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Thursday, June 15, 2017

My Magical Mother's Day

Breakfast in bed made by my daughters included eggs, toast, sliced bananas, and side of ketchup!

Growing up I envisioned myself being a hard-working career woman who maybe got married and maybe had a family, eventually.  I thought I'd be graduated from college with a master's degree and have a nice home paid off before I ever met a guy that would be interested in me.  Then we might consider having kids, or not. 

In a very popular song from the Disney movie Frozen there is a line that says, "People don't really change."  HA!  Isn't that a load of steaming garbage being sung by little voices everywhere.  I'll be the first to tell you, people change.  They are dynamic!  They are changing all the time!  And such was the case with my plans for my future.  I got older, and wiser, and the closer I drew to God, the more my plans changed.  Getting married and starting a family wasn't some foreign afterthought.

Amara bought me that cute plate that says "love," and both she and Lily made me the paper flower.  
Not long later, I was married, and two years after that, I had my first baby!  Life changed completely!  Being a mother was way more humbling than I ever expected.  I learned that first year of my baby's life that being a mother was exactly what I always wanted to do, but never knew it.

"I love you so much as a mom,
you are the best, you are the bomb.
You are super, kind, and true,
So a very happy mother's day to you!"
I feel like mother's day isn't so much a celebration for me being a great mom as much as it is of gratitude to God for the chance I have to be a mother.  Motherhood has deepened my love.  It has deepened my understanding of God and myself.  My flaws are accentuated through motherhood, my need for repentance (change) is constant and it's not always roses.  That being said, I cannot speak of motherhood without acknowledging the blessing it is in my life to have extremely close relationships with 2 of God's finest daughters.  It is humbling to raise these two beautiful spirits because I know how Heavenly Father feels about them and what he expects me to teach them.  I truly feel blessed~

This past Mother's Day was special because my girls made me cards and breakfast in bed, and secretly bought me sweet gifts with their own money.  It was also special because I got to spend the whole day with my own mother.  It was fun to celebrate my mom.  I love her and I'm so thankful for our relationship!  
I made my mom and kids a hotdog omelet, sliced banana bread, and strawberries.

We had a special dinner prepared by Steve!  It was an exhausting effort for him, but he put out an amazing spread!

Mom used her natural talent of decorating to set the table.
We had a veggie tray, Mongolian beef and rice, seafood-lobster bisque, and shrimp cocktail.

He was exhausted pulling this together!  This is a pic of him right after he said, "Let's pray."
I think his exhaustion was not just because it was hard work to get the meal together.  In fact, I know he was exhausted because he had gorged himself on a giant piece of 7 layer chocolate fudge cake a la mode the night before and made himself sick the next day.  We did have a nice date that night, though.
The dessert was at Swain's Brother's Restaurant in Vernal.  Steve only ordered dessert, he knew he'd need his entire stomach to finish this monstrous dessert.  He actually never even finished it. 

To finish the evening off, my brother and his family from Hawaii Skyped us!  We got to visit for a good hour before it was time for him to get his Mother's Day meal moving.
Malia, JJ, and Joe!

This is what you get when you ask your brother to smile for a picture.
My nieces and nephews had so many new cool tricks to show me!
Maizie doing a handstand and Malia watching.

Malia can do a backbend!

This was JJ shortly after attempting something called a "air flip."  He did a front flip and landed flat on his back.  It was the first time he ever tried doing one.

Maizie had some funny faces for us too!

My kids made these cute worksheets for me in Primary.
This one is Amara's.

This one was Lily's.
Amara also drew me a portrait of myself.  It was a very beautiful rendering.  I feel so special and so blessed!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Backyard Biceps

Taken when Amara and I were moving weed piles for burning.

I'm feeling very thankful for my health this day.  The weather has been beautiful and there has been much to do in the yard.  I've been tackling it frequently for the past 3 weeks or so, and I can tell that I'm getting stronger.  At the end of the day, I'm sweaty and muscle weak from pushing a mower, pulling weeds, running the weed whacker, etc..  Before all this though, I was showing my sister via FaceTime how you couldn't even see my biceps when I flex because my muscles have shrunk.  Well, after a few weeks of this, you can see my biceps again!  Not that I have huge biceps, I don't, nor is that something I'm really striving for, but it's nice to know all my hard work is building my body strength back up too!

I remember last year, around the end of December, discussing with my husband my exercise goals for the new year, and how I wanted to go on more walks and lift weights to build my strength again.  It was an eye opener for me when I came home from grocery shopping and I was struggling to carry the gallon of milk from the car into the house.  That hadn't been difficult for me since I was a child, I think.  So, I knew it was time to get some muscles back. I'm not one to really stick to a workout regimen unless I'm doing it with someone, and I much prefer to see some immediate results from my hard exercise, so that is why I love yard work in nice weather for my exercise.  
Taken after the Young Women came and helped me weed my garden

My neighbor down the street just got surgery and is in a rehab center for a few weeks, so I decided to mow her HUGE lawn as a service to her.  Our fully charged lawnmower ran out of batteries before I even completely finished the small portion in front of her house, which is about one sixtieth of her yard.  That was 2 days ago.  Tonight I went back and finished the small front section and did a small side yard before the batteries died.  The grass is quite tall, but you couldn't ask for better weather!  Since our mower is a push mower, I'm definitely getting exercise and sweating up a storm, and I get to see freshly cut grass as my reward!  

So next time you're outside pulling weeds, mowing grass, or what have you, remember it's a blessing to have your health to be able to care for others and some of God's creations, and also, you're benefitting from the exercise in 2 ways- #1 your yard is pleasing to look at and brings joy to you and others, and #2 you're getting healthier!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Our Fancy Girls Night - Lemonade Party

This past week was the Mother-Daughter activity for the Activity Days girls at the church.  They planned such a fun evening for us.  They told the girls to be sure to dress up as fancy as possible with their mothers and that there would be a prize for the fanciest.  The girls had it in their minds that they wanted gloves.  I didn't want to pay $30 for a set of play gloves, so I told them we would make them.  We bought some cheap fabric, watched a youtube video, sewed a glove, and decided it was a little too much work and the fabric was getting runs all through it.  My mom mentioned using tights to create fingerless gloves, so we went that route since we happened to have tights and the girls NEVER wear them.  We also happened upon feather boas at the dollar store when we were out shopping, so I picked 3 up so we could match.  Boy, when we got all dressed up, our little accessories really pushed us to that fun level of fancy we were hoping for, and the girls were thrilled with their look.

The activity before, the girls made these cute invitations for the party.  They were folded in a paper doily which was wrapped with pretty ribbon and finished off with a glued on jewel.

Before we left to the party, we had Steve do a very quick photo shoot of us around our house.

 Then it was off to the party.  As we arrived, the scouts were all hanging out in the foyer.  All eyes were on us, and I just smiled and tried to walk quickly.  I hate drawing attention to myself.  We made it into the gym, where the party was.  There were tables set up for us to create our own hat out of paper plates, bowls, ribbon, and fake flowers.

 After the hats were made, they snapped a picture of each of the girls and their moms, and then one group picture of the girls.

 Dinner was served after pictures.  We had chicken salad croissant sandwiches with green salad, fruit skewers, and a cherry cheesecake pudding parfait for dessert.  They handed out pens and papers to everyone and we played a little game like the newlywed game where you have to guess the answers to 10 questions about the other person.  I did really well guessing Lily's answers.  I got 8/10 right. I didn't do as well on Amara's, maybe like 5/10.  The girls guessed 3/10 on my answers.  The game was fun and everyone was a winner in the end and got a charm bracelet made by one of the activity days leaders.
 I loved that I got to do this with my girls!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

FHE: Amara's Key's of History Scripture Stories Game

 So, this family night was a couple months ago, but Amara was really creative and made a fun game for us to play, modeled after a timed trivia game we play for our history curriculum.  The game board is a circle with spaces that have different events or items from the scriptures on them.  On your turn, you simply roll the dice, move your piece and answer the fill-in-the-blank trivia card associated with the space you landed on.
Game setup

The cards had the topic and picture on one side...
Front view of the cards
 ... and the fill-in-the-blank trivia on the other side.  If you got the answers correct, you got to keep the card and put a marker (yellow skittle) on that space to mark it out of play.  If you didn't get the answers correct, someone else would have the chance to get that card if they land on that space.
The back side of the cards.   

the game board
 We had a lot of fun playing that game, and I saved it in case we want to play it again someday!

For dessert, there was microwave mug cakes with whip cream and sprinkles.  I love family home evenings!