Sunday, November 1, 2015

Great Sabbath

Today was an eventful day for our family. Payton was ordained a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood and Katrina received her YW Recognition Award (she did it before she turned 14). I'm so proud of my children and who they are becoming! My heart was bursting with joy as I watched each of them today. I'm thankful for their examples to me and their commitment and love towards the gospel. Days like today remind me that they're gonna turn out OK 💞 When Payton was being ordained, he asked Zander and Isaac to stand in for his ordination. It was a powerful feeling to see these young men lay their hands on someone's head for the first time. I'm grateful for these boys and the great priesthood leaders they will one day become.


I did the good mom deed and made some cute and amazing cookies, however, we didn't carve pumpkins this year so I think that act negates my measly "making cookies" one. I hate carving pumpkins! This year Payton and Katrina went to a Halloween party and the rest of us, as well as grandparents went to the Lewises. We all contributed to an amazing cafe Rio salad, went trick or treating and then enjoyed some fried donuts! It was a great night 🎃

Friday, October 30, 2015

Birthday Season is OVER!

Well, another birthday season has come and gone. Kimmie and I started calling it birthday season because of the stress it brings me with Payton and Katrina's birthdays being 5days apart and so close to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Payton turned 16 this year and we had a great day of celebrating. We went to sushi at this uber cool place in roseville called Ninja Sushi. They made a big deal about payton and gave him an awesome dessert and a T-shirt. Afterwards we told him we were going to take him to some arcades, just me and Dad. Secretly his good friend Shannon was going to be there to surprise him for his first date. It was a super cute idea! She ran up while we were walking in and put her arms on his shoulders and he just kept walking and talking....he thought it was me! It was hilarious, boy was he surprised. She brought two other friends and they all played miniature golf with Jay and I a few holes behind them. He had a great time! The next day was his big birthday bash and we had over 20 kids here. Whew!

Next up was Katrina. She was just turning 14 so we didn't make a big deal out of it, haha! She just wanted her favorite beans and rice so we took her to Casa Ramos to eat. She too had a party and had about 17 kids over. My kids have too many friends!

It was exhausting and on top of everything I got selected for jury duty and had to deal with going to that in the middle of it all. Thankfully I have an amazing husband who steps up to the plate and does way more than his fair share when it's needed. He is such a blessing in my life! Truly grateful for my family 💞

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Have a Highschooler

Wow! Years? Has it really been years? I promise I still have the ability to show gratitude, I just did what the rest of the world did and stopped blogging the minute Facebook took off. Why was that? I guess once we could get minute by minute updates of how our neighbors laundry was going, suddenly our lives revolved around online snooping/stalking. In the old days, ladies would quietly observe neighbors out their kitchen windows or while they were gardening and call and share the gossip with their friends so don't pretend that this generation is any worse than the previous ones. We just have a different way of doing things :)

 Life has gotten busier around here, and more complicated. Sometimes, I actually feel like a grown-up! Shocking, I know...When I read this blog and reflect on the place I was in 5 years ago, it makes me very nostalgic and a little weepy. I can feel the raw emotions that were there as I wrote about my struggles of being a mother with young children/babies and my quest to find an identity for myself that wasn't "just children".  Looking back on who I was and reading about our daily adventures through the various personal/family blogs, I realize that the sacrifices I made back then were so worth it. Those little love buttons needed all the nurture and care I could provide at that point in their lives and I am so blessed and full of gratitude that I was able to give them that to the best of my ability. Now I'm in a new phase. A few of them still need their mommies to kiss boo-boo's, but the other half need their mom to back off and let them make some decisions for themselves. AND I HATE IT! I want to control everything! I still want to wipe their noses and tell them what outfits to wear and make them eat vegetables, but, SHOCKER...they don't want me to! And sometimes I have to sit back in agony and hear how someone at school made fun of them for some crusted booger and I think "If ONLY they'd let me wipe their noses!"

Alas, it is now my role to let them experience consequences. To learn for themselves all about the cruel tough world and how to combat it. I'm still learning how to let go, and I know I'm not doing it fast enough in their eyes, but I'm going to hold on just a little longer to whatever they'll let me (their hair, thank HEAVENS they still let me comb their hair...if I ask permission). The thing is, I want to hang on to the things that they USED to not be able to do for themselves, but I'm keeping from them the things that they now NEED to learn for themselves. For instance, I'm stomping and gnashing that they won't let me dress them in shorts on a 100 degree day, but I'm keeping all that stinky dirty laundry to myself and holding back the opportunity of teaching them life skills. Why do mothers cling so desperately to their children's neediness? Some day, they are going to go off to college, and come home with BAGS of laundry for me to do, and I'm going to try not to look too creepy/excited as I lovingly wash each smelly piece of clothing in pure bliss. These are the phases of a mother.

My advice? If you have little ones, do all you can to sacrifice and cherish the little things because it goes FAST. Once their wings start to flutter, it's only a matter of time before they fly away with only a few glances back. When did I turn into THAT mom?

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Brighter Side

I solemnly swear to look at the brighter side of life (UNLESS a child spills milk ONE MORE TIME on my freshly mopped floors or a stack of important papers...I hold no responsibility for the not so bright side that may emerge). Oh, and if Bella asks me ONE MORE TIME for permission to eat another candy cane. I hold no responsibility for that response...either.

Today, I just woke up feeling like I wanted to hide in bed and not have to care for ANYTHING! Not even myself. Alas, the children must be fed, educated, disciplined, kept from running a MUCK. I did a lot of yelling, then a lot of apologizing, and finally did the fake mom happy thing. It goes something like this: OK, KIDS! LET'S FINISH GETTING OUR ROOMS CLEANED UP! CAN WE DO IT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU? YEAH! GO! GO! GO! (this was in all caps because that's what fake mom happy thing looks and feels like)

As usual, it significantly brightened my mood, and I think life just might be worth getting up for after all. *sigh* OH, and I also ate a LOT of chocolate. Wonder which one was the most helpful?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Room for Creativity

How can I be more creative in my life? Research shows that creativity is declining in today's children. I personally took it's declining in ME, and if I'm a dreadfully dull person, what kind of blobs of nothing are my children going to become? I am the first to tell people that I am not crafty or creative. Is this true? Or am I just not willing to put in the effort to BE crafty and creative? As a child, I was extremely creative. I loved to play pretend and played for hours in my own worlds. As an adult, I survive. I get by day to day the best I can without having a melt down. I do this by making things as simple as possible...and making LOTS of lists. Who finds joy in this? ME. How can I be more creative in my life? What kind of tasks, can I commit to using more creativity? Let's make a list, shall we? An evil chuckle and a rubbing of the hands..

1.The first and most obvious, how I educate my children.

2.The way in which I teach them the gospel

3.In my Primary calling

4.In my piano lessons

5.I can be more creative in my cooking. This one may sound silly, but this family EATS, and eats often. Putting more creativity in my cooking would definitely spice things up in our lives.

6.I can be more creative in decorating my home.

7.Getting the most for my dollar requires creativity :)

What kind of things am I already using creativity in?

1. Hmmmmm.......

I definitely have been exploring being creative when teaching my children. I also, often try to find ways to make my piano lessons more interesting for those who tend to struggle. Oh! Here's a few...

1. I am creative when I make green smoothies.

2. I am creative in my writing.

Yeah that's're all jealous. I can think of other things, but they seem so silly to claim I am creative. Such as: “I am creative when I do my hair....” bleh. I want to think outside of the box, and really put some effort in. So let's look back at my "needs creativity list" and begin to brainstorm some ways to be more creative...with an outline (YAHOO!):

Educating my children:

1.Give them loose creativity items according to their interests during free time. Katrina could have some art supplies (and list making supplies). Payton, some Legos. Bella, some workbooks (she's the odd ball). Tyson, a box of action figures.

2.Don't be afraid to let loose. When doing school, and the children suddenly take interest in something, remember it is OK to occasionally drop everything and do some improv creativity. Don't be so rigid. “No child A, you MUST finish this math problem during math time, or you will forever break away from the assembly line society and live a happy life...”

3.Find creative ways to teach concepts. Use manipulative's, real life scenarios, and teaching as much as possible through actual experience.

4.Let them problem solve on their own. Don't provide all the answers, but rather encourage them to ask questions. Also, provide situations where the family gets together and brainstorms a problem.

Teaching them the gospel:

1.Use pictures and visuals rather than just always reading word for word.

2.Act out scenes and encourage the children to participate in “speaking rolls”.

3.Encourage the children to set up their own gospel study plan, complete with goals.

4.Do hands on activities that enforce that which you've been studying.

In my Primary Calling:

1.Think like a child....what are their interests? What would they find very exciting and fun, and how can you weave that into your lessons and activities?

2.Try to put your own spin on lesson suggestions. Don't always copy someone else's idea. Even better, ponder the weekly theme and come up with your own ideas, rather than immediately looking for someone elses.

3.Seek out inspiration from Heavenly Father. He's blessed me with so many gifts, he definitely knows the best ways I can use them.

In my piano teaching:

1.Ponder the needs of each individual child, and the ways they enjoy learning. Take into account their age, intelligence level, and interests.

2.Take that list, and brainstorm creative ways to help them learn.

3.Challenge them to push themselves. Don't always do what the teacher ahead, and try to learn some things on their own.

4.Encourage them to write their own songs, by writing them down for them as they create them. Let them give them a name and make the “notation rules”.

5.Spend a portion of each lesson playing a game, or “jamming” if you have older students. Make sure they leave the lesson with positive thoughts and a smile on their face.

In my cooking:

1.No brainer here: Try new things, and don't be afraid of cooking new foods.

2.Pick a culture and study what they eat. As a family, plan a week of that “cultures” foods and learn something new each night about that culture as you sit down to eat.

3.Get artistic in the way I display our foods. Buy nicer dishes, and don't always serve everything out of a pot.

4.Give the kids “pretty things” to decorate the table with when they do their chore. Have pretty linens, glasses, plates, maybe even candles. Let them take joy in creating beauty. Don't stress about the extra laundry and dish washing.

5.Work hard on helping the family find joy in making food, and being together as a family. Not just eating it. Teach them to slow down, and savor the bites.

In decorating my home:

1.Finish painting the dang house already.

2.Learn how to sew simple things such as pillow covers and simple drapes. You can Do this...Deep Breath.

3.Study landscaping, pick ONE section of your yard and plant some pretty things. You can DO this.....use a paper bag to breathe in if you must.

4.Get rid of things that don't bring you joy, but you have been hanging on to them, simply because you've had them so long they are a growth on your.....never mind.

5.Let the kids get involved in decorating their rooms. Get them some home magazines and encourage them to make a portfolio of the things they like.

Getting the most for my dollar:

1.Shop Goodwill and DI.

2.Go to yard sales, but have a plan. Make a list of the types of items you are looking for, and try not to buy extra.

3.Don't be afraid to buy high quality if you know you'll use it A LOT. Such as towels. Why one earth do I insist on buying cheap, scratchy towels when I know I'm going to hang onto them FOREVER and try to pass them on to the next generation??

This has been fun! I see so many ways I can make improvements in my life, and I'm excited to give it a try. The next step is to make a plan. Because my non-creative self insists on having a plan, complete with lists, time frames, progress charts....and did I mention LISTS?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ah! Je Veux Vivre

I sang in another "Noon Recital" today at the college. The song was "Ah! Je Veux Vivre" from the opera "Roméo et Juliette" and it was a lot of fun. I've been working on the song since December so it was really nice to be done with it. Today Payton told me, "Mom, I'm glad you're done with that song because you've sang it so much it's stuck in my head all the time." Then he started to sing French :)