Simplify

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A long time ago my mother-in-law gave me a little plaque that says, “simplify.”  It has held a lot of meaning for me through the years but recently that plaque has been catching my eye.  As I have been pondering on this, it seems like I have always just lived simply.  I haven’t wanted to do or have extravagant things, just have always longed for the basic things in life.  I grew up with the knowledge that our family didn’t have a lot of money and sometimes that was frustrating to me when I was comparing myself to others, but looking back I am grateful for the small and simple things in my life when I was growing up.  We would take turns going to my grandparent’s homes on Sundays after church and what sweet memories those are to me.  I loved going to their homes.  My Grandpa and Grandma on my dad’s side was always an adventure.  They had this amazing hanging bench swing in a gazebo in the back yard, so many wonderful memories there.  My Grandma and Grandpa on my mom’s side lived on a little farm in the middle of nowhere land, but it was always so much fun to go.  My Grandma would play cards with us almost every time we went and she would always make us think that we were going to win, BUT she always won and won BIG!  She was also an avid reader.  I loved looking at the books on her shelf and asking her what she was reading.  My mom in past years told me that I was a lot like my Grandma and I am so grateful for that.  Today some of my most prized possessions are some of my Grandma’s books that I have.  They are tender and sweet memories of my beloved Grandma.  I guess this is where my love of simple things comes from, the simple memories of my life that I treasure.

I know that my kids will not remember the “stuff” they get but the feeling that they had when they worked hard for something and the small memories.  I hope they remember all the silly tickle fights we have and the kissy hugs and long road trips to their Grandma’s and Grandpa’s homes.  When we were looking for a home, instead of a big house with all the room that we want for cheaper, we decided a smaller home closer to my husband’s work was more important.  Our home we live in is nothing fancy, but it FEELS like home and we love to have fun.  We don’t have any streaming video or cable or video gaming systems, we have PBS and we have each other.  Every night is a gift to spend together and it usually goes too fast, bedtime seems to come faster every night.  We don’t have money to have expensive clothes for any of us, but I am grateful for all the people in my life that have passed down clothes to us, what a blessing.  We don’t have a huge budget by any means but we have the basics and we choose to live simply and enjoy the small things.  I can’t imagine life without my amazing husband and my precious little ones, who are teaching me so much.  I am grateful for the memories of those that are not here physically, but who I can hear cheering me on, when I am feeling down.  I am grateful to live a simple, yet full life, where I can hopefully make a difference in a little way, just like my Grandma.

Confessions of THIS mom, Part 1…sleeping, or the lack of

I am not a morning person.  I really want to be, but I have figured out that sleep is too important to me.  That may sound really dumb, but let me explain.  Since having kids and staying home with them, I have realized that if I don’t get sleep I am not a very good mom at all.  The newborn stage of kids, I would say by far, is the hardest stage of life.  Keeping up with the demands of a newborn and other kids can be brutal and I had a hard time keeping my head straight because I wasn’t sleeping.  After my first baby I had to go back to work while my husband finished his last semester of his bachelor degree and found a job.  I worked four 10-hour days, which really was like 12 hours away because of driving time and lunch time.  I woke up at 5 am every morning to pump milk and then get ready to go to work.  I pumped at work as well and came home around 7 pm to feed her and put her to bed.  The schedule was brutal.  For my last baby my husband was in graduate school. Even though I was able to stay at home and not work it was still hard because I was aware of my husband’s need to sleep to be able to function.  SO…as my kids have grown I have found myself wondering how in the world did I ever survive?  But I did.

Now, I just know that I need sleep.  I really want to be that mom that wakes up early, exercises, fixes a wonderful breakfast for her husband and her kids and walks out the door ready to go, but that is not my reality.  Yes, most of the time I take my kids to school in my pajamas.  I have tried at times to wake up before my kids and exercise, but WITHOUT fail my kids always wake up earlier than my alarm…ALWAYS!!!!!  I have tried at times to wake up early and read in the quiet of the morning, but my eyes are usually burning because of lack of sleep.  Granted, I am not the best sleeper.  If something wakes me up…uh said children…it takes me A LONG time to get back to sleep.  I am jealous sometimes of the ability that my sweet husband has to just roll over and be in dream land…how would it be?  So I am trying to embrace my need for some more sleep.  Scott and I have an unwritten rule that we don’t stay up past a certain time.  I try and get as many things done at night after the kids have gone to sleep and call it a day.  No, I will probably never be the person that gets up early and exercises (I wish I was because I am not the best at exercising) but I will at least be able to be a good mom because I have gotten some sleep!

Today my four year-old asked me why I am always tired…I could have named a lot of things i.e. daylight savings time, but instead I asked him why he was always grumpy at breakfast.  He didn’t have an answer, just a little head nod, and we moved on with our day.  To all of you moms out there that are morning people, you amaze me and I hope that one day I can be more like you!

Lately…

Lately, I haven’t felt much like writing.  When I started this blog I promised myself that I was not going to be one of THOSE people who started a blog and loved it for awhile and then left it. Also, my introvert has been coming out and saying that no one really cares and who knows how many people actually read this blog and why do I share things with people who don’t even know me.  I am not leaving…I have just decided that some things are more important that others.  I have found myself the last month reflecting on how important each day is and have been living in the moment, instead of always thinking ahead to what is coming.  I have done that for most of my life.  When this happens…I can’t wait until….I wish it was Saturday.  If I just keep looking toward the next thing, I am truly missing the journey of it all.  It has been amazing to just enjoy what is happening today, NOW, and watch my cute kids as they are learning and growing.

Some kid observations, if you don’t mind… First, my 4 year-old son. He is a constant question, he has questions about everything.  I am so grateful that his little brain is working, and learning, and growing, and sometimes it gets annoying to keep hearing questions but I have become more mindful of his questions and have started answering them truthfully and he is learning that mom AND dad don’t know everything!  Then we get to learn something new!  How fun!  He has also been learning sight words and has been reading.  It is amazing to see him connect all that he is learning and see him realize that HE CAN read!   He has been totally empowered by that!  He is a tender hearted, sweet,tickle lover, rule following and rule stretching kid and I sure love him!

Second, my 2 year-old.  She is such a girly girl.  My other daughter is not, but we are experiencing everything pink and princess.  Some days there are fights between her and her brother because he is calling her by her name and she insists that her name is “Princess Ana”.  She loves to wear a dress and will cry her eyes out if she doesn’t get to wear one . She decides what princess she is by how she wants her hair done.  Two braids or pig tails= Princess Ana, one braid with a beautiful bow=Queen Elsa, hair down=Rapunzel and on and on and she will tell you, “I am a beautiful princess”.  When I ask her if her bed is warm and snuggly, she always responds with “No, my bed is cute.”  She has been picking up on songs, and if she catches you at the piano, expect to stay there.  If she catches you on the couch by the library books, expect to stay there until all are read.  Her first question almost every morning is, “Will you read me a book?”  And if you think a 2 year-old can’t talk, well let me assure you, she can talk, a lot!  She is sweet, super cute, feisty, has her own opinion, and loves to eat condiments and I sure love her!

Lastly, my first born.  My 6 year old who will say, “I am almost 7!!!!!!!” She loves to read.  Over Christmas, Great-Grandma gave her an abridged version of “Anne of Green Gables”.  She has read the whole thing twice, so we decided to get the movie from the library.  I remember waiting for it to come on PBS when I was little and they always had to continue it the next day because it is so long.  Well, we finally got it from the library (we actually had to put it on hold because it was ALWAYS checked out) and started watching it this weekend.  She laughs and laughs and keeps saying, “I won’t tell you what happened next, because I don’t want to ruin it for you.”  I have forgot how great the movie is and it is way more funny now too!  She is learning so much at school and it was awesome to ask her a couple of days ago what the difference between a long “a” and a short “a” is and she totally knew the answer.  It made my English loving husband so proud!  She is sassy, has the greatest belly laugh in the world, is a thinker, creative, a bookworm, and tells me what to do some times, and I sure love her!

Lately I have just been enjoying life.  It has been great to also spend more time with my husband and to read.  Have I told you that I love reading, well I do.  So instead of day dreaming about a post to write, my mind has been busy with being in the present.

Blessed with Earthly Angels and a Big Mama Bear

The past couple of weeks we have been especially blessed.  We have had two different packages left on our door step, one specifically for our kids (so full of little toys and things the box wasn’t even closed all the way) and another one for the kids and us, as parents (Little People Nativity and some Christmas cash).  I can’t even tell you what these few things have meant to me.  Remember my post about not feeling like I matter, well receiving these unknown gifts made my heart burn.  It was a tender reminder to me, that someone out there was thinking of our family.  I have no idea who gave us those gifts, but the greatest gift they really gave, was love.  It wasn’t about the gifts really for me, it was the joy that entered our home when our kids especially felt SPECIAL LOVE for them.  I didn’t feel like we were worthy of such gifts, but the gift of love and joy are true gifts from a Heavenly Father that loves us.  What a blessing to see this happen in our own home.  Then this week, some special new friends, have picked our family to do the 12 days of Christmas to.  I have no idea who it is, but our kids look forward to it every night.

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To say that I don’t feel blessed, would be a lie.  How blessed I feel by “earthy angels” who have shared love and joy in our home and continue to do so.  What a blessing!  I hope you are looking for the blessings in your life and in ways to be a blessing to those around you.

With all that said though, there is more.  Some days I feel like I’ve got this parenting thing down, but other days I feel like a complete failure.  I felt like this week has been a dismal failure.  Maybe, it is way too many failures that have culminated.  They have been complaining about EVERYTHING and one kid has even started the “I never get to do what I want to do…”.  The other huge struggle this week…eating dinner.

We have been working on breaking our kids’ habit of being picky eaters.  We have introduced a lot of new food along with new rules for dinner.  One rule is they have to try 5 bites of whatever is new.  They don’t have to LIKE it, but they have to EAT it.  Well, tonight it was all out war.  I was excited to eat dinner until the complaining started before I even sat down.  I love cooking, I love baking, and it is hard to hear complaining before I even reach the dinner table.  Ugh.  This challenge of introducing new things etc., is not for the weak in spirit and consistency is the key, but tonight I snapped.  I made my 4-year-old sit at the table until he ate a carrot and a potato (it was like ¼ of each).  He did not like that.  He sat there for a long time, with 3 bathroom breaks and lots of complaining.  I finally let him leave, but he will be eating said food at breakfast and lunch if he hasn’t finished (and dinner is leftovers).  Maybe I am too mean of a parent, but I am trying to show him that I will follow through and his complaining is not going to make his food go away.  But, that doesn’t mean that I feel great about it.  I feel like a total failure.  Why can’t we just sit down for Sunday dinner, have a great conversation about what we learned about at church, and enjoy being together.  Someday..

I feel like sometimes I don’t know how to be a mom, I don’t know how to teach them certain things, and I just hope that I am doing something right, because I feel like I am ruining them. With all that said though, I want the best for them.  I want them to be able to be good people and good kids and respectable.  I want to see what they are passionate about and what drives them. I love to see them create and imagine and grow and I marvel at all their little brains can do and learn in so short of a time.  I want to be a close knit family, I want my kids to be each others best friends and to enjoy life together.  I want them all to know that I will fight for them.  I want to share, tell, and sink love deep in their hearts from their mom.  I don’t want them to question at all that I love them, and I just hope that all my failures and shortcomings I will somehow be able to teach them to love and serve and care for each other and for those around them.  I want them to be the people reaching out, like people have been reaching out to our family, instead for greedy gift hoarders.  For Christmas I want our home to be a place of peace and a place where all love more.

Fruit Snack Attack

This week I got to go on a field trip with LOTS of 1st graders.  It was actually really fun and the time went too quickly.  I was in charge of 3 of them, and those three girls keep me running.  It was fun to see things through their little 6-7-year-old eyes.  So fun. Normally the kids eat lunch at 11:40 when they are at school. Well, the field trip was LONG for them.  At about 11:30, you could see them kinda get glassy eyed and slow down.  When we climbed on the bus to come back to school it was 12:10 and we had a 45 minute drive back to school.  Luckily the 1st grade teachers knew their students well.  They passed out fruit snacks and water.  Normally, I HATE fruit snacks, but I had some any way and they were the best fruit snacks I have ever had.  I think I just needed some sugar to boost me through the craziness.  So, sometimes you just have to be flexible.

There are many things that I said I wasn’t going to do when I was a parent, but I have learned to be flexible.  We don’t have the financial security that I thought we would, we don’t buy the expensive mac and cheese, and my kids don’t love vegetables.  But, we have fun, we smile, we laugh and we read together.  I love my life and am so grateful for every day.  But, I still don’t buy fruit snacks.

Keeping up with the reading habit

First of all, thank you to all of you who have reached out to me about concern for my daughter.  We have definitely felt your prayers this past week.  Some days are harder than others, but we are fighting the battle!  Thank you so, so much.  You don’t know how much it has meant to me!

When I was little I couldn’t get enough of reading.  I hid a flashlight in my bed, between the side of the bed frame and the mattress, and would get it out almost EVERY night and read.  Sometimes I would put a sheet over the top of me and let the flashlight light up my little cave.  Other times I would just bust out the flashlight and get to the task at hand.  I couldn’t tell you now what books I was reading but I can tell you how important reading was to me.  It kinda goes with out saying that it drove my mom crazy.  Many nights my reading party was interrupted by my mom.  She never took the flashlight away though, I always wondered why, but I think she was trying to tell me that she trusted me to do what I knew I should, and I usually did.

Fast forward to my life now, as a parent.  My six-year-old taught herself how to read when she was two.  It was a surprising revelation to learn that she could read.  We were at my mom and dad’s house and my mom had her old-school “Dick and Jane” books out.  My mom was a reading teacher in an elementary school, so naturally she got to work with said two-year old.  The only problem was, my mom didn’t have to do anything except point to the words and our daughter was reading.  I remember thinking, “what just happened?”  My husband got out his phone to capture the moment on camera and I just kinda of sat there stunned.  I remember my mom looking up at me with this look on her face which said it all…”You have no idea what you are in for.”  Well, she was right.

Guess what my sweet daughter figured out when she was four (way earlier that I thought of it)–night time reading parties.  She would get really clever with her use of a flashlight though, since she didn’t have access to them.  She would use her turtle nightlight (her name is Sprinkly), she would sit really close to the plugged in night light, and she would sneak things into her room that had some sort of light on them.  Sometimes it was just plain amusing and other times I was thinking, “now I know how my mom felt.”  Isn’t it funny how some things come back to bite you in the behind.

Mostly, I didn’t mind, until she started school and the next day it was obvious that she did not get enough sleep.  Part of the nightly bed time ritual now, is to check for books and make them unavailable until the next day.

I love that she loves to read.  I love to read.  Some days I long to sit down on the couch by her and we are each reading our separate books, but are together doing something that we both love.  She is definitely my daughter in that aspect.  I can usually tell when she has had a hard day at school or has had to be really social at school because at home she takes respite in getting lost in a book to recharge.  I love when she reads to her younger brother and sister and that her excitement for reading has them trying to aspire to learn.  We have lots of books in our house and the library is a common staple, reading together is a cherished time for every one.  My youngest loves for anyone to read to her.  Lately I have found her pulling off book after book from the book shelf “reading” in her own two-year old way.  I love to see the piles of books around her.  My little guy is learning sight words now and actually teaching someone how to read is new territory for us.  He is doing great for a four-year old and he gets so excited when he knows words and is “reading”.  Reading is an important skill.

In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “I cannot live without books.”

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Watching

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This week of motherhood has been a huge learning curve.  Last week my daughter got sick, I am not going to go into details, but it is not something that just goes away over night.  It is going to be something that we deal with all the time.  There is a family tendency towards it, but every person is different.  And it is hard.

It is not that her condition is necessarily hard to diagnose and there are things to help, but it is basically try and fail and try and fail and try and make progress and the pattern repeats.  You know what the hardest part is, though?  Watching your child suffer.  It is hard to see my daughter wrench in pain, scream because it hurts, and not be able to do ANYTHING about it.  At times I feel worthless.  All I can do sometimes is just give her a hug and tell her to calm down.  But you know what I want to do?

I just want to take it away and have my happy girl back.

I am sure that is what Heavenly Father feels like at times with me and probably every one of us.  I know that He doesn’t like to see us in pain, but that it is part of our learning curve.  I am sure that He longs to take away our pain, sorrow, and heart ache, but knows that it will teach us so much more then just taking it away.  I also know that He has given me a hug and told me to calm down.  Sometimes it comes in the form of another person who is being His hands, and sometimes it comes as a feeling in my heart.  He never leaves me, unless I turn away.

I plan to be there for my daughter, and know that Heavenly Father is there right now for her and for me.  Sometimes it doesn’t make it any easier, but I am so glad I don’t have to do this parenting thing alone.  I always have someone to turn to and I always can talk to Him, in prayer.  If you didn’t know, prayer is power.  Literally, prayer is power!

My prayers are for my daughter and for ways to be able to help her.  And I know that there will be many hugs for both of us.

The blurry truth

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Let me tell you, it has been one of those weeks.  We have had sick kids, sick parents, doctor visits, an Insta-Care visit, an ER visit, and flu shots (and a side note: one of the worst things ever is to wake up at some crazy time to a kid that has thrown up everywhere and you don’t even know where to start cleaning up).  And at school drop off one day, a 15 passenger van hit our van (her name is Silver, just so you know!).

It was just a normal drop off, like any other, but not.  We were in line to go to the drop off location, but not moving at all.  There was a 15 passenger van in front of us full of daycare kids.  The 15 van let out kids right then and instead of just waiting, reversed to turn down a different aisle in the parking lot.  Well, you guess it, reversed right into Silver.  I was shocked, but was able to somehow honk, more than once.  I pulled into the aisle after the 15 van and pulled into a parking spot, thinking that the 15 van would do the same.  I was totally shocked.  My kids were totally shocked.  But the 15 van didn’t stop, just turned and left.

WHAT???!!!!!

Well, my 6-year-old was concerned about Silver and so she walked around and checked her out, which Silver was just fine.  My 4-year-old, previous to leaving for school drop off, said his tummy felt funny (he was the one that threw up everywhere) and refused to take a “barf bucket” just in case.  So, he is cuddling in his booster with two blankets shivering and saying that he is okay.  My 2-year-old is just being quiet and cute wearing her bright pink sunglasses.  Everyone was okay, Silver was okay and my 6 year old is like, “ok, I am going to go get in line now!” My reply, “I am going to walk you through the parking lot.” She was not happy that I was doing that but she relented.  So I got back in Silver and sat there, still in disbelief.

I was still in my jammies, hadn’t brushed my hair, and I hadn’t even brushed my teeth (although all my kids were dressed and had brushed teeth).  What do I do now?  I just sat there a little longer, realizing that the other person didn’t have the decency to pull over.  Can’t people do the right thing?  Maybe she didn’t feel the big bump?  Maybe that huge van just feels big and bulky ALL the time.  The 15 van was full of other kids, I was hoping that they were all okay.

As we got home, I just couldn’t stop thinking how I didn’t want to file an insurance claim at all, I just wanted the driver to acknowledge that something happened.  I googled minor car accidents and found a lot of websites that offered “10 easy steps to follow when in a minor car accident.” Two of the steps caught my eye, 1- never say you’re sorry and 2- never admit fault.  I see where these are coming from, from a legal stand point, but it dawned on me that maybe we choose not to do the “right” thing, because the right thing is more of a “blurry” right.

What if you know it was you and it was your fault?  That isn’t blurry at all, the window is clear, not covered in rain.  Then my thoughts turned to the driver of the 15 van.  I know taking care of kids is hard, and driving anywhere with just my three is sometimes enough to drive you crazy, I can’t image a 15 passenger van full of them.  I am sure she is over worked, underpaid, and sometimes doesn’t want to go to work.  School drop off is just another part of her day…but I hope that she realized that she is an asset to those kids.  She is entrusted for caring for them.  I know it is probably hard for some of those parents to have their kids in daycare and to let others take their kids to school, care for them, and show them love.

So, I don’t really care about Silver, she is a piece of metal that we just hope lasts a little while longer, BUT I care about all those kids.  Remember, driver of 15 van, that they trust you and are counting on you to keep them safe.  I hope that you can help teach them that doing the right things doesn’t have to be blurry, it is your choice to do the right thing, even when it is hard.

Just a homemaker

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In the Fall last year I went to get my haircut.  Not a big deal, right?  Well, I went to a salon I had only been to once, but I REALLY needed my hair cut, I had a coupon, and a few minutes without my kids.  So I sat down, explained what I wanted done with my hair and the hairstylist starts cutting.  Being the introvert that I am, I wasn’t exactly chatty and the hairstylist looked like she was having a long day.  But I attempted to start up a conversation.  Turns out that she had an outpatient surgery that day and was working her second job of the day, so she was tired.  Well, she asked what I did.  My response was, “I am just a homemaker.”

Now, before I proceed, in my head I was running through this amazing dialogue about a response that I would love to here after I state that I am a stay at home mom.  The purely magical response would be, “You’re not just a homemaker, you definitely do a ton.”  Followed by a great conversation on motherhood and the joys and difficulties of the hardest job on earth.  On another side note, a couple of years ago I saw this blurb on a social media site that was interviewing people for an unnamed job.  It showed the interviewer Skyping with potential applicants and telling them a little more about “the job.”  They were told they would never have a day off, there was no sick time or leave offered, they had to work every holiday, and they would always be on call.  Most of the people were totally appalled and many asked if that was legal.  Then the interviewer told them what “the job” was, it was the job of a mother.  All of the applicants smiled and it ended with all of them saying a big thank you to their own moms.

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Well, my dreaming response was cut short with the response of the hair stylist, “Oh, well did you do any thing before, or did you do anything else with your life?” Truthfully I wanted to jump up and scream, but that would not have been good.  So I swallowed my pain, hurt, and angst and told her what my job “used” to be.  I asked her about having kids and then my heart hurt.  Yes, she has kids but in so many words, let someone else take care of them and put them to bed because she preferred that.  I am not trying to talk bad about this hairstylist and I definitely don’t know her situation at all, but it sure has made me think a lot since that night.

I love being a homemaker.  I remember when I was 7 months pregnant with my third baby and was trying to tie a quilt on the floor, my back was screaming, my other two kiddos (ages 4 and 2) were running around probably hitting something they weren’t suppose to, but being so happy.  I remember sending my cute husband a text, “I love being domestic!”  Haha, that makes me laugh.  But I really do enjoy being home, taking care of my home, and enjoying my time with my kids while they are little.  With that said, we have definitely had to make some sacrifices for the opportunity to be a stay at home mom.  There are too many to even talk about, but I am so grateful for a husband that is a strong supporter of family.

One of my favorite things on motherhood especially, is from Elder Neil Andersen.  He gave a talk about having children and how they will ultimately bless your life.  Read this little blurb: “Many voices in the world today marginalize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in a family. My daughters recently referred me to a blog written by a Christian mother (not of our faith) with five children. She commented: ‘[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood. … Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get.’ She then adds: ‘Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.’ Now I am not totally saying that every minute of being a homemaker is glorious and perfect or that my children are perfectly obedient.  But being a mom is definitely what God has given me time for right now.  It is an amazing experience that has blessed my life in so many ways.  I love when my kids are all clean in their jammies and we are reading scripture stories or the last Winnie the Pooh book, then every one lays down and I sing them songs.  It is a cherished time for me and I hope it is something that they will remember.

When I was little, I loved to read, and I loved when my mom read to me.  I don’t know if my mom just got sick of me asking for bed time stories or if she was just tired and wanted to go to bed herself, but she recorded many tapes of her reading stories.  I took one of those tapes to college with me.  It was those little things that meant so much, that I want to instill in my kids.  We have long since digitized those old cassette tapes and now have a play list for our kids with both of their Grandmas, one Grandpa, one set of Great-grandparents, and Scott and me reading stories. I am so grateful for those small things.  Many times I find myself reflecting on all the crazy things I put my mom through and you know what, she still loves me.  I hope that as the years continue, that my kids will know how much I am grateful for this time to be their mom and what a blessing it is to be with them. I want them to know also, how much I rely on God to get me through some days.  I pray that they will pray for that help when they need it.

This past week my oldest started 1st grade.  Seriously, it has been hard.  I miss her and I miss all the kids playing together.  The first day, Jake (my 4 year old) and I were wandering around the house because we didn’t quite know what to do without Jenna.  Jake keep asking when Jenna was coming home, and the first time he asked she had not even been gone for an hour.  Tessa, my 2 year old, was confused when Jenna didn’t come back home with us after we dropped Jenna off at school.  “Where’s Jenna?” and I would have to remind her.  Jenna on the other hand, said she missed us but I think she was doing just great and having a wonderful time in first grade.  It is definitely an adjustment for all of us to have her gone.  The sad thing is, is that this week was early out so she hasn’t even been gone for as long as she usually will be!  My mother heart aches, but is exciting for her as well in her new adventure.

Since that Fall, I have often thought about changing my response when people ask me what I do.  But, you know what, I have the best job right now.  I am a wife and a mom with a family that loves me.  Julie B. Beck said what I know is true, “When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children.”   Why would I want to change my response?  Now, I say that I am lucky enough to stay at home with my kids, because I really do feel lucky.  I am blessed to “JUST” be a homemaker.