Category Archives: Daily Life

Maybe the Gratitude is Rubbing Off

Today, I’m thankful for:

  1. The opportunity that I have to teach my children at home so we can focus on learning a concept instead of just being graded on how quickly you can pick it up.
  2. Finishing our school work for the day before lunch today. That almost never happens, and it is so nice to know that we don’t have to go back to it later in the day.
  3. Finishing our school work before the utility worker in the neighborhood shut the electricity off on us for an hour or two. If they had decided to do our house earlier, it would have screwed up our whole day. Instead, they shut it off about 45 minutes after we were finished.
  4. Noah’s sweet generosity. Today is my father’s birthday. When Noah signed his birthday card, he also got a dollar out of his own money and stuck it in the card as his own present to Grandpa. He makes birthday cards for just about everyone in our family, and he always puts money in them. How sweet is that?
  5. Wyatt’s show of gratitude. My mom gave the boys books that she bought for them this evening. Wyatt asked her for a piece of paper, then proceeded to write a thank you note to her for the book. Again, I’m so impressed with my boys!

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Filed under Daily Life, Gratitude, Homeschooling, Kids, NaBloPoMo, Thirty Days of Thankfulness

Random Gratitude

Today, I am thankful for:

  1. The fact that my cell phone (an Instinct—a phone that I have disliked the entire time I had it) waited until a few days AFTER the phone I have been looking at (the Palm Pixi) came out on the market to go completely toes up.
  2. The good buy back price I got on my dead phone to significantly reduce the amount I paid for my new phone.
  3. The fact that my new phone is so cool that I was in love with it before I even walked out of the store.
  4. Little boys who are not only WILLING to go help clean the church on a Saturday morning, but who come home and tell me how much FUN it was.
  5. Scouts who listened and were respectful for our field trip this morning.
  6. Fire fighters who were willing to take the time to show a bunch of scouts around the fire station and teach them about fire safety. Oh, and answer every single question. Every. Single. Question.
  7. An afternoon at Chuck E Cheese with my kids. Yes, that’s right. It may not be MY favorite place, but the joy it brought to them was enough to get me past my hesitancy to go there. And we all had fun together.
  8. Living close to family. We are fortunate to have siblings, parents, and grandparents from both of our families nearby. I love that my children are growing up with those relationships.
  9. An awesome sale on ground beef today. Hey, sometimes the little things count for a lot.
  10. Caleb’s joy for life. He makes me smile with his joy and humor.

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Filed under Daily Life, Gratitude, Kids, NaBloPoMo, Thirty Days of Thankfulness

When You Put it THAT Way

Noah: Mommy, what is the party you are going to for?

Me: Well, it is for a bunch of women to get together before most of them go see a movie.

Noah: You’re going to go see a movie?

Me: No, but I’ll probably watch it when it comes out on DVD.

Noah: What’s the movie about?

Me: Well, there is a girl who falls in love with a vampire (no, son, he’s a GOOD vampire). But the vampire is afraid he or one of the other good vampires might accidentally hurt her, so he leaves. But then bad vampires come who do want to hurt her and he isn’t there to protect her. So her best friend has to turn into a werewolf to keep her safe. But then, the good vampire thinks she’s dead, so he tries to get other vampires to kill him because he doesn’t want to live without her. So she has to go to Italy and save HIM.

Sean: You just managed to make it sounds even LAMER.


Today, I am thankful for:

  1. Friends with the energy and creativity to invite everyone over to talk and laugh and eat and enjoy getting away from it all.
  2. The way the sun, moon, and stars all aligned to allow me to finish today’s school work, cook dinner for my family, and make party food and still get where I needed to be when I needed to be there.
  3. That we finally had a buyer come through on our stove! Woo Hoo!
  4. My DVR. I missed the Project Runway finale to go to a party tonight and I’m dying to see if my hometown girl wins. Of course, I’m not telling you which one that would be.  😉
  5. The prolonged periods of sleep that Violet had today that didn’t involve laying on me. Unless that means she’s not feeling well. But, assuming she’s fine…SO grateful to actually be able to do some stuff without trying to balance a baby on my hip or have her screaming at me when I put her down.

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Filed under Daily Life, Gratitude, Kids, NaBloPoMo, Thirty Days of Thankfulness

Even the Bad Days Give You Things to Be Grateful For

Yesterday was a challenging day. Well, actually, most of yesterday went just fine. But those last two hours before Sean came home from work? Life pretty much went to Hell in a hand basket (side note: I used to think the expression was “To Hell in a handcart” which, ironically, I blame on my Mormon upbringing).

So, anyhow, I made it through dinner with the family. But after dinner, I went back to the bedroom to “feed the baby” and decided not to come out. Well, I came out long enough to give the baby back to Sean after I was done feeding her. Then I went back, closed the door, and watched TV in solitude. Or tried to. During the first two hours, while the kids were still awake, the door was opened by one little person or another, oh, maybe fifteen times. But once that stopped? I gave into the mental exhaustion and fell asleep until Sean woke me up to read scriptures together. Then I went back to bed.

All this to say, I missed writing the five things I was grateful for yesterday. So, once again, you get ten today.


Today, I am thankful for:

  1. The fact that my husband recognized how badly I needed space and let me shut myself in the bedroom all evening without complaining.
  2. The extra sleep that put a little dent in that huge deficit that I’m constantly functioning on.
  3. A sweet little five year old who apologized for giving me a rough day, even though he only contributed to it slightly.
  4. An evening together with my parents and brothers and our families.
  5. The work that my husband puts into taking care of our yard. It’s almost and acre and a half and probably has over 100 trees, so it takes a huge effort. And he does it without complaining.
  6. The work ethic my kids are learning from their father (have I already said that one?). There is nothing more awesome than watching your kids work together, especially when even the one and a half year old is pitching in.
  7. The focus that my husband (and I ) have on building memories with the kids. Even simple things like him taking them to pick out donuts for breakfast this morning. I hope that when my kids are adults, they will have fond memories of the little things that Mom and Dad did with them and know how special they have always been to us.
  8. I’m grateful that I was given the opportunity to be a parent. Anyone who has known me for awhile knows what a miracle each of my children has been. We were told we would never have kids on our own. Each of my pregnancies has been a miracle. And I truly believe that the timing that brought Noah into our lives through adoption was a miracle, too.
  9. The fact that Sean and I can tease each other and laugh at ourselves. I grew up in a family that teased, so that is part of my personality. Sometimes, that gets me in trouble with people who don’t realize when I am kidding. Sean gets me, though. And it really is a fun and loving interaction between us that frequently leaves us laughing to the point of tears.
  10. Having the kind of day that left the kids happy and worn out to the point of collapse on the car ride home from my brother’s house.

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Filed under Daily Life, Gratitude, NaBloPoMo, Parenting, Thirty Days of Thankfulness

Finding My Happy Place

It’s time to get a little personal. I want to talk about the bedroom.

OK, not THAT personal.

Am I the only one with a complete pit for a bedroom?

It is no secret that, with five kids, housework is a constant challenge for me. I feel like it takes all I have to just keep things sanitary sometimes, let alone tidy. I think that it is only natural that I focus my efforts on the public areas.

Yes, that’s right, I’m admitting it for everyone to read: if you come to my house, I want you to operate under the impression that I’m better at housework than I really am. Therefore, I put the majority of my efforts into the parts of the house you are most likely to see.

I am a fraud. Therefore, my bedroom is a pit.

The thing is, I need someplace to get away. My entire house is overtaken by the small people who run and shout their way through my life. And I am grateful for them. But that doesn’t change the fact that they frequently overwhelm me. And I need someplace to get away from them other than the bathroom.

And it should be someplace that isn’t a pit.

So, tonight, I began work on reclaiming my bedroom. It isn’t going to be a one evening endeavor. I have craft materials to sort through and find homes for. I have a closet floor to excavate. And I’m banishing the kids’ stuff to other areas of the house.

And, heaven forbid, I might hang a picture or two. Maybe I’ll finally put up the wall sconces I bought about a year ago.

I’ll build my retreat if it kills me. Then, I may never come out again.


Today, I am thankful for:

  1. A six year old who is becoming mature enough to fold some laundry on his own WITHOUT BEING ASKED. Or maybe I’m just grateful for the aliens that obviously took over his body.
  2. Homemade butternut squash soup. Can anything possibly be more “Autumn” than that?
  3. Finishing school before lunchtime today. It was so nice to know that the rest of my day could just be what it was without having to worry about fitting in the rest of the day’s lessons.
  4. Being able to actually see the slow and steady progress that is being made as I work to organize our house.
  5. My kids getting to play with their cousins today. It may mean more noise to overwhelm me, but they love hanging out with their cousins and I love for them to be happy.

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And His Imaginary Friend Complains that He Doesn’t Call Anymore

This weekend, Noah and Wyatt decided to write letters to Santa Claus. These were given to Sean with the instruction to mail them to the North Pole today (and then my instruction to save them since I could see him not necessarily thinking about the fact that THEY MADE LISTS since he isn’t the one who agonizes over the Christmas shopping).

Right before bedtime tonight, Wyatt came up the stairs.

“Dad, did you remember to send the letters to the North Pole?”

Sean stammered a bit.

“Um, uh, I forgot to today. I’ll mail them tomorrow.”

“OK,” Wyatt answered. “But don’t forget. The North Pole.” Then he headed down to bed.

I looked at my husband.

“You were too busy to remember to PRETEND to mail a letter?”

That, folks, takes talent.


Today, I am thankful for:

  1. Someone who wants to buy our old stove. That’s one less large thing taking up space in my house and a decent bit of cash to add to the Christmas budget. Double score.
  2. A hubby who sweetly cleaned up after dinner while I laid on the couch with a sleeping baby. And is now going to fold laundry while I’m writing.
  3. My mother doing math with Noah today. It is always so nice to have a day with a little less school work to do.
  4. One last beautiful day in the high sixties before the weather turns crummy again for the rest of the week.
  5. The ever-present laughter in our home. Sure, we’re usually laughing at the ridiculousness of one situation or another, but it’s still laughter. It is a good thing when you still possess the ability to laugh at yourself.


Filed under Daily Life, Gratitude, NaBloPoMo, Parenting, Thirty Days of Thankfulness

Wherein I Go Shopping for Men’s Clothing and Fall Over Dead from Sticker Shock*

I got an earlier than usual start to my day today. This is thanks to the fact that Noah decided not to ride along with Sean and the other boys when Sean went to get donuts for a special treat this morning, then got bored/lonely when his visiting grandma went down to take a shower. So he came into my room and told me that Daddy said it was time to get up. Even though Daddy had already left and said no such thing before going. But I didn’t know that until I was already out of bed.

Of course, the baby decided that today was the perfect day for HER to sleep in, so I could have gotten some quality rest. Sigh.

I made sure to take advantage of that early start today, though, since I knew that I had additional errands to run. Namely, I needed to go buy Sean new suit pants before church tomorrow, since the seam in his other pair ripped out along the butt right before church last week.

Side note: I am utterly baffled by the fact that a man who is so completely butt-less seems to kill most of his pants by tearing that seam. I couldn’t tell you how many pairs of pants have met that fate in the fifteen years that I have known him. I swear, I think he does squats in them when I’m not looking.

So, my first stop today was JC Penny’s to replace the pants. And OH BOY is it a good thing that it was my first stop. Because the pants? They were a door buster sale this morning. Plus, there was a $10 coupon. Which means that the pants were ONLY forty-two dollars. As opposed to the ONE-HUNDRED FORTY DOLLAR price on the tag.

Excuse me???

It is just a freakin’ pair of pants! And let’s be honest, suit material is rather thin. There aren’t even any tummy support panels or butt boosters built in. And, quite frankly, if I spend $140 on a single pair of pants, they’d better do something special. Like the dishes. Or tucking my kids in bed at night.

Maybe I should focus my sewing skills on men’s clothing. Because, obviously, it’s a racket.


Today, I am thankful for:

  1. The enjoyable time that we had with my mother-in-law while she was here and her safe arrival back home.
  2. My father used to tell me that you could form calluses on your hands or on your butt. I’m thankful that my husband is the kind of man who has them on his hands. And I’m thankful this means that my compost bin got built today and our last two pine trees got cut down.
  3. Little boys who are learning their father’s work ethic. They should sleep well tonight after dragging so many pine branches to our fire pit.
  4. The two big pots of mums that my mom gave to me. And the fact that she even planted them for me.
  5. Finally finding the time (and having a beautiful day) to clean up the remainder of my garden. My side yard no longer looks like it suffered an apocalyptic event.
  6. (A bonus one!) I’m grateful that I noticed the dog in my car right before I closed the door so I didn’t have to go through another night of worrying what happened to him. Or wake up to a car that smells like nervous dog in the morning. What a pinhead.

*I think, from now on, whenever I can’t think of a clever title for a post, I will just pretend that my life is part of the Complete Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and title it appropriately.

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Filed under Daily Life, Gratitude, I think my head might explode, NaBloPoMo, Thirty Days of Thankfulness