Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Life

So.  You may have noticed things have been slowing down around here.  Here, of course, meaning this little 'ole blog.

There's been some changes and a lot of reflection.

I resigned from The Schoolhouse Review Crew.  It was a wonderful experience and something I very much enjoyed.  But in the end it was so challenging adding new curricula into our routine regularly and there are SO many good things to do each day that I've really had to focus on what are the absolute BEST things I can do for my little family right now.  For me that meant giving up writing reviews and cutting back on blogging.

I met someone recently who recognized me from my blog (talk about crazy!) and she said she loved the reviews.  So to those of you who enjoyed them, I can direct you to some other blogs with excellent reviews:
Anyway.

Since I'm not posting very often this post is a beast.  But not to worry, there's lots of photos.  I've been thinking a lot about this blog and the future of it.  I've toyed around with the idea of going private because I want to really be able to write about what matters most to me and what is dear to my heart: my family and being a mom.  I've decided to hold off going private (as long as people stay kind to me!)  So please keep in mind that we didn't just do all these things in a day or two!  These are the perfect moments in our very imperfect life.  These are the moments I want to cling to. 

We took another roadtrip to Wyoming. 


I got to take pictures of these adorable kiddos while we were there.  This is a definite keeper!  


And I tried taking some of this little girl too, but she wasn't very cooperative.  This was the one and only shot I got of her that was decent before she up and walked away. 

Love getting together with some of my favorite people!  We enjoyed a delicious beef stew dinner at my brother's house.  

 Cousin friends are awesome. 

Grandma friends are awesome too.  




We've had heaps of family dinners.  It's my favorite part of the day.  These kids can't seem to take a photo without a hand sign of some sort. 



Butter Chicken (a recipe my friend shared with us a couple of years ago and has become a favorite) and naan.   Since we can't take these kids all around the world, we'll bring the world to them. 

Love when we get to have the missionaries over!  
 
My recipe book has been getting lots of use lately.  It looks like this these days.  I've had this great idea for years that I would stop cramming papers into it.  Ya.  I don't think that's going to happen.  

He has really taken to being my kitchen helper lately.

 She's just cute.  And a tad bit crazy.  

I told you she was crazy.  

But she is awesome fun too. I cannot imagine life without her. 

This boy is into all things Rainbow Loom. 

I find rubberbands EVERYWHERE! 

And Mowgli sneaks into my bed several nights a week after his brothers have fallen asleep so we can read together. 

We are participating in a geography exchange where we send and receive one package a month.  We shipped off our first Samoan themed package to The Netherlands.  

There was a visit to the Natural History Museum in there too.  Such an incredible place!  


Mowgli got both pins removed from his arm and had the second cast put on.  

He chose blue.




We've enjoyed some beautiful hikes.  




This guy has been up to some super fun projects like replacing brake pads.  

And window washing.

Ha! 

Bud is loving flag football.  He has one practice and one game a week.  
 
And then there's that homeschooling thing we do.






I pretty much died when I found this in Mowgli's journal.  Be still my heart.  


There was this that I posted on Facebook:


We enjoyed a day at the zoo and got to see everything except for the otters.  That NEVER happens!


More Meals on Wheels.

I'm pretty obsessed with the colors right now! 



 My early morning hours are spent like this: journaling, planning, and studying (with a short workout too).  

Mowgli earned his Bobcat.  Don't ask me why he is barefoot at scouts.
 

Now to get a little serious on you all.  I've been thinking a lot lately.  I tend to do that and get stuck in my thoughts.  But here's what I've been thinking about.  LIFE.  Perhaps I'm feeling particularly tender because of this homeschooling mom from Utah who is in the fight of her life.  Or because of this family in our stake (large church congregation) that found out she has weeks to live.

One morning as I sat in the silence and dark I couldn't stop thinking about these women.  What if I were in their situation?  What if I knew I was dying?  How would I live?  And I began to write.  I wrote in my journal all the things I would do.  How would I live if I were dying? 

I would lay by my kids every night till they fell asleep.  I would tell people I loved them more.  I would call my parents more.  I would chill the heck out.  I would laugh when Tigerlily made messes.  I would find joy in the mundane service of being a mother.  I would be so darn grateful I got to fold the clothes they wear and cook food to fill their bellies.  I would go out of my way to lift the burdens of those around me.

So there you have it.  If I'm not around here much, you'll know why.  I'm living and I'm clinging to all these perfect moments that splatter our messy, imperfect days.   
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Turning 32

On my 32nd birthday we loaded those kids on up and took a roadtrip to Wyoming.  My heart belongs to Wyoming.  (I'm sure I've never said that before.  Ha!)

We did many of the things we love...most of which involved the outdoors. 

There was a hike to the Periodic Spring.  (Intermittent Spring, Geyser, whatever.)  It's the largest one in the world.   We were too early in the season to see the river start and stop.

Here's how it works: 

It is a beautiful place! 



At the top.  This is right where the water begins to flow. 

Not the greatest picture, but at least you can kind of see what the mouth of the spring is like.  In the next few weeks the water will stop flowing for 15ish minutes and then start up again.  

And then there was just so much beauty to take in.



On our way down there was another family headed up so we scored an out of focus family photo!  :)  Oh well, at least we got something! 
Seriously.  These guys.  

"Mom.  I'm going up there.  You take a picture of me, okay?"  



Indian Paintbrush: The Wyoming state flower.  I grew up being told it is illegal to pick them.  I have no idea if that is true and sadly the Internet didn't help me much in my attempt to find out. 


Another day we went to a beautiful lake and found ourselves to be the only people there.  These cousins are sure lucky to have such a great grandpa.  They peddled themselves out there and attempted to catch some fish.  No such luck. 






He's full of poses these days.  

That's some s'more.  A double decker! 

And then there's my birthday present.  A tent.  Not just any tent people.  A 200 square foot, 3 "room" tent.  We broke that baby in and froze our hineys off, I'll tell you what!  We stayed up late as late playing cards until Mowgli was the last one awake. 

 We hope this tent will bring us many years of mountain memories. 



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