31 January 2015


Julia and Amelia

My prayer for these two is that they will be best friends.

I want them to love each other for what they have in common and what makes the other unique.

Hoping they will enjoy each other's company.  And really know how to make one another smile.

I plan on seeing them in each other's rooms giggling and playing dress up.

I can already see how much Amelia looks up to Julia with her sweet innocent eyes, and I love how Julia absolutely adores her baby sister.
Having a sister is so incredibly special.  This sweet person knows you inside and out and still loves you no matter what!


25 January 2015

It Matters

Investing in our families does matter

This post was sparked after I received a text from my husband while at church today.  The poor guy was home yet another Sunday with a different sick child.  Thankfully he lets me go and teach our class while he stays home with whomever happens to be sick, this week it was Micah with a stomach bug and fever on Friday.  Since he woke up with still some symptoms of a cold John said he would stay home.

We got to church at 10:40 a.m.  A bit early so I could go to a quick women's meeting and then prep for my students.  Mark and Julia went to worship with my sister while I prepped the classroom and re-read the lesson.  John's text came about 11:45 am and it said: 

"So I've been cleaning the kitchen and the dining room since you left and just finished. (I left at 10 am) And now its lunchtime and I have to get ready for lunch, so literally all you do is cook and clean and then get ready for the next meal.  I don't know how you do anything else on your plate."--John

Texts like this always make me smile and fill me with pride and a feeling of accomplishment.  It's moments like that when John gets a glimpse into my world at home with the kids (actually all he had was Micah, I had taken the other 3 to church with me).  Even if he only has half the kids I normally have he still has the duties that I would have, minus the errands and homeschooling.  It makes me happy to know that he appreciates all the things I do when he is working, the schooling, food shopping, going to the bank, going to the cleaners, dropping the kids off at gymnastics, driving to coop, going on field trips.

There are so many times I feel like what I do at home doesn't matter.  I don't make any money.  I don't go out and work.  I don't have a title or a career.  All I do is change diapers, manage the home, feed our kids, homeschool, and clean.  My job is easy.  It's simple.  It's out of the home.  I can take breaks.  I can nap. (yeah, right).  I can watch television and go on the internet.  I don't have a boss to answer to or deadlines.  I don't have an hour commute.  And all those things make me feel like what I do is so insignificant.


Until someone steps in and watches my kids for an hour or two, and then says to me when I return: HOW DO YOU DO IT?  And it makes me happy to know that what I do does help my husband.  I am making a difference.  Just like when I came home today from church and lunch was on the table, the house was clean and Micah was dressed and happily eating in his high chair...all of that was a huge blessing to me, knowing that Micah was being taken care of by Daddy.  

Just knowing that someone was at home, cleaning it, caring for it, minding the kids, taking care of things, it made me see things from John's perspective.  And I know he does appreciate what I do.  He is thankful to come home to a clean house and dinner.  Although he would be just as grateful to come home to a messy house and peanut butter and jelly.  As long as we are all happy and healthy, he doesn't care about the floors being swept and matching outfits.  

Isn't it nice to know that what you do matters?  That it makes a difference to someone else?  It's so nice being appreciated.  

So thank you honey for appreciating what I do and realizing it's not always easy.


21 January 2015

Amelia at 5 months

It was time...

A few weeks ago Amelia had her 4 month check up.  She weighed in at a healthy 16 lbs just like her big sister weighed at her 4 month visit. (My Micah weighed 20lbs at 4 months...just to show you how hefty he was at that age)

Dr. Shih said she is doing awesome with just nursing (obviously she is gaining...at 2 months she was 14 lbs) He mentioned we could start her on solids when we were ready.  Signs I look for that a baby is ready to eat is if they are sitting up well, tend to grab for food that is in your hand, and seem to be hungrier at night.  

Amelia has been holding her head up well for a long time now and she enjoys standing in her exersaucer for more time now, and lately when I am eating things like an apple or popcorn I have noticed her trying to get what I am holding.  Also at night I feel like at her last feeding she was getting fussier than normal.  She sleeps a solid 11-12 hours at night but I just felt it was time to introduce some foods.

So tonight after dinner was over, and everyone had taken their bath and was just hanging out I decided to put Amelia in the high chair and try it out.

And by golly, I think she liked it.  

It was so cute to see her little facial expressions and watch her learn to swallow it down.  

I think the apple sauce was a sweet and tart place to start!  She enjoyed every bite and we even got her to laugh in between!  

So for the next few nights we will try the same apple sauce again (make sure she has no allergies) and then we will try a veggie like sweet potato or carrots.

I forgot how fun experimenting with baby food was!


06 January 2015

Eating Clean

New Year, New Me

It's all about eating clean, and eating right these days.  On Monday morning I threw out all the old cookies, candy, cupcakes, etc that have been in the house because of the holidays and Julia's birthday.  

Monday night when John got home I went out to buy all healthy foods with little or no preservatives added.  Foods like, fruit, veggies, eggs, and some whole wheat pita, cottage cheese, almonds, etc.  And about $65 later I headed home with about 6 bags of groceries and a new attitude.

We are keeping our portions smaller, drinking more water, and not snacking bad between meals.  The two times of the day that I struggle with bad food choices are at 2pm and after dinner.  So, instead of chips, crackers, or hot chocolate, I've been eating celery, oranges, carrots, almonds, and drinking herb tea!  I have found that eating clean means you actually eat more, but you eat more of the foods you need.  

I've also been adding a protein and veggie to my breakfasts instead of just having toast or cereal.  Adding a protein and a vegetable or fruit, keeps me fuller so much longer!  And the mornings we rush out the door I just have cottage cheese and fruit if I don't have time to whip up some eggs or a meat with breakfast.

I've noticed the kids are eating more at meal time because we aren't snacking as much, and I've also noticed them drinking more water which makes me happy!

Eating clean just takes a few extra minutes chopping veggies or pealing fruit, but honestly I feel better already and it's only been a few days!  I want to eat like this forever of course but I am going to see how the next 3 weeks go because they say it takes about 21 days to form a habit, and then I am going to weigh myself and hopefully see some fun results that will encourage me to want to do this more!


01 January 2015

Me in 2015

A New Year







I couldn't think of just one word to focus on this year so I thought of 6 things that I want to have more of in my life.  These 6 things I want to do more and be known for and instill in my family.


I want to stop taking myself so seriously.  I want to stop being so intense.  I want to let my hair down, my guard down, and get rid of my insecurities and I want to laugh.  I want to laugh loud and long and I want to be happy.  I want my kids to be joyful  with me and I want to soak in the moments that may be chaotic and messy, but I want to find the joy and focus on it and for once in my life enjoy my life.


This is something that I want to have with myself and with others, especially my children during home school time.  I want to stop stressing about curriculum, and tests, and standards, and start getting to the heart issues in myself and with my big kids.  I want to stop rushing through each day and checking things off my mental list and I want to really give all of myself in schooling my kids with high expectations but in a calm manner.  I want to stop feeling so frazzled and take my time to appreciate how great my kids are instead of focusing on what irritates me.


One of the best parts of the gospel message is that God extends his love and forgiveness towards us while we were still a hot mess.  He loved us when we were dirty and unclean.  He saw the potential.  He had a plan of redemption for us because He wanted to be close to us.  I want to have that same grace for the people around me (friends and family and strangers) when they least deserve it.  I want to stop keeping score or reasons for why I am upset or hurt and just love on people.


Is it weird that I want more time?  I do!  I want to prioritize my time better and find more time to be quiet with God, to exercise, to journal, and to read books that inspire me.  As a mom of 4 I often do not have time for myself unless John is home, but I want to learn  a way to make time for these things so that I can be a more balanced person and so I can be giving my best to my littles, my husband, and the Lord.


I was talking about this with my dear friend, and its really important to me to find ways to serve with my kids.  Whether it be visiting the nursing home with my kids, helping a neighbor when they need help, raising money for a missionary, whatever it may be I want to teach my kids the importance of serving others and so I want to find ways to serve with them alongside of me.  I want to raise kids who are aware of others around them.  I want them to be sensitive to the needs of the elderly, the poor, the sick, the less fortunate.  One way I know I can involve my kids is when I am making a meal for a friend, I can have the kids help me make cards or bake for them.  This way they are a part of the process.


I want to be a more compassionate person.  Whenever I am struggling in my own life, my problems seem so little compared to the bigger more drastic problems in today's society.  If I am looking for ways to be a blessing to others then I can't be focusing on my problems and whining or complaining.  I can use my energy to make someone else's life a bit sweeter.  I can pray for others.  I can put myself in their shoes and imagine what their life is like.

This year I really want to work on myself and improve and change and be better, not just so I can say, look, I'm working on myself...but so that during my own transformation hopefully I can inspire my kids, encourage them, and teach them in a positive, healthy way.  I really just want to use this time that I am a stay at home mom for God's glory... I don't want to miss this opportunity.

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