Monday, February 19, 2018


A few Lincolnisms lately:

-"I know why they call it 'Chick-fil-a!!' Because it makes you FULL! Get it? Chick-FULL-a?"

-Lincoln was disobeying and having a hard time. Sam asked him why he was behaving the way he was and Lincoln replied, "Well, um...well...I just...well....................I am happy!"

-I asked him what his favorite thing about Tennessee is and he said, "Well, our Tennessee house is the worst and...our Fruit Heights house is the best..." I asked him why and he said "I miss Jen." Jen was our middle-aged next-door neighbor, who Lincoln maybe talked to a grand total of two times... I guess she left an impression?

-While playing in the backyard, Lincoln began chewing on a piece of grass and said, "Mmm! Mommy, these grass clippings are the most delicious ones I have ever tasted! Thank you so much for moving to this house because it is so big and the grass clippings are so good!!"

-The missionaries came over for dinner and after the prayer I stepped into the kitchen for a moment to take something out of the oven. From the dining room I heard him say matter-of-factly to the elders (with regards to dishing up food), "Mommy is always first because she makes the so yummiest food."

I simply love this boy and his energy and enthusiasm.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Thank You for Being Kind

Today our Family Home Evening lesson was centered on Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin's talk,
We discussed the importance of having a good attitude even when things are difficult
and how we have been commanded to be grateful in all things.
I shared a story with the boys about a time when I was in college and it seemed that everything was going wrong...I was sick for much of the semester, my brand new bike was stolen, a cinder block fell out of a car onto my foot and I hobbled around campus with a boot on while slipping on the ice...
my roommate and I decided one day that we should make some cute "thankful" signs to hang in our room to remind us of all we had to be grateful for. And the more we wrote, the more we felt the comfort of the Spirit and the hard things seemed far less important.

After family scripture study tonight, Talmage said,
"Mom, the kids at school call my friend F-A-T, but I like him because he does what Elder Wirthlin said to do...he makes the best of it and just laughs along with them."
He told us that he never makes fun of him and that this boy is very smart and confident.
My heart simultaneously broke for this sweet boy and swelled with gratitude that our son was not joining in the name calling. I know all too well that regardless of his good attitude, this boy will be affected for life by the unkind teasings of his peers.
I know that he will likely carry the label of "fat" with him throughout the rest of his life.
I know that even though he laughs right along with them, a wound is probably forming that will take a great deal of time and effort to heal.

And so as I sat next to Talmage's bed, rubbing his back and telling him good night, I said,
"Thank you for being a good friend and for being kind. I'm glad you're smart, and I'm glad you're healthy, but I'm even more glad you're kind."

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

His Sweet Disposition and Gray Hair

Last week Wesley celebrated 100 days of Kindergarten by dressing up like a 100-year-old man.
I was a slacker and didn't get white hair spray, so...sidewalk chalk for the win!
It didn't work all that well, but I think they got the general idea. :)

Wesley has such a sweet, calm disposition.
Tonight I was reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's Farm to him and Lincoln while we waited for Talmage to get home from Scouts with Sam,
and Wesley suddenly said, "Mom, while you were reading I couldn't help but smile because I love you so much...and I love when you read to us."
He wrapped his arms around me and gave me a squeeze and rolled closer to cuddle up with me.
My mind wandered to what a blessing his sweet, affectionate, steady disposition has been over the past year with so many changes and transitions. Sometimes I fear I neglect him a little because he is so easy-going and content.
He is happy and positive and mellow and he just enjoys life.

I'm so grateful this sunshine-y boy entered our lives almost 6 1/2 years ago.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

18 Months

Maxwell turned 18 months old this past week.
Church Nursery, at last!
He cried for a minute at the beginning and then was happy the rest of the time-so great!
Sam is always joking about the "palm wavers" he has hired for me and when he mentioned the palm wavers that would be at Church I immediately replied, "The Nursery workers??"
They are real Saints.

-is completely and totally obsessed with balls and insists that any spherical object is a ball that he must get (like the bottom of light fixtures).
-adores dogs but is a little afraid of them when they get close, especially if they're big.
-is super picky but loves cheese and asks for it constantly.
-is happiest with his older brothers and knows how to torment Lincoln like a pro. He can also hold his own in a battle of wills very well.
-loves books and puzzles.
-watches so intently for the bus after school and then goes tearing off down the sidewalk to greet his brothers with giant hugs-melts my heart!
-goes crazy if he hears the word "shower" because he loves them so much. Don't even think about mentioning a shower and then not putting him in, or you will have a colossal fit on your hands.
-loves bike rides in his iBert baby seat (such a great seat!).
-loves music and dancing (he's currently dancing around the room).
-has the best dimples and the best grumpy face (see below). His deep, dark eyes get me every time.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Pouf

I am a long-term planner and a dreamer.
And when I get an idea in my head, I can be a bit obsessive until it's accomplished.
So keep those traits in mind when I tell you that I was in High School when I started thinking about buying a LoveSac to go in my room.
Not only did I like the idea of having a large, comfortable fluff-ball in my room for homework, scripture study, reading, and more,
but my dreams of marriage and motherhood were never far from the surface of my mind and I could easily envision the fun my future children would have with such a piece of furniture,
especially since I spent a good chunk of my childhood flinging myself down the stairs into a similar "pouf" that my uncles gave my parents when they were married.

It was a highlight of my childhood, to be sure.

Well, one day I looked up LoveSacs on Ebay to see what my options might be,
and lo and behold, there was someone selling a bunch of new ones from a warehouse about 40 minutes from our home.
I stewed over it for a while and finally my sister convinced me to take the plunge.
So I called, made arrangements to come pick one up, and handed over a few hundred dollars of my hard-earned money that I could never bring myself to spend.

Would I regret such a big purchase?
Me, the girl who wouldn't even spend $10 on clothing in High School?
I don't think I ever regretted it in High School,
but I can tell you that I NEVER regret it now.
I became a mom only about 4 years later, and ever since then this "pouf" has provided constant entertainment for our family.

Yesterday the boys and I pulled it out of the playroom and they began climbing up into the nook above the fireplace (which is currently empty) and launching themselves into the air, landing safely in its cushy goodness.
And today after school the fun continued.

They jump down the stairs into its puffy depths,
we cuddle and read stories in it,
we throw and flip the boys into it in all sorts of fun ways (Sam especially loves this one),
and it has hosted plenty of naps.

It's basically another member of our family.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

House Names

For those who have become acquainted with my love of charm, nostalgia, and whimsy,
it will come as no surprise that I felt a desire to name each of our homes.
I yearned to describe each home in a way that summed up the magical experiences we had within those walls together--something much more than "our Texas house."
And so, sometime early last year, we named each of our homes (our apartments haven't made the list yet).

PalmRose Place

This sweet little duplex holds such a dear place in my heart!
In the flower bed by the front door, there was a palm tree that quickly grew to be taller than the house.
One day, construction vehicles appeared and tore down the tree. A short time later it was replaced with rose bushes.
(Thus the name.)
Oh, how we loved that little walkway, home to sidewalk chalk drawings, playtime with the neighbor's cat, digs in the wood chips, conversations with piano students' moms, and even a fun experience with a turtle that appeared outside the door one day!
The balcony overlooking the enormous backyard made such a magical place for our porch swing,
and so many hours were spent swinging and playing there.
Within these walls our family grew to 5 members, we made decisions about grad school and a post-doc, we scrimped and made-do and saw miracles in our lives, and we rejoiced endlessly as a family.
PalmRose Place, I will forever look on you with tremendous fondness.

Mulberry Garden

This sweet little home gets its name from 2 sources:
-the enormous mulberry tree that provided a leafy canopy over half the backyard and
-our first garden we planted as a family.

We spent so much time together playing in the shade of that mulberry tree.
Its branches tickled the window of the master bedroom and attracted birds by the dozens.
We hung pinecone birdfeeders from its branches and our boys learned of the joy that comes from climbing trees in the midst of its sturdy limbs.
Our first garden brought us so much happiness, even though we had to leave this home before it produced any fruit. I began to love yard work with a passion here.
I think our boys spent more waking hours outside than in, which is just the way we like it.
Mulberry Garden will always be such a unique place of peace and contentment for us...
bright green kitchen and all.

Sunset Hollow

I knew what this home would be named before we even moved in.
The perfect views of the exquisite Utah sunsets over the Great Salt Lake from the window above the kitchen sink and the balcony off the master bedroom and the forested hollow that sank down below the home instantly combined in my mind to set this house apart.
Our time here was very brief--indeed, years shorter than we expected it to be--but it was home for every one of the 5ish months we lived here.
I neglected to take a picture of it until we were moving in late November and the plants had died,
but we were surrounded by gorgeous aspens with their golden leaves through early fall, many varieties of lilies (my favorite!) in the flower beds, a Japanese maple, an enormous blackberry bush, and a terraced backyard that was perfect for sword-fighting little boys.
High windows had been strategically placed in the front and back of the house to provide perfect views of the mountains from this little home's perch in the foothills.
I felt pretty sick during most of the time we lived here, being pregnant, but the boys made fast friends in the neighborhood and spent so many hours with kids from all up and down the street--riding bikes, exploring, raking leaves, and just playing together.
It was idyllic in so many ways.

Now we have a new home to love.
And though all of our homes thus far have been rentals,
each one has had a special place in our hearts.
Someday soon I hope we will buy a home and truly make it ours,
complete with chickens, apple trees, swings, and an enormous garden...
but in the meantime we'll find and create magic here.

Now to come up with a name...

Monday, January 29, 2018

Back to the Predictable

Oh, sweet Lincoln.

A couple of months ago, I lamented to Sam that 4 is usually one of my favorite ages but that I was really struggling with Lincoln and he was misbehaving constantly!
I mean, one could hardly blame him...
he's had a *few* big changes and transitions in his life,
not to mention a mom who is operating at about 50% capacity of normal.

But then a couple of weeks ago I felt impressed to start working hard to stick to my schedules again.
I'm basically never fully successful at following a daily schedule with 4 little ones,
but when I'm trying hard my effectiveness skyrockets!
So I brushed off the schedules that had fallen by the wayside over the past 6 months
and began again to do daily activity time, working on a workbook and having a reading lesson before nap time, and reading a chapter book aloud to Lincoln before nap time as well.
And, as if by magic, 4 became one of my favorite ages again.
The misbehavior drastically decreased and my little shadow and I have made many fun memories together.

It's amazing how often "problems" on the part of a child reflect something I need to change.
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