrots and chips. Not a bad trip. We are having a blast spending time with Bill's parents, and the kids. I'll be adding pictures to my photo gallery on .mac soon. So, keep an eye out for the link.

Monday, April 11, 2011


We are here on Spring Break and enjoying time with family. Mikey was also baptized this last weekend. Grandma and Grandpa Clark came out to be apart of it! It was so great to have a little family share in that special ordinance. We are in Oceanside, CA for spring break. Lego Land for several days, a day at the beach and a day in Los Angeles, then back home. It will be so much fun, It is so beautiful here, and sunny. It's a nice change from all the snow we've had the last several days. Unfortunately, I still get to do school work while we are out having fun, but at least I have the flexibility to do both at the same time. I have one assignment in early, and I'm going to try to finish those up. Here's hoping for a nice, fun, safe spring break here in California with the In-laws. Wishing we could spend time with more family. Looking forward to our summer vacation, seeing more and more family and friends.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My baby's growing up so FAST!

As I'm writing this I can hardly believe that I now have no children under the age of 8. Yes, that's right 8 years old. I can still remember all three of my boys in diapers, and running around crazy, I kept thinking I was going to pull my hair out and they were never going to grow up! Now, I sit here almost in tears thinking those days are so far behind me. Before I know it, they will be off on missions, going to college and getting married... I think of the things that have happened since my first child was born. He is now 11 and 1/2 and doesn't let me forget it that he's a BIG boy and wants to be treated like a MAN, except when it comes to chores and being told what to do... Then there is my middle baby who is no baby. He's only 1/2 and inch shorter than his elder brother. Some of you may say that may not be that big of a deal. Well, my oldest "baby" is 5 ft 7 inches tall. My middle "baby" is 5 ft 6 1/2 inches tall, and my youngest "baby" is 4 ft 10 inches tall... and he's the one that just turned 8! He will be getting baptized, starting cub scouts and growing up even faster. He is so GROWN up. He is the most responsible of all three of my children. I watch him and think of the blessing he has been to our family. I love my boys so much! My goodness, why do they have to grow up! Can't they stay small a little longer. I've been saying that for years! they have outgrown their little bodies so fast, by the time i was getting used to their size compared to their age, they sprouted again and the vicious cycle continues. I have been told that they will slow down their growth many times. Still waiting for that as I replace "high-water" pants every couple of months, no holes, no tears, just either too short or their waist is finally growing a few inches and needs them a little wider. I have one who is in 12 slims, (my 8 year old) and they are "high-waters" on him, but if I buy 14 slims, they will not fit his waist. He's too stinking skinny. He has to wear a belt with his 12's as it is. I noticed the other day how long Braeden's neck is getting. He used to be so chunky and squishy and loving... now he's TALL ... SUPER TALL... and everything is getting longer, his hands, his feet, his neck... his torso... even his legs. The only thing is that his stomach area that used to be rolls and rolls of flub... is now a 6 pack and staying so skinny. He's almost wiry. with this huge bobble of a head on top. So cute!!! I have some amazing boys and they are growing so fast, I feel if I blink too long they will be gone. I enjoy them as they are now. Watching them play with their nerf guns, fanoodle light sabers, and running around the house with endless energy. Their faces full of smiles and learning along the way. I hear stories of how they are turning into wonderful young men. I hope that it continues that way.

A neighbor who was picking his daughter up from Mikey's 8th birthday party this week. Stopped Bill and said how impressed with the our boys he is. Bill was a little taken aback. He asked in what way. Braeden (my sweet boy) was looking for some friends to play with, and could find none available to play. As he was walking around the neighborhood (unbeknownst to me or his father) noticed a gentleman in our neighborhood digging in his yard. Braeden asked what he was doing and the gentleman said digging footers and a slab for a soon to be pored concrete surface. Braeden asked if he could help... He said sure if you want to, Braeden then picked up a shovel and started helping to dig. (can you say impressive). I was so impressed when Bill relayed that story to me! My child who I can't get to pick up his clothes in his room, or pick his toys up, is so thoughtful and genuine that he helped a neighbor dig in his yard (performed unasked for service!) I then realize that it isn't about the clothes on the floor, or the toys they refuse to pick up or the messy house... It's about teaching them how to serve their fellow man! I stand a few inches taller, realizing that I'm not that much of a failure. I think sometimes I get so bogged down with the cluttered, messy house, the dirty dishes, and dirty clothes. That I forget to notice the boys are turning into men by watching and doing the important things of serving others and being kind to one another. I have been so blessed to have been given such wonderful children, from a wonderfully loving heavenly father!

I struggle some days with being a mother and worried about how they will turn out, and if I've done all I can to help them be honorable, productive, sweet, kind, generous, strong men when they get older. When with stories like the one above grace my ears I think in that moment that I'm doing an o.k. job.  Then, the house stays a little messier, the boys are a little messier, but we are focusing on more important things such as building a strong character in a young man, than building a shrine to live in.  One tear is shed as they grow more and more each passing day. it goes too fast. With your little ones, don't get too caught up in the house cleaning and the dirty clothes, there will always be time for that later. But our children will only be little for a little while. From a mother missing those precious, tender years and days of their "little" childhood. Take TONS of pictures, record memories of things they said, teach them love, compassion by example. Speaking doesn't work, it's action. I can't always tell them I love them, I have to show them by giving of my time, energy and love. I ask all the time "Do you know I love you?" "REALLY love you?" They in turn answer "YES" As long as they know that I love them, no matter how mad or frustrated I get, or whether or not the house is clean, or dinner on the table on time, or even a shower/bath it has been a GREAT day!

I have a cousin who had a little baby boy recently and seeing his cute precious face and how little he is. I can't help remember when my boys were littler (they weren't even as small as he was born). At how time flies and how I seem to be moving at a slow pace, and they are flying by. I look at pictures from a year ago, or even a few months and they have grown so much. Their faces are different, their demeanor is different. They are growing up.  Enjoy the small stuff and climb those mountains together. one day at a time. and sometimes, one second, one minute or one hour at a time, cherishing every moment because before you know it,...

they are all grown up!

Monday, March 21, 2011

What's new?

I have been so busy with school, house, kids and my cooking blog that I haven't taken the time to write much here. Since it's been a month since the boys started their new school we've been able to create a more structured chore list, which has helped greatly. I still end up doing most things around here, but every little bit of help is helpful. The boys really like their new school. They are learning spanish and Bryen even volunteered to join the liberty bowl, which is a group of kids that study history after school one day a week. The boys have longer school days then before, and I get to volunteer more often. That has been a lot of fun. I help mostly in the library. Tomorrow is my first day subbing at the kids school. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I haven't done subbing in a library in at least a year.

I'm in my second to last term before I get my associates degree. It is hard to believe that I'm almost half way done... Well, as done as I'll be for a while. Bill and I are working on getting out of debt. We are following Dave Ramsey's Get out of Debt plan. It is not an easy thing, but it will be so worth it in the end. That is why I'm waiting before I finish my bachelor program. I want to be able to pay for it outright without taking out student loans. Bill and I make too much to qualify for grants, so this is the best way. Plus it would be nice to get out of the debt my associates degree put us in.  We have a 5 year plan that includes, getting out of debt, saving enough money for the rest of my education, and saving enough money to purchase a house outright. Bill doesn't want a mortgage ever again. And I don't blame him. Me either. It's been tough having to go through a foreclosure, that isn't even selling. Our name is still on the property but we don't own it any more. It's a mess, and so is our credit. If we purchase a house outright then we don't need to worry about credit anymore. We just get what we need, when we need it. There is so much we'd like to do but being in debt has trapped us. So we're breaking free. Everyday is one day closer to our dream.

I'm going to continue to be a stay-at-home mom after I finish my degree, the plan is to keep subbing at the boys school so I can be available when they are home, and flexible enough to be able to not work if the kids are sick and not feel too bad for missing work. The boys are so excited about me "working" at the school.

I can barely believe that my youngest is going to be 8 in less than two weeks, one week from tomorrow he will be 8 years old. Many of you know how big that it in our family. My baby will be baptized and get to start going to cub scouts. He will always be my baby, but now, so grown up. Not only is that momentous but my oldest in October gets the Priesthood! WHOlly COW!... I hope I can not cry every sunday. Thinking about it makes me tear up. He is growing into such a wonderful young man! He is doing so much better than I thought he'd be doing after what happened in August. Time is going by so very fast, I just wish it would slow down soon, a little at least. I remember when they were all watching veggie tales and getting into everything and driving me nuts! Now, they are so respectful and kind. I am told almost everywhere we go, how respectful and polite they are. Some days I don't know what I would do with out my boys. They are the light of my life and I am so grateful to be their mom!

Bill is battling with fatigue and tooth decay at an alarming rate for me. He blames it on his medication. But I don't know. I am glad that we are in a state where they are doing revolutionary things in the field of heart surgery. He is looking forward to the time when his valve needs replacing again to have it done laproscopically so he doesn't have to go through as much pain as he did before. I don't know if that is possible, but one can only hope. He also wants them to grow a new valve from his stem cells so he doesn't have to take anymore medication for his heart, but I don't know if that will be ready by then. I'm not looking forward to that surgery, so I'm just trying to enjoy him every day I get to spend with him. He still loves where he works and what he does. His parents will be coming out to visit for Mikey's Baptism in April. Then we will be headed down to San Diego for a trip to Lego Land and Hollywood with the family for spring break. So fun, looking forward to some sunny weather.

It has been snowy and cold,... However, this week it will be in the 50's and rainy except for Wednesday. So I want to get outside on wednesday and soak up some needed sun. Also, I will be trying to get my square foot gardening started. I need to build my boxes, and get the soil mix. Also, i need to come up with what veggies I want to grow. I am going to try to stagger my planting so I can enjoy fresh crops throughout the summer, instead of all in at once. I'm reading a book about square foot gardening. So I hope I can act upon what i'm reading. Last year I had a few tomatoes and a handful of green beans, a few bell peppers and that was it. This year I want lettuce, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, carrots, squash, pumpkins, watermellon, and many other things. I just hope I have the space and boxes to grow them all. And the time to do them right.

Bill and I are serving in the primary teaching sunbeams, 3-4 year olds. They are so adorable and sweet! It makes Bill and I ready for more kids. We just can't afford it right now. So that's another part of our 5-year plan. To have more kids, after we get out of debt. I know crazy huh... going back to diapers and sleepless nights. It will be an adjustment that's for sure. I would much rather adopt but Bill I know is concerned about adoption. It's still up for discussion. I know I would love to adopt sisters and enjoy the blessing of having more girls in the house. I've been cautioned by some to never get girls as they are much harder than boys. But at the same time, I've been told, I need girls. I know that we have two girls somewhere, either in heaven or to adopt. Time will tell where they will come from, but they will surely be a blessing in our family.

Time to go work on dinner for tonight, I am going to brine my chicken before i stick it in the slow cooker. So, check out my cooking blog, lovingcookingfromscratch.blogspot.com.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Another catchup

Boy have we been busy!!! The boys have started going to the charter school near our house. A charter school is a public school, that has a lottery to have students enroll. Also, a charter school has smaller class sizes, uniforms, and a more individual approach to each child's education. Bill and I are so excited about the charter school. The boys love it there, even though they miss their friends at the school by our house. We feel that this is the best move for our children. They will be able to attend all the way through junior high/middle school. That way they will have consistency even if or when we move. Another bonus is that they highly encourage parental involvement. We are required to volunteer 4 hours a month. Not so hard. But they encourage more. So of course... I volunteer way more... I love helping in the library and in the kids classrooms. I also am trying to get everything I need to help substitute at the school. The librarian really could use a reliable substitute and since when I was in Davis County at Columbia Elementary and was trained on the library software there. It is the same system they have at this school. So, I'm someone she can call and doesn't need to worry about them being trained on the system. I just need to complete fingerprinting and then I'm ready to substitute. Another bonus for substituting is that they pay more for subs at the charter school then they do at the district.
I have been still going to school. I have one more term left to finish after the one I'm currently in before I graduate with my Associates Degree. I'm so excited! I'm really enjoying it.
Bill has been working hard and doing well at work. The boys are thriving and enjoying all the snow and sunshine we've been having here. We seem to have lots of days with sunshine even if the weather had been snowy one or two days. We really enjoy it. We haven't been skiing or sledding or tubing but we enjoy throwing snow balls and building forts out of the snow. :)
Coming up, James will be turning 8 and getting baptized. Bill's parents will be coming out for a visit, Spring break, and I'm even thinking of having Bryen join a city soccer team. Other than that I'm cooking up a storm. Staying busy and enjoying being a stay-at-home mom.