Month: August 2015

Making “Frances lunches” with Sarah

Making “Frances lunches” with Sarah

I have had fun making lunches this past week, since we’ve started school. It’s been a little tricky, since we’re cleaning up after having a mouse in the house (the whole pantry had to been unloaded and cleaned out completely, so everything from the pantry…

I will disappoint you

I will disappoint you

Last night the alarm I’d set on my phone for 7:30 pm went off, reminding me that it was time to go. We’re really working hard at getting to bed these days, and as it takes so long, we begin early. I had forgotten about the…

Getting past the back to school blues

Getting past the back to school blues

I was feeling overwhelmed this morning at 2:30 am, when I woke and then couldn’t sleep (but wanted to!!) and felt like “How am I going to be able to support my family this year with everything we have to do?” I was writing my feelings down in my journal when a song came into my mind from when Rebecca was in One Voice Children’s Choir. It’s called “Drop of Blood,” and the line that came to mind was “once upon a time a friend of mine suffered more than you.” I wanted to remember the rest of the song, so I looked it up in Google and found this performance of it.

under-his-wing-little girl with blue scarf and Jesus
Watching it reminded me that I am not doing this alone, and that Christ has been through so much more than I have, and so he is ready, able, and wanting  to assist me with my challenges. It makes me think of the verse we’re trying to learn as a family this month about grace: “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God” (Moroni 10:32).
I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to remember that I don’t have to be perfect or even enough. I simply have to rely on Christ, and his grace will be enough to help me accomplish what he’s put on my plate. And he will help me know what doesn’t belong on my plate that is a burden, so I can toss it.

Boy, if I can just remember this each day, maybe I’ll be able to get a little more sleep at night! I’ve got to keep dipping into His bottomless well of strength and patience.

(I LOVE this painting by Jay Bryant Ward, “Under His Wing“)

 

Do you know about Eve?

Do you know about Eve?

I just was reading an article in the Deseret News (National Edition) in which author McArthur Krishna, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was interviewed about a book she co-wrote with Bethany B. Spalding called Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Courageous Women…

After church happy hour

After church happy hour

Most Sundays after church, our family will gather in the kitchen to make something to eat. It is a special, happy, funny time in our home, and when I step out of the preparation area, see the smiling faces and hear the goofy jokes, it makes me happy. I love these…

Quality TV for children (rest time for Mom!)

Quality TV for children (rest time for Mom!)

st-tv-launchAs a young mom of a growing family, I was pretty much always tired. I would laugh at parenting/motherhood magazine articles that talked about how I could rejuvenate, because most of the ideas were totally unrealistic: they seemed to be written for mothers of 1 or maybe 2 children who had significant discretionary spending ability! Trips to the spa were not a part of my world. I was grateful for any chance I had to rest for a minute, even if it simply meant closing my eyes and putting my feet up. Most of my opportunities to do that were when I turned the TV on or popped in a movie.*

But when my children were growing up, we limited TV to encourage reading, physical activity, and creativity/imagination development. That doesn’t mean they didn’t watch TV. I was so grateful for media that allowed me to take a shower, close my eyes for a minute, or even just have some quiet time to myself.

I tried to collect VHS cassettes (this is back in the day, folks)–later DVDs–and then finally episodes on Apple TV that I felt were worth viewing. These included PBS shows like Barney and Arthur (Sarah, Nate and Julia’s day) and Caillou, Clifford, Super Why (for Rebecca-Anna). We would purchase shows like Little Einsteins and Signing Time. We still have nearly all of the Signing Time DVDs.

There were some shows that I did NOT care for my children to watch, and they knew it. They were the ones that I called “cotton candy for the brain,” and others that were SO annoying. We didn’t collect shows with language that included scatalogical terms, too much slang or sarcasm or unkindness and none that had swear words. And I really don’t like shows with specific (political) agendas behind them!

The shows children watch really do get engraven in their brains, as we still quote phrases or used signs from the most watched episodes or educational CD-ROMs. (“And maple syrup, all the way from Ohio.”) I am grateful for those people who care enough to produce shows that are truly worth a child’s time and are reinforce a mother’s agenda!

Today I got an email from Signing Time announcing a new TV streaming subscription that you can order. My policy on advertising is that I don’t advertise to get anything or make money, and I only advertise things that I truly have used and loved. So I’m just passing this along to those who might find it useful with the caveat that I am not a current subscriber and do not necessarily endorse all the content.

By the way, I don’t regret a single sacrifice I made to be a mother of a large family. Every child I have is a treasure. They are fabulous. I am SO grateful I got to have each one, and you don’t stay in that stage forever. It does end! And for those who love a spa treatment, consider this: now my girls would me a home spa day if I asked them: they brush and braid my hair, massage my hands and shoulders, paint my nails, give me a bath bomb for a present and tell me to go take a bath!

subscription-monthly signing time
Signing time subscription-yearly

Summer in review

Summer in review

Our summer did not turn out anything like we planned. It was better! In the beginning, we made our bucket list and our weekly schedule. We planned to go to the library every week, including going to some of the special events, such as Shakespeare for…

Prepping for fall can make you go bonkers (temporarily)!

Prepping for fall can make you go bonkers (temporarily)!

We are rounding the corner on summer, with the beginning of school and the changing of the family schedule less than a couple of weeks away. That means I’ve already started trying to figure out what our new schedule will be. Scheduling for a family can…

Dry cleaning

Dry cleaning

dry cleaning list

I have so many things I’d like to write about, and this one is so insignificant, but I decided to post it anyway with the thought that perhaps it may to someone somewhere.

I have learned that God supports his children in what he asks them to do (see 1 Nephi 3:7).

Just yesterday, I was listening to an amazing talk by Elder D. Todd Christofferson in which he describes God’s attitude about supporting his family members:

The Lord’s invitation to seek our daily bread at our Heavenly Father’s hand speaks of a loving God, aware of even the small, daily needs of His children and anxious to assist them, one by one. (“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread,” CES Fireside for Young Adults, January 9, 2011, Brigham Young University)

I love the phrase “anxious to assist them, one by one.”

Much of my happiness as a wife, mother and nurturer depends on my desires and actions to assist my family members in ways that help them accomplish their desires.

One time I was considering what I could do to help my husband be more successful in his job. I thought about the importance of a professional appearance. I really didn’t have time, being a mother of seven young children, to press his shirts any more, so I started taking them to the cleaners. It was a budget allowance that I felt was part of helping him be successful. Later, I found a home delivery service that saves me time and is as good as the cleaners I was going to. The cost was essentially equitable, so we switched to that. I love my home dry cleaning service!

One problem that arises with dry cleaning is that once in a blue moon, you may not get everything back that you send. It is rare, but it has happened. Sometimes, once in a blue moon, you wonder where a certain shirt or pair of slacks is. I decided, when that happened to us, that it would help if I kept a record of what I sent out and what came back, so I could know where items were. Also, I could check the returns and the invoices and make sure we were paying for what we sent out, and that everything came back.

I created a system that is simple for me now: We have a hook in a closet on which the clothes that need to be sent out are hung once they are worn and needing to be cleaned. Above that hook is a little clipboard with a list of clothes that we send out. On top of the list is a little page on which I write the number of the items that we send out that week. When they come back, I just glance at the shirts to see that everything is there and check it off on the list.

This system may be too much time or effort for some, but it works for me. It gives me peace of mind and has become a simple system for getting clothing dry cleaned.

Here are the forms I created:

Dry Cleaning Check Out List PDF

Dry Cleaning Shirt List PDF

Dry Cleaning Other List PDF

There are so many ways to create simple systems in our homes that can help us support our families. I have found that prayer and experience can help me figure out a way of doing something routine in a more efficient way. Sometimes these systems cease to be helpful and instead become burdensome or outdated, so it’s always OK to modify or delete a system from your life!