THE MOST RECENT DAY IS ON TOP, in other words: These events read chronologically backwards.
Wednesday – Big League Chew
– We are enjoying a great little-league baseball season. Curt is improving each practice and because of a kind experienced coach, is having a great experience.
– Curt fell on his bike yesterday, thus currently sports a black eye.
– Adam leaves on orchestra tour tomorrow morning at 4:30 a.m. for San Diego. Tours are SO expensive! We have discussed the pros and cons of these extravagant trips for years. At least this year is only to California, but it still cost over $600! for 3 nights! Man Alive!
Tuesday – Over a week has past.
– Puerto Rico was wonderful. The island life is real and inviting. We were busy seeing Old town San Juan, the beaches, and the rain forest. Kay’s friends in Puerto Rico, where she served her mission, are loving, kind and generous. We love them! CLICK HERE for more on Kay’s mission.
– Curt got third place in calf riding. Here he is with cousins at our favorite rodeo, where we pretend to be country folk. I even volunteered to be a judge for the goat dressing. This is a video of me looking quite new at the job. Can you tell I don’t know what I am doing?
– Now I am recovering from a sprained neck I got in a mighty Caribbean wave. I can relate to people who have suffered from back injuries. Oh! The shooting pain! Thank goodness for a good chiropractor. I have a number of visits ahead of me still, but look forward to moving normally again soon. Life is full of TWISTS and turns.
Monday – Puerto Rico, here I come! (I am going to shower first.)
– Kay’s birth story is posted…
– Just in time for a landmark trip that Dunc and I and Kay are leaving for today…
– Kay served her mission in Puerto Rico and we are going to see the island and its people that Kay fell in love with 3 years ago.
Friday – Spring BREAK
– Duncan and I are going to Puerto Rico with Kay for Spring Break, this upcoming week, – to see some people that she grew to love on her mission. We are really looking forward to it. I’ll tell you more when we get back.
– This week has been life changing because I taught seminary at another high school for practical experience and observation. I learned a lot about teaching by the Holy Ghost and developing report with teens in a quick amount of time. Most of all, it was a turning point in my decision to apply to be a full-time seminary teacher. More HERE soon.
– Date night interrupted. I think this is for a good cause, but you can’t tell anyone. Curt has a party around a campfire at a park tonight to celebrate making it into NJHS! Well, Duncan and I were going to drop him off and then go on our date, but now we know (shhhh, you can’t tell) that … Noah I almost spilt the beans! ANYWAY, We are going to the Lehi Family Rodeo Dance tonight with the kids. We are going to go and watch Shaeffer history be made. Check out my Facebook page this weekend: Kristin Alldredge Shaeffer.
Thursday – BABIES!
– Nils, who is almost 10 pounds, was born yesterday (a new nephew!)
– Oliver was born yesterday (a CLOSE friend, Ben’s, first son.)
– Jane and Nathan found out they are having twins!
Thursday – Gag.
– The snake venom gel stuff didn’t help the bags under my eyes at all. It is hard to publish a picture of myself not smiling. I look even older. This is my own version of before and after, though. Bless all those “before and after” ladies hearts. I feel for them.
– As you know I am not perfect. I am disgusting sometimes. How do you spell disgusting? Just look at the photos above or read this.
– I cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen. It is Adam’s chore to keep the hall bathroom clean, but I can’t wait any longer. I even started a scholarship application for him this morning. I am getting way too soft. (He has been so busy though… excuses. excuses.)
Monday – Be Honest
– Even though this blog is titled “Life of a Real Mom,” and I tell you my embarrassing moments and you see me without makeup, etc…I haven’t been completely honest. I have told you that I am not perfect, that may be obvious or not. It is true. It is up to you to believe it or ignore the fact. I make mistakes (burn dinner, judge unrighteously, gossip, waste time, disobey speed limits, think naughty things, and spank our dog, Sally, when I am frustrated with her – to name a few). Here is the truth: Duncan and my kids aren’t perfect either. MORE HERE.
– On President’s Day I hoped to stay in bed and read. I haven’t done that yet, and I know it is my fault. I CHOSE to help or do or blog today. I own that.
– See you later – I am going to get in bed and read for an hour (5:09 p.m.!). Eeek. What about dinner? Oh, forget it! We will just have to go out.
Wednesday – My Valentine’s Day
– Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. The kids and I have a tradition of adding one or two trinkets to the Valentine pouches I made out of used manilla folders years ago. We have done so faithfully. You can see Kay’s above.
– The seminary kids had fun exchanging valentines. Dunc says I shouldn’t MAKE them do something they did in kindergarten. For his information, it was the seniors’ decision, not mine, and after a vote yesterday, everyone loved it except 2 very mature practical male students, who said, “There is just too much preparation needed for Valentine’s Day!” That is a valid perspective! Poor guys. All the shopping and writing everyone’s names and putting those heart stickers on 23 paper valentines is pretty dumb when you are doing it out of obligation. Yuck! We will definitely find a clear way to make the activity optional next year. I wouldn’t want them to have a sour attitude about the holiday when they actually DO have a sweetheart.
– Duncan and I had a relaxing picnic at a nearby park. (There was an adult league soccer practice going on behind us, which we completely ignored.) We talked and talked until the originally tall taper candle was completely burned out. We were both shocked to find out when we got back to the van that we had been talking for 3 hours! What did we talk about? Well, we talked about my institute class, his hike this summer, Kay and Chuck and then I had brought a box of conversation starting questions that kept us going the rest of the time. CLICK HERE for the seven questions we discussed.
Monday – Where has the time gone?
– Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of Duncan and my first date! He took me out to dinner to JB’s Family Restaurant and then to the IMAX theater in Scottsdale. It was so easy being around him. It still is. We were immediately comfortable sharing food with each other, even. I had ordered chicken fried steak and since I couldn’t finish it, I offered it to Duncan. Of course he ate it up! He was wearing a cream colored sweater, so classy.
– Duncan and I went out to eat just this weekend to “Abuelos.” Man! That is yummy food. Neither of us could finish our food this time, so we took boxes and had lunch the next day. Score!
– Last night was a landmark night for Duncan and I, but I can’t tell you why. It just was. I am so glad to be sharing these memories with such a loyal, good, smart, handsome guy. Man Alive!
Tuesday – Hi
– Here I am at my computer for a few seconds before I run to the postoffice to return something sent to my daughter by an unwanted admirer. Remember my journal entry of having guys coming out of the woodwork, just when I was meeting and falling-in-love with Duncan? This same thing is happening to Kay.
– My kids need me and that is a good feeling. Curt had a weird nightmare last night. I listened to the whole thing and laid next to him for a half hour until he could fall back asleep. Adam and I are learning leadership and patience together as we work on his eagle project together. Clark came over after a doctor appointment to chill and get some food. J.D. texted me to know when his last Tetanus shot was. See? Once a mother, always a mother.
– I thought I was done with the Fairy Godmother cloak (high school spring musical costume committee), but NO. I have to add mossy fabric and grey hair to the inside of the hood. Man! This one piece has taken HOURS. Thank goodness Bri loves it! She is going to be a great Crazy Marie. Did you know the Fairy Godmother’s name was Marie? I didn’t.
Thursday – Remembering When We Met
– Today is the 25th anniversary of meeting Duncan. Details are HERE.
– To bring romance into any moment, Duncan and I like reflecting on our dating days and wedding. Try it! It works like a charm. 🙂
– Did you know that you can find TONS of full-length Hallmark movies on Youtube? I also recently watched a BBC Play of the Month: The Millionairess (1972) starring Maggie Smith that is fantastic. Here is the LINK.
Tuesday – Living Waters
– Yep, just like they say – I needed reading glasses suddenly. It was almost over night…3 years ago. 🙂 I have gotten use to searching for reading glasses before I can read ANYTHING.
– The Living Waters, as taught by Christ in John 4:1-30 are available to all of us. We must drink freely and deeply as is taught in Elder David Bednar’s talk “The Reservoir of Living Water.” Click here if you want more of anything. Your life will be enriched in so many ways if you read and apply the counsel in this speech.
– Speaking of truth from apostles, I was fortunate to attend both live broadcasts of Elder Ballard, Rasband, Robbins, and Costa’s devotionals in Gilbert this past weekend. Some highlights are HERE. Read them prayerfully. I am sure you will be inspired for ways you can be a better parent. I sure have been. REMEMBER, these are MY notes – not the complete talks or exact quotes. Any mistakes are my own, not mistakes of the speakers themselves.
Thursday – Where had he been?
– Today at 11:30ish a.m. will be Duncan and my 25th anniversary of seeing each other for the first time. CLICK HERE for details.
– I re-read the love story between Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis this morning. To review the story of when they saw each other for the first time read Genesis 24.
– I went to get my upper lip and eyebrows waxed yesterday as part of a pampering I needed. Did I REALLY just tell you that? Oh brother! ANYWAY, the technician was so sweet. She told me about her recent trip to Vietnam, her home country. She has plenty of nieces and nephews, she says. So many that all she needs is a dog for herself. No kids. There are a lot of people out there that feel the same way. We can all choose for ourselves, although we don’t have full control because God is ultimately in charge. I thank my lucky stars for my 5 kids. I am so grateful that The Lord saw fit to bless me with motherhood.
Monday – Green thumb?
– In my part of Arizona, if you are crazy enough, you plant winter grass. Then (Lucky YOU) you get to water and mow your grass through the entire winter as well as through the summer. The grass is green and juicy alright. I just finished mowing and our mower gets so gooped up that I have to get the green juicy cut grass out of the incapacitated cavity of the mower every time I empty the bag or it wads up in some weird way and doesn’t work right. JOY of joys!
– Much to my disappointment, Friday night’s traffic was worse than I allowed for and Duncan, Curt and I were stress wads weaving through traffic trying to get to our wonderful extended family singing gig. After an hour in the car (picking up Duncan from work included) we raced into the lobby of the performance hall and could hear my family singing over the intercom. We were TOO late. Man Alive! The performance was going on without us. I won’t bore you with all my thoughts. I just want you to know that I was sad and I know how life seems harder than usual sometimes and I sympathize with everyone who has ever been late, despite their best efforts. It is the pits.
– On a much better note, Saturday night Duncan and I attended the Religious Freedom Conference at the ASU Institute. WE WERE ON TIME. It was great! My notes are here.
Friday – Fight for Families
– Tonight night my extended family will be singing a song about families that speaks to the whole world. Click here to read the powerful lyrics.
– President Donald J. Trump was sworn in today. What a wonderful occasion! I was surprised about elements of his speech, but remember what he REALLY said, “Let’s work together.” “I am the president of ALL the people.” The power SHOULD be with the people. He will do a great job as president. I hope that the U.S. people will unite and support one another.
– The sweetest part of the news coverage that I saw this morning was President Trump signing the cabinet assignments while his grand daughters were playing with the pens beside him. He didn’t seem flustered or phased. He was so comfortable with little ones around him. His son, wife, and other children and grandchildren were behind him all looking very regal, yet comfortable. It sent the message to me that families are the most important unit in society and that no office or honor trumps that of father and mother. God bless families! God bless America!
Wednesday – Schools
– I enjoyed a lush bath bomb this morning for the first time! What a luxurious way to enjoy some reading this morning.
– My friend asked for my advise considering her child’s needs going into a declining public middle school in 1 1/2 years. The actual parent is the absolute best authority to make this choice, of course, because it is the parent that has stewardship over that child by God and has the right to receive revelation from our loving, all-knowing Heavenly Father (through prayer and study) for each of his/her children. Asking what I think is part of the study part, so I’ll say that when possible, I vote for supporting public schools. If all educated active families helped their neighborhood school, then the public school system would be much better off. Having said that and lived that motto, I realize that some public schools are struggling with behavior and societal issues that we have no control of. To protect your child and family from any number of damaging scenarios, charter schools are a viable option. The last consideration would be homeschooling, which is its own story, commitment, and potential solution. 1) Study the schools, 2) take tours, 3) ask around 4) discuss the pros and cons with your spouse and maybe the child, then 5) get on your knees, pray, and listen. Your thoughts and heart will guide you to the best situation for your child.
– Education choices are an interesting thing. I believe that there is more to consider than the quality of education when choosing a school for your child. Consider the family lifestyle and goals, the friend network variants, and the child’s emotional needs. Duncan and I have found that the best school for our kids isn’t the one that would give our kids the best education, although the schools we have chosen have prepared our kids for college well enough. Location, friend and church circles, convenience, and extra-curricular offerings are very important to us. Take this decision seriously and then once you have made it, make the most of it. Every choice has its own down side, so nothing is going to be perfect. Make the most of it and you’ll look back and see the Hand of the Lord preparing you and your’s for great ends.
– HAVE A GREAT DAY!
Friday – Kids will be kids
– Curt, like all kids, has loved playing with this big box left from the new arm chair we ordered last week. He turned it into a Jeep.
– Kay, like Curt, has loved the box creation – is it because she loves everything “Jeep?” Her own Jeep she named Jerry, which she loves and takes very good care of.
– No, Kay loves the box (I think) because she is just a big kid, like me. She and J.D. were drawing on the carport with sidewalk chalk just a week ago:
Thursday – BoooHoohoo.
– I am sick.
– My sore throat has led to a slight fever and coughing. I guess it is my turn.
– Yesterday’s lesson on Acts 7 was wonderful! CLICK HERE to learn of my brief reflection.
Wednesday – Sewing
– I am part of the costume committee for the high school fall play. I have been assigned the fairy godmother’s cloak. This is no ordinary cloak – picture: camo, fur and forest. You’ll love Mr. McChesney’s version of Cinderella the first week in March.
– I also am sewing a dress for Kay. Do you know how hard it is to find a modest dress? (Not as hard as it use to be, thanks to many new sites such as jenclothing.comand Down East Basics.) I’ll show you Kay’s dress when I finish it.
– I also have a tall stack of mending and unfinished projects. “Sew like the wind, Kristin!”
Tuesday – My class went great!
– I didn’t want “Seminary Teaching Methods” at the LDS Institute to end today. Here is a link to a beautiful clip on how Jesus Christ is the Master Teacher. (This applies to all parents, teachers of all kinds, mentors, friends, and volunteers.)
– The facial moisturizer that I am enjoying is pretty good, except DON’T BUY IT! Evidently, my “trial” order is followed with auto shipments. Month 1 has arrived with an email and $189 charge to my credit card! This is a rotten way for a company to do business. I have called the 1-800 number a few times to no avail. I am out the money – no refunds and it is no use returning the merchandise. BEWARE: Complete Derma and Skin Cell is a tricky exchange. I regret ordering the trial for sure. Thankfully, my account has been cancelled (I HOPE I don’t get more auto shipments.) and I will continue to use the products that have arrived.
– I am sewing Kay a dress that is too small for her! – so! I have to add fabric to the back pieces, blah blah blah. What a pain, but Kay is worth it.
– Kay says her first day was stressful, Clark says that it was busy. He was especially talkative about it being his first day as a teaching assistant. Duncan was very chatty and cheerful. Kay is taking his class which was a fun topic of conversation. I left my cell phone in the seminary building, so I don’t know how J.D.’s first day went….yet.
Monday – 1st day of College Semester
– I am still in my P.J.s, but I have gotten a lot done! I have made lunches, sent out missionary letters to my nephews, cleaned out a ton from my email inbox, cleaned the kitchen, printed out a temple name (sent in an email from family search!) and reviewed the calendar for the month.
– Kay, Clark, Duncan, J.D., and Chuck all start their new semester today. Even I have a class that starts tomorrow! It has been a while. I am taking an institute class for seminary teachers at the ASU LDS Institute. Fun!
– Major breakthrough: strengthening my core has helped with my need to wake and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Angela, my sister-in-law, introduced me to these exercises on Thanksgiving weekend. 7 of 7 things 7 times: 7 sit ups, 7 push ups, 7 squats, 7 lunges, 7 dips, 7 burpees, 7 back leaning twists.
– Where are you in the Book of Mormon (I try to read it once a year)? Don’t forget to read the intro and testimonies at the beginning. CLICK HERE FOR FREE ON-LINE COPY.
Friday – Video game addiction?
– How can they, Curt (11 now!) and Adam (15), look so calm when they are fighting a boss that may kill them any second? How are they not traumatized and stressed out after every fight? Are they going to have PTSD?
– J.D. made it safely back to BYU. This is his second time driving home by himself. I am relieved.
– Date night at Olive Garden was fun and delicious. How can there be such a crowd night after night? We had a gift card or we probably wouldn’t have endured the 30 minute wait. Man alive! It is really a popular place. …did I mention that it was delicious?
Wednesday – Back to the “Routine”
– School started yesterday and that means seminary did too. The seminary students were not thrilled about being back. Thank goodness we had the diversion of my amazing nephews. They were over practicing for a competition this weekend. HERE is one of Miles’s many clips on youtube 🙂 Here is Graham. AREN’T THEY AMAZING?!
– Duncan has been sick. It can be frustrating to hear him complaining, but I KNOW being sick is the pits. I also realize that it is kind of cute how he wants to be taken care of. I am trying to just look at the positives. He’ll feel great very soon.
– The Christmas decorations are boxed up and in the attic. MAN! What a job. It is interesting how excited we are to set it all up at the beginning of December, but how we dread the clean-up. Christmas will be back before we know it. I HAVE decided to downplay Santa next year and am already talking to the kids about it. We are giving most of our Santa memorabilia (including figurines, books and even dishes) to Deseret Industries, which is my favorite thrift store.
MORE “Today”s are HERE.Friday – Guys Work out
– J.D. has the boys pumped about gaining muscle. It is fun to see them motivated to do such good things when he is home. He goes back to BYU next week.
– Mommy Blogs are interesting. I look at them and feel inspired, but kind of frustrated, because I don’t measure up. I hope my blog doesn’t make people feel inadequate. Life with kids is just plain hard, awesome, normal, and worth it. I hope you know that.
– The house is a wreck. I just dusted, a rarity for me, and there was so much dust – just around the printer. I have to vacuum now. Well, I had to vacuum anyway. Oh well.
Thursday – SNOW!
– We drove to Forest Lakes to touch some snow. Curt, Adam and I had the best snowball fight of my life. The snowman’s smile is a determined caterpillar, who we found under some bark. I feel bad for taking him out of his warm bed now, but at the time it was so cute.
– I made easy and great french bread for a lasagna dinner last night.
– When do you take your Christmas tree down?
Tuesday – BEFORE
– I got some anti-aging cream (don’t worry, I requested it and ordered it myself) for Christmas. I just put it on for the first time. We’ll see how I look in 2 weeks. The moisturizer has snake venom in it… which doesn’t sting so far, but the eye cream has an edge to it. I wonder… I should be paid for this.
– The house is a wreck. I can’t say I don’t care, but it has been nice to read this morning… I have got to finish the Book of Mormon before the New Year. I am in Moroni 8! Amazing stuff. CLICK HERE if you want a free one delivered to you. I will be starting over on Jan. 1. We could read it together. <3 - The boys are doing work outs on the monkey bars and new pull-up bar that Curt got for his birthday. Did I tell you his birthday is on Christmas day? We celebrated it on the 16th. He has been the Christmas gift that keeps giving.
– Each kid gets their own nativity set on their first Christmas. Part of our Christmas Eve routine is acting out the nativity with these little sets.
– Duncan must read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” with all the kids “on” his lap before we set out cookies for Santa. CLICK HERE for MOVIE of reading.
– Pajama bottom theme this year: HIPPIE!
– Kay got a sewing machine, J.D. a watch and clothes, Clark, Adam and Curt got camping hammocks and books and a dude perfect football.
– Is Christmas too commercial? CLICK HERE to learn how some of my siblings have adjusted in this area.
Friday – Christmas is so fun~!
– Yesterday was our first annual Christmas craft day. I had plenty of bling to glue on construction paper Christmas trees, which ended up on the floor. The paint for the ornaments washed off the table quite well. The remaining pom poms and crafting supplies will be used another time. What a blessed, fun mess! We can’t wait to do it again.
– This morning Dunc and I woke early. He has had some names burning a hole in his pocket so we did two sessions! There isn’t a single thing that could be better use of my time, other than taking care of my kids. We were back home by 9:30 – so all you parents out there that don’t get to the temple as often as you want to, DO NOT FEAR! Your kids will grow up and feed themselves breakfast one of these days. How awesome is that?
– Yes, it is pretty busy with all the festivities and preparations going on right now. I believe that your environment, including the people around you, reflect you. Same with me. I am accountable for my situation. So, if I have too much to do today, I really can’t blame anyone but myself. I started this blog. (So glad!) I have created the dinner event tonight and invited all the guests. I spawned the idea of a craft day. I am the one who composed the long list of friends that I wanted to deliver cinnamon rolls to. I am the one that started shopping (on-line) earlier than ever, but still haven’t sent out my Christmas photos. I am the one that chose to be off one gift rotation, but on another. SO, the smiles, the sweat, the hugs, and the warmth or angst that I feel this season is mine and mine alone. I am so grateful to know this. MAN! AM I blessed or what?! (Stress and all 🙂
Monday – Mom’s day off!
– It is 5:30 p.m. and I am still in my pajamas. It has been a very busy few weeks. In addition, The Messiah Sing-a-long, where I played the violin in the symphony and was orchestra helper, was last night. I proclaimed today my day off. I haven’t officially done this before. I even put it on the calendar a few days ago. I cooked an extra meal yesterday to have in the fridge and everything. Of course, I chose today, because the kids and I don’t have any other pressing appointments – Christmas prep can wait. I needed to recoup. (I mostly read and slept.)
– Tonight is the extended family Christmas Caroling night. This is, hands down, my favorite Christmas tradition. However, with the thrill of performing the inspired music by Handel last night, The Messiah Sing-a-long is a close third. Well, maybe our Christmas Eve Routine is my favorite, not second. OR our Musical Christmas Program where we invite a few neighbors and favorites to recite and sing the story of Christ’s birth. HERE are our speaking parts.
– BIG compromise: Dunc isn’t the biggest Christmas fan. Have I told you that already? ANYWAY – He isn’t going caroling with us tonight and it feels peaceful and right. He is happier, and we don’t have his resistance. I will miss him, but accepting each other with their differences is really good advice.
Friday – Glad I have a savings account.
– We have some big events in our family coming up!
– Got the van repaired (front suspension and all 5 motor mounts!=$2200)
– Loved Book of Mormon Class last night.
– Gotta Go! I am going to visit Grandma. 🙂
Wednesday – Is it really only Wednesday?
– Why does this week seem long? For me it is probably because it is finals week and the week before Christmas break. We are all looking forward to sleeping in and relaxing a bit. I actually have a head start on the Christmas shopping for the first time in my life.
– I am baking cinnamon rolls like crazy today. The seminary, Christmas Caroling victims, and Book of Mormon Class students are all recipients this time.
– Here is a shout out to everyone who has donated their tax credit dollars to Adam’s Chamber Orchestra Tour. Do you know how Tax Credits work? This is how I get Adam’s tour payed for in Arizona. It is a win-win for everyone: the tax payer/gift giver, gets to CHOOSE how his/her state taxes are spent, and the student gets an amazing extra curricular experience that they will remember forever. THANK YOU!
Tuesday – Cub Scouts
– We are wrapping up Curt’s cub scout career. He turns 11 on Christmas Day, so on to Boy Scouts in the New Year for us.
– To gain Life Eternal we must know God and Jesus Christ (John 17:3). To REALLY understand Jesus Christ and his Divine Mission you may want to read John 5:17-47, which is Jesus Christ’s response to the accusing Jewish leaders. What did the Lord say He would NEVER do? Always do? What will YOU NEVER do? ALWAYS do? Here is a beautiful video to teach us more about OUR PURPOSE. What does this have to do with Christmas? Without Christ’s divine mission, there would be NO Christmas.
– I am having a Star Girl day. I am doing what suits me, not caring about what other people think. Golashes with a flimsy skirt and chunky scarf. Have you read Star Girl? It is a short teen novel about a girl who doesn’t bend to peer pressure. You or someone you know would love it for Christmas. You can get it for a penny on Amazon HERE.
Monday – Random
– Dunc is clearing the dishwasher right now 🙂 This is my least favorite kitchen chore and he knows it. I LOVE HIM for lots of reasons.
– A chicken salad sandwich just hits the spot sometimes. Here is my version. #LIGHTtheWORLD
– Sally, our 15 year old lab/sheep dog mix member of the family, has been showing some age lately. I think we have an old lady with incontinence issues on our hands. She asks to go “out” SO often and even had “urgent business” right in the middle of the sidewalk on our walk this morning. This is not like her. Interestingly, there is a ton on this subject on-line. I am going to ignore most of this advice (hormone pills, etc). Sally isn’t having accidents inside, … yet. She is just old. There isn’t much we can do about that, except love every second with her.
Friday – Peace on Earth
– I just got back from the Ward Christmas Party of Duncan’s assigned ward as a high councilor. THEY ARE SO AWESOME! That salad was to die for, also.
– There were a few extra kids over here after school, by design, and I needed something quick to feed them. WAFFLES were a hit.
– What does a pinched nerve feel like? I have a kink in my upper back that turned up a few years ago and hurts when I have bad pasture while driving or am at the computer for a long time. It really started bothering me while I was trying to make a photo book on shutterfly before the deadline of the promo code MERRY. I didn’t turn out the lights until after midnight!
Wednesday – PTA IDEAS
– On my early walk in the dark with the trusty dog and my brilliant girl friend, currently PTA Pres, I learned some very COOL SCHOOL ideas.
– Do you realize Why I post? Why I include a photo of myself almost every time? Why I care?
– I ran into a good friend in the produce section yesterday. OUR DISCUSSION is HERE.
Monday – Christmas is in the Air
– Clark performed with the ASU Men’s Chorus at Gammage! He sang a beautiful solo accompanied by the choir titled, “If I Could Sing Like an Angel.” I think he DID sing like an angel.
– Adam and some of his friend have been going to the temple regularly.
– Curt had a successful round of performances in the junior version of “Cinderella” as a ballroom dancer and peasant.
– Orchestra holiday concerts are this week and the beginning of holiday parties while my three college kids are stressed out with final projects and final exams.
Monday – Gram’s House
– Wonderful autumn weather for Thanksgiving!
– I am sore because of an awesome workout Saturday morning with my sister-in-law!
– It was so wonderful to be with all 5 of my kids this weekend! J.D.: Thank you for coming home for Thanksgiving! <3 AND Thank you Gram and Papa for hosting quite a crowd. We love you! Wednesday - Thankful for my kids!
– Is this Cutie Pie my baby? I am so grateful that I had the experience of conceiving, carrying, birthing, and nursing a child (or five in my case). I am also grateful for the many children have been/are in my life, starting with my sister Carol, just one year and 4 months younger than me… and continuing on to the kids that come over to jump on our trampoline, my kids’ friends (Yes, this includes you, Chuck.), or my nieces and nephews that give me hugs at family gatherings. Did I tell you that my mom and dad have 55 grandchildren?
– We are going over the river and through the desert to Gram’s house tonight. We are so excited to squish in the minivan for a road trip! Clark has hyped everyone for a 5 1/2 hour Dungeons and Dragons game on the way. These adventurers are my favorite people in the world. I can’t imagine any other people I would rather be with.
– Happy Thanksgiving!
Tuesday – Rain!
– We got rain yesterday!
– Is it too cold already to go camping? I am IN THE MOOD! (Dutch Oven RECIPES HERE)
– We are watching the excellent full-length film “Meet the Mormons” tonight. Do you want to join us? Here is the link 🙂
Monday – I am Thankful!
– Today on my walk there were lots of slugs, out and about leaving their silver trails on the walkway. They are such a pain in the garden, but kinda cute after a rain storm.
– Since we have a mild winter, birds come here for winter months. Did you know that Mallard ducks, and many other species mate for life? I counted 21 couples of mallard ducks on the water this morning! They were paired off and feasting on the scum at the bottom of the canal that is being drained for cleaning so it is more shallow than normal. Why do they mate for life? What does that tell you about humans mating for life? or not? What advantages do those, who choose to follow this ancient law of Heaven, have over peers who change partners from time to time. Why do I want to stay with Duncan forever?
– We had a festive and fun dinner last night with Kay and her beau and other special guests. I am thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Dunc the Hunk, my wonderful children, the good roommates and friends my kids have, seminary, the scriptures, temples, rain and much much more!
Friday – Cool weather has set in.
– Visiting Teachers are so awesome. I like talking and listening…I am lucky to have these great women to see me once a month.
– Adam (15) had a fever last night. He was hot, but felt so cold, layered in all we could find, that he was scared, I think. Of course, before too long, he was hot and throwing everything off. He feels better this morning. He is watching an old VHS film, The Goofy Movie, right now. I won’t let him play video games or surf the internet, because I can’t stand the thought of him doing it, and also, it isn’t restful. He has a Unit final this afternoon. Should I have him go to school, just for an hour?
– Last night Dunc and I went to the funeral of a wonderful man who loved Christ’s gospel and raised a beautiful family. I am struck with the blessing of good health and the chance to live with my husband and children as long as Heavenly Father will grant me life. I know that my Father in Heaven’s desire is to have me return Home to Him. He loved me/us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to atone for my/our sins and teach me/us God’s will. How will my choices affect what happens to me after I die? Revelation 20:12-13 says, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Who will be resurrected? 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 says, “But now is Christ risen from the dead…For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive.” I know that I WILL be resurrected and be judged by a just and loving God. I have this life to live in my Savior’s footsteps, the best I can AND to help others find the way, according to their free will and choice. We all get to choose to believe or not, to follow or not.
Thursday – Good Morning!
– Sewing costumes for middle school musical
– Helping with Parent Orchestra Guild, holiday concerts are around the corner.
– Getting Adam’s Eagle Project idea ready for going to the BSA Board
– Starting to think about Christmas – Christmas shopping is not my forte. I have already received my first Christmas Card! (Thank you Jess.) So, the pressure is on. I am not going to jinx my success by telling you I will shop sooner this year, but I did just make an on-line purchase to start it all off! Yeah me.
Thursday – Happy Veteran’s Day Tomorrow
– Curt will be marching with the Cub Scouts in our town’s parade (me too).
– Here is some more of Kay’s birth story.
– I bought a box of green beans at my favorite produce market. Canning this weekend!
Wednesday – Change is in the air
– I should be on Trump’s Cabinet. What do you think? (My ideas.)
– Kay’s birth story will be continued tomorrow.
– Seminary is on John 1. What an important chapter, though I know I didn’t do it justice today in class. Uggh.
Tuesday – Election Day Surprises
– I’m glued to the T.V.!
– I think it is hilarious that the media is finally admitting that they haven’t been listening to rural America. I think that they haven’t been paying attention to most of America.
– If the media, the candidates, and even the citizens of USA were “color blind” we wouldn’t be dividing the voters in racial classifications, would we? And why are they splitting “Whites” and “Whites with a college education”, but they aren’t splitting the black and hispanic voters with and without college educations. Why is that?
– It is 8:35 p.m. here and the final count is still a toss up! Very interesting.
– Regardless the outcome of the election, family makes the difference. Faith is eternal. Joy comes from these most important parts of our lives.
Monday – I’m home.
– Duncan’s presentation at a geography conference in Altoona, Pennsylvania was great – and I got to tag along. We loved long drives through the state, continuing Duncan’s research on long distance hiking systems, where we saw SO MANY TREES in full fall colors and beautiful farms and quaint small towns.
– I love the people we met in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Dunc and I met a neat guy on the airplane. He is about to be a new daddy to his second daughter. I wish his wife and him the absolute best! (CLICK HERE for my reflections on having my first child.)
– At church on Sunday, the McConellsburg branch or congregation is small but so strong. My testimony grew as I worshiped with these wonderful saints, about 20 in number.
Tuesday – Whew!
– Thank you all for your expressions of support and concern.
– I appreciate moms with toddlers and twins and foster kids and ANY kids SO MUCH MORE now.
– My experience with “extra” kids was shorter than I planned. Thankfully Draicoe and Dax and happily back with their mom. (I will refrain from telling their complete story out of respect for their family’s privacy.) May God hold them and their mother is the palm of His hand.
– I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to carry, birth and raise my own children. I am grateful for the many advantages I had going into my parenting experience. Only a few of these advantages include my own positive childhood and upbringing, my own parent’s loving and purposeful example, my education, my determination to live according to a moral law, friends that influenced me for good, a habit of church attendance – which gave me a testimony of my Savior’s love for ME, a supportive (not perfect, but great) and hard working husband, children who respect me and want to please me (most of the the time), and a relationship with a loving Heavenly Father who is only a prayer away. I’ve seen parents trying to raise their kids without these privileges and it is SO VERY difficult! Help is out there for every parent who finds themselves in a corner, BUT you have to WANT the help. CLICK HERE for links. If you know a parent suffering from homelessness, mental illness, poverty, addictions, a lack of faith, or severe depression, I, and many others around you, will help you. Most of all, Jesus Christ, the Healer, The Savior of all mankind, is there for you.
Thursday – Routine Revised
– I only have a second to compose this entry.
– Routine is essential to my survival with toddlers
– The routine changes each day. So, is it a routine? 😉 I guess it is a guideline, or a starting point.
– Expect the unexpected and go with the flow, but don’t give up on your “routine” ish – Some essentials that these little boys insist on, now that they are use to it, and that really helP. CLICK HERE.
Tuesday – Hang in the there
– Yesterday was long. I have thought twins would be fun and that I was somehow above the chaos. Not so. These guys are like twins, except easier, I am sure, because Draicoe is mature enough to understand what I say. He is talking quite a bit, especially copying what we say. That is SO cute and SO helpful. I APPRECIATE ALL parents so much more than I use to. This is NOT easy.
– Adam is selling cookie dough for orchestra. Any takers? 😉 Here is Curt’s latest words on fundraising.
– Curt, once again, was mature beyond his years in referring to the boys calling me “Mommy”: Click here for the small story.
Monday – Parenting
– Duncan and I became “foster” parents Saturday. I say “foster” but we aren’t official foster parents, but legal guardians of a couple little ones to help the world somehow. I am exhausted. Not only has it been emotional, but all the work of parenting small children refreshed. CLICK HERE for a play by play on my day.
– Haircuts transformed these brothers. To learn more about these cute boys, CLICK HERE.
– Last week’s visits with Duncan’s mom and dad and my cousins Craig and Jaclyn went GREAT!
– My kids have been SO supportive! Oh how I am impressed with the love and care they have shown these little ones. I am so blessed!
Monday – Crisp Morning!
– Long walk with Sally during sunrise was chilly.
– Refurnishing some old camp chairs.
– Still gotta put up Halloween decorations today…but cleaning must come first.
– Have a happy day!
Friday – The Lord is Mighty to Save
– This photo doesn’t communicate the feelings I am feeling AT ALL, but this IS what I looked like while I prepared the seminary lesson for this afternoon.
– Study one of the most beautiful chapters in the whole Bible with us. LUKE chapter 1. (Click the green words for your study page.)
– Click HERE for a FREE King James Bible.
– Date night tonight!
Thursday – Thank you!
– Thanks to God for America, His word, the Holy Ghost that guides and comforts me, and for friends who enrich my life.
– I am thankful for the children in my life.
– I am thankful for my handsome, good husband.
– I am thankful for food! I love it so much!
Wednesday – A Strong Mind and Heart for America
– I’ve decided to support Evan McMullin in his presidential race. This is a quick decision, but there isn’t any time to loose, so I prayed with intent to act on my answer and feel focused on helping the campaign however I can. (Click here for my reasons.)
– Presidential candidate Evan McMullin has chosen Mindy Finn as his running mate. My photo above is the smile I would wear if I was posing for a vice presidential photo. Do I look smart? strong? confident? Hahahahah! I sure don’t feel like it. Fun anyway.
– I have a sore throat now, probably from Curt, but it is so worth it….being an attentive mom to my sick child, that is.
– My kids take SUCH LONG SHOWERS! What am I going to do about it?
– Last night at the Honors Team Activity the students silk screened t-shirts. I let Curt do it and when I got involved (because I was being impatient) I messed it up. I saw one parent do the whole project for his child. I don’t get the value in that, even IF the zealous parent was excellent in silk screening. Trust the child, that’s what I say.
Tuesday – Making up
– Duncan and I don’t always “get” each other, but we sure do “dig” each other. 🙂 Story HERE.
– Curt has a fever and cold symptoms. … missing school today.
– My mother-in-law and father-in-law is coming to town next week. I am so lucky! I LOVE my in-laws. I wonder what kind of mother-in-law I will be. I ask my friends that have married kids for success secrets every once-in-a-while. “Don’t give advise unless they ask for it” seems to be a common response. I think I can do that, because I am already TRYING to do that with my 3 adult children. J.D. called me Saturday and we had a wonderful talk. I am glad they occasionally do WANT to talk to me. 🙂
Monday – Joy in the Journey
– Pioneers didn’t have iphones, ipads, or cameras, but some pictures were taken. I just don’t have them yet.
– Trek was truly a joyful journey. What is trek? How can I find joy along MY journey? I felt an instant love for the teens assigned to Duncan and my trek family. This is the third year we have been asked to be “Ma and Pa” and I can’t wait for the 4th.
– The story of pioneers moving west strengthens my faith.
– Because of the deep loss of lives along the trail, there were some children orphaned along the trail. To remember these individuals and to cultivate a nurturing spirit in our trek families, we were given the opportunity to “adopt” baby dolls the second day, who represented real stories of heroic youth during the real journey west. The kids in Duncan and my trek family (Blue Jays) “adopted” and carried a doll named Polly. All the kids in the trek families had a lot of fun naming these “adopted family members.” Our family decided that Polly should have the middle name of Esther. What a crack up! (Get it? Polly Esther.) I miss all eleven of my trek kids. They were such troopers as we pushed and pulled the handcart with all our belonging for 3 days for a total of about 18 miles. We cooked and cleaned and sang and worked together. It was a meaningful and joyful journey.
Tuesday – My Heart
– My roommate Julianna would exclaim, “Oh my heart!” I echo her now. My heart is full, beating, and why? Because I love my kids. I am so proud of them. I am excited to see what they do with their lives and where they end up. Click here to see what music Clark has been up to, besides studying calculus and software engineering.
– I welcome little people that come over from time to time, kids that I love from the neighborhood, school, church, or my extended family. Those that come often look at the pictures of my children around my house and I have noticed that some of these visitors aren’t as fortunate… to have pictures of themselves hanging around their homes (communicating their importance), so I have started this photo album. It is an album of photos of the kids of all ages coming to my house assembling puzzles, dressing up, or making cookies. I keep it down low on a table in my living room. They LOVE looking at photos of themselves. I hope they feel love when they flip through the pages. There are a couple of neighbor girls over here right now playing barbies.
– I am reading a book, The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. It has me seeing the world through different eyes, a more sensitive and understanding heart. I am so blessed. I feel sorrow for suffering. I feel compassion for those unloved. I have so much to give, thanks to the Lord.
Monday – It’s already over
– The day is already over.
– I HAD to take a nap today…Great weekend, but so much company and cooking and fun, then early to rise to plant flowers at the temple, I just had to come home and read a fun book and take a nap and read some more. Right?
– Do you have a dress up box? My kids have had a lot of fun with dress-up. I am going to dress up like a pioneer later this week and walk for 3 days to honor my pioneer heritage. I was telling my friend Julian, the most awesome security guard ever (of our high school), about the upcoming trek and he shared with me the story of his family coming to America for the first time from Mexico. Our family history helps us understand ourselves better.
– Good night!
Friday – General Conference Weekend!
– Dunc and I are going to the temple this morning to do some work for some family names (sealing ancestors to their parents that Adam found)!
– Seminary conference is today. The kids put on the whole meeting with special numbers and talks in the chapel. We are all wearing our church clothes to school today.
– Date night! I LOVE Fridays.
Thursday – Gotta Go!
– Hi and Bye. Gotta go pick up the kitchen chairs that are finished at the chair repair place before seminary starts.
– Adam did great at his swim meet.
– I have such a cute husband! He is sweaty and sometimes we disagree, but MAN! is he cute or what?!
Wednesday – Have you read your scriptures yet today?
– Curt took such great care of me on our date last night. (We talked about asphalt and the strip, oil, topping process – weathering of surfaces, etc., flavors of Blizzards, his friends, fall break and more.) He opened doors for me, he let me choose the ice cream dish I wanted AND paid for it. He is such a little gentleman.
– Yesterday I was having a fantastic day until the public library wouldn’t let me check out books. Lo and Behold, I had $26 in fines! and then $11.50 more after that. I went ahead and settled my bill and decided to try to forget about it so my day could brighten. I have thought of it a few times today. Do you know how many books $37.50 could buy? Well, not as many as I have checked out over the last year, and it definitely couldn’t buy my kids’ love for reading. I’ve decided the fines are worth the use of the magical library.
Tuesday – For my Sister
– My sister (#6) reads this blog often, so I am going to post three things today at different times so that she has a treat each time she checks on me. 🙂 Did you know I have 7 AMAZING sisters? Yep. More to come! (I have to get their permission to share something out of my journal when we were all little.)
– I HAD to complete all my chores before getting on the blog this morning (my play) in order to follow our family routine of work before play. What were my chores today? I cleaned both bathrooms, unloaded the dishwasher, folded SOME laundry, and wiped down the counters. You may be asking, “If you are doing all THAT, what are your boys doing?” Well, that is a good question. Look here for what Curt and I talked about this a.m.
– When I feel good about myself, I better enjoy it – better yet – act on it, because I won’t feel so very awesome later. When do you feel good? pretty? confident? How can you help that wonderful feeling last longer? < The green letters, which usually indicate a link. - The presidential debate! Hmmm. What to say? I am choosing my words carefully, so none for now, but will share my articulations HERE later today.
Monday – What a weekend!
– Great 30th High School Reunion. What a great group of people! Can you believe I am that old? – Never mind that question. I can’t believe it has been 30 years. I remember when my mom went to her 30th high school reunion! I thought she was SO old then. Of course, she hasn’t aged a bit since, in fact my parents keep getting younger. How does that work?
– I miss Draco and Daxis, two little boys that we babysat over the weekend so their mom could clean and pack for their move.
– I loved the cousin sleep over on Friday, the General Women’s Broadcast on Saturday and our BIG lunch after church with Des, Jimmy and the girls! What a weekend!
Friday – Fresh start
– Just out of the shower. I took Sally for a long walk this morning. She is exhausted and I feel invigorated!
– While walking I listened to a wonderful talk from April General Conference by President Eyring called Eternal Families. He quotes President Tanner, “The parents that you should honor more than any others are the parents of your children-to-be. Those children are entitled to the best parents that it is possible for you to give them.” He of course is referring to you. Take care of yourself and your spouse so that you can be the best parents you can be to your children. If you haven’t married yet, choose earnestly and prayerfully. We all must be morally clean that we can have the guidance of the Holy Ghost with us as we raise those God has entrusted or will entrust to us.
– Clark and J.D. are into composing electric music. J.D. even won $500 in a music writing contest this summer! J.D. is “BU” and Clark is “Sid_Mac.” (Check out their latest here.)
Wednesday – Off to a good start!
– Got my walk and green smoothie done.
– I am cooking for a big seminary lunch today! Fettuccine Alfredo is easy, as long as you have a lot of butter and milk.
– Curt was playing in the recycling bin the other day. At 10, he still loves hiding and being found, is that because he is my youngest?
Monday – Good Morning
– Curt is applying to the middle school honor’s team and is stressed out about getting teacher referrals. His teachers love him. He is just nervous about asking them for a referral by the deadline. Growing pains.
– The weekend was restful. I watched talk after talk about religious freedom, a new interest of mine. Religious freedom is so basic that its underlying pillar is “freedom of conscience.” Every human has the right to decide his own morals. This is the center of defining one’s individuality. Of course, regardless of this individual’s beliefs, he can not stand in the way of another person’s rights and should be tolerant of differences between himself and others.
– Have a great day!
Friday – Waffles
– Taking a picture every morning of myself is reminding me of Oprah, on her magazine cover every month. I think that is annoying…yet, here I am taking a picture of myself every morning. Thank goodness you can CHOOSE to look at this page or not. ANYWAY, I am committed so I’ll try to get creative.
– As a kid, for a year-or-so, on Friday nights we would eat waffles while watching The Donny and Marie Osmond Show in my Mom and Dad’s room, which was the room with the TV. I remember pouring mom’s homemade syrup in each square and then cutting it up according to my mood. Is this a one or two-square-bite waffle? Maybe a “throw-out-the-rule-book-waffle” and I would cut it diagonally! Good times.
– Now, waffles are still awesome. Some of my kids like them toasty, others soft, but mom’s homemade syrup is still the fave. (Waffle RECIPE here)
Thursday – More?
– I am tired of myself. Aren’t you tired of me? Anyway…
– This morning I worked a bit on Kay’s high school t-shirt quilt. High school memories are foundational, for some reason. My 30 year reunion is next weekend and I’m actually looking forward to it. More later…
– Have a great day! By the way, Eddie Spaghetti is ready!
Wednesday – What a relief
– I am so relieved to be able to add this entry as a buffer between yesterday’s gross picture and the top of this page.
– I am relieved that my toe is healed enough to go on a long brisk walk with my good friend on a regular basis. It still looks fatter than the other toes, but is a tiny sausage instead of a little one.
– I am relieved to figure out how to help you subscribe to this blog, Check the box after the comment option at the end of any post.
– Curt is relieved to have his science project done – a plant cell.
– Are you relieved I learned about Eddie Spaghetti? Check this story out.
Tuesday – Presto!
– I showered and got dressed for seminary early to save time. Later I decided to sweep & mop, which resulted in a haggard and sweaty self, but where there is a will there is a way and “Presto Change-o!” Twelve minutes, Baby.
– Why did I mop this morning? Because Duncan and I volunteered to clean the temple last night, which is spotless. No surprise that the house felt not-so-spotless when we returned.
– Adam has now made the high school musical (Curt already made the middle school musical.) This means more work for me – so happy to do it.
– Notice the chart behind my mopping pic? (Click here to see other charts around my house.)
Monday – Happy Day!
– I currently know where all 3 pair of my reading glasses are. Yippee!
– Had a great weekend including cliff jumping with my immediate and extended family. What a bunch of dare devils we are! (so FUN!)
– Wish I had more time. I have a to-do list a mile long, including the laundry behind me.
– Clark and Kay showed up late last night. Had to break it to them that we would rather they “stop by” when we are awake. BUT their faces are radiant with independence and confidence. They left me with tons of news and hugs and took with them some food and a midnight haircut.
Friday – I had a funny dream last night.
– I had a funny dream last night! (Click here)
– Curt was WAY to mature about the school fundraiser – NOT wanting to be lured into participation.
– I went on a walk with Sally, our dog this morning, I am the kind of dog walker that keeps full control. At least I can have control of something, right?
– Tomorrow our fam is going to go to a water hole that will be fun and tiring. How should I prepare myself?
Thursday – MORNING TIME!
Here is my morning self. 🙂
How is my daily schedule going so far? Pretty bad. – I’m not going to beat myself up about it.
– I am still in my pajamas
– Curt has picture day today and I didn’t cut his hair last night like I was going to. His shirt is wrinkled and I don’t have time to iron it. – I can’t stand ironing anyway… I actually know a wonderful gal who likes ironing. What a woman! – not me. I’ll spray Renew on it – LOVE THAT STUFF!
– I have a doctor appointment in 15 minutes and can’t pull myself away from the computer.
– I DID take pics of making Eggs in a Basket. Check out the new “Recipes” page.
GOTTA GO! Have a great day!
Wednesday –GREAT DAY
Today has been great!
– We got some much needed rain
– Seminary was awesome. Matthew 20 is a wonderful reminder that the Lord is kind and keeps His promises.
– Adam and I went to the temple and had a cool conversation (that is private, but strengthened our bond in a sweet way).
– Dinner turned out delicious. I made a brocolli and chicken bake, but with left over pork from Sunday. YUM!
Last week sometime – WORN OUT
Today has been full of surprises:
– Neighbor offered us a desk that they don’t need, but since Kay is moving to an unfurnished apartment, it is just what we need. No big deal, but “Cool!”
– I found out that someone is very displeased with something I have been doing and I get to exercise my charity and humility. (Sadness overcame me upon hearing this sad news. Dealing with it the right way is still emotional.)
– My brother and sister-in-law, who have been waiting for the blessing of adopting another baby, got a magical call and left for a hospital out-of-state first thing this morning. (I burst into tears of joy upon reading the email this afternoon.)
– Curt made the middle school musical. Another, “Cool!”
– Kay moves out Thursday, which IS a big deal. (Whittling down from 5 kids to 2 kids has me feeling empty.)
What do you do on emotional days?
I feel kind of worn out, actually.