So I have to share the coolest thing. My sister has now done something I've only dreamed of doing for just about my whole life. She sang a solo in the performance of the Messiah by the Orchestra of Southern Utah. So she sings this amazing solo along with full orchestra and choir for thousands of people. And I'm seriously not jealous.......really, I promise I'm not. Not even a little...... Listen to it here and if you want to hear her scroll to about 36:45 or a little bit left of midway. I wish I could tell you to listen for specific words but I'm not sure what they are. She's the amazing soprano that comes after an alto solo and before "He is the King of Glory". I'm listening to it right now and she's amazing. Ethan just piped up and said: "Wow, who is that singing?" I told him Aunt Shelly and he said: "Wow."
I don't even know where to start. So many things have happened in the last month that I can't even find the words. My heart is full, my eyes are filled with tears that don't ever seem to stop. There have been a million moments that I have been convinced that it just can't get any better.
And then it does.
Today was a wonderful day at church. After a morning of waking up late, rushing, yelling at my kids and dashing out the door to get to church on time while still arriving in a completely packed building during the opening song while carrying a baby and a million bags on one shoulder and hitching up my skirt with the other I didn't have high hopes. But the sweet music and calm spirit sunk in. Eventually.
This has been a month of blessing after blessing after blessing. And of course the ones that matter most are my Savior, Jesus Christ, love, family, being together, seeing my oldest son baptized by his father and knowing it was a moment I would never, ever forget. Those are the gifts that sink in deepest, that mean the most, and that are completely irreplaceable. But I also want to talk about some physical gifts we received that have left me completely humbled.
I have been blessed with winning many giveaways and also some gifts from the person who had me in the stocking swap and I will tell more about these later but I want to talk about what a family in our community did for us. I will never understand how they chose us or why we deserve to be loved so much but our lives are changed by the love and kindness of this family.
The Friday before Christmas we had some family here in preparation for the baptism on Saturday when the doorbell rang. A lady we didn't know asked us if she had the right house and then handed us a cute bag with adorable stuffed gingerbread men inside. We were like, wow, sweet, and put them out as decorations. Then about 10 minutes later we get another doorbell ring and we open the door to an overflowing porch. There were 20 presents, a turkey, tons of food, and a popcorn tin with microwave popcorn and candy and a $20 gift certificate to a local video store. Taped to the popcorn tin was this note:
"Please accept these gifts on behalf of our son Brennan. Brennan has gone back to our Heavenly Father and is no doubt doing great and marvelous work in heaven. Brennan was an angel sent to us as a blessing and is now a very special angel to our family. He is a kind and generous spirit who loves to give to others and share his love.
Our family wants to help Brennan continue spreading joy here on earth. These gifts come from our hearts to yours with love in hopes of a very Merry Christmas. Don't open til Christmas!"
And it had twelve signatures on it that I will not include here for their privacy. I can't even write that without crying.
We had family here from the day that we received it until today and we decided to put those gifts aside to open after everyone had left so that our kids wouldn't have a lot more presents than their cousins. So today after church we sat down and opened our gifts from this wonderful family. All of my boys got some great presents, some really nice clothes, toys and soft snuggly blankets. After they opened their gifts we opened the family gifts together and our jaws dropped down to the ground and then we all jumped up and were yelling and crying. They had given us something we had wanted for Christmas but knew we'd have to save up for for a few years. A Wii!!!! We are still in shock and looking at each other and saying no way. We are so excited to play it together as a family.
So thank you to that sweet family who chose to pass on the love and joy after an experience that must have left them heartbroken.
And we are determined that in some way and at some point in time, we will find a way to pay it forward.
So I have a ton of things I SHOULD be blogging about. Ethan's birthday, Thanksgiving, life, etc. but I've been sick and I can't think straight so I'm going to do a tag post since it's easy.
Here's how it works: Bold all the things that you have done in your life.
1. Started your own blog2. Slept under the stars 3. Played in a band 4. Visited Hawaii 5. Watched a meteor shower 6. Given more than you can afford to charity 7. Been to Disneyland8. Climbed a mountain 9. Held a praying mantis 10. Sang a solo 11. Bungee jumped 12. Visited Paris 13. Watched a lightning storm at sea 14. Taught yourself an art from scratch 15. Adopted a child 16. Had food poisoning 17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty 18. Grown your own vegetables19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France 20. Slept on an overnight train21. Had a pillow fight 22. Hitch hiked 23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill24. Built a snow fort 25. Held a lamb 26. Gone skinny dipping 27. Run a Marathon 28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice 29. Seen a total eclipse30. Watched a sunrise or sunset 31. Hit a home run 32. Been on a cruise 33. Seen Niagara Falls in person 34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors 35. Seen an Amish community 36. Taught yourself a new language 37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied 38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person 39. Gone rock climbing 40. Seen Michelangelo’s David 41. Sung karaoke 42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt 43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant 44. Visited Africa 45. Walked on a beach by moonlight 46. Been transported in an ambulance47. Had your portrait painted 48. Gone deep sea fishing- 49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person 50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris 51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling 52. Kissed in the rain53. Played in the mud54. Gone to a drive-in theater55. Been in a movie- 56. Visited the Great Wall of China 57. Started a business 58. Taken a martial arts class 59. Visited Russia 60. Served at a soup kitchen 61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies62. Gone whale watching63. Got flowers for no reason 64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma 65. Gone sky diving 66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp 67. Bounced a check 68. Flown in a helicopter 69. Saved a favorite childhood toy 70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial 71. Eaten Caviar 72. Pieced a quilt 73. Stood in Times Square 74. Toured the Everglades 75. Been fired from a job 76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London 77. Broken a bone 78. Been on a speeding motorcycle 79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person 80. Published a book 81. Visited the Vatican 82. Bought a brand new car 83. Walked in Jerusalem 84. Had your picture in the newspaper 85. Read the entire Bible 86. Visited the White House 87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 88. Had chickenpox 89. Saved someone’s life 90. Sat on a jury 91. Met someone famous92. Joined a book club93. Lost a loved one94. Had a baby 95. Seen the Alamo in person 96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake 97. Been involved in a law suit 98. Owned a cell phone99. Been stung by a bee
Okay, that makes 43 for me! See how you do and post it on your blog.
This has been one of those weeks. You know the kind....yep. Between getting sick on my birthday, then getting sick again on Wednesday (got to remember to take my vitamins), a huge family drama that has kept me up at night and given me multiple headaches from crying, a huge to do list that hasn't even been dented, bills, lack of money, cranky kids and husband more than usual (probably my fault), messy house, multiple loads of pee clothes, etc. etc., I am just completely worn out. And I have so. much. to. do.
But the topper today was during preschool. (If you don't already know I teach preschool out of my home). I don't usually have preschool on Fridays but I switched it to today because I took off Wednesday, the day I was sick. Isaac and Owen hang out in a play yard in the corner of my preschool but today Owen just wouldn't stop whining and acting weird. He wouldn't even eat a cookie! So I went and picked up the poor guy and was holding him during story time when he suddenly puked all over everywhere. I think I handled it pretty well. I gave the kids little jobs to do while I went and cleaned him and myself up and although my students were a little noisier than usual they did a great job. Luckily it was near the end of school so we finished up and I sent them on their way. I held Owen for a while and then set him on the couch where he sat until I glanced over and found him like this: If you know Owen you know that he NEVER does this. I honestly cannot remember a time that he just laid down and fell asleep when he wasn't in his crib. Here is one that shows Isaac chillin out next to him. (Luckily Isaac seems fine) So even though it has been one of those weeks I would rather everything bad happen to me than my kids. I am so grateful for the sweet children that have been entrusted to my care. I may not be anywhere near approaching perfect but I love them with everything I have.
These pictures are kind of my week in review. I've been doing most my talking on my other blog so now I can't think of much to say. So I'll just tell a little bit about each picture and what's been going on. Pictures are the best part anyway! Oh, and a special thank you to my Mom for coming this last weekend and doing tons of laundry and cleaning and babysitting. You're the best!!!!
I don't even remember why I took this picture. I guess just cuz they're so cute
Owen came over to me about 20 times and had me put these goggles on him. Then he would pull them off and we'd start all over again. Ethan had to hold him still long enough to take a picture.
My friend Angela taught me and a few other girls how to make bread last week. We have started meeting once a week to learn something to help us be prepared and be self sufficient. You can check out her blog here. Today we tasted MRE's, learned how to gut a fish, and bottled butter. I've got six beautiful jars of butter to go on my one shelf of food storage!
Fun with flour! Boy, isn't Owen proud of himself.
My little monkeys.
Andrew has been my little Mr. Grumpy lately. I have to read him What are you so grumpy about? almost every day.
Eldon insisted on putting 29 candles on my cake.
But I still blew them out in one breath.
Here are Isaac and Owen enjoying my birthday cake. Sorry no pics of me, I had the stomach flu on my bday yesterday. nuff said
Yesterday after teaching piano lessons and after Eldon got home I went up to my room to lay down and have a few minutes of peace and quiet. I love my children but it was one of those days. A few minutes later Ethan came up to join me.....
"Mom, what are you doing lazing around up here?"
"Did Dad tell you to say that?"
"No, I said it by myself."
"Do you think I'm lazy?"
At least he's honest, right?
Another funny thing a little while ago. Ethan's principal pulled me aside and told me that Ethan had made him laugh. I guess he came up to him and said:
"Mr. D....., I know why everyone likes you."
"Because you're practically famous."
I guess it made him feel good. I don't know where he gets this stuff from but he sure is a cutie. (when he wants to be)
I have seen this on a few different blogs now and decided it's a fun way to deny all of your failings and to share a bit about your week. So here goes:
I did not get strep throat last week and have to cancel preschool.
I did not forget about a millions things that I needed to do last week including Andrew's dentist appointment on Thursday.
I did not work on the computer all day today instead of doing my laundry and dishes.
I did not remember to be grateful for all of the blessing I have in my life.
I did not let my kids have way to much candy to the point that they were all whiny and cranky today.
I did not let my husband cook dinner tonight.
Okay, well I guess that's all I can think of right now. I think this will take some getting used to. If you haven't figured it out yet those are all things I did do this week. So I did remember to be grateful but I also did give my kids too much candy and let Eldon cook dinner. Take a look at a picture of my cuties over on my other blog. I'm hoping it will make it to the finalists in the contest and then I'll be begging all of you to vote. And thank you for any and all comments. I love them!!
First off, before I tell my sad tale of woe, I want to tell you that I have TWO giveaways going on at my other blog: http://simplyscrapstampsing.blogspot.com. I also have a link there to a bloggy carnival where there are literally THOUSANDS of giveaways for just this week! It is so much fun but also very time consuming.
Anyway, this is a story I will only tell on my personal blog that friends and family read because it is kind of embarrassing. For the past....well....month, really, I've been feeling a bit under the weather. Just had this cold that wouldn't really come to a head. I thought maybe allergies or something. Anyway, my kids have been getting fevers and coughs and runny noses off and on as well so all together it's been a hard month. And the fact that I teach preschool and lessons out of my home has made it harder in the way that I have to keep canceling or rescheduling because of sick kids. I absolutely cannot stand letting people down but at the same time don't want to get their kids sick or my kids more sick so it's kind of a lose lose situation for everyone. I pretty much can't sleep because of feeling guilty about this. I feel guilty if I have school when my kids are sick or if I don't and then let those kids and parents down. I sure wish I could come up with a solution to this and if anyone thinks of one let me know. But I'm getting off topic here.
Saturday I wasn't feeling great and just generally run down but I was okay and then Sunday morning I woke up with everything in my head swollen and my throat hurting. I felt like I couldn't even fit a piece of cooked spaghetti down my throat. But it was the primary program and not only is that the one Sunday I look forward to all year they had also asked our little family to sing one song as part of it. I honestly still don't know how I got through it. Later when people said how good it sounded I really had to try not to laugh. Oh well, hopefully the spirit helped give the message and I know the boys sounded good. And the primary program was wonderful.
I went home during the second hour because I realized I was getting a fever and starting to ache and shiver all over. I went to bed and didn't wake up until Eldon and the boys finally came home around 3. (Church gets out at 2) I guess Eldon had an interesting time trying to do his stake calling and go to choir while keeping track of all four boys. He lost Andrew for a while until someone found him on the street about halfway home and brought him back to the church. Thank goodness we live in a small trustworthy town. (although I think we need to work on teaching him about the dangers of this) You know I wasn't feeling good to leave all that with Eldon! I was so out of it it didn't even really occur to me.
After they came home I went back to sleep. A little later I guess Eldon came in and told me he was going to stake choir practice but later I really couldn't recall this. I came to at about 4:30-ish (if you can even call it coming to because everything was blurry and spinning), and tried to get out of bed. I honestly cannot recollect a time when I was as sick as I was on Sunday. Even delivering a baby I was at least semi-coherent and either had control over my body or knew why I didn't have control over my body. I heard Ethan, Andrew and at least one baby down in the family room making noise about something so I needed to get to them and I needed to get to the bathroom. But I could not get up.
My body would not do what I told it to. So I basically fell to the floor and crawled out into the hallway. In the hallway I tried to stand up so I could get in to the bathroom but then next thing I knew I was hanging half off the top of the stairs. I could still hear Ethan so I half called half sobbed his name a few times, trying to be as loud as I could and he came and brought me a bowl which I proceeded to use in a none too lovely fashion. Ethan then helped me move away from the stairs into the hallway. During this Isaac had come up and he was crying for me and crawling all over me trying to be held but I honestly could not even hold him. The most I could do was just sort of rub his head. But that was not enough for him. I finally told Ethan to take Isaac over to our neighbors house because I knew that I couldn't help him in the state I was in, which he did. Thank goodness for good neighbors!!
I lay there shaking uncontrollably and crying for who knows how long until Eldon came home. I was shaking because I was cold but at the same time I was sweaty and clammy. And every single part of my body hurt, from the tips of my hair to my toenails. I really don't even know how to describe it. To only be kind of half aware of what's going on around you and to have no control whatsoever over your body. I honestly can say that when I lay there in that hallway I just wanted to die so the pain would stop. I remember as I lay there I was thinking about people who are tortured or severely hurt with a bullet or a knife or burnt all over their body and knowing that there was no way I could ever tolerate pain like that. I was trying to tell myself this isn't so bad, think of how much worse it could be, it can't last forever, just get through this moment, then this moment...... but honestly at the time I felt like it would never end.
When Eldon came I expected him to realize how sick I was but he was more like, are you okay? what are you doing in the hallway? I couldn't even talk! He did figure it out and I was able to kind of half nod while shaking and sobbing when he asked me if I wanted a blessing. He helped me get downstairs and on the recliner. (which for anyone who knows my Grandma M,. we moved even slower than she does. I don't mean that in a mean way, just trying to describe how slow I was) He brought Isaac back over along with our neighbor and they gave me a blessing. I can't say that it all went away at that moment but it did ease up enough that I didn't want to die anymore. And then I was able to keep down medicine and take my temperature. And...."I've got a fever of a hundred and three!" (doo doo) Okay, not really but almost. It was something like 102.6. But remember, that wasn't even the peak.
I started feeling a tiny bit better and could at least move but my sore throat got worse and my cold got worse so Eldon stayed home and took me to the doctor on Monday. She verified that I had strep throat and a fever (although by then a measly 99 point something), gave me a shot you know where, and then told me to stay away from people as much as I could for 2-3 days. Which once again meant cancelling preschool. :(
Okay, so now that I've written a novel here of my sad tale that probably nobody wants to hear about, I want to tell you about the ray of light on my dark dark night. And that is my sweet, darling little Ethan. In Sunday School that day Ethan had learned about service. Not just any service but secret, selfless service. (which he informed me means when you do nice things without being asked). So when he came home from church that day he emptied the dishwasher, put a load of laundry from the washer into the dryer(and started it!), took out the trash and set the table, all without being asked! (And here I was completely out of it during this modern day miracle!) And then being asked he willingly got me a barf bowl (as he calls it), helped me move around, took Isaac over to the neighbors and then came back and fawned over me, bringing me a blanket, feeling my forehead for a fever and just generally being stinkin adorable. I'm going to cry again just thinking about it, seriously.
So the moral of my story is this. I hate being sick but I would do that again, a million times, over and over again, just to keep my sweet family safe, healthy and happy. I am so incredibly, undeniably, insanely blessed. And I love you! Yes, YOU! If you are reading this (and especially if you made it this far) I love you!
Of course, I love everyone else too, and lots of people that don't even read blogs, and some animals that can't read at all, oh, and lots of children that can't read yet, and the stars in the sky, and the leaves on the trees, and the fish in the sea, and my friends both near and far, and ............
Last night was the Halloween carnival at the elementary school. We dressed up as the Seuss family. This is the first time I've dressed up in years and as you can see, it wasn't a complicated costume. Eldon and Ethan were both Dr. Seuss (although Ethan took off his hat and gloves and never put them back on after the picture.) Andrew was Horton the Elephant, Isaac was Thing 1, Owen was Thing 2, and I was Whoville. (Which if you've read the book is the entire town of Whoville that cannot be seen with the naked eye on a little flower) After having issues with the iron-ons for the thing costumes I finally just copied them on paper and stuck them to their shirts with some scrapbook adhesive. It worked pretty well for one night but will definitely not hold up for another wearing. (not to mention a washing) The kids played games, we ate sloppy joes and chips, won cotton candy and soda, didn't win anything at the cake walk (big surprise, we haven't won in 3 years) and of course had people complimenting the costumes on the babies all night. It was fun....for once a year. ;)
I had to take a picture of this. Andrew has two suckers in one hand and cotton candy in the other. Can we say cavities? The smile was worth it though. We tried to find a game that the babies could do. In this game all you have to do is grab a duck and you get a prize. I still had to help them grab it. I wish they were this wary about getting into stuff at home. This is Isaac. And here is Owen. They both got a sucker they enjoyed for the rest of the time in the comfort of their stroller.
Here are Ethan and Andrew is a sack race. Ethan had to do this three times, he loved it so much. (By the way, Ethan was letting Andrew win here. Such a sweetheart.)
Until next year.....now does this mean we're done with Halloween? After all that junk last night we don't need any more.......wouldn't you agree?
This last weekend was UEA weekend (also the beginning of the deer hunt I guess) and Eldon's parents Eugene and Cheryl and his sister Janene and her husband Mike and their kids came to visit. On Thursday they went out to the Dinosaur museum in Price where Eldon and the boys met them and then came here and had enchiladas. On Friday the guys went golfing in the morning and then we all drove out to the San Rafael Swell to see the dinosaur footprint, the petroglyphs and pictographs and the swinging bridge. It was a nice relaxing day and fun to get to show them around our neck of the woods. (Honestly though, Eldon's parents have been to these places more often than us and also know a lot more.....shh don't tell ;) That night we came home and had a late dinner of my version of chinese food. (Don't ask about the pizza mix up) Saturday we mostly hung out here. Eldon and his dad made enchilada sauce while I helped Cheryl set up her blog, we went for a walk and then had a barbecue. Eldon's parents had to leave Saturday but Janene and her family stayed for church today. Overall, it was a nice relaxing weekend!
That's most of the Musgrave family WAAAY over there!
Andrew's foot is almost as big as that dinosaur footprint.
A special treat!! (My kids never get to ride in the back of the truck. I even got back there and rode too!)
They didn't want to stop climbing!
Everyone but Mike and I in front of the Pictographs and Petroglyphs.
Okay, so I'm just going to vent a little here. A while ago my friend and I were talking and decided that we needed a girls night out without kids. A lot of ladies here play Bunco but neither of us are into that so we decided we'd just start a girls game night where anyone who needs a night out can come and play games and get away. So we compiled a list of women that we knew didn't get out much and that weren't already in a card exchange or in Stampin club or that did Bunco. We invited them and told them to invite anyone they think might want to come and tried to make sure they knew that it wasn't exclusive, anyone could come. It's for any woman that needs a night out. Since then we've taken turns having it at our houses and the group changes from month to month of who can come and it's been a really fun experience and something to look forward to. We've had nights where we talk about our problems we're facing and try to help each other and nights where all we really do is laugh all night. So here's the problem. At our last game night I asked if everyone had heard about the sister in our ward that had reunited with her daughter after many years. (I know now that even though I was excited for her and wanted to share the news I shouldn't have brought it up, so right there, my fault) Some had and some hadn't and not much was said except that we were happy for her and wanted to find out more from her. (She had been invited but couldn't make it) Then somebody said that they were looking for a mattress for this daughter and then at that point a comment was made that was probably not the nicest thing that could have been said. I just took it as a joke in bad taste and we proceeded to change the subject very quickly and that was the end of it. Or so I thought. A while later I start hearing things. It turns out that somebody at the party went and told this person what was said. So then this person (who all of us really like) now feels like we were all gossiping about her which just isn't true. The lady who made the comment went to her and apologized and you would think that would be the end of it. But now all these rumors are going around about who told and what was said and I feel like the spirit that we had in starting this game night has been sullied. And I feel like I'm back in High School. ugh So now what do I do? Do we just quit doing this game night so that nothing like this will happen again? Do we just remind everyone that we don't talk about others at all even if it's positive things? I'm just sad. It was never our intention to hurt anyone's feelings or leave anyone out. Why does this stuff have to happen? As women we should be united!
This is Easter 2007 right before I had the twins. These are my adorable nieces and are still currently the only granddaughters out of 10 grandkids on the Merryweather side. They are so cute and of course I'm totally jealous. Ellaina on the left just got a new brother Lucas in August(she has two older brothers already) and Brenna on the right just got a new brother, Conner, on Tuesday!
So here are the rules of the game. Go to your pictures folder and take the fourth picture from the fourth file and post it. That's it. Then tag four friends. Whew, I was lucky that it wasn't a picure of me :)
I TAG... Emily Megan Liz Shelly and Anyone who reads this post! Lets see how many of you actually do it.
Last night I decided that I couldn't stand my kitchen floor any longer but didn't want to get out the whole mop and bucket so I got out my Clorox wet mop. Well, it turns out I bought the wrong refill pads for it and they didn't fit. So my studly husband decided he would jump in and help. He put a refill mop pad under each foot and proceeded to dance around the kitchen mopping with his feet. I would go ahead and spray and then he would come along and skate from side to side mopping behind me. We actually had a lot of fun. I wanted to take a picture but he wouldn't let me. Do I have the studliest man in the world or what??????!!!!!!!
1. As a comment on my blog, leave a memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you know me a little or a lot. Anything you remember.
2. Next, post these instructions on your own blog and see how many people have a fun memory of you. It's pretty fun to see the responses.
3. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all :)
Can't wait to read your responses!!
By the way, for those that don't know how to comment you click on the link right under this post that says catchy comments and it will bring you to a comment form. If you do not have a blog or a blogger account you can click on name/url and just leave your name and the comment. PLEASE leave a comment!
So now my blog is private so if you're reading this you are one of my special select few! So now I don't have to do any more E's and A's and DE's and all that stuff. Yahoo! You all already know us and our names so welcome welcome to our blog!
Happy first day of Fall! Yep, in case you didn't know we are now officially in the autumn season. The weather didn't feel all that different around here today, but it definitely started cooling down a few weeks ago. Like my friend and Sis in Law Liz, I am sooooo not ready for cold and another 8 month winter. Last year the winter started early, ended late and was horrible! I am praying that we get plenty of moisture but that the freezing temperatures keep themselves to a few months. I can't believe it's already almost here! I'm already starting to stress about Christmas, we're going to be going to California over Thanksgiving so we're trying to save for that and of course if you read what I wrote a couple of posts ago you read that huge list of all the things I'm trying to do. And that wasn't including Christmas projects, craft projects, projects around the house and in the yard, etc. etc. I am determined this year that I am going to enjoy it. I am going to enjoy this time of my life, my sweet kids, the wonderful holidays and hopefully not let it bother me that my house is not the fairest in the land. So get out those sweaters, hot cocoa and rakes.....Fall is here!
Another bit of news. I had to get a new camera because our old one got dropped (and not by one of the kids or me ;) so DE let me get a new camera. Not that we could afford it but I told him I couldn't live without it. And besides, I use it so much for preschool it's a business expense. Anyway, here are a few pictures I took with my new Samsung s760. It seems to work great so far.
A and E coming over to see the new camera
Iz and O in their preschool jail. ;)
This is as still as DE could get O to snap a picture. Every other one I took has his little hand in front of his face trying to take the camera from me. Daddy just snapped it at just the right moment.
See what I mean? His hand really isn't that big. My sweet little Iz. He's quite the flirt.
I know, he's a doll, but you can't have him. (At least not at this moment while he's sleeping peacefully ;)
Well, I think I'm going to jump on the train and go private with my family blog! I've been keeping track through statcounter and there are a lot of people visiting from places I don't know and not leaving comments. Sooooo....if you want to be able to still look at this blog send me an email or leave a comment with your email and I'll add ya! And remember, if you leave your email in a comment write it like this: eldonandsharla at yahoo dot com. That way your email can't be lifted by spammers. You have until Friday, Sept. 26 to let me know or you will be prohiibited from entering this wonderful blog!! Ha ha, right.
I honestly don't know who reads this except for my friend Em who always leaves a comment. And Em already knows so much about me that most days I'm amazed she's even willing to be my friend. When I started this blog thing I thought of it as a kind of journal. I mean yeah, it's kind of creepy in a way that anyone can look at this and I'm honestly thinking of taking this one private but it was a good way to leave a kind of record and to stay in touch with long distance friends and family. (Can we say run-on?)
Until now, however, I've been hesitant to really open up. What if someone is reading this that is going to judge me and hate me, yadda, yadda, yadda? But I'm done with that. People reading or not this is my journal and sometimes I just need to open up and bare my soul. If you are a total creep and you're reading this please leave!
As you know if you've read anything on my blog I have four boys ages 7, 4 and twin 17 months olds. I have been married for nine years to the most amazing man that I have ever met. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I have a testimony that it is the ONLY true church. I know this with all my heart, might, mind and soul. My Savior, Jesus Christ suffered and died for me! On a regular basis I have to remind myself that not only did He suffer and die so that I can repent and be forgiven, He also suffered each real (and imagined) thing that I struggle with. This is going to sound ridiculous but when I feel like I'm going to go crazy if I have to change one more poopy diaper I can be comforted in knowing that He knows exactly how I feel. I really believe that.
I just wish I didn't seem to forget it on such a regular basis. In all honesty, my life is so so good. I am blessed beyond what I ever imagined possible. And yet every day, so many times a day, I forget this. I get stressed and overwhelmed, feeling like I can't make it through one more minute. I start feeling like I'm being buried under a mountain of responsibility. Budgeting, debt, trying to buy a house, laundry laundry and more laundry, dishes, millions and millions of messes, piano and voice lessons, dirty diapers, getting E to do his homework, getting E to practice piano, soccer, preschool, my calling in Young Women, my calling as Choir director, DE's three callings, DE's work, getting my kids fed, dressed and bathed each day, getting Andrew potty trained, being a good wife, going to the temple, doing visiting teaching, teaching my kids, playing with my kids, reading to my kids, food storage, family prayer, family scriptures, having my kids say their own prayers, saying couple prayers, saying personal prayers, exercising, eating right, making healthy balanced meals, trying to be a good friend, yard work, house work(oh, maybe I mentioned that one but I think it deserves being mentioned twice;), keeping my car clean, gardening, canning, taking care of myself, finding time for myself, spending at least 15 minutes each day with each child, story time at the library, helping in the classroom, being prepared, developing my talents by writing, practicing the piano, practicing my singing, practicing guitar, crafts, and of course always striving to be more like our Savior. And that's just what I could think of off the top of my head! I'm sure I've forgotten a million things I should be doing.
And of course it is so so easy for me to find every single thing that is wrong with me and that I'm failing at. But what it comes down to is that I won't be perfect at everything today. My kids ate dinner, even if it was Mac and Cheese. They know that I love them even if they didn't each get their own 15 minutes with Mommy. We didn't read scriptures tonight but we did say prayer and I read them a story before bed. My car and house are dirty, my laundry isn't done, I missed story time at the Library, my garden is pathetic and I refuse to even think about canning, and that's just to name a few! However, my kids were all dressed and clean(ish) today, I had a blast teaching preschool this morning and loved hearing Iz and O laughing along with the rest of the preschoolers. Andrew is FINALLY almost potty trained and doing very well in preschool. And I have achieved the one goal that I determined for myself a while ago. I feel that I did better today than I did yesterday. I have made a difference(I hope) in the lives of my family and others. And my testimony is stronger today than it was yesterday.
So welcome to the inner workings of this very imperfect soul. If you made it this far I want to tell you that you are amazing! I really truly hope that you will hear more from me because it sure feels good to write and get all this out just like it was a real true journal. I'm only doing it because I can't get myself to actually write in a real bonified pencil and paper or word document journal. And if I can help motivate or touch one life out there it's worth it.
Too bad you all know how imperfect I really am now. Oh, well. Good night.
I have always, well ever since I can remember anyway, wanted to be a teacher. Well, that and a mother. I am living my dream! Today was really the epitome of what I always thought (or hoped) my life would be. I started teaching preschool on Tuesday here in my home and can I just say I LOVE IT! It helps me get more organized and up and completely dressed first thing in the morning along with my kids. I bring the babies down and put them in the play yard with toys, drinks and snacks and then greet my sweet preschoolers as they come. We start off the day with centers; book nook, writing, science, etc. Then we have circle time where we talk about our theme, calendar, letters, numbers, color, nursery rhyme, etc. Next is art and I love watching their creative little minds at work. Following art is outside/exercise time. Then we have reading time while they take turns washing their hands after which we have snack. Next comes writing/cutting and then singing time! So today while we were singing Mary Had a Little Lamb one little boy sang it opera. He had his little hand flapping in the air for emphasis and I am telling you it was the cutest thing I have ever seen! There are no words. Already I love each of these darling kids and I love having A and my babies in there too. We read the Hungry Caterpillar and I have a giant book with a stuffed caterpillar that wiggles through holes and those kids just couldn't stop laughing. And neither could Iz and O! Today was such a good happy day! I love my life and my jobs! It just couldn't get any better.....except maybe if I had a maid and a cook. ;)
There is beauty all around, when there's love at home. Sundays are a special day here in our home. No TV is allowed except for church movies or (and this is pushing it, I know) Veggie Tales. So after my older boys asked if they could watch about five different non Sunday approved movies they settled on "The Testaments" where they excitedly watched for Jesus. I was sitting watching with them thinking that we were doing pretty well today in the Love at Home area when A decided to get in front of the TV. So of course E had to be the boss and tell him to move which made A mad and say: "I'm not your friend." E's most delightful response was: "I'm not your friend, I'm your brother and I'll be your brother forever!" So you tell me......are we teaching them right? I can't decide. I sure love every one of these delightful moments, though.
Today was my oldest son's first day of school. He started the second grade!! As some of you know, we live in a podunk town, so I decided to think ahead and do his school shopping online. Well, the only thing that was here before today was one t-shirt. So he had old shoes, backpack, etc. Oh well, the best laid plans.... Luckily he didn't seem to care. He was so cute and excited about school. We talked after school today and for once he actually told me a lot. More than he ever really has, actually. The usual response is "It was good." They are learning about number lines, he has HIS VERY OWN desk with his name on it and a bunch of stuff to put inside. He also received some tickets that get taken away if he does something bad, but if he's good he gets COOL STUFF with them. His younger brother, A, missed him a lot today but it will be nice to get back into a routine again. Now if I could just get my house clean.....
E was tagged by a friend from school with this questionnaire. These answers are truly what he said. I just couldn't help but laugh at some of them. Number 7 is my favorite! Guess we need to work on those measurements! By the way, anyone who reads this is welcome to be tagged!
1. What is something mom always says to you? Be good. 2. What makes mom happy? Giving [her] hugs and kisses. 3. What makes mom sad? Um...not giving [her] hugs and kisses. 4. How does your mom make you laugh? tickling me. 5. What was your mom like as a child? having fun. 6. How old is your mom? ummm...26? (he's only off a couple of years) 7. How tall is your mom? about...11 rulers and two yard sticks. 8. What is her favorite thing to do? go on vacations. 9. What does your mom do when you're not around? Clean up. 10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Money 11. What is your mom really good at? working at the store. 12. What is your mom not very good at? cleaning (obviously I don't do it enough when he's not home) 13. What does your mom do for her job? preschool 14. What is your mom's favorite food? artichokes 15. What makes you proud of your mom? cleaning up (so do I clean too much or not enough? ;) 16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Minnie Mouse 17. What do you and your mom do together? Play 18. How are you and your mom the same? we're both people 19. How are you and your mom different? Cause we're a boy and a girl. 20. How do you know your mom loves you? Because I'm in her family. 21. What does your mom like most about your dad? They love each other. 22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? Hawaii. (Yeah, like I go there all the time.)
Yesterday I had a precious moment with my oldest son, E. I'm pushing the stroller and he's riding his bike in front of me when he says: "Look Mom, I'm a really good bike rider, I can ride my bike and scratch my butt at the same time."
It's these precious moments that make life great, isn't it?
Here he is riding his bike through the sprinklers at Grandma's. No butt scratching this time. ;)
I.....can....barely.....move. Ouch. It hurts when I walk up the stairs. It hurts when I sit. It hurts when I stand. It hurts when I walk. It hurts when I bend over. It hurts every time I move in any direction at any time. Think I'm a wimp yet? I am. For just about always I have been overweight and it just gets worse and worse. I make the goal time and time again to get in shape but it never seems to happen. Well, this time I'm serious about it! I just wish it didn't hurt so much. So here's how it all came about... I recently was called as 2nd counselor in the Young Women Presidency in our ward. This was very exciting for me (although I wish I had also been released from choir, soon I hope). Anyway, on Saturday we had an activity with the Young Men boating at the lake. (My job is tough, but someone's gotta do it;) Anyway, sitting on the boat with me was the new Young Women secretary who is also my Beehive advisor. We were chatting about this and that and I mentioned that I wanted to get in shape. So Megan (that's her name by the way) offered to be my personal trainer! How COOL is that? So we started yesterday morning bright and early at 6:30 (which if any of you know me is a miracle in itself) and she is working me hard. Well, it doesn't seem hard but my body seems to think it is. So cheer me on in my quest for a healthier me. I only have one question though...why can't exercising be as easy and enjoyable as eating chocolate? If I ever get to create a world it will be....
Being a kid is hard work! (I'm the lump on the left)
5 minutes for Mom is having another photo contest. My cute little feet picture didn't make it to the finalists last time so I'm trying again! The idea is to find a picture that represents the kid in you. Going through my pictures I couldn't believe how few pictures actually have me in them. I guess I'm usually the one behind the camera. DE took this picture of me with ALL my boys. I can't even remember how we all ended up asleep in our bed but I know that it was after a day of fun. One of my favorite things to do is to play with my kids and make them laugh, and sometimes I amaze myself with the silly things I'll do in order to get them to laugh. I love that I can make a complete fool of myself and my kids love me for it!
Another of my favorite things is to watch my sweet children as they sleep. Any mother knows that at that moment the love you have for them fills you to overflowing and all the whining, crying, and pooping fades from memory. I know that NOTHING in my life keeps me as young as my dear sweet boys. Although now that I'm getting older being a kid with my kids means I need more sleep! ;)
I've decided to rise up to the challenge and attempt to find One hundred and One things about me. (Hopefully interesting) So here goes: 1. I do not like having shoes on my feet and kick them off the second I step inside. 2. I have a testimony. 3. I LOVE chocolate. 4. At pretty much any moment I have a song stuck in my head which often comes out vocally. 5. I love to sing but don't like listening to my own voice. 6. I'm one of those people that needs almost constant validation from others. 7. For as long as I can remember I've pretty much had a constant headache. 8. I am willing to do some of the silliest things in order to get my kids to laugh. 9. When I was a kid I was a klepto-maniac. 10. I love to dance but am not very good at it. 11. I have a Bachelors degree in Elementary Ed with a music minor. 12. I have always loved kids but sadly have more patience when they're not my own. 13. Before I was married I was a shameless flirt. 14. I didn't have many girlfriends that could stand me before I got married. 15. When I was 11 my Mom was my worst enemy and now she's my best friend. 16. I love being married WAY, WAY more than being single. 17. I love warm summer rain. 18. I love the smell of fresh clean babies. (especially if they're mine, aaaah) 19. My favorite color used to be blue but now it is pink! (see #20 for the reason why) 20. I have four boys, ages 7, 4 (this week) and 1 year old twins. 21. I'm a bad cook. 22. I don't like to cook. 23. Growing up I always told myself that I'd cook a hot breakfast for my family every day (Hah!) 24. I LOVE to read which is a strength and a weakness. 25. I read really fast and can't stand to follow along with someone else reading. 26. I'm good at spelling. (Watch, I'll misspell something in this post) 27. I'm not too good at receiving criticism. 28. I have tendencies towards laziness. 29. I hate a messy house but that doesn't keep me from having one. 30. I am organized in the workforce but not at home. 31. I love artichokes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and spinach. 32. I played flute for 7 years and still sound horrible. (My Mom says this isn't true and to tell you that I lead the band in Junior High when they played Canon in D) 33. I teach piano lessons but can't play very well myself. 34. I've taught preschool before and will again and I love it!! 35. I am too often plagued with the fear that people are talking bad about me. 36. I had a lot more self confidence in high school. 37. One time my hubby and I had a complete conversation singing opera style. 38. I used to have no trouble speaking in front of people but now I'm chicken. 39. Laundry is the bane of my existence. 40. I actually really don't want to be rich but I don't want to have to worry about money either. 41. I am awful at budgeting and balancing the checkbook. 42. I wanted to marry a nerd but not a band nerd. 43. I'm married to the sweetest band teacher ever. 44. I love music and like pretty much everything but country and hard core rap and rock. 45. I am happiest when I'm just hanging out with my family. (and not stressing) 46. When I was a little girl I would run away to the park and ask strangers to swing me. 47. I've never mowed a lawn in my life. 48. I love camping. 49. I hate snakes. 50. I love to scrapbook but haven't done much lately. 51. I love making cards. 52. I want a baby girl but am not sure I want more kids. 53. I love scary movies (as long as it's not satanic or gory) 54. My favorite book genre is Mystery. 55. I love to write and someday want to write books: children, youth and adult. 56. I cannot draw to save my life! 57. I am a bad procrastinator. 58. I was always unlucky and never won anything until I started entering blog giveaways. 59. I am not an animal lover although I wish I was. 60. Too often I open my mouth without thinking first but never ever mean to offend. 61. I really do love everyone. 62. I love to roller skate and used to make up roller skating dances. 63. I've never understood why girls have to go to the bathroom all together when nobody really even needs to go. 64. I love flowers but don't really have a favorite. 65. I have a brown thumb. 66. I like chick flicks. 67. I miss living close to my Mom. 68. I used to have really straight hair without even trying. 69. I broke my right arm when I was 8 and my Mom kept the pins they put in. 70. I have two older brothers and one younger sister. 71. I have never been good about eating breakfast. 72. I love the beach but don't love swimming in the ocean. 73. I've never been snow skiing. 74. I was born in Kansas. 75. I've lived in California and Utah. 76. I've visited Mexico, Hawaii, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Nevada, Catalina, and Wyoming. 77. I want to visit Europe. 78. I hate Vegas. 79. My favorite season is Spring (if we actually get a spring, unlike this year) 80. I was married on July 31, 1999 in the Los Angeles temple. 81. I used to love butterflies but got burnt out on them. 82. I can't remember how many times I've read the Book of Mormon. I think five times. 83. My favorite restaurant is The Olive Garden 84. I like shopping online. (It's a weakness) 85. Chatting online with my friends keeps me sane some days. 86. I am too selfish of a person. 87. I HATE watching sports. 88. I love my husband and kids. (Duh!) 89. My husband makes me laugh everyday. 90. I've never had a ticket. (knock on wood) 91. I am NOT a morning person. (although I want to be) 92. I had a crush on my third grade teacher who was an adult version of Alfalfa. (not good) 93. I love nursing my babies. 94. I cried when I found out I was pregnant with my first child and I cried when I found out I was having twins. 95. I love reading children's books but still don't do it often enough. 96. I have always had insane dreams and remember them too well. 97. I have the worst memory!! 98. I love to get my feet and back rubbed and my hair played with. 99. Because I have keloids I can't have pierced ears. 100. I have been to Disneyland more times than I can count. 101. I feel like this post is very self centered and can't even believe how many times I've said "I".
Congratulations if you made it this far! You now know more about me than you ever wanted to know! Let me know if you give it a try!!
Friday was the last day of school for DE and E and now summer has officially started!! Yaaahoo! It was a pretty crazy weekend, mostly because I just started a new job. It's a long story but basically comes down to the fact that I started working at the little grocery store here in town on Thursday and then I worked again on Saturday. Can I just say that I am not used to being on my feet for 8 straight hours? I don't know how people do it and still run a home too. I won't be working very much, at most a day a week after these couple of weeks of training. It's definitely weird though because except for substitute teaching I haven't had a job outside of my home since 2000. Crazy. Anyway, on Friday I also woke up with a cold and all of the kids have been sick too. I tell you, they get sick every time we go up north. So that's life in a nutshell right now. We don't really have much fun stuff planned for the summer except for spring cleaning and yard work. It will be nice to have Eldon around more now. Leave me a comment telling me something fun you have planned this summer!! Here are some recent pictures:
Today is Mother's Day and yet here I am thinking about how imperfect a mother I really am. It's confession time. Why is it so easy to look at the other women and mothers around you and feel that they have it all together when you so sadly don't? I used to think that I had a lot of patience, and yet lately it seems like about ten minutes after I determine that I will not get irritated or raise my voice I'm doing it again. I have the sweetest most caring husband and yet it seems like most of the time instead of getting the best of me, he is getting the worst of me. The tired, cranky, ready to throw in the towel side of me. I know that I am where I need to be, and I am where I want to be. I decide every day that I will enjoy my children, enjoy my day, not stress about the mess or making perfect meals (or any meals for that matter since I don't think cold cereal counts). And yet each night when I go to bed I mostly feel like I've failed. My friend Em recently posted this on her blog and I'm going to steal it from her:
The Girl in a Whirl by 'Dr. Sue' (a.k.a. Vickie Gunther) Look at me, look at me, look at me now! You could do what I do if only you knew how. I study the scriptures one hour each day; I bake, I upholster, I scrub, and I pray. I always keep all the commandments completely; I speak to my little ones gently and sweetly. I help in their classrooms! I sew all they wear! I drive them to practice! I cut all their hair! I memorize names of the General Authorities; I focus on things to be done by priorities. I play the piano! I bless with my talents! My toilets all sparkle! My checkbooks all balance! Each week every child gets a one-on-one date; I attend all my meetings (on time! Never late!) I'm taking a class on the teachings of Paul, But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all, I track my bad habits 'til each is abolished; Our t-shirts are ironed! My toenails are polished! Our family home evenings are always delightful; The lessons I give are both fun and insightful. I do genealogy faithfully, too. It's easy to do all the things that I do! I rise each day early, refreshed and awake; I know all the names of each youth in my stake! I read to my children! I help all my neighbors! I bless the community, too, with my labors. I exercise and I cook menus gourmet; My visiting teaching is done the first day! (I also go do it for someone who missed hers. It's the least I can do for my cherished ward sisters.) I chart resolutions and check off each goal; I seek each 'lost lamb' on my Primary roll. I can home-grown produce each summer and fall. But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all, I write in my journal! I sing in the choir! Each day, I write 'thank you's' to those I admire. My sons were all Eagles when they were fourteen! My kids get straight A's! And their bedrooms are clean! I have a home business to help make some money; I always look beautifully groomed for my honey. I go to the temple at least once a week; I change the car's tires! I fix the sinks leak! I grind my own wheat and I bake all our bread; I have all our meals planned out six months ahead. I make sure I rotate our two-years' supply; My shopping for Christmas is done by July! These things are not hard; 'tis good if you do them; You can if you try! Just set goals and pursue them! It's easy to do all the things that I do! If you plan and work smart, you can do them all, too! It's easy!' she said and then she dropped dead.
Is it really any wonder at all that I feel like I can't do it? Honestly the only thing on there that I do is sing in the choir and that's just because I'm choir director. Now that I've confessed to my failings I want to leave this post on a positive note. I know that it is satan's tool to make us feel inadequate. He encourages us to compare our weaknesses to the strengths of the sisters around us. So I am not going to let him!!! I am not perfect, nor will I ever be, and so my goal is that when I go to bed each day my children will know that I love them and that their Heavenly Father loves them. And hopefully there will be at least one thing I did that day that was better than the day before. Will I be perfect in one day? NO! But I'm not going to get overwhelmed and stop trying. After all, I am a daughter of God and He loves me no matter what. I will show my love for Him by striving line upon line, precept upon precept, to become the daughter He knows me to be.
P.S. Want an example of the joys of parenthood? Today we all took a nap and we had all been awake for a little while when I asked my hubby where our other twin O was. He said he was still in bed. When I went up to check on him he was in his crib playing with.....can you guess? POOP! You read that right! It was soooo disgusting! The trash had been put up on a little shelf next to his crib so they wouldn't play with it when they were playing in there and he pulled it over and pulled the poopy diaper out and then proceeded to play with it and get it EVERYWHERE. Happy Mother's Day, right? Although I must admit, while I cleaned the crib and sheets, my dear hubby gave O a bath and then cleaned the trash out.
I am getting Summer Fever!! I'm not looking forward to the heat exactly, just the fun, having E and my hubby home more, having my sister move in with us, and the vacations! And mostly I just want to get OUTSIDE more! Last summer was pretty mild since I had newborn twin boys. Here are some of the fun things we did:
Our little A, trying his hand at sparklers on the 4th of July!