Friday, July 31, 2009

And the winner is....

Due to the lack of interest in my contest I've decided to award all three people that commented.  Congratulations!  Betty and my aunt Pam had the order correct.  Janel gets a prize for her flattery even though she didn't really make a guess.  So girls send me an e-mail and let me know what colors you'd like.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Siblings Challenge

Don't forget to check out the challenge (with a prize) in the Siblings post.  The dead line is July 31st at noon EST.  You can't win if you don't try.

Naughty Kade

On May 21st, Mat's birthday, Kade got into some serious trouble.  I suppose with Mattey getting all the attention he had to do something to get some for himself.  He came running out of the bathroom proudly saying he had cut his own hair.  His words were "I wanted it shorter."  We were a little shocked because this is something he's not done before.  I went in the bathroom and this is what I found.

Hair and scissors



Someone had left scissors laying around.  I won't say who but she so knows better.



It took a while for me to find the holes in his hair but once I started seeing them I found more and more.



Kade with bald patches



There were a lot of bald spots.  (Luckily they were kind of filled in for the first wedding.  And totally grown out by the second one.)  He was told most severely never to do that again.  That only grown-ups cut hair.  He did question me about me cutting my hair.  Again I said I'm a grown-up, I'm allowed and I know what I'm doing.  I hope he never does it again.  I really don't want to buzz his head.



Later that same day Kade came out of the bathroom again looking like this.



Way too much lotion



He said he needed some lotion.  Do you think he got enough?  I didn't want to let him in the bathroom after that.  Not that it was that bad but who knows what he would have done next.  After sharing some lotion with me and Mickey he was told to only get a little bit.  He knew better but like I said he wanted attention.  He got it that day.  I'm glad he doesn't behave like that a lot.  He's been a lot ornerier the last few weeks.  I think he's ready to rule the kingdom by himself and have the girls back in school.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tye Dying

Last month the kids and I got together with my sister-in-law and her kids and we tie dyed.  I forgot to take the camera.  That's kind of the theme for this summer.  Anyway, my sister-in-law took her kids to get a group portrait done.  It turned out way cute.  Mickey has been saying for a while that we need to get one done too.  So I decided we all needed a tie dyed shirt for the occasion.  So tonight that's what we did for our family home evening activity.  Being the control freak that I am, I wanted to do everyone's shirt so they would be similar and look good.  But the small part of me that's actually nice let the kids do their own.  Mickey was curious as to how the process works.  Here's what we did.



Step one:  Buy a tie dye kit or a few colors of dye.  We got the Tulip brand from JoAnn.  It's colors are very vibrant.  Buy or find a light colored or white piece of cotton clothing.  Wash and dry it without fabric softener.



Step two:  Shape the shirt or whatever is being dyed into a design you want.  The instructions in the kit will give you some ideas.  We did the spiral design.  The one on the right is a pillow case that will have spots.

Before I Before II





Step three:  Get the shirt wet and squeeze out the excess water.

Getting it wet



Step four:  Put on gloves or your hands will look like this (or worse):



Died Hand



Step five:  Put your shirt on a protected surface (we put out large pieces of paper in the grass), put on something to protect your clothing, and start squirting on the dye.  Sometimes parental supervision is required.



Getting some help from Mom



This needs a little yellow Pink is nice Should this color go here?



Mickey having a turn



Keep adding color until you think you're done.



Artist at work Adding more colors Now for the pillowcase





Finished...she managed to get some on her lip After I After II



Step six:  When you're finished place shirt in a plastic bag to sit over night.



All bagged up



We are waiting for the next steps.  Cutting the rubber bands and letting the shirts dry.  Then I hose off the shirts outside until the water runs clean.  Then I wash the shirts in the washer.  After they're out of the dryer they are ready to wear.



I'll post the pictures of our artistic shirts when they are done.  For any one that's ambitious my sister-in-law, after seeing Meg and Mat's pillowcases, is going to do sheet sets next year.  I think that would be fun.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Talk

I thought I'd do a little missionary work and share my talk with all of you. I've included links so you can learn more about my church if you'd like.



Disclaimer: Some of the things I will mention about my children are fictional. They are perfect angels and would never behave in ways that I will discuss shortly.



In the grand council in Heaven we were given an option of two plans to follow. We obviously all choose the plan offered by Heavenly Father allowing us to have our agency. His plan provides a way to prove our selves worthy to return to live with Him again. One way for us to do that is by being obedient.



Being obedient means being submissive to the will of another and to comply with the demands or requests of one in authority.



As a parent, I’m trying to teach my children to be obedient. I find it frustrating when my repeated attempts fail. I’m considering using the song “Quickly I’ll Obey” in my future attempts. It says exactly what I want them to do and if I sing it often enough maybe it will sink in.



When my mother calls me, quickly I’ll obey. I want to do just what is best each and every day.



When my father calls me, quickly I’ll obey. I want to do just what is best each and every day.



There are good reasons I want my children to obey me. Safety is a major issue in some cases like: you always look both ways before crossing the street, only go on parent approved websites, or don’t run with scissors. Sometimes the reasons are more for my benefit or for them to become independent, well behaved individuals such as: clean up after yourself, be polite, or stop picking on/staring at/talking to/touching your brother/sister. Life would be so good for me if only my kids would do exactly what I wanted them to do. Right? There would be no need for yelling or getting angry. We could live happily with each other without most of the contentions that can happen on a daily basis. While contemplating this talk topic I began a self-examination. I expect my children to obey but how obedient am I? I came to the conclusion that I'm a perfectionist that has an all or not quite getting it mentality. There are some commandments and laws that I have no problem obeying. Since they’ve been ingrained in me since I was a child I don’t even think about not obeying them. But I’m far from perfect. There are some commandments and laws that I keep attempting to obey but always fall short. I usually get frustrated for a while and I want to quit trying. I really need to make improvements on these so they become second nature to me like the others. Then I began to think how happy it would make Heavenly Father if I were obedient all the time. Can you imagine a world where everyone obeyed the commandments all the time? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?



It’s very likely that sometimes my children think I’m crazy or mean for asking them to be obedient to some of the things I request. Like why is having a clean room so important? Or why do I have to share my toys with someone? Or no you can’t have ten cookies in one sitting. I’m sure they see this as me limiting their choices and making their life not fair. That’s the way it is for some of us also. Some see only the sacrifice and limitations in obeying Heavenly Father’s commandments. They may not like giving up 10% of their income because after all they did work hard for it. And they could really use it with the economy being so bad. Some may think that having an occasional coffee or beer won’t really hurt them and it’s only bending the rules a little bit. But as we walk in obedience to the principles and commandments of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can enjoy a continual flow of blessings promised to us by Heavenly Father.  (I liked that line so much I repeated it so everyone heard it.)



What would some of those blessings be?



When obeying the Word of Wisdom, we have greater control over our lives, greater capacity to come and go, to work and create. We are promised the blessings of a healthy body, an alert mind, and the guidance of the Holy Ghost. The Lord also promises blessings of protection against evil and greater receptiveness to spiritual truths as we treat our body with respect and reverence.



Our obedience to His commandments will influence our ability to receive answers to prayer. When we pray daily and often we are blessed with a closer relationship with Heavenly Father and will have His Spirit to guide us. We can receive revelations and blessings that we ask for. When we pray as a family that can bring us closer to each other. By turning to God in prayer, we can find answers to our questions and meaning in our life’s experiences, no matter how difficult they may seem. As we pray daily with faith, sincerity and real intent, we will see God’s influence in our life as we receive divine guidance and blessings. He may warn us of danger or strengthen us to resist temptation.



When we obey the Law of Chastity, we will enjoy more fully the influence of the Holy Ghost in our life. By following this law, we will have greater happiness and blessings and find deeper marital love in our families.



The windows of heaven will be opened and blessings poured down upon us if we obey the Law of Tithing. 3 Nephi 24:10 says that there will not be enough room to receive these blessings.



By studying the scriptures daily, we will gain increased faith in Jesus Christ. We will grow more like our Father in Heaven and will be better able to live righteously. We will be blessed with joy, hope, and an understanding of God’s plan and our place in it. We can also be blessed with personal revelation while studying the scriptures.



Obedience is essential for the Atonement to work. God has promised, “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42). True repentance brings peace and forgiveness.



After listening to Sister Sanderson’s talk last week I was reminded how much children learn through example. In order to teach my children to be obedient I have to show them that I can be obedient also. Thankfully there are other examples we can all turn to to learn of the importance of obeying. The examples I’m going to share come from Pres. Monson’s talk “Models to Follow”. He says:



“All of us love the beautiful account from the Holy Bible of Abraham and Isaac. How exceedingly difficult it must have been for Abraham, in obedience to God’s command, to take his beloved Isaac into the land of Moriah, there to present him as a burnt offering. Can you imagine the heaviness of his heart as he gathered the wood for the fire and journeyed to the appointed place? Surely pain must have racked his body and tortured his mind as he “bound Isaac … and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And … stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.” How glorious was the pronouncement, and with what wondered welcome did it come: “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” Abraham was a model of unquestioning obedience.



The prophet Noah was “a just man and perfect in his generations,” one who “walked with God”. Ordained to the priesthood at an early age, “he became a preacher of righteousness and declared the gospel of Jesus Christ.” He warned that failure to heed his message would bring floods upon those who heard his voice, and yet they hearkened not to his words. Noah heeded God’s command to build an ark, that he and his family might be spared destruction. He followed God’s instructions to gather into the ark two of every living creature, that they also might be saved from the floodwaters.



Said President Spencer W. Kimball: “As yet there was no evidence of rain and flood. … [Noah’s] warnings were considered irrational. … How foolish to build an ark on dry ground with the sun shining and life moving forward as usual! But time ran out. … The floods came. The disobedient … were drowned. The miracle of the ark followed the faith manifested in its building.”



Noah had the unwavering faith to follow God’s commandments. May we ever do likewise. May we remember that the wisdom of God ofttimes appears as foolishness to men; but the greatest lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and we obey, we will always be right.



I now turn to a mighty Book of Mormon prophet—even Nephi, son of Lehi and Sariah. He was faithful and obedient to God, courageous and bold. When given the difficult assignment to obtain the plates of brass from Laban, he did not murmur, but declared, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.””



These are just a few of the many examples of obedience we can find in the scriptures.



When it comes to all these “rules” we have to remember that Heavenly Father is not some demanding dictator. His commandments are for our own good. Heavenly Father loves us and wants to bless us in all aspects of our life. He wants us to be happy today and forever. He has given commandments through His prophets that, when followed, will benefit our life. These instructions from Heavenly Father help us live a happy and productive life. They give us direction as we try to prove ourselves worthy to return to Him. The more we learn about and love God, the more we will desire to do His will (John 14:21).







When we choose to follow Heavenly Father and keep His commandments, we grow in wisdom and strength of character. We can experience joy even in times of trial, and we can face life’s challenges with a spirit of peace. In the scriptures, we learn that true happiness comes from obeying the commandments of God (Mosiah 2:41) that “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10).



The commandments should never be regarded as confining or inconvenient, but rather as standards to live by that will bring joy and enable us to one day live with God.



Our loving Heavenly Father will bless us for our obedience with “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23).



I'd like to close with the third verse of "Quickly I'll Obey".

Heavenly Father loves me, blesses me each day. I want to do just what is best each and every day.

Fourth of July

I thought I had better get this posted before it's August.  For the 4th we went for dinner and fireworks at Mickey's aunt and uncle's house.  They had a ton of family visiting.  We had fun.  There was LOTS of food and people to chat with.  The house is on a lake and has a great yard.  There were games and water activities.  I spent the evening hanging out with two girls (17 & 18).  I felt so young.  Here's a few pictures.

Meg playing with the neighbors dog



Meg playing with the neighbor's dog.



Reach for it



Kade playing frisbee with Tia.



Out in the paddle boat



Meg and Abby in the paddle boat.



Taking a break from fishing



Mattey and her daisy dukes.  She was having fun on the dock.



the boys going for a ride



Mickey and Kade in the paddle boat.



Meg with her catch



Meg with one of her catches of the night.



Mickey caught one



Mickey with his one catch.



Mat and her catch



Mat with her little fish.



Meg & Abby watching fireworks



Abby and Meg watching fireworks.





Kade & Mickey



Kade and Mickey snuggled up watching fireworks.



Another Flap

While at my brother's reception my mom was showing off the bag I made for her.  I walked up to say goodbye and she showed off the one I was carrying.  Then my sister-in-law came by with hers.  Needless to say I left the party with an order.  I had to rush a little since my great aunt is leaving town (going home) this weekend.  (I don't know why but I'm having a hard time focusing on sewing with the kids home.  Can't wait for school to start.)  Her criteria were black and white and add some red if I could.  I think I did good.  Here it is.

Black & white damask flap



Black & white damask inside



What do you think?  I got extra of this black and white damask to make a bag for myself.  I love it!  I'll be using pink for the lining though.  I also found a brown damask.  I have plans to make a couple different bags with that.  I'll be sure to post them when I'm done.  Next week I'll be working on a scripture tote for Mat and a messenger bag for Meg.  They've been waiting patiently for me to get around to it.  I hope I can get both done next week.  I might have to ship them off somewhere to get some work done though.

Siblings

In the last month we've had two family weddings.  I thought I would share a picture of each set of siblings since we were all dressed up.



Mickey took these pics of the kids.  I just wish he could have gotten one with them together.  Oh well.

IMG_0769



IMG_0771



IMG_0770





Here I am with all my brothers.

6 Siblings Darrin, Landon, Justin, Me, Bryan, Kevin



And here's Mickey and Amanda.  (Sorry it's not the best picture but it's all we had.)



Mickey & Amanda



I thought I'd do something fun.  A little challenge and give away.  I will make a change purse (scroll down for a picture), in the colors of your choosing, for the lucky winner who can name all my brothers in the correct birth order.  Family members will get one entry into the drawing and non family members will get two.  That way it's not too biased.  The contest will go until July 31st at noon EST.   Here's a hint:  they are NOT in the correct order in the picture.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Updates

I thought I would do an update on a few postings I've recently done.



The first one is about the missing sheet.  I found the pillow case right after I finished washing the new set of sheets I bought.  Of course.  Any guesses where it was?  Under the fitted sheet.  I felt around but never lifted it up because I didn't want to unmake the bed.  Oh well.  Now I have another set of sheets and the new set came with four, yes 4, pillow cases.  Now I can afford to loose another one.



The second update is about the reds' room.  After almost two weeks it's still clean.  Can you believe it?  I can't.  I did see a few pieces of trash and other junk laying around and I got on Mattey right away.  It was her mess after all.  They are doing surprisingly well about keeping it picked up.



The third update is about my talk today.  I woke up to all kinds of ailments:  a sore throat, painful pressure in my ear, a gurgling gut, and muscle spasms in my low back.  I really wanted to find a way out of giving my talk but couldn't really come up with anything.  I took 4 Advil before going to church.  It might have helped some with the ear and throat but my back didn't relax until much later this evening.  Now about the talk.  I got a laugh from the first line which was nice but it didn't help me relax.  I didn't feel nauseated at all which was also nice.  But I was shaking uncontrollably from the adrenaline kicking in to help with all my anxiety.  I couldn't hold my papers or even touch the podium (although I did) because I was shaking so badly.  About half way through I started to relax a little, at least enough for the shaking to subside.  I broke down a lot but Mickey said my face never turned red.  That was a relief.  (There's one nice thing about breaking down in a talk at church, lots of other people do it too so I don't feel as self conscious about it.)  I feel like I successfully made it through although I don't plan on doing it again any time soon.  Afterward I got a lot of complements.  That's always nice especially after you feel like you've been tortured.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Obedience

This Sunday I have to speak in church.  I'm NOT looking forward to it.  When I was thinking about it this morning my heart started racing and I felt all jittery.  This is going to be a great week.  Last time I spoke I felt like I was going to throw up all morning.  I can just see myself making a run for the bathroom right after I start my talk.  Mickey said he'd give me part of a Xanax if I wanted it.  I told him I'd take it right before I leave for church so it would knock me out.  Enough about my anxiety.



My topic is obedience, hence the title of this posting.  I had made the kids some mac & cheese for lunch.  While they ate I was trying to work on my talk.  I heard a little cry and then someone say something about a spill.  I asked (from the office) for that someone to make sure it got cleaned up.  Then the blame game started.  "I didn't do it.  It was so & so who was trying to give me more and I didn't want any more."  Then "But I didn't do it.  So & so moved the bowl."  And on and on.  I really don't care who made the mess as long as I don't have to clean it up.  I told them so.  I had real high hopes that when I went back upstairs it would be cleaned up.  Not up to my cleaning standards but at least have the mac picked up off the floor.  You can imagine my surprise when this is what I found:

mac & cheese mess



This is why my children are starring in my talk about obedience.  It's guaranteed to be great.  I have so much material to work with.  That is if I can actually live through the experience of speaking in front of the entire congregation.  Wish me luck and if you have time please say a little prayer for me.  For both the talk and the obedient children.  Thanks.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Clean Sweep

I was a huge fan of TLC's "Clean Sweep" show.  (I don't watch much tv any more so I don't know if it's still on or not.)  I loved the idea of taking everything out of a cluttered room and starting with a blank canvas.  No more clutter but good organization.  There was also a crew that helped sort and haul things as well as clean and decorate.  Today I did my own version of it in the reds' room.  It's been a huge mess for a while now.  We'll get them to clean it but it's not really clean.  They shove stuff (I'll be using this word today instead of crap to try to keep the post cleaner) everywhere and then it's messy again the next day.  I just had to do something about that.



I told them yesterday what I was going to do.  I thought maybe I'd let them help me sort and trash some stuff but after getting in my right brain I decided it would be a lot easier if I just did it.  Here's what the room looked like before:

Before I Before II Before III



I spread out a blanket in the living room (on the show they take the stuff outside but I wasn't doing that) and piled all the stuff there.  The kids helped a little with that.  I had to get Kade to go under the bed for me.  I don't really fit very well but in the end I had to go under too.  Here's the piles of stuff and a helper under the bed:



Pile of mess I Pile of mess II Kade cleaning



And here's the room empty:



Clean out I Clean out III Clean out II



I don't know how many hours I spent sorting, tossing, and deciding what to do with stuff.  It definitely took longer than I thought it would.  That could have been because Mat and Kade kept coming to check what I was throwing out.  I told them to stay away because I didn't want to deal with any melt downs about stuff being tossed.  (I know, I'm mean.  But not this mean.  Love that blog!)  I still have a bin of stuff I don't know what to do with.  Maybe I just need to throw it out.  Anyway, I filled 3 trash bags and had one BIG load of recycling.  My guess this morning was 4 bags of trash.  Not a bag guess if I count the recycling load as a bag.  I decided I had better wash their sheets too so they could have a really clean room.  Here's the results:



After I After II After III



This evening we took about 40-50 books to Goodwill.  We had enough to open our own library!  I feel good about that.  I also feel good about that room being clean.  I wish I would have had the time and energy to touch up the walls but that will have to be done another time.  If anyone would like to hire me all I charge is child care.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Lost Sheet

I am the self-proclaimed "Finder of all Things Lost" at our house.  I can always find things when the kids can't.   I guess it doesn't work when I'm the one loosing things.



I washed our sheets today.  When the dryer beeped I got them out (okay, I had to fluff them because I didn't get them out on the first cycle) and took them to our room to make the bed.  I was short one pillowcase.  Huh?  I retraced my steps through the house and down the stairs to the laundry room.  I didn't see it anywhere.  The duvet cover was in the dryer at the time (I had washed them all together but it's too much for the dryer to handle) and I thought the pillowcase might have gotten wrapped up in that.  I pulled that out later and still no sign of it.  I looked everywhere again and felt all over the bed to make sure it's not stuck somewhere.  Still can't find it.



I've been wanting a new set of sheets lately.  Maybe this will help me spend the money.  I know I can just go buy a pillowcase but it won't match.  I'm weird that way.



Have you ever lost anything weird?

Tile Work

We've had a few loose tiles in the bathroom.  Apparently we didn't get good adhesive when they were laid.  Mickey's been tackling a bunch of home projects lately and the tiles were on his list.  He removed the two he knew were loose and then realized that there were about 6 more that were loose too.  That was a bit more work than he thought he'd have to do.  He took them all up and scraped off the bad adhesive.

scraping



Then he put down the new adhesive.  (The people at Factory Tile let him use an open bag and then bring back the rest.  For FREE.  Can't beat that.)  Then he laid the tiles back in place.



placing tiles



They had to sit for a while and then the next day he swapped out the bag of adhesive for an open bag of grout.  (Again, for FREE.)  Mickey put that on and then wiped off the excess.



putting in the grout wiping the grout



We were kind of without a bathroom for a while since we weren't supposed to walk on the tiles.  And of course they were right in the middle of the room.  Luckily we added that other bathroom last year.  (I still haven't blogged about that yet.  Maybe after I get something hung on the wall.)  Now the tile job is finished.  (It does need to be cleaned a little bit though.)  Hooray!



almost clean tiles



I'm so glad I married such a handy guy.  Thanks, Sweetie.