Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Keep on keeping on

Elder David A. Bednar said: “Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results” (“More Diligent and Concerned at Home,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 19–20).

Monday, September 17, 2018

A happy list

1.  Carter took a few steps today!  He's able to crawl so fast that he probably figures learning to walk would be a waste of time. :)

2.  Jared took Ollie to Sea World today.  I love the little daddy-son dates they go on.

3.  It's been a summer of "journey to better health" for me.  I've finally found contacts that work, I slowly eased off social media and don't use it anymore and love that I'm finally reading books again, I also slowly eased off sugar and my body is so much happier (less sugar comas and I haven't had a UTI in a long time.  Now I make homemade desserts that don't use any sugar or flour - these are my favorite), I cook paleo-ish recipes these days, and I've joined a pilates online membership that I enjoy using each day.

4.  We're going to SLC for Christmas!  It's been five years since we were last there for Christmas.

5.  Ollie is potty-trained!!  After a two month break back in diapers, we pulled out a ladder potty we ordered and something just clicked.  He got it.  I know our prayers were answered that day.  I'm so proud of him!

6.  Apple cider-scented handsoap makes me happy.  It helps me pretend Orlando will one day experience a real fall. ;)

7.  I love Sunday afternoons when Jared comes home and reports so many positive things he sees happening in the ward.  God truly does work miracles and it's so amazing to be able to witness some of them.  Since so many of the things he deals with are confiential, I relish these conversations.

8.  I've started using YNAB and I absolutely love it!

9.  I am excited for General Conference.  I love hearing God's word through his prophets and I love the continuing revelation that has been happening on rapid-fire recently!  I am grateful for Jared's example too, like when he said something as simple as, "If God revealed we're not to drink milk anymore, I wouldn't drink milk."  The gospel is easy if we just follow God's word and trust in his (sometimes unknown) reasonings.

10.  I love these boys!!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Freeze time

I wish I could freeze time. I love the stage our boys are at. Carter so full of energy-doing crawling laps on the rug-one side, to the other side, one side, to the other side- doing “the worm” with his head on the ground and arms by his side as he flops and flails. Sometimes because he’s happy and goofy, sometimes because he’s mad. Pushing the walker. Jabberring as if he knows what he’s saying. Ollie giggling so hard. Bugging Carter (not cute). Carter screaming (also not cute). Ollie asking for “milk and ice” multiple times a day. Me locking the bathroom door and Ollie’s door from the inside so they can’t go in there because Carter loves the toilet seat and Ollie loves to “build a tent” around/on Carter with his pillow, rocking chair cushion, bean bag... The clanking of Ollie building a rocket with his legos. Ollie telling Alexa to play the “baby shark doo doo song” or “dinosaurs marching” and then instructing me to dance. Or to put Carter down. Telling me to come in his room. Him shutting off the light and closing the blinds and feeling so much autonomy with his room. The boys climbing all over me as I lay on the ground. 
I love that we get to be with each other 24/7. Be here when daddy gets home. See the excitement on the boys’ faces as he comes through the laundry room door. That we get to be with daddy. Have food ready. Love him. And feel loved. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Headed for a grocery shop

Today I found myself grumbling as I headed out the door to do my every-two-week big grocery shop.  But then...Ashley's post came to mind and I decided to change my attitude and remember my service to my family is service to my Savior.  And also...that I am so lucky to have a family to serve.

Then two hours later, I was finally home, and in full swing putting away groceries and feeding lunch to my little boys.  It seemed to drag on forever...another request for a drink, food on the ground, a quick break to change two poopy bums, a request to play..."I am tired!" I thought.

I get the baby down for a nap.  I put a show on for Ollie.  I take some time to rest for a second, and then after finishing my daily Pilates at an attempt to get my body back, I remembered the stressful time it was on Sunday entertaining both boys alone in our pew.  I remembered a few things I'd found on Amazon that will hopefully be exciting for a while, then also remembered something I'd pinned and am hopeful once I pry out some of my non-crafty efforts, that that too will be helpful during church.  While on that webiste...I stumbled across this post and this quote.

One hundred years ago F.W. Boreham made this observation,  “A century ago [in 1809] men were following, with bated breath, the march of Napoleon, and waiting with feverish impatience for the latest news of the wars. And all the while, in their own homes, babies were being born. But who could think about babies? Everybody was thinking about battles. . . .

In one year between Trafalgar and Waterloo, there stole into the world a host of heroes! Gladstone was born at Liverpool; Alfred Tennyson was born at the Somersby rectory . . . Oliver Wendell Holmes made his first appearance at Massachusetts . . . and Abraham Lincoln drew his first breath at Old Kentucky. Music was enriched by the advent of Frederic Chopin at Warsaw, and of Felix Mendelssohn at Hamburg. 

But nobody thought of babies. Everybody was thinking of battles. Yet which of the battles of 1809 mattered more than the babies of 1809? We fancy that God can only manage His world by big battalions when all the while He is doing it by beautiful babies. When a wrong wants righting, or a work wants doing, or a truth wants preaching, or a continent wants opening, God sends a baby into the world to do it.” (F. W. Boreham, Mountains in the Mist: Some Australian Reveries [1919], 166-67, 170)

Being a woman is

Monday, July 2, 2018

Family Newsletter June 2018

Hi family!

We were able to visit Utah last month. It was so fun to see our families and many of you. Jared came for the first week then flew back for work and the boys and I stayed for another week. One of my sisters flew back with me and we loved having her with us for four days. Two days after she left the boys and I accompanied Jared to a work conference in Naples, Florida. We enjoyed the pool and not cooking dinner and watching Carter officially get the hang of real crawling instead of the army crawl. The boys are so fun and I love watching their interaction as Carter gets older. As he grows and gets more mobile he gets into Ollie’s business more and thus I feel like I break up a lot of bullying and squabbles, but all the giggles and brotherly moments make up for it. Jared is doing well and this summer has been better at work than last due to good staffing. The ward is doing well and we have witnessed a lot of miracles. We wish we could join you all at the ranch next week. We love you!

Jared, Carly, Oliver, and Carter

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Educating myself so I can empower my boys

I cannot get enough of this website.  It severely hurts my heart thinking my little boys will one day be exposed to pornography (I know it's impossible to avoid completely), but hope fills my heart when I think of all the tools we will have equipped them with when that darn time comes.  They will be strong, confident, and sure.  They will look away, close, and come to us.  I will pray every day for them to put what we've taught them into practice.  (Well, I'd love for there to be no practice...but)  And I'm learning that what it really comes down to is "layering."  This quote sums it up:

We hear a lot of sad stories of people that were completely blindsided. We have learned that people are not talking about it enough. They are still unaware of what’s taking place around them. People want a step by step plan for what to say. They love the CAN DO Plan from Protect Young Minds because it gives them a place to start. But it feels like some people want a Band-Aid – they want the answer that’s going to fix this problem. But our whole presentation is about layering: layer your protections, layer your filters, layer those conversations. You just keep building those layers to protect children. That might be a little intimidating for people, but that’s why we’re talking to them about it.”

That quote is from this article that I loved:

How a Fearless Mother-Daughter Duo Teach Parents to Protect Children from Porn

And this is very empowering too:

Safe Playdates:  3 Strategies for Setting Media Ground Rules

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Possibilities of what could happen when a mom turns her back for .08 seconds too long...

1)  Your 8 month old will put a leaf in his mouth, start choking, sort of briefly stop breathing, choke some more, you will freak out, do the baby heimlich (full on pounding his back while he's flipped upside down), freak out some more, swipe your finger back in his throat further than you thought it could go until you finally get the blasted thing out.

2)  Your 3 year old will get suspiciously quiet and upon investigation he will have the bottle of baby Tylenol that you meant to put away but hadn't yet in his hands with the evidence on his face, with a third of the bottle gone.

3)  Your 3 year old will get into the knives that you thought were out of his reach.  They now sit more than three feet above where he could ever climb...

4)  Your 3 year old will pick up your 8 month old and place him on the couch.

5)  Your 3 year old will put a grape in your 8 month old's mouth.

6)  Your 3 year old will put playdough on your 8 month old's high chair, who then eats it, and when you discover this you see it's all over the roof of his mouth and playdough + saliva = trickiness.

7)  Your 3 year old will kick a ball and it will hit your 8 month old (who is five inches away) directly in the face.

Monday, April 30, 2018

April 2018

We started out the month with the best and most important day of the year!  Easter Sunday.
I am so very grateful to my Savior for volunteering Himself and allowing this mortal life to happen, for being the ultimate sacrifice which will allow me one day (after a lot of hard work and sacrifice in this life!) to take these eternal loves of mine with me into eternity, and that His grace is unending and always propelling me forward when things are hard.  I love Him!

And them!  So so much.

We celebrated with our Florida family - the Barwick and Bench family.
Only the kids on the far left and far right existed when we all moved here five years ago.
Tayli, Ayden, Ollie, Seth, Matthew, James

These two ladies will be two of my best friends forever and have helped me in more ways than I will ever be able to describe.  I love them so much!
Lindsey, Carly, Emma

Jared, Carter, Quinn, Ronnie

We played the "hot, cold" game to find Ollie's Easter basket!

Loved seeing my cute sibs and their Easter fun back home.

We (I) made Resurrection Rolls inbetween General Conference sessions and they were delicious!
I thought for sure Ollie would be into making them but...nope.

This little sneaker is so mobile now and will army crawl into naughty places so quickly!
Like the sliding door floor pane thing that has dirt and bugs and other things that a baby shouldn't eat...

That little tongue and that cute belly!

Ollie really wanted to go to the library and how could I deny that cute face?

Mostly he just wanted to play on the big kid computers :)

Another normal day here:


Yes, that would be nice!

A Sunday walk and Ollie was so excited that someone's sprinklers came on.  Cutie!

A yummy peach pie!!  It was sooo yummy.  And storebought crust 🙌🏻

Daddy took Ollie to Sea World.  
I went there all the time as a child so it's so fun to see him go there!

Ollie, you melt my heart.

I am already witnessing sibling love and I just can't get enough of it!
(Although the many moments where Ollie takes Carter's toys or maneuvers him from one place to the next by grabbing by his feet and dragging him backwards while Carter screams often make me crazy, BUT, these moments here make it all worth it :))

One day we were outside and the sweetest garbage truck man waved, stopped his truck, came out, and invited Ollie to take a look inside his truck!
The man then turned to me and said, "You're welcome, mom.  Now he'll never bug you about the garbage truck again." 😂

I really really loved this article.  What an amazing woman!

Loved throwing a baby shower for our sweet friend Ashley.
She will be such a great mom!
Aren't those flowers Emma made unreal??

My little bro got his EAGLE SCOUT!
So proud of you, Jacey!

Love that last sentence. ^

When you ask yourself, "HOW did this happen?" ^

Love this sight. ^

Ollie is really into superheroes these days.
Each morning he asks me to tie on his superhero cape (his blanket) and to "Pull it down so I can zoom, mom." (Pull the blanket down so it's tight around his shoulders and goes down as far as it will go so he can have more material to fly in the wind 😊)

I love how he slaps the highchair repeatedly as he waits for his food.

Love this duo so much!!
Power couple.

We thought we'd made Ollie's dream come true and let Amazon Prime make us a superhero family.
Ollie loved the idea for a few hours then asked me to tie his blanket back on and hasn't touched the new masks or capes since. 😂

A pouting time post-church.
He was sad he couldn't get chocolate from dad's office since someone was in there with him.

Inviting people over for Sunday dinners are so fun.  I love getting to know people better and connect with people and form deeper friendships.
But I also agree with my mom that hosting dinners/parties are a three day event.  The day before to plan and prepare, the actual day to serve and host, and the next day to clean up. 😂

Can't get enough of his pre-bedtime happiness!

He is so in need of a haircut and I just love his Chinese bangs right now 😂

A whole new experience with two kids instead of one.  But still worth it and so fun :)

Pure joy!!!

Pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw on top may be my next favorite meal second to pizza.  
But to make it even better??  
Make this glaze and put it on top of the pork before you put the coleslaw on:

Ollie was so excited to go back to "the jumpoline place." 

Jared's Uncle Dave, Aunt Tracy, and cousin Kyle flew from Dallas to Orlando one morning, went on an airboat ride with Jared at Wild Florida, then flew home that night.
How fun is that??  

This beauty of a gal graduated from BYU.
I am so proud of her!!
College is HARD and she did it.  She found her passion in sociology and has such a caring and inclusive heart.
Also, boys, look out.


His tongue and his cute panting will always be a favorite memory of mine.