Sunday, December 1, 2013

Master Builder

This beautiful lady is my husband's Grandmother Layton.  She is 93 years old and truly an angel on earth. We spent Thanksgiving in Utah with family and were privileged to spend some time with her.  She lost her husband of 60+ years 4 years ago.  I can't imagine being without someone who you spent most of your life with, it must be so lonely.  Her children and grandchildren who live close by take good care of her and help her out a lot.  She is still sharp as a tack and quite independent.

Grandpa Layton started a very successful construction company back in the 50's.  It has grown into a very large company.  Grandpa was known for his hard work, quality and integrity.  He was a master builder.

As we were talking with my mother in-law about Grandmother, my husband said, "Grandpa was a master builder of buildings, but Grandmother is a master builder of people."   It is so true.  Every time we are with her, she makes ALL of us feel that we are the most important people to her.  She always compliments me and my children and asks about their lives.  She REMEMBERS what they are involved with and what their interests are.  That is pretty amazing at 93, but what is even more amazing is she has over 60 grandchildren, and 100 great grandchildren and STILL does this.  She sends them all personalized birthday cards.  She is truly one of my favorite people to be around and I want to be just like her when I grow up.

I guess I better start practicing my skills of being a Master Builder of people so that I can become one some day.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Plot twist and the Modern Dad

We just experienced our own plot twist. A couple of weeks ago my husband lost his job, although we knew for a few weeks it would be coming, it still is a reality check when it happens.  So he is currently looking for a full time, permanent position.  We are hoping this is a blessing in disguise and he will find a fantastic opportunity to grow in his career.   He is in the construction industry and has been in management for 10 years, if you know of anything let me know! We are looking all over the western U.S. and are willing to relocate for the right position.  That has become much more difficult than the last time we relocated.  That was 11 years ago with a 2 and 4 year old.  Now we have 5 children from 3-14 and A LOT more stuff.  But we don't know where we will end up, we may just end up right where we are.  This living in limbo business is not very fun, but we are learning patience and submission to what God wants for our family.

This darling family is my niece Emily, her husband Jason and their adorable baby Nixon.  Emily is 10 years younger than I am and more like my little sister than my niece.  Emily waited a while to find the love of her life and to be a Mom. She is such a natural at being a Mom and has been "mothering" her whole life.  Her birthday was the other day and when asked what her wish would be she said, "I don't need to wish for anything, I already have all my wishes!"  So happy for her.  I'm excited to go up for Thanksgiving and snuggle this little man.

Her husband Jason is an awesome guy.  He has started a fun blog filled with tidbits for Dads.  You should check it out, he's hilarious and has some great ideas! It's called

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Healthy, wealthy and wise....or not

Healthy, wealthy and wise…..3 great goals to strive for right?  Are these necessary qualities that an intentional, deliberate Mother must have? ABSOLUTELY, or so I thought for a time.  Certainly health is a must, to have energy and to have the strength to do activities with your children.  Wealth (or at least being financially comfortable) is necessary so you can take your children to do fun things and go on fun vacations etc. etc….  Wisdom is constantly evolving and comes through experience and continues developing throughout life.

Health.  My health has ebbed and flowed for years.  I have had short times where I felt great and healthy and had energy.  But most of the time for the last several years I have not felt good for the most part.  I struggle to have the energy I would like.  I envy those who seem to have boundless energy and accomplish more in a day than I do in a week.  It affects my family for sure.  Most days I need a nap and many times when my husband gets home I go “off shift” and turn the rest of the night over to him.  It has been very frustrating at times.

Wealth, or financial comfort.  Financial security has been elusive in our lives.  We have worked hard to get out of debt, we have worked hard to save money, but something always comes up and we never seem to get ahead.  I can’t complain, my husband has had a steady job even through the recession which is more than many people I know.  We have food on the table, a wonderful home and all the basic necessities.  But extra money to go to Disneyland or even going somewhere as simple as the pumpkin patch hasn’t been there most of the time.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for what we have and for my healthy, happy 5 children and wonderful, hardworking husband.

You know….sometimes the “web” is not our friend.  I read blogs, look at Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook and get discouraged.  I see all of these Moms doing amazing things with their kids that I don’t have the energy or money do to.  It can be disheartening. It seems sometimes that to be an awesome, involved Mom you have to be practically perfect in every way and able to do all these amazing crafts, be athletic with your kids and go on regular exotic vacations.

That is not the case I have gratefully discovered.  You don’t have to have to be practically perfect to be a deliberate Mom.  You can be quite flawed and not have the ideal life situation and your kids will still think you are amazing. Each of us has our own situation, our own challenges and our own gifts we have been given to be the best Mom to our kids.  I may not have the energy to do a triathlon with my kids, but I can sit outside and watch them ride bikes, watch their soccer games and cheer them on. I can sit on the couch when I’m not feeling well and read them books and do puzzles and have tickle wars.

I may not have the money to go on a lot of vacations, but we can have a “staycation” at home where we sleep in the tent outside, roast hot dogs in the backyard and tell shadow puppet stories in the tent. We can have picnics at the park, we can play board games on the weekend and can have dart gun wars in the house. 

In fact being a great Mom has practically nothing to do with money and health.  It has to do with TIME, consistency and being a present force in your child's life. It means looking in their eyes and taking time to listen to them.  It means having a stable, loving home.  It means teaching them and disciplining them with love.  None of that needs money or perfect health.

One of my favorite Power of Moms essays is by April Perry and is entitled “Your children want YOU”.  They still want you even if you have health problems and no money.  They still want you even if you lose your temper and need a “time out”.  They still want you even if you aren’t practically perfect.  So dive into motherhood in spite of your hard situation make those memories and forget about your weaknesses, chances are your kids already have!

I cried during this video…it should be required to view regularly for all Mothers.  It’s a reminder that our kids give us the benefit of the doubt and love us for who we are, not for who WE think we should be. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Best of times...worst of times

our family gathered for a picture following Jaylen's funeral

Recently I have been inspired by my friend April who has been writing about her Mother who is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease. April has been sharing her heartache and struggles with caring for her Mom, who is forgetting her grandchildren and children. She has inspired me to write some of my own struggles and share some of the things that have helped me currently and in the past.

In the past few years we have been dealt many trials such as; the tragic and untimely death of my husband's brother Brian who was 32, had a 2 year old daughter and had a wife who was 6 months pregnant. The illness and heart transplant of another  brother Paul, death of a beloved Grandfather, preeclampsia, a 32 week preemie, 7 week NICU stay, chronic health problems for baby and Mommy relating to that, selling a house, moving, raising 5 children that now includes teenagers, aging parents, the tragic death of a sweet nephew, financial problems and stress, and we currently have a very precarious job situation. Then there are the every day stresses that most everyone deals with on top of all of that. 

Not to mention that loved ones have suffered divorce, loss of parents, illness, serious financial problems, special needs children, rebellious children, job loss etc etc. the list could go on and on. 

I don't list these to garner sympathy as I know everyone has their list of hardships and adversity, but honestly the past few years have been a challenge. However if I saw someone else's list of trials, I would probably gladly keep mine.  It was actually therapeutic to write it all down in one spot (and there are probably other things I forgot) This has been our reality for many years. It seems we barely catch our breath and there is another storm on the horizon.  Mortality is not easy or blissful.  It is frustrating and hard a lot of times. 

Sometimes I feel exhausted by the raging storms and the unseen eye of the storm.  The unknown can be a scary place to be. However through it all I have felt a sense of calm and peace for the most part. I know that peace come from the source of all light. When I rely on Him, I know I can walk into the dark of the unknown and he will light my path even if only a step at a time.

That peace doesn't come without effort however. It comes when I seek Him through prayer, reading inspired words of scripture and words from inspired leaders, attending church and seeking answers at His holy temple. It comes when I gather my family and we pray thanking God in gratitude for all our blessings (and trials). It comes when we are united in our faith and prayers for  a better job situation, inspiration and guidance or when we pray for the comfort of broken hearts of our loved ones. It comes as I sit in church and look down the pew in awe at my 5 children and wonderful husband and feel so grateful to have a place of respite from the world.  It comes in the words of hymns that bring me to tears in the knowledge that God knows me and is sending me a "love note" right when i need it. It comes as we take time to teach our children about God's love for them and about our Savior who was willing to take upon him not only their sins but their pains, sorrows and afflictions and knows how to comfort our aching hearts.  It comes from knowing that Jesus Christ made it so we will live again after this life and be reunited with our loved ones. 

The storm that is swirling around us can still be calmed by He who calmed it 2000 years ago on the sea of Galilee. He still has the power to do so, and if it isn't time for the storm to stop raging, He can be our compass and lighthouse to lead us home.  I know this as surely as I know anything in this life.  I know He is the source of true peace and happiness even in the midst of the storms that are raging around us.  Mortality and this world are not for the faint of heart or for the weak.  I know sometimes it seems impossible to muddle through and our hope is sometimes lost in the huge waves and swells of the storm, but through Him we can ride them and be safe in His protection.

A month ago I was sitting in a funeral and this was one of the hymns we sang.  Tears rolled down my face as I knew this message was a message to me from my Father in Heaven who is always there to calm my fears in the midst of my storm.  Every verse was an answer to my prayer.

  1. Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
    With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
    Leave to thy God to order and provide;
    In ev'ry change he faithful will remain.
    Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
    Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
  2. 2. Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
    To guide the future as he has the past.
    Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
    All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
    Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
    His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.
  3. 3. Be still, my soul: The hour is hast'ning on
    When we shall be forever with the Lord,
    When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
    Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
    Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
    All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

5 things....

Our sweet Jaylen's death has changed me.  Five things I've learned over the last 2 weeks:

1.  When someone is grieving you don't need to say much.   Throw your arms around them and tell them you love them and you are so sorry.  Nothing you say can change what happened, they probably don't want to have a long conversation, but your expressions of love will mean so much and will honestly carry them through dark days. Pray for them and let them know you pray for them.  However, don't make them take on the burden of your grief, try to be a strength to them.

Don't ignore what has happened just because you don't know what to say, when you have lost a loved one it is life changing and is all you think about so when someone ignores it, it is a bit awkward to say the least.

2. YOU can make a difference.  The small expressions of kindness and acts of service on our "Spreading Sunshine for Jaylen day" made a HUGE difference for our entire family.  It helped us feel happiness and joy and light. on a day that could have been so dark and difficult.  Those acts of service were one person at a time and collectively made a huge difference in this world.

3.  Love your kids, spend time with them, look them in the eye, let them see your eyes light up when they see you, be their biggest cheerleader and let the little things go.  Most of all LOVE and let them know for absolute certain that you love them more than anything.

4.  Angels are real.  Whether they be angels on earth who lift us and love us or whether they be unseen angels who support us from the other side of the veil, they are very real and carry us through our darkest hours. Prayer is real and so powerful and one of the nicest things you can do for someone who is going through something hard.

5. LOVE is what matters the most.  Forgive, embrace, be merciful, give the benefit of the doubt, shower God's love on all those around you, uplift, encourage, stop judging.  LOVE is what matters.  The.End.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunshine in the darkest days.

Today my Mother heart hurts.  This past weekend we buried this little angel (his obituary is here).  He is my sweet nephew Jaylen, he would have been 2 last Wednesday.  He is a ray of sunshine and his smile lights up a room.  He drown in a tragic accident in a family pool.  

I have not been able to think straight since the day we found out.  We  will miss him, we will miss his smile, we will miss his friendship developing with my youngest son Drew, we will miss his cute personality.  We didn't know him very well, he lived in Texas, we live in Nevada, we only met him 2-3 times.

My heart mostly hurts for his Mommy (and his Daddy, but I think because I'm a Mom, I relate more to her).  I cannot imagine the pain.  My heart is broken, I cannot imagine hers.  She is amazing and strong and has faith in God.  But still she is missing her baby and she knows the grief will be nearly unbearable. My Mother heart aches for her.

Today I've had a hard day focusing on tasks at home, I cannot get Jane out off my mind. I wish I could take it from her, I wish I could take on some of the burden for her and carry it with her.  In some ways I can help, I can pray for her to be strong and for angels to be around her.  I can let her know we love her and keep in touch with her.  We can let her know that we will never forget that sweet baby boy and he will affect us for the good.

Jane has started a blog sharing her feelings about Jaylen, grief and loss.  You can read it here.  Just remember that everyone has something hard in their life.  Treat them with kindness, assume the best and pray for those who need it.

Last week would have been his 2nd birthday.  We made it a day of "Spreading Sunshine for Jaylen".  We encouraged others to spread kindness and sunshine for him.  It was amazing to see how it spread and how this one little boy affected others.  Literally this movement spread across the country.  From New York to California and many states in between.  Sunshine amidst the darkness.  

We know where the real light comes from. We know that the true source of sunshine and light comes from our Savior Jesus Christ. Without Him we truly would be in darkness.

Spread sunshine in your own family. Take more pictures with your kids, look them in the eye and tell them you love them.  Tuck them in at night, sit on the floor and play, have dance parties, play at the park with them. Laugh more, scold less.  Raise the praise, minimize the criticize.  Don't take for granted that they are yours and appreciate  Even the ones that are hard, even those that you are exhausted and your kids are being stinkers...appreciate them because Jaylen's Mom would give anything to have a hard day with him.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Winner Winner....

Big drumroll....haha

And the winner for the book "Deliberate Motherhood"  goes to Jenn Douglas!  It was a very scientific method....Nathan chose a number between 1 and 7 because I had 7 entries :)

Congrats Jenn...I'll get it to you soon!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Out of the best books

This gem showed up on my doorstep today. It is the second edition of the Power of Moms book "Deliberate Motherhood." It is a beautiful book filled with amazing wisdom and great nuggets of inspiration!

Below are several bits of inspiration I have loved as I have read this book over several months (I have had the first edition for a while).
My first edition is marked and underlined and dog eared. I keep it in my inspiration basket with my scriptures and refer to it often. 

The women who contribute to this book are amazing, real and in the trenches like the rest of us. This chapter below is probably my favorite by one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah at Clover Lane. I have internalized this concept and made this a part of my daily life. Having a deeper yes to what really matters and having the courage to say NO when it doesn't benefit my family, even if everyone else is doing it and even if it's not popular to bow out.

I plan to print this quote out and hang it somewhere visible so I remember to really be present not just exist in my kids lives on a daily basis.

This is another I need to print and hang up so I focus on the positive. It makes such a HUGE difference in my kids behavior when I focus on the positive behaviors and don't give attention to the negatives.

This is a book worth purchasing, I believe it's one every Mother should treat herself to so she can refer to it regularly. When I having a rough Mommy day I will often pick up this book to help me gain some perspective because often that's all I need to change my own behavior and attitude around.

If you purchase in September, you can email your receipt to Power of Moms at and receive a free podcast with your purchase. You will also be entered to win a Premium package worth over $200. GO NOW, treat yourself and order! It will be so worth it! You can order from the publisher at or from any of the big names like amazon, Barnes and noble etc.

I have a copy to give away as well.  If you will leave a comment here on the blog and share a favorite humorous story about you or your kids or something you've learned as a Mom you will be entered in the drawing....I will announce the winner on Friday morning.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

School is cool....

these cuties couldn't wait to be reunited after my daughter finished kindergarten yesterday.  They are best buddies and my 3 year old must have asked 5 times where his sissy was.  She squealed and ran over to him, she was way more excited to see him than she was to see me!

School is back in session.  My schedule is this...
4:45: my oldest wakes up in time to get ready to attend early morning seminary which is a religious class taught to the youth of our church (or anyone else interested) before school starts. 

5:30: he leaves and is off to school right after seminary
6:30:  I wake up my 12 year old
7 ish my younger 3 wake up
 7:15: 12 year old leaves for school 
7:50: we leave to walk the kindergartner and 2nd grader to school
9-1:1 I take a breather, spend some one on one time with my 3 year old, clean up my kitchen, do a load or two of laundry and then.....
11:20: pick up the kindergartner, come home feed the littles lunch, read some books to them, let them watch a show while I do some more housework, start dinner
1:25: Pick up my 9th grader
 2:30:Middle school gets out, fortunately he walks home unless it's raining
3:15: Elementary school gets out and fortunately I have a carpool  and hegets dropped home around 3:30.   
3:30-5:30: Afternoons are full of piano, scouts, homework, soccer downtime and that little old thing called kids playing outside, with friends etc (which is SO important I think, but doesn't happen as often as it should)
6:00-7:00: dinner, clean up
7-7:30:  wind up for the day... baths, family time, family scripture reading, family prayer
7:30-8: Little kids get stories, time with Mom or Dad and bed
8-9: older kids read, brush teeth etc and lights out usually before 9
9:00  Mom wants to crash but has to get more laundry folded, house picked up, spend time with hubby etc

Repeat the next day....Life certainly isn't simple with 5 kids and before I had older kids I thought life would get easier once I had older kids.  In some ways it is because I have helpers and babysitters, however it is certainly busier and more complicated.  However I do love it!  No matter your stage in life there are hard things and there are wonderful things.

I am a home body, I like being home, I like having a slower pace.  I don't like rushing, I get anxious and stressed out.  I miss the days of not having anywhere I had to be (but in those days I was dying to get out of the house).  So this is challenging me and stretching me. 

I also find that if I don't get up before my oldest leaves I don't get my time to fill my reservoir.  I need quiet time to read my scriptures and other inspirational books, to pray, to think and ponder.  So while I may not love getting up so early it is my only time to have quiet time to myself.  So falling into bed at 9:30 or 10 is necessary for me to be able to do that.

So if you see me around with dark circles and bags under my eyes, just know it's my crazy life but it's my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything :)  That picture above makes it all worth it to see those adorable faces light up!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I can't wait until I'm 8

On August 10th this cute boy was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Salt Lake City.  Our beliefs are that children aren't accountable until age 8 and that is when they are baptized to enter into His kingdom and church.  Here are pictures from that great day!

Garrett and his Dad who baptized him.

Garrett and Great Grandmother Layton who is 93. We always feel honored when she can attend a family event. She is an angel!
Family photo in front of the font.

Some family who attended


Grandma and Grandpa Cardall 

The "after party" at the local swimming pool. I

It was a wonderful day and there was a sweet spirit at the baptism. Garrett asked his brothers to give the talks and they did a great job. I love these "Mommy pay days", they make all the hard work and sometimes the monotonous job of Motherhood worth it!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Home again, home again jiggity jig

17 days. 4000 miles,10 states,  hours and hours and hours in the car, hundreds of gallons of gas, 9 hotels (some really crappy), too many screens watched and played,  too much fast food, countless "Mom he/she touched me", "Mom he/she's looking at me", "When will we be there?", "How much longer?", "I have to go potty!"

Not to mention many books read, hundreds of funny moments, new people and adventures,  countless laughs together, seeing America the beautiful,  hundreds of memories, lifelong stories to tell, multiple occasions of feeling the spirit together,building relationships, creating stronger extended family bonds, having my husband and kids around for 17 days, good talks in the car...etc.  It was better than I ever expected it to be.

Multiple times people have said to me, "I can't believe you did it." or "I would/could never do a long road trip like that!"   To those naysayers ;)  I say never say never and/or don't knock it till you try it! I would never have tried this when my kids were much younger.  It would have been a nightmare with a baby, but my kids did great.  But they also have been road tripping since they were born since we have always lived away from family.   They are used to time in the car and know what to expect.  Now they aren't used to multiple days in the car, but they did so great.

 Dave and I have talked multiple times that we have THREE summers left with our oldest until he goes off on his mission and honestly I know how fast 3 years will go as time seems to be rolling along more and more quickly as my kids get older.  I want my kids to have lifelong memories of our family together.  I want them to have funny memories and stories that will only get better with time.  I want them to see our beautiful country and be exposed to new things and diverse people.   I mean who knew that Iowa and South Dakota had the most beautiful scenery of the trip?  Who knew that I would want to go back to the Black Hills and explore?  Who knew that we would see THOUSANDS of motorcycles going to the Sturgis Harley Davidson rally near Mount Rushmore?

People ask us what the highlights were and everyone has a different answer, but mine has to be having my little family together and building memories. Mine is the picture at the beginning of this post, yes my 3 year old was grumpy and wouldn't look at the camera and was crying, but we were at the Nauvoo temple together!  Sometimes I would look all 5 of them sleeping at night all in the same room and it my heart was so full from the gratitude I had for them and for this experience.  My family is changing, my oldest starts high school, my youngest starts preschool.  I won't have all of them on vacations like that much longer.  I have seen my siblings become empty nesters and miss these times together with their kids. So the fact that we had this opportunity for 17 days just makes me happy.

I have also been asked, "Would you do it again?"  My answer is unequivocally YES!   I wouldn't go the same places,  I would want to see new places and have different experiences but I am already in my mind planning where we will go next!  It certainly wasn't perfect, it certainly was crazy, and crowded and messy and  noisy and stressful at times.  My kids got on my last nerve multiple times, but it was totally and completely worth those times to make the memories and stories and fun we had.  As it is right now, my kids are talking about the fun times, not the time in the car, not their brother annoying them or the crowded van.  They remember the good stuff and that was the whole goal of the trip.

We will do certainly an #epicroadtrip (my hashtag on instagram for this trip) again!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Epic road trip 3

Goodbye Nauvoo. We will miss you. We loved Nauvoo, it's such a fun place for families. My kids are throwing rocks in the Mississippi at the end of Parley street (trail of hope)  where the Saints left Nauvoo. 

Hello Nebraska! State #8. We are crossing "Mormon bridge" 

We went to the Winter Quarters visitor's center. 

We have a great heritage on both sides of pioneers. Some crossed with the ill fated Willie handcart company. 

This statue is in the pioneer cemetery where many sacrificed their lives for their beliefs. It is right next to the Winter Quarter's temple. Such a sacred feeling there.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Epic road trip 2

Family, that's what this trip is all about. Our main purpose in driving 3500 miles was to go to a family reunion in Nauvoo with my family. Here are a few photos of family togetherness.

My newest great nephew 2 month old Charlie. Drew loved him and so did I!

Emma loved her girl cousins! They are actually her second cousins, they are my nephews girls.

My Mom and 4 sister. Love these amazing women.

Grandsons after the temple.

My awesome parents. Celebrating 60 years of marriage! Pretty incredible in this day and age!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Epic road trip

I know I said I would blog regularly, but Internet coverage has been spotty at best. So here are a few highlights from Nauvoo. 

We were able to go to the Nauvoo temple with my siblings, spouses and parents and my boys did baptisms. It was incredible. The spirit of that temple is amazing, like none other I've been in. I'm certain it's because of the sacrifices and dedication of the early saints to get the temple built at all costs. 

Love this statue of Joseph and Hyrum

The grandsons (we do believe in equal rights, we did get one of the girls too, I just don't have it on my phone)

Love this picture! I have seen Dave pull a handcart before. I was his "Ma" on pioneer trek many moons ago (that's a future blog post).

My hero, Emma Smith. There's a reason my daughter is named Emma.

Just a few highlights. LOTS more to come.

Friday, July 26, 2013

On the road again

Today we embark on our epic 10 state road trip. The excitement is high, the car is packed to the gills, the movies are ready, the iPad is charged, and the kids have NOOO idea how long they will be in the car. However Mom and Dad do and are trying to be mentally prepared for the inevitable whining and fighting that will ensue. But we are also so excited to make these memories and build relationships. This is THE trip that our family will talk about for years! We will be blogging regularly as we go along. The older boys will help with the blogging as well. This is the journal for our epic road trip.  Nauvoo or bust!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Give me a break

Two weeks ago my 14 year old son gave me a scathing review as a Mom. He told me I have been acting super annoyed with them lately and yelling a lot, he said, "Sometimes you act like you don't want us around." It was not a proud Mom moment because I do greatly enjoy being with my kids and want them to feel that I do.

I had to agree with him, so I started to think of why I have been so easily annoyed. We moved. That says enough right?  Moving is supposedly one of the top ten most stressful life events. We lived in that home for 10 years and moving 7 people and all their stuff isn't easy. 

I also severely broke  my toe 5 days before we moved. I was frustrated and in a lot of pain. I also got really sick the week after we moved and literally didn't sleep for 5 nights because of a horrible cough. 

Stress, pain, no sleep and sickness are not a good combination for a happy, patient Mom. Fortunately in spite of my frustration I had an encouraging thought in my head that said, "You had a bad few weeks, it doesn't mean you're a bad Mom, give yourself a break."  

Now I don't want to use my hardships as an excuse for poor behavior, but I do think that sometimes as Mothers we need to allow ourselves to be human and make mistakes.  We need to not beat ourselves up for a bad moment or week or month. I have apologized to my kids and husband and we are moving on, not perfect but improving.

However,  I also was reminded by this conversation that my behavior is my choice. I can let it be dictated by my circumstances or I can choose to rise above them and be patient and loving. It has to be a very conscious choice because it is much harder to be patient than to blow up and lose it.  However my relationship with my children is extremely important for me to preserve and build up. I also feel strongly that how I behave in difficult circumstances teaches my kids how to react to hardships they will undoubtedly have in their lives. I can choose to find joy in my circumstances or I can let the happiness and joy be sucked from my life due to difficulties.

I was recently inspired by this article by a Mom who made the conscious choice to stop yelling. She admits her personality is fiery and she has a temper, but she says her children do not remember her as a yelling Mom because she chose many years ago to not yell. She admits she isn't perfect but works hard at it. 

So I am working on it. I won't say I'll never yell again but I am making a choice and commitment to improve my behavior and patience and in turn I am certain my children's behavior and patience will improve.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ordinary day

This is the progress on my toe. The pain has lessened by 80%, the bruising is taking forever to heal. But I am functioning fine with it, thank goodness!

Emma draws pictures all the time. We go through paper like nobody's business. She wanted a picture of me holding this so I could put it on "endstagrand". 

Mud pie making. So dirty, but keeps them entertained for hours.

Scout camp is next week and I think someone is excited. He's already getting his pack ready. 

This guy spent hours on the computer getting his prerequisites done for his merit badges. Those badges don't come easy and both boys are working hard before camp so they can earn those badges. Nathan is close to getting his Eagle!

And Monday is always a big laundry day at our house. I don't get it all complete but try to get the majority knocked out this one day. I really don't mind laundry cycling or even folding it, it's the putting away that is my vice!

This week we get to swim a couple of days, yippee! I can sit in the shallow end  with a waterproof bag on my foot. Thank goodness for good friends with pools!