Thursday, October 29, 2015

Family Photos October 2015

Our friend Bailey Taylor took some family photos for us. The last time we actually formally took a family photo was when Jane was six months old--other than when we took a few when Maurie was born. It was overdue. I am thankful for her willingness to take them. I was telling Cody that I can't win with the family pictures though. Last time I had just had a baby and in these photos I am twenty weeks pregnant. O well! I have begun to embrace the extra padding that I carry with me. It is for the little ones and there will be a time that I won't have the excuse. I think I notice my weight fluctuation more too because Cody never, ever changes weight. He has looked the same since we got married seven years ago. But I digress! More than me having body image issues, I love, love, love to see my family. It is so nice to have a record of their smiles and their age. Here are some of the photos.

J-4, M-1, C-31, L-29

Fall Kickoff 2015

I am a little late in posting, but we had a successful Fall Kickoff this year. We were apprehensive to host a party because it has felt like we just couldn't finish the painting and other details of the house. Thankfully, the party was exactly what we needed to get our rear ends in gear. We finished the painting probably one hour before the party began. We were so grateful to be finished. We had a potluck and the soups that people brought were awesome. I made a lot of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and made a pumpkin dip for gingerbread cookies. We had hot chocolate and hot apple cider. Many people brought yummy breads to share as well. Overall, the food was delicious. We played a few games and really enjoyed everyone's company. The kids played "What Time is It, Mr. Fox?" and they also played a candy corn game. One game adults and kids played involved popping balloons that were attached to our ankles. The last man standing with an inflated balloon was the winner. Our pregnant friend Rachael was the winner. We were all very impressed with her endurance! I loved watching the kids that had got their balloon popped already, gang up on an adult. It made me laugh. I still get a thrill out of being chased, even as an adult. I got jumped by two people and ended up a loser. I am sad I didn't get more pictures of the game. I think my friend got pictures, and I need to see if she will share them with me. It was a true fall, chilly day, but everyone spent plenty of time outside. The kids played in the treehouse and on the jungle gym. It was not until the very end of the night that we turned on Big Hero 6 for the kids to watch in the basement. Many spent a little time inside and outside. I am so grateful for the great friends we have. Until next year!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Gender Reveal

Thank you so much to our friends that made this fun and special for us!


Monday, October 5, 2015

Ready to Make Some Changes

This weekend the leaders of my international church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) spoke to us. Every time I listen I walk away with concepts to think about and plenty to do.

Here are a few things I learned:

  • The Spirit will tell me things that no one else will. Over my lifetime, I have had many times that the Holy Ghost would teach me things that I needed to change and do. I am grateful when I listen and make changes because then I can keep listening and improving myself. I feel so blessed to receive answers to my prayers and to be told what no one else will or can tell me. 
  • I need to use God as my partner in parenting. God loves my children and will help me to know how to teach and love them. Too many times I turn to frustration and anger instead of peace, patience and prayer. 
  • I also felt very valued as a woman and mother as I listened to several talks that honored the feelings of my heart. My love for my children runs too deep for human words to describe and Jeffrey R. Holland illustrated so beautifully the Christ-like love and devotion of a mother. I also was reminded that some of the gifts and talents that I have are valued by God even if they may not attract the attention of the world. My gifts and talents will bless my family and others if I will allow God to lead me. 
  • I need to "ponderize" (ponder and memorize) the scriptures, save money weekly and, overall, show more discipline in my life. 
  • I need to have more faith and trust and avoid doubt and skepticism. With God's help, I have overcome the doubts that once plagued me. 
  • Life is meant to be full of joy and brightness. I want to complain less and be more filled with gratitude. There is so many things to be grateful for. 

I hope that if you have not been able to listen to the talks given you will listen when you can and do what you can to become better. 

Lucy Bowman

A Word on Low-key Birthdays

Slowly working on her cupcake

Fun at the park

Enjoying the park with sister
Since Jane's birthday party, I have discovered the beauty of small family birthdays. Growing up I had a birthday party every year. I don't know how my mom did it.

Maurie turned one on September 10 and I was determined to keep it simple. I got online and was tempted to start planning a party that would take way too much time and effort. The mothers that plan elaborate parties for their one year olds either only have one child, find personal fulfillment in it or are gluttons for punishment.

I talked to my sister who went to a birthday party for a very young child and there were so many gifts that he or she said, "Am I done yet?" --referring to opening gifts. The child was literally throwing the gifts to the side as he opened them. As my sister told me this, I realized how excessive our lives can get. Gifts are certainly a sign of love and care, but when the child doesn't even care about the gifts, you know something is being overdone.

So...Cody and I bought Maurie new socks and a stuffed unicorn that she was partial to at the store. I wrapped them in tissue paper, made some cupcakes and we sang Happy Birthday to her. We also told Maurie the things we loved about her. She was happy as a lark and was thrilled with both the socks and the unicorn. She gave her gifts a hug and patted them, definitely a sign of approval. She eventually devoured the cupcake and we all had a stress-free evening that also included going to the park as a family. I felt like someone had just lifted a burden off my shoulders. My daughter felt loved; I had the time to show that love, and we all enjoyed each other. Wow, why had I made my life so hard with Jane's birthdays?

Now, don't get me wrong. I love a good, organized beautiful birthday, but for me and my house, we will be keeping it simple most years. I think there are a few birthdays that I will put in extra effort for, but family birthdays are lovely in their own right. I hope Jane is not too disappointed when she realizes that she may be just getting a new sibling for her birthday, a treat and a gift. She talks about cakes, balloons, surprises--a party that looks like something out of a Fancy Nancy book is more of what she envisions, but as long as she feels special and loved, I think she will forgive me.
© Lucy Jo. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.