Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Easter Sunday

The girls left for California yesterday to see the family there.  I told myself I was going to catch up on my blogging this week!  Things have been so busy, I have gotten rather behind.  So, rather than back track too much…I thought I would start off with our Easter.

It started off rather early since we have church at 9am.  

As usual, the Easter Bunny was up late the night before getting things together.  Why does it always work that way?  I was NOT in the best mood because I didn't have our usual Treasure Hunt all planned out, and was stressed even thinking about it.  Nothing happened before Church.  I felt fine about that. I really wanted them to focus on why Easter is such a special holiday.  This year we talked about it all week leading up to Sunday and I felt like it made a difference. After Church I had their Easter baskets all together and decided to forgo the usual hunt for the sake of my sanity.  

It worked out fine.  Not one child complained.  (Except Annie did tell me a few days later when that she did not like what she got in her basket.  Thanks, darling.  So kind of you to let me know.)  I ended up having each child come in my room one at a time and try to figure out which basket was theirs.  Then I sat them on my lap and told them a little about the meaning of Easter and how much I loved them.  I think they liked the attention and it made up for the lack of Easter Hunting.  Next year, however, I think I am going to to a regular hunt.  I missed seeing how excited the little kids get.  What do you do for Easter?  My mistake is I started off doing elaborate treasure hunts, so I feel the need to carry on the tradition.  Why do I do it?  

What was in their baskets this year?  The usual eggs stuffed with store bought Easter Candy.  They usually get a few treats they don't get very often.  Nana gave them each something new for Spring…a swimming suit, clothes, stuff like that.  We really missed our California Family.  We have lots of fun Easter Memories spent there.  It was sweet of them to think of us too on Easter!

We need some extra Easter Baskets…some were lost in our move and never were replaced.  This whole basket is really not full.  

This guy really looks like he scored.  It was all really equal of course. 

James was asleep during the whole get-your-easter-basket-moment.  He got his later that night.  

I think next year it will be a regular old hunt.  And no more cool stuff, that adds up in $$.  I don't think they care.  We shall see. They really are more excited about the hunt they have at Grandma's House with all the cousins.  

We headed over to Grandma's late that afternoon for dinner.  Man, makes me hungry just looking at all that food. 

It is tradition to all line up for a picture.  In the past the adults have done it too…but we have such a crowd, we were happy to bow out.  We always miss the other cousins when we do this.  :(  

Best age ever. 

Joshua was pretty excited this year because he scored the egg with the most money, despite Grandma's new system to hide the money.  The hunt was pretty genius….thanks, Grandma!

Everyone surrounding the master-of-ceremonies, Grandma, as they look through their candy to find secret codes and collect their cash prizes.  

Annie didn't make out too well this year.  She left her shoes inside by the back door when she came to dinner.  There were lots of prickly things out there and so she mostly tiptoed around and didn't collect too much candy.  This was her face for the hunt…poor girl. 

One thing about Luke, is he is almost always contact with whatever he gets. I love that. 

Annie is always happy to be with her cousins.  

A sweet neighbor from down the street came and spent the evening with us.  During the hunt he chatted with Grandpa. 

London and her brothers who turned THREE today.  Happy Birthday, boys!

Sophie was loves the horses.  We have to be careful because she doesn't have a bit of fear and will try to go right into the pasture to talk to them. 

Michael enjoying some of his loot. 

One of my favorite pics of the event…Jennifer is telling Mom some story and I love how dramatic it looks. hee hee.  I had someone take a picture of all the moms, but it was seriously like the worst picture ever.  Your welcome for not posting.  

James slept right up until we left for Grandma and Grandpas…this picture cracks me up.


It was a treat to have Easter so late this year.  Spring does not come early to Idaho and so when it falls early in March it makes for a cold hunt!  It was a beautiful day and despite stressing over needless and unimportant things, it turned out just lovely!  Happy Spring!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

No Time

I have just been so busy lately and recording our daily haps has definitely taken a back seat.  My priorities each day seem to be:

-Keeping my house clean, laundry, and feeding my people.
-Helping each child learn, do chores and be where they need to be when they need to be there.
-Trying to be a good friend and neighbor.
-Trying to be patient and kind when things don't go as planned…this one can be difficult sometimes!

Just the regular tasks of getting everyone dressed, hair combed, teeth brushed, and ready and then back to bed again can sometimes seem to fill up hours and my list of to do's never seems to be done!  I know it is the same for Ryan…he has never ending things to be done with his work, and any free moments seem to be taken up with just daily things that come with running a house of eight!

The talk in General Conference by Sister Linda S Reeves seemed to jump out at me and stuck in my mind almost more than any other.  She shared something she and her husband learned when they had four small children at home...

"As we faced challenges of parenting and keeping up with the demands of life, we were desperate for help.  We prayed and plead to know what to do.  The answer that came was clear.  It's okay if the house is a mess and the children are still in their pajamas and some responsibilities are left undone.  
The ONLY things that REALLY need to be accomplished in the home are daily scripture study and prayer and weekly Family Home Evening.  
We were trying to do these things, but they weren't always the priority, and amidst the chaos were sometimes neglected. 
We changed the focus and tried not to worry about the less important things.  Our focus became to talk, rejoice, preach, and testify of Christ by striving to have daily prayer and study the scriptures and have weekly Family Home Evenings."

Emphasis was added up there for me.  :)  Now, if my house is a mess it is really hard for me to not feel stressed and get grouchy fast.  However, I have to say that housework is often the priority and we try to squeeze those other more important things in around everything else.  Sometimes the kids hairdo takes priority and family prayer is given in haste on the way to school.  Laundry will get done no matter what…but do I put the same priority on our scripture study?   This was a great wake up call about what is really important.  I loved what she followed that up with…

"A friend recently cautioned me, 'When you ask the sisters to read the scriptures and pray more, it stresses them out, they already feel like they have too much to do.' …Brothers and Sisters, because I know from my own experiences, I must testify of the blessings of daily scripture study and prayers and weekly Family Home Evenings.  These are the very practices that help take away stress, give direction to our lives, and add protection to our homes."  

Keeping the commandments takes AWAY stress, makes life EASIER, and makes us more HAPPY.  
Duh.  It was a great reminder for me. 

Another thing that makes me happy are funny moments captured on camerahere are a few I recently ran across.  

I love this moments captured of Ryan and his Dad (Papa) a few years ago.  Just made me smile when I saw it…a great teasing moment between father and son. 

We didn't go to California this year for Spring Break.  We miss our family there and are feeling the need for a reunion!  This is me (pregnant with Sophie)  cooking with the sister-in-laws at Thanksgiving.  I sure miss them all…even though I don't miss being pregnant so much. 

I have not gotten to posting about what we did for Valentines, but here are some funny pictures I found from the night.  (Ryan was in California and we spent the evening at my parents.)  I had about twenty of pictures with these two...

And quite of a few of me trying to recreate my own Olympic moment I think?

Michael's makes me laugh even more.  I don't think figure skating is in his future. 

A moment of brotherly love. 

And last…Sophie's Olympic Debut.  She is always a crack up. 

Speaking of crack ups, James will kill me, but this was taken back in January.  I needed him to do something really fast…I don't even know what it was.  But he was handy, put his boots on, and took of things in his undies.  Good work, son. 

Joshua didn't look too much better in his PJ's and socks.  I have some funnier pictures, but I am trying to not get into too much trouble.  

This was taken one afternoon last month.  Another shot taken after glancing out the window.  When I am at my kitchen sink I see all kinds of things!  I love how these girls "play" with the dogs so much!
In the last few weeks a lot of green has begun to spring up amidst that sea of drab beige outside.

 And the last picture that made me smile was taken during Conference on my phone…

 Good times!  And now, I must go get to SOME of the things on my list!