Friday, July 3, 2015

NOAH-ISMS.

Sundays for us can be a little chaotic sometimes especially when you have a toddler that has become picky with the clothes he wants to wear. He no longer wants me to help him get dressed, or even pick out his wardrobe. Some days I feel that I should just let him pick his own outfits because it will teach him to be more independent. Luckily this mama has good taste in the clothes I get him, and that he coordinates his outfits pretty well. He always wants to wear a white shirt like his dad, and is beginning to prefer ties over bowties. It seems as if lately that's all he wants to wear "white shirt and tie." As I was helping him button up his shirt and putting on his tie I said to him "you like looking like daddy huh? He said, "yes, I want to look like him, not you." "I said "well I certainly hope so. You would look pretty ridiculous wearing a dress!" He chuckled, and I thought his response was pretty funny.
I had mentioned how Noah has become a transformer fanatic lately, and so he'll constantly tell me to buy him a transformer that "transforms". So the other day he said to me emphatically, "mommy, you need to buy me a transformer that transforms because the one you got me is fake. I don't like fake toys. You need to stop buying me fake toys mom."

While mowing the law with Lexie his flip flop accidentally slipped off & got caught in the spikes and Noah says, "I told you to stop mowing, and moving lex! Look what you did to my flip flop! When he came in the house I said to him, "it could have been your toes son." He sighed. 

While on our way home from playing tennis in the hot sun, Noah says, "Chelsea give me some water! Please share with your brother?? Geeze!! 

On talking about the last day of school, and him starting kindergarten in the fall, "you're going to be all alone mom when I start school. I don't want you to be all alone. Let me stay with you." 

On tattling on Chelsea, "Mom, Chelsea said the "b" word. Is "shut up" the "b" word? Me: "no,  not really. Although it's not the "b" word it's not a nice word." Don't ever say the "b" word though! (Guess I better stop watching pg-13 movies with him! Hashtag bad parenting.)

Happy Friday, and hope that you have a fabulous 4th of July weekend! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CHERRY PICKING.

The other night Lexie taught a family home evening lesson on finding ways to achieve family unity. Nowadays families tend to do their own thing without involving each other as a family. Lack of communication becomes severe as well as bonding. I'm really glad she chose this lesson because she herself knows kids her age who come from broken families, and single parent families who don't get along, and or participate in family outings. Apparently even those who have two parent families sometimes don't find the time to spend time together due to busy lives. 




I believe she chose this lesson for herself because this past year she had such a busy schedule with school, even on Saturdays when she couldn't come with us to any of our family adventures. She missed out on going strawberry picking with us, and has always wanted to go to the orchards to pick some fruit. She's only done pumpkin, and tree picking with us as a family, but has never picked any fruit during the spring and summer months. 

Well, I took her lesson to heart, and the next morning we ventured out to Lee turkey farm again to go cherry picking this time. She was pretty thrilled, and even though she was a bit tired (darn that summer homework) she still made an effort to go. 


^^^ They were all going to town picking them cherries. I think their favorite part was picking cherries from a ladder feeling like they were in Tuscany. They had a grand time picking, and throwing the cherries in the bucket from the top. ^^^
^^^ I hadn't climbed a ladder in a long time, and it was pretty cool to pick my own cherries! ^^^

^^^ I love this picture of Noah. I captured this as he was in the moment of deciding whether or not he should pick a certain cherry! ^^^
^^^ After a while Noah wanted to walk around the orchard with his bucket. ^^^
^^^ and finding a dandelion to blow. ^^^
^^^ Kids these days can only pick for so long. It doesn't help when there is a park on the grounds. ^^^

^^^ The fruits of our labor. ^^^ 

Even though Jon wasn't with us I'm glad that I was able to get my kids out there to have fun together as a family. It is so important to make the time to spend together as a family even if it's something simple as going to the park to play frisbee, having a picnic, visiting museums, going to the beach (another favorite of ours), and of course...going to the orchard.

Eating dinner together as a family seems so rare these days, and I find that eating together is the one time where we can all catch up about our day and discuss anything that needs to be said. 

Attending church together is crucial in our life, and I'm telling you without that foundation of God in our life things in our household would be a hot mess! So thankful for the gospel that keeps us structured and growing as a family. 

I want my time spent with my children to be precious, and priceless. I want there to be more laughter, and less stress. I want smiles to be exchanged on a daily basis. It doesn't matter if my kids are five years apart there are ways to build family unity no matter the age gap, and to bond as one. 

I've also recognized that family activities don't need to be planned. We are such a spontaneous family that most of the time we do things on a whim, and the end result is a good one. We just go with the flow! 

So thankful for family home evening, and for those simple lessons that teach us about family unity. Going to the orchard has become a tradition for us, and one of my favorite things to do as a family (can you tell), and I'm so glad we make the time to do it! It was so nice to see the kids laughing, throwing rotten cherries at each other, and simply enjoying themselves. 
How about you guys?? What do y'all do as a family for fun, and to achieve family unity?

Pray tell cause I'm always looking for more fun things to do with the kids! 

Happy Wednesday! 

Monday, June 29, 2015

SOPHOMORES.

I hardly ever write about my two oldest girls, but since i write to remember, and to pass this on to their posterity I'll only write about the milestones they are reaching.

This fall they will both be sophomores together, but one will be in college, and the other in high school. Yikes! I'm so very proud of their accomplishments, and even their downfalls. Without opposition there would be no growth, and I'm so proud of both my girls for handling what seemed to be a challenging year for them, and  I'm just so dang proud of them for passing yet another trial of faith, and another year of school.  
Alexandra passed with flying colors and is now a sophomore in high school. She endured quite a bit during her freshman year, but in spite of it all managed to keep her GPA above a 3.75. Adjusting to early morning seminary, experiencing high school teachers who curse even worse than her 8th grade teachers, and dealing with typical high school drama can really take a toll on a brand new freshman. Luckily for Lexie she has a knack for getting out of her comfort zone, and enjoys meeting new people. She said if it wasn't for her honors classes, and meeting other kids from other middles schools she would have gone insane! In spite of all the drama and everything she faced she did well in keeping her composure together. She truly is laser focused and I look forward to her looking forward to her sophomore year. I told her it will be a lot better, and the reason I know is because in all honesty...my sophomore year in high school was the best year for me. 
As far as Sierra goes she is phenomenal, and has finally figured out her life. I'm very grateful that even though she took a break from school (darn that waiting a whole freaking year to establish residency so she can attend school in Utah for a lot less), and after doing so has become an even more focused and is an amazing, happy, happy, happy young woman! I attest that to everything that she has endured since her high school graduation. She truly is anchored in the Gospel, and loves, loves the temple. I am so so very happy that she makes time to go since she received her temple recommend because as you know kids today, especially when living in Utah can "forget" what's important because of being busy with work, and school. It's not only in Utah, but everywhere as well. Heck even us adults can forget that the temple is there, but when i lived in Utah I never took those beautiful buildings for granted. I reminded my daughter of the blessings we received when we'd go frequently, and how much I want her to experience those blessings. 
And she has. 

And like her momma has developed a deep appreciation, and love for the temple. 
I know I always say this, and it's probably getting old, but time is fleeting. I'm so grateful that my girls are living with true principles and that they are taking them to heart. They have an open mind, and on their own motive have developed a strong love, and firm testimony of the Lord's plan and gospel. Putting God first in all that they do, because in today's society they really need it. 

We all do. 

No matter what religion we are, what color, race, gender, age we all need some solace. Some foundation of goodness that brings calmness, peace, and happiness into our life. 

One thing for sure is that no matter how old they get I'll never stop giving them advice. Even at the age of twenty I remind my oldest that whenever they go through a rough patch that there are ways to overcome it, and that it's only temporary. That it'll pass, and to be sincere in their prayers as they try to find an answer from God. To never give up, and that they have a choice to give up, or stand strong.

I remind them of the adage, "I never said it would be easy, I said it would be worth it." 

And they will learn, and know that. 

And as they continue to grow older, they will.

Friday, June 26, 2015

PIANO SPRING RECITAL '15

The day before Father's day we attended what might be Chelsea's last piano recital. She has been playing the piano for four years now, and feels ready to move on to the instrument she's been longing to play since she was six...the cello. 

She has been pleading to play the cello for about a year now, but encouraged her to play piano for just one more year. The piano guys have become one of her favorite bands, and will constantly watch the videos they post on tube. Whenever they post their own rendition of star wars theme songs it keeps Chelsea entertained, and her goal in learning to play the cello become more passionate. 

Ever since Sierra's second grade music teacher told me that she was sight-reading music, as well as playing the keyboard by ear, and recommended us putting her in piano lessons I have kept that "requisite" in our home with each child. I would never force one of my children to play an instrument just because everyone else is doing it especially if they don't want to. Luckily all my girls developed a love for the piano, and have had great teachers along the way to teach them. And even though some of them have moved on to another string instrument doesn't mean they'll stop playing piano on their own time. 

Sierra has been playing piano since she was six, and is now 20 and continues to compose, and write music. She is a double major at the moment in Literary arts & music. 

Lexie played piano for three years, and moved on to the violin. That is her forte, and loves it. 

I am grateful for all my girls to have a musical talent, and that they have chosen on their own motive to stick with it, and to have developed a love for it. 

Noah will be six in the fall, and probably won't be putting him in lessons until spring of next year. He does show an interest in playing the piano though. 
On the day of the recital he eyed this white piano, and asked if he could sit down, and play on it. If any of you are familiar with the video of this song you can see as to why he wanted to play the white piano, and not a black one. He seriously was expecting to have food, streamers, confetti, and  chicken to fall down from the sky as he played. He truly is something else, and I look forward to him growing up and learning to play the piano. 
The recital turned out really well, and everyone did such a great job. Ms. Heidi has been teaching Chelsea for almost four years now, and she will be missed. Good thing she lives close by so we can stop by and say hi. 
Having her former kindergarten teacher, Ms. Griffith attend every piano recital since she began has been a blessing, and has made a huge impact on Chelsea's life. We love her so!! 
We will see how cello lessons go, and hope that she will develop a love for it just as her sister has for the violin. 

Every child is different when it comes to playing an instrument, but at the end of the day what's most important is what makes the child happy. 
...and when they're happy I'm happy! 

It is my hope that my two youngest children will grow to love music even more,  and that they will have the desire to gain more knowledge and pass it on to their posterity. 


***You can see a snippet of Chelsea's recital here.

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

LISTEN & INVITE.

Ever had one of those moments when all of a sudden a thought pops in your mind, and instead of ignoring it you act on it? I'm sure many of us have those moments, and I've been having a lot of them recently. 

After dealing with the flu, or whatever nasty bug we had I asked the kids if they wanted to go to the beach. Lexie was under the weather so it was just going to be me, Chelsea, and Noah. 

Upon backing out of my driveway the thought of calling my girlfriend to invite her and her family came to mind. 

And I listened.

I immediately texted her, and she responded within five seconds. You should have seen her girls faces when I picked them up, and mentioned "beach time!" They were giddy, and I can tell that after dealing with a brutal winter, and a long school year that they really needed this. 

And they all had fun. 
In spite of the rain we got caught in we managed to wait it out. The kids all bundled up in their towels until it was safe to step foot back on to the beach. 30 minutes passed and we were able to get into the water again, and the sun came out shining down us as if it was welcoming us back! 
I'm so grateful for that inner voice that tells me of the things to do, and to act on the thoughts that are good. We all needed this, and I'm so glad I acted upon the thought, and invited her, and her kids. The beach is truly one place where we can relax, discuss our life while listening to the waves crashing, and reconnect with God's wonderful creation while the kids have their fun.
It turned out to be a perfect day, and in the end was the perfect remedy in which we all needed. 

Definitely going to be making more beach trips with them this summer! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

THE DAY OF THE STORM.

The day started out with sunny skies, and hot, 92 degree muggy weather. The kind of weather that makes you want to stay indoors, but in the end you can't because of summer loving kids. I went out to visit a friend in need, and am so glad because in return I needed her. We all need girl time right? After visiting her for a few hours I walked out of her air conditioned apartment feeling rejuvenated. I went on my merry way home hoping that the kids are all getting along, and that Lexie hasn't pulled her hair out yet. Her patience is like mine. It only goes so far especially when it's hot! That's the only time I'll get really cranky especially when I haven't had anything to eat. Luckily I prayed that morning for strength to get me through the day, and to withstand with whatever the day brings. 
As I walked in there was nothing but peace permeating around the house. I heard laughing, and saw smiles being exchanged between Lexie, and Chelsea, and even a loud laugh in between. The girls were playing UNO, and were really getting into the game. I was exhausted, and wanted to lay down for a bit on the couch. We have an extra couch in the kitchen (odd place to have, I know), but I have to say it's the most comfortable couch. I can't seem to get rid of it. It's perfect to sit, and sleep on, and the kids use it as a nook for reading. 

While the girls were playing UNO, Noah was perfectly content watching toy story on the mac, and after watching it he immediately wanted me to go to the store to buy him buzz lightyear. Here I thought I got away with Noah not wanting anything to do with the characters from toy story. I owned that movie ages ago when the girls were little, but because I felt it was a movie for boys I got rid of it. I know, my bad. I never thought I'd have a son though! I think somehow I'm getting payback with my son bugging me to get Buzz because of getting rid of that movie. That's what I get for judging a movie I felt was only for boys. I certainly have learned my lesson that all movies are equal, and that there is no such thing that certain movies are for boys, and vise versa.

Maybe he'll get buzz for his birthday. 
After about an hour or so of playing tennis we headed home to get ready for church activities. That's when we all received notifications on our phones that we were under a tornado watch. I was like holy crap! Growing up in hurricane alley I always take those warnings seriously. You don't want to mess around or doubt mother nature especially when it comes to a tornado, because you don't get much of a warning. 

Young women's at church was cancelled, the skies grew dark, and it began to pour. This was indeed a torrential rainstorm with very strong winds! They were hitting hard against our windows. I was praying that they wouldn't break!  

It's times like this where you don't want to be separated from your family, and luckily Jon was safe. Evidently he did well driving a UPS truck in this major inclement weather!! On my way to pick him up there were uprooted trees, a lot of damage to a couple of homes and the streets were dark due to a power outage. It seemed like Armageddon with it being so dark. People were standing outside taking pictures, and inspecting the damage. 

I quickly stopped, and captured this...
There were numerous uprooted trees every where I drove. The storm brought a cool breeze which was needed after the day being so hot! I'm seriously investing in a generator after experiencing hurricane Sandy, and now this, but I thank the good Lord for keeping us out of harms way. 

Overall we were extremely lucky!! We have electricity, and thank goodness there were no serious deaths. From what I understand we were very, very close to the tornado. We live about five minutes from the mall that was damaged where a few cars flipped over! 

I have been counting my blessings over, and over again for having a beautiful day yesterday with the kids, and for saying my prayers that morning to help give me the patience with whatever came our way, and to keep us safe. 

God is good, and obviously heard my prayer. 

Here's hoping that those families who are in need, and without power will have it restored soon! 

Then again...it's New Jersey!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

IN MEMORY OF OUR FATHERS.

Father's day, like Mother's day or any other holiday where one can be grieving due to a loss of loved one can be painful for some. Especially when it is still fresh. I will never know how it feels to lose a father through death, but I know how it feels to not have a father growing up, and leave you not knowing why. 

Growing up without without a father can really suck. Suck big ones, but I've learned to cope with it. Throughout the past 39 years of my life (he abandoned me when I was five) I have no idea, even until this day where my biological father is. Where ever he is, whether alive or dead, I pray that he's happy and well. I've learned to forgive, and whenever something comes up that reminds me of him such as the smell of mexican food I am reminded of him. There was even one time when Jon worked for Rent a Center. I remember waking up quickly thinking that he's going to leave when he's actually coming home late from work. Those days really sucked, and I hardly would get any sleep in the first years of my marriage, but luckily I've gotten over that. There are tiny moments when I'll even shed a tear or two, and that's exactly how much I'll shed...a tear or two. I'll only get teary eyed for like ten seconds, and I'm over it. That's when I know that I'm okay with him being gone. Now that I'm older I don't cry as much. As a matter of fact I've become quite numb at the thought that I may never see him again in this life. 

I'm not bitter, or sad because in the past 43 years of my life I've experienced quite a few father figures who in some shape or form helped mold me into the woman I am today. 

My step-father whom I had a very negative experience with taught me what not to do! And because of the things he did to me, it has only made me strong. 

Joe was the complete opposite of negativity. He was always positive, respectful, and knew how to treat a woman as well as a child. He was the best person that happened to both me, and my mom. 

I have an amazing father-in-law who is always there for my family in times of need who raised a hard working son. 

And last, but not least I have my Heavenly Father. I've learned to put my trust in Him when I have no other father figure to turn to. One who will never leave me, and no matter what happens will always be there for me. I don't have to see Him to know that he is there...because He is. 

How grateful I am to know that. To know that He is there whenever I need to simply talk to him. 

But the one man I am most grateful for is of course, my husband. He is the most amazing, patient, kind, hardworking, loving, forgiving, man to ever step foot on the face of this earth, and he belongs to me. I seriously don't know what I would do without him had he not come into my life at the time I needed him. What a blessing he is to my children. What a blessing he is to me. They adore him, and the minute he walks in from work they embrace him, and caress him with affection. He always returns their actions, and when I see that I know that I picked a good one. 
 ...and these kids know that they did too!