Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2014 Dance Festival

This morning I attended the end of year dance festival for the kids.  They all did such a great job. Unfortunately, I did not match their skill with my videography.  Halfway through Jared's dance, I stopped recording but quickly started back up, only to have my phone run out of room.  Thankfully I had enough time to delete some stuff so I could capture Isaac and Amelia's dances.  Then, I didn't realize that just because you turn the phone sideways, doesn't mean that the image is still captured right-side up, so some of the videos are on their side.  And finally, I guess I kept putting my fingers over the microphone.  I'm fired!

So without further ado, I present this year's dances.

Here is Jared's dance.  Sorry, two parts to this one.
Part 1
Part 2

I loved how seriously Jared took his dance.  He did such an awesome job.  He definitely gets his dancing skills from me. :)

Here is Isaac's dance.

Isaac's dance was fun and full of energy.

Sorry, Amelia is a little harder to see.  She is several kids back with hot pink shoes and orange shoelaces. Turn your head side-ways to watch this one.

Amelia did such a great job with her dance.  She knew all of the moves and was such a cutie out there.

And here are the kids all posing for a picture afterwards.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday, the Make-up Motherhood Monday - Camping

I missed my first Motherhood Monday, but I guarantee you I have a very legitimate reason.  I was busy this whole weekend hanging out and camping with my family.  No time to blog when those activities are going on.

And anyway, it's like a Monday - kind of.

Today, I want to focus on the fact that my kids still like hanging out with me and Nathan.  I know that this won't last forever and I feel that Jared is already on the verge of thinking that his friends are way more fun than us.  But, for this moment, right now, Nathan and I are still legit.

This past Memorial Day Weekend, we went camping up by Mill Hollow with some of my extended family.  I didn't take very many pictures unfortunately.

The first night, we ended up camping in a parking lot and in the morning Clara and Grandma drew pictures with sidewalk chalk.

Once we got setup in our actual camping spot, it started to sprinkle and it was pretty chilly.  I had purchased a couple of puzzles from the dollar store in preparation.  I thought this 100 piece puzzle would be a good challenge for Amelia, but it turns out that I severely underestimated her ability to put together puzzles.  She still had fun though.

The boys and some of their cousins kept themselves busy and warm by digging a big hole.  Isaac utilized the pick ax to make the whole deeper.

Sometimes when you're in close quarters for a few days you can get on each other's nerves, and Jared and Isaac are no exception to this.  After a pretty good disagreement, I made them stay in the trailer until they could say sorry to each other and hug.  They tried to protest, but I wouldn't let up.

Proof that they actually like each other!

And if they knew I was posting this online for the world to see, they'd die of embarrassment.

Overall the weekend was really fun.  We had a great time eating, chatting, shooting BB guns, looking at wildlife, and hanging out with family.

I really am so blessed by these guys and I am so glad that they like to go camping with me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Quick Beef Stroganoff

This is a favorite recipe at our house.  It is loosely patterned after this recipe from Kraft Foods.  Their recipe is for a crockpot meal and uses stew meat.  I wanted it quick and easy and I wanted to use ground beef.

Quick Beef Stroganoff

  • 1.5 lb.  ground beef
  • 10 oz.  canned mushrooms (you could use fresh)
  • 1/2  onion, chopped 
  • 1 clove  garlic, minced 
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 2 tsp.  paprika 
  • 1 tsp.  salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream (I like things saucy, so the 1 cup they suggested wouldn't cut it!)
  • 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard 
  • 4 cups egg noodles, uncooked 
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley 

In large pot, cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, lightly oil, large skillet.  Saute onion, garlic and mushrooms, until tender.  Add ground beef and cook until brown.  Drain grease.  Return meat mixture to medium heat and add beef bouillon (and a 1/2 cup water), paprika, and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix sour cream and dijon mustard.

When pasta is al dente, drain and add to skillet with meat mixture.  Mix to combine.  Then add the sour cream mixture and mix more.  Add parsley to top.  Serve in skillet.

Serve with green beans or the vegetable of your choice!  Enjoy!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Motherhood Monday

Ah motherhood.

Sometimes I feel like a strange creature from another planet when other women start talking about motherhood.  This role that they longed for, planned for, enjoy with all of their heart, might, mind and soul.

That is not to say that I don't want or love my children.  I do love them and I would die if they were taken from me.  But am I seriously the only person who finds that the struggles of motherhood -the time, stress and thanklessness of the job - often overshadow/outnumber the love, kindness, and gratitude that are returned?

I can't be the only one!

At the risk of being judged horribly by those who don't want to understand, I am not afraid to admit that when I was growing up, motherhood was not my main goal.  I did not like to babysit, I did not like to play with dolls, and I never had the opportunity to help take care of younger siblings.  But, I always knew that, body-function permitting, I would have children.  I believe in family and children.  I know it's God's plan for us.  I want to be obedient and fulfill my divine role.  But, I struggle to find the joy from motherhood that so many other women seem to just relish.

The other night I was pondering on this incompatibility I feel and an idea was born in me.  The problem is not that my kids are bad and I am not a bad mother.  I actually believe that if I could see into the houses of pretty much everyone I know, the similarities with me and my family would be almost disturbing.  The problem may just be my focus.  I need to take a little more time to focus on the blessings my children bring into my life rather than always trying to fix the problems and stresses that all children have.

One of the biggest problems is that I am struggling to see the forest for the trees.  Meaning, I struggle to see the blessing of my children and the overall joy they bring to my life because I have a hard time looking past the often mundane, day to dayness of raising children.  So what is the solution?

The thought came to me that I need to refocus my efforts on being grateful. More effort into pointing out their positive qualities.  More effort into why my life is more complete because I have four wonderful people I can call my own.  

So the idea was born to start a Motherhood Monday here on my blog.  I'm going to focus on positive qualities I notice in my kids through the previous week, positive thoughts I have about myself as their mother, positive motherhood quotes, and basically anything that helps me be more positive about this VERY important role at which I'm working.

I'm going to try to post weekly, but some weeks just might get away from me.  That's just the way it is - cause after all, I'm a mom and I have more important people to look after! :)

I'd love for you to join me in Motherhood Monday.  Share your positive motherhood thoughts with me in the comments!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

3 Things Thursday - Donuts, Flowers, and a Duck

1. When I go grocery shopping, occasionally I will pick up a dozen donuts.  We love +Macey's donuts. So yummy!  My favorite are the chocolate-covered, cream-filled ones.  I have yet to try the bacon maple syrup donuts.

2. A few weeks ago, Clara and I went to +Lowe's Home Improvement to get a new planter pot for my front porch.  We had a good time looking at the different flowers. 

This was my favorite.

Clara liked this one the best.

3. Last week at our ward's Relief Society meeting.  We had a wonderful lesson on learning to receive answers to prayer.  To go along with the lesson, we planted flower seeds in terra cotta pots.  When we watered them, this watermark showed up on the pot of the person sitting next to me.  I think it looks just like a duck. What do you see? 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Weekend Wrap-up - Birthdays, Mother's Day and an Anniversary

Last Friday was Isaac's birthday.  Nathan checked him out of school at lunch time and we went to Milagros for lunch.  It was the first time Isaac had ever eaten there and he loved it.  I love a kid who loves food!

After stopping at the store to get him his gift, I had to go back to work, but Nathan and Isaac hung out for the rest of the afternoon.

Later that night he had a bunch of his friends over for a pizza/night-games party.  I didn't snap any pictures. You'll just have to trust me on this one.  

The next morning, we got up early and went to +Kneaders for breakfast.  This is fast becoming a tradition in our family.  Since it was the day before Mother's Day, all the Moms got free french toast.  YUM!

Here are the three of us at breakfast.

Later that afternoon we went to +Texas Roadhouse to help Debbie celebrate her birthday. What a great couple!

Someone, not me, told on her and she had to "saddle up" for a Texas-sized Yeehaw!

After dinner, we hurried home for cake and ice cream with family for Isaac's birthday.

Which brings us to yesterday, which was not only Mother's Day, but also Nathan and I's 14th wedding anniversary.

The kids and Nathan made me a terrific breakfast in bed and cards and goodies that they had made for me.  Such sweeties.  After church we went to visit Nathan's mom and then my parents came over for roast and potatoes, which Nathan cooked.

It was a good day!

Not only was I spoiled for Mother's Day, but I am also spoiled to be married to my best friend for the last 14 years!  He always accuses me of acting like a princess, but that is how he treats me, so it's his own fault.
Love that guy I married!

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Catch Up on Injuries

If you remember, a  week and a half ago, there was an incident in which Clara received a black eye.  Well, it is healing quite nicely.

It's a little blurry, but getting so much better everyday!

Last Monday, Nathan managed to mash his finger while he was working on his work-truck.  He was in a lot of pain and wanting medication.  He never asks for medicine so I knew he hurt.

He spent most of that day hanging out on our bed with his finger on ice.  It was nice to take care of him.

He eventually bought himself a finger splint, because, and I quote, "I got tired of bumping my finger so I bought this... and some other stuff."

His finger is doing a lot better now.  It is still pretty swollen past the last knuckle and his nail is deep purple/black so I am sure it will fall off at some point.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Chubby Cheeked Little Man is 11

AHHH!  This cute little munchkin with the chubby cheeks turns 11 today!  ELEVEN!

Today his cheeks aren't quite as chubby, but he is still cute as a button and has enough charm and humor to steal anyone's heart.  I love this guy!  Happy Birthday Isaac.

Monday, May 5, 2014

There Was An Incident

This past Friday, I came home to crying from my little one.  I could already see the shiner coming.

She and Amelia had been playing outside.  Amelia was swinging a pole back and forth.... You see where this is going.  Amelia felt terrible and had banished herself to time out on her bed.  

Poor Clara.  This is the morning after the incident.  Most of the swelling had gone down.

And this was two days after.  Already starting to get better.


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