Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Yesterday, I came across this written by one of my all time favorite bloggers, Karen Russell:
At church on Sunday, our pastor talked about the fact that in order to really 'love' people, you have to be transparent - even at the risk of being hurt or having the things you share used against you later. And though I don't think I've ever really had much of a problem with being transparent on this blog, please bare with me while I make all of us a little uncomfortable...

She proceeded to disclose some things about her life that blog readers may or may not know about her. Basically it was her way of showing she is not perfect and does not share things on her blog to "show off" or make others feel her life is better than hers.

I love this so much. I love the pastor talked about really 'loving' others. Remember love is my word for the year. I strive to be a transparent person. I don't try to hide the real me. Take or leave it. I do write this blog to share with others little bits of our life (I don't think I have very many readers especially since I haven't kept up on it in the last year and half). But really I write this blog for my kids. I need to publish what I have so far into a book for them. I want them to be able to look back and see into our day-to-day life and into my thoughts about them, our family, our lives, and myself. I have never wrote this blog to pretend I am anyone I'm not or that I am better than anyone else. We all have great points and imperfections and things to work on.

It also reminds me that there are little messages all around us. You just have to notice them. It seems lately I keep noticing little messages everywhere about truth and honesty.   It makes me want to go back to church. We had just started going a few months before my dad passed away and then we spent so many weekends working on the farm, we didn't get to go. We tried to go back a few times but found it hard since we were out of the habit. I really want to go back, hopefully I can hear some good messages like the one above (although it is hard to hear them over the craziness of my children).

I think transparency is why Aaron and I have the relationship that we do. We lay everything out here (and in stores and the car and at restaurants and even in the yard). We tell it like it is to each other even though at times in public it can be embarrassing. We know where we stand on pretty much everything and yes, there is yelling and cursing and tears at times. But we are completely honest with each other. We seldom go to bed angry because we say what needs to be said when it comes up. We don't bottle up anything, there is no silent treatment here!  I know some people would rather keep it their feelings bottled up rather than risk an arguement but how does that solve anything? I think most times just makes it worse in the end. Transparency is not always easy but being true to yourself and others is worth it. It can be hard for people to understand especially if they don't live their life this way. I hope to teach my kids that being open and honest is one of the most important things in life and the key to great relationships.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Better than I used to be

This song would be the perfect accompaniment to my life at this moment.  The new year didn't start out on the positive note that I was hoping.  It's a good thing I have broad shoulders and good outlook, or I may have ended up in a pile in the corner crying.  I am not perfect and will never pretend to be.  I am a good person, I never intentionally hurt people especially ones I am close to despite what others think.  I am what I am and I've never hid it here or to anyone else.  This year will get better, even if it that "uphill climb" is going to be a lot harder than I could have ever predicted, but no matter what I will remain true to myself.

Monday, January 2, 2012


The last few days have me thinking about my life .... we don't have a lot of money or a fabulous home (rather 1 good home and 1 work-in-progress home).  We don't drive nice vehicles or travel to exotic places or really any places at all other than the grocery store and Goodwill.  We wear used clothes, the hubby and I could each stand to lose 20 pounds, I'm lucky if I manage to get my haircut twice a year and shower every 2 days.  Most days I wear sweats and am up to armpits in kids and questions and projects and homework and bills and a giant mess at our house and days can go by where I don't talk to any other adults except my hubby.  But ..... and it's a big
                              BUT .....
I am happy.  Happy with things just the way they are, counting my blessings and loving myself and the life we have created.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I always choose a word for the year.  It's my way of doing resolutions.  The word is my theme (oh, how I love a theme)for the year.  I incorporate that word into my day to day life to help me grow as a person in as many ways as possible.  This year "love" sort of picked me so we'll see where it takes me but I have some ideas in mind already. 
2011's word was strength.  I can't think of a more perfect word for me for the past year.  I kept hold of that word all through the year .... so much so that I may just have it tattooed on my body.  There were some big rough patches last year but I stayed strong through them.  I know that I am even a stronger person now than a year ago, I am so proud of myself for staying strong.  I wrote on facebook today that I was blindsided a few times this year but hope my vision in 2012 is better.  That vision is going to be filled with love.
Hope the year to come is the best possible for all of us!
Happy 2012!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas time .... An Early Gift

Christmas is here in full swing at our house.  We've seen Santa twice ..... I think we are going to get to visit with him again tomorrow.  Some people are very definite with their lists here and repeat it like lines in a play.  Others {Addison} like to say a new item each and every time they are asked what they are hoping for, might be forgetfulness or might be a strategy.
Elfie is being "bad" according to the kids this year.  He has been doing all sorts of crazy things around the house like wrestling Woody with lots of on-lookers, a snowball fight with legos, building a snowman out of marshmallows, and today he's driving a tractor full of dolls around on the dining room table.
One day he drew on one of family photos.  I love the mohawk Aaron has here:
The girls and I made Christmas cookies.  I have been invited to my first cookie exchange and I wanted to try out a new recipe.  I am so excited about the cookie exchange.  I think it's such a fun thing, I almost didn't do it because I was afraid I was over-committing myself (like I always do) but I think it's going to be fine.
It snowed twice this week. The first time was just a little bit but the kids were so excited so we went outside and played for a while.  We made snowballs and even a pint sized snowman that Reese smashed before I got a photo.  Today there was about an inch or so of snow .... snowboots were needed as well as snowpants ..... we had to make a trip over to the big house to dig out one pair of boots and all the snowpants .... I found them all.  But Ethan took a pair of 3T snowpants to school when he really needs a 5 or 6 so I don't know what happened when he tried to put them on.  Tomorrow snowpants for Ethan are on the shopping list.
I usually sew quite a bit for Christmas for gifts but this year with most of my sewing supplies over at the other house the list is quite limited.  But I did make this new tree skirt for us.  I have a few more things to make but time is running out.
I've have 75% of my shopping done and most of that I did on the internet.  The only part of Christmas that I dislike is the shopping .... ugghhh.  I like everything else: the decorating, the food, the events, the celebrating, the excitement, .... the gifts of what to buy, where to find it, how much we've spent, the limited time I have to shop and my hate for shopping in general is the yucky part for me.  Of course without the gift what's the point of the tree with a big space underneath it or why would the kids be super excited?  Enough of my Grinching!
And then today I got an early gift.  It was a note from Ethan's special education teacher, Mrs. Collins.  She was reporting that Ethan had made significant gains in the areas they were working on.  Several weeks ago I had a report come home from school that wasn't so great and it looked like he was going backwards rather then maintaining or moving forward.  Today when I read the note, I cried.  He struggles so much, it's hard for him repeating kindergarten when his siblings are in 1st grade.  He has to work so much harder than the other students and still it's not always good.  He fights us at home to do work.  But today shows that slowly but surely he will make gains.  So the grinch is right:
"Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store.  Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a bit more."
I thanked Mrs. Collins for the early Christmas gift ..... Christmas comes once a year but we receive "gifts" all the time ... we just have to look for them.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Thanksgiving Surprise!


From our house to yours, I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours was.  The food was yummy and I am glad everything turned out.  I always have turkey issues normally it's not done on time. Well this year it was done 2 hours early according to the button that popped out but I didn't trust it and kept on cooking it and it was just fine.  Aaron's parents joined us this year so it was a small gathering but very fun.  We wrote what we were thankful for and did some art leaf pictures -- all 8 of us.  We ate pie and ice cream and cookies even though we thought we couldn't eat anymore. 

Addison took this photo of me pulling out my pumpkin pie yesterday.  I've spent this entire week cooking our meal little by little and thinking about how this could be our last Thanksgiving in this house.  Although I am ready to move to our other house, it makes me so sad to think of leaving this one.  It has been our home since we were married and served us well, seen us through our struggles with infertility and bringing home triplets and then Reesey.  As I look around, we finally have this house decorated the way we like it and now we are starting over.  Don't get me wrong I know that many more exciting memories will be made in our new home and we can spread out a bit there too but good-byes are hard even with houses.
The girls and I made these cute napkin rings yesterday for our Thanksgiving table.  They turned out so cute for using toilet paper rings and scraps of paper that I hoard (that my sister always makes fun of me for saving so much of that kind of stuff).  I love doing stuff like that with the kids.  It's so much fun now that they can help do little things like this with me.
The kids dressed up this week as Indians for a Thanksgiving feast at school.  They look so cute!  

I made the same paper bag turkey that I did last year.  Aaron "carved" it.  Ethan said "I hope it's cheese inside".  But it was the same as last time:  popcorn.
The yummy food, the togetherness, and the memories made for a great day.  But I think the best part of the day happened by chance.  Aaron left to have a drink with a friend for a bit and I decided it would be fun to put in the video of the triplets when they were babies.  We've never watched it.  It's very long and mostly a camera in front of a babies face for like 5 straight minutes with me talking in high pitched/annoying baby talk then moving on to the next baby.  And then suddenly there it was:  a couple of times I recorded the kids while my dad was here.  And I got to see him and hear him talk, just briefly, but he was there just like he was every Thanksgiving.  Then I remembered this photo taken on Thanksgiving 7 years ago when we only had 2 babies home and Ethan was still in the hospital:
I'm counting all my blessings this year, even my dad's "surprise" visit!  Thanks, Dad!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Off to See the Wizard!

I almost deleted my blog.  I never ever update it.  Seems like another obligation rather than a memory keeper.  But I think I'll give it another go and try to get back on track.  We just celebrated all the kids' birthday with one big Wizard of Oz bash.  That's what our family costume theme was this year too:  The Wizard of Oz!  The kids were so cute!

We had 15 kids at their party and we played a lot of games/activities.  It was fun (at least to me).  But I didn't think ahead and get very many party pictures.
 I made our pinata again and this time EVERYONE got a turn at bat.  It was hard to break this time around.

 This is Caden running in the witch relay race ... it looks more Harry Potterish to me but still cute!
Reese was the only one that wanted to wear her costume at the party.  She has loved the Wizard of Oz for a couple years.  She was so excited for Halloween and their party .... she still hasn't had her birthday yet .... couple more weeks and she'll be FOUR (how can that be?).

I worked on the party for weeks (as usual). Seriously I do love doing it.  I love to think of ways to make things without buying them.  The favor bags this year were made out of grocery sacks .... yes, I weaved 15 baskets from grocery sacks.  I know, people are rolling their eyes, it didn't really take that long and it was free. 
The rainbow cake turned out at 11:30 the night before it didn't seem like it was going to work.  Each layer wasn't coming out the pan so nicely.  I sure thought it would fall apart when I cut into it but it didn't and kids liked it and it tasted good.
I really love doing these parties and I hope the kids remember them but even if they don't, I know I will.