Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Easter Pictures

Mon petit beau, Harrison.

Lundi, Lauren and Harrison, Easter Sunday.

On Saturday Nana and Grandpa kept up the tradition of bringing the kids Easter baskets. We had Easter dinner with them on Saturday, it was great to have them.
We got "egged" on Friday night....MUCH to the children's delight!
Thank You. (You know who you are....we love you so much!!)

New Life Begins

Don't you just love it when you get inspired from a fellow-homeschooler? Well, my friend Angela recently posted about starting seedlings for their garden. We have made several attempts at a garden and none of them were very successful. So I went to Walmart on Wednesday and bought everything on Angela's list. Now, we did have this planned as part of our science curriculum for this year, but of course that is always subject to change. When I read Angela's post, it just pushed me over the edge. It moved me from being a- little bit motivated, maybe we'll do it if we get around to it-to actually getting to the store and buying all of the supplies. So I gathered up the kids, list in hand (I printed out her post and took it with me) and headed to the store. Today we planted some of them. We will plant more as we get closer to the time when we can actually plant them outside. So, the germination process has begun. Here is the project in pictures....

It was prescious to watch Lauren handle the seeds so tenderly. She took great care to not drop any of them.

When we were at the store, they insisted that they needed gardening gloves. Because "all gardeners wear gloves, and we are gardeners if we are planting a garden." Even though Lauren's were waaay too big, she still wore them. Cute.

Lundi only wanted to plant flowers (of course) so she can put them in her flower press. We did this a couple of years ago. Now she knows which ones press well and which ones don't.

Caleb was sure to read the backs of all of the packages. He was very careful to plant his seeds the exact depth recommended. Hi figured out that he could ignore the spacing guidelines since they were in individual pots.

Harrison was overly generous with his seed distribution. When I explained to him why we need to just put a few in each pot, he did great. He planted peppers, beans and flowers.

He insisted on watching them grow. He sat at the table for atleast an hour after we were all done.

Patience, my son.

It was a beautiful day. And yes....we wore our pajamas to school.



For lunch yesterday we had cucumbers, green peppers, carrots, mushrooms (with Ranch), cheese and crackers, oranges and grapes. All of the kids were commenting about all of the colors on their plates.
Harrison asked "Mom, are oranges called oranges because they are orange? Or is orange called orange because oranges are orange?" Caleb said "I don't like oranges." Lundi said "I think that the color came first, then they named the fruit." Then I asked Lauren "What is another kind of fruit that is orange, Lauren?" Her reply "Um.......a whole bunch of oranges!" Then she laughed at her own clever-ness.
Smart girl.


Pulling My Hair Out

Yesterday I was sitting on the couch plucking my eye brows when I noticed a gray hair on my head. Mind you....I don't have many (yet) but with my dark hair, even one stands out. So....I pulled it out. Lundi saw me and said "Ooooh, can I do that Mom?" I said "Sure." So she runs over to me, perches herself up on the back of the couch behind me and starts digging through my hair in true primate fashion. She found another, and another and then another. With each new found silver streak, she asked permission to pull it out, which I gladly granted. After she had found ten or so, I commented on how I must be getting old. I didn't think much more about it.
Later that night when Mike got home, Harrison went down into the office to talk to Mike alone. He said (in all seriousness) "Papa, I hate to be the one to tell you this.........but Mommy has grey hair." He said "Ya I know, I have a few, too." Mike assured him that it was part of being a grown up and he might have them some day, too. Harrison moved on in a typical six year old manner....returning to his cars. So later (after the kids were in bed) Mike recounted this conversation to me. I (of course laughed) had no idea that it bothered him so much. The next day I said "Harrison, did you tell Papa about my grey hair?" He said "Ya, bit it's OK. You will still live, right Mommy?" I realized then that he thinks that grey hair (Like 95 year old Laurette) is equal to being very, very old. We have explained to the kids that Laurette might die soon, as she is very old. I can only conclude, from this conversation, that in his (six year old) mind these few grey hairs would soon lead to my passing away. I re-assured him that even young people sometimes have grey hair, and that I wasn't really that old and would be around for a long time to be his Mommy. He smiled, hugged me and it was over just like that.
Sometimes we just never know how they are going to interpret the things we say.

The mind of a six year old.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

An Incurable Fever......

.....has hit our house. They call it Spring Fever and sometimes it comes, even if all of the signs of Spring are still weeks away. (I guess they were looking at the calendar, not the weather). This is where I found my children today. I think they thought that since it was 38 degrees, it was time to get out the summer clothes....with coats.

Yes....that is the cross bar that she is standing on.

Notice the bare legs on this boy.....with boots.

And here is Lauren attempting to dig out the swing, which is atleast three feet under.

Lundi's chosen attire was capri's and puddle boots.

It's not very often that you ge to play (safely) on top of the swingset.

Lauren was amazed that she could see over the top of the swingset. It made her giggle.

I guess they just can't wait any longer. I can't either. Maybe I'll take Lauren's suggestion and take the blow dryer outside and melt all the snow.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

To Quote Mike....

I loved our meetings today. My heart was pricked. My soul was fed. My heart almost burst as I listened to the messages. I know the Lord spoke to me today. I want to say so much more.....but I want to post Mike's account of the day because he said it so well......

"So, the Sacrament meeting was AWESOME today. Not only did we have a beautiful special musical number and the choir sung for us, but Leah spoke, then Brother Boulier. You can guess how each of them bore witness to the Savior and how Easter has significance in our lives. We remember what happened on Sunday, but what about what happened on Friday? He died on the cross. He was brutally bruised to pay for crime he didn’t committ. The speakers witnessed in each or their special ways. Thank you! There was, however, a more impressive show of the Lord’s influence. President Hayes stood and declared his special privilege and extended the meeting further. This was under the Lord’s influence. He let President Hayes know what to say and how to say it. I won’t share exactly what he said. It is sacred. The entire Ward sat rapt. There was special declaration of the divinity of this Church, the Authority of the Holy Priesthood in this Church, the Lord’s role as judge, the responsibility and accountability of our choices and the sharpness of the Lord’s commands. His was an invitation for us all to stay the course, run the course and get back on the course. I stood in awe of his instruction.
We had people there who have not been back to Church in a while. There were people who have never set foot in this Church. There were those of us who are strong, weak, warm and lukewarm in the gospel. So sharp, exact and sacred were his words, that I doubt - not even for a moment - that anyone could with any reasonable effort would reject, disprove, refute or deny. Some words were searing. Some were gentle. His voice was quivering, almost crying. It seemed any pride was left to utter abandon. How could any of us speak like that? He had the authority to declare the truth and he did it. We rarely have an opportunity to experience this raw revelatory meat. It was given to us without fear, without a pointing finger, without shame and without guile. He spoke with power, authority. He was like a Lion.
I often wonder what people think of think of us when I dare say words like his. The words are true, but they are hard to speak. Why? I know they’re true. It makes me wonder if I am ashamed of my religion. The answer is no, but it takes boldness to speak as he did. To risk the judgement of your fellow men is a high risk, but he gave no thought to this possibility. I conclude he feared God’s judgement more than man’s. Now more than ever I wonder what others think of us. There was a visitor there who I go to class with. She was there for other reasons…not because I invited her, but other reasons. I am anxious to hear if she has any questions for me. Does she have any comments? What are her impressions? How could she (anyone) not have questions? How could she (anyone) not have felt the Spirit? How could she (anyone) deny the power of God tasted at the meeting? I was moved to tears and that’s how my soul expresses feeling the Spirit (one of the ways). I was neither joyed nor scared. I was not sad. I felt encircled by the power and authority of God. I also felt the savior’s love throughout the meeting, not at only one moment, but the whole meeting. To have missed the meeting today would be to miss out on eternal truths, eternal purview and eternal blessings. I’m serious. You think I am stretching it? Ask anyone there. This was a different meeting. It’s one that not many of the members of the Church can say they they’ve witnessed in their life. It was actually a first for me. I know the title, Lion of the Lord is already taken, but President was a close second." MJS

I add my witness. I know that Jesus Christ lives. He is the my Savior. I love him.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Funny Girl

Tonight I was blowing dry Lundi's hair when she suddenly jumped and covered her ear.

M: What's the matter, is it too hot?
L: No, it's just that my ear has a reflex.
M; It does?
L; Ya, it just doesn't like hot air blown into it.

I thought....
Just remember that when you are a teenager, kid. When a boy wants to make out with tell him about your "Reflex!!!"


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Before I Forget....

Mike had class Monday night (he is on vacation, but had to make up a snow day) so we had FHE without him. Since I was the one (wo)man show, it had to be something very interactive. The idea that I came up with was this: Everyone pick your favorite hymn or primary song, we'll all sing it together, then bear your testimony. Lundi went first. She chose "The Star Spangled Banner" and gave a beautiful testimony. I find it funny (in a cute way) that she thinks that she needs her journal right in front of her every time she gives her testimony, because that is where she has it written. Last night I gently reminded her "Lundi, it is great that you have it written down, but we should keep in mind that our testimony is always growing and changing, so it is best to just say what the spirit tells you to say." Which is exactly what she did. Beautiful.
Caleb was next. He chose the hymn "Behold the Great Redeemer Die." We were totally off key on that one. Caleb was sitting right next to me and he loves to sing as loud as he can while still being reverent. He is always off key and I can't sing well unless I have someone to follow. Needless to say, it was still beautiful, as was his testimony.
I was next. I chose the hymn "Did You Think to Pray." I have many favorites, but I really appreciated the message of this one on that particular day. I thought of it several times that day (amongst the trials and chaos) and drew strength from it's message. Afterwards I bore my testimony of the power of prayer.
After that, I told the kids that it was time for SS&P (scripture study and family prayer) when Harrison said "Hey, what about ME?" It didn't occur to me to include him (I am ashamed to say) because he was playing with cars on the floor the whole time during FHE. I had no indication that he was listening or wanted to be included. I quickly apologised and asked him which hymn he wanted to sing. He chose "The Spirit of God." We sang it and then he stood to give his testimony. It made me cry. The spirit was there. The child is a spiritual giant. I hardly feel worthy to be his Mother. Indeed...."Even some of the elect will be sent to you......" as stated in my PB. Although, it is not mentioned that these "elect" will also be some of the most challenging for their parents. I pray for strength. I want to raise them in His way. I want to nurture the spiritual gifts of my children. I know they have so much potential. I do not want to get in their way.
Last but not least, we heard from Lauren. She chose "I Am a Child of God." How fitting. Of all of my children, she has the best disposition and is (almost) always happy. She needed a little help with her testimony because she started talking about what her dolls names were and why she named them that. Throughout the meeting, she had been sitting on the couch feeding, diapering and dressing all six of them. So, (naturally) they were on her mind. After a little prodding, though, she did a great job. I treasure these moments with my children. God is love.
I attended a mini enrichment class last night. Thank you Terry, it was just what I needed. It was about budgeting. I know, we all hate that word. But this is an area where I have much to learn. I usually resent a budget because there is never enough for what we "need." One thing that nursing school has taught me is "If you can't pay for it, pray for it. If it still doesn't come then do without." We have learned to live this principle. When we actually have a paycheck, (foreign object around here) I think I will frame it and hang it on the wall. Three years is just a long time to be unemployed.
Winter lingers....still. We got another four inches today, with more coming tonight. I'll tell you, much as I want spring to come, it sure is pretty to see everything white again instead of that muddy, brown snow. Don't you think?
I finally broke down and bought Liam some size 2T pants. Those 18month ones were just too short. I was proud of myself for finding two pair at the thrift store for $1.99 each. I was trying to hold out so I could just put him in the summer hand-me-downs, but I don't think he'll be needing those any time soon and I was tired of putting those floods on him.

This is just to remind me that Spring. Will. Come.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Liam Ashton

You have blessed our lives for two whole years and we adore you! Happy Birthday, little son.
I still love your playdough toes. You give great hugs. You love the turtle that Grammie gave you and you rub its tail between your fingers when you go to sleep. Your eyes are sparkly and blue. Your hair is getting darker every day, so we can't say that you are from the beaches of California anymore. Your gorgous blonde highlights faded oh too quickley. Kisses are your specialty. You insist that we kiss you on the lips, and your smack is timed just right. Adorable! Your older sibblings fight over who gets to get you out of your crib in the morning. You do not like the cold. You cry when your hands are cold and have yet to discover the joy of playing in the snow. Maybe next year? Your words are still few, but your gestures are many. You love to climb....high. Which usually results in a fall. You have a new bruise on your head atleast once a week. If Mommy and Papa aren't around, Lundi is your favorite. She takes good care of you and knows how to comfort you best. Following in both of your brothers footsteps, you LOVE cars....of any kind. Crazy for cars, that's what we say. Harrison loves to play cars with you, but you get very upset when he takes the car you want. Caleb loves to laugh at you, and you love to make him laugh when you dance. It is a riot!!! Lauren loves to feed you. You know that if you are hungry, she will always share her snack with you. Papa loves to eat your belly and do rasberries while you are on the changing table. Sometimes you laugh harder while anticipating it than you do when he actually does it. Your giggle is beautiful music to our ears. You love Abby. And even when you are rough with her (like when you pull on her ears or lay across her back while she is eating), she is so patient and tolerant. You love it when I turn on or off the light switch with your foot. I do this by rubbing the bottom of your foot across it. It makes you laugh. You also like to get the lint from betwen your toes and scream "Ahhhh" as if it were bugs. You also love to squish real bugs....summer will be so fun for you. Baths are great fun and you always cry when we take you out. You go to bed very easily. All you need is your turtle, your puppy, your blankey and a kiss. We love you more each day. You are a joy to have in our family. Thank you for bringing so much sunshine to our lives. You are truly a blessing and have taught us so much. We love you Liam Ashton. Happy Birthday!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The good:
I went outside today to pour salt on the ice that has graced our doorstep for the last five months and actually heard birds outside! It was beautiful music to my ears. Very encouraging, and promising that spring WILL come. Especially for those of us who's swing sets are still half way burried. Don't missunderstand....I do love the snow. But now that ski season is over (yes, i survived) I don't care for it to hang around anymore.
More good: Mike is on a psyche rotation this week and is doing well. Even better, he has a whole week off next week. I hope the weather is warm because I really want to get some spring cleaning done. I am feeling crowded with all of the junk we have accumilated over the winter and am anxious to purge!
The bad:
Sick kids. Lundi threw up last night from the top bunk. (Think water fall, but not the pretty kind). Mike was (once again) assigned to disaster relief while I dealt with two sick kids on the couch. We brought Lauren out of their room to clean her bed (she sleeps on the bottom) and while she was on the couch was coughing like a barking seal. I finally gave her the-not reccomended by our doctor, could kill your kid but still works so I give it to my kids anyway because I am a bad Mom- cough medicine. Five minutes later she had to go poo poo. Five minutes later she had to go again. She has had the vas-y-vites (a term I made up on my mission translates into "go there fast") diahrea for the past week and a half. Liam has it, too and can't seem to get regular again. He also has a cough and runny nose. Lundi continued to puke (or should I say dry heave) every fifteen minutes (like clock work) from 10:30 until 4:00 this morning. Ofcourse I was the one up with her because Mike had to be at the hospital early this morning. I was just thankful he got up to clean the mess in the girls room---it was a two hour job!! Our perfectly healthy record this winter has come to an abrupt halt.
Which leads us to the ugly.....
"Fire butts" ( as Juanita calls them). Two of them. Liam and Lauren are the proud owners. Applying medicine doesn't make a difference, except it makes then scream when we apply it.
Looking forward to a better day on the morrow.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Views From PCM

We went to the Portland Childrens Museum last week. We all had a great time...........

....pumping gas:

....climbing the walls:

....hop scotchin':

.....rockin' the boat:

....holdin' up the world: .....dressing UP:

....speedin' through town:

....makin' change:

....acting out:

....caring for animals:

....and disecting the remains (owl pellets) of others:

It is great to explore our world.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Relentless Remodeling

.....of the soul that is. Christ is the master craftsman.
I heard this term used in a talk tonight (Called to Serve) by Neal A. Maxwell.
"For the serious disciple the resulting urgency means there can be few extended reveries and recesses and certainly no sabbaticals--all this in order to hasten God's relentless remodeling of each of us! Parenthetically, I don't know how it is for you, but though the reveries, the special moments come, they are not extended. Soon the drumroll of events, even difficulties, resumes. There is so much to get done in the brief time we have in this mortal classroom. "
It really put things into perspective for me. Things have been especially difficult around here the last few days. Sickness abounds. Nothing that was planned happened. Everything that wasn't, came to pass.
Trials and tribulations, obstacles, sickness, temptations, opposition, weaknesses. These are all part of our mortal experience. Life on earth includes all of these things. But why? Is it because our God has left us to dwindle aimlessly, just waiting for our lives to get easier, better, perfect or effortless? No. Infact, we are given trials because He loves us. Our life on earth wasn't meant to be easy, but we are promised that it will be worth it. Trials help us to recognize what we are truly made of. So much of the time I hear this term but don't actually see the blessing of the trial until after it is over. Isn't that human nature?
The "remodeling" of my soul is a process. I am always growing, learning, failing, repenting, evolving, getting off track, finding my way back, asking forgiveness and starting all over again. In essence, learning for myself. I am having my own mortal experience. No one else can do it for me, nor can I do it for anybody else.
In this process, I am getting closer to my Savior and gaining a better understanding of His love for me. I am indeed grateful that He is relentless in his grace. He is relentless when it comes to perfecting my soul. He is relentless in His love and patience for me. I know that He lives.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Views of Chez Nous

Handsome Harrison

Baby Girl is sick.

Lookin' out the front door (which we don't use).

This is lookin' out the door that we do use. Does it remind you of Moses parting the sea? There is only a one foot wide path leading to the van. Today the man who plows our driveway brought a tractor over to scoop and dump the snow further back. The snow walls were so narrow, we couldn't open the car doors. We are expecting another storm on Tuesday---I don't know where we are going to put it.
You can't really see them, but there are actually buds on this tree. It gives me hope that spring will indeed come to us.

Looking Up! Caleb (top) and Lundi (watching from below) at the Saturday Ski Races