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Squishy, Stinky, and Cookies

This morning as I was studying my scriptures (which I am thoroughly enjoying, by the way) I heard a piercing scream. I thought Evangeline, who was sleeping on my bed, had woken up and maybe fallen off the bed. I dashed back to the bedroom and she was sound asleep. I thought maybe the tv downstairs made the noise so I went back to what I was doing. A minute later Elizabeth came upstairs and said that the video she was watching had her squishy on it. It took me a second. “Were you screaming a minute ago about your squishy?” “Yes,” she said with a smile on her face. Silly girl. She asked me to come down and see. “Look in the box!” She rewound the video and there on the screen was a squishy like hers. She was so excited.

Later that morning I was doing my bills at the computer and I kept smelling salsa. I looked all around where I was and couldn’t find it. I determined to clean the basement to find the source. As I was straightening the bookshelf I found the culprit. A dried up bowl of half eaten salsa. On the bookshelf. The kids are pigs! At least it was in a bowl and not on the carpet.

I have figured that I get a ton of stuff done when I get up earlier and before the little kids wake up. I studied scriptures, listened to some podcasts while fixing breakfast and washing dishes and later when Evangeline was asleep I mopped the floor. I used vinegar again (it is cheap and it works really well). Noah came up and had a conniption. “Mom! Why are you using that stinky stuff still?! It is ‘ascusting’! Why can’t you use good smelling stuff?! Stop using that stinky stuff!” I had to laugh at that. He’s three.

So Alex and I are trying to do better with our finances. I have been keeping track of bills and such for years but the nitty-gritty details of the day to day spending was a bit out of my reach. I started a spreadsheet for my stuff and it worked alright. I was getting better at it and then asked Alex to help me with some stuff. He complicated the heck out of my spreadsheet. I tried putting the information in but was only able to figure out half of it. Ridiculous! But if I keep it this way he has to help me and thus be more involved in the process which is a good thing.

I didn’t eat sugar again today. And I got my gallon of water down. I really enjoyed my food yesterday but today’s lunch was really good. I made chicken with bacon, butter, cashews and a boatload of broccoli with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Elizabeth ate a few of my broccoli stems- she loves broccoli! It filled me up for hours.

So this was kind of funny. Benjamin was hungry before dinner and wanted to make cookies. When I am on a diet I rarely make junk food and the kids are left to their own devices. Benjamin was “starving” and wanted to make root beer cookies. We had no buttermilk. We had no milk to make fake buttermilk. But we did have a quart of cream. I told him to make butter. He complained that we didn’t need butter, just buttermilk. Yeah, that is how you get buttermilk, you make butter. We put the cream in a jar and told him to get to shakin’. They got bored of that pretty fast so I threw it in the mixer and we had butter and buttermilk in 5 minutes. It was really fun. I had never made it in a mixer before. I think I’ll do it again.

Benjamin finished the cookies but we had no powdered sugar for frosting and those cookies need it to really taste the root beer flavor. I’ll get some tomorrow so he can finish his cookies for an after school snack. Then maybe they won’t complain. At least for a little while.

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Early Bedtime

Last night I had to laugh. I was tucking two kids in in different rooms and they were both crying. Why?! The reason? Their dad told them to go to bed and they wanted to keep reading their scriptures. They were trying to finish one of the books and they only had half a chapter left. Seriously. I told them to go ahead and finish. It is really a good problem to have- kids wanting to stay up and read scriptures. They are better than me.

This morning I was quite productive. Which is good since I have days of unproductivity to make up for. Easy enough to do when you wake up at 4:30. The snow plow woke me up.

Also, this morning Evangeline woke up bright eyed and ready to go. No more fever. I was so happy! I gave the stinky little girl a bath and she was off and running. Benjamin still had a fever but was good by evening.

I did manage to get all the laundry washed and put away today and I am proud to say that I even ironed all of Alex’s work shirts. Gone are the days of construction and ripped jeans and worn ot tshirts. I wouldn’t trade them- ever- even if it does mean ironing. I did make the big boys do their own laundry. It is good for them. And me.

In my productive morning along with laundry, I made bread because I figured the kids would eat it after school. They didn’t! Just as well because now we can make French toast for breakfast.

I am back on my sugar free “diet” so I only ate two bites of the bread I made. The first bit of the lifestyle change is so hard. Sugar is soooooo addictive. I did good today though. All the food I had though was so good and I only had a small sugar craving after lunch. For breakfast it was eggs and bacon. I ate a salmon burger with avocado and bacon for lunch. Dinner was squash with butter and 1 1/2 hot dogs (no buns). Snacking was cashews to hold off any desire to binge. And I almost got my gallon of water down. I was about 3 cups short. Wish me luck tomorrow.

So we have a bunch of snow here. We’ve had worse years, but I went out to feed the chickens and was walking at least a foot off the ground on top of the snow. It’s a weird feeling. Even weirder when one foot sinks and your shoe is all wet and cold.

Tonight dinner took longer to bake than I thought but I’d called the kids to the table already. We sat and talked for 10 minutes waiting for the food. It was fun and I should do that more often.

I also totally misread the clock. With the night’s dark all the time I get confused. So we read scriptures and had prayer way earlier than usual. Yay for earlier bedtime!

This little girl decided to fake us out and get in her crib. Then afterwards climbed all over my face. Progress is progress.

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Sickness Returns

Oh my goodness. Let me sum up my day. I sat and held a child with a fever all day.

All. Day.

The poor thing. She had about an hour, maybe, combined where she perked up a bit. Only because her fever dropped down to 100.6°.

Benjamin stayed home from school today because he didn’t feel well and he has a fever tonight now too. I am so ready for summer and a long break from illness.

It snowed all day today as well. It looked pretty. Glad I didn’t have to drive in it though. There were a bunch of slide offs on Alex’s way home.

When Alex got home he took the baby while I made dinner. We switched back and forth the rest of the night.

At bedtime I realized that in holding the baby all day I neglected all the chores I had planned to do today which was mainly laundry. Specifically underwear. We wore the last ones today- there were no more clean pairs. So laundry at 10:00 it is. Then we have to stay awake to switch loads. I really dislike when that happens. But at least I noticed when I could do something about it.

I’m hoping for a miracle and all the kids are better tomorrow. If not, then hopefully we have a snow day.

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Raising Kids is Work (and I rant about something)

This morning it was up and at ’em. We had the last dentist appointment to go to and I had to get the kids all ready for the day bright and early. And I had to get Benjamin through a bit of an anxiety episode. His friends had left their backpacks at our house on Friday so I used that as a reason he needed to go. And I bribed him with something, though I can’t remember what. Since Michael was home I drove the kids to school. That was another inducement. He didn’t have to walk through the slush.

I had gotten a baby sitter for two of the little ones. It was so nice only having two kids with me. We got through the trip in record time. No kids begging for anything.

After school Lauren asked for my phone. She was a crying mess last night- I am going to blame growing up. It is a hard thing to do and she was upset by who knows what. She said she wanted to call her Gramma, my mom, and talk to her. So she talked to her last night and again today. I am totally fine with that. I think it will be a good thing for them to have a good talking relationship. Heaven knows I could use the help raising Lauren.

Evangeline possibly has an ear infection. I sat and held her all day after we got home. She slept in the car the whole time and let me hold her and she slept in my arms all day. I finally took her temp and it was 101.2. She has been touching her ear for a couple days but wasn’t complaining so I just thought to keep an eye on her. She still isn’t fussy, just wants to be held. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Since Evangeline was feeling poorly I didn’t get much of my list done today. It happens. I got the basement family room vacuumed and that was it. When Alex got home to take over the baby holding I got to work. We needed bedding and towels laundered. I had stripped the bedding of this morning antibiotic getting the laundry done. Got it dried just in time for bed.

When I’d gone to Sam’s Club today they had meat at a quick sell price. Hamburgers (and hash browns)for dinner it was. Michael had two and then after Alex and I had cleaned the kitchen Michael asked if the were any more burgers left. Luckily I had browned the extra meat for tomorrow’s meal. He ate another burger. They really do go through food at a fast clip.

I bought another box of chips today. Six pounds of tortilla chips. I need more salsa too. I told Michael we grow all the stuff for salsa this summer and he could help me can it. Then he can make it as hot as he wants and to his taste.

Okay, so this happened today and it bugged me. It shouldn’t, but it did. I was dropping Michael off at the school after his dentist appointment. I stopped at the stop sign in front of the school and then proceeded to drive forward- within the speed limit I might add- the slow speed limit in front of schools. I saw all the students playing on the snowy/slushy field across from the school and asked Michael if it was lunch recess. He said yes, it was the sixth graders. That’s how slow I was going. We had a conversation. And then one of the teachers starts sauntering towards me with this big smile on her face. I had to stop because she walked right out into the street in front of me. I waited and unrolled my window. What could she possibly want.

She asked me to drive slowly because the kids were going to be crossing the street.

I looked at her pretty confused. Why was she telling me this? “Are they crossing the street now? Do I need to wait for them?”

“No,”she said. “But they will be soon. So drive slow.”

She began to walk off.

Are you kidding me. I literally drove ten more feet, dropped Michael off and drove home. In the time it took her to unnecessarily explain the situation I could have been halfway home. I was so dumbfounded by the ridiculousness of the situation I didn’t know what to say.

They never crossed the street until I was long gone. I’m still shaking my head.

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Sunday Goings On

Today is Sunday. We didn’t get a lot of sleep (what else is new?) and we weren’t sure we’d be able to get up and ready on time. We did! We got there half an hour early which was when Michael needed to be to church to help set up the sacrament.

I sat up front and looked over the songs for the meeting and looked up and saw a familiar face. Kenneth Cope was sitting in the back. For those who don’t know who he is, he is a musician who sings mostly religious songs and I’ve listened to him for over 20 years. Actually went to a concert of his 20 years ago and met him, had him sign a CD. He was in town to speak/sing at a fireside for youth tonight to which everyone was invited.

I begged the boys to come with me. They finally agreed. We got a seat near the front and he came and was shaking people’s hands. He got to my bench and I looked up and shook his hand and he said, “You’re the one who lead the music today, right?” Yep, that was me. He was so nice.

His message was about remembering who we are – children of God- and that God and Christ love us so much. The music and the message was beautiful. I learned a lot. It was what I needed to hear.

When we got home the boys said they were hungry. What else is new? For lunch we’d had a potluck at the church and I had made a big ol’ pot of beans but they weren’t ready in time. We found and brought some other stuff along with the rice I made. We had so many beans for dinner since I made a batch large enough for 20+ people. We ate the beans and leftover rice for dinner and we get to eat them for lunch and dinner tomorrow.

At the potluck I felt bad. I am so socially awkward that it makes it uncomfortable. It takes me a bit to get to know people but once I do I can talk, no problem. I had never talked to the people at our table before and I was unable to think of anything to say. So we said nothing. Obviously they didn’t know what to say either. Silence. Awkward silence. Hours afterwards I thought of stuff I could say. Alex is usually good at staying with me because he knows how hard it is for me. I am an adult and I am thinking that this should be something I should work on getting better at- taking to people I don’t know.

At bedtime Lauren was upset, as usual. It’s always something with her. She is growing up and with it comes all the emotions. So many different emotions. I sat and talked to her for a bit. She then started crying that she missed my mom. I called my mom and had Lauren talk and cry to her. Lauren said that my mom and her are good friends. That is a good thing.

Lauren was still crying after the call and I told her maybe she just Bess a good cry and that I sold take her to see the new Little Women movie because everyone cries when watching that movie. She said she don’t want to cry. I told her she need to and I’ll most likely take her soon.

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. Every single day it is something new. Frustrating, funny, maddening, joyful. Sometimes all in one day.

Wish me luck. Tomorrow we have another dentist appointment, school starts with a new semester, and the weather might not cooperate, and nd the dog was sick today (it was bad). We need a good day tomorrow.

Dating My Sweetheart, Uncategorized

Anniversary Day

It was my husband and my 15th anniversary was this weekend. Alex and I trade off planning our anniversary and Valentine’s day. As I was thinking of something we could do I was thinking that we could take our camera and take pictures of each other. Then I thought I’d have someone else do it because we haven’t had our pictures taken since we got married. That is too long.

In the past 15 years we have moved 9 times, gone to 3 colleges, had 15 jobs, 7 vehicles, and 8 children. Yes, we are older, chubbier, and our hair is changing color but it’s been a fun ride and I am looking forward to spending eternity with my best friend.

Here is a few of the pictures we took. We had a great time taking them and I would like to do it again. Alex, not so much. But even he admits it was fun. He gets to plan the next one and he said it is going to be something manly. Let’s see what he comes up with.

I’ll do a little tribute here. This man I married is my best friend. I would spend 24/7 with him and never get bored and never want to leave. We rarely argue; if we do it is about the same stupid thing but it never lasts long because it really isn’t worth it and we either work it out or forget about it. He helps me so much and is a great dad and does so much for us. He does things that I ask him to, even if he is tired. He lets me be myself and helps me to be better. I love him more everyday.

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Friday Night

I usually look forward to Friday. Yesterday was no exception. Alex came home early, Michael had no play practice, it is early out for the kids’ school- what’s not to like.

I spent Friday morning cleaning. Just surface stuff, the whole house could use a deep clean. I am totally capable of it but I just don’t want to. My sister has hired people to deep clean her house and they did awful. I’ve been hired to clean people’s houses before and they hired us back so I am assuming we did a good job. I guess I just hire myself and get it over with. Yes, the dirty details bug me. My house being a giant falling-apart-in-need-of-complete-overhaul bugs me. It almost seems pointless to clean 30 year old ripped up vinyl flooring and mismatched-warped-paint-peeled baseboards. Know what I mean? I shouldn’t even write this stuff but it is where my mind is this morning.

Sorry, my thoughts got sidetracked.

I’ve made it a goal to get serious with my scripture study. So I sat down in the afternoon since I’d been busy in the morning and missed studying. Man you get so much more out of it when you are serious about it. Obviously. I learned a ton and I had some questions I had prayed about and every time I flipped the pages to look something up the pages would open and I would see a scripture somewhere else that had part of the answer. It was like a treasure hunt. It was so cool.

Later Lauren, Gideon, and Sam came home from school yesterday and immediately asked to go to a friend’s house. Okay, fine. Off they went. Then Benjamin said he had friends over. Three of them. Fine by me. Still the same amount of kids in the house. Trade off. And I had made a 4x batch of granola bars. Benjamin raved about them. “So much better than store bought.” High complements coming from him. So all the boys ate.

One of Benjamin’s friend’s family was coming for dinner that night. We made pizza and they brought pizza and between all of us we had just a bit leftover. The kids all played downstairs and the grownups upstairs. Alex even sacrificed his soccer night for me. What a guy. We ended up playing Bananagrams. I really do like that game. Babies make it hard though because they are always trying to grab the tiles and mess everything up.

My friend has a little girl who is the most adorable baby! She was everywhere and kept her parents busy. She gave them an unintentional tour of the house. I guarantee if we had gone to their house Evangeline would have done the same thing. It’s always interesting to see the difference in kids. Stuff one baby at home won’t touch is like a magnet to another baby. It was all good. It was fun to talk and visit.

So that was the night. It reminds me that life is to be shared and enjoyed.

Today is Alex and my 15th Wedding Anniversary. I wish I could say we have grand plans. We don’t. Evangeline is still needy and attached to me like glue. Next year though she should be better and Alex and I can get away sans baby. Nursing babies is convenient most of the time but you can never leave them for long. I don’t regret my choices when feeding my babies. It just means we’ve never left home without one. Maybe next year.

Oh yeah, last night as we were winding down I saw a book we had gotten for Christmas, The Wonky Donkey. The kids practically have it memorized. We read it twice and it was so fun to hear them all reciting it together. Hee Haw! Hahaha

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Tired Kind of Day

Today was kind of a dud. I was tired and just kind of feeling bleh. I ended up falling asleep for a little nap with Evangeline. I tried to take a nap while the kids played but Evangeline kept coming up and asking for help with a toy she kept taking apart.

I did manage to get the fridge cleaned out this morning though. The other day Noah put a container of caramel sauce in the fridge on its side and it leaked everywhere! All the shelves were sticky and the drawers were stuck closed. I took the whole thing apart and washed it all down. Check that off my list until next month.

The kids have a “munch and crunch” tomorrow and so they wanted to go to the store for stuff. I needed to go anyways because I was out of milk and oatmeal. I also needed some new pants. And I got smaller sizes! Yay!

My anniversary is this weekend so I took the time to pick something out for Alex. I’m pretty bad at gift giving but I’m pretty sure he’ll like the stuff I got plus I can’t go wrong getting his favorite treats.

Oh, it wasn’t a big thing, but when we walked out of Walmart I looked at the lights and the mist/ fog was swirling in the light. It was so pretty! The fog on the way home was pretty too and the way the light reflected off the fog and made it so the ride home wasn’t completely dark.

I’m really tired tonight so I’m going to end here. I’ve got lots to do this weekend and don’t get to sleep in or take any naps.

Benjamin was looking at my hair just now. It started as a complement. “Your hair is a pretty brown color with copper in it when the light hits it. The green and white aged copper.” Makes me want to smack him sometimes. I did actually. Teenagers. They deserve it, the smart mouths. 😉

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Up Early

Since we went to bed early last night I was awake at about 4:30. That is so early. But as soon as I woke up my brain got to work thinking of useless information. I probably wouldn’t mind if there was something useful going on but there wasn’t. So I got up shortly after because, why not.

I sorted the mail basket which was filled with papers that needed to be filed. It was a good thing I did because I found some information I needed but couldn’t remember the specifics. I also filled out a survey that had come in the mail (I normally wouldn’t have but they sent me a dollar last week and I felt obligated. Whatever. It only took me a couple minutes.)

Since the house was quiet I thought I would study my scriptures. I didn’t get far before all the kids started to wake up and start moving around. I kept going anyways. Gideon sat next to me and worked on his homework. He’s getting better at reading, thank goodness. I was worried for a while.

The past little bit I have been struggling. Not like a daily thing, but just something that has been on my mind. I am not looking for sympathy or anything, just trying to figure out my life. In living life day in and day out I feel like there is just something more– I have most likely mentioned this before so bear with me. I feel like something is missing that is just out of reach. Like there is something beyond the door that if I could just find the key I could open the door and get to it.

This morning as I started to study I read 1 Nephi 11 and the parts that stuck out to me were “…and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me…”, “…thou knowest I believe”, “…because thou believest in the Son of the most high God… thou shalt behold the things which thou hast desired.” Believing was obviously something I needed to hear this morning.

Also, I read this on Instagram, “Being sad, disappointed, angry, or discouraged with life is not a sign you lack faith in God. Faithfulness doesn’t require you to pretend you don’t feel human emotion. Faithfulness invites you to turn to the One who understands all human emotion.” –Hank R. Smith.

I had prayed this morning and these were the beginnings of an answered prayer. I love when prayers are answered. But I also love that God is just waiting to answer our prayers. We just have to ask and do our part.

I still have a long ways to go to figure out the answers to my questions, ponderings, struggles – everything! This morning was a good start.

What got me thinking is I was looking at a friend’s post on Facebook and she is pregnant with her 6th baby, works full time, has been going to school and is currently working on getting her doctorate. I feel pretty pathetic when compared to that. I cleaned up parts of the house yesterday. Whoohoo. Do I feel like I am falling short? You betcha.

I could go to school and get some great degree and get some great job. Would we be better off financially? Would we have more opportunities? Yes, I could and we would, but what would I have to trade to get that? What would I miss out on? Probably so much. I know that is not the path for me but where the struggle comes in is I feel like I am supposed to do more but I don’t know what that is or how to do it.

Anyways, enough of that for now.

I didn’t accomplish much today. I did do part of what I set out to do and then I fell asleep holding Evangeline during her nap. Oops. Oh well.

For dinner I tried my hand at tortillas. Again. Good again but not what I wanted them to be. We had breakfast burritos and hashbrowns for dinner.

But guess what. My little lecture last night worked. I set the timer for ten minutes and we had the kitchen cleaned up in ten minutes. It was amazing. My life. (Insert eye roll.)

Since we had time we watched a movie I had started the other day. It was a cute, fun, and funny movie on Amazon Prime called We Love You, Sally Carmichael. I want my house decorated like the girls house on the movie. The kids thought I was ridiculous and said stuff like “it’s just a couch, you cant take it with you when you die”. Um, yeah kids, but I’d still like nice furniture.

Now if the baby would just go to sleep then so could I.

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So Busy and For What?

This morning I woke up and did my usual scrolling through social media and checking the news and weather quickly today when I remembered I had started a movie yesterday that I hadn’t finished. So I watched it for a little bit when I thought I should make better use of my time. I have this thought often enough but today I acted on it.

I got up and dressed and got my shoes on because I was serious. My house was an embarrassing mess. It was the frog getting boiled to death deal. The mess had slowly gotten worse. Since Evangeline was sleeping (every time I checked on her she was in a different position on a different part of the bed) I got to work. I had two hours of baby free cleaning time. I spent the entire day on stuff no one would notice. I wipe the blinds, cleaned the windows, washed, folded, ironed the clothes, sewed on buttons, washed dishes, washed walls, wiped baseboards, cooked, washed sheets, made beds, shoveled snow, and took care of the animals as well as sat down with the kids and laid down with the baby for her nap. Told you I was busy. If I could just do it every day. It was a bunch of thankless jobs though. It looked like nothing had been done.

For dinner I tried making flour tortillas to go with dinner. They turned out better than I’ve made before but still didn’t look or feel like I wanted them to. I’ll keep trying. They tasted good though.

After dinner I told everyone to help. I set the timer and asked for 10 minutes. That is it. They couldn’t even do that. They started leaving the kitchen before 5 minutes had even passed. Two of them stayed in the kitchen but they were playing not cleaning. It would have been done in less than 10 minutes had they all stayed and helped. It took me 40 minutes by myself as I got angrier and angrier. I just wanted 10 minutes of their day.

I sent them to bed early. I don’t think it even had an effect on them. This whole teaching them is a process, I’ll just have to keep reminding myself that. It didn’t help that the two oldest who usually help the most were at a church activity so I was left with the younger set. Oh well, it got done. I can try again tomorrow.

I did sit down and work out a cleaning schedule. I would love it if I could stick to one. I struggle with being consistent. I guess I just keep working on that, too.

So that was my day. The one thing that did make my day go better was listening to a book all day while I worked. Two birds and all that.

Oh, and Noah came upstairs this afternoon and it looked like he had gotten into some chocolate. Nope, just a brown sharpie. All around his mouth. Ridiculous.