Friday, April 27, 2012

Dont Turn Your Back

Do NOT let the angelic face fool you. Do Not get memorized by the soft kissable cheeks. Do NOT drift off into the blue pools of heaven in her eyes. Do NOT let the gorgeous, kissable- mouth draw you into a euphoric state of baby intoxication. Do NOT get hypnotized by her perfectly soulful smell. Do NOT turn your back on this child. In one week's time she has,

Dumped a bowl of cereal off of the table.
Emptied the girls dresser 46 times.
Squeezed out the toothpaste.
Played in the toilet.
Pasted herself with back yard mud.
Ripped up a piece of homework.
Eaten a starburst clean through the wrapper.
Gotten her hair all glued into her boogers.
Helped herself to the bunny food.
And consumed a stick of lipgloss.

If you need something destroyed she rents cheap.
(But MAN do I love my little 16 pound destructo girl.)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Hard Way

Every free minute that Branson has in his little life of 9 years, he spends running the neighborhood barefoot with friends. If we have 5 minutes between getting ready for school and leaving for school, he dashes up the street to chat with the bus stop kids. If he gets home from scouts at 6:30 when it's getting dark and dinner needs eating, he gets a few neighbors together and starts a game. If it's 6am on a Saturday...doesn't matter, he's off. He's literally addicted to playing with friends. Saturday was no different. As soon as he had finished up his little sewing project, eaten and mowed the lawn, he was out to find a pack of boys to run with.

About two hours later he came in the house with eyes red from tears, a swollen nose that had doubled in size and a shirt soaked in blood. He was followed by a familiar group of his friends- all with a tad bit of suspiciousness smeared about their faces.

I assessed the situation and quickly cut in front of the little, male entourage and said,

"Hey guys, why don't you all wait out side while I talk to Branson."

Out they went and then I reached for Bransons hand and escorted him to my room where I ran a bath and helped him to get in. When he was relaxed and calming down, I put an ice pack on his nose and asked for the whole story from the beginning. It was a classic childhood tale...

Branson: Hey I can do a back flip at gymnastics.
Friends: No you cant.
B: Yes huh, on the bouncy floor at gymnastics I can.
Friends: Then do it.
B: No, I need the bouncy floor.

This conversation repeated itself a few times until one of the friends, (who happened to be brandishing an air-soft gun) said,

"If you don't, I am going to shoot you with this gun."

Whereupon, Branson used his stellar 9 year old decision making skills and went for the back tuck...landing square on his cute little nose.

Blood spattered everywhere, the friend with the gun was quickly tattled on and punished and then the shamed little troop of man boys, had escorted the bleeding child home.

I sat next to the tub running my fingers through Branson's brown hair. My soul was swelling up with love and concern for him and I wanted to say the right things-to teach the right lessons. I said a quick prayer for guidance and then I asked him questions like,

"What did your heart tell you to do?"


"Will you listen to your friends next time or your heart?"

I so wish that my rambunctious, social, high energy little man didn't have to learn things the hard way, but for some reason he does. I can only hope that he is learning some of these lessons young when the consequences are as small as a bruised nose and a stained T-shirt.

And you should know that before the sun went down, he was back out in the street playing in the hose with his friends.

I tell you what that boy is something else.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Here and There's

Just a few here and there's to catch up on...

Today we had watermelon out on the lawn, courtesy of our kind neighbors. I have never seen a child be as protective of something as Cali was of her piece. Mama Bears have nothing on this chick! Didn't bother her a bit that it was getting covered in grass blades and dirt particles, she was happy as hog...

Until someone decided to invade her serenity by helping herself...
Cali was arms flailing mad.

I thought it was hysterical. When she got her slice back, she slurped it and chewed on it until she literally tipped over, drunken with the sweet red nectar...

I also enjoyed listening to Ella and friend Dallin, "play" Clue....

I amused myself by watching Cali smash her face up to the back window...

Last Saturday morning the twins decided to get out a sewing project before the sun came up. I was fixing breakfast, answering the doorbell to neighbor children, trying to find cooking utensils in my mostly packed kitchen, attempting to keep Cali off of the counter where she is sure to cause herself bodily harm and the twins were there in my face, asking me about whip stitches and end knots.

I was trying my best to answer and demonstrate and ooh and ahh at their work but i was really just wishing-for crying out loud-that they would save the sewing for another time.

They persisted and when things calmed down a bit, I actually had a good time with it.

Tonight Branson received his Bear award at scouts. He is a bit disheveled because he totally fought the bear and won!

The packing and moving is coming along and just the other day after serving dinner, I said to the kids,

"Can you believe we have lived here all of your lives and now we are down to our last few days?"

They all started complaining about moving and leaving their friends, so after reassuring them that they will still have plenty of chances to see their friends I told them that this decision had not been made lightly. I explained that we had prayed and fasted for more than a year about this choice and we were sure this was what is best for our family. Kaden, who is the most against moving responded by saying,

"Well, now that I know you prayed about it, I feel a lot better."

Really! How could the kid not know this?! It made me realize that as obvious as I think my faith is to them, maybe sometimes it isn't and I should be sharing it with them even more often.

The kids have done fantastic in school this year.

The twins have breezed through, acing everything they try and even though it has been a long, treacherous road for Kaden (that we are STILL walking, barf!) he has done amazing. It has taken a huge amount of dedication on my part too! So after having him pose for his picture, I wanted to say,

"My turn to hold the dang certificate!" 

Man this parenting stuff makes me tired.

(and happy and thankful and mad and confused and joyful and satisfied and and and and...)

There you have it all caught up for now, Ella is awaiting her nightly back tickle. What a life that girl has!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Have Joy in Your Home

I gave a relief society enrichment lesson the other day about housekeeping. Exciting I know. But I have a bit of a passion for such things and so it was fun. I have had several requests for my notes and references so here we go.

If you turn the word "housekeeping" around it becomes keeping- a -house. If you turn the title of Housekeeper around it becomes the keeper-of- the- house, I think that sounds better and more sophisticated. I love being the keeper of the house. I consider it sacred privilege.

My older sister suffers from a severe mental illness that has prevented her in many ways,from taking care of her home. And over the last 15 years I have seen her and her family suffer because of this. So even though keeping a house is darn  hard work that is never done- it is truly a gift to have the ability and the opportunity to be the chief keeper of the house and to take on this sacred responsibility. To be the one that gets to partner with our Heavenly Father in creating and maintaining a bit of Heaven on Earth for our families- is holy.

I don't always love housekeeping, I get sick of it too, but the right perspective helps so much. 

I base almost all of my housekeeping beliefs and practices off this one quote from Sister Hinckley,

“Your home is your own private temple. Keep it clean. Create a feeling of order and spirituality. Your home can be beautiful without being elaborate or expensive. As you create a home don’t get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for either you or your family. Have joy in your home.”

Notice how she put "spirituality" and "order " in the same sentence…there is a link.

I have believed for a long time that there is a spiritual aspect to housekeeping and homemaking. Heavenly Father is the master Housekeeper. He was the one who created this earthly home for his children. Making sure that it was an environment where we could thrive and learn and live. And as women, we get to do that for our families. Lucky us!

We have been taught by our church leaders that the spirit of the Lord can be felt freely when we are in a place of cleanliness and order. Our church buildings and temples are the perfect example of this. They are always beautifully maintained and kept.
President Hinckley said,

"You are housekeepers. That doesn’t sound like much, does it? But what a job it is to keep a house clean and tidy! We are people who believe in cleanliness, order, beauty, and respectability.”
And in The Basic Manual for Women, put out by the Church says,
"We can have a bit of beauty in our homes even if we do not have much money. We should not settle for the dirty or untidy, either in ourselves or our homes."
In a 2005 general conference Elder Russell M. Nelson shared about the passing of his wife.
"My dear brethren and sisters, since our last general conference, my sweetheart—my beloved wife for 59 years—passed away. While I was at home on a rare Saturday with no assignment, we had worked together. She had washed our clothing. I had helped to carry it, fold it, and put it in place. Then while we were sitting on the sofa, holding hands, enjoying a program on television, my precious Dantzel slipped peacefully into eternity."

I love that the very last thing that Sis. Nelson did for her family was laundry. Can you imagine with 10 children, how many 100 and 100’s of loads of wash she had done? Such a loving last act as clean clothes is such a basic and constant need of all of us. If we would begin to think of our housework as a blessing instead of a burden it would change our lives. House work will always be work but it can be the best kind of work.
President Lorenzo Snow (1814–1901) said:
Is your house a house of order? Need you dust, clean, and rearrange before you invite the Spirit of the Lord into your home? “The Lord does not intend that the Saints shall live always in dens and caves of the earth, but that they shall build fine houses. When the Lord comes he will not expect to meet a dirty people, but a people of refinement.”
It is human nature to be drawn toward cleanliness.
In the 13th article of faith we state that, "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." We want to be in clean environments.
To prove this let’s look at some photos…
Would you rather have family home evening here…

Or here…

Would you rather kneel down and pray here…

or here..

Would you rather have a meal with your family here…

or here…

It is a universal thing! People choose clean spaces over chaotic spaces. And it has nothing to do with money, it only has to do with order. Guess what the ONE THING is that makes keeping a house impossible. The ONE THING that if you get control of, you can make keeping your house a whole lot simpler.
There are a studies that show that over the last 100 years there has been a gigantic increase in the amount of possessions that we have.  Paul Graham a professional organizer said this,
“Most people in America have too much stuff.  In fact, the poorer people are, the more stuff they  have.
It wasn't always this way. Stuff used to be rare and valuable. You can still see evidence of that if you look for it. For example, old houses have very small closets.  In those days people's stuff fit in a chest of drawers. Even as recently as a few decades ago there was a lot less stuff.  Stuff has gotten a lot cheaper,  we have way more of It than ever before and the large majority of it is cheaply made and almost entirely worthless.
Ironically when money is tight we accumulate more stuff. Friends leave something behind when they moved and offer it to us, or we see something on the street on trash night and we take it home or we find something in almost new condition for a tenth its retail price at a garage sale.
And pow, more stuff.
In fact these free or nearly free things aren’t bargains, because they are worth far less than they cost. Most of the stuff we accumulated is worthless,…
because we don't need it.
Most retail items these days, cost far more than they are worth. Companies that sell stuff have spent huge amounts of money training us to think stuff is valuable. The only way you're ever going to extract any value from stuff  is to use it. And if you don't have any immediate use for it, you probably never will.
Some stuff is actually worse than worthless, because once you've accumulated a certain amount of stuff, it starts to own you -rather than the other way around
A cluttered home saps one's spirits. One reason, obviously, is that there's less room for people in a room full of stuff. But there's more going on than that.  A cluttered room is literally exhausting.
The worst stuff in this respect may be stuff you don't use much because it's too good. Nothing owns you like fragile stuff. For example, the "good china" so many households have, and whose defining quality is not so much that it's fun to use, but that one must be especially careful not to break it.
In industrialized countries the same thing happened with food in the middle of the twentieth century. As food got cheaper, eating too much started to be a bigger danger than eating too little. We've now reached that point with stuff. For most people, rich or poor, stuff has become a burden.”
Because I have become someone who places strict limits on what comes into our home I have a few "stuff" rules that I live by.
The first one is the 80/20 rule.
There was this Italian scientist , Vilfredo Pareto who through observation discovered that 80% of Italian land was owned by only 20% of the population.  He also observed that 20% of his pea pods contained 80% of the peas in his garden. He along with other scientists and thinkers started to apply this idea to other areas of study, like mathematics and science and soon discovered that this idea of “roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes” was true. 
Did you know:
We wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time.
We use 20% of what we own 80% of the time.
We reference 20% of our paper files 80% of the time.
So, turning that around…basically 80% of your items are only being used 20% of the time! And within that 80% of stuff there is a huge percentage that are never seen and never used-ever!  Wow! Can you image eliminating your 80%, it would be life changing.
And we would spend a lot less time cleaning.
Go through your 80% and get rid of most of it…I promise it will feel so great.
Rule number 2 addresses sentimental items. Here’s the rule…
If everything is Special then nothing really is.
We want the keepsakes that we have to really really mean something, to help tell the story of your most significant experiences. But if you keep everything, the most important things will lose their value.
So to address keepsakes you limit yourself to a container. For newborn items, I like to use the cute shoe box sized boxes that you can get at craft stores. One for each baby.  When it’s full…that’s it- no more. They look like this..small and sweet.

The same goes for  your kids school papers. I use a file box size Rubbermaid container with a lid- one for each kid...when it’s more, or take something out. Be selective with this because you only get one for all their years of school.
We have had so much fun with this over the years. I keep these boxes in an accessible place and we love to take them down and enjoy looking through them. Keeping them accessible also means that when a paper comes home that you want to keep it goes straight in the box instead of piling up somewhere or getting lost. If you aren't keeping it-it goes straight in the trash or recycling bin. Don't feel guilty-because remember you ARE keeping the MOST important ones. Go through these every year, something that seemed important 2 years ago may not seem that way now, you might think, "why did I even keep that?" Ours look like this, except I write their name with a sharpie across the side.

Sometimes your kids especially the young ones will bring home some gigantic art project that is bigger than your house…take a picture and let it go.
 For adults who have lived longer it can be a hope chest or trunk type container but that’s it, not the whole top shelf of your closet, or all the space under your bed. I also think these things should be easily accessible so that you can enjoy them often.
If you are having a hard time letting certain, no longer needed items go because they are attached to fond memories, one good tool is to take a picture then have a good cry, kiss them good-bye, and let it go. I wrote more about this here. (this post has a bunch of other stuff in it, so scroll down to get to the organizing part).

One more note about clothing. If you intend to store clothes that a child has grown out of, so that a younger sibling can use them, I have some advice for you. One: Keep them in small bins. If you stuff every baby girl item from new born to 5T in one bin, it will be hard to get to, you will forget what you have and it will be difficult to retrieve the clothes you need, when you need them. Which in turn means it will be easier to go out and buy more than to find the old ones and WHAM-O, more stuff! Small bins kept right in the child's closet who is going to use them, will help. The bins will be easy to get to and because you are using small bins you wont save more than you need. Remember that all clothes that go into storage come out looking worse! Elastic waste bands rot, colors fade and stains become more prominent. So BE SELECTIVE about what you keep for hand-me-downs. Last thing...when you are all finished with a certain bin of clothing and you give it away or donate it...consider giving the bin as well, why? Because what do we do with a empty bin? We fill it. Be glad that you have an empty shelf and let the bin go. This is the top shelf in my girls room.

The next rule addresses shopping, gift giving and getting and, accepting "free" stuff that your neighbor is getting rid of.

It is The Interrogation rule.

Be very protective of your home.  Remember  what Sister Hinckley said, your home is your own private temple and everything needs to prove itself worthy of being there. Be fiercely protective of your home.  Be as strict with items as you would with a live-in roommate.

Consider each and every item as being guilty unless proven innocent. Everything is a suspect and needs to be interrogated. Toys are a huge culprit.
Are you just clutter?

Are you going to get played with once and then forgotten?

Are you cheap and easily broken?

Will you steal away my child’s creativity and desire to be outside?

Do you need batteries which will end up costing me more money over time?

Do we already have something similar to you at home?

Will you take up precious space?

Protect your temple. This will really help you limit the stuff in your home.

So many children value nothing because they have everything. Think of our grandparents they had one or two treasured play things and that is it.

When giving your children gifts consider this...Can I give them a somewhere instead of a something? Giving experiences means that you are creating family memories and it does not clutter up your home. You can also give them the gift of lessons. Maybe you have a daughter that wants to take dance..give her the gift of dance lessons for Christmas instead of another plastic toy. Or  we can  give them the dollar amount that we might have spent on a "something" and teach them about saving and money-management and tithing instead.
The last rule is the In and Out rule.

No matter how good you get at the interrogation rule, things will always, ALWAYS be coming into your home. It comes from school, work, birthday parties, grandparents, scouts, church activities and every where else. So you have to MAKE SURE that things are always, ALWAYS going out.

There are a bunch of good methods for doing this that can be googled pretty easy. 40 bags in 40 days is a good jump start if you haven't done it in a while. Do some research and find one that works for you. Every few weeks (2 or 3), I do a good thorough cleaning of my kids rooms. They clean their rooms on a regular basis but lets face it...once in a while we've got to get in there too. I always take a trash bag with me. Throw out broken toys, forgotten trinkets and games with missing parts. Donate toys and toys they don't play with. I promise you that the bottom of your toy box as some junk! Get the junk out of the trunk and move feels SO good! And dont forget...Children who have everything value NOTHING!

When we start to do these things, we turn a "project" into a "habit" and it just becomes part of who we are and how we run our life. You can do it, we all can!  Say no at the store, no to free stuff and no to more, more, more. Joy can be found in housework becasue it is a service to your family and service always brings joy. Sure the kids and the husbands need to help...but thats a post for another day. And remember, a little gratitude goes a long way, it really is a privilege to keep a home. Here's my last thoughts on the topic...

I am grateful for house work. It means I have a house. I am grateful that my floors need sweeping…it means my kids and their friends are running in and out while they play. I am grateful there are dirty dishes to be washed…it means my family is not going hungry. I’m grateful for dirty laundry… it means my family has clothes to wear… it means my kids are healthy enough to get dirty… it means I have a washer and dryer…I am grateful for little hand prints on my windows…it means I have children. I am grateful that with my able body, I get to scrub and fold and wash. I am grateful to be the keeper of the house…it means that I am blessed.

Have Joy in your home! Good Luck!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Things I Love

A few things I love, if you please...

My nephew, little PepperJack. He is cute and squishy and I would stuff him in my bag and take him home with me, if his parents would stop objecting to the idea.

My own little Little. She is at the perfect age for smothering in kisses...and I do.
Scott and his ever kind compliments. Yesterday I emailed him my lesson so he could print it for me, (our printer is broken). He sent me back a one word reply..."Masterful".

I loved my, "after-school conversation" with Branson...

B: Mom, I have been talking to Cameron about Heavenly Father.
Me: Like what have been saying?
B: Well, Cameron said that an asteroid hit earth a million billion years ago and that is how the moon was made, but I told him that the moon was made by Heavenly Father so that we could see at night.
Brylee's constant help with Cali and her gift for kindness. At our Easter eggs hunts this year Brylee was too busy collecting eggs for Ella, Brookie and Cali to get very many herself. Such a sweetheart.
Kaden's need to hold my hand every night while he falls asleep on the floor near my side of the bed. I will always think of it and feel happy for as long as I live. I hope he will too.
Ella was insistent on two separate bows for her pig-tails the other day for pre-school. I love that I am at the point in Mothering, where I am perfectly happy to let her. I don't even feel the need to defend my self to the teacher with an explanation. This would have never-ever happened when I was a new Mom.
My friends, who are amazing. I was on the receiving end of so many sweet acts of service and kindness this week, that I feel like I need to be better and be more like them.

And at last, I love that it is Friday!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mom or Maid?

Last night, when the boys were still at football, I rushed around putting the last of the clean clothes away and straightening up my bathroom that looked like a bomb had hit it. Earlier in the day, I had scrubbed down the kitchen and mopped the floors. I had just plugged in the vacuum to finish things off when I heard a not good sound coming from the kitchen. I walked in there to find that Brylee had picked up a full bottle of Gatorade from off the kitchen counter and thinking it had a lid on -she SHOOK IT. Purple Gatorade splattered my entire kitchen. It was dripping off the ceiling. It was sprayed up the refrigerator. It was running down the wall and soaking the tile. I quickly ordered her, Ella and the neighbor girl out back before I said something I would regret. I spent the next hour trying to clean up the impossible mess. I am sure that in the light of the day, I will find more splatters and more drips, only this time they will be all dried up and stuck.

The floor was still wet from being remopped when the football kids started coming in from practice. There wasn't much I could do and soon the floor was printed with the smudges of dirty feet and dirty cleats. Then Scott, upon seeing no dinner and thinking himself to be helpful said,

"why don't we have burritos tonight, they're easy."

To which I snapped...

"Easy for who? The one who gets to make them and clean them up or for the rest of you that get to eat it?"

Then he said, "OK, I'll pick something up."

Then of course I said,


Even though I wasn't that sorry because with the sweat from all my work still beading on my forehead, I felt fully justified. So I filled him in on the fun time I had cleaning up a volcanic eruption of Gatorade. After having cleaned up the regular kitchen messes and the messes in all the rest of the house and washing, folding and putting away, 6 loads of wash. Not to mention, although I did, the care and feeding of 5 dependant souls.

We had a grocery store, rotisserie chicken for dinner.

The end.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Just so you know this is post 100 on my new blog. But I'm somewhere around 500 if you count old and new. Woweee.

Nothing has gone right yet today. And while I should be up getting the 100's of things done that need getting done, I had to sit and regroup for a second after a disastrous morning. So why not write? Clears my head don't you know.

I have a big huge post about moving in the works. Every time I pack up a closet or a cupboard, I drip tears into my lap and then I turn to my place of comfort at the computer, to let all those emotions out of my soul. I have so loved my little home of 12 years and closing this chapter is both heart wrenching and thrilling at the same exact time. At least the house will technically still be ours...and that helps...if only just a bit.

But today like most days, I get to spend my time with these two...

They are busy and funny and leave me entirely pooped at the end of the day. Trying to get things accomplished while mothering- is an ongoing challenge but somehow we seem to mix the two together in the constant stirring of life with all of it's duties and pleasures and struggles. Maybe in the next life laundry will do it's self while I play with my babies. But what good company my two little beauties are and I am so lucky that they are mine.

Happy Monday. Second best day of the week you know.

Friday, April 13, 2012

To Kaden From Ella

Dear Kaden,

Last Saturday I was playing on the play ground in Cowboys yard. I was wearing my pink wings because I thought that they would help me go faster when I hunted for Easter eggs and because they are so pretty. I climbed up to the very top of the steep slide, I felt brave. But when I got up there, it was really high and scary. I wished that my sparkly butterfly wings would work and fly me right down but they didn't, so I cried instead.

Then you saw me crying and climbed up the slide to save me. I was still scared but you were very brave.

It was like you were the strong prince and I was the beautiful butterfly princess and I needed to be rescued and so you were my hero and rescued me. Because I know about lots of princess stories and that's how they go. So when you got closer to me and I felt safe again, I hanged on tight to your arm and we started to slide down, but I didn't smile yet.

When I was all rescued and safe, I felt sad about my sparkly wings. They still are pretty but they didn't work to fly. So you helped me and I got to fly. My wings flapped just like I like them to, maybe you noticed them.

That's when I smiled so big and pretty, because you were my hero and you helped me to fly. The End

Love, Ella the Butterfly Princess

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Our Easter

Easter is the best holiday, if you please. It offers so very much to celebrate with out as much frill and pomp as Christmas. I love new Sunday dresses and I love pretty baskets. (my new addiction is photo editing).

I love a simple egg hunt that only takes minimal preparation but still produces a whole lot off happy smiles.

I love that even my big kids still like dying or painting Easter eggs and I like that Scott goes around on Sunday morning talking about the Easter Bunny like they were old college room mates. I love that Kaden and Branson roll their awfully mature eyes at him and I love that Brylee plays right into it and that Ella full-on believes with her whole heart and soul that a big, life size, furry bunny comes hopping into our house each year to leave her a basket of treats and a new dress for church. How he knows her size so well, I'll never know. Good taste too.

Most of all I love telling my kids, (one of which kept calling Good Friday...Lucky Friday) That Good Friday, with all of it's pain and suffering and betrayal was indeed good. I love teaching them that the One and Only person that could and would save us- did and that Easter is the best most beautiful part of the gospel. It makes families forever and it makes death only temporary and it takes all our mistakes and shortcomings and lackings and repairs them whole again. It also makes all of our trials, sicknesses, sorrows, fears and grief shared and known perfectly by a perfect Older Brother.

How I love Him for it.

Hope your Easter was a happy one!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I'll Take It

Today after giving my entire house a scrub down, I collapsed. I have had a bone racking cough for days and I am depleted down to the last of my energy. But hey, the house is clean, so I'll take it. I couldn't count if I tried it the number of times that I have felt this exact way...tired and spent but happy and whole. Content with a life of homemaking and child rearing. Maybe days of toilet bowl shinning, tiny bum wiping, meal fixing, homework helping and clothes cleaning isn't for everyone, but it is for me.

Just the other night one of my boys was working himself into a real frustration. He was starting to sweat and talk louder and rant and be irrational. I have seen this escalation before, a simple injustice of home life turns an other wise decent child into a full blown terrorist. There is a part of me that urges a quick end to these sorts of things. The "knock it off, your grounded, get your red hot rear-end into bed and keep it there" sort of end.

Instead, I quarantined the little man into a separate room and started in on my motherly efforts. Nothing seemed to be working and I think at one point, I even saw a double stream of steam start to  shoot out of the kids' ears. He was mad and did not care for my attempts at distraction, at soothing, at love.

So this is when you pray. Fast and quick.

It was nearing 9pm and it was dark out. The boy and I were both in our pajamas.

A bike ride! I nearly yelled the prompted answer out as soon as the idea fell from heaven into my heart. In an instant I saw the anger leave my frustrated guy like a black smoke being dissipated by a fresh evening breeze. We snuck ourselves from the bedroom out into the garage trying not to alert the rest of our family who was busy finishing up scripture study. We slipped our bare feet into flip flops and then we took off on a brisk ride around the shadowy neighborhood. We laughed and talked and raced. Then when our trail led us back to our own lighted house, we parked in the driveway and used the front porch bench to prolong our time together. There was a tender childhood apology and many "I sure love you a whole lot" chances. Then we parked our bikes and I tucked my boy into bed.

Spent and completely depleted down to the last of my energy, I collapsed into bed. But it was that warm, reassuring, confident tired that feels so good. So I'll take it.

Any day. And everyday.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Scott and Kaden had a wonderful 3 days up at conference together. I just cant say how thankful I am that they got to go. Scott and I didn't have a chance to talk about the trip until early Monday morning. The house was still and quiet and Scott's emotions were full while he told me about their experiences and shared with me his feelings for our first boy. They had an unforgettable time.

The weird thing is that Kaden seemed to come home with a post vacation attitude. The next morning he didn't want to go to school, didn't want to do homework and didn't really want to be all that nice. It was sad. But sure enough he showed up at my bedside last night and squeezed my hand until it fell sleepily to his side.

At 2:30 today, just before the bus came home, I prayed for a softened heart and for insight into what my boy needs. I spent the afternoon with Kaden by my side. We finished a bunch of homework, we peeled the dinner potatoes, Kaden told me all about the "whose on First" joke that they learned about in History and then we ran an errand to the store. I tried a cute little pair of sandals on Cali and then I put them back. Kaden, asked if he could use his own money to buy them for her. He held the doors for me and carried in the milk when we got home. I reached over to him in the car and held his hand. I told him that he was one of my very best friends and that I love being his Mom. At home he offered a piece of his own gum to Ella and her two little friends.

I felt like Kaden's heart was telling mine, "this is who I really am Mom, try to see this me even when it's hard.

But was easy.

How I love my Kaden boy.