Daily Life, Thoughts

The Chosen Makes You Think

So this past week I finally sat down and watched The Chosen. My husband and I and some of our kids watched it over the course of a few days. It has been awhile since we had a series to watch together. Again, I have pretty high standards. I don’t tolerate much swearing and immorality even though the story “is so good”.

I’d seen this series advertised and I didn’t give it really a second thought. Then I saw a gal I follow on Instagram saying she finally gave it a good try and got hooked and binge watched it multiple times. Okay I thought, I’ll give it a shot. I downloaded the app and started to watch it. I got maybe halfway through the first episode and I was hooked.

It was so good!

Do I think that it is 100% accurate? No. But what I do think is that it is good.

For I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also.

Moroni 7:5

I was praying and wondering if it was a good thing and the answer I got was “If it brings you to Christ it is a good thing.” Good enough for me.

I am excited for Season 2. The first one made me cry, made me laugh, and made me feel more of a longing to have more of a relationship with my Savior. He is my elder brother. The Chosen I don’t think took away from the deity of Christ, but rather showed him in more of a 3D perspective. It reminded me that He knows me and loves me and understands what it is like to go through mortality.

So this weekend if you have some time and even if you think you don’t, you should give the show a chance.

Daily Life

There is Peace

I don’t think I wrote about this so I will try again.

I had been struggling. I could see myself getting off track. Nothing major but I could feel myself distancing myself from God. I don’t know why exactly. I was being a stubborn and petulant child. I wasn’t enjoying the feeling of it either but my stubborn pride would not let me fix it. I told myself “not now, I’m not ready” which is a very sad mindset. But just like when my children are upset and refuse to be comforted I patiently wait until they are ready. I am sure that my Heavenly Father does the same. How hard it must be for Him to patiently wait for so many of His children who refuse to be comforted to finally- hopefully- come to Him.

I finally am coming back around. It has been four months since we’ve been to church. Church makes it easy. You just show up and share the job of teaching each other. Sometimes you just show up and learn. But at home it is all on me and Alex to teach our children. We made it a priority to have church at home every single Sunday. It is work. It is good work, but it is work. There is no one to carry you along. No one to make sure you do it. It is all on you. It has been an opportunity to see what our priorities are and are we willing to follow Christ when no one else will see it?

Like I said, I was getting off track. I didn’t feel the spirit like I needed to because I wasn’t doing what I needed to. I started doing what I needed to. I started praying more and with more thought and sincerity. I started to study the scriptures more earnestly. I started listening to more uplifting podcasts and religious material. I got back on track and it will be a daily effort to stay there.

In the scriptures Christ commands us to pray always that we will not be tempted. He didn’t say it because it sounded like a good thing to say. He said it because it is imperative. As I follow the news daily I am astonished at how much we need the Gospel of Christ. It really is the only true anchor we have in a world of shifting values and daily changing opinions and “truth”.

It might have been easy to just float along as a Christian up until a few months ago but it feels like we are being sifted now. Where do you stand now? Are you firmly rooted in Christ or are you wish-washy, still trying to grasp the world? It has been interesting to watch these days unfold. It was prophesied that in the last days before Christ would return that men would call good evil and evil good. I never understood how it could be possible really until now. To me it feels like time is running out. Chaos seems to multiply daily and it is time to choose a side. As it says in the scriptures, “Choose you this day whom you will serve.”

I hope that things are going well for any who read this. I hope there is peace in your life. This song is so beautiful and if you have a minute or two to listen to it I highly recommend you do so.

Have a great day!

Daily Life, Sunday

Start the Week

Sunday was a good day. Very slow. Rainy.

For the kids singing time at our home church I asked them each what song they would like to sing. Noah said the sun song. I don’t know what that is so he picked another one. Elizabeth said she wanted the raspberry song. Again, I don’t know what that is. Turns out they were going by what they thought the picture was on the songbook page. No raspberries. I told her to go through the book and find it. She came across a page with palm leaves on it. I told her the song was called Hosana. Oh, she said then proceeded to sing, “Hosana ooh na-na.” Um no. That is not how the song in the book goes. I got a chortle out of that and corrected her. The other song says Havana, not Hosana. Hopefully we cleared that up.

Around dinner time I didn’t want to cook. The kids said they wanted donuts. I said if they made them then they could have donuts for dinner. Everyone ran upstairs as fast as they could. I believe they all helped Alex and only one bowl was broken. I found remnants when I cleaned on Monday.

Benjamin wanted to make the frosting/ glaze for the donuts. I told him butter and sugar milk and vanilla. I didn’t specify powdered sugar because I thought it was obvious. It wasn’t to him and the regular sugar didn’t work. After the failed batch he asked what kind of sugar to use. The second batch was good. Alex said he saw him using the wrong sugar but figured it was an easy lesson for Benjamin. Benjamin asked why Alex didn’t stop him. I asked if he would make that mistake again. He said no. Okay, lesson learned. And the donuts were good.

Monday wore me out. With the appraisal looming over my head I need the whole house decluttered and cleaned. I cleaned the whole day. Bedrooms dusted, vacuumed. Bathrooms cleaned. Laundry room cleaned. Laundry washed and put away. Front room cleaned. All the upstairs vacuumed and mopped. The basement cleaned. All the dishes found scattered throughout the house washed. All that’s left is the kids bedrooms and the garage. And the basement bathroom. I don’t want to do that one, it is gross – five boys use it. But I’ll do it anyways. If I could I would ban my kids from the house. I’d set a tent up in the backyard and have them camp out there for an extended period of time to save the house. I won’t but it is a nice thought.

Once the cleaning is “done” (is it ever done?) I need to mud and texture the girls’ bedroom ceiling then paint it and the walls. I haven’t moved the little girls into the room yet because I want to get that done first so I am not dodging furniture when I mud. It is just easier that way.

Last night Alex should have been mudding the drywall on the new closet he build but he spent hours finalizing drafting of the renovation plans. He loves drafting. We made sure the measurements were correct and moved a couple things that we’d wanted to change, added a few more lights, etc. The good thing about being able to redo a house is that we’ve lived here for eight years and know how we’d make the space work better. A good thing about taking our time is we’ve been able to think and rethink what we thought we wanted and try and improve it. Things that have bugged us we can change. Things that we have always wanted we can add. I am looking forward to ripping the whole thing out but not necessarily putting it back together. It will be worth it. I hope.

Alex did stop working on it long enough to join us for scriptures and prayer. It was fun because the story we were on is an exciting one and Michael was practically on the edge of his seat. He loved it and said, “Ammon is awesome!” I have to agree.

Well, I need to start the day. It is the last day of June. I’ve got lots to do including fortifying myself for July because if it follows the first half of the year we need all the help we can get. Can we just pretend that 2020 is over? Just me?

Daily Life

Weekend Ramblings

The weekend started out with busy waiting. In order to save gas money I took Alex to work. We drove the 45 minutes to get him there at 7 a.m. He was off to work whilst I had errands to prepare for. Grocery shopping for two weeks worth of food so I don’t have to go out again anytime soon. I sat in the car in a parking lot and planned the menu while I waited for the stores to open. Sam’s Club opened at 9 so I had two hours to wait. I planned all the meals (tedious- but since they are written in my planner maybe I’ll be smart and reuse them at a later date), I planned the day out, read my scriptures and then called my sister to talk for awhile. I’d left all the kids home with my oldest babysitting. I love having a built in babysitter.

I decided to go to Hobby Lobby first because I needed a couple decorative storage boxes. I walked up and down every single aisle (love that they are open again!) and they didn’t have what I was looking for. But I did find a few things I love and couldn’t resist buying. Then I thought I would check out Tjmaxx and see if they had what I was looking for. Waste of time. It is sad to see a store so empty. The shelves were mostly empty. There were just a few knick-kacks. Hopefully things get back to normal soon.

I finally got to Sam’s and managed to get through in less than an hour. They even had toilet paper stacked super high. And there were no limits on items like the were last time I went.

I picked Alex up and we went and had lunch. There is an Indian restaurant we’d been wanting to go to for years so we had lunch there. This particular restaurant has two locations one was where we were and the other is in our old college town and is connected to a gas station. In spite of the location, it has really good food. The last time we’d gone I was two days away from having my fourth baby and barely fit in the booth- like I had to squeeze myself into the booth and I was pinned between the table and chair back. It was ridiculous but made it memorable. The new coronavirus measures put in place made for an interesting meal but the food was good. What is interesting about Indian cuisine is how it resembles Guatemalan food in flavor. Alex said the flavors are reminiscent of each other because they use a lot of the same ingredients.

Our plan after eating was to go get some new shoes for both of us. We’d worn ours out. I found a new pair of workout shoes and Alex found some comfortable ones for work.

Shopping days aren’t my favorite. It takes so much time. Planning, driving, shopping, driving, and putting it away. Luckily the kids can help with putting it away. I don’t think they mind so much because then they see what I got and can see what they get to eat. They eat so much!

Later I did give two of the boys haircuts and Alex as well. They all needed it. I like when its warm outside so I can cut their hair outside and keep the hair mess outside. Cutting hair is low on my list of things I like to do. Actually it is not even on my list of things I like to do. But when I can save a bunch of money then I’ll do it. Then I can go pay someone to cut my hair soon. It is down below my waist and it is getting a bit out of control. I just don’t know what to do with it.

A storm came blowing in on Saturday afternoon and Alex and I went outside in the windstorm for fun to watch it. The actual rain was just blowing by about a mile to the east so we enjoyed seeing the clouds speed by. The wind gusts would come in waves and I could hear it coming as it whipped through the trees with a low, loud whoosh!

Sunday we had church at home and probably will for a while yet. I can’t see us being able to keep masks on all the kids at church. We’ll see. The lesson I gave was on making good choices and being kind. We had singing time and it was so fun. We went through some longer songs with 7-8 verses and sang them at different speeds. The kids loved it.

Since it was a chilly and rainy afternoon we worked on a puzzle I had been saving. It was an Eric Dowdle puzzle of Old Nauvoo. Alex and I were married in the Nauvoo Temple so it was a fun reminiscent puzzle to do. It was 500 pieces and I’m surprised we got it done in just a couple hours and one sitting.

Before bed we watched a scripture video about what we’ll be studying this coming week. I love all the stories but this is a particularly good one. The kids all sat and watched it and we discussed some of the doctrine if talked about.

Right before it got dark I checked the weather. That storm Alex and I watched, that was a cold front coming in. Snow was forecast for the next morning. Yep. Snow. In June. Alex and I went out and covered the cold sensitive plants- tomatoes and squash. The weather wasn’t supposed to freeze but we covered them just in case. We didn’t want to lose the months of work and have to buy big plants. This is the first year we’ve grown the whole garden from seed rather than get the plants from the store. It’s looking good. We have tons of tomatoes, squash, carrots, cabbage, onions, strawberries, raspberries, and radishes. So many radishes. Alex pickled radishes last week and we have so many more. We have 13 tomato plants. If all goes well, I’ll be super busy canning tomato sauce this fall.

That was the weekend. Just kind of a chill weekend which I am totally okay with.

Sunday, Uncategorized

It was a Good Sunday

Sunday was a good day. I got up and went for a walk. I only did a half mile but it was Sunday and I needed rest. I only walked for the length of one conference talk. It was a good one- they all are.

You will one day stand aside and look at your difficult times, and you will realize that [Christ] was always there beside you.

-President Thomas Monson

It is true. I’ve seen it in my life.

We did church at home and Evangeline was fussy as usual. Every week she picks church time to be tired. Her normal nap time is two hours later but apparently not on Sunday. So Alex went and put her in her bed while I did singing time with the kids. He was back in less than 5 minutes. She must have been really tired.

For church Alex talked about not just hearing the word, the gospel, but internalizing it and doing it. With the little kids we discussed baptism. Lauren and Sam talked about what they remember about their baptism and Alex and I said what we remember about ours. Gideon is looking forward to his this December when he turns eight.

With the older two boys we talked about the plan of happiness. Our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. We went over a few things, they had a couple questions, but it all boiled down to making good choices, being kind and serving those around us- including our family.

Alex’s sister had a few questions about gardening so we decided to go see her and help her out with a few pointers. She has never gardened before and so it will be an experience for her family. Gardens are hard to mess up for the most part. Pulling the plant out when weeding or forgetting to water is about the only way to really mess it up. As long as the plants don’t freeze, they get watered and get some fertilizer (over fertilizing is not good either) they can do their thing. It really is fun. To me at least. I love watching it all grow.

Speaking of gardening, one of our apple trees only had 9 apples last year. This year it has at least 100 blossoms on it. Our plum tree only had 6 plums last year and this year has at least 100 blossoms. It should be a good crop. The apple tree isn’t big enough to hold all the apples that will grow so we’ll have to play it by ear and see what we canet grow. But we’ll have our own apes this year!

Growing up my mom planted peach trees in our backyard. We bottled 90 quarts of peaches one year. A lot of work but so good for a dinner of toast and peaches in the winter. The 90 quarts was just what we canned. We would go out and eat peaches off the tree until we were ready to burst. And the peaches and ice cream! My favorite. I guess I better move back to Utah so I can grow peaches. That is the only thing about living where I do that I don’t like. All the peaches have to be shipped in and they aren’t nearly as good. Nothing beats the taste of fresh off the tree.

Now that I am hungry for peaches, the rest of the day was good. After lunch we sat out on the front steps and enjoyed the sunshine. The kids blew bubbles and that morphed into them playing with the hose and getting wet. It was Evangeline’s first time playing in the hose since it was finally warm enough. She loved it .

For scripture time before bed we watched a video and the kids loved it. They wanted to watch it over and over. I told them how to find it on YouTube. It is called “The Goal: A Story of Faith, Friendship and Forgiveness “. It is super cute and has such a relatable and good message. We had read the scripture it was about with the kids earlier during church and it was great that the video applied it in a way the kids could understand it better.

That was Sunday.

Daily Life

Sunday

Petrichor: a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.

Until a few years ago I didn’t know there was a word for one of the best smells in the world. Petrichor.

It rained this afternoon. Not a lot, just enough to mar all the sidewalk art my children did.

I got a picture before it was completely washed out.

It was a slow day. I got up around 8:30 and took the dog for a walk so I could listen to conference talks and scriptures without interruptions. It works well. I’ll probably do that every Sunday as long as it is warm.

We had church at home and I gave the talk. I talked about charity.

…he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

~ Moroni 7:44-48

We talked about that scripture and also about repentance. The example I gave was of a pristine white mansion. Everything is gorgeous but you’ve just been out playing and you got dirty- covered in mud. I asked the kids if they should be allowed to go into the house. They all said no, but how can we get clean if the shower is in the house. Hahaha. Elizabeth said she could just wipe her feet off really good.

I told them that is what happens when we sin, we get dirty and can’t go back to live with Heavenly Father unless we get cleaned. Repentance is what makes us clean again. I said that every day we end up with some dirt (sin) on ourselves so we need to make it a habit to repent every single day. They got on board with that visual.

Later I used all the extra bread crust the kid had left from lunch to make bread pudding. I made two batches since the kids love it so much and had that many leftover crusts. One was regular and the other I tried something else- caramel apple. Really good but I’m sick now because I ate too much of it.

Evangeline took a late nap. No one would respect her routine and they thought they knew better. Before her naps I lay down with her and she sings and plays for a few minutes them settles down to sleep. Alex thought that her singing and playing meant she wasn’t tired so he let the kids take her to play. Not the best decision. Mother knows best.

The kids dragged all their mattresses to the family room while I was upstairs. They all wanted to sleep there together. Fine by me. So they all settled in after we’d watched a scripture video, had prayer, hugs and kisses and then we sang them a song.

I love all my cute little kids.

Hopefully the good attitude continues tomorrow when I have to have them work on school assignments.

Daily Life

Visiting with Friends and Taking Care of Kids

Since I took a nap yesterday, last night was awful! I couldn’t get to sleep, I was cold for some reason (I had my two blankets on even), and Evangeline was restless and wouldn’t let me sleep. Crazy dreams abounded which I really hate. It makes me feel like I’ve been awake all night. So all this combined and I couldn’t wake up on time this morning. I ended up taking a nap with the baby at 8 a.m. It helped. I was able to get through the rest of the day.

I got a bunch of the cleaning in the basement done while the kids played around me. At first I thought Evangeline was scared of the vacuum but she was squealing (not screaming) and playing run away from the vacuum. I still have to declutter the bookshelves. It seems to need doing at least once a week. That bothers me. A lot. Oh well, I’ll either figure it out or the kids will grow up and I won’t have all the little toys and kids books shoved in every nook and cranny.

One of my friends came over today. We met when we were both about 3 week pregnant and went through our pregnancies together and then had our babies 4 days apart- she had her first and I had my last. That was a fun experience. But life happens and we haven’t seen each other in months. So it was good to catch up and watch the babies play. I need to make more of an effort to go see my friends more often. I think summer will be better because we can all meet at the park.

I decided to try and make yogurt today. How hard could it be? We’ll find out. There is a setting on the instant pot and the directions were simple. I should have made it in the morning. I had to stay up late to let it cool and it smells weird. It looks like the right consistency. I guess we’ll see what it tastes like in the morning because no way am I eating warm yogurt. Blech.

Tonight for family home evening we talked about Nephi and his brothers building a boat and how the Lord taught him what to do. The little kids acted it out and had fun doing so. Sam was in charge of the activity and wanted to do origami. He’s pretty good at it so I asked him to teach us how to “build” a boat. I never knew how and now we all do. We had ice cream boats (cones) for dessert. Elizabeth got to pick that out.

I have been meaning to start kid time at night. It’s where I spend 15 minutes before each night with a kid. They get an assigned day of the week to spend time with me (I heard this idea from Jordan Page). We started tonight but since Michael was asleep early – ad usual- Benjamin traded nights with him. Benjamin chose to play Minecraft with me. I’d never played it. It made me a bit dizzy and I have a slight headache from all the graphics moving around so much. I like video games, I grew up playing them for more hours than I’ll admit but I don’t like the 3d type games. We had fun though and that’s all that matters.

Gideon just came in complaining that his leg hurts. This kid has had growing pains for years. It always strikes at bedtime. I have enjoyed the last almost two months because they seemed to have gone away. But it came back tonight. Dang it.

All in all though, it was a good day.

Uncategorized

A Plethora of Stuff We Did

Sunday morning. We all got up and ready on time (on time is now 30 minutes early). This was pretty shocking considering all the shirts were in the wash when I woke up. I did wash them last night but I didn’t want to switch loads that late at night.

Today was the day of Elizabeth. She is a character and has been since day one. Last night she wet the bed — this is the first time in her life since being potty trained I think. Alex and I argued who would get up and shower her off. I lost. 2:30 in the morning. She came and slept in the crib after that. As we were getting ready for church I went to brush her hair and I am ashamed to admit it but I have neglected to brush her hair the last couple days. It was matted up. She’d washed it but her hair is so curly and it was just a mess. I took the brush to church with us and spent a few minutes sitting there brushing this girl’s hair. By the way the brand Bathpack Silver Brush is amazing. Brushes hair and gets out tangles with no pain. (I get nothing from this, I just like the product.)

Later at the end of church a couple of the primary leaders came to me and told me Elizabeth is hilarious. This I know. They said that she was the only one in her class today and when they went into her class to give the kids treats for reading their scriptures last month, she saw them and with her big excited, wrinkled nose smile, she exclaimed, “I get all the treats!!” They all laughed at that.

Before church I had hurried and put some pork and green chili sauce in the Instant Pot and set it to be ready when we got home. I also started some beans to soaking last night. So when we got home the pork was done, I put the rice on to cook, transferred the pork to a pot and set to simmering on the stove and then put the pinto beans into the Instant Pot. An hour later we had dinner. I told Alex I might need a couple more of the pots. Haha. When lunch was done I put the black beans in the pot for dinner. Alex made bread and while it was cooking I put squash in the instant pot. Yes, I used it four times today. I have problems. Dinner was so good though! If you have never had a black bean sandwich, you are missing out. It sounds weird but is so good. And what is better is six out of our eight kids love it.

Evangeline was so cute today as well. Alex would chase her around the room and I am sure in her mind she was running like the wind. She was just walking slightly faster. She would squeal and giggle and laugh. It was so fun

We didn’t do much today, it being a day of rest after all. After church I took a nap, I think Alex might have, too. The kids went out to sled before dinner and after dinner we watched the rest of the video that we didn’t watch last night. The kids wanted to watch more but we are saving them to go along with what we read. These videos are all so good and well done. They are videos made of the scriptures that we are studying this year. I have gotten so much out of them this week as I have tried to take my scripture studying more seriously. The things that have stuck out to me the most this week is how important prayer is and that God is waiting to hear from us. And how frequently he answers prayers and how much he cares for us.

I did sit and work on my planner for a little bit. I thought of a bunch of things that I need to do this week. Yesterday I was thinking back on how much I used to do. I have done so many of the projects in this house and I did them all with a baby- mostly during naps.  I think I am just tired of projects. I am hoping to get that fire lit back under myself because I need to get a lot of painting soon. And ceilings in the bedrooms need to be sheet rocked and a closet needs to be framed in and on and on and on. It’s incredibly overwhelming. I just need to make a schedule and get done what I can I will get through it. One project at a time. The problem is that it is all a give a mouse a cookie deal. One project will lead to another and pretty soon I am tearing out carpet and walls because I want things just so. I am seriously buying a new build next time. Yes, I know there will be things to do on those, too, but at least they will be done nice to start with.

Our house now when we moved in was ridiculous. The whole big wall in the basement moved. Yes, if you pushed on it it moved an inch or so. We tore the sheetrock off and turns out the previous owners just did a patch job. they cut the 2×4’s in half and replaced the cut out half by just nailing it to the one above and didn’t bolt the base to the floor. Insanity. We have fixed so many more problems like that. Is it any wonder that after almost 8 years of construction projects I am tired of them? But I am a dreamer and can’t stop until it looks like what is in my head.

Oh, and one of the cats has a slight limp. I noticed it yesterday when she was walking across the driveway. She had growled at me when I was holding her yesterday too. So today I picked her up and checked all of her legs and paws and she didn’t react at all. Does she have a high pain tolerance? I didn’t feel any swelling or broken bones. I am hoping that it heals up on it’s own. I am thinking maybe it is just a bruise or possibly a sprain. I don’t know how it would have happened but we are keeping an eye on it. Since there are no broken bones, there isn’t really anything to do, right? She’ll just have to take it easy until it heals. It’s like the time that Gideon broke his arm when he was 9 months. It was a slight crack in the bone. I had to convince the E.R. doctor that something was wrong. She couldn’t see what I was talking about. She eventually did get and x-ray on his arm. I was right. They put a splint on it and she said that he won’t use it unless it doesn’t hurt. The splint only lasted 2 weeks before he dipped his arm in the toilet. He only started using his arm when it stopped hurting him. I am using the same logic with the cat that I do with anyone else in my family. Watchful waiting.

Oh, and on Friday night Alex injured himself playing soccer Again. I don’t like sports because the injuries! He loves soccer though and nothing will stop him from playing. Even a pulled hamstring. Seriously, if I had heard my muscle pop I would have stopped playing. Not him. Never. I think all the soccer players are like that. Nothing will stop them except death and even then I think they still keep playing. Ridiculous.