Monday, November 21, 2011


It's Monday.
More than anything this morning, I wanted to take the older kids to the gym,
but really,
I'm sore.
So maybe later tonight.

(I am having trouble typing because I use my phone so often. I think that this computer is going to capitalize and punctuate for me, but it doesn't.

I spent some time with my journal and my Book at 4am this morn,
and finished a letter I had been working on.
(I have a gift for writing persuasive letters,
but I need devoted quiet time for it,
and Ainsley kept smiling at me and waiting for me to look at her.)

So this past week was good.
It is so busy that my house resembles a fallout zone.
Today, me and my best friend, bleach, are going to spend some time together.

Wanna hear about the weekend?
Of course you do.

On Friday about 2:40 pm, I did my warm up exercises as Dan jokes;
boxing-kung-fu jabs.
(It's what we do just before the bell rings and the schools releases the children into the wild.)
Every time that song pops into mind, "Who let the dogs out. Who? Who? Who? Who?"

And then the kids walked through the door a few moments later.

We did some stuff and put dinner together.
Dan loaded the laundry for me.
At 5:05pm I headed to the hood for wrestling practice.
We dropped Corbin and Cade and Caleb
and I took 5 others with me to the laundrymat.

Our neighbor was with us.
She had been wanting Presley to play with her,
but Presley said, "No way. I love the laundrymat."

So our sweet little neighbor, (who has a house cleaner and a super nice sports car) got her first lesson in "LAUNDRY....for the Fast and the Furious."

We started it in the washers (only 12 loads),
and drove back to wresting to exchange the little boys for the big boys.

We worked as fast as we could to get it all dried and folded and back in the car.
And then we picked up Colin and Caleb and hit the donut shop on the way home.
These kids will do anything for a donut.

And then Sydney finished her physics with her dad and we all went to bed exhausted.

4am wake up call for the temple.
Sydney was too hammered, so let her sleep in.
But Colin went.
I met Dan at the gym at 6am with Caleb and Sydney.
(She was SUPER grouchy)
After some time on the treadmill, she perked up.
We finished a fun work out.

Sometimes we have to remember that we aren't raising body builders.
And we aren't raising cows.
I'm not sure what are doing, actually.
hahaha....just kidding.
The gym is fun, but the workouts aren't producing much yet.
The kids are still learning the correct moves.

So we went home and had some really quick breakfast.
I put together the needed items for the Merit Badge Clinic,
and we headed out to soccer.
Caleb and Colin spent the morning learning about their nation.
I spent the morning wondering why I want 'family togetherness' on the sideline??
Dan left to take a mid-term.

We met up again later to transport more kids to more soccer and the football party.
(I left the napping children home and just took Presley).
We met up again at the football party,
and then it was finally home.

Yeah for home.

The older kids went off to parties, friends or grandparents,
and we were left with just the 4 little ones.

I had this great idea to put up the Christmas lights.
We did that while we waited around for the ice-cream truck.
Corbin said...."This is our best Getting-Ready-For-Christmas-Day ever."
Yes, it was.

We put kids to bed and headed out to deliver Sydney to a party.
It was up north near the temple,
so Dan took me there for the very last session of the night.
I counldn't help but remark that he began the day with the earliest session,
and ended with the latest.

We had some Mexican food before retrieving the teenager.
Dan was starving....something about 'Never Eating' when he's with me.
Who has time for that?

We picked up Presley from her grandparents and hit the Walmart on the way home for a final birthday gift.
I fell asleep in the car....again.

When we got home,
I crawled into my bed completely exhausted.
It had been a good day....."the best ever" according to Corbin.
Dan was settled and held my hand as he fell asleep.
(I'm glad I was tired, because the sheets didn't make it back on my bed,
and I'm OCD).

We woke up Sunday morning to a messy house,
and happy children.
It was good.

But none of us can handle this house out of shape very long,
so today is the day! more thing about Saturday.
In the lull of the afternoon,
we were standing outside when we noticed a loose dog.
It wasn't our neighbors dog,
but I remembered that it was the friends dog.
And the 3 dogs play together.

As I opened the gate to let the dog in,
My mom and Dan were protesting,
I said, "Oh they play together all the time. Look they like each other."

Dan and my mom just shook their heads.

And then the conversation went something like this:
Me to the dogs, "There you go. Oh wait. Hey. Stop that. No. No... stop that! Get off her. Dan! Help. This dog is being naugty."

And his response was something like,
"You are such an airhead."

The worst part is that the dogs got stuck together.
Really stuck.
Dan said his training didn't include this kind of thing,
and he wasn't sure, but judging by the odd position of the dog,
he was pretty sure that the beans were, in fact, above the frank.
(We never should have seen that movie.)

And so we finally left.
There were only a few neighbor kids standing around.
A few minutes later,
Corbin asked me for a penny.
I told him I didn't have a penny.
He said, "Okay, a dollar.)
I gave him Dan's wallet.

The next thing I knew, my mom was saying,
"Umm...are you sure you want Cade and Corbin dividing up the contents of Dan's wallet?"
There wasn't much in it, because earlier, I had given Caleb and Colin Dan's debit card on their way to the mall. They looked curiously at me and fiendishly took the card without me questioning myself.

A few minutes after the dog and wallet issue,
I put Maryn and Ainsley in the stroller and walked back to check on the dogs.
I parked the girls at the top of the driveway and peeked over the gate.
Yep....still stuck.
When I turned around,
the girls had big eyes and were sitting at the bottom of the driveway.
I will remember the brake next time.

Dan said there is really little difference between me and a blond,
except the hair coloring.

Thanks hon.

There are things I am super good at,
just not that day.

Ainsley is done with this blogging biz.
Time to get onto the day.
I have to somehow see the loop-hole in my latest negotiation venture.
Dan says it's my gift,
and if there is a loophole,
I will find it.
Hopefully we save a house :)

Happy Monday.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I have a quick minute right now.
Cade is finishing his hachos (chips with melted cheese).
Maryn was tired.
Ainsley is cat napping.
All the others are at school.

Guess what?
There really is a fish in the tank.

Cade just asked if tomorrow was Christmas.
No. Tomorrow is Wednesday.

I thought seriously about taking a nap,
but Sydney needs to deliver items to the Child Crisis Center today,
so we will head that way instead.
And then there are some physics and algebra principles to review.
Tomorrow we tour the Post office for the Citizenship in the Nations Merit Badge.
Thursday night is the Town Meeting, which satisfies a requirement for 2 different Badges.
And there are reports to edit,
and math problems to do,
and toilets to scrub.

Day 2 of our 90 day fitness plan:
It went ok,
but working out together will be interesting.
Today we repeated the test from yesterday,
and did a little bench.
Sydney and Caleb can almost do the bar.
Tomorrow: Legs.
Slowly we will work up to some Crossfitting.
I miss it.

Oh....and I can't plank anymore,
but Caleb is the Beast. I stopped him at 2 minutes today.
I feel a competition coming on.
I think Caleb might out-plank is dad.

And last night, Corbin asked when he would grow big boobs.
Sydney and I giggled.
"Boys don't have boobs," we explained.
He replied with, "Well Dad has big boobs."
And then we laughed again.
Yes, he has quite a well-defined chest.
It's impressive.

Well that was TMI.

I dare not post this.
Ok....I can't help it.
My older children better NEVER repeat this.
I mean it.
For Real!!

On the way home from church on Sunday, Cade was singing.
"Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam."
Except he had Ainsley's Binky in his mouth,
and it sounded more like,
"Jesus wants me for a zombie."
Dan and I laughed and laughed.

Sometimes I wonder if He does want me for a zombie.

Well, on with this day.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday ramblings

The time goes by incredibly fast, and I regret not posting as often as I would like.

And some days are just pretty long,
or I don't feel like my best self.
So I follow the old rule of:
"If you can't say something nice....stay out of cyberspace. Take a nap instead."
I don't actually sleep though :)

So what's on my mind today???
The children.....of course.

Sundays have become great days for working on Scouting and Young Women's goals.
I believe we spent 8 hours yesterday.
Usually, the kids would be bored on a Sunday afternoon,
but yesterday we worked so hard,
they were begging me to go to bed.
I fell asleep exhausted,
instead of restless,
and dreamed all night about merit badge requirements.
There is something to the good programs out there for our youth.
I was once perplexed by Scouting,
but have since become an avid supporter.
There are so many good skills to acquire in life,
and working together as a family in these programs has delivered very meaningful memories to me.

Admittedly, our time is not without opposition.
A truly loving Chinese mother would never let her child give up.
Boredom is no excuse.
Hard work brings results.
Quitting.....NOT an option.
And most importantly,
I would never ask the kids to do something I am not willing to do myself.

This morning,
I woke up with a tinkling lightbulb in my head.
So we headed to the gym to do our first fitness test for a new 3 month program.

We are very out-of-shape.

But it was a good morning, with little resistance,
and it's more fun to work out as a family.

Yesterday as we typed through a powerpoint presentation for the Communications Merit Badge,
I noted how much the children have accomplished over the years.
In such a short time,
they have made great accomplishments.
I am very pleased to see the happiness in them.

So this next part is specifically for the ones who save me every day:

There have been times when I would have been lost without your kindness. And my moments of doubt bring me back fighting so fiercely for your souls. The one thing that stands between you and the evil of the world is me...... and you know how stubborn I can be.

Please understand where my motivation comes from as I navigate through our days of raising children. You are meant to be amazing adults. We are meant to help each other through this life.

Right now, I am raising honorable missionary sons and truly exceptional daughters. The challenges are many.

As I understand it, I have one shot at getting through this life, so every single day matters. Every thing we do matters. You matter. I love you forever, and more than you will ever know.

I am not afraid to say that we are raising our kids to serve God.

As it goes around here:

God first.
Then Family.
Followed by:
Church Responsibilities and Programs.
Fitness. (Hard to order)

There are lots of things that aren't even in the top 5.

My sons never need to question my feelings about becoming full-time missionaries. It's only 2 years of your life to give back.

Why are boys asked to serve, but it's not required of the girls? That's a question you have to ask yourselves. But the bottom line is that we all give. It's only right.

From start to finish, I will have hopefully given 32 years to the effort of raising children.
So far, it's been 14.5 years of sleepless nights.
81 ish months to pregnancy.
Equal that many to nursing.
8 times my hair has fallen out,
and I am on my 9th round of fighting back into my jeans.
There isn't a day that goes by without anxiety,
and wondering if I am doing enough.

Today I feel tremendous love for the little people who boss me around all day. We don't have to struggle through hard days alone. We are here for each other.

So for my favorite peeps:
Please have a good day and know that I am thinking of you. I love you no matter what.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nov 8

It feels like 4am,
but it's actually almost 6.
It was a sleepless night.
Ainsley is passed out next to me with her little hands over her head.
Cade is next to her.
Caleb is on the floor to my right.
He is a violent sleeper.
I am not sure why he slept in here last night.
Yesterday was a good day.
I love birthday days.
By the end of the night, Maryn had finally figured out that a birthday means something special.
She ate cake and opened gifts.
She spent the evening playing with Reagan and Caleb.
The Fall season is super busy.
It's my favorite, I think....or do I say that every season?
I love it because it's Dan's birthday,
which he now shares with his little girl.
I anticipate him wearing princess party crowns in the future for his mid-life birthday parties.
I love his birthday,
because I love him.
He did wonder about his birthday gifts.
No, it's not hidden in the garage.
It's not so big that it needs assembled.
It doesn't require ammunition.
Sorry babe.
I made dinner, mowed the lawns and washed the cars for you.
The kids want to go with you to spend your Sports Authority gift card.
(Don't take them....)
Birthdays are not so glamorous for us.
Dan ended his birthday late last night re-learning science,
so he can properly tutor his teenager.
If it was my birthday,
I would be depressed too.
I woke up yesterday,
wishing we were packing for a quiet trip to a warm beach.
Instead, it was 6am at the gym with the 3 older kids.
Dan said it was his most painful work out ever.
It might take a few attempts before they understand the gym.
And then he was off to work.
He took 5 hours of vacay,
And we spent the afternoon at a cross country meet with all the kids.
There was a big puddle.
Puddles give me anxiety.
We had limited time for dinner and cake,
and then he was back to work.
He texted me throughout the night.
It sounded sleepless for him too.
If I were a betting person,
I would wager that yesterday will be one of his favorite memories.
Despite the challenges,
he loves the time with the kids.
They will remember that it was their dad who taught them how to work out.
And their dad who explained physics concepts.
He fixes their problems,
and makes everything more fun.
I can try....but I am not him.
It's okay.
He makes me feel the same way.
it's 6:17 am and this house is dark and quiet.
Sydney is burning the candle at both ends until her play ends.
The big kids have homework.
Only the little kindergarten night owl finished his work yesterday.
I have a house to save.
and a house to clean,
and some little people to play with.
It's a beautiful time to be a mother.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Time gets away from me lately.
Maryn is turning 2 next week.
It hadn't occured to me until after she Sharpied the couch and herself,
And this morning there was the peanut butter incident.
Yes....she is almost 2.
And Cade cannot resist messes.
He loves them.

Over the years, I am trying to remember our biggest messes.
Sydney had the vaseline/desitin.
Caleb was all about eggs...and water....and peanut butter.
Someone spilled a gallon of oil.
There was the flour issue.
Recently was the Murphy's oil soap and Mr. Clean.
Food coloring.
Wood glue.
Crayons and markers of all kinds.

My mom stopped by when I was cleaning up.
She said, "Well, when they have access to everything, you can expect messes."
How do I restrict access?
It would take a tremendous effort to lock up this house and establish strict rules.
And by the time I did that, the littles would be big.
I like the independence.
I like the creativity.
I am at a loss for controlling the messes.

I could have taken a girls weekend,
But there is a play,
football playoffs,
school carnival,
and hopefully a baby blessing.
Every weekend is busy.
Each weeknight has a few things going.

It never ends.
I hope it never does.

Sydney - Your play will be fun. You are beautiful.

Colin - You have done an amazing job of managing everything you have going on. Sometimes in certain classes, we fight for every grade. It's ok. You are doing great. Being busy is way more fun than not. I am so happy for your continued determination to try new things.

Caleb - I like doing math with you. If I had my way, I would sit and work problems with you all night, every night. But I like watching you play football too, so we have to find a balance.

Reagan - Learning to work in a team environment is challenging. You never back down from a challenge. I love that you are such a good friend. I love that you are a great student. I love when you show such consideration for you brothers and sisters. You are perfect at being you.

Presley - I still want you to be the one who cares for me when I'm old.

Corbin - I love when you use the word "properly" properly. It makes me so happy.

Cade - You just gathered an assortment of items to create something. I am sorry that I had to draw the line. My concern is that you have learned how to split atoms or assemble hydrogen bombs. Please be kind to me today. I am in dire need of a nap.

Maryn - You sing the best "Haleluja" ever. And I love when you walk yourself up to your bed at naptime. You are so cute.

Ainsley - You seem to need more sleep. It would be great if that could happen during the business day.

Lars - You bark and I zap you. It's the only control I have in my life. If it weren't for you, no one would listen to me.

Fish - You are in fishy heaven. Sorry about that. I bank my success on whether or not you live. And yet, Dan keeps feeding you, and Presley insists that you are "just hiding." I hope you lived happily here, although if I were a pet here, I might wish to go to the big fishbowl in the sky.

Dan - I am sorry I wasn't more sympathetic with your sickness. I will try harder. And if you are reading this, you should be doing something constructive.

Back to work now. If I sit too long, I fall alseep.

Need More Gatorade!