Life of a Real Mom

Unedited Mothering


Wednesday – Cucumber season

– Easy way to make dill pickles: Mrs. Wages: Quick Process Pickle Mix. Follow the directions on the package. I bought this at a Kroger’s grocery store and my Aunt Kathy has become famous in her town with this exact method. I am brave to try it with Armenian cucumbers, but I bet they will turn out great like the ones I made out of little garden pickles a couple years ago. These Armenian cucumbers are young and fresh and are easier to grow in our area. The process time is only 15 minutes! One pack of mix makes 7 quarts.

Thursday – Without contacts

– Look at how close I have to be to the computer screen to read the words after I take my contacts out! Man Alive!
– Kay’s wedding was wonderful! We are going to get the photos from photographer this weekend! I am only going to post those that Kay says I can and it must be after she has seen them too. Here are some from Facebook.
– Seminary summer training is amazing! I feel like I am in the MTC again: Out numbered by a ton of clean cut friendly men in suits, studying the scriptures, singing hymns together… Today we even played some BBall and frisbee in the gym and hallways of the stake center. I can’t believe I am this blessed. To be learning what I am learning is a dream come true. What an honor. I don’t get tired of it, not at all.
– My twin grand nephews were born a week ago. Walt weighs 1 pound 13 ounces. Miles weighs 1 pound 1 ounce. Their story is heart warming and is still tender to us. They are stable, but have ups and downs every day. Please keep them in your prayers. God is in charge.

Friday – Gotta

– Gotta pick up my prescription for my oral rinse. You DO NOT want to look at my gums.
– Gotta find the fabric for my dress. Isn’t this one cute? THIS is my pattern, which I paid three times as much for at JoAnn’s ON SALE! I am so confused! When do you buy on-line and when do you buy in person?
– Gotta buy a new tent for our camping trip next week to the Grand Canyon. (We absolutely WORE our last 4 out!) I know we have a wedding coming up, but we HAVE to celebrate school being out too, don’t we?

We work, we play and laugh hard everyday.

– I’ll make the boutonnieres on the highway while Duncan chats.
– Gotta pick up the boys shirts and grey slacks today. THE TIES CAME IN, which I bought on-line, and I love them.
– Gotta place our order at Ranch Market. Their chips win in the crunch, flavor, and price category.
– Gotta clean my bedroom! WHAT A WRECK. (Dunc’s been out of town for a few days.)

While the cat is away the mice do play.

Another Thursday has come around already again.

My brother Spencer makes these cool instructional videos on Youtube that are so handy and helpful, even for driving instructions to a family event or what lures to buy for the summer fishing trip. I want to learn how to post simple instructions! “The wave of the future is Youtube and Amazon,” Guys.

Do you know how much I have spent on Amazon lately?! It is sick, but I am sure I am not the only one. I forecast the closure of many traditional stores on the corner – except The Chef Store, which is about to help me correct a few mistakes I made by buying things for Kay’s reception (sight unseen) on the internet.

LOL> I am on a rampage. Don’t mind me.

Janet (my sister who had 2 weddings last summer)! How did you do this? The purchasing power of the mother of the bride or groom is astronomical.

I think I’ll make a youtube video of “WHAT NOT TO BUY before you see it in real life.” AND “Talk your kid into getting married. It is really fun to spend money.” Spencer, Do you have a video on: “Budgeting for post wedding therapy?” Brent, my brother-in-law that is my dentist, just diagnosed me for an oral fungal something-or-other, caused by stress. I need a video on fixing that too.


How on earth do you estimate how many envelopes to buy, chairs to borrow, and plastic forks to order? We have sent out over 375 invitations and I STILL have TONS of envelopes left over.

Want one?

– A friend of mine recently sent me a message that she is concerned about her step-son. Here is her message (names and specifics are changed):
“Hi again. I need some of your thoughts for/on my son. He is trying to tell Richard that he doesn’t have a testimony. But he has never actually said that to me. So I am going to make scripture study about him. Have him actually verbalize his questions & then have him teach me the answers. Good idea? Bad idea? Also, are the kids reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover during the summer? And last request – my son, Matt, is trying to not go on the camp out with the boys. Matt has now got his mom asking Richard if he’s being forced to go. Oh brother. Can you ask Adam to “pressure” him to go? He needs to go but he’s looking for a way to be lazy all summer. Not happening on my watch. LOL.”
– Hmm. It is the scriptures – the IRON ROD – The Book of Mormon, specifically, that builds testimony. That is a key to anyone building or maintaining their testimony.
– The next thing that comes to my mind is that you and Richard have a God given stewardship over Matt so you will receive inspiration as you pray and counsel over his needs and your concerns. Keep that up! I think that your idea of verbalizing the questions and having him answer his own questions from the scriptures is wonderful! You are doing a great job.
– Third, the Lord is our example in parenting, right? He never gives up. He invites, not controls. He DOES withhold privileges, and he chastens, but He loves no matter what. So, respecting agency when they are under age is tricky. We want to keep the balance between choice and rule because we don’t want them to rebel. Let him choose as many things as possible: what is for dinner sometimes, what new shirt he buys, what rides to ride at an amusement park, so when you have to say whats what, he won’t feel as pushed around. You are already doing this, I am sure. He ultimately will choose for himself and you will want to accept his decision. Parents can’t take it personally, though it is the natural tendency when a child chooses differently that they would. Each person has the right to choose. It seems that Matt has more going against him with his mom opposing value system, but the Lord is VERY mindful of the situation and knew it would happen and STILL placed Matt in THIS family. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Matt will succeed in the way we want him to, but it is Matt’s test and his score.
– Lastly, we all want to do our part in bringing to pass the eternal life of our children and friends! Your support, teaching and even, requirement that he go to EFY and camp outs and seminary are part of being a courageous parent. Listen, be sensitive, understand him, respect him, but YOU are still the PARENTS – until he turns eighteen – YOU set the rules. Each situation is so individual. Be prayerful continually. Adam also has a responsibility as a quorum member, as do I, Matt’s seminary teacher, and will do all we can for him. THANK YOU for the ideas and heads up. As far as the Book of Mormon is concerned and summer reading: I still need to talk to my team teacher about the summer challenge. We HAVE talked about reading the Book of Mormon in 24 hours later in the summer as a seminary class before school starts. The laurels in the ward did it recently and had an amazing experience. They WILL still need to read the Book of Mormon next year as daily scripture study, even if they read it in the summer because we want the words of God to be fresh in their minds while we study them in seminary. We are suppose to read The Book of Mormon everyday anyway, so you can’t go wrong either way. I love Matt. I will continue to pray for inspiration concerning him as far as my stewardship allows. You are doing a wonderful wonderful job as step-mom. He is so blessed!

Shshshsh 🙂

– Everyone is asleep still (I am cleaning out a drawer) and I want to quickly share some quotes and ideas I have been saving on random “to do” lists that I need to throw away.
– “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – Timothy 1:7
– “How has Christ saved you today?” – Delene Seaman
– “You have sought after things that are good. We all want happiness. Some look for it through food, alcohol, drugs, a shiny truck, a donut, or media elaborations. ‘ Happiness is most achieved through the teachings of Jesus Christ.’ Marriages and families are the order of heaven. – Pres. Uchdtorf Charity leads us to do good, seek the good in others, and to serve others.” – I can’t remember
– “I want to recognize the Savior when He come and [family research and temple work] wlil help me do it.” – Delene Seaman
– To distractions: “Let it go” – Terra’s Buddhist priest
– Read Women of Conviction
– Peace and Harmony in my Home: play classical music in the morning, personal scripture study first, family prayer morning and night, healthy snacks, keep kids accountable for their chores and piano practicing, set aside quiet time for all to read, visit the library often, swimming and other activities, scouting, games, DINNER TOGETHER with a little lesson to share in conversation, family scripture study every night, FAMILY HOME EVENING, sing around the piano often, read the Ensign, New Era and Friend, attend the temple, FRIDAY NIGHT DATE, and regular family councils.


– Kay and Chuck’s engagement photos turned out great. You’ll see them at the reception, if you are coming. What a handsome couple. We are getting very excited to celebrate with all our family and friends Kay is mixing traditional with original. She has always been full of surprises.
– Did you know you can do a wedding register with Amazon? It is SO cool. Just hover the curser over “account and lists,” click on “find a list or registry” and search the names of the couple that is getting married. Very cool.

– My testimony of marriage was strengthened at my friend’s funeral yesterday.
– Her husband took care of her throughout her disease, honoring their marital vows to the end. What a wonderful example to all of us.
– At the services I grew to love her and her family even more as I listened to an honorable life-story given lovingly and articulately by her daughter and other strong sermons of faith and truth by priesthood leaders who were close to her.

Wednesday – Wedding plans are coming along

– I keep all my wedding TO DO lists and receipts in this yellow folder. Just because I am trying to stay organized.
– Kay and I are going to watch Bridal Wars (only PG:), when we have a few minutes. We might have to wait until her college semester is over. Busy times are good times.
– When Duncan and I were engaged, Ron and Bertie Bowles bought us a trusted book: The Act of Marriage. I have been so so grateful that we read this book (me first privately and then Duncan privately) before we got married. It is important information for every new married couple.


– Here are Curt and Adam looking for Easter eggs around our library, everyone’s favorite room in our house.
– Today I am in Jacob chapter 7. Have you been reading the Book of Mormon this year still? One of my favorites: “Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you. But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God” (Jacob 2:17-18, The Book of Mormon).
– A missionary I served with on my mission in Dallas, TX had a stepson die yesterday. He was 23, a return missionary, and from what I can tell very amazing young man. I am sure that, though he will be painfully missed here on earth, he is very happy in the service of God on the other side of the veil. Thank goodness for our understanding of The Plan of Salvation.
– We have so much to be grateful for, especially the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which resulted in each of our sure resurrection. He over came death! Like Him, we will all live again.

…Even if you are walking away from your dead car all by yourself on the shoulder of the freeway.

Thursday – LIKE I SAID, a lesson in humility
– Today I ran out of gas and coasted off the freeway to a slow sorry stop on the off ramp. I prayed and tried and tried again, but no power. BLAST! So, I turned on the hazard lights and started speed walking to the nearest gas station. No one stopped to ask how they could help and I was so glad that the weather was good and that I was in a city. An hour and 10 minutes later I was putting a gallon of gasoline in the van from a $15 red plastic canister. Now we have three of these in our garage. I officially know that I have too much on my mind!
– I am seriously going to increase the amount of anti-inflammatory foods. I found 1 pound of quinoa for $3.00 today. Not bad. Avacados, here I come.
– My day is gone. Why does grocery shopping have to take so long?

Wednesday – A More Healthy Me

– Nutrition has been underrated. Is that possible? I want to know. I am learning that diet effects my mood, thyroid and joints from a few professionals right now. One of them is Dr. Kelly Brogan. HERE is a FREE webinar.
– I have failed on many green smoothies but eat every drop. (Seriously – you have to chew my smoothies because I have a regular blender.) Apricots (canned), whole (peeled) oranges, frozen bananas, and beet greens for instance. Not bad. Now THIS sounds delicious:

“The Kelly Brogan Smoothie”
½ cup frozen organic cherries or other berries
8 ounces coconut water, or filtered water
3 tablespoons collagen hydrolysate (This is a protein base, which I will have to look for. I doubt they carry it at Fry’s.)
1 tablespoon sprouted nut butter or sunflower seed butter (I will probably never buy this, so I’ll just skip it.)
3 large pastured egg yolks
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 to 2 tablespoons grass-fed ghee (I have no idea what this is.)
1 to 2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Note: Collagen hydrolysate is a protein food supplement high in the amino acids glycine, proline, and lycine. It comes as a dry powder.

Tuesday – Kay’s Engaged!

– I didn’t cry, I just jumped and jumped for joy. And then I jumped some more.
– Last night I DID have a melt down – not crying, just upset – for no good reason at all. Well, maybe it was because I am feeling emotional – My DAUGHTER IS GETTING MARRIED! (I am giving up my baby Kay and whatever control I still have over her life – which is very little). She is ready for this and Chuck is going to be a great partner for her. PLUS!… a substitute has been called to assist me in teaching seminary. She is fantastic! Still, I feel like I am giving up control again. Rendering control is a good thing, except it is hard. I can see why full-time teachers are asked to be in class as often as humanly possible, because consistency, bonding and investment makes a cohesive seminary class. Back to the main reason I am feeling emotional: Everyone is asking a ton about Kay’s wedding plans. She JUST got engaged! AND the details are up to her. … Kay hasn’t told me much yet. Maybe being the mother-of-the-bride is a good opportunity to work on being humble. Actually, I think everyday of my life is an exercise in being humble. (sigh)
– Dunc is the one I needed last night, to calm me down by listening and understanding. He is “The One That I Want!” (Love! THIS! recording of Donny and Olivia Newton John 🙂 Oh ya!
– Curt’s black eye is gone just in time for him to cut up his knee on new graveled asphalt. Thank you Chuck for being his medic on that one.

Monday – Mother Hen

Mine for Today

I woke up this morning thinking of Nils. Last night, at my mom’s 70th surprise birthday party, I got to hold my sister’s one month old baby. She asked me to wash my hands first, good idea. I knew he was in between feedings and so my chance was short. He is such a big guy, I took for granted how young he was and soon remembered to not move him around too much. I got him against me, with his little head on my right shoulder. I love patting their little buns. I got him to burp – REJOICE! Those burps are golden. Next, the multi-tasker that I am, I went over to say “Hello” to Barb, who was one of many guests I hadn’t seen for a long time. I pulled Nils out and down to look at both of us and Alison swooped right over. I thought of how a hen is so protective of her chicks and understandably so, Alison was coming over to supervise what I was exposing her baby to.

This morning I thought and thought about this. Did Alison not trust me with the baby? I can hardly get to a destination without at least one u-turn, I may or may not have make-up on, and I am working on about a gazillion things to be better at. STILL, there is nothing more important to Alison (nor I, actually) than the baby. Alison is such a wonderful mom. Think about all the sacrifice over the last 10 months that she has gone through to make sure he is whole, healthy, and actually perfect in every way. She has eaten purposefully, exercised, slept, read, over worked – (with 3 other boys 2, 4, and 5, you can only expect exhaustion) and planned, prayed and prepped for this little one’s path in life to be the best a prince could ask for. Alison, mother extraordinaire, has every right to over see his aunt’s overzealous exchanges with her precious treasure. I wish I had been more careful, now. Nils is a king in the making.

Tuesday – Being “Mom!” is Hard

– Recently a friend of mine asked how to manage the overwhelming duties of a mom and still feel healthy as an individual. I am composing some ideas in response. In the meantime, Here are two excellent articles:
Dear Mama, Satan Would Move Heaven and Earth to Keep You From Reading This Letter
This is What Happens When Satan Steals Your Motherhood


Its been real.


  1. Beautiful pictures, Kristin!!! I love your daily snippets. Do you still keep a journal in addition to this?

    • Kristin

      September 23, 2016 at 9:13 am

      Yes, actually. I keep two journals. One for everyday – well, notable events and the other for spiritual impressions, feelings, and answers to prayer. The latter I call my small plates after the Book of Nephi. 🙂

  2. I can relate to those library fines, Kristin! They sure have a way of putting a damper on a perfectly great day. But you’re right- it is still cheaper than purchasing all of the books your family is reading! I love your snippets, too!

  3. Kristin, thanks for posting a study guide if you will for Luke chapter 1. I don’t know how you do everything you do!
    Question-If Luke 1 was discussed today, does that mean that Luke 2 is on Mon? or do you jump around a bit?
    I hope Curtis is feeling better!

    • Kristin

      October 16, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      Yes, we are discussing Luke 2 tomorrow, Monday. I often wish that parents had the opportunity that their teens have, to attend a gospel study class each day. For adults who would like to study along with us, I will post study guides as often as I can.
      Luke 2 is the most thorough account of the Savior’s birth, which is sacred text for sure. In seminary we go chronologically from one chapter to another. Tuesday will be Luke 3, etc.
      Curt IS feeling better, thank you!

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    • Kristin

      January 6, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      Well, it is great that you stumbled upon my life. 🙂 I am glad that you like it. I enjoy sharing, so feel free to let me know any suggestions. … and thank you.

  7. Highly energetic post, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be a part 2?

    • Kristin

      January 7, 2017 at 9:24 am

      Yes, there is always more goofy feed when you are a parent in the real world. Come back again real soon. Really 🙂

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    • Kristin

      January 7, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Thanks. My goal isn’t to give my viewers good ideas, but give them the feeling of being understood. I am far from perfect. Being a good parent is hard work, but it is SO worth it. Come back anytime. 🙂

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    • Kristin

      January 10, 2017 at 9:41 am

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