Thursday, January 28, 2010

What would you do?? Clever quips needed, please!

The other day I took my three children (ages 5,3 and 1) and a friend's two children (ages 5 & 3) to local Children's Museum downtown while my friend waited in line for tickets to Disney on Ice. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and after several hours of fun at the museum, the kids (5 in all!) and I all hopped aboard the train to go claim our tickets. The children, though energetic, were well-behaved, warmly dressed, and obedient of all traffic laws (walking down the platform, waiting at crosswalks, etc.) I thought things were going rather well until a stranger stared at me, then the children, then back at me in obvious disgust. I ignored his rude behavior and, instead, cheerfully smiled and said "Hello!" as we passed. He continued to follow me with his eyes, too (something, I'm not sure what, but not too polite by any means!) to actually speak to me, but certainly wanting me to know how much he disapproved and even abhorred me for having 5 children. As we walked away, I wondered why his disapproval bothered me so much. I mean, first of all, why would I possibly care what he, a complete stranger, thought of me? Secondly, they (obviously!) weren't all my children anyway. So why was I even giving his behavior a second thought? (This reminds me of a time a few years ago when, walking into church with my baby and 2 year old, a man leaving the church said "Wow! Talk about over-population!" I thought "Seriously? Because of 2 children?")

I still wonder, and I'm trying to let it go, but since then, I've been replaying the situation over and over in my head, trying to think of an appropriate response to him. I mean, it hasn't been the first time someone has commented on how "many" children I have, and it's not likely to be the last (especially once we leave Utah!)

Once I got past the childish "Ya got a problem, dude?" and "What? Didn't your momma love you?" comments, I decided that I should have simply said "What, 5? I'm just getting started!" But, I would love to hear any ideas on how to appropriately respond so that I can politely let my own opinion (about how wonderful children are) be heard, since so many people are so free to share their dislike of large families. Or, is silence golden, in this case?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


We witnessed a death today.....the death of our 6-yr-old computer. We try not to get so attached to our worldly possessions, but this was tragic because, you see, there were thousands and thousands of photographs of our sweet little beautiful, adorable children. We do backup pictures onto CDs every so often, but we've gone too long without backing things up. So sad. FORTUNATELY we still have the originals (our children) so we'll be able to take more pictures and we can still enjoy their adorability (I know, not really a word...).

Anyhow, I'm posting this is to explain the reasoning behind the lack of pictures in the next several (possibly many) posts. I don't mean to be boring....really, I don't. But words will just have to do for now.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Record Keeping

Today I'm blogging over at Savvy Mom Saves. You can read today's post on Record Keeping here.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Since we are very likely enjoying our last winter in Utah (and because Utah does, afterall, boast the "best snow on earth", we decided to 'hit the slopes' last week. (Did you know you can Ski Free at Alta?) Although 3 of us were beginners (can you tell which 3?!?) we had a blast! (although the Mr. and I definitely felt it in our backs the next day)! I definitely hope we'll be able to do it again sometime!

Angel was very scared at first, but said "I can be brave" and even tried skiing by herself! I was so proud of her courage in trying something new! (even though she did take a couple of spills)

Grins was quite hesitant the whole time - and we felt so bad when he took a couple of really bad face plants - but he was such a sport! He kept hanging in there and when we were done, we asked "Did you have fun?" "Yeah, a little bit." he said. "It was a little bit scary, too." What a trooper!

Because the Mr. is MUCH more experienced than I am, both kids strongly preferred him
(as in, they pretty much refused to ski with me towards the end). So at the end, I went alone while the Mr. took both kids! What a dad, huh?

We really did have fun, despite the kids faces here!
(after a couple of hours, we were cold and tired!)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Here's what's cooking at our house this week:

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner (vegetarian (and turkey sausage for the kids) omelets, whole wheat toast, fruit salad, yogurt
Monday: Picnic at the Park (we're going Ice Skating at the Gallivan Plaza Skating Party for FHE)
Tuesday: Broccoli cheese soup, rolls, tossed green salad
Wednesday: Scallops, mashed potatoes, steamed cabbage, mangos
Thursday: White bean chili, strawberry spinach salad
Friday: Haben brot, mixed veggies
Saturday: Leftovers

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Mind of a BOY

(This picture is totally unrelated to the post....just a funny shot of my little man!)

The other night we were reading the scriptures as a family when we came to the story of Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Jesus. As we read (and stopped to explain), Grins (who appeared to be daydreaming with his mind elsewhere) quickly jerked his head up and angrily exclaimed "I'm going to kick him in the tushy!" The Mr., mistakenly thinking Grins was expressing disrespect toward the Savior, reprimanded him sayimg, "I never want to hear you say disrespectful things about Jesus." "No!" Grins explained. "I want to kick JUDAS in the tushy for being mean to Jesus!"

We all got a few chuckles out of that one.

Friday, January 22, 2010

These are a few of {her} Favorite Things....

In honor of "Angel's" 5th Birthday, here is a list of her current favorites (in her words):

Favorite Color: "Pink, orange, purple....pretty much the whole rainbow, actually."

Favorite Food: Corn Dogs and cooked carrots with salt and butter

Favorite Dessert: Strawberry Shortcake

Favorite Thing To Do: Watch Movies (great. we try to limit TV to twice per month and now it's her favorite.)

Favorite Movie: My Little Pony

Favorite Thing To Do Besides TV: "Play House where I'm the Mom and (Grins) is the Dad. And I also love playing where we lift up (Grins') mattress and play on the wood slats." (see picture)

Favorite Book: Fairy Tales - and stories Daddy makes up for me at bedtime

Favorite Person in the whole wide world (no coaxing here, I promise!): Daddy

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Angel" through the years...

(I saw this idea on a friend's blog and thought it was so cute!
Although it is nearly impossible to choose just one picture per year!)

"Angel" - 2 minutes old

"Angel", 6 months old

"Angel", 1 year old

"Angel", 2 years old

"Angel", 3 years old

"Angel", 4 years old

"Angel", 5 years old

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Angel!

Dear "Angel",

My sweet firstborn! I love you SO much! You are the reason I am a mother.

I still remember vividly the day I first learned of your existence! It was June 2004 and I was on break from PA school. Your father and I were visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Oregon. One day, while shopping, I told Grandma of my suspicion of a life inside me. But I'd had that same suspicion so many times before I was careful not to get my hopes up. Grandma, however, bought a pregnancy test "just in case" and urged me to take the test as soon as we got home! When we got back to Grandma and Grandpa's house, Daddy was downstairs on the computer. I ran upstairs and took the test, while Grandma waited patiently in her bedroom. As soon as I saw the line in the box, my hand started shaking and I started to cry. I couldn't believe my eyes! I ran out and showed the test to Grandma and started crying.

She hugged me and asked "Why are you crying?"
"Because I'm so scared!" I sobbed.
"It's OK!" She said. "You can do this! We'll help you! It's going to be ok. This is wonderful news!"

I composed myself and then she asked "How are you going to tell (The Mr.)?"

I didn't want to wait another minute to tell your Daddy but I wanted it to be special, so I jumped into the car and ran up to the store. I picked up a pint of Daddy's favorite ice cream (B&J NYSFC) and then walked over to the "BABY" aisle - a completely foreign section of the store to me, up to that point. As soon as I saw all the little baby toys, bottles, diapers, etc. a wave of nausea suddenly overcame me. What was I thinking, having a baby? This couldn't possibly be real...and yet, there I was. I don't know what I was looking for, but suddenly I found it - the perfect thing: a rubber duckie. Your father's favorite animal is the duck (because, as it glides through the river, the water just runs off it's back. Nothing can get a duck just steadily makes it's way through the river.) Anyway, I knew the duck would be perfect, so I grabbed it and went.

When I got home, Daddy was still on the computer (I believe he was studying for the MCAT at the time). Grandma was waiting and she ran into the kitchen to give us some privacy. I called Daddy up to the living room and, as casually as I could, said "I picked up a couple of things I thought you might like."

"What? Why? What's the occasion?" he wondered, slightly puzzled since this seemed to come out of nowhere.

"Well, I knew you'd love this," I said, handing him the ice cream, "So I got it for you. (pause) And this (holding out the duck) is for the baby." I finished, as I began to cry.

Daddy pulled me into his arms and said "What? What baby?! You're going to have a baby?!" And we stood there hugging and crying together, awestruck by the miracle of you.

The next few days were spent excitedly sharing the news with family and friends. We got Grandpa a little statue that said "World's Best Grandpa" and gave it to him at our favorite Hawaiian restaurant. We told Uncle Micah that, though he was still welcome to live with us, his room would soon become a nursery. And when we told Aunt Abbie (at the cabin), she squealed with delight and started rubbing my belly.

We couldn't think of anything else. Suddenly, our whole world - our whole existence - centered around you! We ate, breathed, slept and talked about YOU. It was wonderful. I can't remember ever having been more excited about anything in my life.

And then you were born. I didn't think it was possible for me to love someone SO much. I mean, I love your father, of course, but my love for him developed gradually, over years of time. My love for you was so strong, so instantaneous, and so powerful it almost hurt. You were more beautiful than anything I had ever seen....more precious than anything I could have imagined. Which is why we had such a difficult time naming you - no name we had ever heard seemed special enough for you. We started searching for names which meant "precious" because that's what everyone called you. And when we heard the Hawaiian word for "precious" we instantly knew it was perfect.

Now, five years later, I can't imagine my life without you. You have brought more joy to me than I ever could have dreamed. You are so sweet, so thoughtful, so considerate of others. You are very passionate with your emotions (both good and bad). You love pretty "girly" things (like dressing up, butterflies, princesses and fairies) but you also love being a "boy" with your brother (wrestling, sports, dressing in your brother's clothes). You are a born nurturer - most of your time is spent caring for your younger brother and sister or your many "babies". You love working on "projects" - painting, coloring, writing, creating - you can spend hours on this. You enjoy playing games (UNO Moo and the Ladybug game are 2 favorites) and you especially enjoy reading.

You are a treasure and I feel honored to be your mother. I hope I can live up to such a noble calling. Thank you for all that you are. I love you!

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Get "Cultured"

As I mentioned previously, I'm now an author over at Savvy Moms Save where I'm hosting "Turn Off the T.V. Tuesdays". Check out today's post on getting "cultured" here!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Shrimp Jambalaya, Hush Puppies, Green Salad, Pineapple
Tuesday - Vegetarian Spaghetti Pie, Steamed Broccoli, Steamed Green Beans, Mangos
Wednesday - (Angel's Birthday Request) - Corn Dogs, Steamed Carrots, Steamed Cabbage, Kiwi fruit
Thursday - White Bean chili, Crusty Bread, Spinach salad
Friday - Haben brot
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday - Broccoli Cheese Soup, Whole Wheat Rolls, Steamed Corn, Pears

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Still Laughing.....

My kids seriously make me laugh SO MUCH! I LOVE it! Just a few examples from this past week:

Grins (talking to me) - Mom! (then, when I didn't answer right away) HEY, you OLD LADY! (Maybe this should have offended me but it made me laugh SO HARD!)

Angel- (In response to my question "How did you get so ______(sweet, cute, smart, big, etc)?") I was just made that way!

Grins - Daddy, (Angel) and I are going to take a shower! Do you and Mommy want to take a shower with us? We can have a whole family shower!! (The Mr. replied "I don't think that's a good idea because we wouldn't have our own privacy") Grins thought for a moment and said "How about if we all just look at the wall?" (We finally consented to having a "family shower" in our bathing suits - short and very crowded, but the kids LOVED it! Ah, the simple pleasures in life.)

Wiggles keeps us entertained, of course, without words....just watching her toddle around everywhere makes me laugh out loud. It's amazing how someone with such an unsteady gait can get around so quickly and with so little accidents - although she does frequently run into walls since she's so busy looking around while she's walking! I shouldn't laugh at her but it seems to distract her from any discomfort and it's just so irresistibly cute!

Monday, January 11, 2010


There are SO many wonderful things to read out there....but how to find time to get to them all?

Right now, I am in the middle of too many books/readings to keep straight:

Book of Mormon
Doctrine and Covenants
Gospel Principles Manual
Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline
Parenting with Love and Logic
1-2-3 Magic
Accountable Kids
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
Sleeping Through the Night
Family Fun My Great Idea
Teaching Your Children Values
Saving Dinner
Pilates for Dummies
Housebuying for Dummies
The Complete Guide to Buying Your First Home
Complete Daily Curriculum (Preschool Lessons)
How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Housecleaning with Children
Speed Cleaning with the Clean Team
I Didn't Plan to Be A Witch
28 Day Challenge
My Sister's Keeper
(though I hate to admit it)Breaking Dawn (there....I said it.whew.)
and, Ironically, How to Simplify your Life
(not to mention the 5,761 childrens titles we read each day. :) )

A few of these I read a chapter/article per day (or, in some cases, per week). But, since the first 4 on my list are what I consider my "required reading", and since I generally have only about 30 minutes of time available to read each day (once I've completed all of my other wife/mother/primary secretary/preschool teacher/babysitter/visiting teacher/etc duties), the rest of the books on the list get digested vvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyy slowly, bit by bit...often in 27 second segments (ie - in the bathroom, in between children fighting, as I'm waiting for them to bring me their shoes, etc). So, my question to you, dear readers (especially parents of young children!) is this: When do make time to read? How do you keep up on the various books you are reading? Do you read just one at a time, or multiple books at once?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Savvy Moms Save - My Contribution

I've been invited to team up with Crystal at Savvy Moms Save and will be starting a new series called "Turn off the T.V. Tuesdays", where I invite moms (or anyone interested!) to turn off the T.V./computer/etc and spend more quality time with their children. Each week I will highlight new ways to spend your time together! You can check out today's post here.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Living Well Below Poverty

Have you heard of this? I just found a blog which is challenging everyone to "Live below the line of poverty for one month." Although our family already does this, I thought that, if we did have a steady income, this might be fun, interesting or, at the very least, challenging. I must admit that, though currently 'poverty-stricken' myself, since it is temporary and education-induced, I have, at times, (wrongfully, I admit!) entertained negative thoughts toward those who are 'below poverty'.
But, as they say, you should never judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes - and this seems a pretty fair way to get a small glimpse of what it must be like to live with so little.

For more information, check out the blog Living Well Below the Poverty Line, and to see what your own family's income would be, check out this site.

Another challenge, of a somewhat related nature, is going on at Money Saving Moms. Here, the challenge is to avoid grocery shopping for an entire month, and just eat from the food you have stored. This is a great way to 1) save money, 2) experience first-hand how important food storage is, 3) find creativity in cooking you never knew you had and 4) realize how much excess you may buy. So, if you aren't up for the Poverty challenge, this might be another fun thing to try....or it may help you if you're giving the poverty challenge a try! :) I am thinking about joining this one when I get a bit more pantry/food storage space (it's hard to accumulate much storage in our current apartment...)

Good luck!