Monday, December 29, 2008

yearning to be

I treated myself to a Christmas present from me this year.  Now when I look at this chore:


I look beyond (do you see it?) the dirty dishes and see this:


I need a reminder.  The messes get overwhelming and the noise gets annoying.  I get embarrassed when guests arrive and my house isn't picture perfect (or.even.close).  I get self-conscious when I see other homes where friends seem to have it "all together."

In 2009 and beyond I want to be reminded to stay focused on my priorities.

I want to be the wife:
who remembers that marriage comes before mothering.
who is a refuge at the end of my husband's tough day.  
who knows what household items are important to my husband and gets them done.
who supports my husband's down time and expresses my appreciation for his hard work and provision for our family.

I want to be the mom:
that remembers that my son's heart is more important than
my inconvenience.
that chooses playing and reading over mopping and vacuuming.
that encourages fort making.
that remembers the days are long but the years are short.
that recognizes the difference between childishness and foolishness.
that leaves a legacy that points to Jesus Christ as Lord, creator
and sustainer.
that teaches her sons independence and when it is time, lets go.
that has sons who know beyond all else that their mom loves them.

I want to be the friend:
that is genuine - what you see is what you get.
who helps another friend without being asked.
who keeps a secret without doubt.
who can be trusted not to gossip.
that is loyal through tough times.
who accepts differences without judgement.
who invites a visitor in without excuses for the state of my home.

I want to be the child of God:
that loves others even when the emotions aren't there.
that serves out of pure gratitude for the price Christ paid for me.
that savors His word each day.
who is not ashamed of my faith and the journey that led me to Him.

I want to remember that life is messy.  The journey doesn't always look pretty, but we get only one journey.

And I want the happy memories!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

the snow season is here

Prior to getting plowed into our driveway, we went out and enjoyed the snow a little bit.  I'm waiting for some warmer temps though because when you live in a ski town, you can be a snow and weather snob! (except when you have company visiting)

Amy and me freezing our butts off coming off McConkey's for the first time this season.

Sauce and me taking a face-plant break in the powder.


Me, Hunter, Amelia, Lauren, Rufus, Amy and Sauce at the tubing hill.  We splurge here once a year and it is so fun to catch air off the bumps!

Friday, December 26, 2008

and we're out!


We even gave him a Honey Brown to say thanks!

bottom's up!

In Utah's constant ambition to rid the filth from this state, the lawmakers are working on banishing malt beverages from being sold in the grocery stores.

I thought that was bad.  But it turns out that by getting rid of the cheerleader beer, the real beer market is expanding a little bit.

Amen and Hallelujah!  My FAVORITE beer has finally crossed the Rocky Mountains and landed in my fridge!

Kare, Amanda, Carrie... come on over!



In another five years, I'll have able bodied boys to dig us out when the bitter snow removal-workers-who-have-to-work-on-Christmas-night plow us in with a wall of snow that is as hard as ice, three feet tall and four feet thick.

Until then, we'll have to wait for the city to send the loader to scoop up this mess.

Maybe we were supposed to tip the plow drivers for Christmas?  Or maybe the plow driver had a little too much holiday cheer before hitting his route in the storm?

I guess I'm not going anywhere today!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

a very merry christmas

Well, it's here and gone.  From this:

To this:

Here are some highlights:






Wednesday, December 24, 2008

hanging around the house

Our family did a lot of hanging around the house during our visit.  Probably a little boring for my nieces - no video games here.

IMG_1116Here is Uncle Terry spending quality time with the boys - showing them a Handy Manny video on his iphone!  We laughed about this one.






He got into character though with full cowboy gear (including the cowboy iphone).

It just so happens that our water heater went out when everyone arrived.

It just so happens that Terry is very handy.

It just so happened that Terry spent much of his vacation out here installing a new water heater for us.  Terry is so generous with his time and talents and we are so grateful for his help!

Amelia couldn't decide if the Bumbo seat was a potty or a thinking cap.

IMG_1117 IMG_1135

The boys call my sister Amy "Aunt-Ah-May-Mee" and Squirt spent much of the weekend shunning mommy and whining for "MAYMEE!!!"


The name for my mom is "Grandma Jellybean" and here is why... she ALWAYS has jellybeans to pass out and when Hunter was a little tot he would say, "Grandma?  Jellybean?"  So now that is her name.


I brought out the jumper for our princess, but she was barely in it because we all held her so much!


Another token shot of my hubby with a baby girl!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

squirt the scrooge

This boy has some amazing smiles - but I've yet to show his scowl....
Watch out - this boy is tough!




I think he gets it from his dad.

girl time

Boo hoo.  My sister Amy and her family and my mom just left after a five day visit from the suburbs of Chicago.  Time definitely flies when you're having fun.

We had some good girl time though.  Our first full day was spent at my hair dresser getting some new do's.  Vivian tagged along with us and we left the rest of the crew at home.

Me and Vivi chilling and waiting for Amy to make a decision.  (I was sucking my thumb too, but decided to take it out for the picture.)


She made a decision!  I talked her into it - Mom was trying to talk her out of it... Locks of Love is getting a package and Amy's husband Terry is about to be surprised!


Girls with fresh haircuts.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

a hundred bucks can buy a home

Did you know that you can buy a home for a hundred bucks?

Yes you can.

A Hundred for a Home is trying to raise money for this family to move out of their small two bedroom apartment and into a home.

They are caring for their two terminally ill children.

A hundred bucks.  A little bit goes a long way.  Of course, they'll appreciate any amount, large or small.

How much is that Starbucks?

Looking for a place to spread some holiday cheer?  Head on over and buy a house.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

i want to be 007

I need to borrow some equipment from James Bond.  I think a spy camera attached to my glasses or on a necklace would be helpful because it takes a huge amount of effort and coordination to catch memories on video.

All of my boys have used some sort of sign language in the early years.  I don't go nuts - they only use the basics to communicate simple needs and use manners before they have the words to say them.  I usually teach please, thank you, more, and all done.

Squirt has just learned (or decided to show us after months of training) "please" and it is stinkin adorable.  He looks like a baseball coach trying to direct the next pitch.

I just love this boy!  He is noisy and stubborn and hungry all the time, and did I mention noisy?  But he has his mommy's heart right in the palm of his hand and I am SO grateful to be the one home to see these sweet memories.

Monday, December 8, 2008

costco, the craft impaired woman thanks you....

I am not crafty.  I do not like to clean, cook bake or make crafty messes in my kitchen that my boys often BEG for.

Enter a Costco purchase for less than ten bucks:


Every possible thing a gingerbread house needs was in the box AND it came with instructions.

So suddenly, I was a cool mom.



Pretty careful for a bunch of boys!






Does this make me crafty?







Sunday, December 7, 2008

ornaments near to my heart

P1030320 We I set up our Christmas tree this weekend.  Back when we had no kids and no money, we bought a bargain of a fake tree.

I was always against fake trees, but hubby insisted on it and it wasn't the hill I wanted to die on.

I think we bought the display tree at KMart.  It is not pre-lit and doesn't particularly fool the eye into thinking it is anything resembling a real tree.

For the past few years, we have talked about shopping the after Christmas sales for a new fake-but-more-real-looking-easier-to-set-up-possibly-even-pre-lit Christmas tree.

However, by the day after Christmas, I'm usually pretty pooped, so putting in the effort to find the right tree for the right price is not high on my list.

Anyhoo, my bloggy friend Nicole posted about her favorite ornaments on her tree and I thought would share a few of my favorites.

I have friends with "designer" trees that are carefully decorated with matching ornaments and look like they could be in a Macy's window.

Not us.

We go for the white trash mix and match sentimental look.  We have a varied collection of ornaments that have been growing since before the day we said, "I do."


This one is heartfelt for obvious reasons.  During the holiday season of 2001 I bought this flag ornament and wrote the "why" on a sticker on the back.





Not that we will ever forget.  But I want our children to remember too.






During my junior year of college, I studied abroad in Israel and Greece for three weeks.

We toured major places from the Bible in Israel and followed Paul's missionary journeys in Greece.

I bought this ornament in Bethlehem.  A pretty memorable time to walk where our King was born.




When I was on my mission trip to Russia two years ago, we stayed in the nicest hotel available near our rural little orphanage.

People, you have no idea how good we have it.  Most rooms only had two beds and a sink with cold water and a toilet.  Our group shared three showers that each had only a five gallon hot water heater -divided up between 16 people equals:  burrrrr!

The hotel staff were what made it delightful.  They were always pleasant and kind - even though we couldn't communicate without a translator.

On our last day, the women working there brought out a tray of gifts for each of us to choose from.  They were all hand-made, basket woven types of gifts and there were all different kinds to pick from.  I chose these shoes.

They hang on my tree and when I look at them, I remember that we are all God's people, no matter what we hear on the news.

P1030317Lastly, a few years back my mom gave me a set of photo ornaments with the best gift of all being that she filled them with photos!

Who can resist this cutie pie?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

turkey and p-i-y

Thanksgiving weekend was such a whirlwind for us that I had a very hard time putting it into words.  So, I'll tell a story with pictures:

The turkey preparation/cooking/carving is my LEAST favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner.  I always volunteer for everything anything but the turkey.  Our friends, the Balyos, who were joining us from the great state of Wyoming and I asked them to do the turkey and I would do everything else.

Well, they decided not to make the mind-numbing six hour trek across I-80 and I was left with a 21 pound turkey to prepare.

P1030251I put Rufus on the case.  Here he is first thing on Thanksgiving morning painting the turkey with butter.





P1030255Over the last few years, one of our Thanksgiving traditions is to attend Pie Breakfast (to find out what it is and how it started, click here).

So this year was no different.  The location rotates each year.  The Andersons hosted the event this year and we all had pies that we had never tried or even imagined existed.  Macadamia pie was one of my favorites, but the boys all loved the chocolate banana creme.  It was GOOD, and always a great time seeing friends who we wouldn't normally see on a holiday (or sometimes on a regular day!).



Squirt is a beggar, mooch and piggy.

Pie Breakfast was no different!




Sauce, Hunter and Rufus pigging out sampling as many pies as possible.

After they closed down the event we'd had enough, we headed home to join forces and attack our messy house so that our friends the Myers wouldn't have dust bunnies mixed in their mashed potatoes.

P1030259Erin delivered their fifth child, baby Caroline, just two weeks ago and I made sure that I got a snapshot of Kenyon with a baby girl in his arms.

Isn't she a doll?

I know, he looks pretty happy :-)







So, we had two families for dinner and one of the boys' friends who lives down the street, for a total of five adults and ten children for Thanksgiving dinner. P1030261


P1030265Erin and her mom were in charge of pies.  Erin decided that due to our hurting economy, she was going to use paper plates sparingly and each child got ONE HALF of a paper plate for dessert.  I think she saved me $.015!

After Thanksgiving dinner, I received a phone call from the Balyos - they decided to make the drive.  So at 1 a.m. that night, they arrived for a visit.

Did I mention that they have four boys as well?

So, at mealtime over the weekend, this is what you'd find at our breakfast bar.

Eight boys under the age of eight.

These are the ones I was sure to keep when they packed up on Saturday!


Saturday night we had some other friends over for leftovers a visit and Hunter snuck up to me and quietly asked, "Mom, could I have some P-I-Y?"

"Some what?" I said.

"Pie!" he answered.

We all roared in laughter and decided that there is one top-notch homeschool operation going on around here!

About Me

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Messy and wonderful perfectly describes my life as a wife and mom of five. I'm passionate about advocating for orphans by telling their stories and encouraging adoption and orphan care. My schedule is messy and wonderful as I am charged with four sons and one daughter. We love living in our little mountain ski town. We do a little camping, a little skiing, a little hunting, and a lot of laughing and loving. Life is dirty and loud around here but we wouldn't want it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less dirty!

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