Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Learning from a Social Butterfly and a Giveaway!

This is what the good life looks like for Jane. Cody, Jane and Maurie did some backyard camping last night. 

I took myself out to dinner this last week. Being alone doesn't bother me, but Jane is teaching me that it is the friend sitting across from you that can make life better.  
Jane, in the last few days, has been teaching me about what happiness looks like. She has always been, and, I hope, always will be a happy, energetic person.

On Friday, there was a family picnic at her school. Cody took the day off to work on some projects at the house, so he was able to come with me and the girls to join Jane for the picnic. We came to be with her, but I barely saw her. She was running from friend to friend meeting their families and occasionally coming back to introduce her friends to her sisters and parents. She literally was running around everywhere and we would have to specifically ask her to stay on the blanket for one minute, but as soon as I started to talk to our friends, she was off again.

On Saturday, she played with friends and her sisters all morning and then went to a birthday party in the afternoon.

On Sunday, she went to church and then played with new friends at a birthday party we attended for a church friend.

On Monday, she played all morning at the Memorial Day breakfast (Grateful for men and women who sacrificed all for the freedom I enjoy.), then played all evening at a BBQ with friends and then backyard camped with Cody and Maurie.

Sometimes I wonder if Jane's childhood is okay, but then I think about it and there is little that can ruin her happiness because she draws her strength from her friends and family. She is a social chameleon and considers everyone to be her friend. As long as there is someone to meet and play with, she is good to go.

I have to admit that before nearly every event we attended this weekend I said, "Cody, I'm not sure if I want to go." As you can see, Jane and I have different gifts, but I can certainly learn from her warm friendliness. I have also found that even though I am apprehensive to go to social events, I am nearly always glad that I went. Jane knows that true happiness is in the connections, the relationships that she makes with those around her. I am grateful for her example.

What have you learned from a child? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

GIVEAWAY 

Just a reminder that every Tuesday I will be sharing what I learned from a child in my life. To encourage participation in learning from children, I am giving away the book Parenting with Love and Logic. It is one of my favorite parenting books. To enter the giveaway, please comment below with something you have learned from a child in your life and subscribe to my email list. You can also comment on my Instagram account to enter, request to follow me if we are not already friends on Instagram. I will choose a winner (randomly) on June 3, 2017. 



Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Female Brain Book Review


I have just finished reading The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine, M.D. It was super interesting and enlightening. It is always nice to realize things about yourself that you didn't know. I loved to read about the many hormonal stages that women go through. I realized that I am not crazy, I am just a normal woman. =)

I am grateful for the research that proves that women's brains are no less capable than a mans just because it is smaller. Women's brains are simply more compact for a smaller skull. There are parts of our brains that are far more developed than a man's brain and these larger areas serve a special purposes in a woman's life.

I was encouraged and my intuition was validated as I read about how a woman changes through the menstrual cycle. I believe I may have some serious pre-menstrual syndrome. I have grown accustomed to the roller coaster of emotions, but it is not pleasant for me or my family more often
than I would like.

The following is a favorite quote from the book.

"So why is a girl born with such a highly tuned machine for reading faces, hearing emotional tones in voices and responding to unspoken cues in others? Think about it. A machine like that is built for connection. That's the main job of a girl brain, and that's what it drives a female to do from brith" (21).



I loved this quote and the idea that my baby girl's brain from birth to two years old is saturated in estrogen and is already practicing to connect with all the important people in her life. Women are driven to create relationships from the very start!

I was a bit scared as I read about the teen years in girls. With three daughters, I am anticipating some rocky times in the future. I feel like I am already seeing some teenage angst in my six year old daughter (slamming doors, lots of crying and talking about a boyfriend at school), so I am a bit frightened at what sixteen will look like. With two girls 18 months apart, I also wonder what that will look like as they enter puberty nearly at the same time.

The biological changes of a mother is super fascinating. I am a mama bear and I am so grateful for the bond that is created between a mother and her children. I honestly think I am more pleasant when I am pregnant and breastfeeding than I am otherwise because my brain has been hijacked to only think about taking care of my new baby. When I am not in baby-mode, my mind seems to become more anxious and preoccupied with other things. After having two babies so close together, I can feel myself coming out of baby-mode and eagerly anticipating more freedom and independence.

The book discusses all the research surrounding a woman's brain and is accompanied with real-world examples from her own life and the lives of her patients over the years. I enjoyed the book and I am wiser for learning more about my feminine nature.

Enjoy!

What good books are you reading?




Thursday, May 25, 2017

Basement Update

This is the basement right before we moved everything and tore the carpet out.

This the the basement now, ready for beautiful flooring and fresh coats of paint on the wall!
Cody finally had a day to work on the basement. Like most DIY projects, the preparation takes a lot of time. I was not a lot of help since I was sick, but I was able to be with the girls so he could have some uninterrupted time to work.

First, he grinded all the nails from the past carpet installation level with the concrete. That was a smelly and messy job and it took awhile to get the burnt metal smell and metal particles out of the room.

Second, he vacuumed and cleaned the floor of any debris. This didn't take long, but then we needed to make a decision about the cracks in the concrete. At this point Cody went to get sealant for the cracks so that there won't be any moisture under the vinyl flooring that we bought. We used Quikrete Polyurethane sealant self-leveling. The sealant has dried and looks fine. We are glad we took the time to do that.


This is the flooring we ended up getting at The Home Depot.
http://www.awltovhc.com/image-8309037-10368321?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fcatalog%2FproductImages%2F1000%2F41%2F41a15c4b-b669-426d-b3af-ab44c49929ae_1000.jpg


It is lighter than I originally wanted, but since I have seen it on the floor in the basement, I am very pleased with how it looks. Since there is not a lot of natural light in the basement, this flooring will help brighten the space, along with the white paint. Once we are done installing the floors, I will post a pictures for you to see. 

Once the flooring is installed, I will paint the walls. The next step will be to plan the toy storage and start working on the wall art that I want. My goal is to have a space where the kids have a play area and I have a place for me to feel at home while I am down in the basement playing with little ones, folding laundry or visiting with friends. I am very excited about the space and it has been hard to be patient about the slow process, but it will be worth it in the end. 

The next phase of the project is actually laying down the flooring, painting the walls and then putting new baseboards in. 


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Behold Your Little Ones

I don't want to forget this age and how cute she is when she cuddles with her blanket and me, and sucks her thumb.

Learning from the Little Ones

Today Maurie was wearing a purple dress with pretty flowers on the front. At first I was a little annoyed that she wanted to wear it for the second day in a row, and then I stopped and admired how easy it is for children to decided what they like, and without any shame, wear repeatedly what they love with joy. Maurie is not thinking about whether or not anyone is going to like what she wears; she simply wears it because she likes it.

Brooklyn has a sense of adventure right now that helps me to see the world differently. She is about 14 months old and has been walking since she was 9 months, so she is very able to explore now. A few days ago she was playing in the dirt in our garden. She squeezed the mud in her hands, threw it, put it in her mouth and immersed herself in the experience of dirt. Occasionally she would walk to a new area, but she was completely content. She is so present when she does anything and it is the first time nearly every time she experiences something lately. I want to wake up ready to be present more often. I want to squeeze, taste and immerse myself in the daily events of my life so that I can really enjoy it. Brooklyn is so uninterested in TV, phones and computers. She likes to mess with them just to get a response from us, but she is unscathed by the screens that seem to consume our attention far too often.

What the Scriptures Teach Us about Children

I learn something from my children everyday and I am determined to pay attention and not miss the lessons they can teach.

In Matthew 18, verses 1-6 we learn a lot about what God thinks about little children.

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
So, I read this and it is confirmed again that children can teach us so much. I have a special duty to care for and "receive" the children God has sent to me. God knows the trust, the love, the forgiveness, the humility, the strength and the obedience that children naturally demonstrate and if I will open my eyes and "behold" my kids, I will become a little more like God each day.

There is a part in the Book of Mormon when Jesus Christ comes to visit the people living on the American continent, after his resurrection. He has been spending a lot of time teaching, healing and blessing the people there. At one point, he asks for all the children to come to him and he blesses them one by one. After he is done, he weeps and speaks to all there, "Behold your little ones." What they saw afterwards is the heavens open and angels surrounding them, encircled with fire and the angels ministered to the children.

This is a powerful image. This event convinces me that God's love for little children is without comparison, and that we should literally and figuratively behold our little ones. I am taking this to heart and starting to record what I learn from my little ones weekly.

A Challenge/Invitation


I started recording months ago in my personal hand-written journal, but I challenge you to join me in my quest to learn from the children in our lives and share our lessons with each other. It inspires me to hear how children are teaching as much or more than we are teaching them. What have you learned from children this week? This invitation is for anyone that associates or cares for children, not just parents. Please comment below!

Best,

Lucy

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Garden Ready?

Are you ready for a great gardening season?

Here are the things we are working on.

1. We till our plots.

2. We cut down or pull weeds and place something to keep the weeds down. Right now we have cardboard down and we plan to put mulch on top to make it look more pretty.

3. Put in wood borders around our plots.

4. We send in our soil for testing to High Brix Gardens. They test the soil and then send us a specially-made fertilizer for our garden. This fertilizer, based on test results, will have the trace minerals and elements that your garden is deficient in. For your garden to grow nutrient-dense food, the soil needs to have a proper balance of minerals and nutrients. If you have any questions about High Brix Gardens, we would love to share our experience.

4. We plan on paper what to plant and where.

5. We plant, water and wait.

Here are some garden tips:

Companion Gardening Guide

Container Plant Watering

When to Plant Veggies

How to Involve Kids in Gardening

I have found that I like gardening much better when it is manageable for my stage of life. Plant things that you will be excited to use and focus on flourishing a smaller garden plot if a large plot overwhelms you. Gardening has a very big learning curve. I have had gardens that produced next to nothing, but it wasn't a waste because I learned what doesn't work. :) Cody is the better gardener between us and he is very passionate about creating a pure food source for our family. We are still learning, but our harvest grows each year.

You can do it! Start small and be patient!

Here are some tools and items that we use to maintain our garden and make our life easier. Click on the images to shop the items. If you live in the city and have small spaces, the vertical garden box look awesome.




Tuesday, May 16, 2017

All You Need is Love

All You Need is Love
3 out of 5 smiling is pretty darn good. =)

When I was about 21 years old I was aching to get married and have a family. I was about to graduate from college with no marriage prospects, and I felt like my chance to find someone was gone. I was really sad that I had not found someone to live my life with and even more sad that I wouldn't have children anytime soon.

Skip ahead ten years, and I am happily married with three daughters. It really does feel surreal sometimes because I spent so much time thinking that it might not happen. Today I see that I am truly blessed, and I need to have more gratitude for what has happened and not dwell on what has not happened.

I walked Maurie up the stairs to tuck her into bed for the second time tonight. As she held my hand, she said, "I lub you." I expressed my love in return and repeated most of the bedtime routine I had done ten minutes earlier. Normally, I would be a little irritated and impatient about having to tuck her in again, but tonight I just enjoyed a little more time to spend with my daughter. She is sweet and loving and with a little encouragement and more love, she is now sleeping soundly in her bed. Most of the time the answer to my problems is not to have less responsibility, but to have more love and patience. I wish I felt this calm and peaceful all the time. It is too easy to get distracted and miss special moments that I won't get back.

My husband and children really are my dreams come true. I get overwhelmed with all that I need to do and keep up with, but at the end of the day I just need to ask myself, "Did the people I care about the most feel loved?" If I can answer yes, I need to count the day a victory despite the other things that may have gone undone.

I honor motherhood and all the mothers before me by doing a little better today than I did yesterday.

Best,
Lucy

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Indoor/Outdoor Rugs

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I am still dreaming about how to make my deck another living space. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite indoor/outdoor rugs with you. These rugs are from World Market and I love the patterns and colors. If you have children or pets, indoor/outdoor rugs are awesome because they are super durable and stylish. What do you do or want to do to spruce up your outdoor living space this summer?


Gray Lanka Indoor Outdoor Patio Area Rug - 5Ftx7Ft by World Market 5Ftx7Ft


Gray Lanka Indoor Outdoor Patio Area Rug - 5Ftx7Ft by World Market 5Ftx7Ft
Rugs -With an intricate global design featuring elephants in a mellow color scheme, our easy-care area rug is antimicrobial, stain-resistant and suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Material: , Color:. Also could be used forsouthwest rug,global rug,indoor rug,outdoor rug,indoor and outdoor rug,3 x 5,3'x5',3' x 5',3' x 5' rug,3' x 5' area rug,large rug,large area rug,8 x 10,8'x10',8' x 10',8' x 10' rug,8' x 10' area rug,2 x 3,2'x3',2' x 3',2x3rug,2' x 3'rug,2'x 3' area rug,no shed rug,stain resistant rug,mildew resistant rug,easy clean rug,antimicrobial rug. By Cost Plus World Market.10014043






Blue Lace Indoor Outdoor Patio Area Rug - 2.3Ftx4.6Ft by World Market 2.3Ftx4.6Ft


Blue Lace Indoor Outdoor Patio Area Rug - 2.3Ftx4.6Ft by World Market 2.3Ftx4.6Ft
Rugs -Featuring a geometric design in a bold blue palette, our vivid area rug is antimicrobial, stain-resistant and easy to care for, making it perfect for indoor and outdoor spaces. Material: , Color:. Also could be used forgeo rug,geometric rug,transitional rug,indoor rug,outdoor rug,indoor and outdoor rug,modern rug,long rug,3 x 5,3'x5',3' x 5',3' x 5' rug,3' x 5' area rug,large rug,large area rug,8 x 10,8'x10',8' x 10',8' x 10' rug,8' x 10' area rug,6 x 9,6'x9',6' x 9',6' x 9' rug,6' x 9' area rug,no shed rug,stain resistant rug,mildew resistant rug,easy clean rug,antimicrobial rug. By Cost Plus World Market.10014005







Navy Blue Cortes Indoor Outdoor Patio Area Rug - 3Ft11Inx5Ft7In by World Market 3Ft11Inx5Ft7In


Navy Blue Cortes Indoor Outdoor Patio Area Rug - 3Ft11Inx5Ft7In by World Market 3Ft11Inx5Ft7In
Rugs -Featuring an intricate geometric design in rich navy blue, our versatile area rug is antimicrobial, stain-resistant and easy to care for, making it perfect for indoor and outdoor spaces. Material: , Color:. Also could be used forgeo rug,geometric rug,transitional rug,indoor rug,outdoor rug,indoor and outdoor rug,modern rug,3 x 5,3'x5',3' x 5',3' x 5' rug,3' x 5' area rug,large rug,large area rug,8 x 10,8'x10',8' x 10',8' x 10' rug,8' x 10' area rug,6 x 9,6'x9',6' x 9',6' x 9' rug,6' x 9' area rug,no shed rug,stain resistant rug,mildew resistant rug,easy clean rug,antimicrobial rug. By Cost Plus World Market.10014023







Orange Cortes Indoor Outdoor Patio Area Rug - Runner by World Market Runner


Orange Cortes Indoor Outdoor Patio Area Rug - Runner by World Market Runner
Rugs -Featuring an intricate geometric design in bold orange, our versatile area rug is antimicrobial, stain-resistant and easy to care for, making it perfect for indoor and outdoor spaces. Material: , Color:. Also could be used forgeo rug,geometric rug,transitional rug,indoor rug,outdoor rug,indoor and outdoor rug,modern rug,3 x 5,3'x5',3' x 5',3' x 5' rug,3' x 5' area rug,large rug,large area rug,8 x 10,8'x10',8' x 10',8' x 10' rug,8' x 10' area rug,6 x 9,6'x9',6' x 9',6' x 9' rug,6' x 9' area rug,no shed rug,stain resistant rug,mildew resistant rug,easy clean rug,antimicrobial rug. By Cost Plus World Market.10014030







Boho Kilim Nagar Indoor Outdoor Patio Rug: Gray - Polyester - 5' x 8' by World Market 5Ftx8Ft


Boho Kilim Nagar Indoor Outdoor Patio Rug: Gray - Polyester - 5' x 8' by World Market 5Ftx8Ft
Rugs -Hand woven from recycled plastic bottles, our earth-conscious indoor and outdoor kilim features a thin flatweave construction with hand-braided tassels. Surprisingly soft underfoot, it's a great choice for high traffic areas, is easy to care for and does not shed. Material: Polyester, Color:Gray. Also could be used for5 x 8,5'x8',5' x 8',5' x 8' rug,5' x 8' area rug,large rug,large area rug, 8 x 10,8'x10',8' x 10',8' x 10' rug,8' x 10' area rug,flooring,rugs,carpet,floor covering,indoor rugs,area rugs,outdoor rugs,boho rug,bohemian rug,kilim rug,tassel rug,water bottle rug,durable rug,flatweave rug. By Cost Plus World Market.516731








Neutral Tweed Mirage Indoor Outdoor Patio Area Rug - 44Inx66In by World Market 44Inx66In


Neutral Tweed Mirage Indoor Outdoor Patio Area Rug - 44Inx66In by World Market 44Inx66In
Rugs -Featuring a thick basket-woven texture in two neutral hues, our natural-toned rug looks and feels great both indoors and out, is easy to care for and does not shed. Material: , Color:. Also could be used fororiental rugs,washable rugs,accent rugs,kitchen rugs,everywear rugs,decorative rugs,traditional rugs,contemporary rugs,throw rugs,discount rugs,designer rugs,area rugs,rug runners,lamontage,liora manne,liora,custom rugs,broadloom,indoor and outdoor rugs,outdoor rug,performance rugs,outdoor rugs,easycare rugs,easy care rug flooring,rugs,carpet,floor covering,indoor rugs,2 x 3,2'x3',2' x 3',2x3rug,2' x 3'rug,2'x 3' area rug,2.5 x 8,2.5'x8',2.5' x 8',2.5' x 8' rug,2.5' x 8' area rug,long rug,3 x 5,3'x5',3' x 5',3' x 5' rug,3' x 5' area rug,large rug,large area rug. By Cost Plus World Market.10013903








Gray Bordered Chunky Woven Jute Rug: Gray/Natural - 6' x 9' by World Market 6Ftx9Ft


Gray Bordered Chunky Woven Jute Rug: Gray/Natural - 6' x 9' by World Market 6Ftx9Ft
Rugs -With a sophisticated gray fabric border, our versatile rug looks at home in any decor setting. Handcrafted of renewable jute fibers, this exclusive rug features a chunky woven construction for a great underfoot feel. Material: Jute , Color:Gray > Natural. Also could be used forarea rug, cotton rugs, floor coverings, gray bordered rug, gray rugs, home decor, indoor outdoor rug, indoor rug, jute rugs, made in india, natural jute rug, natural weave jute rugs, outdoor rug, rayon rugs, rug, rugs. By Cost Plus World Market.472966







5'x8' Plum and Gray Wool Kilim Galen Area Rug - 5' x 8' by World Market


5'x8' Plum and Gray Wool Kilim Galen Area Rug - 5' x 8' by World Market
Rugs -Hand woven of 100% wool exclusively for World Market, our reversible flatweave rug features a plum geometric pattern against a light gray background. Material: Wool, Color:Gray. Also could be used forflooring,rugs,carpet,floor covering,indoor rugs,outdoor rugs,area rugs,5 x 8,5'x8',5' x 8',5' x 8' rug,5' x 8' area rug,large rug,large area rug,wool rug,kilim rug,plum rug,gray rug. By Cost Plus World Market.516671






















Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mother's Day Gift Guide



Mothers love their kids. Not only do we like to stare at them when they are sleeping and watch videos of them when we are not with them, we also like to where jewelry that reminds us of them. =)

Summer is around the corner and this beautiful Nine West bag is perfect for the season.


I am in the market for a decent sandal this summer. This brand has come highly recommended from friends. Its selling points: durable, water-proof, classic and versatile.


I have a floral phone case and since our phones are a daily staple, why not have a super cute case!

I think every woman should pamper themselves. Getting some makeup could be a lot of fun and you could make a day of it by getting a free makeover and learning about how to take care of yourself.


After your makeover, go get some lunch with some of your besties.


And don't forget a new outfit to do it all in.



Now, these are great ideas, but a card, a call and or a hug are also great gifts. Moms just want to feel appreciated and loved.

How have the mothers in your life influenced you? I want to pay tribute to the many moments that I didn't see or notice that my own mother served and loved me. I know that God saw her service and I have felt the love and support throughout my life. THANK YOU MOMS!

Happy Mother's Day!

Turkey Hunting and Garage Sale

Turkey Hunting
Waiting for the turkey. 

Turkey Hunting
I spy a Lori in the trees trying to find a turkey.

Turkey Hunting
Dressed and ready to go to our spot.
Our weekends seem to get more packed as time goes on. There is rarely a weekend anymore that we don't have a lot of things to get done or a lot of events to go to.

Turkey Hunting

I was invited to go turkey hunting with a couple of friends last Saturday.  I had a great time. We didn't get a turkey, but I really enjoyed whispering, sitting out in nature and learning more about turkey hunting and shooting. I did not know what to expect and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it, but I can say that I would love to do it again. Cody is eager to do it, so I am glad that I got a taste before I go with him. Cody's grandfather and father both loved to turkey hunt and have some awesome pictures. Cody has a turkey caller and has practiced, so he is ready. My friend was kind enough to let me use her camouflage and other gear, so I looked legit, or at least I thought so since I don't know any better. I'm glad I went and happy to spend time with friends.
© Lucy Jo. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.