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!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ordinary days

One of my favorite bloggers, Sarah from Clover Lane does a regular post called Ordinary Days,  I love Sarah's posts so I decided to adopt it myself. Her posts are inspired by this book that I have been reading. I love Katrina Kenison's writing. The purpose is to not just celebrate the momentous occasions, but the everyday moments that really make up our lives. So I present my first ordinary days post, which will happen each Monday.

Lots of water play has been happening. It has been HOT, like close to 120! We are having to get creative to keep busy and not go insane!

Two weeks ago I got into a fight with the laundry room door....and the door won! I severely broke my toe and will be in this lovely shoe for 6-8 weeks! It was extremely painful the first week, but is improving daily. It happened the week we were MOVING...seriously so inconvenient! One of the worst parts is they told me I can't swim with this! That is really bad news here in the heat of the summer! 

Because of the toe, my abilities to finish up packing were seriously limited! Fortunately I had done a lot before this week. But these dear angel friends from my church came and packed up my kitchen. What a blessing!

For the past 10 years this has been a regular occurrence. We had fantastic neighbors and Dave and Kyle are great buddies. They talked over the fence regularly while working outside or barbecuing (I always thought of time Taylor and Wilson from Home Improvement). We miss them.

Here is our last family photo in front of our home of 10 years. I love that home, we moved in with 2 little ones and grew by 3 more kids (an LOTS more stuff!). I've been very nostalgic and a bit emotional as we have moved on. We know it's the  right thing for our family but that home holds so many memories. 

I love ordinary days, but need to get more creative keeping children busy not relating to screens!

I am blogging using the Blogger app on my phone. I hope it works out because it would be convenient while traveling!

What are your go to summer activities?