Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Your Own Drum

Our bedroom has become the official "bed" room. For the past 4 years our King sized bed has been the family bed for all of us. So, we bought another bed to go next to the King. Now we have a King, a Twin, and a toddler bed, all squeezed into one room. I walked in after we were all done rearranging, and it seriously made me smile and feel so happy!
We've never liked the idea of being separated from our babies. We've never used a crib, and have always loved the the warmth, the scent, the safety, and the ease of nursing, with babies sleeping in our bed. And then as the babies grew older, it only seemed natural that they should keep cuddling with us at night.
The other night Zadok put his little arms around me at around 3am and whispered "I love you so much, Mama." It made my heart melt. I know my kids need us at night...and we need them. This new arrangement is wonderful!

I was thinking how grateful I am for people in my life who do what's right for them, and what they want, without thought or care of what others think. Strong, confident, moral individuals, who think for themselves.

My grandmother is a lot this way, and I truly look up to her for her courage to be different, in a mainstream, judgmental world. She always marched to the beat of her own drum, and never cared if anyone followed. She took ownership of her life and lived it to her fullest....Her religion was her own, her family was her own, her hobbies and interest were her own, and her life was her own, however she wanted to make it. She is 99 now, and ready to leave this crazy Earth, but she'll always be a role model for me.

This is something I strive for in my life, not just as a Mother, but as a person.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Talking about moving....again

Moving is such a process! And such an emotional roller coaster for people like me who get attached to everything, everywhere I go!

I hated living in LA when we were first married, yet I cried when we left and said a somber goodbye to all the things I'd miss. I didn't feel at home in Idaho, either, yet leaving was hard because of all the wonderful people I loved. Now here we are, faced with the idea of having to move again--and my heart is literally ripped in two!

So, it basically comes down to two things which will determine where we move: Jobs and money. It's a hard reality, I know. Welcome to adulthood, I tell myself!
We wanted to move to Hawaii, but we would literally go in deep financial debt just flying over there! I realized that there are so many people out there who can't even find work right now, or are losing their businesses, so why should we put ourselves in such a tight spot just to move? Stupid. Had to rethink our plan! (PLUS, IT JUST WASN'T FEELING RIGHT...YA KNOW?)

We've thought about applying in Oregon, where there's plenty of schools, and also such a beautiful place to live (and an ocean!)! The thought of being closer to my two siblings was exciting! I always dreamed of getting to watch my nieces and nephews grow up.....or at least see them more than once a year.
Micah has always loved Oregon. In fact, we spent our honeymoon bumming around Portland.

I know this post is kind of boring you...but here's my point:
I just want some miracle to happen so we can stay here! We went out to our land last week, and I fell in love with it all over again. I want Micah to get a teaching job here, and for us to start building our home. I don't need Hawaii, or Oregon, or warmer weather, or the ocean, or even a culture that isn't quite as weird as this one. I just want our little family to enjoy life in this gorgeous place, where we can home school our kids in a happy community, raise our garden and farm animals, live our green life, run our community breastfeeding group, explore the great outdoors, serve others around us, watch my kids get dirty outside, and feel free-spirited, and find beauty in all the simple joys of life.
Is that too much to ask for?

Odin getting ready to work!

A fire pit and the view of the mountains from our land.

A shelter Micah built for shade. Roof is made from Cat-tails.

Two very happy, dirty boys, who spent all morning running around in the mud and sage!

p.s. We won't know what jobs are available anywhere, for several more months. So, here we sit, waiting, wishing, wondering.....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We HEART books

Several years ago I was standing in line at the supermarket behind a little girl and her daddy. All the Valentines decorations were up, enticing customers to purchase candy hearts, chocolates, flowers, and balloons, as they whisked out the door. This little girl turns to her dad and says, "Daddy, what is Valentines Day?" And his response: "It's a Hallmark Holiday--just a another marketing scheme to get consumers to buy more stuff."The little girl just sat there and said, "oh." like she understood all that!

I thought that was funny. And true.
But just like anything that has turned totally hyper-consumerism and commercial in our day and age (Ahem...Christmas), we have the power to take it back and make it special for our kids! I don't think totally secluding ourselves from all holidays is the answer. I think creating fun family traditions and enjoying it, is the key!

This year our friend Arianne planned a Valentines themed book party, for all the homeschool kids. Each child picked his favorite book, and made themed Valentines to go along with it. I thought it was such a brilliant idea and wanted to share.

One of our most favorite things to do is go to the children's section, pick up a pile of about 20 random books, and then come home and read them. This is how we have found some of our favorite authors and illustrators.
The week leading up to the party we went to the library and went through all our favorite authors in the children's books. We picked up everything from Dr. Seuss to Dave Shannon to Mo Willems to Mercer Mayer.

We finally settled on the "The Little Critter,"by Mercer Mayer which never grows old for my kids.

We made Valentines from one of the books we checked out. It was Zadok's idea to put popsicle sticks on them, so people could hold them up.

The party was really fun, hanging out and chatting with friends...friends who love books just as much as we do!

This year, Valentines reminded me how much we love books. I think this will be a great tradition to carry on in our family! Thanks Arianne!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Presidents Day!

I went on my first date with Micah 6 years ago, on Presidents day! Remember the story?
I'm so glad that we met and made a family together! What more do I need? My husband and my kids are my reason for being--everything else is just icing on the cake. And this is one delicious cake!!

Every Presidents day I remind Micah that this is the exact day we finally met, face to face. But then he just likes to remind me about how I drove the wrong way down the street when he was trying to tell me which way to go, and I wasn't listening to him at all, but he decided to marry me anyways. So romantic! (big smile) Then I remind him that he was putting way too much salt on his burritto the whole time we were talking, but I decided to marry him anyways.

Happy Presidents day! And love and marriage and all that oooey gooey stuff.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Healing Sunshine!

We have many beautiful, sunny days here. One of our favorite things to do is find a bit of bike path that follows the river, and explore!

We find bridges, and snow tracks, river rocks, and sticks. All of the things that little kids love to pick up, play with, and make up funny games. I love to walk along the path and look up at the great, big mountains. The sun on my face is refreshing and healing after a long day indoors.

If we are outside when the sun goes down, I have a daily mantra I like to say. It goes like this, "Goodbye Sun. Thank you for another beautiful day. We'll see you again tomorrow."
It is short and sweet, but I like to say it, and have been saying it for the past couple of years. Now Zadok says it with me, too. I think it reminds me to be grateful for the miracle of the sun, and to acknowledge that we are aware of it's daily presence in our lives.

Happy Sunshine!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Will Wake for Food.

We got up at 6am this morning, as a family, to reap the benefits of Free GRAND SLAM day at Denny's, before Micah headed to work. Basically, anyone can walk in between 6am and 2pm today,to get a free breakfast. Sounds like a deal, right?
Well, the quiet, early morning breakfast I envisioned was destroyed by one, single, long line out the door and down the sidewalk. Every truck driver and college student was up before the sun!

So, we went to IHOP for all you can eat pancakes. Ha ha ha! Jokes on.......us?

p.s. Free Pancake day is coming right up at IHOP, Feb. 23rd. Maybe we'll head over to Denny's fo some Grand Slams. hee hee hee

Monday, February 8, 2010

Disneyland blankets--Here we come!

To inspire more people to give hours of volunteer service to non-profit charities, Disneyland is promising free one-day tickets to those who apply! We signed up immediately! We've been dying to take the kids to "the happiest place on Earth". I can't wait to see their eyes bulge out when we take them on all the kiddie rides!Those are my favorite!
Click here to find out volunteer hours in your area!

We opted to do our volunteer service in the form of sewing blankets. For every blanket I sew, we get a Disneyland ticket for someone in our family, 6 and older. That will cover me and Micah. Little toddley gets in free under 2, then we just have to pay 60 bucks to get Zadok in. Our Disneyland dream is coming true!

I have never made a blanket before, but they were so easy to figure out, I almost felt cheap for trading them for 100 dollar tickets. I basically made it up along the way, then the Polynesian fabric came generously from my friend Carly, and the sewing part was basically...sewing lines.

Here's instructions for my Easy-free-Disney-blankies:

Cut out 2 pieces of cotton fabric 35x 40 inches.
Cut out a piece of fleece 35x 40 inches. (I used fleece from an old blanket we had)
Place fleece on the floor.
Place piece of fabric right side up on top of fleece.
Place next piece of fabric on top, right side down.
Pin all three pieces together.
Sew around all three edges, leaving about a foot open on one side to flip fabric right side in..
Pull all the fabric thru the hole, until it's flipped all the way to the other side.
Press and flatten with iron.
Sew the one-foot hole, closed.
Top-stitch entire edges of blanket, to look neat.
Use a yarning needle to pull bits of yarn thru.
Tie off yarn and your done!

They were so cute and cozy, I almost kept them....almost.
Here's the last trip to Disneyland-Just me and my Mom,6 years ago, and no kids!

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Power of WE

This tiny, powerful, little word has meant a lot to me lately. "WE."
I've made it somewhat of a mantra as I've been trying to be more patient and present with my children. I admit to having meltdowns at times, but they're completely my fault! You see, I'm the kind of person that likes to take on too many responsibilities at one time. My mind gets rolling and suddenly I can do this, and that, and be here, and be there, and clean that, and fix this, and sew that, and then all of a sudden I'm frustrated with my kids for not allowing ME my freedom.

Yes, there are a lot of things to do, and yes, I actually have to do most of them. But, when I begin to separate ME from WE, I end up feeling chaotic and frustrated. As a stay at home Mama with young kids, I've made it my goal to teach them, learn with them, explore with them, and be ever-present in their young, growing years. I've found that I can't do this when the chasm between ME and WE grows so deep, that there doesn't seem to be a bridge of unity to cross. There's ME on one side, with my big, long list of things to do, and then there's THEM on the other side, waiting for me, staring at me, aching for me to play with them, teach them, be here for them. I don't want the gap between us to get so big, that I can't enjoy doing what I love most--being a Mother! I want to bring us all together and be one, today.

When I remember that WE are together each day, and how important each day is, I learn to let go of all the ME's and find happiness in the WE's. It has helped me so much in getting even the tedious, little errands done, because I know WE are doing them together. My kids feel included in everything I do, from buying food at the store, to scrubbing the bathroom toilet, because it is WE.

We are going to the store today and we are buying groceries. We are going visiting teaching today. We are dropping mail off at the post office. We are going to the bank. We are making blankets for humanitarian aid. We are going to exercise group. We are are going to Girls Achievement Days today. We are driving to the Landlords to drop off the rent. We are running to the store because we forgot to buy eggs. We are cleaning the house now. We are tidying up the toy room. We are preparing dinner. We are going to our pre-natal appointment. We are baking bread today. We are scrubbing the walls everywhere that Odin scribbled. We are going down the street to say hi to neighbors. We are going to the store to buy laundry detergent, toilet paper, etc. We are going to the park to play! We are calling Grandma to say hi. We are helping to clean our church today. We are winding down now and getting ready for bed. We are reading books and going to sleep.

I know that as they get older they won't be a part of my every day life. The separation between ME and WE will only get wider as they make those baby steps to older child independence. However, right now there are so many opportunities for me to teach them and grow with them, as we're together each and every day.
When I remember how powerful that little word WE can be, it really changes my attitude and my whole day.

When those days come that Micah and I switch off for breaks, or get a babysitter I am truly grateful for all the ME time I can get! But, then I come back to my wonderful family and WE are together once again.

p.s. WE is always a work in progress. I never claim to have all the answers, just some good ones that work for us.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Boys will be boys

Some kids like to snuggle with teddy bears, some kids a special blankie or snuggly toy. Our child--a Star Wars lightsaber. What is it with little boys and Star wars? I love it!

Favorite thing we heard Zadok say this week:
We were outside the St. George Temple visitor Center when a rather large, overweight couple strolled by. Zadok stops, looks, and says, oh so matter-of-factly, "Hey-those people sure have eaten a lot of food!"
It was the most pure and innocent observation!

And this little boy down here is danger! There's nothing that makes me feel more vulnerable, than when one of my kids gets hurt. Odin likes to fall on his head. The other night he fell off the back of the couch and bit his tongue. When I went to pick him up he was blacking out, eyes rolled in the back of his head, bone-limp body. When he came back from his state of lifeless zombie (2 seconds later), I was so relieved (and crying my eyes out)! I absolutely hate that! And it's not the first time. He is such a wild, and adventurous boy.

Favorite thing we heard Odin say this week: "LET. ME. TRY.!" If we try and do anything for him that he thinks he can do himself, he belts this out, in the most low pitched, papa bear voice he can muster up. It makes me laugh every time, even though he is so seriously trying to tell me to back off!

I love these boys! Some days are so exhausting trying to keep up with them, But, they don't seem to notice, so I have to carry on. Here's to another high-energy-filled day of little boys!