my thoughts on motherhood, kids, books and stuff

Ready For Round Two

We have been home for four days and I am ready to head back for another week of this:

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and this:

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and this: (this is only one of three awesome kites we have!)

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And I am sure there will be more messages for Brett:

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And more lantern lit goodnight self portrait pictures with the girls as we settle into our 8×8 vinyl lair.

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Next time I will take the Nikon camera, but I was rather pleased with the quality of photos I was able to get on my iphone! (And this is with no editing. I am feeling too lazy to Photoshop tonight.)

Maybe a few more days of peaceful ocean sounds and late night games of Farkle with mom, dad, and the kids will help return my desire to blog. I have hardly blogged, journaled, or so much as written a shopping list for weeks now and I need some inspiration!

Take A Look At Us Now

I found a folder full of letters that Brett and I wrote each other while we were dating, when we were engaged, and when we were newlyweds separated by business trips. Oh, the fun we used to have! Our gushy words would probably make anyone else nauseous, but it made me have butterflies all over again.

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We’ve gone from living in a beautiful and exciting city we love…to living in suburbia, where we said we wouldn’t be caught dead.

Late night walks in the rain to get hot chocolate… to late night drives to the store for diapers and children’s Tylenol.

Late night talks in the dark while we lay cuddling in bed…to exhausting late nights taking turns putting kids back to bed.

Dinner at a fancy restaurant, on a Tuesday night, for no reason at all…to eating McDonald’s drive-through in the parking lot because it is too much hassle to haul the family inside.

Fun vacations for two to New York, Las Vegas, and Orlando…to 16 hour road trips in a van with bored and tired children.

Seeing movies in a THEATRE (remember those?) on a regular basis…to having four kids sprawled across us on the couches at home while we watch Smurfs and Scooby-Doo.

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Cedar plank salmon, crab legs, and New York cheesecake…to macaroni and cheese with hotdogs, and popsicles.

Quiet…to never quiet.

Two…to six.

As much fun as we had…I wouldn’t go back for a second. This is what is all about. Thank you for companionship, love, laughter, fun, growth, and our babies. 

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Happy Father’s Day!

To My Dad

You taught me about the world.

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You taught me how to trust.

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You taught me the Gospel.

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You taught me that my dad could also be my friend.

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You taught me how to comfort…

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and cherish my babies.

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I love you Dad! Thank you for being my teacher, father, and friend.

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Toilet Paper Tube Dolls

A few weeks ago, after listening to what felt like hours of complaints of boredom, we pulled out the craft bin and the kids and I came up with these cute toilet paper tube dolls.

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We used toilet paper tubes, sharpies, scissors, a hole puncher, yarn, hot glue gun, fabric scraps and ribbon.

Lincoln made an alien by adding many plastic googly eyes, pipe cleaner arms and legs, and pom poms. Unfortunately, his little alien friend did not survive the rough play of a six year old boy long enough for me to get a picture of it.

Next time we will try making cars out of the tubes.

The Messenger

It was a combination of little and big things that culminated to the end of a day that found me crying on the floor of my locked bathroom.

Little things like hair that wouldn’t cooperate and ended up in a messy ponytail all day, kids bickering, annoying allergies, guilt from $30 spent at a drive through because I felt too worn out to pull together a good dinner.

Bigger things, like a headache from a nap I never should have taken, another rainy and dreary May day, the never ending messes that need cleaned up, my daughter being ten minutes late to kindergarten roundup because I didn’t get organized in time.

The sassy words that my daughter said to me in front of one of the kid’s teachers and a friend were the climax of my bad day. They were words that stung and embarrassed me, and made me feel guilty and made me doubt my parenting. All the way to the car I prepared my lecture about respect and honoring our parents, but just as I started delivering it I burst into tears. This caused her to burst into tears for making me cry, which caused me to feel guilty and cry harder.

Four hours, and many little things later I locked myself in the bathroom and cried. And cried. And finally prayed for some help to get control of myself.

I finally pulled myself together, somewhat, and walked out into my bedroom and to the pile of clean laundry on my bed that needed folded and put away. (Which, thanks to a sweet husband, meant we HAD clean clothes to wear tomorrow.)

I sat on the bed and started to fold.

“Can I help you?” A sweet little voice said.

I turned to see my six year old son Lincoln walking through my bedroom door. His hair was a little disheveled and his eyes looked tired.

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“Sure!” I squeaked, as the tears started again and he hopped up on the other side of the bed and started folding.

We folded in silence for a few minutes while I tried to discreetly wipe away those darn tears that wouldn’t stop.

“When I am done folding with you I will help you put it all away. I could tell you were sad when you tucked me in and I wanted to help you.”

(more silent tears)

After we finished putting away the laundry I told him he could sleep in my bed until Brett and I went to bed. I curled up with him to cuddle for a bit before heading downstairs.

We laid under the covers and snuggled and chatted.

Then Lincoln asked, “Are you wearing slippers?”

“Just slipper socks, why?”

“I just wondered what you were wearing on your feet because I thought I would rub them and I want to make sure you can feel it.”

He then hopped down to my feet and pulled off my socks and rubbed my feet for fifteen minutes while we giggled and chatted.

When I finally left him so he could sleep my heart felt much lighter than it had all day.

Lincoln almost always falls asleep within a couple of minutes of laying down. Heavenly Father gave me a tender mercy by helping him stay awake for a good twenty minutes while I had my pity party in the locked bathroom.

I am always grateful for these reminders to count my blessings, and I am amazed how many times they are delivered by children, who I have decided are some of God’s best messengers.

This Could Be A Home Video From Our House

It isn’t very funny when my kids do this to me, so why do I laugh so hard every time I watch this?

 

Some Birthday Funnies

–Earlier today after running errands Lincoln asked if we could go to the Dollar Store. I told him no, we had to go home and have some quiet time. I hear this terrible “life is so unfair!” groan from the backseat.

“But Moooooooom, it is your BIRTHDAY. We are supposed to do fun stuff when it is your birthday!”

Exactly. Which is why I did not take four kids to the dollar store and we went home and had quiet time.

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–Luca gave me a darling handmade card that she made for me last night. Inside it said:

“At least you’re not turning 100 because you would be very old! Since your not turning 100 you might as well let the kids pick where to eat and let us not go to school.

p.s. It took me a while to make this card so you better like it!” (I can so hear her tone of voice as she wrote that.)

–While waiting in the car in front of the pizza parlor I hear a pounding on my window and I look out to see Luca’s red angry face.

“Dad didn’t get the breadsticks I like. This is supposed to a birthday dinner and I don’t even like the parmesan kind!”

I had to stop and process that for a minute. I’m pretty sure we were there to pick up my birthday dinner. The breadsticks were my request!

–As I was driving Luca to piano lessons today she asked me what I wanted for my birthday. In typical mom fashion I told that when we got home I wanted the kids to clean the house for me without fighting. These were their responses:

Luca: Oh. I thought you would want a Webkinz.

Lincoln: You can’t have whatever you want just because it is your birthday, ya know.

Anna: (with much enthusiasm) Okay! When we get home I am going to go right in and clean the house!

I think Anna might get ice cream for breakfast after the other kids go to school in the morning.

–For my birthday Kai wrestled with me on the living room floor. I had to laugh as he growled and charged my head as I lay helpless on the floor. I didn’t laugh, however, as he grabbed hair from each side of my head and pulled with all of his might. I could hear popping as the hair detached from my scalp. I could feel the stinging and the burn as he filled his chubby little hands with L’Oreal Ash Blonde colored curls.

The good news. A lot of what he grabbed was pinned back in a barrette, so what didn’t come out of my head broke off at the barrette instead.

Kai’s gift to me: A new “signature Kai” layered hairdo.

(photo courtesy of Jessica N. Diamond)

Who Needs A Doctor? My Kids Will Do.

A few weeks ago Luca received the news that a teacher at school that she adores was diagnosed with breast cancer. The school has been keeping the students and parents updated on her recovery progress and they have started selling bracelets and t-shirts to raise money for her.

This has brought up many questions at our house about cancer. I sat down with the kids and explained as best I could what cancer is and some of the different types of cancer people can get. I have an aunt that passed away from cancer when I was a child and they have had a lot of questions about her and her family.

Today we were at Costco eating dinner and Luca was trying to tell me something.

“What?” I asked.

“I like Taylor’s nseed umph graunge.”

“You like Taylor’s inside garage?”

“NOOOO, I like Taylor’s grnph grouse.”

“You like Taylor’s green grass?”

“NO Mom!! I like this cheese pizza!” (Not even close to what I thought she was trying to say.)

“Oh.”

“Mom, I think you need one of those things in your ear.”

Then a worried look passed over her face.

“Or maybe you have ear cancer!”

I assured her that I do not have ear cancer, I just wasn’t hearing her clearly over the noise around us.

Later on in the store I had to go back yet again to get something I had forgotten.

Lincoln looked at me strangely and said, “Mom, do you have brain cancer or something?”

I think in our support and talks about Luca’s teacher and cancer my kids have become a bit obsessed with the topic! I think another, more light-hearted, talk is in order.

Full of Love and Hope on this Easter Sunday

This is beautiful. I have watched it over and over these past two days. Enjoy.

Incoming

“Yes!” Luca yelled. “We have the park all to ourselves!”

“Whoo hoo!”

“Yaaaaaaa!!”

KidsWallAs Luca, Lincoln, and Anna scrambled up the side of the climbing wall I turned to watch two large buses with “Parks and Recreation” pull into the parking lot.

As the buses released their loads of screaming running children I had to laugh as I watched the expression on Luca’s face change as she turned around to check out the invasion.

It didn’t ruin our time at the park to have 30+ visitors share the space with us. It just meant we had to stay an hour longer than the day camp kids so that we could have our peaceful day that we had planned.