For those that like to dream, come in. For those that like to laugh, come in. For those that like to cry and be inspired...please come in. Our family is like any other, but is extraordinary in it's own right. Come and join us at our campfire and laugh a little, cry a little and leave us, but please come back. We love company...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The tides turn...

It's Christmas time and part of me wants to wallow in the joy, music, and beauty of it all. The other part of me wants to hide until January 1st. This part of me is the part that I am trying to desperately to rid myself of.

I admire other people that seem to love the season without reservation. Stress and all. Maybe it's because we have 9 beautiful little people that I want to give a wonderful Christmas to. Toys, electronics and clothes are not cheap anymore...not that they ever were. But it seems to get more and more expensive every year. Or maybe it's just that we have a new person to buy for every year....I don't really know. The only thing I know is that it's hard to go shopping with limited funds and filter out the really expensive stuff and try to get things they will love without spending tons of money. Sadly enough, this is what Christmas has become for me.

In years past it was so much more for me. The music especially was so dear to my heart. When I was in college I was part of a music group called LDSingers. We travelled around Utah performing for different stakes and loving every minute of it. We were always invited to come and perform at the Festival of Trees and that was one of our favorite times of year. We would hop on busses, in our dresses and suits and drive all the way to Salt Lake (we went to Snow college) and spend the day downtown, roaming the malls, wandering around the Festival, admiring the lights, and even hit Temple Square for some quiet time with the Christus. We loved what we did and we seemed to bring joy to everyone when we would spontaneously stop and sing where ever we were. I was able to enjoy the beauty of Christmas without having to worry about the stress and money of it.

So I guess the question is how can I get that back? How can I get my kids to see the beauty in it without always focusing on the gifts? I want to pick an angel off the angel tree and let my kids buy gifts for some cute little boy or girl who would not get Christmas otherwise. But that involves money. But I am still keeping that one in mind. Another option is Temple Square and the lights, and Nativity. Cold though, and Skyler and Colby seem to be sick all the time, I am not sure whether or not they can handle being out in the cold at night. I always play Christmas music, which seems to help and we always put up lights and the tree not long after Thanksgiving. But I guess what I am really shooting for is to be able to teach them to feel Christmas with their hearts rather than with what's in their hands. Challenging....to say the least.

Someday the kids will be living on their own, having their own Christmases with their own families and I know I will even miss the more stressful parts. I guess for now I should just glean from the joy they feel during the season. Their faces are wonderful to see when they see the 100th house with lights up and they squeal like it's the first house they had seen. I should glean from the joy that is christmas morning and the looks on their faces when they come out and see the presents and stockings that they know is for them. Warm Christmas cookies, gifts from friends and a constant barrage of Christmas shows on tv that all remind them of what is coming.

Try to become as a little child. I have heard that since I was a little child. I always think I know what that means, and yet it seems I am learning more and more everyday what that truly means. This year it means that I need to not worry about the money and just love the holiday for what it is. Beauty, celebration of the Savior, and joy in my kids. The kind of joy you can see in the eyes of those that truly know how to feel unadulterated joy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Get ready for bed dangit!

So Jon has been working a 2nd job these last few weeks and I have been relegated to a single parent role. At least for the time being. Jon is so tired by the time he gets home he can't see straight. I am so tired I am sound asleep before the 9 o'clock hour hits. We both are trying to do what's best for our family but sometimes it seems that the right thing is the hard thing.

So the hardest part for me is bedtime. That's the time that we really need two adults here to direct traffic. Usually Jon takes the downstairs crew while I man the upstairs crew. This has worked for years and more or less it's what we do. There are a few crossover kids, like Colby prefers Jon and Isaac prefers me...but more or less it works.

Since Jon has been gone in the evenings though it's much easier said than done. I start with a prayer that goes something like this...
"Lord, please do not let me kill anyone this evening"
"Let me be patient with the onery child"
"Let me be kind to the kid that wants to call me names"
" And please don't let the neighbors hear me when I lose it and start yelling"

Now that the prayer has been said I start with the little kids...Joe down to Skyler. You would think Skyler would be the easiest but he's not. With the blood sugar, insulin, diaper, jammies, bottle and a little lovin he takes forever! I usually start him by 7:30 hoping to get his routine done by 8:00 when the rest need to go down. Now when he is in bed I turn my attention to Colby. He is not hard to put to bed but you need to realize that while I am working with Colby Lacie has gone into Skyler's room and is yelling at me that he is awake and wants out of his bed.
"Mom, Sky is awake and he wants out!"
"Ugh....Lacie....I just put him to bed...he hasn't even been to sleep yet!"
"Oh sorry, can I get him out?"

Colby is down after a few and then it's Jessi. She is easy and it only takes a few minutes to put her down. She is like me....too tired to argue most nights. So then it's Joe. As I try to get him into bed it stirs up Colby since they share a room and then both boys are begging for water and string cheese. Ok, they are in bed at least then I turn back to Skyler. I put him back down with another bottle because he did manage to drink most of the first. He screams at me this time cause he knows what I want and he does not want what I want. Ugh...

Then it's Abby and Lacie. Now, for the most part they are ok with going to bed as long as it's not before 9. Any time before 9....
"It's time for bed girls"
"But it's not 9 yet..."
"Abby, you have to be kidding me...it's 8:57..."
"Well, that isn't 9 now is it?"

They are in bed and quiet..then it's Megan and Isaac at 9:30. Isaac suddenly needs to get in the shower and Megan suddenly has a ton of homework, and not only that but she needs help. Can you say frustration? By 10 or so they are both usually in bed and Isaac is asleep, but Megan is not. She is not usually asleep until 11 or so...but as long as she is in bed, light off and quiet...at this point I just don't care!

Kenna puts herself to bed around ten and boy am I glad cause I just don't have the energy to put another person to bed except myself.....

Three hours and 9 kids later....bedtime routine is done. Yes, this is a nightly routine.

Everyone wants to be me.......NOT!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Daughter of God

Last night I went to a "Night of Excellence" with my two oldest daughters and my hubby. These nights are a chance for the Young Womens leaders and for parents to recognize the talents the girls have and the strong spirits that our daughters are. Last nights theme was the temple. Now, usually when I get going on these things I drag my feet and look for excuses to not go just because I really dont need just one more thing to do or one more place to go in a day. Yesterday was especially tiring becaue I spent 5pm to 6:15pm at the elementary school going to the kids parent teachers conferences...then I ran home and changed and waited for Jon and his mom to show up so we could go. Busy, busy, busy....

Now, on a side note I have to say how grateful I was to Betty for walking into my disaster of a home and taking care of my little orphan children so that Jon and I could go together to this. I was so grateful for that because I ended up so happy that Jon and I could share in this experience together. These are our children and as much as possible we try to go to these things together.

Back to the girls night...the minute we walked into the church the spirit was there. The display for the girls things was beautiful....pictures, scriptures, art projects all centered around the temple were on display and each girl was represented so beautifully. I walked through the displays slowing, trying to absorb the beauty that is each girl. It was set up perfect so that by the time you entered the relief society room you were already feeling a strong spirit.

It only got better from there. Two of the leaders got up to start and read an email from the YW's president who could not be there due to the flu and I was already crying even before they started. After that there were four young women who had earned their medalions this year (equal to a young mans Eagle Scout). McKenna was one of them. All four were invited up and each one in turn was spotlighted by their fathers. It was so wonderful and I think my love for not only my daughter, but for the other 3 girls increased that night. Then they had a wonderful man and friend to everyone sing a song on the guitar. Again...more tears. After that a video of the years events in Young Womens. Activities, camps, and service projects.

By the end of the evening I could soley testify to the power of a young woman. The power that is her spirit and the unending love that our Father in Heaven has for each and every one of them. I love all five of my daughters and that will never change. I only hope that as the years go by I can help instil in them how much they mean to me. How powerful they are. The influence for good they can be. They have been chosen to be on the earth at a very hard time and I know they each one in turn can repel satan and stand for something good. I am just so grateful that I have been priviledged enough to be a part of it.

Daughters of God, women of light, chosen children of our Heavenly Father, divine spirits, no matter how you put it, all our daughters are a gift that shines for us always.