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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Drafts....

I felt I should actually update this blog.... you know, post something.... anything....

So I went and opened my dashboard and looked at my post list and do you know what I saw?

Yup.
DRAFTS.

Four drafts of half finished posts.... that I either ran out of patience, energy, or creativity for before I finished them. And in every one I realized, I wanted pictures for this. And again I found myself putting off publishing them.

Why? Because I am not an amazing photographer.... and all of the pictures I want to go along with the post (if I have any in the first place) are taken using my iPhone. And not the cute Instagram iPhone pictures either.... the lame-tastic, overly yellow, wonky ones. And I'm embarrassed.

So. I'm not posting my crafty tutorial- again.... and I'm not publishing my drafts- yet.... but I am posting a totally sweet -albeit poorly captured photo of my boy in his bed the other night.

 I couldn't resist. I found him curled up side-ways on his bed next to the kitten and with a laundry tote by his side. 

My attempt at urban photography using Old Camera
 Do you see what that is? He made a sweet little "room" and bed for his Baby in the laundry tote. I am in love!

In. Love. People.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Do you Blog Stalk?

This question came to my mind after a parent at my children's school said she noticed my blog updates on Facebook and "poked around the blog a little. But not in a bad, creepy way!"  It made me smile to think that someone actually took the time to check this ol'rag out ... let alone tell me about it! And honestly, isn't that why one blogs in the first place. For the READERS! Who cares if the only reader is your cousin from Wisconsin or your best friend (because she has to!) ... we want our thoughts heard, and comments aren't bad either. So, that brings us back to the question at hand, do you blog stalk?

So do ya?.... Com'on... We're all friends here.... You can tell us me!

Are there any sites you stalk...er, read regularly? Like every day

Twice a day?

Twice PLUS stalk the Facebook updates?!

Yeah.... me neither. HA!

What? You don't believe me.... well, shucks, I'm guilty. I love good blogs! Here are a few of my favorites and a little bit about why I like them.

I'm A Lazy Mom...
HELLOOO! The name says it all, doesn't it! Stacey is a riot! In fact, to use a Junie B. Jones term, "that lady cracks me right up!" I love her light hearted approach to parenting, laundry, and life in general. As the wife of a pastor, mother of three (super cute) kiddos, and a well-known review blogger, she is ripe with commentary designed to keep your funny-bone in action and your outlook on life a lot less serious. I get all giddy when those emails pop up and tell me that she has posted another Lazy Recipe (MUST contain 5 ingredients or less... genius!) or a great Lazy Mom Confession. That's right, we tell all of our dirty little secrets and jubilate as we realize, we aren't so weird and slacker-like as we thought! If you need a moment to get back to reality and want permission to say, "I don't have to be perfect to be a wonderful Wife, Mother, Neighbor, Friend, and Sister!" Come on by I'm a Lazy Mom and see what all the noise is about {I promise it's not my kids this time!}

71 Toes
I saw Shawni and her mother, Linda Eyre from Values Parenting, at a women's conference a few years ago and was immediately impressed with their relationship and parenting styles. I saw a story I could relate to, a daughter who looked up to her mother, and wanted desperately to raise her children with all of the love, strength, faith, and stability she had experienced in her parents' home. Shawni is down to earth and honest about her shortcomings (read her "disclaimer" here). Her writing style is very sincere and well put together, I really admire people who can post almost daily - with pictures even! I can't hardly post once a week month! One of my favorite things on 71 Toes are the posts about what she calls Deliberate Mothering. It is a conscious effort to parent children in a way that brings them joy, self-awareness, safety, and cultivates their loves of learning, faith, and family. On my other blog, I wrote that I want to be a mother who teaches her children on purpose, meaning that I want to deliberately have a focus and goal in mind all through the year that I will teach my children about and help them to cultivate in their own lives. This is important to me and I appreciate Shawni for her insight and example of real mothering.

NieNie Dialogues
Stephanie (Nie) Nielson is one of the most inspiring, faithful, intellegent, compassionate, and beautiful women I have ever heard or read about. Noted by several sources as a "well-known and admired Mormon mommy-blogger", Nie began keeping an online journal about the devastating plane crash in 2008 (involving she, her husband (Christian), and their close friend and flight instructor) which left her deeply scarred over 80% of her body. I first heard Stephanie and "Mr. Nielson" talk about the accident in an interview on the Mormon Radio program Conversations, however, she and her blog have been profiled on numerous television shows such as: 20/20, Oprah, TODAY, and Glenn Beck. She has a new book Heaven is Here: a memoir will be available this April; available for pre-order here.

I had not been very blog-savvy pre-2008, so I did not have the pleasure of reading her insightful musings before the accident. Hearing her speak about the miraculous occurrences in her life, her struggles, her faith, her love of family gave me a huge desire to "get to know" this amazing woman. The blog is full of the same things, each post radiates love and gratitude. Some are simple with only a single picture and a few lines of text, many others are unique glimpses into the joys and struggles she faces. As a mother of four, and expecting a new baby in Spring 2012, Stephanie has many day to day posts that strike a chord with me and inspire me to be a better mother. A more involved, more faith oriented, more (yes, deliberate) mother, as well as a better sister and daughter. She says that the honest reason she is still blogging, is that she knows people feel the Spirit when they read her posts and her purpose is to bring people to Christ. She will send a Book of Mormon to any reader who asks, she has sent close to 1000 copies to readers all over the world since 2009. This is amazing to me! It took me nearly two years and several pleadings from my sweet little boy to pluck up the courage to give a copy to my neighbors this Christmas! I love the words inside the Book of Mormon: the special witness of Jesus Christ, the affirmation of the presence of a loving Heavenly Father, and especially the promise of eternal families that it contains. I hope one day, to be able to have the ability to be not only open about my faith, but to have a missionary heart! Stephanie's story is one of faith and hope, if you are in need of inspiration or diversion, please join her journey.

Thanks for reading through my obsessions *grin*. I hope that you will enjoy these blogs and share with me the ones that bring you joy. *Please note, the opinions stated within this post are strictly my own. I was not solicited or paid to write positive reviews for any of these bloggers, they had no knowledge before hand in fact, I truly admire these women and said what I felt needed saying. Thank you.*

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Science Fairs and Birthday Parties!

That is the run down on my week...

My Itty-Bitty tried so hard to make a nice science project for her school science fair.
She came up with it all on her own, growing green beans with different soils to answer the question:
"Which soil will make the plants grow the fastest?"
She had three soil samples and labeled them: Fertilized Soil, Potting Mix, and Dirt (from our backyard). Then she wrote a prediction; The bean seed in the Fertilized Soil will grow the fastest and largest.
Unfortunately, her initial soil samples had too much water in them and the seeds floated to the top...
She pushed them back into the soil and finally they began to grow! Part of the experiment was to be exact in her watering and to measure, regularly, the growth she observed. We were all so excited for her as the sprouts began to break the surface!

I'm not sure exactly what happened then .... to make it veer terrible off in the wrong direction.... but veer it did. It might have been the cats, who love to sit in the window and paw at stuff. It may have been the little brother.... who was a little too over zealous about pulling touching the new growth. It may have been the really amazing tip the Little Scientist found in a gardening book. Apparently, putting eggshells in the soil is a wonderful fertilizer. Knowing that she couldn't add extra items to one soil without also adding to the others, she haphazardly carefully dropped piles of crushed eggshells on the tops of the soil. On top of the teensy-tiny little sprouts. *shakes head* Thankfully, we pulled enough off of one to get a decent shoot, but it didn't do enough to save the project. In an effort to salvage the project, she: planted a new batch and made new predictions, she put together a wonderful project board, and turned in the whole thing. She didn't win any awards, but she felt good about what she learned and she was happy to see the projects her friends did also. It was a good learning experience for all of us.

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On the other end of the week, our focus and planning has turned to the next celebration in our home.

The seventh birthday of my sweet little boy!

When it comes to birthdays, I always have amazing, grandiose ideas.... however, they rarely come to fruition. *sigh* This time, I didn't plan anything at all.... until 9days before the "friend party"... And I called parents and blamed their lack of invitations - on the shoddy mail system out in our little town!

Yes, you can vote for me as Mother of the Year here!

So, anyway, in our family, the most anticipated part for me is the telling of each child's "Birth Story"! Last night, I snuggled my great-big little boy on my lap and retold the whole beautiful event.... in appropriate terms, of course! Fritz really loves to hear about when he was a baby, baby. It makes him all sweet and cuddly again, so I always love it as well! After a sweet family prayer, thanking Heavenly Father for our sweet little boy and our beautiful family, Nana and I finally got those big babies to sleep. Sister set her alarm for 5:57am and of course, Itty-Bitty woke up to it and ran to wake the Birthday Boy!

Another tradition we have is The Birthday Fairy. She ... I'm sure it's a she, although I've never actually seen her.... is related distantly to the Tooth Fairy and the House Fairy, so I hear. The BF comes in the night (duh) and leaves a specially wrapped little gift for the child to open as soon as they wake up! I am not sure exactly how she came to visit our home, but not a single birthday goes by without the children anticipating her return. Fritz received a Kre-O (like Legos) Transformers set today, and when I went to get the kids up, he was sitting on his bed with Itty-Bitty building Bumblebee! After getting dressed, we celebrated Master "Fritz's" birthday today, eating pancakes for breakfast, bringing cupcakes to school, having his special meal (Reuben Sandwiches with potato salad and chips), etc.

We opened a few gifts after dinner.... he was very grown-up and good-natured about the two pairs of long johns and t-shirts. He really is getting big! He was so much fun when he opened his new Hex Bug Nano "environment" that we decided to give him all of the pieces we had been saving for the big party! The kids were all having a great time snapping together the different pieces of track and watching their bugs "battle". Even the cats and dog got into the action! It was after 9 o'clock when I finally got him to take it all apart and get into bed. We ended the night with simple prayers and a customary lullaby. Hush Little Baby, was the request tonight.

Gosh, I love this sweet little man. I am so grateful for all of the wonderful blessings he has brought to our family. I don't know why Heavenly Father lets things happen the way he does, but I am eternally grateful for His wisdom in bringing this special spirit into our lives, we love him more than we ever could have imagined. I will forever be a better woman because I am raising one of the Lord's Stripling Warriors!