Friday, October 2, 2015

Be Archaic & Creative Without the Screen Time.

One thing i love about blogging are the people that I connect with in various corners of the world, and to know that we have a lot in common is a relief! Makes me feel like I'm not the only one who is going through "life." Especially when it comes to motherhood, children, and all the negative things that life throws at us. One thing I love about the internet is reading and seeking inspiration from people I follow, and it is amazing. 

I found this post through Sarah's post, and it is an extensive list of screen rules that she has implemented in her family which are pretty much similar to mine. And although some of these may not work for another parent what's important is that some rules are set, because without any kind of foundation our kids can get out of control with the internet, and then issues arise. And trust me, you don't want to go there! 

Although I have a blog, Facebook, instagram, a twitter, and pinterest account I'm not a big fan of the internet. I cringe sometimes when my son asks if he can play on the computer for a bit. I'm so old school, and such an archaic mom that it's not even funny. I don't let my kids have phones when we are church, out to dinner, or in the car. We have them bring books, or play road games when we go on long road trips. Sure once in a while I'll give in and hand Noah my phone to play a game on Kizi, a pen and paper to draw on while at church, but most of the time you'll see us at the playground, at home playing legos, coloring, drawing, or playing games with his sisters. Once in a while I will let him have screen time, but for the most part I don't. One hour is good enough for all my kids. Now unless they have homework, which is a different story, then they can be on the computer for more than an hour (just ask my 15 year old!) Other than that my two youngest kids really don't have the need to constantly be on the computer all the time. Call me a mean mom, strict, crazy, "take a chill pill lady" but I know that having rules when it comes to technology can teach our children a lot of responsibility, and help them not get addicted to always being in front of a screen whether it's the telly, computer, or phone. 

After watching this sad, but sweet commercial I came to the conclusion that generations today are totally obsessed with technology, and it is really scary! I'm grateful that I haven't gotten that far with any of my children to constantly be on the internet. First of all none of them own their own iPads, or computer. We have one computer which is my bedroom, one iPad, three smartphones, and that's all we need. If any of my kids want to get social media accounts it depends on how mature they are to handle it. My oldest daughter was 16 when she got a Facebook, and my 15 year old got an instagram when she was 14. She has no desire for a Facebook which makes me kind of glad! Same rules will apply with my two youngest children as they get older. 

I am so grateful to the parents out there who have set "screen rules" and put their foot down when it comes to their children and social media. Knowing that we have rules for a reason puts my mind at ease. Especially when it comes technology. Protecting my children against the poison that lingers throughout the internet is my top priority. 
Without pressuring our children, and giving them a little freedom I know that our kids can be wise in how they handle the internet. To know that it can be used for good, and to gain spiritual inspiration from christian websites.

Which brings me to this point...

This weekend is the 185th annual general conference, and to be able to watch it in the comforts of our own home via the internet is a blessing. I'm old school, and still go to the church with my family to watch it, but nonetheless the internet can totally be used for good, and to view things that bring joy, and positivity into our life.

Hope y'all are able to watch conference, and that y'all enjoy the weekend! 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Words of Comfort from Women's Conference...Because We All Need Them.

After having a beautiful belated birthday celebration with my family, and taking in the smell of fall while driving out in the outskirts of jersey going to the General Womens broadcast was the icing on the belated cake that i absolutley needed.  

Ever had one of those moments in your life when you feel that everything is going so right, and then bam, something happens so unexpectedly that your reaction to that situation is not what you'd expect. The fact that I received some disturbing news from home which at this moment will remain private was something that I would never expect in a million years. At least not now. I never thought that I would ever have to feel so much heartache for someone who holds a super duper place in my heart. One thing for sure in my life which I'm most grateful for is my family. Family means so much to me even more these days. Mostly because I'm far away from them all.

The General womens broadcast couldn't have fallen at a better time. Heavenly Father sure knows who we are, and He knows exactly what we need. He knows what trials we are going through, and hears our thoughts. Listening to all the talks that were given by the leaders of the church this past weekend was something that I needed, and as always were very inspiring to hear. I definitely made sure that my senses were taking in all the words of our leaders, and boy did I ever need that reminder. 

One thing for sure that I have learned in the past 72 hours is that our faith is totally tested when you receive terrible news. It tests us to the limit if we are going to give up, or fight, and be strong. I always want to choose the latter. I hope I'll always choose the latter. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am to have the Lord in my life, and his gospel to help and guide me with the words I need to hear. I also wish the same for my girls. I hope that they all take in the words of our leaders so that they can look back, and say, "if mom handled it, so can I", and know that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them, and guides their every move. 

This broadcast has been one of the most special ones yet. And it's probably because of the things that are going on in my life. It never fails that every time any type of sadness enters my life something inspirational happens. 

One very special talk that has now become a favorite was given by President Uchtdorf. I always look forward to hearing what he's going to address to us. I just love all his stories, and for the most part usually hits pretty close to home. I absolutely loved this talk, and it totally gave me a different perspective on life. 

Here is a snippet of his talk in which the words resonated with me, and it is something that I really needed to hear so that I will never give up hope, or lose faith. 
"In this painting a pioneer girl is skipping along a bright blue path. She has endured many dark and dreary days, bus she has a spring in her step, and looks optimistic, happy, and hopeful. As you walk through life, I hope you will feel a spring in your step as you trust the Lord, and continue on your own bright and happy path of discipleship. Faith will lead you to open your eyes to the things Heavenly father has in store for you. Love for God and His children will continue to brighten your path, even on dark and cloudy days." 

How true are his words. 

I have been having a lot of those days lately, but I know that with prayer, and faith I can hang on and like the little girl in the picture go out on the bike trial with the loves of my life, or even by myself and skip around like a little kid with a smile on my face telling myself that everything is going to be okay. That whatever happens will happen. That's in Heavenly Father's hands now. That it's okay to cry. That it's okay to not be strong when everyone else thinks you are. 

The story of "A Summer with Great Aunt-Rose" will be forever etched in my heart. 

I also believe that having Pope Francis visiting our neck of the woods was an answer to everyones prayers. Even though I'm no longer Catholic I know that he is a great man who strives to live at the hand of God. Because times are changing, what matters at the end of the day is that the family is important, that loving one anther regardless of our religious beliefs is important, and that keeping the faith alive is essential to our life.  

Yes...this past weekend was amazingly spiritual throughout the city of brotherly love as well as Saturday evening. So grateful to have a living prophet guiding us today, and to have one of his apostles share his love, and support with us. 

We are also Looking forward to General conference this weekend, and I encourage everyone to watch it, and for those of who are not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to give it a chance and tune in! I promise you will leave feeling inspired, and rejuvenated! 

Monday, September 28, 2015


My birthday this year felt somewhat different. Good, but different. With Sierra out west, and the rest of the kids at school, and with Jon no longer having days off during the week my birthday felt like any other day. And it was okay. Sure Jon could have requested to take this day off, but because he's only been with UPS for a little over a year doesn't want to take advantage of the company. And in all honesty I'd rather have him save those days for our children's activities/recitals as opposed to my birthday. We can always celebrate it over the weekend, and that's exactly what we did. 

So on the actual day of my birthday, and on Friday I had two great friends take me to lunch, and it was fun. I thought I was going to be home all alone all day on my birthday, but it turned out that I wasn't. I also helped a friend in need and serving her was something that I wanted to do as opposed to staying home feeling lonesome. 
Then this past Saturday, the kids finally baked me a cake. They have been so busy with school, and after school activities, and with Jon coming home late every night they just couldn't seem to fit it in their schedule. They didn't want me to make it either. Perhaps it's because they feel I'm not that great of a baker which they're probably right, but at any rate they baked me cake and had a fun time spreading chocolate frosting (my fave) all over it. And added sparklers for good measure. They sang happy birthday to me and it was the most sweetest thing I ever heard. I just love my family.
^^^ We then had dinner at the Rustic Grille which was actually pretty good. We'd never tried it before, but I heard it was good. I had a burger and fries, and it was really tasty! ^^^ 
Fall is definitely in the air with the leaves changing in color, and seeing fall decorations in the stores gave me an itch to finally put my fall wreath out as well as buying some mums for my little porch because let's face porch needs a little help in the decorating department. We spotted this cute little spot out in the country which was surrounded by mums, corn stalks, and veggies that were still in season.The kids helped me pick out a couple of mums, and then afterwards I took a picture of them goofing around. Good thing the owner obliged to their silliness, and allowed us to take as many pictures as we want, and anywhere we wantted! I only took one.) I can tell that they love this season, and the smile on their faces proves that they do! 
I'm so grateful for my family, and for all the effort they made in making my day special. In spite of their busyness with school, and work I feel their love through their cards. I always look forward to the kids making me cards, and this year Lexie wrote me a letter. I love how she put the time in her busy schedule to sit down and put pen to paper to write down the most loving words, and to also strengthen me with her words. I love that Noah wrapped one of his Hess trucks in a Ziploc bag, and shouted "happy birthday mom! Open your present." I just love it. And as always with Sierra out west I love  it when she posts a photo of us wishing me a happy birthday through social media Also...FaceTime is a miracle!! 

Yes. I'm in love with my life, and I'm extremely grateful for all those who took a moment to think of me. Receiving not one, but two edible fruit arrangements was also interesting, but most of all awesome! See...I told you my birthday was different this year! My dear friend from Texas, and my in-laws from out west sent one to me. I have never tried one, and now I can say that I have. It was delicious, and nice to have eaten something healthy for once! It's all gone now with the help of my family, and once again I'm so grateful for their thoughtfulness. 

I also want to thank all my Facebook friends who sent me birthday wishes online via social networking. Although Facebook may be getting a bit old for some I don't think I'll delete my account. It's so nice to see friends I've known for half my life, and since childhood wishing me a "happy birthday." Those two words can sure mean a lot to someone, and they most definitely meant the world to me. 

I look forward to another year of living with my sweet family, and I'm thrilled to see what 44 has in store for me. 

Happy Monday! 

Friday, September 25, 2015


One cannot go to Philly without walking to the temple site to see how quickly it's progressing in being built, and what a beauty she is becoming. When we went to the franklin institute last week, we also went to the temple site. We all sat across the street from it watching the construction workers doing their job, and listening to the sounds of the city. We were already talking about making plans on what days we were going to attend once it's completed, and how we can work around the kids schedule during the school year so that Jon, and I can go on a date night to the temple every week. We are so fortunate to have a teenager who can watch her sibs, and we just cannot simply wait to take the train into  the city so that we can be spiritually fed on a weekly basis.  
Just standing around looking at it, I can tell that this temple is truly going to be the most beautiful building on Vine street.
These two love the city, and it makes my heart pitter patter when they don't mind walking to the temple site even though it's not built yet. They are always curious as to see what was added, and given that these two just love building things they look forward to seeing what's new with the temple. 

And now...the girls and I are preparing to watch the General Women's Broadcast via satellite tomorrow evening. It's worldwide, and I hope that y'all make the time to watch it!

Happy weekend! 

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Putting the air condition to rest and opening up the windows is a breath of fresh air, and the 70 degree weather is a sure sign that fall is here. The white dresser in the entry of the small foyer of my living room that had Noah's shorts, t-shirts and swim gear have now been replaced with hoodies, beanies, and sweaters. Going upstairs to the attic where I stored the rest of our "fallish" clothing, and bringing them out made the girls all giddy. They too were looking forward to this season. 

As I opened up the green chest in my bedroom I couldn't help, but to feel like a little kid at Christmas time. I took out all the scarves, and light sweaters that were stowed away, and gently laid them out on my bed. The scarves, and sweaters that I've had for years, and leggings still fit! And that makes me happy. Even happier because that will make my bank account last a little longer. I grabbed the scarves, and hung them carefully on a hook behind my bedroom door to make sure I grab one when it's cold enough outside to wear it.

I'm grateful for this season. I'm grateful to be welcoming it with a birthday. I'm grateful to be living in my 44th year with young children who still enjoy 'all things fall' with me. 

Apple picking. 
Mum buying. 
Drinking hot chocolate. 
Baking lots of goodies (I don't, but my girls do!)
Picnics in our backyard.
Drives in the country. 
Leaf peeping.
Leaf wars. 
Fall foliage.
The smell of a wood burning stove. 
Peach jam.
Soups, and stews from a crock pot.
The mist that sometimes lingers when we wake up in the morning. 
Crisp air. 
Bon fires.
Hay rides.
Cuddling with my boys.
Chunky sweaters.
Warm socks.

Yes...I love autumn, and happy to have a birthday in the middle of it all! 
Happy Fall everyone, and a happy birthday to me! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


As I was looking back at all the things we did this past summer I saw the simplicity of it all. I recalled all the times we ventured out to the shore, and various places close to home. 

But now...the sand shovels are put away as well as the kids swimming gear, beach bags, beach toys, and beach blankets are now tucked away in the basement. This summer went by way too quickly, and we were hanging on to it like there was no tomorrow. Soaking it up with dear friends was the icing on the cake, because sometimes you just need that extra company to add a little fun to the mix. All one needs to be happy here on the east coast is a trip to the beach. And that was always satisfying to my kids. 

Playing tennis, going to the zoo, and splash pads in the city made up for one joyful summer. Adding a couple of trips to New York City, Connecticut, and D.C. for good measure.

And I wouldn't trade it for any extravagant or exotic trip in the world. 

This summer, I have to say was the best one yet. Hearing the sounds of laughter from my children, and seeing them smile with their eyes is proof enough that their needs were met with a simple taste of summer. 

And with everything that the summer of '15 brought will hopefully last us well into the next year. 

Thank you summer for being so good to us, and although we hung on to you a little bit longer than we thought...we are ready to exit this exciting season. 

Monday, September 21, 2015


So two weeks have passed since Noah started kindergarten and I have to tell you I really do miss his musings. There are days where I wake up not feeling like myself, and here comes Noah to the rescue running into my room, climbing into my bed, hugging me with all his might cheering me up with his sweet voice. I honestly believe that there is a reason why he has half a day kindergarten in the afternoon that way he can make my mornings run smooth. He is a great low key, laid back kind of kid who isn't high maintenance who actually listens to me! I'm extremely thankful that he is home with me for the first few hours of the day because he truly puts a smile on my face. regardless of any news that I'll receive whether personal or of the world, how the weather looks like I just know that I'm going to make the choice to make each day count. I swear the older he gets the clearer his sentences are, and the more they make sense. When he says certain things it is hilarious, it is sweet, and it is so Noah. 

I may not have a lot of noahism posts in the future simply because i want to focus more on him rather than killing my brain to remember all the things that he utters. Then again down I don't need to jot them down right away because if they are that funny there is no need to document them, only to remember.

So on this particular day, I was not having the greatest day at all! 

As I was backing out of the driveway a car came racing down to beat me before backing up. I quickly backed up, but still had to move aside practically on the curb so she can pass and after my kind deed, I said, "uggh, that's why I hate this road! People speed down our neighborhood as if it's the freeway! I looked at the rearview mirror, saw Noah's sweet face, and with a smile he said, "just look at the sun mommy, it'll make you smile." 

On our way home from our labor day trip he randomly started to sing, and these were the lyrics to his own song, "happy road, happiness, happy happy happiness, happy road, happy song, yes I am happy." 

We went to a nearby catholic church to donate some items, and Noah saw a cross with Jesus Christ on it, and asked "who killed him mom, who killed jesus?" I explained to him that Jewish people killed him. "What are Jewish people? Are they nice or bad?" When he said that I had to again explain that even though they hurt Jesus they didn't know any better, and that one day they will answer to God for what they did to him. He had a sad look on his face when he saw that cross, but then I explained to him why we don't have one like that at our church. I explained to him that even though we don't see him that He lives, hence not even having a cross in our chapel of any kind. He then said, "so he's a happy Jesus?" Yes, Noah...very happy! 

We hardly ever eat chicken pot pies, but since the weather has gotten a bit cooler I decided one night to put some in the oven. Noah asked if he could have a "big muffin" for dinner. I explained to him that it's called a pot pie with chicken in it. He then began to dig in it making eyes, and a nose with the peas, and began to eat. I think he was trying to make a smiling muffin face. 

As Noah was standing on a bench outside of a walmart he said, "look daddy, I'm inside the store already!" Jon then said to him, "no Noah your not, that's your reflection!" Jon thought that was the funniest thing, and told me I had to document it.

I'm sure there's a lot more where that came from, but we are having too much fun listening and conversating with our little guy when we are out and about. No need to document and remember every little thing in detail he says, because what's most important is paying attention to the rest of the things he's saying than killing my brain to remember, and most of all living in the moment when he does!

Oh, and if you haven't seen this 14 second video on my instagram you gotta see it. Noah is so cute, and once again...he loves seeing anything that brings happiness...hence the "hearts."

Happy Monday!