Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Flash from the past!

Does this look familiar to anyone? I saw this in a gift shop today--"vintage" MT license plate! Circa 1999!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Joy twinned

And his sister!


This little face gives me so much joy! I have to say that I am loving the stage that the twins are in right now! They are so curious, and adventurous, and becoming more and more themselves everyday. It is such a crazy hard time. Some twin parents say that it doesn't get better until they go to school--not good news to a homeschooler!

Yet even though it is hard, I wouldn't trade it for the world!--More on that later

Preschool is over--more on that later!

We are going on vacation!!--more on that later!

I hope you all have a wonderful memorial day planned this weekend! We do--more on that later ;)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lessons from a measuring tape!

     I have wanted a measurement chart for my kids forever! I love the marks on walls and door jams in homes and cottages all over the world, celebrating the growth and milestones of budding beings. I wanted one that I could take—just in case we ever move. I had seen some adorable charts at friend’s homes or online but when I saw one on pinterest that looked like a ruler, I knew I had to make that! I eagerly clicked on the link only to realize that it was a link to a website where you can buy it. Not only that, but it was $75! I love my kids, and a desperately want to record their growth but, $75 is WAY out of this cheap frugal momma’s budget. So trekked to my nearest Home Depot and picked me up a 4x6, brought it home and stored it nicely in the carport. It sat and sat and sat for months.
     Recently I wanted to make myself a new message center type of thing for the kitchen but, I get kinda crazy about starting a new project when I have another one waiting to be done. I don’t get anal about much, but projects that I have stuff for will never get finished if I let other things jump ahead! Besides I needed to make myself do this project or else I just knew that I would wake up one day and my kids would be grown, and I would feel sick about not celebrating their growth! I needed a way to record those little rites of passage all through childhood.
      Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah—Tuesday. So I made myself pull out my 4x6, a can of stain and a sheet of sandpaper. It went very well. I had seen another tutorial on pinterest about how to paint letters without using a stencil. I decided to use that method for my lines and numbers. I haphazardly started making marks for my lines when I realized that I was off on my long and short lines. My husband then suggested that I make a stencil for the lines. He is brilliant I tell ya! So I made the stencil, painted the lines, used the other method for the numbers and I had a beautiful work of art! . . . until I measured myself and realized that I had shrunk a couple of inches.
     See my stencil was only off by a little over an 1/8 of an inch. But an extra 1/8+ inch per 6 inches made it almost two whole inches off by the time you get to six feet. It looked so cute that I almost left it. I knew though, that it would bother me every day. It would bother me when my kids wanted to see how tall they were and had to get out a measuring tape. It would bother me just because it wasn’t right.
     It is the same in life. Sometimes we think that what we are doing isn’t that big of a deal—it is only a little lie, something little I stole, just a little gossip, just a little rude to someone who is different. The thing about life is that when we start out a little off, we end up a lot off by the end. I went on my mission to Montana. One Sunday we were listening to a newly converted man bare his testimony. I have no idea when he was baptized, but his real conversion had just taken place. He was a hunter (like most Montanans) and he was explaining that if you are heading down the mountain and you are just a few feet off on your course, you can end up miles away from where you were going by the time you get to the bottom of the mountain. He had stated that his life had been a lot like that. Now he offered a solution. He stated that if you have a compass, and check often to make sure that you are still on the right path, then you end up right at your intended location.
     I followed this man’s advice the next day after I sanded all of my numbers and lines off of my beautiful measuring chart. I was a lot more careful in making my stencil. I measured it a few times and just laid my ruler right on my cardstock as I cut. I then taped my measuring tape on the side of the board as I stenciled the lines on. As I painted I checked and rechecked that I was right on course. I repainted my numbers, and measured myself. I was right on! I was so excited and so grateful that I had taken the time to do it again.
But then I made one more mistake. I looked back at my old pin. I had been so pleased with my work, that I didn’t think that I had anything to fear by comparing myself to the professional one. The professional one is cuter. There is just no denying that. I let myself feel bad about it for a few seconds when I realized that I was letting it take away from feeling happy in the creative process. See I have a firm belief, that it isn’t the product, but the process. Human beings have a need to create, and if we are always comparing ourselves to the pros, then we won’t feel the joy of creating. That is another post for another day. But again, my measuring tape taught me to not use it against other people, but to only measure myself against myself—to make sure I am heading where I want to head in life.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Warning: This may be a little on the personal side

I wrote this post a while ago. I was very reluctant to share it so I just filed it away. Today I listened to a brave woman share a similar story. To know I wasn't the only one that had these feelings meant the world to me. It empowered me to share publicly. My hope and prayer is that someone will find this, that needs to know they are not alone in their struggles.               

(4/13/12) I am not sure where to start, I just know that I have to start. I have been feeling strongly lately that I need to blog more. I need to share my heart more. I have been scared to death by this thought but, when a thought consumes you all day and night—you better do something about it. Lately I ready a great article about what our children really need, “Your children want you:” It inspired me to write this post.
A while back I had been feeling like I wanted to blog more. You know, maybe even turn it into a “professional blog.” I had put a lot of time and thought into this, and really had felt directed to follow that prompting. I didn’t know what to blog about though. I thought I could blog about my preschool, and give parents ideas on things to do with their children. I thought about blogging about twins, and helping parents that might feel overwhelmed with the prospect. I had, what I thought, were great ideas . . . and then I joined pinterest. The first time I logged on, I seriously had an anxiety attack. I am not talking figuratively. I seriously couldn’t believe the wealth of information out there. I discovered amazing blogs that were beautifully photographed, and well written. I wasn’t new to blogs—but I guess I never realized how many there were out there.
The feeling kept me away from pinterest for a while but not long. I immersed myself in pinterest. Logically I knew that I didn’t have to do all of those things, but it seemed like some land of good motherhood. I not only felt like I needed to do everything, I felt like even my best efforts couldn’t live up to this grand ideal. In addition, I would get frustrated by things that got pinned—really? Everyone doesn’t know how to melt crayons to make new multi-colored ones? Why didn’t I blog about that first? Then everyone would be repining my blog. It got crazy.
Then it happened—the thing that always happens when you compare yourself to others, either you feel prideful or feel bad about yourself. I felt as if I wasn't good enough. I could not excel. I wasn't gifted enough, smart enough, had enough time, etc. Of course I was comparing every which way I lacked to every which way EVERYONE else excelled. I even read a blog about a family that only accumulates a mason jar full of garbage every year. Can I tell you the guilt I felt multiple times a day as I swept up the Cheerio-mine-field under my table and tossed it in the bin?
Depression abounded, and I won’t even describe the very dark place I went. I started wondering why God had made such a horrible person. Thankfully I didn’t just wonder, I prayed about it. I prayed and prayed and prayed and pleaded and cried unto the Lord. My answer all started with a little gift. My little Cooper is OBSESSED with books. He carries them around with him all the time. He will get fixated on a certain book, and it must be read over and over and over. On this particular day, it was a book hopefully all of you have read: You are Special by Max Lucado. I was on the floor in the twin’s room, still in my workout clothes, my greasy pony tail piled on my head and my cheeks red and splotchy from crying. Cooper brought me the book, and at first I didn’t want to read it to him. After persistence though, I relented, and he and Amelia climbed on my lap. As I read, I cried.
I decided to have faith that I really was a daughter of God and that he didn’t make mistakes. I might not have the power and influence that I dreamed of. I may never be the best at anything, but God does have a purpose for me. The weight wasn’t lifted all at once, it took a few more tears and a lot more prayers but it did come. There were several other factors, and other people that reached out at that time. The joy that followed was greater than my sorrow had been. I recently re-read President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk: “Forget me not” It fit perfectly with my struggle. Here he says it perfectly:
“God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect. Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.
And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.”
He also asked a good question “Am I committing my time and energies to the things that matter most?” Mothers need to ask ourselves this question. Is pinterest evil? No. Is it evil to look for fun projects, healthy tips, new recipes? No. I think that we need to expand our knowledge, and increase our talents. We just don’t have to do everything, all at once. I know I need a little bit of time to pursue my own talents. Yet, I don’t have time, energy, or emotional strength to pursue everyone’s talents.
So I hope that as I share on this blog, no one feels as if I am preaching about what you have to do. I want to share my life, my family, my talents, and even my struggles with anyone that might benefit from it. That is what we are here on this earth to do—to build others up. I strive to do just that.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Easter in pictures!

Amelia is THRILLED!

Now she is ticked!

Now Dad is trying to get them to smile by being silly--dang cute!

At least Amelia thought he was funny!

My favorite--even if Amelia's hand is in front of her face.

There is a 4 year old in the HOUSE!

So a long time ago (as in over a MONTH ago) we had a very special day at our house! Max turned 4! I can't believe that this sweet little guy is the same age Turner was when the twins were born. I am so in love with this kid :) His birthday was conference weekend so we celebrated a day early, and pretty low key. He was just thrilled with everything.
All three boys opening one present!
Max getting his new bike. He was so happy to get it (but took a while to warm up to actually use it)
Max got a quillow for his birthday (a quilt that folds into a pillow) His other sunbeam teacher has one, and he loved it and had been asking for one. My mom jumped on it as soon as I mentioned it. The babies jumped on it as soon as they saw it.
Josh got to spend the party putting the bike together!
Max's train cake that he wanted.
The engine
The circus car in the train!
The rock hauler
Max really wanted a yellow caboose!
My little guy blowing out his candles! Oh how I love this kid!


     I had felt like Turner needed to open his circle of friendship a little wider, and hopefully gain some social and physical skill. So when my friend told me about a community karate class, I jumped at the chance. We had a rough start, with a bathroom break every couple of minutes, goofing off when he was suppose to be practicing a technique, and an inability to partner up on his own. We are still working on the last one, but he is doing really good, and I am thankful for the opportunity. I would love for all of my kids to be involved in a sport and an instrument when they get old enough. We shall see what happens but we are loving our involvement with the city program. After 12 weeks, Turner received his yellow belt!
Turner also got a metal for perfect attendance. The thing that I loved most is that he was so proud of himself. He struggles with self-esteem and tries too hard to fit in. A dear friend of mine told me that her oldest has the same issue. She told me that they tell him all the time that "it is great to be Aiden!" We have adopted the phrase (with the slight alteration of the name.) If I can help my kids foster a couple of traits, one of the top (after a testimony) is self-esteem. width="213" />
     I love Turner's Sensei. Sensei Mike is great with the kids and makes it so fun for them. He is terrific in redirecting the kids. He has tried very hard to help Turner with his individual needs. I need a lot of people in his life that love him, and build him up! It brings tears to my eyes when those special people appear. 

I love this kid! I am so happy that he gets to be a part of this. He really wanted to do soccer so we are starting that in the fall. I am just a little nervous about his eye foot coordination but he will be in the kindergarten team so I am guessing that it will be that way with most of them!