Sunday, February 27, 2011

because he's the first born...

I told him exercise would make him better at Tae Kwon Do and he's been doing push-ups ever since.

After he's through he breathes hard and says something like, "whoa, that was a good workout!"

He's been making pictures all week for the family. I've been sick, lousy, so he made this one for me to get better. It worked, on an emotional level.

When he finished his homework he asked for more.
And he created this skull for his bedroom door. Isn't it the cutest thing ever? I've never been one for skulls but this is just perfect.

Mothering Braxton is something that has really changed the way I see life. It's changed the way I see myself and the way I see others. It makes me want to just chill out. That is easier said than done. Adelle and Jeff are really good at this, I might add, we will see about Emmett.
We are the first born, Braxton and I, and it's something that can be such a blessing and such a curse at the same time. I can pick out traits in him before anyone else notices. I see him worrying about things that don't need to be worried about and I want to shake him and tell him to STOP worrying! I try and explain to him that he doesn't have to be perfect, all the while knowing that he already thinks he does. He will be great but he will be hard on himself. Can you un-teach that?
These last couple days have been the pits. Having sick kids is one thing, but being sick yourself is way worse. Maybe it's because I'm the first born that I have a hard time being sick. In my mind I interpret it as being irresponsible or not taking good care of myself. Then I feel like everyone in my home is suffering because I am tired and irritable and.....the list goes on. It's difficult for me and I'm not one to just "rest" and let my husband help me with things (although I am getting way better at this:)
Braxton has been my go-to all weekend. We think the same. Instead of waiting for me to ask him for help he just does it. He told me one day (they are all a blur), "mom, we are going to make breakfast, lunch and dinner so you don't have to do anything, just nurse the baby." When Emmett is crying he gets him a ball. When Adelle is bored he plays with her or asks her what she wants to do. He's been my little helper without me even asking him to help. He's been constantly entertaining his little brother and sister. It's draining, I know.
On another day he came out of his room and had a little whimper. I asked him what was wrong and he said, "I just want to take this (the Tae Kwon Do book) back to the library." Then he started to cry. I asked him why he wanted to take it back and he said, "because I'm no good." Remember that confident little boy I was so proud of, here he was crying on my lap because he didn't think he was good at something. Broke my heart. He proceeded to tell me that his dad was way better and that his dad never even took lessons and that his dad blah, blah, blah. So my first reaction is I want to chew out his dad for being hard on him! Oh, but I don't do that. That wouldn't do anyone any good. I don't want Jeff to be easy on him. Instead I talk to Brax about how old his dad is, how old he is, how many years his dad has had to build his muscles, learn techniques, and so he stops crying. He feels better and tells me he is going to exercise and he's always going to eat all of his dinner. He will too, until he can beat his dad.
Today my mom came and got Braxton and took him to church with her to get him out of this house. I called him to see how he was and to see if you wanted to come home. He said no. My mom told me she thought he needed a break. It was good for him to be out, by himself, doing what HE wanted to do. It was true. He's only 5 I have to remind myself.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

the Middle place

Remember how I said on my birthday a few weeks ago that I was reading a book. Well, I read it! I haven't been as dedicated to my flossing but the book is read and 2 more were checked out at the library today (2 for me, 7 for the kiddos:) I love the library. I love that it's down the street. I love that Braxton and I went on a date there today together, just the two of us, and we walked which means we ran, and that when we got home he transformed me from mom into Tae-Quon-Do coach. He kept checking the door to his bedroom to make sure his dad wasn't listening to the mad skills I was teaching him (from the book of course). His master plan was to check out the book, have me read it and teach the skills, and then kick his dad's booty. He's a man with a plan and I was glad to help.

So, the book. It was good. I know exactly why I checked it out. It was on the front shelf with some sticker that said, "staff pick" or something of that sort. I read the back, because the title sparked my curiosity, and sure enough it was what I was looking for. The middle place is where I'm at. I'm a mother. I am strong and smart and helpful and selfless. I'm a daughter. I'm naive and young and witty and whiny and selfish. I'm in the middle.

I have a husband and a family and a house and a garden and life insurance. I have a job at home with my family. I am the confidence builder, the meal planner, the grocery shopper, the wake up early and blow your nose and get over yourself because there are kids to feed, books to read and cookies to share. I'm the kiss it better, make her stop, pick me upper, call her back because a text is impersonal.
But, at the same time I have a dad and a mom and a sister and two brothers and a dog. I have a room that was mine at their house with a screen door that I actually snuck out of when I was young and tired of being labeled the goody-twoshu. I can still go there and nap in my mom and dad's water bed and be taken care of and be comfortable and safe and selfish. I can go there to be fed and lifted up. I can go there to feed and to lift. That's the middle.

I could somewhat relate to the book. It's about a mother, whose also a daughter, who is battling breast cancer at the same time that her father is battling bladder cancer. I enjoyed her perception and how she dealt with life in the "middle." I laughed out loud to some of her experiences and empathized with her daily struggle of trying to be the best wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend....that she possibly could all while trying to keep sane. I cried when she talked about her father and how much she had always loved him and looked up to him and how she worried about him and his health. How she was concerned for her children and also for her parents all at the same time. This hit too close to home for me. This is the middle place.

It's interesting, and before I even read the book, I've contemplated this place in the middle. The place where your blinders are removed and you see your parents as just people who got pregnant. (No offense!) People who led you, in part, to where you're at, all the while trying to figure it out for themselves. That's amazing and crazy all at the same time. That is me now. I'm teaching my children things that I am still trying to learn and then somehow I'm teaching my parents things that I'm pretty sure they taught me in the first place? Is this the circle of life? I like the middle. I've defined the middle as the place where you play many roles, all of which are important. Instead of being "stuck" there I like to think I am "secured" here.

Well, I liked the book. It wasn't as good as I wanted it to be but it hit the spot I was targeting. Without sounding to intuitive, I really know I was supposed to read it.

Big Boy Haircut

This picture really shows how long Emmett's hair had gotten. Those sideburns were pretty sweet but after being mistaken for a little girl all weekend I broke down and cut his hair.
This picture is so funny. Adelle is really on the phone.

She's 2 going on 16 and her brothers do whatever she says whenever she says it. I think one girl is all I can handle right now. LOVE this girl!!

Here is my big boy with his new haircut. Something about the first haircut is exciting and sad all at the same time.
I cut his hair last night and now he's reading.......


and as usual, always within reach of a ball!

Emmett's first haircut was a two day process and I'm not sure if I'm done yet or not. I couldn't shave it, he has way too nice of hair to do that. So I tried to wing it with the good ol' cutting sheers. Poor guy had a mullet for the first day until I could get him in the tub to wet the back and chop it off. We enjoyed that while it lasted :)
Either way I'm pretty sure the girl compliments will seize now.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Silly Bands

In regards to the last post the answer most certainly is:
Braxton and Adelle wearing silly bands and loving it!!
Nancy nailed that one right on the nose!
I guess my kids are trendy, thanks to an older cousin who had some on last time they were together.
They were thrilled when Auntie came over with these for them.
What a funny thing.
I really need to think of something like that to invent.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Can you guess??

Can you guess what this is a picture of???

I will post the correct answer tomorrow! It's very cute.

On another note, there are many traits I want to teach my children. There are the usual; be kind, be honest, be responsible.....there are millions, right, I'm a mom.
However for me, it's more than the usual. I really want all my children to:
1. Be able to compliment people freely and openly and often. I want them to recognize the good in others and to be able to express how they feel without hesitation. If someone has a nice haircut then say, "wow, you have great hair," even if you don't know them. Make them feel special.
2. Be self confident. In order to see the good in others you have to really know that you are hot stuff. I'm pretty sure all my kids know they are the bomb. I think confidence is so important in so many ways. Not to be boastful or arrogant but to be sure of who you are and what you stand for. They were made to be great and only in recognizing that will they be able to fully accomplish all that is in store for them.

So, now that you've heard that soap box, I want to share the conversation that I overheard my children having this morning. They are sitting at the table, drawing and coloring. I am a few feet away doing dishes and eavesdropping.

A: "Wow Bax, you are a wealwy good colorrrerrr."

notice that she is being complimentary

B: "I know."

notice he is confident

That is awesome!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

for Andrea (not me sillies)

Just wanted to let you know that your friendship is living on in our home. We do miss you though!
M wore his handsome shirt today that you made for him.

I found this perfect spot for those dishes you gave me. They are gorgeous! I can't wait to have company over and use them but for now they match the front room perfectly, just like you said they would:)

Yep! That's me. I got my bum outside, finally, and sanded/painted that table that you've been motivating me to do forever!
I thought about you the whole time and wished you were here to help me!!!

Good thing I found that power sander at the garage sale across the street for $5! It worked wonders!!
The table is outside still, it needs another coat but it's comin' along!

The couch cushions look great, even when they are being sat on! What a concept.

Brax and Sis, crazy as ever!

To those of you who are confused I will fill you in, briefly.
My friend Andrea moved last week.
She is a Saint and I really miss her.
Have you ever heard the quote from Oprah:
Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo
what you want is someone who will take the bus with you
when the limo breaks down.
That is the kind of friend Andrea is.
We have been on many "bus rides" together this year and I'm really grateful for her in my life.
Hope you are well!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Because I'm the big sister

Because I'm the big sister I kept my whole family up until Midnight so we could go up to Squamish, BC and watch my brother's last home basketball game.
(notice Emmett's sleepy face)

Because I'm the big sister I ironed #5 on all of my kids clothes so everyone would know who they were rooting for.

Because I'm the big sister I can't comprehend that Bryce is graduating college this spring and there will be no more watching him play basketball.

Because I'm the big sister I basically stood under the hoop to get this sweet shot.

Because I'm the big sister I cry when Bryce plays good ball. Jeff laughs at me when this happens.
He's never been a big sister before.

Because I'm the big sister I remember always going and watching Bryce play basketball.
He's been fun to watch ever since he was little.

Because I'm the big sister I love how Braxton idolizes Bryce and thinks he is on the Quest team too.
We took Braxton to his first Basketball game when he was 3 weeks old to watch Bryce's high-school team. I can still feel myself tensing up every time the buzzer sounded and thinking it was going to blow my baby's eardrums.

Because I'm the big sister I had the nerve to get this picture as the team was huddling up to start the game. I'm not scared of his coach, or his team, or even him, for that matter. It's for posterity.

Quest didn't disappoint Saturday night. They were ahead the whole game and ended up beating Capilano by 1 point. It was a close one. I'm glad we were there to support my brother.
He's a star and we love him.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Some years I had no dates
Some years there was one
This year there were 4 dates!
And boy, that was sure fun!

We're really into Valentines poems around here. We have been reading this book all month and it's a crack up.

Jeff and I wrote separate Valentine Poems for each kid and for each other.
The one Jeff wrote for Emmett was the kids' favorite:

You are so cute.
You like to toot.
You're kind-of nuts.
But I love your guts!
love, Dad

Sunday, February 13, 2011

feelin' the LOVE

It's been a lovey-dovey month around here!
Here is Adelle sharing her homemade Valentine's cookie with Chelsey (someone we really love)

Here are the kids thrilled with their Valentine's package from Gramy and Grampy in Arizona! It was beautifully wrapped in red tissue paper and filled with "choc-lick" as my kids pronounce it.
Yum! We each got our own special little box of chocolates.

Here are some of the beautifully decorated cookies the kids and I spent Saturday creating to share.

These two licked this beater clean and then asked for the bowl. (Notice the hair-net on Adelle:)

I went a little non-traditional this year and we did Valentine Cream-puffs. Super easy and really yummy. We filled them with a whip cream and lemon curd concoction. That hit the spot!
We did cookies too!

These two could have done this all day. They loved helping with every little part, which is what it's about.

Have you ever made cream puffs with a 5 year old and a 2 year old?
Super easy you just need a few freezer bags.
I used this recipe.

We had this special friend over for dinner with his momma and made heart shaped biscuits.

Braxton secretly went into his room one night last week and made sure that none of us came with him. It was a surprise! He came out with these most beautiful Valentine's.
All by himself he did this. No help with spelling, no help with hearts, no-one put the idea into his head....(I was really proud and a little shocked at his ability on this one)
Such a little sweetheart! I also love how Dad's is in blue "boy color" I guess?

This is where it all started. My friend brought these flowers to me on my birthday and I had the perfect spot for them. Right on my table to go with the Valentine's scene.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, ateach us to bpray, as John also taught his disciples.

Prayer has been on my mind a lot lately. It is such a simple blessing and yet, sometimes, it can be really complex. Lately I find myself unknowingly analyzing my prayers and learning so much about what it really means to pray.
On a simple note, I remember when I was a newlywed and Jeff and I had our first tiff. I remember praying that Jeff would know how much I loved him. Instantly I felt the prompting, "you need to tell him you love him." I went out of my room, told him I loved him, and the tiff was over. It was simple but I've never forgotten it. It was a real answer to my prayer at that time.

Recently I've learned that prayer is the service of all services. I can pray for you, or you or you or you, and you'll never even know that I'm praying for you. I am. This is such a blessing. It makes me feel good to exercise my faith for the good of someone else and it makes you feel good when you feel the prayers that have been said in your behalf. You'll never know I prayed for you and that's the most perfect part of it all.

Prayer helps me to think less of myself and more of others. Lately there have been many who I want to help. I want to heal. I want to make whole and happy. I want to find jobs for some and find good husbands for others. I want to bring peace and comfort. I want to teach, without forcing, the importance of living a virtuous life. I want to make it better. I want to comfort. I want to give answers. I want to boost confidences. None of this can I do on my own. It's not my place. It's not in my power. But I can pray, and I do. When I pray for others my love for them increases and my life and my struggles become less critical. Isn't that an answer to my prayer in itself. I pray for comfort, then I loose myself in prayer for another and find comfort in knowing that I am serving someone else. It's an answer to my prayer for comfort. It's a continuous round, for a reason, and I think I am learning more about what prayer really means.

I pray for my husband and it helps me know how to be a better wife. I pray for my children and it strengthens me to be a better mom. I pray for the kids that my children will go to school with and it makes me want to be a better friend to women who may be struggling in my community who are mothers and who need strength to raise the next generation. On and on and on.

What really hit it home was last week during prayer at dinner when Jeff nudged me and I opened my eyes to peak at Emmett. He was sitting in his highchair, pushed up to the table, arms folded on his tray in a one year old manner. He is learning to pray. What was special about this is that no-one ever "taught" him to fold his arms. We've never said, "ok M, fold your arms..." He's always just sat there and watched. He had seen us do it, for his whole life, and now he was doing it. On his own. What a wonderful lesson to me of the example we set for our children. If there is anything I would want my children to know it is the power of prayer. It is that no matter what they are facing, no matter what they have done, no matter where they are, they are never alone. They will always have a loving Heavenly Father who will hear and answer their prayers.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

girl to girl

Jess is my dear friend. We were born friends because our parents were friends. We were little girls together. You could find us on any given weekend at either her house or mine, wearing some dress-up creation and prancing around in our mom's high heels. We are a lot alike. We are the big sisters to our little sisters.
We grew up, got married, had babies, but stayed friends.
Now we each have one little girl. Our little girls are so much alike. Both spunky, flirty, "don't take no for an answer kind of girls." These girls will go places but life won't always be easy for them.
I read this post on Jess's blog and it hit me hard. Please read it. Girl to girl.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


So now I'm 29!
As of today!
I like it already.
We took the kids up to Newton Wave Pool last night. Timeless. This was where most of my birthday parties were spent growing up. Lots of giddy girls, piled in the back of my dad's carpeted truck-bed,headed up to Canada to ride the waves. Last night was similar. Giddy kids, secured in their car-seats, headed up to Canada to get our swim on. Too fun, this is the only picture I got.
I've been celebrating all week:
*baked salmon day 1
*fish tacos day 2
*shrimp and scallops over lemon noodles day 3
*left overs of days 1, 2, and 3 day 4
*fish n' chips with yam fries day 5
I started to read a book with hopes to finish in the near future, this will take some effort but I've dedicated myself to it.
The kids slept in today which was a real gift.
We are going for a long walk. Together. My favorite.
Jeff made me french toast and bacon, also timeless. I love breakfast.
I'm officially running now, thanks to my friend who challenged me to run a 1/2 marathon with her before we are 30. I'm loving it and I can feel myself getting back into running mode.
I bought dental floss in hopes to use it. Gross that I've never been a floss-er but never too late to start, right?
Checked out the Dr. Seuss Happy Birthday To You book at the library. This caught my eye when the kids and I were there this last week and it is a new favorite. A new tradition for all birthdays.
Thanks Mom for birthing me! You deserve the celebration!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Hot Tub

Apparently this is the hot tub.
Unfortunately I don't fit in it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I've been a total sap lately.

Tonight I've been on the computer working on a project for Y.W. I've been searching through all my old photo files collecting pictures for a slide show.
Meanwhile I stumbled on a "few" that scream out love when I see them.
Happy Love Month