Monday, April 30, 2007

The Smells of Motherhood

Each Monday morning I collect Friday Folders from the little kids backpacks. This morning I unzipped Justin's backpack to reveal a smell that almost made me flip backwards and hit my head on the wall. I started to pull out his papers, only to find his treasured Easter egg. There was one egg he decorated that he just didn't want to part with. Sometime in the last couple of weeks his egg disappeared. Today I found it! It was in his backpack with a big crack down the middle, large enough to let that glorious smell out. I hope I can find the Febreeze.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Our First Home

On a recent trip to Rexburg we drove past our first apartment as a married couple. We lived there for two months until I graduated. We slept on an air mattress. The only other furniture in the apartment was a small kitchen table and two folding chairs. Todd's computer sat on top of a stack of boxes and wedding presents were lined up along the wall. We didn't need anything more because we had each other. When school was over we put all of our possessions in the smallest u-haul trailer available and attached it to the back of our Mazda 323 station wagon. Off we drove into the sunset . . . well . . . off to California. Happy days!

Friday, April 27, 2007

She Tells It Like It Is

Sweet Marie, she tells it like it is.

It takes some time for children to learn the skill of tact. Sometimes kids just say what is on their mind. Marie has always been the child to tell exactly what is on her mind.

Yesterday as we took Niko to visit his birth mother, Marie went right up to her and asked "Why do you and all of your things smell like smoke?"

Today one of Niko's service coordinators came to visit and check on Niko. Let me preface this with the fact that she is a very large women. As soon as the lady walked in the door Marie asked, "Why are you so big?" As the woman was leaving, Marie yells out the door, "How do you fit in a chair?"

I am so glad Marie is not my first child or I would probably be mortified. Today I tried to hold a straight face. As soon as Marie was not around, I laughed out load. I wouldn't change a thing about Marie's personality. She makes me smile and laugh.

I suppose I should go now and begin to teach Marie some lessons about tact.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Smell of Bacon

Certain Smells remind me of things. The smell of bacon reminds me of my grandma and grandpa's house.

I loved to go to Grandma and Grandpa Gardner's home. I always felt loved there. They were never judgemental and always laughed when I tried to be funny or silly. I remember feeling more at ease in their home than any other place.

I remember sitting on the patio swing with grandma while grandpa sat in his patio chair listening to music. I learned to put salt and pepper on my watermelon. Grandma was very thin and always well dressed. Grandpa was plump, always wore blue jean overalls, and smelled like old spice.

I miss them. Maybe that is why I love bacon so much.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My Chilren, Part 2


The baby part was easier with Thomas because I was more experienced after Kim. The toddler stage was a different story. With Kim I could leave her sitting on a blanket playing with her toys. If I left the room for a few moments and returned she would be sitting and smiling right where I left her. With Thomas, if I turned around for a moment he would be standing on the table, pulling everything out of the kitchen cupboard, or unrolling a whole roll of toilet paper. I never sat through one whole Sacrament meeting without having to take him out.

It's kind of interesting to think back on this now. I had almost forgotten what a handful he was when he was little because he is such an easy kid now.

Extracurricular: He plays the trumpet in band. In the spring he plays baseball. He has played for 5 years now. With friends he likes to ride bikes, build forts, go to the movies, and hang out. He loves to play the computer and his Nintendo DS.

He's got some inventing blood in him. He is really good at building, creating, and inventing.

His newest talent seems to be magic. He has been practicing quite a few tricks and is always trying to learn new ones. He is getting really good. He does a lot of card tricks including making one disappear into thin air and then reappear again. Fun.

Thomas' room is always messy too. I'm almost afraid to go inside.

Because Thomas is such a good kid, we always have a hard time telling him no.

Okay, It's True

Okay, it's true. I'm finally admitting it in public. I am a Sci-Fi fan. Late at night after the kids go to bed and I sit down to watch TV, my favorite shows to watch are Star Trek, The Next Generation and Strar Trek, Voyager. My favorite new shows to watch during the week are Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis.

How did this happen?! I am more of a comedy and "chick flick" watcher. Somehow this sci-fi creeped in. It must be Todd's fault. He has always been a fan. As he watched, I would see little bits and pieces. Then slowly . . . I am sucked in. I am a sci-fi fan.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Taxi Driver

I love to be the taxi driver. It has been a joke for many years that one of the jobs of a mom is to be a taxi driver. With as many kids as we have you can imagine how much I get to run around taking kids from here to there and home again. But it really is a great time to talk and catch up with my kids. Many times it is "one on one" quality time that is hard to find at home. Being a Taxi Driver is one of the joys in my life.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I am Thankful for Prayer

My favorite time of day to pray is in the morning after I have taken the two oldest kids to the bus stop but before all of the little kids wake up. I am wide awake and the house is silent.

I wake up in the morning with a hundred things going through my head. As I kneel upon my knees and share my thoughts with my Heavenly Father my head and heart become more peaceful. My anxiety is lessened. I am more ready to tackle the day.

I have often felt like I must be one of Heavenly Father's favorite children because I have been blessed so much in my life. I know I would not be where I am today without answers to my prayers and the guidance of the Holy Ghost. My prayers and pleadings have always been answered, many times not the way I had hoped. But I have always been led in the right direction.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I Went to Jail Today

Today my fourth grader, Erica, went on a field trip with her class to the Old Idaho State Penitentiary. As a young mom I went on many field trips with my kids classes. I haven't been on many these last few years. I knew I needed to go today with Erica. To this day I still get the creeps remembering my field trip to the Old Penitentiary when I was in fourth grade. I wanted to make sure Erica felt secure while she was there. There were many times she grabbed my arm or waist and held on tight. Some of the cells she wouldn't even go in and look. I was glad I was there.

I wonder if one of the reasons they take all the fourth grade classes there is to hinder them from leading a life of crime.

I know there probably has been many of you who have been there and it didn't seem to effect them at all. I think I get creeped out pretty easy.

Another thing that creeped me out in my early youth was the Oompa Loompa men from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Let Me Explain

Well . . . maybe I ought to clarify that last blog. Being a mom is a little bit of an emotional roller coaster. When my kids are having a hard time or a bad day my heart aches for them. On the other hand when things are going their way, you get to share in the joy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ode to Jeff

Well . . . maybe I will not write a lyrical poem.

But let me just say . . . As Kim's mother . . . Thank you for making my life much more pleasant today.

A Naked Boy

Sunday is a great day. This little two year old boy at our house loves to get all dressed up . . . white shirt, dress shoes, vest and/or jacket, and don't forget his tie. As soon as he sees someone else in their church clothes he can hardly wait to get his church clothes on.

Any other day of the week he just wants to wear his diaper. As soon as breakfast is over, off comes the pajamas. He doesn't want to put clothes on. Being that this is the seventh child in this family, I have learned to pick my battles. This one is just one that is not worth fighting.

Yesterday I managed to get him to put clothes on for a couple of hours. I had to go pick up kids from school and he wanted to go with me. I told him he could only come if he had clothes on. He was convinced. Other than that he spent the rest of the day in nothing but a diaper, and sometimes not even that . . .

Since we have started potty training he decides to randomly take off his diaper to have a sit. Then I happen to see him starring out the front window, sitting at the table, or walking down the hall in nothing but his birthday suit.

My Grandmother's Journal

My Grandmother kept a journal. She wrote almost daily. Most of her entries were quite short and some were only a couple of sentences long. What a treasure! Those little bits and pieces really gave me some insight into her life. I have never been very good at keeping a journal. Maybe this blog can be my little bits and pieces.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Laundry Oops

With ten people living in this house, the laundry never stops. Thank goodness grandpa does his own so I only have to do laundry for 9 people! I am grateful for large capacity washers. With so much that goes on in this house, it's a wonder that there were not more than 3 Laundry Oops this week.

Oops #1
Late one night I collected everyone's jeans. After reassuring Kim and Tom that they would be ready for morning, I started the load of laundry. I stayed up extra late so I could put the clothes in the dryer. I went to bed late after falling asleep in the chair. Next morning . . . as I leave my bedroom I look up to see the laundry room light on and one of my children standing in the door. FLASH . . . I remember now . . . I forgot to put the clothes in the dryer. Their pants were wet in the washer. Yes, they had other pants to wear, but not the ones they wanted. Oops.

Oops #2
Monday night I put a load in the washer. I had planned to move the load to the dryer in the morning. When Tuesday morning rolled around there was a lot on the calendar and I had a lot of errands to run. When Wednesday morning rolled around I went in the laundry room to do some laundry and there was that load of laundry still wet in the washer ( and it was starting to smell). I had to start the load over again in the washer with a little bit of bleach (a load of darks , of coarse) to get rid of the smell. Oops.

Oops #3
Tuesday when I was running all of those errands I bought new socks and underwear for some of the kids. I opened up the new packages and put the socks and underwear in the kids clean clothes baskets. I opened Jay's new package of underwear and was counting them as I put them in his basket. One pair slipped out of my hand and onto the floor, or so I thought. When I looked down to pick up the underwear, there it was, submerged at the bottom of Bear's (our dog) water dish. Oops.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Children, Part 1


I thought all kids would be as easy as Kim, therefore she is the reason we had more children. That idea didn't hold up very long. Kim is turning out to be a wonderful person in spite of her parents.

Sweet 16 (almost 17) and never been kissed. Well . . . there was this one time a guy kissed her on the check in the lunch room as a dare from friends. She definitely counts that as her first kiss from a boy . . . but she still anxiously awaits that first kiss on the lips.

School: Smart! Wants to go to BYU-I and be a sign language interpreter.

Job: Lifeguard. She saved several people last summer. I would definitely trust my life in her hands. She loves the job and the people she works with.

Extracurricular: A Capella Choir, Jazz Fusion, Colorguard, Student Council, Young Republicans, National Honor Society, Starlight Mountain Theatre, and her favorite extracurricular thing to do . . . She has a great bunch of friends that she loves to hang out and do stuff with.

She is boy crazy. She loves to hang out, flirt, and date them. But no matter how many boys she flirts with or how many seem to chase her there is this one boy that is always at the top of her list. Whenever she talks to him or she sees him her whole face lights up. Hummm . . . that could be a whole different blog on that subject. Let's not go there right now.

Kim always goes the extra mile. If it's a school project she gets it done early and adds extra "frills" to it. If it's a note to a friend she might add cute paper. She rarely complains when I ask her for help. She smiles . . . a lot. If she is not smiling there must be something on her mind. I've even seen her be nice to people who weren't very nice to her because they were friends of her friends.

Kim is not afraid to dance in public. She doesn't worry about getting embarrassed. She will volunteer when no one else will.

Kim has over 25 pairs of shoes and a huge stack of Archie Comics.

Her room is almost always messy. This has always been a mystery to me because she is so organized with everything else in her life.

Kim is a real treasure in our family.

Foster Care is NOT for the Faint of Heart

Visits have started with the birth mom. It feels as if this little boy with whom our whole family has become attached is slowly being pulled away. We have a great family. We are far from being perfect. But . . . each day we try and improve upon the day before. It is hard to think of the life he would have growing up in our family as compared to the life Health and Welfare is leading him back to. My heart aches.

The World of Blogging

Today I enter the world of blogging, thanks to my daughter Kim. She started writing a blog several weeks ago and it seems to be a great outlet for her. She tells me about some of the things she has "blogged."

I first became interested in doing my own about a year ago when my brother told me about a blog by a catholic mom with six children. I've read several of her posts and was very amused. I was interested in starting my own blog but unsure about how to go about it. Thanks Kim for getting me on my way (and Jeff for starting Kim).