Friday, March 25

Sweet Enough

This afternoon Tom and I returned from an overnight getaway, and I remembered too late my promise to "bring back a surprise" if the girls were good. Scrambling in my emergency fun box, I came up with some candy necklaces. "Perfect!" I thought.  I gave Hannah (4) hers first, and she munched away happily.  Linsey(6), was slightly more suspicious.

"Are these for Christmas?" she asked doubtfully. "Mine has a Christmas tree on it."

"Those are regular trees, and the necklace is for anytime, " I assured her quickly.

Still doubtful, she looked at me questioningly, "Then why does Hannah's have Santa on it?"

"JUST EAT your candy!"

And the moral of the story is...

 Never look a gift horse in the mouth!!

Tuesday, March 22

Living What They Learn

As parents, we know our kids will grow up to become just like us (more on that in this post), so I wanted to share a few values I'm trying to teach my three little mamas-in-training:

~Look for the good in unexpected places~

 ~Don't be afraid to try new things...~

~...but always ask permission first!~
Failed haircut attempt

~It's okay to cry~

 ~Family is forever. Be there for each other~

And, most importantly...

~Always, always, always be yourself!!~ 

Question: What values are important for you to pass on to your kids?

Friday, March 18

You Can Do It!

Keep hanging on!

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
Philippians 4:13

Monday, March 14

Lovin' Life

We've had such a busy, fun week, I just had to share a few highlights:

1 ~ We just had a big birthday party for Hannah, who turns 4 this week.  I mean, 18 little people running around my house and eating everything in sight. It was chaos, and I loved it! I had a bunch of creative games planned, but by far their favorite was "Monkey, Monkey, Banana," like duck-duck-goose only they tagged each other with an inflatable monkey. Next time I'll stick to the classics!

Holy cow, it's MY birthday?!?
 2 ~ My sister bought me a Sneaky Chef cookbook awhile back, and I am totally addicted. It's all about sneaking veggies into regular recipes. I've added pureed carrots to orange chicken, pureed cauliflower to tuna salad, and sweet potato to french toast, all with great results! Even my husband is "willingly ignorant" and has enjoyed the new recipes, as long as I don't tell him what's in them. There are some free recipes and tons of resources from the author here.

3 ~ I scored an amazing deal at for an overnight getaway with my husband, which we're taking in a couple weeks. It's an awesome bed and breakfast and two top-notch meals, all for under $100!  Can't wait! If you aren't signed up, you should definitely check it out. They send you offers for great deals in your area - I've gotten everything from sushi restaurants to Gap coupons and even photobooks at a great price.  I've heard about other sites like this, does anyone know of another one? 

4 ~ On top of the party Saturday, we had friends over on Friday and about 20 people over after church last night. I wanted to kick Mr. Daylight Savings time out the window this morning! My sole motivation for getting up and going to the gym was Linsey's giggle the other day, "Mommy, your tummy jiggles when you pat it!" Talk about perspective =)

May your tummy jiggle with laughter too, as you remember how blessed you are. Have a great week!!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Sippy Cups and Cloth Bums

Sunday, March 13

Daddy's Girls

Lately I've caught myself watching my husband interact with our girls. I know I should be spending time on my own activities, but I just can't seem to tear myself away. How blessed they are, I think to myself, to have a daddy who loves spending time with them. How blessed I am to have a husband who comes home every night to a slightly messy, often chaotic household with 4 women vying for his attention! If you grew up in a home like ours, (and especially if you didn't!) you understand the importance of a healthy father/daughter relationship, and you know they are hard to come by.

So here are a few principles I've committed to, as a wife/mother, to help their relationship grow:

1. Never speak negatively to or about my husband in front of our children. I've always tried not to speak negatively about Tom in public, and I am becoming more aware of how I talk to him in front of my girls as well. Kids hear hurtful comments and don't understand that we were just "letting off steam." My girls' opinion of their dad (and our marriage) is way more important to me than winning an argument.

2. Don't criticize the way Daddy spends time with the kids. My husband lets the girls watch lots of cartoons and stay up late, but he thinks room cleaning and the quiet game should be ranked up there with Disneyland for fun things to do. He skips pages on books and wrestles all three kids at once...and they LOVE every minute they spend with him! It's good for them to have their own traditions, even if you don't understand them. So let him jump in on bathing the kids or reading bedtime stories, but let him do it his way.

Nattie's new favorite - tummy time w/Dad

3. Clue him in. If your daughter's recital coming up, don't assume he remembered to get that night off. Remind him! If your son had a hard day at school and needs encouragement, your husband probably won't pick up the subtle clues like you did. Men just don't process life the same way women do, and many times we think they're insensitive when they really just don't know what they're missing. You're a team, so work together!

4. Build your husband up in your children's eyes. I take every opportunity I can to say, "Daddy wants to do ________ with you," or "Daddy bought ___________ for you," even if the activity or gift was my idea. Most kids don't have trouble being close to their mom, so giving your husband a boost isn't hurting you at all, and it will help him out immensely. Encourage older kids to show their dad a good school paper or drawing they're proud of when he comes home, so he can remind them of their importance to him. You won't regret it.

What are some ways you help your husband connect with your kids?

Sunday, March 6


Ever feel like this?

After having 3 little girls in 4 years, I relate too well to this overused, unappreciated little fairy. I have days when nothing seems to go right, when it seems like everyone I know has conspired to make me as frustrated as they can.

When I feel that way, I've found it's usually because I'm giving out more than I'm taking in. So I stop and evaluate what is making me "lose my head," so to speak. And it's probably more than just the spilled drink that set me off. Maybe I'm physically exhausted from being up at night with a sick kid. Or I haven't made time to relax because I'm so busy taking care of the needs of others. Often when I'm busy, my time with God doesn't scream quite as loudly as my children do, so He gets pushed to the bottom of my list. Then I feel guilt on top of the stress I already have.

Once I pinpoint what is making me stressed, I take steps to resolve it. Fast. Because no one wants to be around a grumpy mommy. If I'm worn out physically, I've learned that the most spiritual thing I can do is to take a nap. When I go for weeks reading only books by Dr. Seuss and hearing "The Map" sing its little heart out, I make plans to do something I love, without feeling guilty. I'll look at old photos, run a bubble bath and soak, or read a magazine.

And when the Holy Spirit convicts me that I've put other concerns before God, I readily confess it and ask Him to help me do better. Because He deserves it. And because the best days I have are when I seek Him first...I'm often amazed at how my to-do list falls into place after I've taken care of my #1 priority. And on those days when things don't go my way, I'm much better equipped to handle them after I've spent time with my Savior.

Matthew 6:33 
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; 
and all these things shall be added unto you."

What are some ways that you like to "de-stress?"

Wednesday, March 2

Art Debut

Our older girls, 3 and 6, were so excited to have their artwork featured in a local art show last night!  For being a small town, we have some amazing talent. So all day, the girls kept reminding me, "Don't forget about the art show, Mom!!" and, "What time is it? Is that close to 6?"

When we arrived, we were led to two rooms filled with different paintings and sculptures from local artists. The first thing the hostess told us was to look carefully around at all the artwork, because we all got to vote for our favorite artist. Linsey's eyes got huge. Then cookies were mentioned, and Hannah's eyes got huge. I took her to get one, and Linsey wandered away for a few minutes. She came back really excited and whispered in my ear, "Mom, let's go vote! I looked at all the pictures, and I'm my favorite artist!" And that's when I knew she was destined to be famous...don't all great talents think their work is the best? :)

Linsey had a giant card and a basket of fruit displayed

"Polka Dots" by Hannah :)
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