Because of Him

This weekend is already wonderful, and the rest is going to be filled with family and food. Two of my favorites!

I have a confession, most religious movies are too cheesy for me. Gasp. Horror. Unclean! Seriously though, I don't know what it is, but I don't enjoy around 90% of them.

BUT, and this is a big but,

we watched this movie as a family the other night, and it was PERFECT.

I really hope you watch it, it's just a short 2 minutes.

This to me, is what Easter is all about.

Anything is possible because of Him



tomorrow is our 11th anniversary.

this year isn't a grand one, if you count celebration style, but it is a grand one to me.

the best decision i ever made in this life was to marry this man for forever.

no matter what the day brings, kid problems, house problems, money problems, arguments, at the end of the day (sometimes not until the next hehe) we still smile together.

he supports me and i him, and we are happy. i wouldn't have it any other way.


what a week

i wrote a post this morning about my thoughts lately, it was very honest and very...sad. i'm glad i wrote it down, but not ready to hit publish quite yet.

in other news, this week was very entertaining, to say in the least. we had to take the family wagon in to the dealership to get the a/c fixed. this is the 4th a/c fix in 4 years. ack! i was so ready to just trade it in and get a sweet ride. alas, we really enjoy not having a car payment. and ty fixed the a/c part that the dealership couldn't figure out! huzzah!

the there was the huge "range war" just 20 miles east of our house. everyone in our valley is related or friends with the "Bundys" so it was a big deal here. i have mixed emotions about it, ty and i have never been impressed with the BLM down here. no roads are ever taken care of and it seems they are never around when you need them. i recommend you reading the blog that Dustin Nelson has been keeping for the last several years about the area they are trying to close down. it is a great family friendly area with multiple sites to see. i always love going there.

then it was the fair! this was rodney's face when we saw the rides set up but the fair wasn't open yet. it was the equivalent of taking the kids down the toy aisle (which is a cardinal sin).

he got over it, and we went to the fair! it was pretty roasty thursday morning. but the kids had a great time and we came back at night for the carnival. let me tell you, i love thursday night at the carnival. the air is crisp and warm all at once, the lights make it look magical (plus you can't see any scary carny trailers) and the kids just run around with all of their friends. we had an awesome time. the older girls each found a friend to go with, just by happen chance, for the first few hours. so they got in all the older rides while the littles rode the rockets and whales 100bajillion times. we didn't get home till 11pm! let's just say friday was pretty rough around the edges.

saturday was the bridal shower for megan. uncle taylor is getting married! we all love megan so very much and i was happy to go to support her. but am i the only one that after you've been married over 5 years, bridal showers are just...different?  i entered the "older" crowd of baby and bridal showers where you sit and ooh and ahh and then leave. it doesn't bother me, but it's just weird how that change happened all of a sudden. i got to mug on Chelsi's baby the entire time, and that always makes me happy. i do love newborns, just not ready for my own again. hehe.

and now it's spring break, and we are staying home and doing a whole lot of nothing. i love it, and the kids love it (so far). we will see how long the "happy" lasts.  phew, i'm tired just writing about it all.
ferris wheel smiles

waiting for a ride with grandpa

my favorite thing at the fair, momma pig

phoebe was SO elated to have friends to run around to the rides with

riding the ridiculously expensive pony rides
rodney and tyson (i swear rodney's hair was done before we got to the fair)

we had a desert tortoise siting for FHE
Last but not least, we got a dog. I know, I didn't want one but Ty persuaded me with all kinds of ridiculous mumbo jumbo.

 introducing Auggie. He is pretty adorable. I told the kids, there are no pretenses here: this is my dog! Because let's be honest, I'm going to spend the most time training and taking care of it. He's half blue heeler and husky. One bonus, he seems pretty smart so far. Let's hope that continues.



Conference, (from what I could hear between kids talking and singing) was wonderful. I can't wait to read the talks and listen to them this week during the day. Spending the weekend together as a family with no outside agenda was just what we needed. We helped Ty organize his garage/shop, we played outside a lot, napped, ate sticky buns. Heaven.

I wish there were more weekends like this, instead of just twice a year, but then nothing would really ever get done around here!

One of my favorite quotes:

"Instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances. Whatever they may be." President Uchtdorf

via facebook (she forgot a lot of punctuation)
Speaking of uplifted, Ty and I loved this old video of phoebe


In January my friend Chelsea's dad was really great and gave me some Advocare products to try and if I liked, promote to my exercise classes. I already knew about Advocare and some weightlifting/bodybuilding coaches that used them, so I was excited to try. Here's a little confession, since Thanksgiving I gained really, really close to 20lbs. Twenty, two...zero.  That's a lot of weight for a 3 month period and no baby to show for it.  I was really excited to start exercising and take these products.

And I did take them, but the timing was awful.  I took them for a week and exercised for a week and then cut my foot open :(. I also was/am still having health issues from the pregnancy. I still kept taking the products, but couldn't work out.  So of course I didn't come out with an amazing before and after shot looking like a bazillion bucks, but I still want to review these products and recommend them. I feel crummy because they were a lot of money.

But if you are at a plateau with health and exercise, I would definitely recommend them. They gave me increased energy, mood and motivation to work out. I definitely will use them again. I used three products:

I used the Bio Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) before every work out.

I took the multivitamins every day

And I used the energy drink mix sporadically

 The BCAA's were my favorite.  I took three 15 minutes before working out they increased my energy and reduced muscle soreness while promoting lean muscle mass. It's easy for me to take pills, so the size didn't bother me at all.

The multivitamin packs only took a few days to get used to when to take and with a meal or not. I've never taken a thermogenic before (fat burner), and I don't drink caffeine (it hurts my stomach) so the first day I was a bit of a shaky mess. I got a headache by the end of the day, but the next day I was fine. The thing I loved about the vitamins was the energy I go throughout the day, it really helped to boost my mood and motivation. It curbed my appetite during the day also.

The final product I used was the Spark Energy drink mix. I only used this several times as, again, I'm a little sensitive to caffeine. The taste was great! If I drank energy drinks/caffeine consistently I think this would be a great substitute  to wean you off of that crappy stuff. I did love it before my work outs also.

Overall I would recommend these and other products from advocare for weight loss support/well being. Even though I didn't get amazing results, I'm grateful I tried them and look forward to trying again when I'm healthy.


night and day

when we moved here four years ago my days were crazy full. 3 kids at home, pregnant, remodeling the house. my nights were my sanctuary, ty was home, i could work out, i could read, i could visit with friends.

teaching an exercise class was just right for me. i had a creative outlet, i could smile and relate with other moms. i met a TON of new friends. it made me happy! so very happy!

over the last few years, my days are slowly getting more simple. and i love it! the two littles love walking or jogging with me in the double stroller (I only have two at home all day!). they love playing in my parents weight room while i lift. it definitely doesn't hurt that grandma visits with us either, we all love that.

as my days are simplified, our nights have changed. ty has a busier church schedule on week nights now. sports and piano fill up the empty gaps. the girls have more homework, more emotional issues that need "bed time" talk. the house is messier at night, the meals need more prep, more clean up, more time. ty and i squeeze in a half hour of couch time, reading, watching mindless tv and staring at our phones together.

as i'm getting in my workouts in the daytime, i still kept teaching aerobics at night. why? because i wanted to make other people happy. of course i was always happier after a class, ALWAYS. i love working out in groups. but the time and effort it took just to make OTHER people happy wasn't worth it in the end. so with much thought and deliberation I finally decided to quit teaching. oh, it was painful, is still painful. i won't see my friends all the time at night! i won't be "teaching", and that fulfills me. i will be less "In shape!" because teaching pushes you to an entirely different level of exercise.

but i can't deny the constant pull of simplifying my nights these days. and simplify i must try.

my babies will grow, my kids will leave, my nights will become simple again.

but not today. today they are little, today they need me, today i choose home. 




art found here
my first calling in our church after high school was as a relief society teacher. the relief society is the largest women's organization in the world. for an hour, once a month i taught girls (we were all 18/19) about principles and doctrines of our gospel. it was a fun calling, but i think mainly because it was so easy learning with women my own age and circumstances. i've been privileged to be taught in many relief society lessons and meetings over the last 14 years. 

during the hardest times of my adult life, women from the relief society have been there. they have shared in my trials and troubles and helped me help my family when i couldn't. in each area we live in we visit sisters in our relief society every month as friends and to learn a short lesson. we regularly make and serve meals at funerals and when babies are born. we drive each other to doctors appointments and sew blankets for the needy. we share our stories, our faith, our fears, our joys. i feel like i always learn something at relief society, especially from the older sisters in our ward.

some of my dearest friends are women i have met in relief society from different places we've lived. all of them are so different than me in many ways,  yet i can't imagine my life without them and their examples that guide me day by day.

this saturday is our annual women's conference where we hear from the leaders in our relief society and church. i look forward to it every year, and this year is the first year Lucy can come too, it's now 8years old and up. we are having friends over for dinner, so i will most likely be watching it later by myself here


small thoughts

Last night lying in bed next to my husband, everything seems perfect and complete and i can't imagine it getting any better. then in the morning i try to remember that feeling as i drag my sleepy body out of bed to get the two year old who is humming the star wars theme song so loudly it woke up his sister. I send her back to her room and take him into the fanily room. we talk about birthdays and woodpeckers and bouncy balls. he snuggles up and watches sesame street while i read my scriptures. The girls wake up. we eat breakfast, pack lunches, practice piano, argue about clothes and hairdo's, talk about the latest rainbow loom pattern and they get on the bus. their clothes are nicer than i ever had, their hair is cute and braided. they have pottery barn backpacks. i never had things like that. as i walk back to the house i worry i've spoiled them and they are ruined.

 i wrestle the two year into his room and changing table to change a stinky diaper. he hates it and thrashes his legs about. i wonder when he will potty train himself. as his scream reaches a new pitch i highly doubt it will be around 3years like his sisters (which is only a few months away). we drive to go work out, we decided to bring the bikes today. the two year old crashes 3 times just during my warm up. grandma comes out and saves the day. they count cactus blossoms and find ladybugs as i sweat and stumble trying to finish my exercises. i regret eating those cream cheese filled jalapeƱos last night.

as we run errands afterwards i watch my small toddlers running down the aisle at home hardware and variety. it's hard to imagine they are mine. their energy, height and volume levels almost are identical. most days i can't believe how happy they are. they embrace every morning with joy and hope. things like seeing the fish at the store complete their week.  eating lunch can have lots of laughs or tears and always, always, always a spilled drink. driving in the car is so much fun! or it is so very not fun! we pull over and watch construction sites for 10-15 minutes at a time. we collect ladybugs and ants and lizards. somedays we watch an incredible amount of too much tv. walks take a longer time than i ever desire and my pockets in the stroller are constantly filled of dirt filled shells from the ditch bank. we read a lot of books. they throw a lot of toys at each other. one of them bites...hard. they both loathe time out and love tickles. any music put on can produce a dance show. yelling is an acceptable form of arguing. any sharp instrument can be turned into a lethal light saber. any comment can hurt feelings. even the small burnt cookies i feed them can brighten an entire day.

every day with the two littles is physically exhausting, and every day with the two olders is emo tionally/mentally exhausting. after spending a day working on not spilling cheerios with the 2yr old and watching the 3 year old cheer him on, i'm positive they both are going to turn out just wonderful.

 if i try very hard to clear my  thoughts, i faintly remember feeling those same feelings when their older sisters were the same ages. they adored walks around the block, library trips and watercolors, reading and libraries and lots of laughter filled those days also. maybe cute backpacks and fighting over hairdo's can't ruin all of that after all. i sincerely hope not.


report cards

my first grade teacher was mrs. alt and i didn't like her. she was the first person to tell me that i talked too much. she was also pregnant that year with her first child, and i suspect that her husband was a dork. i gather this from her general crankiness every day, she didn't give me enough attention and she tried to send me to detention multiple times...for talking. as if.

despite the lack of leaves i contributed to the class "reading" tree, and that i was constantly named a "jabber box", i was still sure i would get an A in class. everyone in my family got A's in elementary school (or so i was told).  imagine my horror upon opening the first  report card for the first semester and inside was proof i was adopted:2 B's.


i'd like to think i got over that and applied myself in schoolwork for the rest of my life. but if you took American Sign Language 101 with me in college you would know that was not completely (or even close to) true. i am a jabber box, and it is hard for me to follow directions in many areas of life. and it is hard for me to sit still and not question authority figures. meh. 

i've made a cake and forgotten the flour, which turns into a bubbling soup in case you were wondering. i've done this twice. just a few weeks ago i added baking powder instead of cornstarch to the stir fry. it was fun to watch it bubble and froth for a few seconds, and ty didn't seem to notice the metallic aftertaste. i pronounced chic "chick" until after my second baby was born. i asked ty what baby lambs were called after the fair one year. i have issues people.

the point of this post? last week was report card week, and i had no idea. it just happened that that week ty and i sat down one of our children to discuss their handwriting on their schoolwork. to put it lightly, i've seen serial killers with better penmanship. anyways, the next day was report cards. of course! of course! and someone in our family got a B for her HANDWRITING! a few tears were shed, and we assured her that when she applies herself and tries her best she can see how well she writes, and if her best writing is a B then we would be very pleased. but you'd be amazed at her handwriting on her spelling list this week, heck, martha stewart would be proud.

i told the two girls the story that night that i was the first person to get a B in first grade, and i got two! i also told them i was the first person to graduate from college in our family, so don't let a rocky beginning determine your life choices. which i'm sure they just heard "blah blah blah, i got a b too, blah blah blah, everything turned out, blah blah blah, don't do drugs, blah blah blah, choose the right."

in other news, DJ got his mission call! Tuscon, Arizona May 14th!!!!!! we are so very excited!


seen and heard

life has been plugging along nicely around here. the older girls were in the Missoula Children's Theatre production of Alice in Wonderland. Every year for a week the touring company puts on a play in our community. The girls loved every minute of rehearsals! Abby loved performing on stage, Lucy, not so much. abby can't wait for next year, lucy said she's more interested in a "director" position next year. atta girl.

the two little ones have become best friends over night. i was just about to put phoebe in preschool two mornings a week, and held back (i'm still in denial she is growing up). i couldn't be more happy that i did that. they play all morning and afternoon long. phoebe, of course, is the alpha and directing rodney in all of their adventures. pirates in the tree house, playing mom and dad in the play house, searching for lost treasure, fishing in the sea. playing "puppy" and i'm sure that leash will strangle someone any minute. they also are loving running errands with me as long as it's before 10:30. Rodney has a magical "cannot be in public" button that goes off after 10:30am. After his nap he is good to go.
two of Ty's close friends and teammates on the high school baseball team both passed away suddenly when we were in our early twenties.

Ty and Shawn 2000
Our friend Shannon set up an annual alumni game where the money goes to a scholarship fund. Ty played in the  Robison Sandoval memorial game again this year and I unfortunately couldn't go. I enjoy seeing old friends and acquaintances and donating to a good cause.   Ty had a great time despite not playing as well as last year. He always enjoys playing baseball. Lori Sandoval gave this beautiful framed picture to Ty saturday and he was really touched. losing a friend that young changed ty into a different person, and i believe a better person. There hasn't been one morning since that day in 2007 that he doesn't wake me up, kiss me and tell me he loves me before he leaves for work. No matter what the hour, and I always appreciate it (yes, even at 3:30 am sometimes!)

our ward has been having babies, babies babies! and i love it! sometimes it makes me a little sad, but most of the time i'm happy our ward is growing. it's been fun having an excuse to buy baby outfits too . hehe

rodney differentiates people in two classes: GOOD or BAD. there are good guys and bad guys, and you better know what you are. he is constantly telling me i'm a "good guy", but "you're a girl, your the best mommy!"  swoon!  i motioned to the Del Parson portrait of Jesus and said, "Look, who's that?" and he said, "Oh Jesus! He's a good guy" and casually walked away.

i'm not exciting to write about, still can't do much with my foot other than walk, ty gave me an insufferable head cold which i in turn passed to Rodney. i had a small procedure friday to find out some stuff about the ectopic pregnancy that produced no answers. but! i am healthy as a horse in my guts and i am ever so grateful about that.

playing with uncle taylor

cheesing it at church
dancing to grandma's new piano


Better things ahead

 things since Thanksgiving have been difficult. I am proud that through it all it was easy to focus on the good and positive and keep my chin up.

But lately, seriously, things have not relented. One thing after another has me down in the pits. I still am having problems from the ectopic pregnancy (which Ty and I call quasi baby) and then I dropped this on my foot and we had a late night ER date:

For real. I can't point my foot yet, or run, jump or lift. Insert grumpy Annie.

 I'm trying to focus on my goals for the year (the ones I can control, which are few) and focusing on the happy parts of every day and week.  Right now the things I have control over that bring me happiness are things that used to seem insignificant.  Funny huh?

talking and reading with the kids. 
Talking to Ty at night after everyone's in bed
Making yummy dinners
Snuggling with Rodney and phoebe and enjoying their "littleness". 
Reading the scriptures 
Teaching my primary class 
Talking with friends
planning for the future. i've been busy making goals and plans for the future. i am really, really ready to put the past several months behind me and move ahead. i have plans to be stronger as a wife and mother, stronger physically, stronger spiritually and a stronger friend.

via pinterest


The Ford Museum

I didn't have anything on my agenda for the trip to Michigan except see family. Luckily Mel always finds out local things that are a "must" see and do for every area they live in. On Friday we saw the Henry Ford Museum.

It was awesome. It not only has all of the ford vehicles and history, but also furniture through the decades (centuries), pop culture and airplanes. We missed it by an hour, but every day they disassemble and reassemble a working model T with the help of visitors. How cool is that? For the kids a smaller assembly line version was neat too. I told Ty he has to come here and see it, so someday we will go back, we have to.

this retro kitchen is just my style

silly/zombie photo (Matthew, where are you?)

the most intricate of dollhouses
you know you're getting up there in age when these are the photos in your camera stream

for austrie
Tvs and sewing tables (oh my, I am old)
baby and kid furniture. look at that miniature secretary!

                       everyone taking turns in the combine

anyone else seeing lehi's vision in this billboard? haha

a chalkboard from the cold war era. my mom remembers these drills.

the Kennedy limousine. never thought i'd see that in person
mini assembly line
model A photo for Ty
em and me

i texted this to ty with the caption: "I found our retirement plan" boom


a getaway

Ty surprised me this Christmas with a ticket to Michigan.

What's in Michigan besides sub zero temperatures and snow up to my thigh?  My brother bill, his wife (also one of my best friends) and their kids (our kids all leapfrog in age) and their cute little house.  Last year they were in West Virginia and I wasn't able to visit. Lame. This year all I wanted for Christmas was to go see them and their kids and huzzah! It actually happened. Thank you Ty.

Confession: Wednesday night as I packed I was positive I was the worst mother in the world. Who leaves their husband and kids and travels alone? Just for pleasure? What kind of a sicko was I?  I had to arrange 800 babysitters and rides for the kids and coordinating for everything. It was  a lot of WORK just to get out the day.  And fyi, I hadn't flown in 4 years.  I almost had to ask directions, what? And I almost fell over trying to take my snow boot off in security. hahaha.

Long story short, I went. It was fantastic, I had a great time, and now I'm home. hoorayyyy!!! Here a few of the highlights in iPhone photos no less:

said cute little house. in fact, i was in love with all of the houses and buildings. it doesn't hurt that i love brick and i love tree lined streets either.

word to yo mutha. he will hate i put this up, and i bet his staff would go nuts with a photo like this. hahaha.  i like torturing him with stuff like this. it's really out of love, really. whenever my kids are fighting i try to remember that someday they will be best friends. this is truth. bill and i fought our entire childhood, and now i can't stand being away from him and his family for over 12 months. note: we hadn't seen each other in 2 years. yuck.

our church has callings for every person in the ward (if you accept it). bill and mel have been in nursery a TON. i'm sure they are exhausted of it, but it has made one champion of a bubble blower. it was just like the pied piper i tell you what.

these kids, man i already miss them. they gave me great ideas for toys/tv shows/games/puzzles for my kids and i returned the favor. we really liked doing "silly" selfies. i tried extremely hard to make myself the favorite "aunt", but I'll be ok if they just remember me as funny. not too much to ask right?

detroit was just as i imagined it. hehe

silly selfie!

mel and i may, or may have not, seen the most beautiful male specimen alive at the lululemon  (we did, holy cow we did)

silly selfie take three!

more pictures to come, ty did a great job watching the kids but there is a mysteriously large amount of dirty laundry everywhere. hmmm. thank you to everyone who babysat, subbed for me in primary, drove my kids, fed my kids, helped out ty. thank you!


toad days

One of our all time favorite children's author is Arnold Lobel. If you don't have the Frog and Toad series books at your house, please please get it.  I loved them as a kid, and honestly, I love them more as an adult. My favorites are A Swim, Cookies, and Tomorrow.

It really is the illustrated version of The Odd Couple. Toad is the cranky serious one, Frog is the overly optimistic, happy one. They compliment each other perfectly.  And yesterday I told my mom, "I think I realized we all have a toad and a frog inside of us". Unfortunately, I have more toad days than frog days. i think it's just my nature. some people call it pessimism, i like to call it realism. but i heard realists are just pessimists in denial. or something along those lines.

anyways, i love toad.
he is funny and cranky and never wants to get out of bed
and always wants to eat all of the cookies.

sounds like me a lot lately.



out of control

somewhere on pinterest i read a poster that in bold modern letters stated: I write, therefore I exaggerate.  haha, guilty. yes I exaggerate sometimes, okay  maybe a bazillion times every post.

this post holds no exaggeration, it's a stew that can hold a fork straight up all on its own.
 no ketchup needed today.

saturday night my parents were awesome and came to sit with the girls and play games (ha, lucy cajoled them into watching disney channel muck) while ty and i took a much needed temple trip. driving there we talked and laughed and held hands, just happy to be alone together AND out of the house. something we have been neglecting a lot lately.

heading down north las vegas blvd a car shot straight out of nowhere straight into our lane. i didn't even have time to shout to ty it was that fast. ty swerved out of the way and missed him by inches, but when we looked up with relief all we could see was a semi truck's grill and head lights heading straight AT US in the turn lane. again, ty swerves out of the way and our tail end whipped away from its deadly path at the last second.

after that it was a slow motion blur. we were fish tailing and tipping across the entire 5 lanes. thank goodness there were no other cars around. near the end  when cds were flying across my face (yes, i still listen to cds and tapes) i saw all of my kids' faces and knew we were going to be very injured and in the hospital for awhile. i was peaceful the kids were with my parents, and grateful ty and i were together. i knew this was going to be, and braced myself for, bad. at that moment ty reached over (still mad at him for letting go of the wheel) and grabbed me and said "It's ok, we're ok, we're ok".  I was flabbergasted. How were we ok? The car was tipping and spinning backwards in a 180 degree turn fast and furious stunt drivers would be envious of. and a second later the car screeched to a halt. we were heading the opposite direction 5 lanes over.

nothing happened? how did nothing happen? we were ok! i was hyperventilating, but ok! the poor other driver, bless his little heart. he felt awful and asked us to forgive him over and over and over (again, no exaggeration needed). ty tried to assure him we were fine and it was ok, but you could tell he wanted to repay us somehow. because really, we should have rolled, really, really should have. really, really, really should have. finally i had a prompting and i just blurted out, "we forgive you! but you go to church TOMORROW and say your prayers!"  i told him we have four little kids at home and were blessed nothing happened. he promised he would go to church and say his prayers, and i added "for the REST OF YOUR LIFE!"

ty afterwards laughed that i wasn't specific and should have forced him to find a mormon church haha. but if any good can come out of that and he will find his faith again, then it was worth it. sure our tires are black and have chunks missing from the tread from skidding, but we are safe, the car is fine, no other drivers were hurt. it is crazy even thinking that it happened. (ps ty is sad you can't see our skid marks. psh. men)

i have never been so happy to be at our temple, and then home with my family. i know a lot of prayers were answered that night with our safety. ty has said over and over again, there isn't a logical explanation for why we straightened out like that at the last second to miss the semi. it also doesn't hurt that ty is an excellent driver and doesn't speed. 5 extra miles per hr and we would have a not so lovely encounter with a mac truck.

i think i've had a lot of "faith" filled and religious posts lately, but i would be an ungrateful mess to not write this one down.

say your prayers and go to church.
because we really never know when things will get out of control.


on our hike last saturday


learning to serve

i have had so many ups and downs ( a lot of downs) over the last few months. i have had many spiritual experiences that I keep in my personal journal and do not want to forget. I still am constantly surprised at how much the Lord works through other people's words and actions, (pretty much always).

after bed rest with phoebe, I was on a spiritual high and happy to reach out to others after everything we had been helped with and given.  i was constantly looking for ways to serve all the time. but somewhere, in the meantime, i cared more about serving others and neglected the most important people first; myself, my spouse, my children, my home.  

so then i stopped. I stopped helping others during my journey of trying to take better care of all of those things first. the more i stopped serving the worse and worse my situation felt. it seemed like trials were coming out of the woodwork. or for people who live out here, irrigation day and all those bugs that had somehow been hiding in your lawn for the last month. ha! that still gives me the creeps!

the less i served the less i felt the spirit. the less i served the more bitter i became. the less i served the more involved with "my" problems and "my" self that i became. seriously, i think even one day i collapsed in bed crying over feline diabetes. i kid, i kid. (sorry PETA)

so what i know is this, those scriptures are always pretty darn right. 

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” Mathew 16:24-25

i'm starting to feel a little better, i'm almost caught up with the lice laundry (no joke). i'm cooking dinners and trying to write thank you cards to everyone ( always write, never mail! gah, i'm horrible at that). and i kid you not, around every corner is crappy feelings smacking me down and telling me to stay hibernated in my comfy hidey hole of sorrow, sadness and stretchy pants.

what i know today is that i am still learning that that first little voice you hear? is always right. "Maybe you should call her", or "I should stop and say hello" or "maybe they need a ride?" etc. etc. and i always dismiss those thoughts with, "No, they don't want to be bothered" or "I'm late" or "They can't ride in our messy car, I'll give a ride later".  

my goal is to learn how to listen to those first promptings and act! it's going to be a process that's for sure. i fail at that more regularly than almost anything else.

but here is also what i know, the sun is shining, my kids are healthy, ty still kisses me in the kitchen, we are blessed beyond measure and learning to serve is a process not a destination. i'm going to try better, any advice?

this was a beautiful talk about women. i highly recommend it.


lice to know you

This is not a post I want to write, but by golly if it helps another mom then it was worth it. In case you missed it, my school aged kids got lice. yuck. double yuck. triple yuck.

We found it, treated it and we thought it was going away. We treated it a second time (because that's what the expensive treatment "advises" you to do) and we still had LICE.

quadruple yuck.

The life cycle of a human louse is something every mom should know. Prepare yourself with knowledge my friend, and learn from my mistakes.  Almost every website had conflicting information. This is what I know to be true: baby louse is called a nymph. It reaches adulthood in a week. After adulthood a female lays 8 eggs a day (again, every site said something different). Eggs are called "nits" and hatch in about 7-10 days.  ALL NITS SHOULD BE REMOVED. Some say, "white nits are alive and brown are dead/hatched". The next site says "brown nits are alive and white nits have hatched". Just put on your big girl pants and a good movie to watch and get them ALL out. Here's a tip, because my oldest had dandruff and was hard to distinguish. If you can blow the speck out of their hair, it is not a nit. Those suckers are glued on by a concoction satan made himself.

A nymph is almost invisible. I'm not even kidding you, smaller than a pin head and invisible legs and teeny brown spec of a body. You can not see it with a naked eye, but with a flashlight and really really looking for it. Oh yeah, they are fast too.  The nymphs move fast because they have to eat the fastest=that's when they spread so easily without being aware of it. So let's say Napolean Dynamite goes to school with lice, his grandma/aunt/mom doesn't tell anyone, and those nymphs spread like wildfire in a classroom or at church (think of the pew you sit on, ew). By the time you can see a louse and it has laid enough eggs to catch it without looking for it, you are in some deep doodoo sister. The lice have been there awhile. And yes, I've been having lice nightmares for two weeks, my head itches 24/7 and I'm still paranoid about going out.

Here is a list of things that worked and did NOT work, when treating lice.

things that don't work:
most of the over the counter products the lice have become immune to. nice right? in our little town those boxes are $15-18 a box!! and when your daughters have long hair that's one box per treatment.

the combs that come with those packages are also GARBAGE. don't rely on them to rid you of your not so friendly critters.

NOT telling people your kids associate with at school/church/play dates/bus that your own family or member of the family has or has had lice. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed, a lot of clean kids from clean families get lice. you should be more ashamed and/or embarrassed if you keep it to yourself and let the other families wander in the lone and dreary wilderness till the critters are large enough to stage a full blown attack.

things that worked:
1. The TERMINATOR comb. buy it, keep it in your first aid kit. it was amazing! just when we thought we were lice free, this arrived in the mail. I still had 5 days of combing through their hair (yes, you have to comb through and check for nits for 14 days on everyone in the family) left so I had a good comparison of before this comb and after.  after the second treatment, all nits/lice are supposed to be annihilated. well guess what? this natzi comb pulled out over several baby lice. and i'm talking, smaller than a pinhead and invisible babies. I would never have seen them/caught them without this comb, which would have led to another lice attack. KILL ME NOW.

2. this treatment, it was expensive and I believe it preys on desperate mothers, but it worked. It also comes with a full refund guarantee, and Ty is a big fan of those.

3. Cetaphil face cleanser. I know right? Apply an entire bottle of it to the scalp and let sit for 2 minutes. Then comb out excess and blow dry hair dry. Let sleep in it overnight and shampoo in the morning. Repeat this process two times a week for 2 weeks. Luckily we were over the lice and had bought $$$$ worth of treatments and didn't have to try this.

4. Combing through every day with coconut oil (lice apparently despise the smell of coconut and the oil makes it easy to remove nits) for 2 weeks and using your nails. yup, I had to pull off almost every nit with my nails. Those early combs didn't get them and by the time I got the "terminator" almost all nits were gone.

5. Cutting the girls' hair short. Combing through and nit picking  was taking 2plus hours a night . The shorter hair saved my sanity! Thank you Ashley Bowler! There is a special place in heaven for you for that selfless service.

6. Calling and notifying the school and all friends/classmates ward members etc. Sure, it was embarrassing to tell everyone but I wanted everyone to check before (if in case they had it) it got worse. I told EVERYONE the kids had had contact with or were in our house for the last week. And I had to keep asking (demanding) the school to keep checking my kids' classes. A reinfestation would have sent me over the edge. Trust me, I was already at the edge by this point. I'm not even joking, talk about stressful. Lice was one of my worst nightmares, and boy did I get to live it. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

These are some of me delousing arsenal. The detangler Uniq one is one my sister bought me from christmas (it's amazing!), and it helped the combing through on the days we didn't use coconut oil. I don't know if the Licelogic products work or not, but I'm still spraying everyone's head and all the furniture every day just in case!


A new year! A new...wait.

New Year's eve couldn't have come soon enough last year. That was last year right? The prospect of a new year and putting the past behind was almost exhilarating. I was going to make an awesome dinner, we'd celebrate with appetizers and martinelli's and go out on our ritual New Year's Day adventure with the Adams clan.

In case you forgot, half of the family was blessed with the stomach bug New Year's eve and day. Hooray for 2014!!

I haven't exercised since the end of November, and I eat when I stress out. So, me-exercise+eating everything=depression and weight gain. To sum it up, I'm a hot mess. And the funny part? Well, there isn't one. I know that someday things will return to normal (or at least better than now) and I can exercise every day and after I'm exercising my eating always returns to a happy place and so does my body. Right now, neither are in a happy place.

Then, we got lice.

I know, I know, this sounds like one of those whiny posts. But I promise, even though 2014 has left nothing to impress, at the same time so much GOOD has been happening. You can't see it, but it has. Wonderful blessings and answers to prayers. It's funny, because a few years ago I would be flipping out over gaining weight. And today? Well, I am at peace about it because I know it won't last. Little by little hard work and persistence will pay off and I can be healthy again. And that's all I really care about now, healthy enough to take care of myself and my family and serve others.  It's a wonderful place to be, in my opinion.

On another note, one of the littles favorite things is walking up to Great Grandma's and Grandpa's, eating all their food, playing with all the toys and then playing on their little tractors. Pure heaven.

And Rodney needs a hair cut so very badly, and I just can't do it! help!

**bonus! my phone got a ton of moisture in it. don't even ask, because I'm clueless. It's currently sitting in a sealed tupperware full of rice. plus, our house phone doesn't work anymore. so yeah! email me : )****

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