Friday, July 28, 2017

 In the above picture, I just thought Charlie's little feet were so cute.  Must be a mom thing.  This is their pool they play in on the porch.

 We had all the youth over for BYD and therefore cleaned and cleaned.  The next day?  This.  A huge fort in the living room.  I don't know why I try.
 Proud of his fort

We always spotlight a different child in primary each week.  One week they did me and I didn't know it was me because I hadn't filled one out!  (I didn't know they had asked Pat to fill it out).  I was wondering who in our primary liked Pride & Prejudice and was thankful for the bishop!  Ha ha.  We all laughed.  And my favorite food is beans?!

Working on cleaning her teeth.  Just saw a dentist and it looks like she's going to need braces, then oral surgery, then braces again and braces again when she's a teenager.  She's full of mouth issues.  I'll fight whatever I can though if it's unnecessary!  I think I should have put away money for all my kids braces.  Dallas and Sam are in them currently, and they just said Evan is ready, and now this.  Charlie's are so crowded, he's going to need them too.  Pat came into our marriage with crooked teeth and a grey one not ever fixed by his parents and I think we'll never have money to get to him!
 Trek reunion- Bowker's barn washing and brushing down the horses after hay rides.

Since Dallas wants to start working on an associates degree at the same time as high school, I wrote down every associates degree he could possibly get (that I could approve of) at our junior college.  He picked the Architectural/Engineering one.  We'll see how it goes...  I told him if he doesn't like doing high school this way he can switch back to the regular high school after his freshman year, but there he has to stay.  So this will be an interesting year seeing how he likes a combination of homeschool and college classes.

Today was the last day of swim for us.  They have their final water polo game tonight.  What a busy summer...

This is Charlie always trying to escape from his swim class.  Sam is there holding him in the pool.  Charlie was extremely difficult this year like every year, and had me or a different brother holding him in the pool  It was only for the first 5 minutes or so until he realized he was having fun and got over it.  But every single day!  Except the last day.  Ha.

I told Sam and Evan we had to go somewhere and came out to the car to find them strapped into the same seat.  I love their funny selves!
Right now our neighbor Warren is here repairing the lights in my laundry closet.  They've been broken for years and we do all laundry in the dark!  It will be so nice!  I feel bad though.  I thought it was a quick thing and it's been a couple hours of work!  Long day and Sam's leaving on a campout and I am in every way exhausted and feel like I haven't seen my husband in ages.  Ships passing in the night.  If that.  So thankful to Warren for helping us.  He did all the research about what to buy at Home Depot and gave it to us so all we had to do was go buy it and call him over.  It took us almost 2 months!  Life is too busy :(

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Last week I listened to a BYU devotional by Eva Witesman about education; particularly regarding women.  The overview of her thoughts were that education is a commandment as the prophets have said and that means a spiritual not just temporal commandment.  The glory of God is intelligence.  Knowledge has spiritual value even if we never work.  Russel M. Nelson said- Education is a religious responsibility... don't cut short your education and abbreviate our eternal potential. Our learning is of value no matter what.  Come to it with a spirit of worship.  Henry B. Eyring said- don't discover too late that you missed an opportunity to prepare for a future only God could see for you.

Women can receive inspiration from God about their unique path in life, though it may not even make sense at the time, and those around them should not clip their wings.  She told of her plans to finish school and raise her children but then feeling prompted to keep going to earn a masters and then doctoral degree- though at the time she had great difficulty bearing children during that time and even adopting.  She mentioned a friend with the opposite experience: she had decided to get a doctoral degree but was prompted to stay home before she'd even received her graduate degree "all hands on deck" was the phase she used to describe her promptings.  She even homeschooled her kids at times to address their unique needs and struggles. God knows us and our children better than we know ourselves and he will inspire us to make the best choices for our unique circumstances.  His plan is the greatest of all.

Eliza R. Snow said, "Let them seek for wisdom instead of power and then they will have all the power they have wisdom to exercise."

When God prepares leaders he expands their view.  Think of how much he taught young Joseph Smith with ideas never heard of!  Think of how he showed Moses a vision of the earth, every particle on it, each person thereon, and many lands all called earth.  Think of how he showed the Brother of Jared each person who ever lived from the beginning to the end.  Think of how when Christ came to the Nephites he taught them all things and they saw unspeakable things which they were forbidden to write.

As women are educated (and I would say not just formal schooling) they are better able to contribute in every facet of life whether that be the home, councils at church, or the community.  A spirit-led education will not end in only our own benefit (riches and the ability to look down your nose at others).  God's work and glory is to help his children so he will lead you along a path that will help you to benefit others with your knowledge, which will truly make us happy.

I have been trying to order my life and cut out unnecessary things.  I only have one class this fall and I keep considering dropping it- but I'll try...  it's just that we will most likely be fostering soon (I try not to think about that too much because it could be wonderful or horrifying or both and there's no sense worrying about what you can't see yet).  And I will mostly likely be homeschooling all or most of my kids.  Yep, it's a homeschool year.  Lots to do there...

I think about my goals (below) and how many hours there are in a day (about 16) and try to make it all fit but in a way that I feel relaxed so that I can have fun.  At times I've accomplished all my goals but I'm so driven that I'm no fun to be around.  The stress!  I don't want that.  The things I consider essential are:

1. Taking time with God and Jesus Christ, and to show that I always remember them through personal prayer and scripture study and time at the temple weekly.  I want to become a scriptorian if that's a word.
2. Taking time for Me for exercise (either with friends or at home), and taking the time to make my food and eat well so that I can feel good and be happy.  Taking time to practice my guitar.
3.  Taking time with my Husband.  We like to walk every day we can, and stretch together.  We also read 5 verses of scripture together every night.  Quick, easy.
4. Taking time for Family.  This encompasses so much.  The bulk of each day.  Meal prep, reading books, training children, sports, hiking, music, chores, family scriptures, prayer, fun, school, going to church and church activities, goals, driving everywhere, dancing and games, remembering extended family...
5. Taking time for Service.  I am horrible at this.  I have plans to visit others and rarely do because the first four items take all of me!  But I am thinking of the song, "Have I done any good in the world today?  Have I helped anyone in need?"  It's easy when those opportunities present themselves and you can serve someone easily.  Or for example, I always serve in my callings... but trying to go out of my way to go to someone's house and love them... much harder.  I have friends who are great at this at least to be my examples.
6. Education- either reading books at night (instead of watching t.v.) or taking classes, or learning trades, etc... to always be learning.  But to not take more than 1-2 hours a day.

Well that's enough of that.  I was so thankful to my big boys yesterday.  Dallas decided to clean out the garage and got his brothers involved and they really went at it.  Then we drove a huge load down to the dump and it felt so good!  And since there was more space in the garage parts of my house got cleaned out too!  We just have some shelves to get rid of and some old mattresses now.  Maybe the entertainment center in my room too.  Don't have time for t.v. and need more space anyway.  I love purging.  I am so thankful to our boys for doing that without even being asked.  They are hard workers.  Evan was dripping sweat!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Still trying to catch up on posting...

My friends are working on some cross-stitch stuff right now and I really liked the poem on this one because it speaks truth.  I would never do that much work though because I don't like the overall look of the picture.  Maybe I could use the poem and make my own cross-stitch pattern from other samples.  Or just write it or paint it to put on the wall....
Anyway, I have a fun time hanging out with everyone at the pool each day and talking with all the moms.  We're trying to figure out what sports to do in the fall and throughout the year since our charter school doesn't have any sports and getting to the other schools is difficult.  We don't all decide on the same things, but I love talking it out with everyone because it helps.  It's so hard to be a mom!  Trying to find time right now for 4-5 music lessons a week, plus sports so they can have some physical activity and social fun.  But nothing up here is close by...   I've been working on this for months to get our schedule figured out for the coming school year.  It's going to take about another month to iron out everything...

Mushroom Stroganoff with a vegan cream sauce

Sam had to get a baby tooth extracted because it wouldn't leave and was messing up his teeth.  He was very nervous!  But after the shots, it was easy peasy.

We've really been enjoying this recipe for cold no bake cookies on these hot days! The kids make them!
Melt together: 1/2 cup almond butter and 1/2 cup coconut oil. Remove from heat and stir in: 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 3 Tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tsp. vanilla and a pinch of salt. Then stir in until coated: 2 1/2 cups of oats (or substitute some of that with coconut). These are the old fashioned rolled oats not quick oats. Then just refrigerate one hour and they're ready to eat! Keep in the fridge.

Getting free food at Chick-fil-A!

 Swim lessons.  Evan scored a goal in the last water polo game! 

 Charles fights me everyday saying, "Scared!", but then gets in and has a great time.  He's so funny.

Native American dancing at the Naturalization ceremony.  Several people from many countries becoming citizens and our scout troop did the flag ceremony at the opening and close of it on the 4th of July.  It was held inside the ruins of the church at Quarai an hour from our home.

Before the naturalization ceremony we went to the small parade the town next to us puts on.  Mostly for the candy.  Leia is obsessed with candy and threw a lot of fits.  I was impressed with the need to make this parade better with music and such.  But it's not really my town...

Great vegan salad from Sprouts!

Karisa is writing this post.  While we wait for Pat to post about Scout Camp and other stuff... some photos I want to remember...

S and D in our pool

Scouts doing their thing

E's end of school year Civil War performance.  Sorry if I already posted it

Sleeping buddies
End of school year!

Leia's performance

Leia's cute letters and artwork.

She reads everywhere!
I think playing the violin has her disoriented.  Now she can't figure out how to hold a ukelele.
The boys leaving on the Father-Son's campout.  No girls allowed!
More Leia stuff
Leia's second to last reading list.  She was one of the top readers at the end of first grade.  Whenever a new list was released, she passed it off immediately and didn't need to practice at all because she reads so much already.
This was her final history test (backwards).  She got 100%.  I never had to help her.  She had a great teacher and learned everything so well on her own.