Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Year of 2011 Learning in Review

 As the summer begins, my mind turns to what we learned this past 'school year' and also what I would like to focus on this coming year.

Perhaps some of you who are homeschooling Moms are as well?

What's so great about this past year of family-centered home education?

 I learned stuff!

Not just facts and figures or neat websites.

I learned how we learn and work together as a family.

I built on what I have learned when our oldest was 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and now 8.

I have juggled three busy boys and a sweet, independent baby and now toddler daughter around my husband's ever-changing work schedule. I have figured out how to 'keep everything in rotation', in a happily less-than-perfect fashion, as far as laundry, dishes, and making meals are concerned. I have learned that I can find fulfillment at home and even discover hidden 'art' in homemaking.

What has the family learned?

Thinking back over the year, some of our best moments have been while driving in the van and someone's voice pipes up from the back seat, "Turn on Scripture Scouts, Mom!" Another great moment was discovering that the boys paid attention to scripture study well when I asked them to repeat after me a verse phrase by phrase. Their eyes lighted up to be included and they really liked acting out some of the stories from the scriptures. Hearing their voices sing their little toddler sister's favorite song, "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam", (complete with jumps for joy!) makes me smile. They are learning so much!

I have seen them make mistakes, certainly, as they learn how to follow Jesus in acting with compassion and forgiveness to each other, but I have also seen them make great strides in showing brotherly love and acceptance to each other. I feel such satisfaction and gratitude that the Lord has blessed me with all that I have needed to be able to facilitate them learning these important things.

One thing I am most excited about is how much improvement we have had in our family in how we are treating each other, using kinder tones of voice and expressing our concerns to each other. I have learned to ask for and give respect to my children in better ways and my husband and I are speaking with love more often to each other. That is attributed I believe, to paying more attention to God's words and spending less time absorbed in media or other things that emphasize more rude ways of communication. That's an area we are continually trying to grow in!

Isn't that a terrific list? 

I sit back and look at it and am still amazed at all I can learn from being a Wife and Mom at home with my family full-time.

I didn't start out with all these abilities and neither did my family. It takes time to learn how to do this stuff together! I am so pleased with our progress and enthusiastic about the future growth we can have.

Notice how I didn't say how our best success in homeschooling were when my child learned to read the encyclopedia from front to back and upside down or memorize the multiplication table at the ripe age of 3 1/2 (he didn't) nor how we all started our Latin exercises at  4 a.m.

Certainly there is a time for academics, and for some families earlier in age than others, but to me, what is most important for my family, and my children, is to learn to love God, to learn to love others and to learn to accept and love themselves. Second to that, I want my children to get to know how they learn best, naturally, from the beginning. Academics come in bits and pieces along the way until the child is more ready for in-depth studies.

I came across this blog post by Spunky and it explains so well what has been on my mind this week...

"WHY we educate must be determined before we decide HOW to educate."

I am taking into consideration the best moments of last year and what they mean for our future. This phrase has come to my mind over and over:

It is the family experience that is the best training for life.

Why? Because I want my children to not only be a success in education and career, but in their personal relationships. And that all starts when they are young, in the home. The family's important role in a child's life does not end at a certain age and shouldn't be overshadowed by outside influences.

President of the LDS church, Thomas S. Monson has stated this which supports exactly the lightbulb moment I had for the week:

"Perhaps most significant of all classrooms is the classroom of the home. It is in the home that we form our attitudes, our deeply held beliefs. It is in the home that hope is fostered or destroyed. Our homes are the laboratories of our lives. What we do there determines the course of our lives when we leave home. Dr. Stuart E. Rosenberg wrote in his book The Road to Confidence, “Despite all new inventions and modern designs, fads and fetishes, no one has yet invented, or will ever invent, a satisfying substitute for one’s own family.”  

(“Precious Children—A Gift from God,” Ensign, Nov 1991, 67)



What is it I can give, better than any other person that would be a gift that would be most precious to my children? My love and belief / hope in my children, and also, I believe, careful character development.

What, might one ask, is good character?

"A good character is something you must make for yourself. It cannot be inherited from parents. It cannot be created by having extraordinary advantages. It isn't a gift of birth, wealth, talent or station. It is the result of your own endeavor. It is the reward that comes from living good principles and manifesting a virtuous and honorable life."

Elder L. Tom Perry in an address given on January 15, 2010 at Utah Valley University

I want my children to grow up loving God and serving Him, which is part of strong character traits, and because of my husband's and my experience living this way, we know absolutely that everything else that is needed follows. God provides and we are thankful for this.

Then, I read this @ At the Well by Michelle G. and it just fits perfectly with my thinking about this topic:


"When we are obedient and trusting God, the academics will fall into place. He will prepare them for the plans He has for them. We can trust Him.

Let’s give them what they really need. Let’s give them love and acceptance. Let’s give them the confidence that comes from knowing they are treasured and loved by the most High God. A mama can do that, you know? She can impart this love like no other. Go give you children what they really need today."

Isn't that just beautiful? What a lovely reminder and for me, so encouraging. I have time each day to do this, to love like no other, and that is part of my children's education that no other person can give. I can do that!

I can be a mother-- a parent who guides, teaches, explains, plays, prays, sings, loves, makes mistakes, asks forgiveness, and tries again.

God can and will do His part; He is their perfect teacher and through His spirit, my children have the best connection to a 'school', one that is perfect for them.


Now that I have my "Why" in place, resources are jumping out at me! These are supplements to what we teach in the home and reaffirm truths to our children in fun ways. I would add that I do not receive any compensation for sharing what we plan to use. I share simply because I am excited to have such helpful resources available!

God's Mighty Warrior devotional book for boys
Janeen Brady's Brite music series "Standin' Tall", emphasizing 12 character traits
Memorizing the Articles of Faith and select Bible verses
...with Scripture Scouts as a supplement
Learning new primary songs from the Children's Songbook
Cub Scouts for our oldest son


Our family devotional times, with faith expressed in reading scripture, singing songs and praying together, makes up most of our focus. I believe in the power of a parent's testimony--it is vital, for my children's sake, to share with them what we believe and why. It is really rewarding to listen to the child and hear what they are understanding and what they believe, too. This strengthens everyone!

What is your 'WHY'? Whether homeschooling or not, what do you feel is your role in your child's education? What are you enthusiastic about sharing with your children? 

I am excited to share some fun, adventurous life lessons I am planning within a 2011-12 Year Theme, soon to be posted about here on this blog! In the meantime, I am off to go swim with my big boys in the hotel pool.  

Happy Summer!





Other resources for parents about educating their children:


Mama Rachel talks about her "WHY" @Thoughts From the Hearth


This (LDSHEA.org) website is designed to support parents who are educating
their children from a gospel perspective in addition to
or, especially, in place of classroom school.
If our youth are to be saved from the evils of today's world,
fulfill their personal missions, and participate in the
upbuilding of Zion, their parents must teach them.


We are reminded that April 2010's General Conference contained urgent, and encouraging, guidance to all parents who are concerned with the education their children are receiving.



Saturday, June 25, 2011

Appropriate Music...Every Day?

 Hymns and gentle music can be so soothing. I love playing them on the stereo on Sunday afternoons to relax and inspire me and to invite the spirit into our home. Classical, bluegrass or fiddling music is often playing while I cook in the evenings or clean the kitchen. They Might Be Giants has some fun music when we are in a silly mood and there are super children's artists like Raffi, Red Grammar, and the Laurie Berkner Band.

{photo credit}
But there are times when I really want to listen to something that gets me enthusiastic and energized, with an emphasis on my work...which is bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of my family, as a woman, a wife and a mother. I want to listen to music that I would listen to with anyone around, that supports me in my faith in Jesus Christ and his teachings, instead of leading me away (like most popular music these days). I want something to listen to on any weekday!



Most LDS music for women, or just generally, is very.....dare I say.... sedate. At least, that is to say, what I can find at Deseret Book. Which is perfect is you want something gentle to listen to. But. How great it would be if there were more selections that were powerfully uplifting and empowering and that I felt like playing on days besides Sunday when I want to feel encouraged and energized! (Besides choral and orchestral works) We have a lot of what might be considered 'worship' music, which is so important, but we could use more of the 'everyday' variety.

Hm. What to do? What to do?

Enter: contemporary Christian music.

I don't mind listening to music from people of other faiths/churches different from mine.

If you think about it, how much time does a person spend listening to the popular music on the radio or downloads from a favorite band or musician? Chances are, those musicians most likely do not share many religious or spiritual beliefs or even moral standards (in many cases) and often the lyrics in most popular music, when really listened to, do not reflect our true standards and purpose in life as followers of Jesus Christ.

What a gift, then, is music made by everyone who considers themselves a Christian and lives in accordance with Christ's teachings. Music has the power to lead us to Christ or away from him.

I think this topic is very timely for young people, teenagers and young adults, as well, because many of them are seeking exciting music but all too often only find what is easily available and are missing out on the great stuff that is 'out there' but not always easy to find! I know that was definitely the case when I was where they are now.

I admit, when I was younger, I had the music I listened to on Sunday....and then I had the music I listened to on other days. And most of it was what everyone else was listening to and, to be honest, it was not music that invites the Spirit. Since that time, my taste has changed as my heart has changed. I want the Holy Ghost to be my companion, so I want to choose music that I like that does not drive the Spirit away. It has made a tremendous difference in how I feel emotionally--letting that stuff go left me feeling lighter and seeing the world in a much more positive way. I can't go back because I enjoy the new world of music I have found so much more than that other stuff.

I have a special person to credit in finding newer, better music to listen to on a more consistent basis. My husband introduced me to the exciting genre of contemporary Christian music when we were dating, about 10 years ago.



Some of his favorite artists include Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Bebo Norman, Nichole Nordeman, Caedmon's Call, Cindy Morgan, Chris Rice, Sarah and Shaun Groves, FFH (they put on a great concert), Point of Grace, Rebecca St. James, and Watermark. I enjoy these and other artists' music as well, in addition to my own taste in other genres such as bluegrass, jazz, classical and fiddling music.

For our very first date, he took me to a concert. Nichole Nordeman was in town and that night there were at least 2 practicing 'Mormons' (common nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) swaying and singing along! (She puts on a terrific concert!) When I think of anyone who might be shocked at that thought, I giggle now.  I remembering watching as she pounded out the songs she was so passionate about on the piano keys. I was enthralled with her strength of character and desire to share her feelings about the Savior. Her music was poignant, introspective and, at times, funny.

{Photo Credit}


For Mother's Day this year, my caring husband gave me the gift of a CD, Women of Hope, from Deseret Book (he takes hints well! Great guy!). I popped it in and listened away...and then laughed as the fourth track started to play. It was one of my favorite songs from Nichole Nordeman, entitled "Legacy". (Which can be found in the playlist on the bottom of this blog)

Why did I laugh? Because here were LDS women's voices singing one of the first songs I listened to when I first started to listen to contemporary Christian music. I smiled. It was good to hear! (Although, I, ahem, like Nichole's better) I know Kenneth Cope also did a whole CD covering contemporary Christian songs. There are artists, like Cherie Call and Hilary Weeks, and a few others who are innovating contemporary LDS music. I hope more LDS artists will continue to broaden and get lively.YLDSR is a great place to find LDS music online (thanks to my sister-in-law who shared that with me).

I am not alone in my opinion and desire to hear more music, distinctly LDS, with more 'pep'. Convert to the LDS faith since 1998 and well-known artist, Gladys Knight, mentioned the same thought to the late President of the LDS church, Gordon B. Hinckley. He encouraged her and she created the Saints United Voices choir.

{photo credit}

I was privileged to see and hear them when they were in our city about 5 years ago when they were singing selections from the One Voice album. (You can listen to tracks here) When they sang "Blessed Assurance", I was thrilled! Here was another woman, and member of the same church with the same beliefs as me, leading a diverse group of men and women singing songs that not only uplifted and inspired me, but gave me goose bumps and just made me feel like electricity was running to my finger tips. It was energizing! I felt the spirit there in that church building, confirming the truth of not just the message of those songs, but the experience. There is room for diversity and uniqueness in the Lord's kingdom.

I am grateful for my husband who introduces music to me that speaks to his heart and his sense of musicality. It was one thing that attracted me to him when we first met and still is one of the best things we have in common as "old married people", LoL. (Pay attention, young people! The music you listen to has the power to attract the right kind of person to you, and vice versa!)

I feel fortunate to be able to enjoy and appreciate the testimony and strength that come from musicians of all walks of life and faiths with whom I share values in common. For one thing, my playlist is practically endless! Plenty of music for ANY day!! The music these artists create can act as a binding agent, love, for the truths we both accept and honor and enable us to celebrate together the uniqueness and diversity that the act of following Christ teaches us to embrace. We don't all have to think the same, or sound the same, to be followers of Christ. I have found that whether I want to be calmed or energized, there is (an appropriate) song for that!

Now, if you are curious or would like to listen to a few songs we enjoy at our house, don't hesitate to press 'play' on the music player below. There is some awesome music there!


How have you been impacted by empowering music? What positive experiences have you had while listening to music from people of faiths or backgrounds different than your own? What criteria do you consider when choosing what you listen to?



Monday, June 20, 2011

Cooks-in-Training

Would you like to meet them?

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They are my crust cutters and butter spreaders.

We were making grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Our 6 year old little guy helped Mom make a pan of manicotti for lunch today for the whole family. It was an easy enough recipe to do together and he enjoyed cracking the eggs, but did not like gooey hands. He ate a few par-cooked noodles and called them "delicious!" He was so pleased to do these big jobs himself, with Mom offering instructions.

If you'd like to read my tips on cooking with kids in the kitchen, click HERE.


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It doesn't have to be fancy or ultra-healthy to count.
Building skills, making memories, and enjoying our relationship:
cooking in the kitchen together as a family is terrific!

What ways do you enjoy being in the kitchen with your children? I love to hear other families' stories! If you'd like to share something that works for you here with a comment, I invite you to. It's always encouraging.



A Lego 'Curriculum'?

A few years ago, when first asked what curriculum we used for our then kindergarten-aged oldest son, I smiled and answered, "Legos!"

The person smiled and then conversation went on. I later found out they thought I had purchased a pre-packaged all-subject curriculum based around the tiny plastic bricks!

Oh, how I laughed!!

At age 8, he still loves to build contraptions and make pretend play and games. Last night, he and his brother just younger than him had stacked up wooden blocks to represent how many 'guys' they each had on their team and then sent out Lego 'guys' to battle each other. They love to make up these games on their own very often. It's one reason why we keep a large amount where the boys, and our daughter, can pull them out and use them when the mood, or idea, strikes.

Now, I jokingly refer to Legos as a great learning tool, but there are in fact many real lessons that go along with this tiny manipulative. You've seen our spelling words, that my handsome husband invented as a way to engage our kids and encourage reading and spelling.

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"Zerg" is, believe it or not, an actual term   :^)

But, you might be surprised by the learning that occurs naturally, without a teacher standing over their shoulder or a worksheet for practicing a concept. Learning happens, very often, serendipitously

Here is an example of doing multiplication with the bricks.

9 x 3 + 1 = 28

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Organizing skills and having a keen eye come with the territory. How else can they find the exact tiny piece they need to complete their self-planned project?

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Speaking of self-planned, these projects are all initiated by the boys, with a few challenges from their Dad, which they love to build and them show him for acknowledgment and approval occasionally.

As parents, we recognize the very valuable skills of being self-starters and seeing their plan through to completion as vital life skills. They always complete their goals because they thought of it and the desire is intrinsic--it comes from within. How many adults struggle with this skill in their education or work? This is one of those traits we want our kids to be able to build on from youth and Legos has played a role in them building those traits.

Cooperation and communication are also key as they learn to work together to find or share pieces.

Both the oldest boys often invite me or Dad to see the neat thing they have built, which invites conversation about how many pieces are here, or what they plan to build on there. They enjoy explaining the project and what the purpose of the vehicle is or what the storyline is in which the creation is a part of, in their imagination.

I have seen the boys learn to be so patient when a little one discovers a carefully crafted vehicle and then decimates it, all the while smiling innocently at the big brother.

Sometimes a parent is needed to help them express their feelings in an appropriate way, without resorting to hitting or yelling, but they are increasingly building self-control, learning to keep important projects out of the way of tiny hands, and when the inevitable Lego destroying does occur, I am so happy to see when they do lovingly respond to the wrong-doer. I see them mimic the modeling I and their Dad have been working to do with love and patience. It has been a lesson to me, too, to continue responding in love and helping others to do so, as well.

Who'd have thought tiny plastic bricks play such a role in all that learning?

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Monday, June 13, 2011

A Few Things Lately...

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What's the spelling word of the day?     ZERG.   Yup.

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Tee-hee! Sipping water and reading Itsy Bitsy Spider w / Mom


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Bey Blade Battles! They were excited to play with this!
I thought it was a new toy based on a cartoon.

It turns out....

I was wrong!

Their uncle reminisces about the days gone by....

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when he was the ripe old age of 12 and yelled...

"Let it rip!"

The kids were thrilled to battle their uncle!

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He had even had one of his old Bey Blade spinner thingys.
They compared how it battled next to the new versions.


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Pausing from the nighttime family wrestling match that Dad instigated
just long enough to snap a photo.
I was excited that four of us were wearing green!   (Silly Mom)


Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Solution for Active Modest Swimwear

I have a list of retailers on the Homemaking page of my blog under Modesty, many whom are mothers themselves, who sell wonderful swimwear that is both good-looking and truly modest.

Last season I was in need of a new suit. However, the prices for many modest swimsuits are a bit higher than the regular suits I find in stores and it would take a long time for me to save up for a nice $70-$90+ suit. These HydroChic suits are awesome! Until then, I needed another solution.

I spent a lot of time around pools as a lifeguard and as a competitive swimmer when I was a teen and I still enjoy swimming for exercise. Functionality is important to me in whatever suit I choose because I like to be active. I was considering a modest suit solution last summer and while browsing in the athletic wear section at the local Marshall's discount department store, I came upon what I feel is a great idea and what a blessing it was for me!


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This is a workout top and shorts. The shorts stay on with a reliable draw-string waist. There are snugger shorts sewn in underneath the outer shorts, so they stay in place and keep me covered while swimming. I wear a coordinating sports bra underneath the nice long top and it gives me the support I need. Oh...and it's pretty easy to nurse a baby in, too.

I like this suit. I feel covered and confident and I don't feel like I stick out that much at the pool, either because too much skin is showing or because my swimsuit is that much different than those around me. 

Though there is a gap between the shorts and top in the photo, when it is on, there is plenty of coverage. I like how long athletic tops are these days. It would be nice if more suits had that kind of coverage! I know one Mom who wears a rash guard top and shorts over her suit mainly for sun protection and also for modesty. Great idea there!


I was so happy to finally have a suit that doesn't have to be tugged to cover certain areas or worry about anything showing that shouldn't be. (I have a few stories of ripped bottoms or too-high cut suits in my past...so this was a major relief for me!! No more embarrassing pool stories, I hope!) It really makes trips to the pool for a long swim or with my kids easier--at least I can swim and chase my kiddos in comfort.

One note about the fabric of each piece: It is basically similar to the fabric you find in swimwear, so it maintains its shape fine for me. I have worn it one season and have worn it again as this summer season starts. I always rinse it with water and dry it after each use and often throw it in a cold wash and hang dry so the chlorine doesn't sit in it for long. It has lasted very well in chlorinated pools and I see it will last at least one more summer season.

And now, what is the cost of the whole swim outfit? $40. Oh, yeah! That number is affordable to me right now.

If you like this post, you might like these about the topic of modesty:
Outfit of the Day
Dressing Femininely...Does it Matter?
7 Days in a Skirt

The Modest Mom shared her list of modest swimwear retailers, and it's very comprehensive.

What modest swimwear solutions work for you? Do you have any ideas or resources you think need to be shared with other women and men? Leave a comment below and spread the word!

This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nursing Wrap

Introducing: the shawl wrap! And guess what!

It's also a fashion-friendly nursing cover-up.

That's right ladies, no baby-print flannel blankets here.

This one's useful as a nursing cover-up

AND

can be used to give any outfit some flair!

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See those cute, chubby toddler girl legs waving underneath the wrap? Yep, she's nursing!


My wrap recently came in handy many times as my 17 month old daughter nursed during the long 14 hour flights to and from Australia.

Of course breastfeeding is purely natural and normal and there is nothing shameful in a child nursing, or in a woman's body for that matter, no matter what place they may be in.

But sometimes I just like some privacy from any curious folks' stares when I am out in public in certain places, like airports and restaurants for instance.

The wrap is a simple and fashionable way to provide that privacy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

7 Days in a Skirt / Spring & Summer

Missed my other posts on this topic?
See one church outfit that represented a change for me and read about about my own reasons I choose to dress modestly and with femininity.

I choose to dress this way because I recognize my body for the wonderful creation it is and cover it out of respect for myself and for the good Lord who made me. It has helped me to feel more confident, receive respect from others, but most importantly, I feel confident in my relationship with the Lord.

My next two posts on this topic will be about a nursing cover up that doubles as a cute accessory and a modest swimwear solution for the active mom. Stay tuned for those later this week!


I have been wearing skirts almost every day for about 2 months. I feel so much more feminine and motherly, and not in a frumpy kind of way. I have been surprised to find that a skirt can actually be comfortable and that any activity I have done, I have found a skirt to wear.
I like the way I feel in a skirt, and by that I also mean feeling a sense of my self as a mother and wife. It's made a difference to me, and in an empowering way.

While I do wear a pair of pants from time to time, I have become more aware of the occasional subconscious thought that in order to do important things, I have to emulate a man in some way, whether that's by dress or using more brusque tones or mannerisms. Wearing a skirt or a dress in day-to-day activities has helped me to become more aware of the unique privilege I have to be a woman. Women are very powerful for good when we put our energies into it!  Femininity matters! Being a woman has it's own privileges--not because we are better than men or subservient to them, but because of the beautiful creation that we are as women, as God designed us to be: a helpmeet.

My criteria for doing this challenge of wearing skirts daily and knowing if it was right for me included: 
  • Is it modest and feminine?
  • Do I feel comfortable in this?
  • Is this affordable?
  • Is this practical?
Almost all the pieces photographed here were purchased from local thrift stores or from discount department stores, like Marshall's. I like to look nice, but comfort is key for me and I have to be able to do my mommy-things in whatever I wear.

Now, I may dress in a skirt most often these days, but my outfits are usually more on the practical side. If you are looking for more stylishly feminine outfits, you might like these at True Femininity.


My intention is to show that all my criteria I listed were met in the following photos of outfits. Feel free to comment on what you liked or ask any questions in the comment box below.


Day 1:
Attending church? Of course, there is a skirt for that!

Wearing dresses and skirts kind of goes along with church-going, right? Here is a comfortable ensemble. Cost of top and skirt was 10 bucks at a local thrift / re-sale shop.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Life Goes On...and the Picklin's Easy

Sunday's hospital E.R. visit...just waking up after his seizure. He has more tests with the neurologist later this week, in hopes technology can help pinpoint some causes.
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He's fine now! Picking peas at the local U-Pick farm.
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Monday, June 6, 2011

A Few Things Lately...

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Playing at his Aunt's house...feeding the baby pony.
Glad he is feeling better. He had a seizure Sunday but is doing fine now. He has unexplained seizures every few years that can last about 20 minutes at a time. Other than this, he is healthy.And very normal, teasing his brothers and having lots of fun with his friends.
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Oh, yeah! She loves singing right into this microphone!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My New Boba Baby Carrier!

If the post title ends with an exclamation point, ya'll already know I'm excited!

I love babywearing. I have carried my babies around while cooking or running errands or at the park since my oldest was a baby. It lets me get things done and soothes and entertains them at the same time. Gotta love that! They are just happier when Mom or Dad carries them. In our home, there is a place for the stroller, but the carrier is an invaluable tool in our parenting toolbelt.

In our family, we have used ring slings, wraps, pocket/pouch style slings, and the ERGObaby carrier during the last 6-8 years. I have had my eye on the Boba baby carrier for about 2 years, ever since I saw a banner ad for it on the Mothering.com forums. The features I get excited about is the extra fabric for added height and width on the portion of the carrier that support the child's back and the footstraps for the older toddler's feet to rest, instead of letting them dangle. Since my husband and I use this style of carrier exclusively with our older babies and toddlers, I was very interested in the added fabric feature because it would fix the problem I experience with the ERGObaby carrier, in which the carrier does not come up quite high enough on the child's back, causing a feeling like the child is leaning back or about to fall out. This then causes the adult wearer to compensate and hunch forward, causing poor posture and strain on the shoulders.

Recently, I saw a review on The Modest Mom's blog and that got me really thinking...I need to try this carrier out. I purchased a classic Boba 2G and tried it on with my 20 pound, 18 month old daughter.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

A Few Things Lately...

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Our oldest son wanted to have a flag ceremony, so he set one up in the front yard. He led us in the Pledge.

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At the park this week, he said, "I love this leaf!" and so he brought it home.

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Our friend setting cement as our son looks on--it's going to be a HUGE fort with drawbridge and lookout tower in our backyard!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dressing Femininely...does it matter?

Why skirts?

I used to think that women who chose to wear only skirts and dresses were from the backwoods ...or were overly zealous in their faith and a bit pushy and self-righteous...or had 'body image issues' (aka: lack of self-confidence)...or were meek, doormat-types who let their husbands make all their decisions for them. Have you ever entertained any of these stereotypical views like this? I'm embarrassed to say I have!


I already dress modestly, so why should I care anyway?
I am LDS and women wear dresses and skirts to church
services on Sunday and also when attending the temple,
so wearing skirts and dresses is not new to me entirely.
But wearing them on the weekday definitely was!


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Holding my brother and sis-in-law's sweet daughter

Really, who wants to 'dress up' everyday? And can you ride a bike in a skirt? What about cleaning days? Or winter time? Sitting on the floor, playing with kids? Would I have to give up my power for influence if I gave up wearing pants....in other words, would anyone 'pay attention' or listen to a woman in a skirt?


And what if it just gets plain boring wearing skirts and dresses all the time?!

(In two months, hasn't happened for me yet)


I am still not of the mind that wearing pants is wrong for women or that I will never wear them. I do believe that I can dress femininely in pants, too.


But I have discovered how comfortable wearing skirts can be and that I do enjoy feeling feminine in them...and that I haven't had to "give anything up" in doing so! I have felt a change in my heart towards feeling stronger in my personal resolve to live true to who I am and whose I am (God's daughter). How can I keep such good news to myself? I'm also really excited to continue this experiment with my young daughter, as well.



Where did my interest start? Hm...

Who's Doin' Dishes & TV Coverage...

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A new helper in the kitchen! She decided to put the cutlery into the can so big bro could put them away later.

A Few Things in May...

Last month was a wonderful whirlwind of family activities!

As my husband and I are both the second oldest in families of 8 children each, there are months that are chock-full of family activities. This was certainly one of them!

My younger brother graduated with his bachelor's in Fine Arts this month, and I couldn't be prouder.

Ben telling our Mom something very interesting in front of part of his exhibit on his campus.

Family members on my husband's side from near and far gathered to celebrate with a bridal shower for the sister who was wed this month and a baby shower for another sister who is expecting a baby boy this year. (Another sister is also expecting a baby just a month later! What a blessing!)

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We all ate, chatted plenty, played board games, some spent time in the Temple with the new married couple, hiked, took photos and had fun at the wedding reception, and waved goodbye, happy with the memories made and happily anticipating the next time we will be all together again.

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The Happy NEW Couple! He serenaded her beautifully with "I Will Show You the World" from the Disney movie, Aladdin. Young love is so inspiring, isn't it?