Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cuteness twinned

I have been getting my SLR camera out more lately. My photography hobby had been put away once the twins came. It is also kind of annoying that EVERYONE is into photography now. But that shouldn't keep me from doing something that I love should it? It is amazing how much more fun it is to take pictures with a real camera. And I can actually take a picture of Cooper that isn't blurry. He is pretty cute hu? I also think this one of Amelia is absolutely adorable. I love it when people say she looks like me--I think she is WAY prettier, so it makes me feel good!

On the second day of Christmas!

I wanted to make some type of paper-craft Christmas ordiment. When I saw a no mess glitter project on No Time For Flash Cards, I knew I had found the perfect one. Unfortunately we did not experience the no mess promise, but we did have a fun time.
"It is shake 'n glitter and I helped!"

I loved how I didn't have any "educational" intentions with this project but both boys started making designs and ended up making letters.

Having a little fun with the 'ol macro lens

 The basic jist is that you cut out ordainment shapes out of card stock. Then you give them some double sided sticky tape to make their designs. After they apply the tape, you put it in a plastic bag that contains glitter. Presto--you pull out a glittery ordainment.
 Add a hole punch, thread some glittery pipe cleaners, and hang on your tree,
Here is the final product!
P.S. Four laps down! Today I did it a lot faster too. Plus I have found that I have been sleeping better . . .

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On the first day of Christmas

           I may be a day late and a dollar short, but I want to share my homemade Christmas with you! I plan on posting something everyday that we have made for Christmas. Some might be kids crafts but some of them are going to be presents. So I think I will have to call my Mom and Sister and ask that they don't look at my blog until Christmas. They aren't regular readers anyway but, I might need to ask just in case. 
          So for the first day I am excited to post one of the things we made for my parents.  It is an apron where we used the kids footprints to make snowmen. My friend was telling me about how she had seen this on one of the local morning shows. I have no idea what theirs looked like, but I happen to be in love with mine! I bought the apron at Wal-mart for a few dollars and I have a huge stash of puffy like paints. I just squeezed some of the pain out into a disposable cup and painted the blue and white. I let that dry and Monday night for Family Home Evening Josh helped to make footprints of our crew. That night I pained the twins but the following morning Max and Turner made their footprints into snowmen. Did I mention that I loved how it turned out?? I might have to print off one of these pictures and frame it to add to our holiday decorations. 
          What are some fun things you are making for Christmas?

P.S. Three laps down--I am right on track. You know what? The struggle to make myself do it was a lot harder today but the actual physical act is getting easier! I actually kinda liked it today :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2 down 11 to go!

          That is right folks, I have ran two whole laps on the last two days. I know it doesn't sound like much, but for me it is! As hard as the physical challenge is for me, it is the emotional one that that is the real battle. I know I can do hard things physically--I had twins for crying out loud! If you have never carried twins full term, you probably don't know the kind of pain it brings. The difference between that and my running goal is that I am not being forced to do it!
          I did decide to get pregnant true but I didn't choose twins. Also, most mothers know that we forget how hard pregnancy is in the first place. Once the decision to have another child was made, the difficulty of the pregnancy was no longer a daily choice, I had to do it.
          So now I sit here with another physical challenge before me. Unfortunately I have a choice. I have the choice everyday--do I follow through with my goal or do I give up, and become Gilbert Grape's mom? It is that choice that makes it the biggest challenge of all. I know I can just decide that it isn't a choice and that I will do it everyday--but we all know that we really do still have the agency. So how do you follow through with goals? How do you push yourself when it seems impossible or too hard? How do you follow through when there is nothing "making" you do it? Please please please share, I could use all the help I can get!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I don't ever do this!

          I am one of those people that doesn't like to talk too personally about my fitness. I have been overweight since puberty. There have been times where that weight was lower but, it has been my constant companion. I have wanted to loose weight ever since I could remember. I don't talk about it--it is just too painful for me. I have written about it over and over and over in my personal journals, but not publicly. I don't talk to very many people openly about it. My weight and I have always been "the elephant in the room."
          So I don't know what is compelling me this morning to announce to the whole world wide web that I am setting a fitness goal for myself. Maybe it will help me to stick to it, maybe it will motivate me? More than that, I guess I hope to motivate someone else. Not that everyone needs to lose weight and by no means does everyone need to lose as much as I do, but maybe we all have that personal giant that we need to conquer. I seem to have many.
     So here is the plan--I call it the lazy 5K. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she is doing a lazy iron man this month. She has to complete all of the distances for an iron man but she has all month to do it. I am no where near at that level at this point in my life, but I really like the idea. I like small obtainable goals that lead to a bigger picture. So the first goal is to run a 5K in 13 days (not counting Sundays.) A 5K is roughly 13 "laps" on a track or treadmill counter. So my first goal is to run a lap everyday. I am not in the kind of shape I need to be to run a lap continuously so I will have to break that down everyday. I can walk as much as I need to but I can only count the time I am actually running.
         I know that I can only do this through Christ which strengtheneth me! So here is a strength scripture (or a kick in the rear scripture): Alma 34:33-34  "And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve your time while in this life then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor preformed. Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world."
          So here it goes world wide web--I can't believe I am going to push the publish button on this!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Enjoying a great December day!

 We are finally feeling back to normal at our house after our power adventures. Today was such an nice day! We went over to tri-city nursery for their festivities there, but we a little early so we headed to the park! I was amazed that I was comfortable in just a sweatshirt. But, you can tell by the runny noses in all of the pictures that there was still a nip in the air.

When Milzy sees a camera she pulls this face and says "tease (cheese)" It is so funny!

The only one I got of both of them smiling and it had to be blurry! Well, when in doubt, go black and white :)

I love this little baby bum! Too-Toop is wearing jeans that Josh's mom made for him when he was a baby! They have made it through a slew of Thomson boys, but I think Toop might just wear them out since he still isn't walking!

I can't resist putting two of Buddyr up here, he looks so happy in both of them. Of course to get him to smile, I told him to tell me a joke, so he told me a joke about a monkey pooping (which wasn't a joke at all!) Boys! Boys! Boys!

We made it to tri-city nursery and they had face painting. He cried when I washed it off tonight.

Here are the Thomson 4! Buddy did not want to have anything to do with Santa! He had just got a letter from him this morning, delivered by our friendly scout elf, and he still didn't want anything to do with him!
I hope that everyone is enjoying the Holidays! I am busy busy busy making gifts. I am not sure that anyone that I am making them for reads my blog, but I better be careful just in case! I will post my projects for the kids--when I get around to making those :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What a girl can learn in 86 hours!

The dry hurricane of 2011 is how I will lovingly refer to the storm that came upon us late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning. The winds were over 100 mph as they rolled down the Wasatch Range and into the valley. They flicked shingles off roofs and toppled 100 year old trees. The winds peeled off siding like a child unwrapping a gift, and sent fences flying like kites. In some instances, it lifted corners of roofs off of houses and made tresses hover above the home they were designed to protect. Electric poles toppled like dominoes, sending sparks that resembled fireworks across the sky, and left the east part of a county in the dark.
The electricity flickered through the night, and by the way the winds were howling, when it turned off at 6:30 am Thursday morning, I knew it wouldn’t be for only a moment. I did expect it to come back on before preschool started at 9am though. I looked out the window that morning after my kids woke up and saw our 50 year old pine swaying like a daisy in the wind. I feared that it might come down on top of our home, so I gathered my kids like a hen gathers her chicks and herded them into the basement. I was so thankful that I had been inspired to stock up on candles at the local thrift store the weekend before. We ate cheerios by candle light and waited out the storm. The storm didn’t stop by 9:00 or 10:00—it wasn’t until 12:00 that I finally felt safe enough to emerge from the basement.
I first noticed the pine tree across the road that toppled and crushed the fence of the neighbor. I had no clue of the destruction that had spent the communities around me. I was grateful for my gas stove and cooked up some grilled cheese for my kids. We played Chutes and Ladders and enjoyed the day. The battery in my phone was going so I decided to take a drive so I could charge it in my car. It was also getting very cold in my house and I wanted to warm up my children. Josh had been nervous about me building a fire, because he was afraid it would smoke us out and then we would really be in trouble.  During the drive I realized the damage that this storm really had done and realized that it might be a long while before we got power back on. I wasn’t prepared for it taking 3 ½ days though!
I did end up making a fire, (and my skills are so good that there was no smoking us out—credit given to girls camp, and mostly my Thompson Falls days in MT) and we are fortunate enough to have a fireplace insert that heats the basement very efficiently. I was planning on making foil dinners to throw into the fireplace that night but as we drove by Arctic Circle, on our way to pick up the meat, the lighted windows, warm place to run around and the promise of not having to clean up in the dark, lured us to indulge in fast food.
Arctic Circle (a local hamburger chain—with a playground) was one of the few restaurants that had electricity. It was full of other families, just like ours, making a retreat from our cold, dark homes. I noticed several other moms sporting the mom ponytail (you know, you gather your hair and twist it in some type of pony tail without even looking in a mirror or combing your hair first,) and quite a few kids still in their PJs. At one point, someone came in and announced that the Honda mini-van had its door open—and I wasn’t the only one who stood up. Don’t worry, it was mine.
That night we had a slumber party in the basement around the fire and we weren’t cold for a single second. Without TV to watch, a sewing machine to do projects, a computer to blog, we all went to bed around 8pm. Josh got up and went to work the next morning, business as usual for commuters. After we ate cheerios in the dark again, I was getting bored and I felt very isolated. As I looked out the window upstairs, I noticed a group of neighbors hacking away at the tree that had fallen across the street. With four kids in tow, I didn’t feel like I could be of much service. After thinking about it for a little while, I decided that if nothing else we needed to go for a walk.
I only made it across the street. My neighbor’s girls played with my kids and I helped out. It felt so good to be part of the community and working together to help people out. I was very warm physically and emotionally as I worked side by side with neighbors and friends. I was able to lend tools, and provide some service. There is nothing like watching a community come together and support each other. I worked outside as long as I could. By mid-afternoon the twins were ready for a nap and their feet were freezing. I attempted to put them down by the fire, but with the rest of us hanging out, there was no sleep for them.
A little while later, my husband called and told me to pack a bag because we were staying at a hotel. I reminded him that we didn’t have the money to do such a thing. If we did that, then our kids wouldn’t have Christmas this year. He then told me that my father-in-law’s boss had paid for a hotel for us for a couple of nights. It was a suite with two bedrooms and a kitchen. It was heaven sent! We were able to check in, get warm, and sleep in nice comfortable beds. I couldn’t believe that someone would do that for us. It was such a blessing. We stayed at the hotel until Sunday morning when we had to check out. By this time we had quite a few friends and family that now had electricity so we just needed to figure out where to go.
We went to church and our local leaders encouraged everyone to go out and help clean up all of the debris, as another wind storm was expected that night. I dropped my kids off with a friend and went to help my Mother-in-law cook. We cooked over 15 gallons of soup and 250 bread sticks for everyone in need of a warm meal, especially those helping to clean up in the cold. It was amazing to drive through the streets and see literally hundreds of people helping one another. The national guard had been called in and business owners had donated trucks, trailers, dump trucks and employees to help with the clean-up effort.
After the soup dinner, we went back home to gather our things to stay at a neighbor’s and the electricity came back on. It was quite the miracle! There were several things that I learned in my 86 hours without electricity.
1.       People are amazing in times of crisis. It was so wonderful to see how many people were looking out for each other, checking on the elderly, filling the streets to help and making food for each other. Of course, and then there was my father-in-law’s boss who paid hundreds of dollars for us and my in-laws to have a safe, warm place to stay.
2.       D&C 38:30 “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” Now this disaster wasn’t as wide spread as some, but I wasn’t afraid for even a moment. I knew we had fuel to keep us warm (our large wood pile) and food for a long, long time. Maybe not a year supply but we had food.
3.       People probably didn’t spend much time living in their basement before the invention of electricity—it got pretty dark down there for most of the day. On that note—I wonder if humans were meant to sleep more in the winter and less in the summer? Before alarms and clocks, I wonder how different sleep patterns were.
4.       Don’t procrastinate! I was kinda (okay—a lot) behind in laundry when the storm hit. That really bit me in the bum big time!
5.       Have more candles than just smelly ones. When you mix lemon loaf, melon, and ginger citrus together—it doesn’t smell yummy. Have quite a few non-scented candles on hand. Make sure that you have some that can be transported when needed (ones in glass jars tend to get hot.)
6.       If your house is in order, you can find things a lot easier. We have been working on this and it made a huge difference. But finding a bag of flour with a flashlight is harder than you would think!
7.       Make sure you have hand crank radio or a battery powered one (with batteries of course.) Luckily we still had cell service, but having to call friends to see what was being reported wasn’t the easiest way to get information.
8.       Have things to do in your 72-hour kit. It gets boring in the dark!
9.       Have your chimney’s checked. I had several friends that couldn’t stay in their home because they didn’t know if their chimney was clean enough to build a fire or not.
10.   I want to have our gas fireplace upstairs converted to a wood burning fireplace that puts out heat! It was warm in the basement but light upstairs. If we could have been warm where there was light, it would have been a little bit easier on us.
11.   Get a battery powered CO2 sensor. There is nothing like going to sleep and wondering if you will all wake-up in the morning.
12.   I *heart* electricity! I am especially thankful for the machines they operate—in this order: My washing machine, my refrigerator, lighting in my basement, the heater, and my oven. (We have a gas stove but not a gas oven . . . hummm??? That might have to change!)
13.   Empathy for natural disaster victims all over the world. This was nothing compared to what some of them go through, but I understand a little bit better.
14.   Most of all, I can weather a storm. I don’t need to be afraid!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kicking off the season in high gear!

Last year, I did pretty much NOTHING for Christmas. There was no gingerbread house, nothing homemade, we may have gone and looked at Christmas lights once. It was just a very crazy year. The babies were starting to "wake-up" (you know where they go from sleeping all the time to crying all the time.) We also had a flood in our basement a couple of days before Thanksgiving and lived on one level until new years! All gifts were store bought and I didn't give a single neighbor gift. I had a hard time listening to all of the fun and traditional holiday activities everyone else was doing. It just wasn't in the cards for me last year. But it is this year, and I am going to blog about it! Just in case I have another year where life doesn't lend itself to holiday magic, I can look back and realize it is just a season.

So far this year, the only flood we have had was yesterday, when Max decided to see how much toilet paper he could put down the drain and then filled the sink with water!

Yesterday we went to the Kaysville City light parade. It was small and short--the way a parade should be. :) We had a lot of fun, then we had our neighbors and Josh's parents over for hot chocolate. I even made it from scratch! It was a great night.

See that lady in in the picture (on the left) she has 15 month old triplets. Is it crazy that I am a little jealous? 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Almost 100

My Grandpa Anderson would be 100 on Monday. To honor him and my grandma, my family is having a family reunion tomorrow. I can't be there. But I am so thankful for them! Here are some memories I have of them!
My Grandparents
Joseph Arvin Anderson and Georgia Olsen Anderson; most people called them Arvin, and Georgia but I just called them Grandma and Grandpa. I feel very blessed that I got to grow up so close to my maternal grandparents. I wasn’t as blessed as my cousins that lived across the street or in the same town, but we were about two-and-a-half hours from my grandparents. I felt I was pretty blessed in comparison to some kids. Especially considering my paternal grandparents were a whole state away—I thought two-and-a-half hours was wonderful.
The drive to Mesa was full of excitement and anticipation. I could hardly wait to see my grandparents and spend time with my extended family. With seven kids in our family, my parents never owned a vehicle that had enough seat-belts for all of us. As a parent now, I can only imagine my own parents as they loaded up the seven kids in the van. Someone was always on the floor or in a makeshift bed in the “cargo area.” I remember a lot of rounds of the “alphabet game” and countless verses of “99 bottles of ‘pop’ on the wall” in attempts to make the time pass faster. There were a lot of “he touched me”s, and even more “are we there yet”s.
I remember a few times being stuck in traffic and someone having to go to the bathroom. If they announced it at a time where stopping was impossible, then it was always followed up with a sibling making water noises. Most of these games were followed my mom’s suggestion of playing “the quiet game.” I am sure she needed a few moments of peace! We loved the quiet game. We would earn a penny for every mile we could stay quiet. We were sure that we would become rich from such a game. Sometimes the trip got a little crazy but when we got to grandma and grandpa’s it was always worth the it.
My memory can still smell the aroma that greeted us as we would get out of the van. In the winter time the smell of citrus blossoms, and growing fruit would swirl around us and lighten any travel worn mood that may still be lurking. In the summer it was the smell of Bermuda grass cooking in the heat of the blazing sun. If our shoes had ever been kicked off during the road trip, they were instantly put back on in order to walk up the burning front walk to the large wooden door. The door looked like sculpted chocolate as the wood carvings swirled in the dark heavy brown wood. All I knew is that there would be love and laughter (and maybe a little air conditioning) waiting on the other side.
Their beautiful, simple white brick rambler home is still the house that most of my dreams take place in. The bedrooms were few and small but the living area was large and would allow for many guests. To me that home represented what my grandparents held very dear, their family. My grandparents had four daughters and one son. They loved all of their children, and counted their son and daughter-in-laws among them. This granddaughter never heard a negative word about any of them. As much as my Grandma loved her children, she also loved their spouses and her grandchildren just as much! My grandma was a school teacher and loving children came naturally to her, but of all the children she loved in the world, you knew that her grandchildren were priceless to her.
One of my earliest memories of Grandpa was when he would give us “rosy cheeks.” Grandpa would scoop us up in his arms and rub his day old whiskers across our cheeks, giving them a nice rosy glow. I remember asking him to stop—all the while, giggling and loving the feeling of being in his arms. I can still faintly remember his deep crackly voice and his sweet chuckle. The memory of which reminds me of his light hearted spirit and his love for teasing.
Everyone always remembers grandpa being the “snickers man”. I also remember grandma having frozen treats in her freezer and a frozen “snickers” ice cream bar was almost always found among them! I loved the treats they gave us, but more important than sweet food, I remember my grandparents always sharing sweet words.
I remember one time Grandpa called our house and I happened to answer the phone. He didn’t instantly ask for my mom, he chatted with me for a little while. I remember feeling special, and important because he wanted to talk to me! I recall him asking me the normal questions, “how is school? What is going on in your life?” etc.… I loved talking with him. Yet there is one thing that he said to me that I will never forget, “Tiffany” Grandpa said to me, “you are a beautiful girl and someday the boys will be lined up around the block for you.” He probably said that to all of his granddaughters, for he has some beautiful girls, but I felt very special. With those kind words, my grandpa made me feel beautiful.
That experience was just one illustration of the bond that I felt like I had with my grandpa. The other was the song he wrote for me when I was born. My parents had been blessed with four boys in four years. They were rowdy and rough and my mother had given up on the idea of ever having a little girl. To their surprise baby number five was a beautiful baby girl (me!) My grandpa wrote a song about how wonderful having a little girl is. I loved hearing the song. He sang it when I was baptized at the age of 8. My family also sung it to me on the day I got married. It made me feel so special that my grandpa wrote a song for me! When you grow up in a large family, something just for you is rare so that song has meant so much to me.
When you talk about memories of my grandma the first word that comes to mind is teacher and the second is drama.  When I say drama, I don’t mean the current definition of someone who is always creating a scene, and making mountains out of molehills. My grandma used drama to teach, to convey emotion through a message, and most of all to entertain. She wasn’t one who enjoyed conflict, she enjoyed laughter. My grandma could deliver a speech with conviction and a poem with passion. As children we loved to sit and listen as she recited, from memory, dozens of favorite verses that not only entertained but often had a little moral. The best teachers I know are ones that teach in such a way where learning isn’t a chore.
My grandma loved people. She always had kind words to say about everyone. I can’t recall her ever spreading gossip or talking bad about anyone. I remember her open arms and an easy smile for all those she loved. Gladness would spread across her face whenever she saw a friend, or loved one. Grandma was a people person.
There are sounds, sights and smells that always remind me of grandma’s house. One of them is the smell of bacon. Grandma always cooked great food. One night she was at our house because my parents were out of town. Grandma had cooked beef stroganoff for us to eat for dinner. At the time, it wasn’t my favorite meal and I made sure she knew about it. She made sure I knew that complaining about a meal that has been prepared for you is very rude and unacceptable. It was a lesson that I haven’t forgotten.
The sound of a ceiling fan also always reminds me of grandma and grandpa’s house. I spent many nights sleeping in the family room at my grandma’s and they had a ceiling fan. The whirling of the ceiling fan often lulled me to sleep. Spending the night at grandma’s house was great! Grandpa often would make sourdough pancakes and of course there was usually bacon. I remember several occasions where sleeping bags were spread out across the floor and cousin after excited cousin sprawled out across the expanse of the living or family room. Some say our family is different because the cousins are so close. I know that it was nights like these that added to that closeness.
I remember seeing pictures in my Grandparent’s home. There were paintings that adorned the walls, but I remember the pictures of loved ones. Grandma and Grandpa had a missionary table full of their grandchildren that served missions. I remember watching as the first pictures started filling the table. It started with the Simon cousins, which lived far away. Even though they lived across the country, we knew them. My grandma allowed them to be examples in our lives. Then my own brothers started filling up the table. I knew that I wanted to follow the example of my great-grandma, grandma, grandpa, father, brothers, cousins, uncles and countless ancestors and also serve a mission. I was very excited the day that I got to join the missionary table as the first female descendent to serve a full-time mission.
Another picture that was influential in my life was the picture that grandma and grandpa displayed of their wedding day. It always reminded me that we were an eternal family. I knew that because my grandparents were sealed in the temple that we would always be together. It always gave me a reason to do my best, to be part of our large eternal family.
The most recent memory I have of Grandma and Grandpa Anderson was November 29, 2008. They both had passed away by this time. That was the day that I was sealed for time and all eternity to my sweetheart, and my two little boys. There were so many of our friends and family there with us. As I looked around and saw the faces of those I loved, my spirit felt the presence of those whom could not be seen. My grandparent’s presence was so strong—I could tell you exactly where they were standing.
Through this and other experiences—I know families are forever. I am so glad that I have such amazing grandparents. Their legacy will live on. I enjoy telling my children about my grandparents. They have left us with so much to aspire to. I pray I can do just that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Where have I been? Eating a little humble pie.

         I love Thanksgiving. I have such a testimony of gratitude . . . or so I thought. I believe that we need to express our gratitude for all that we have in life. I have so many things to be thankful for. Yet while I was trying really hard this month to focus on the things I was thankful for, the things that I wasn't thankful for seemed to pervade my mind. I know that it is okay to want things to be different, because I also believe in goals, dreams, and aspirations. The way I want things to be seems to have taken over me lately though. I got frustrated and lost sight of what I really have. I was reminded today that we are commanded to be thankful in all things. That is right folks, ALL things.
          Have you read "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom? If you haven't, go check it out of your local library right now! Or, better yet, order right now. It is a classic. It is a true story about Corrie and her sister Betsie, whom helped smuggle Jews out of Holland. Wonderful-story, short--They get caught and are sent to a concentration camp. Betsie is the most thankful person alive. She is religiously devout and shares her beliefs with others in the concentration camp. They get moved to a camp where they are in a room swarming with fleas. Corrie is horrified by the situation and Betsie suggests that they offer a prayer of gratitude for their new accommodations. Corrie states that there is no-way that she could be grateful for fleas. Betsie reminds her that they are commanded to be grateful in all things. So they offer the prayer and later learn that they are able to hold a nightly scripture class with other prisoners only because the guards won't go in that room, because of the fleas.
         It was such a good reminder this morning to be thankful for all things. In the Doctrine and Covenants it states four times that all things shall work together for your good. (D&C 90:24, 98:3, 100:15, 105:40.) That means that we should not only say that we are thankful for our trials, and the "less than perfect" circumstances in our lives, we really should be thankful for them! How do you know that you are thankful for something? You express it! So here are at least 8 things (to make-up for my week off) that I am thankful for today. Some of them may have been things that I previously had a hard time with, but I won't tell you which ones because that wouldn't be fair!
  1. Our van. It gets us places safely. I am able to fit all of my kids in there, in their car seats. I can usually get music to play on the radio. Silence is a nice alternative though sometimes.  It has taken me to Arizona three times this year to see my family. Did I mention that it runs?!?! It even passes safety and emissions! What a wonderful car.
  2. My four wonderful kids, so close together.There are so many wonderful things about having so many kids, so close together! My kids are great friends. Today Buddy wanted to go play with a friend, but he didn't want to go by himself. Moo-moo couldn't play with friends because he had chosen not to do his job. Both of the boys were upset about not being able to be with each other. The twins have a hard time being without each other also, and the four of them all adore each other. Don't read too much into this either and think my kids have the perfect relationship--this post though is to write about the positive and I won't discredit that by writing things that are negative.
  3. My marriage. I know earlier in the month I wrote about being thankful for my husband, but a marriage is so different than a person. When I got married, my family didn't know my husband very well. He had only been home to meet my family one time. There were many who where concerned about my choice. I wasn't one of them--at the time. If I have ever had a time I have a moment where I question my choice, God reminds me why we were suppose to be together. We compliment each other in so many ways. Sometimes in a marriage, it is the yin and yang and is the hardest. Those are the places where you learn to stretch and grow. Stretching and growing isn't always pleasant, but that is why I am thankful for my marriage. I have grown so much, and my husband has too.
  4. My husband's job. I am so thankful that he is employed! We have an income!
  5. Neighbors. I am blessed with a host of neighbors whom would do anything for me!
  6. Self reflection. Okay this one I will tell you--I wasn't thankful for this one. I have eaten humble pie lately. I have realized that things I once prided myself in--I am not that good at. I have a lot of work to do, and sometimes I get very overwhelmed by the amount of work I need to do on myself!
  7. Housework. I am so thankful that I can take a dirty, sloppy room and turn it into a orderly haven. 
  8. My body. I am thankful that I have a body that can work. I can get on the floor and play with my kids. I can take a walk. I have eyes that can see, ears that can hear, a nose that can smell, a mouth that can taste and fingers that can feel.

 God is good! So can you think of some things that you really are blessed to have (even if you once thought that it wasn't a great thing?)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pioneer Heritage

          This chair, that Milzy is sitting in, belonged to her namesake: Helen Amelia Whiting Buchanan. It was made by her father, Edwin Whiting. Helen Amelia was my great-great-great Grandmother. Her family crossed the plains when she was 12 years old. My grandmother has a cross-stitch that she did when she was just a little girl. I love that I come from Mormon Pioneer stock. I saw the movie 17 Miracles for the first time yesterday. It was a lot more graphic than I thought it would be. I have heard the stories, I have been to a couple of sites even, but there is so much power in film. Most pioneer companies didn't face those types of hardships. Some of my ancestors came across in a company that didn't lose anyone. The trek was a few months. Can you imagine those few months though? They were amazing people. I am thankful for all that they sacrificed for me. I am thankful for their strength, for it teaches me that I can also have strength in my trials. I am thankful for their faith, for it shows me that even if it doesn't make sense now--it will someday. If they can carry on through faith through their trials, I can also. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Double duty

I totally forgot to post what I was thankful for yesterday! So today I will be doing double duty. I am going to keep it simple tonight--no long wordy-posts . . . well less wordy at least!
  • I am thankful for my home. I don't live in a large house. I live in a small, simple house. In fact it is so small, I had a couple of people ask me if we were going to move when I had the twins. It is an old house, a simple house. There are no frill and no luxuries, by local standards. There isn't even a master-bathroom. I love it! I love that my kids can't get lost in our house. I love that it forces all of us to be together. I love that it is warm and cozy. I love that it protects us from storms. I love that it is big enough to have room to play and learn. I love that it is simple. I love the flowing creek in my backyard. I love the cherry and peach trees. I love my neighborhood. I love my house and the people that live in it. I am thankful for my small, simple home.
  • I am thankful that the twins are becoming toddlers. Even though I think babies become toddlers when they WALK, they are still entering into that phase. There is just so much personality and and discoveries EVERYDAY! I love it! It is such a fun age! Honestly all my kids are in a very fun stage right now. The only compensation for all of my kids growing up is that I love who they are becoming!

Too Late?

My little devil and angel
Finally I got around to doing the Halloween pictures. I know it is a little late, but better late than never, right? Halloween was pretty low-key this year. I did a lot more for the holiday last year when I had two brand new infants. Then again, I wasn't teaching preschool or taking a writing class. I have to admit though, two toddlers is busier than two infants!

I have a hard time getting this boy to look at the camera long enough to get a picture! Most of the time his face is just blurry!

Josh Made his costume 100% by himself! I love being married to such a creative man.

Halloween breakfast.

Here is the whole crew ready to trick or treat!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Those who risk their lives

My dad and his sisters
We all have a part to play in this world. Some fulfill their life mission, and some don't. Babies and small children sometimes fulfill their life missions within a matter of minutes, days, or a few years. Some of us take a little longer. And even a few, wish their life mission was already past. This has been on my mind a lot in the past few years. I honestly believe that there is a place for everyone on this earth. I was taught, and fully believe, that all of us can teach each other something. Not all of us will get paid or praised for our life's work, but it all truly matters. 
     Some people were put on this earth to be warriors; whether they wage social, spiritual, or civil wars. It is who they are inside—not even physically, but emotionally. Those individuals stand up when others retreat, and they fight when others would flee. Where would we be without warriors? Well, nowhere. The first predatory animal that came our way, we would have become as extinct as the dodo bird.
            War has been waged throughout the ages, some of it justified, and some not. There have been warriors to fight those battles and I am thankful. I am especially thankful for those individuals that may not have warrior’s blood running through their veins, but they fought anyway. Whether they lived or died, won or lost, their wiliness to do it for the greater good matters. When was the last time you were willing to sacrifice yourself for others? Maybe not even your life, but your pride? Some people put their lives on the front line for us. When was the last time you were willing to be mocked or made fun of, for something that you believed in?
            I am truly thankful today for all of the veterans and all whom have served in the military, war or peacetime. I am thankful for what they sacrificed for our country—my grandfather, father, Uncle, and two brothers especially. I am thankful for the spouses, children and parents whom also sacrifice so much. The veterans of our country’s willingness to sacrifice their lives for me is very humbling.
            How do we repay that sacrifice? I don’t believe that my mission in life is to be on the battle front of wars. But looking at the example of those who serve, gives me the courage to fight the battles in my life that need to be fought. It also helps me to sacrifice myself, and especially my pride, for the greater good. And I feel very blessed that those that give, so unselfishly help to protect my right to follow my heart, to fulfill my life’s mission—whatever that may be.