Friday, December 19, 2014

kid sweetness

My heart is full from so much kid sweetness today. (And this week, I babysat our neighbor's 2-year-old and 5-month-old one day, and I took care of our newborn nephew overnight last night because his mommy was in the hospital with retained placenta and his daddy works graveyard shifts. I've also had fun for the last few weeks, with my Wednesday and Friday job: watching my friend's girls who are 7 and 2).

So, this morning when it was just the two of us, Third Girl wanted to cuddle (which involved me pretending to sleep, and her laughing, and both of us laughing) on our bed. In the late afternoon, she helped me cook. I'm pretty sure I forgot to write down something adorable that Third Girl said, but t
he main thing I wanted to write down was this:

Second Girl was going to serve herself more dinner, but First Girl acted sad because she had wanted to do it for her.

Second Girl: "Okay. I just want my sister to be happy."

Me: "Why are you guys so sweet?"

Second Girl: "Because we're your daughters."

First Girl: "And you're the best mom."

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Scripture Sunday: "I engraved that which is pleasing unto God"

I read again a chapter in the scriptures; here are some parts that stood out to me.

The Lord told a man named Nephi to leave so that his brothers wouldn't kill him.

The Lord was with them (Nephi and the people who went with him) and they prospered "exceedingly." They had brought records -- scriptures -- with them. They had the priesthood, they worked with their hands, they built a temple "after the manner of the temple of Solomon," and children were born. They "lived after the manner of happiness."

I really really like the last section, where Nephi wrote about the importance of writing things down. Verse 32 is my favorite:

29 And I, Nephi, had kept the records upon my plates, which I had made, of my people thus far.
 30 And it came to pass that the Lord God said unto me: Make other plates; and thou shalt engraven many things upon them which are good in my sight, for the profit of thy people.
 31 Wherefore, I, Nephi, to be obedient to the commandments of the Lord, went and made these plates upon which I have engraven these things.
 32 And I engraved that which is pleasing unto God. And if my people are pleased with the things of God they will be pleased with mine engravings which are upon these plates.
He is such a great example of obedience!

You can read the whole chapter (2 Nephi 5) from the Book of Mormon here:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

almond art

Second Girl came up with all of this herself, a few days ago. The last part of her lunch was some almonds. I did not even think of making them into something, but she sure did. And I was in the kitchen, not with her in the dining room, when she announced, "Look, Mommy! I made a cross, like the cross Jesus died on. It's a good thing almonds are brown."

Then she told me that she had made a tree, "because Jesus made the world, and it's part of the world."

Our kids make me so happy!

And here's a picture of her from a couple weeks ago, having fun with her great-grandma's bracelets!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

new blogs

I have some projects I want to work on. Yep, even though we will be done moving in about 10 days, I started one of those projects. I will have a nutritarian food blog, but it doesn't have anything published yet. Here's the one I did begin (be sure to read the About page):

Monday, August 11, 2014

"I'm just vehwee busy"

I walked toward the living room tonight and saw C sitting in this box. I absolutely HAD to take a picture and write down what she said.

"I'm just vehwee busy."

"You're very busy?"

"Yeah. I'm vehwee tired."

(I can sometimes relate. Not only was my husband gone with the Army for 2.5 weeks, but the temp job I was able to do forced me to stay up past 2 a.m. Saturday when he was at drill. And we are moving this month! We found an amazing deal on a condo to rent. It's exciting, but thinking about the packing we will do makes me tired. There are some other really good things and changes happening in our family and our families, too (no, I am not pregnant). I'm happy. "Come what may, and love it.")

Friday, July 25, 2014

my friend Andrea

Last week I found something in my old Bible -- the one I got when I was ten and that I want to get the inserts from to transfer to my new one. What I found was the program for my friend Andrea's funeral. I saw that she passed away July 22nd, three years ago. Her husband had checked on her when she was asleep, but her spirit was gone. . . . I have memories of her in Young Women with me on Sundays and on Tuesday nights -- a rock climbing activity stands out to me -- and at camps. I think "service" when I think of her; we served each other. She needed a lot of service from her family because she was born with spina bifida and had to use a wheelchair. One way she served was with her great smile.
See? Great smile.

I love the way she kept in touch with everybody after high school. I mean everybody, because it seems that she was friends with all types of people. She called me regularly to chat from about 2004 on. I learned at her funeral that she had about 200 friends that she called probably at least once a month, but I felt special to her. I didn't always know what to talk about when she called, and she sometimes asked me questions that were hard to answer and explain, like about what it was like being pregnant and being a mom (I don't remember specifics). She said that she wanted to know because she wouldn't be able to be a mom. I remember telling her one evening that I was making bean burgers, and she had never heard of bean burgers but didn't say anything negative. She wanted to understand people, I think, and she is an example of how to listen and "love thy neighbor as thyself." She was a sweetheart and so is the man she married.

I also think about the fact that three years before Andrea passed away, her brother did. I attended his funeral to show support to her. I felt the Spirit and love very strongly at both funerals. Her parents are sure going to have a wonderful reunion after many years apart from their kids. (They lost another son, too, and I actually don't know that story but I think he might have been stillborn.)

It was neat that on July 22nd a familiar song came and played in my mind -- a song that Kenneth Cope wrote about a different girl named Andrea. My think my friend Andrea saw beyond the stars, too. I'm looking forward to seeing her run or do cartwheels or whatever she wants when she is resurrected, with a laugh and a smile on her face!

You can hear part of the song here:
(written by Kenneth Cope)

—for Andrea Goodman and family—

Andrea—you wear the smile of paradise
Andrea—you see beyond the stars
Ever reminding me that angels aren’t that far
My Andrea
Andrea—you wear the wings of innocence
It’s like you don’t belong here on the ground
But then there might be some of us who’d never reach the clouds
Without Andrea

And if day turns into gray
If hope hides far away
I know an angel I can go to for a smile
And that haze that has me blind
Will fade from my mind
Just from the thought of you
My Andrea

Andrea—you’re hoping for a better world
You long to be with Jesus in the sky
And I believe you’re going to see what you desire
My Andrea
Andrea—we feared that we had lost you
Gone without a chance to say “Good-bye”
But thanks to God you’ve come back to stay a while
My Andrea

And if day turns into gray
If hope hides far away
I know an angel I can go to for a smile
And that haze that has me blind
Will fade from my mind
Just from the thought of you
My Andrea

When day turns into gray
When hope hides far away
Then I remember how I feel when you are near
And my heart starts to rise
And light fills these eyes
All from the thought of you
From the love of you
My Andrea

Andrea—teach me the smile of paradise

© 1998 Mohrg├╝d Music (BMI)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

a Throwback Thursday collage

I have been doing some pondering today, and I have felt joy. I have been thinking about new friendships, friendship in general, and ways to serve. Those thoughts and those things make me happy. I overheard two smiling mothers as they passed each other outside of First Girl's school: "How are you?" "I don't even know." "Yeah, seriously." For some reason hearing that made me happy, too. I ate garlicky brussels sprouts before eating the rest of my breakfast. I did some laundry (the kitchen still needs some work). I ran two miles in twenty one minutes while our younger daughters played near me in the fitness center. I've been praying more lately and feeling more hope. And the book I'm reading, The Gift of Giving Life, has given me a better "big picture" perspective about life. When I was looking at twitter, where I don't have a photo across the top (I dislike their new look), I thought maybe I would make a collage for that. I love how it turned out but actually decided on something simpler for my twitter page. It was really fun to look at some of our older photos and to be grateful for those memories. So this is a #tbt -- Throwback Thursday. The sheet music in the background is for the song we danced to at our wedding reception in 2004, but I started to learn how to play the piano when I was seven. (I love Jerome Kern and the sweet lyrics, and loved having Roger play the piano!) I still treasure the feeling of being in the Los Angeles temple with my husband in 2006 when I was pregnant; that was a wonderful night. The top middle photo of the collage is from 2008 when I ran a 10k. The bottom left was taken in 2011, and the others are a little more recent. C is here twice simply because the newborn picture reminds me of when each of our children were newborns, and the beauty of each new life. I always wanted to be a mom. The collage represents some of me, my life, and what is special to me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

a tender conversation between First Girl and Second Girl

Our kids had kind of a hard day today.

In the morning I could tell First Girl needed to keep sleeping and go to school late, if at all. I wasn't sure if she was getting a bit of a cold from her sisters. I think she slept until about 9 a.m. She's usually up by 8, which I know is not very early, but I have gotten in a habit of finishing their bedtime routine after 9 p.m. We didn't rush to eat breakfast. I saw that she didn't have a runny nose, and I didn't hear her cough (but Third Girl definitely did) . . . Anyway, she wanted to go to school, and we dropped her off at 11:30.

An hour later Second Girl was hurrying to the van so I could drive her to preschool, and she fell onto the sidewalk and scraped her elbow. That was after I'd already held her and calmed her down because she didn't really want to go for some reason. I know she enjoys her friends there and explained that she only has two weeks left in that class. Well, then she got another owie before dinner. It was strange how it happened. In the public restroom in D.I. she was raising and lowering the diaper changing table for fun. It wouldn't stay up (closed) and she ended up getting hit with it right between her eye and her temple.

First Girl, being the sweet sister and daughter that she is, helped me by trying to make Second girl happy while I tried on clothes. Oh, and we were all crammed into the little dressing room with the shopping cart, which I should have left out of the room, and they were hungry, and Second Girl wanted to watch Strawberry Shortcake (this one). In spite of the unpleasant things, they had this tender conversation afterward. It warmed my heart and I am grateful that it wasn't the only time they've talked about the gospel. I am so proud of them.

First Girl: Aren't you glad we chose Heavenly Father's plan?

Second Girl: [Yeah.] I'm glad we didn't get real tattoos [at the international fair last night] because Heavenly Father doesn't want us to get real tattoos.*
. . .

First Girl: Imagine how it would be not to be able to run and --

Second Girl: My favorite exercise is running.

First Girl: Yeah, and imagine how it would be if you couldn't. . . .
Second Girl: And we wouldn't be able to be with our mommy.

. . .

First Girl: If we had followed Satan we wouldn't have a family . . . Let's not talk about that.

Second Girl: It's okay to talk about Jesus.

First Girl: You're adorable.



Friday, May 9, 2014

C at 15-23 months old

I shared a video of her last summer, but it's been longer since I wrote an update on C, also known online as Third Girl. Even then it wasn't current. This post has been a draft for a long time. I kept changing the title of it because another month had passed so her age was different. :-) I've kind of missed blogging about our children and sharing some of our many pictures and videos.

This affectionate little girl is . . . 

Walking! This is a major accomplishment so I'm putting it first. C spent months cruising or walking as she held someone's hands (and still bum-scooting to go where she wanted). Then she was walking around -- not just cruising -- since a Sunday in July about a week before turning 19 months. Before that she would do maybe seven steps toward a chair or something, but since that Sunday she was great at walking and almost never fell down. She was so cute when she and I looked at each other while she walked, and she grinned because I was so proud of her. 
I cancelled her eye appointment that was for that week. (Our family doctor had thought maybe her weird right eye -- not quite a "lazy eye" -- was making walking hard. We did see the eye doctor first in May 2013, then again in November. He said it's getting better and we should just see him again a year later.)
walking away from Mommy

Growing. At her 18-month appointment she weighed 18 pounds and a few ounces, which put her in the 3rd percentile, and was 28 inches tall. At 23 months she weighed 20.5 pounds.
Her sixth tooth came in on June 8th (17.5 months) and her tenth tooth came in around 21 months old.

Talking. When it was general conference weekend in October I wrote down some words I knew she could say. She was just over 21 months old. It was about 70 words.

Here are the photos of her on her 15-month day in March 2013:


16 months:

18 months: 

19 months:

20 months (I liked so many of these!):

I will add the 17- and 21- to 23-month-day pictures later. We got a new desktop computer with our tax return money. We haven't sorted and organized our many photos properly yet. I just want this published now. Darn laundry and dishes need me again . . . We are thankful for this sweet soul every day!

Monday, May 5, 2014

"You're such a tool"

Here's a post I've had as a draft for a while. . . . Along with "I can't wrap my head around that" and probably others, "You're such a tool" is a saying I don't like. I've wondered why people started saying this. How did it come to be an insult?

When I looked it up online, I saw that someone on Yahoo! Answers said, "A 'tool' is someone who does not make decisions or statements for themselves. Rather, they parrot a party line and act more on what others may think of them than on what is right." Hmm. What do you think, or what would be your definition of someone who is a tool?

I feel like "you're a tool" should be the complete opposite of an insult. I think we can be tools for good, for our Heavenly Father. It looks like in all of the verses in the Bible and other scriptures the word "tool" simply means a tool that you make something with. But I love the writing that uses the word "instrument".
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. [prayer of Saint Francis]
we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work [source]