Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The parable of the salad

Many of you may know that my youngest, Scooter, considers himself quite the chef.  It is quite  often for that almost 4 year old to go in the kitchen, and start piling ingredients into some kind of container with no rhyme or reason.  Rarely does he make something other than a mess, but it is a passion of his, and one that we would like to help feed.

Today when he and I got home from taking the older kids to school, he decided he wanted to be "Chef Scooter" and make a salad.  He proceeded to take some tomatoes and avocados off the counter and placed them in a bowl.  Took the bowl to the table, told me to get some plates, he went and got a spoon, and wanted to devour his salad.

Now tomatoes and avocados can make a great salad.  But usually we cut them up, and peel and pit the avocados.  Maybe add a few more ingredients, etc.  Well I wanted to let him express his creative side, but I also have those tomatoes and avacados for a taco salad I am planning for dinner tonight.

I suggested to him that we could make something else, like popcorn, or toast.  He said "No.  Salad"  He wanted that salad.  NOW!  I told him, I needed those things for tonight's dinner, and he could help me make the salad then.  Nope, not good enough.

Finally I got him to consider other options.  But still they needed to be his creation.  He wanted cupcake marshmallow pie.  What ever that is.  I asked him how we make it.  He looked around the kitchen, and saw some apples.  "It maybe has some apples." He said.  So I took an apple, and asked him if we needed it cut up.  "Yep." he said.  So I cut the apple and put it in a container.  Then he started suggesting the marshmallows.  We don't have any, so then he decided he needed to look in a cookbook.  I suggested we could add some cinnamon, he was ok with that.  Then while he was looking in  his cookbook, I also added some lemon juice.  He found a picture of a fruit salad in the  cookbook and decided to add some oranges.  So after we peeled the oranges and broke them into slices, he added them to our salad.

Then I pulled out the pomegranate.  This is a fruit he has no memory of eating before.  We only have it during the holiday season.  He thought it was an apple at first, but after I cut it open and showed him how to pull out the seeds, and let him try one, he had found a new favorite fruit.  He continued to eat a quarter of the pomegranate, while I put another quarter in his salad.  Then we put it in the fridge to wait for lunch.

While I was going through this experience with him the Spirit spoke to me.  How often am I like Scooter.  I think I know what I want to do, and I want it now.  I don't want to accept suggestions or help from someone who maybe knows more than I do.  I want to do it my way, even if my way doesn't really work as well.  I may look around and what ever catches my eye is what I think I need at the moment.   But if  I will take the time to look at instructions like Scooters cookbook  (in my case scriptures, teachings of prophets and apostles), and ask for help from someone with experience, I can have a much more successful experience.  I can learn a lot more and have a more positive outcome.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Daisies on Pink

I love the daisy fabric.  I have loved it since the first time I saw it in my mom's fabric scraps.  It has been calling out for me to make something of it.  I used a little of it one time when I made a dress for Aurora.
But other than that, it has just felt like too small a piece to use.  Then I started making doll clothes.  You don't need as much fabric for a doll, and it worked wonderfully.  

Friday, October 14, 2016

My Newest Hobby

I'm going to post the pictures of my newest hobby, sewing doll clothes here at the top, but then I am going to explain it below for those who wish to keep reading.

About 25-30 years ago I was introduced to something called American Girl Dolls.  Well not the dolls themselves, but the books about the dolls, and the catalogs of the dolls.  I loved it when those catalogs would arrive.  I would pour over them for hours, dreaming of what it would be like to have one of those dolls.  However, I knew it was just a dream to have one.  Those dolls cost around $100 a piece, and when you are in a family of 9 children, well lets face it, your not likely to get a toy that costs that much.  So for me it was just dreams.

Fast forward 10 years or so, and my younger sisters were at that stage.  However they had an advantage I didn't have.  Someone had a brilliant idea.  Make nice looking dolls the same size as American Girl Dolls, and charge a fraction of the price.  I still remember how excited they were the Christmas that all 4 of my younger sisters each got an Autumn Harvest Doll.  I was a little envious but hey being 20  years old, I was to old to expect such things.

Then I had daughters.  It took a long time to reach this point, but finally about 2 years ago I finally got Aurora an 18" doll.  This one was an Our Generation doll.  I wanted to get one for each of my daughters, Cinderella who was about 10 at the time, thought she may be to old for such toys.  She decided  otherwise after seeing her sisters doll, but even though the dolls were a lot less expensive than American Girl Dolls, they are still big dolls.  Cinderella was dedicated to her Barbies at the time and had a rather large Barbie house, and we were living in a small house.  I had to hold off for a bit.

Then I found the deal.  I found a local listing for someone wanting to clear out their daughters 18" doll collection.  4 dolls, a camper, a jeep, a scooter, 2 salon chairs, a wardrobe, plus a little more for $200. I couldn't pass that up. Some of the dolls were a cheaper brand, and had been well loved, but a couple of them were almost new.  I decided to give my girls the more worn dolls and save the others for later gifts.

Cinderella was blown away.  She was very touched, to get an old worn out doll with frizzy hair. She has told me since that was her most favorite gift she has ever received.  Then came the time when my boys discovered the jeep, scooter, and camper in the garage.  Couldn't keep them a secret for much longer.  So when Aurora received another Our Generation doll for her birthday, I knew it was time to uncover more of the goods.  Then my boys wanted in on the action, and we needed more dolls.  So out came the last two dolls, with the information that these dolls belonged to ME.  They could play with them, but no fighting, and I had to give permission.  I didn't want Aurora to hog all the dolls.

Then I discovered something.  I really liked having my own dolls.  I liked to dress them up, and do their hair.  Later, I decided that I would like to make doll clothes.  My kids don't always appreciate when I sew for them, but I knew the dolls wouldn't complain if I made doll clothes.   I discovered a wonderful website Pixie Faire  There they have doll clothes patterns, and a decent amount of them are free.  And they give away another free pattern each Friday.  I decided this was a good way to start and see how serious I am about this hobby, before investing a lot of money in it.   I have a lot of fabric scraps from my own sewing, and from my mom.  I figured I could start without having to invest too much.

I have made the items pictured above, so far.  My first project was the  purple swim suit modeled by Cinderellas doll.
The next one was the blue swim suit with the skirt.  I used the same pattern for that swim suit, and made up the skirt on my own.
  Then I made the pink dress last week, and today I finished the t-shirt that is under it.

I plan to make posts in the future as I make more clothes.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


I have been struggling ever since moving.  My life has been a roller coaster of emotions.  I have to just keep looking forward to the future.   
We moved back to a place where we had lived before.  To the same house even.  We had rented it out while we were gone, but had had no plans of returning, even though we didn't sell it.  But the Lord had plans.  He knew we would eventually come back, and prepared a way for us to be able to do so.
One might think that moving into the same house would make the moving transition a ton easier.  However, for me, it has been more difficult in some ways.   I think maybe in part due to expectations that it wouldn't be, makes the struggle more emotional.  I am hoping that if I bare my soul, I can set this aside and move on.
Each day I am going to blog about some expectations one might have, and I think I maybe even had them to a degree, that have proved false, and helped create more emotional discord inside of me.  

1. Expectation: You already have friends there, so there is already a social circle where you fit.
    Truth:  In Utah, a highly Mormon community, there is a great social disadvantage.  Your social circle largely is the ward (congregation) you belong to.  This congregation is based on where you live. You attend church with those who live around you.  This is great, because you worship with those who live around you, and can have a closer knit community.  The church functions in such a way that every ward runs the same way.  Our church is a global church.  Church is basically the same, no matter where you attend, other than the people.  You don't shop around for a paster that you like, or a church that teaches doctrine just so.  Every ward teaches the same doctrine, and each ward is lead by a bishop, who didn't volunteer for the position, but was called to the position, by leaders of the church higher on the line of authority,  in direction from God.  The bishop changes, when the Lord decides the bishop should change, and to the man the Lord sees fit to be the new bishop.  Anyway, as I said, you attend church with those who live around you, and the boundaries of your ward change, based on growth of the members of the church in your area.  And very sadly, when those boundaries change, you no longer have anything to do with those who used to be in your ward, even if they still live near you.  While we were living in Texas, those boundaries changed.  I came back to a ward, where I don't know many people.  And all my friends who I had before, who live in the other half of the neighborhood, so therefor the other ward, we don't have that connection anymore.  I still see them, and talk to them, but we don't have that connection.  I feel lonely, because I don't have that connection.  Don't get me wrong, I still like the people I go to church with, and I even have people I consider friends.  But it isn't quite what I want.

So, now that I have identified that, I know I need to find ways to make friendships with those in my ward, but also need to find ways to continue interaction with those who I consider my friends, who still live near me, but aren't in my ward.  Now I just need a plan.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Follow up

So to follow up with all of my crazy posts.  I do know what I am supposed to do.  But as the hubs reminded me yesterday, there has to be opposition in all things, or else you don't really have th freedom to choose, you are just going along with the flow.

The time to leave Texas is coming, I need to accept it and look forward to the future.  When I do that I truly feel peace.  When I start thinking about all the reasons I want to stay, then I get confused, or have a stupor of thought.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Making Choices, and following promptings.

When the kids  and I take a walk we often play "the corner game". In this game we take turns deciding which way to go when we reach corners.   My kids love this game, and often get upset if I forget to pause and let the next person choose.  Our neighborhood has a lot of greenbelts, and there is one in particular that my boys love.  This one has trees so it is nice and shady, picnic tables, benches and gravel paths that wind through it.  The boys love to get out of stroller and roam the paths.

Today I was taking Scooter and Spike for a walk, and we were playing the corner game.  While we were walking we came across a greenbelt area.    Well this was not their favorite one, but was similar.  Spike asked me, "Why did they tear out all of the paths?"  I told him, "This is a different one, but I know how to get to the one you like.  I can take us there, or we can keep playing the corner game, and we might get there we might not, and if we do it might take longer to get there."  He opted to just have me direct us there.  While I was walking, I couldn't help thinking about the parallels in my statement to Spike.

The Lord knows what I want, and knows what is best for me.  He can lead me there if I let Him, or I can make my own decisions, and possibly not get there, or take longer in getting there.

I wish I knew what the Lord wanted right now.  I know I have felt the need to move on.  I know we have felt driven back to Utah.  I know I love Texas.  I also love my family (extended family) none of which live in Texas, most live in Utah.  I know I am needed here, I'm not sure how much I am needed in Utah.  I want to be someplace for a long time, so that my children don't have to keep moving, and I know if we move to Utah we can probably stay there longer than if we were to move somewhere else here.  If we were to move to a different home here in Texas I think it would only be for a little while, and that might be harder to say goodbye to than saying goodbye right now.

Part of my thinking these thoughts today is because as I was walking with my boys,  I noticed that one of the houses near that greenbelt that my kids love (and this house is one that I love the look of from the outside, and it is the right size for our family, and if I were to buy a house in this neighborhood it is probably the house I would want to buy.) is going on the market soon.   Seeing that causes me to second guess the thoughts I have had lately.

That, and the fact that the Hubs hasn't really had any luck in looking for a job in Utah so far, but we haven't been looking that long.  It could change, really easily and quickly when the time is right.  But he has really been struggling the last little bit with this, and it makes me wonder if I have been misinterpreting my thoughts and the whispering of the Spirit.  Which part comes from me, and which part is coming from God?  

I have desires that lead in both directions, so I can see how my own wants might lead me to think either way.  It is so hard to know.  I know I need to trust in the Lord.  He will lead me where I really want to be in the end.    I just need to discern which messages come from him.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

"You can have what you want, or you can have something better."

I am going through a bit of a trial right now, and what makes it really hard for me is it is something I feel like most people won't understand and so I don't really know who I can talk to about it, other than the Lord.  So it is a burden that is dragging me down.

I decided to make a blog post and see if that helps me at all.

Our beliefs are that our Father in Heaven (God), has a plan for each of us.  He wants us to be happy, and knows what decisions are best for us.  Like any loving parent.  Sometimes we have lots of choices that we can make and each choice can bless us as much as another.  IE do I want black or red licorice, it doesn't really matter, unless I really don't like one of those flavors.  However some choices are more important and have more long lasting effects.

For us in our family one of those choices we feel God has a strong interest in is where we live.  When we were right out of college, we wanted to have my husband find a job in Utah where my family is, and settle down there to raise our family.  But we felt the Lord had something else in mind.  The hubs got a job offer in Virginia, and after a lot of prayer we felt like that was where we needed to go.  It was hard to leave all of our family behind and head to the other end of the country where we knew no one.  However it was a big blessing for us.  We learned how to turn to each other, and others around us.  We made some great friendships, and grew a lot stronger in our marriage.

After about a year, when expecting baby number 2 (Guy), we knew the time was coming to move back closer to family.  We missed our family, and even though we loved Virginia we knew it was time to move on.  We made the preparations to move to a different apartment that would allow us more flexibility of when we could move (our current apartment needed 3 months notice, so we found one that we could give 30 days notice).  We were all ready to move, and then 2 days before our scheduled move date, my husband lost his job.  It was a blow, but once I got over the initial emotional shock, I knew it was time for us to go back west.  It took the hubs a bit more time to come to that conclusion, but he did, and we both knew it was what the Lord had in store for us.

We packed up a upack the next week, and headed out to Utah to be with family.  Or so we thought.  After about a month in Utah, the hubs was offered a job in Seattle WA.  I didn't want to go.  I wanted to stay where family was.  I was tired of being away from family.  The hubs didn't really want to go either, but as we prayed about it, we both felt directed that it was where the Lord wanted us.  We went, but we went with a negative attitude.  And due to our attitude, it took us a long time to learn to enjoy it there.  Once we changed our attitude however we made friends, and had some positive experiences.

When baby number 3 (Aurora) was on the way, we knew we wanted to move back closer to family.  We prayed about it and felt good.   The hubs was able to get a job in Utah and shortly before the baby was born we bought a house and moved in.  We loved being near family and loved our time in Utah.  However after 4 years I started feeling that there was somewhere else the Lord needed our family, and when the time to go came, we needed to be ready and willing to go.  The hubs wasn't sold on the idea.  He loved where we were, his job, our friends, etc.  However about 8 months later he asked me if I really thought the Lord wanted us to move on.  I told him I did.  He thought for a moment and said, it's Texas.  We need to go to Texas.

We prayed about it and I knew he was right.   We made plans to move there the following summer, after the kids finished the year they were in in school.  However that wasn't the plan the Lord had for us.  The hubs found a job listing at a company he had thought of many times.  I felt like he should apply so he did.  A month later he, I and Scooter, flew to TX for him to interview and me to look at houses.  We found a house that we loved, and just before we were to board our flight back to Utah the hubs got a call, offering him the job.  We knew it was what we were supposed to do, and a month later we were moving to Texas.  It wasn't at the end of the school year.  It was March.  We had to pull the kids out of some things they really loved, and it was hard to leave.  However, after being in Texas, Utah just didn't feel like home to me.  I knew we needed to go.

In moving to Texas in March, the children were put into school at kind of a rough time.  The area where we bought our house was a poorer area, and the schools there weren't that great.  After about 3 weeks, I made a choice I never thought I would make, and pulled the kids out of school to school them at home.  It was a hard choice, but one of the best choices I have ever made, and I know the Lord was guiding me in it.  I love the people I got to know while homeschooling.  They are some of the best friends I have ever made.  My children grew a LOT during that time.  And I learned a lot about my kids spending so much time with them.

After about a year and a half of homeschooling we started feeling the whisperings of the Spirit again, telling us there was somewhere else we were needed.  It was another hard decision, but I also knew the time was coming to put the kids back into school.  We stayed in the beautiful Texas area, but moved far enough away that the schools were so much better, and it was harder to see our homeschooling friends anymore.

I haven't been thrilled about the rental house we moved into, but other than that I love it here.  I can see so many ways my life has been blessed, during this time in Texas.

And here is where we come to the part of the trial I am dealing with now.  If you have stuck through all my ramblings to get to this part, I know some of you will feel the heartache I am feeling, and some of you will feel the joy I am feeling.

Recently the hubs and I have felt that the time is coming to put Texas behind us, and go back to Utah.  I don't want to leave.  I love it here.  I love the place and the people.   I told the Lord this,   and after that there was no doubt.  It is about time to leave.  We still aren't sure on the timing.  We are trying out a few different paths right now to see where they lead, but in the end for us at this time we know they will lead to Utah, back to our house there.  I am looking forward to going back and being near family and the wonderful friends we have there.  But my heart is breaking over leaving Texas.   It is a hard place to be, stuck between choosing over different things I love.  I know the Lord's path leads to Utah, and I am willing to do so.  But it is hard.    

Recently our Church had a world wide conference.  In that conference Elder Donald L. Hallstrom said, "Recently, I was in a meeting with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. In teaching the principle that mortal life can be agonizing but our hardships have eternal purpose—even if we do not understand it at the time—Elder Holland said, “You can have what you want, or you can have something better.”"

This is an idea I am clinging to right now.  "You can have what you want, or you can have something better."    I am putting my trust in the Lord, that even though this is a really hard time for me, that in following the promptings I am feeling, I can have something better.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Does anyone read anymore?

Cinderella had her first saddening experience with school this time around.  It isn't terrible news, it could have been a lot worse.  It isn't even necessarily public school related, other than that is where the incident occurred.   It is just a little disappointing.

Cinderella came home from school yesterday and informed me that in one of her classes they were divided into groups to pick a movie and act out some scenes from it.  They would be recorded and then the whole class would watch the recordings.  Yesterday they were selecting what movie to use.   The group that Cinderella was in listed a bunch of movies.  Most of them are based off of books that Cinderella has read, but she hasn't seen the movies.  

When her group members heard she hadn't watched any of the movies, they told her she needed to go home and watch like 30 movies.  Cinderella told them that would be hard, because we don't have any PG-13 movies in our home.   The kids were shocked at this.  They were shocked that my 11 year old has never even seen an R rated movie.  Cinderella was shocked that they had. 

Cinderella then asked them "What ever happened to reading books?"  She was told "Welcome to 2016, people don't read anymore."  Cinderella's response was, "What a sad, sad existence."

-Please note this is written based on what I remember Cinderella telling me.  All may or may not have happened quite as described.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Well I've gone and done it

As part of the changes that occurred with moving we decided to consider the idea of putting the kids back into public school.

Cinderella was very excited.  She has missed some of the aspects of public school a lot.

Guy was kind of hit or miss.  Sometimes he wanted to stay home, other times he liked the idea of going back to school.

Aurora has never been to school.  She also still deals with a bit of the anxiety that she has had in the past about being separated from me.  However she has a desire to go to school, as well as some apprehension.  

Deciding to send them back to school is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.  Even harder than choosing to homeschool them.  I now have knowledge of both sides of the equation.  I know what it is like to homeschool my children, the pluses and minuses.  I also know what it is like to send them to school, and the concerns that are to be had in that aspect.

Everyone has their opinions.  Home schoolers wonder why you would ever consider such a thing.  Public  schoolers wonder why you made the decision to homeschool in the first place.

The hubs and I have made it a matter of a lot of prayer, and felt like this was a step we need to take.  

Well today was their first day back.  It was interesting here at home.  I think this is the first time I have had only 2 kids home during the day since Aurora was born almost 7 years ago.    Spike and Scooter definitely loved the attention.   Spike wanted to play all day, and had a hard time understanding that I still had work I needed to do.  

I also  started potty training Scooter, today.   Something I think he is ready for.   He hates diaper changes.  So I think once he figures out how to recognize his cues and how that ties into the lack of diaper changes, I think we will be done with diapers.  

The hubs dropped the kids off today.  He said they just took off into the school and didn't look back.  We will see how things are when they get home in a bit.