Sunday, June 29, 2008

For Suzanne







Suzanne wanted me to post pics of the girls dance costumes, so I will try! No promises though. . .I have now changed my security settings so it may work now!! Okay so I may have played around with photo shop a bit. . . but is sure was fun!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Interesting points of view

Okay, to get the full effect of this post you will need to read my friend's post about plastic surgery on her blog. . . science geek. It's a good one, and on it I shared a little secret that I hadn't really told anyone. The secret is that when Otto and I got married we agreed that when we had children, we would have them one right after another and then I would be allowed to get a tummy tuck.
Yes, that is right. I have no problems with getting a tummy tuck and I have been called vain for it. However I do not think that this is as bad is it is being portrayed. You see, many people put off having kids until they have careers, or a house, or get to travel (now many people just can't have kids, and I am not grouping them into this category at all) and yet, I chose not to put off having children because I knew how important it was to Otto and I to have our family while we were young. Basically I have spent the last 10 years being pregnant.
I do have a pretty good self esteem. However it does get embarrassing when I have to put on a swimming suit because I know that my body does not look the way I think it should look. Please note that I did not say the way that Hollywood thinks it should look, but I have alot of extra skin because of all of the babies that I have had. Now, I also have quite a bit of weight left over because when I got pregnant with Lee I still had all of the weight that I had after losing Robin. So I basically started out this last pregnancy with 6 months of pregnancy weight. This weight is something that I am working on getting rid of, and I am doing it the hard way with good old diet and exercise.
However, please know that no matter how much weight I lose I will always have this extra skin around my mid section. I will not be able to get rid of it with simple creams, with diet, with exercise, with anything because it has been stretched for basically 10 years. I did not choose to wait in between pregnancies until my body got back to normal because I didn't see the point.
You may still think that my desire for a tummy tuck is vain, but I mean aren't we all a bit vain in some ways? Do women not wear make-up to look better, bras to keep our girls perky, clothes that slim our figure, sunscreen and hats to help prevent wrinkles, face cream to prevent wrinkles, work out to stay slim, sacrifice our favorite foods to lose a few pounds? If you are someone who does any one of these things how can you call me vain? How can you tell me that you are better than me because you don't have a desire for a tummy tuck and I do? I don't call myself more righteous because I have more children.
I think that it is unfair and very judgemental for someone to point to someone and say that they are vain because they want a certain thing. Just like it would be very judgemental for me to point to someone and say they are lazy because they are fat. When it comes down to it, we don't know what other people's circumstances are and we haven't walked a mile in their shoes. So what makes us an expert on other people's choices?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Shower

I went to my sister's shower (baby shower. . . .not the bathroom kind!) last night. It was fun. It was cute to see her all excited for her new little guy to come. I have a feeling that he is going to arrive when we are in San Diego, so I don't think I will be there to help her out! This is too bad, but I think that she is going to have lots of help when the baby arrives!!
One thing I did notice, however, was how much stuff she got. It reminded me of all of the things (accessories, gadgets, gizmos etc) that I used to think were necessary when I had Abby, and how few of them I use now. It seems to me that as I have continued to have children, I have gotten more relaxed with each one. Sometimes I feel a bit sorry for my kids because I honestly can say that I don't know exactly how many times they went to the bathroom in a day and they get their own breakfast in the mornings, so I don't even know which cereal they chose. Sometimes I do wish that I had more time and energy to find out those things, but then I look at them playing with each other and having fun and I realize that maybe the space I give them isn't always such a bad thing. I am not always on top of them for every little thing that they are doing. They have alot of room to explore and play and learn without me imposing every little thing on them. This was one of the reasons I wanted to have a big family, and I get so proud of them when I see them playing with each other and looking out for each other.
So, maybe I am not doing everything wrong. . . maybe, just maybe I have done one thing right.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday's schedule!

I feel as though I am going crazy . . . but it may just be lack of sleep and a plethera of things to do! Does this ever happen to you?

I was so excited for this morning to be the last day of school, but now I am wondering if I need to rethink that attitude? Well, let me show you what today's schedule is like:

8:30 - drive big girls to school

9:15 - get home

9:20 - put Lee in swing to go to sleep, convince Dustin and Caroline that they want to play upstairs

9:30 - stop Dustin from spraying PAM at Caroline and on the walls and the furniture

9:45 - work on awards to give to the Activity Day girls tonight (I am the leader)

11:15 - look for something to put the presents into for the birthday parties that are going on this afternoon

11:45 - start panicking because I can't find the birthday presents

11:50 - Whew! Birthday presents are found and put into cute little purses to give to the birthday girls

12 - convince Caroline and Dustin that they want to get into the car (Dustin ends up without shoes. . . but at least he is dressed) and make a bottle for Lee and put the rascals into the car

12:05 - Lee starts crying

12:15 - still not at the school and Lee is still crying

12:25 - Arrive at the school 10 minutes late and can't find the big girls anywhere

12:30 - find girls and zip over to Abby's birthday party

12:31 - Abby notices that one of the cute purses is one that she got a year ago and hasn't ever played with so she has a meltdown

12:35 - Abby gets convinced that it is okay to give the purse with the littlekinz away to a friend because she is going to San Diego in 2 weeks and will probably get another one

12:40 - Drop off Abby and realize that I have to somehow feed the kids

12:45 - in line for McDonalds

1 - Just went through McDonalds and Caroline is now a bit late for school

1:15 - Caroline arrives at school about 15 minutes late, but it hasn't started yet and mom is picking her up so she is excited

1:30 - drop Anne off at a birthday party

2 - arrive at home

2:15 - change Lee, feed him and put him into the swing to have his afternoon nap and look longingly at him because I would really like one too!

3 - leave to pick up Caroline up from school

3:25 - pick up Caroline

3:45 - pick up Anne

4:00 - pick up Abby

5:15 - start mentally cursing Otto because he isn't home yet and I have to leave for Activity days (it's only 2:25 right now, but I know that this will happen!)

5:30 - arrive just barely in time for Activity Days to start

6:45 - Activity Days ends

7 - wondering why parents still haven't picked up their kids (again I KNOW that this will happen)

7:15 - leave Activity Days and grab a few things for Amanda's shower tomorrow

8 - go home

8:10 - start making a baby carriage out of a watermelon for Amanda's baby shower and realize that my house isn't clean and I have a friend and her kids coming over tomorrow. . . maybe we can go to the park!



Hmmmmm I was just thinking that if this is going to be what my summer is going to be like, I think that I might just want it to be winter again. . . .I hardly ever go out when it is wintertime. Oh well, I guess that this is the trade-off for having my kids home and with me all the time! Besides it is just over 2 weeks before we go to San Diego!! Now THAT will be a blast!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

cinderella, Cinderella. . . . CINDERELLA!!!!

I am trying to call Cinderella because I need her. I am sorry that she is lonely and unloved, but I really could use a Cinderella right now. Anyone know where I can find her?? I spent the entire day cleaning. . . and I mean CLEANING!! Baseboards, walls, fixtures and all. And now that my family is home I am exhausted and you would NEVER know what I was doing all day. At least if I had a Cinderella I could make her work and I could sit around and make myself look beautiful all day long. I think that I would miss cooking, but I definately wouldn't miss the frustration of cleaning all day with NOTHING to show for it!!

Okay, now am I the only one out here who has this problem? I mean is my family so unruly that all of you who are reading this are shocked and amazed that this is a problem for me? Even better. . . .do any of you know how to get in touch with Cinderella? I really could use her number right now!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It's days like today

You know, it's days like today that make me hold my children a little tighter and notice more of the qualities about them that make me love them. What's so special about today you ask? Yesterday, a little boy named Carson who had lukemia passed away at 2:30 pm. He was 5 years old. But, children die every day, what is different about this one? The difference is that I got to read his story. His mother has been here with him and staying in the Ronald MacDonald house ever since he got transferred here from B.C. when his cancer went out of remission. Today I had planned on going over to the Ronald MacDonald house to make dinner for the families staying there while their children are in the hospital because Carson's family is a member of our church. We were planning on making it a special day for his mother because today is her birthday. Her husband even came out this week and so the whole family was going to be together and be able to have a minute away from the hospital and all of the doctors. And then everything changed. Carson took a turn for the worst, but he passed away peacefully in his mother's arms as she sang "I am a Child of God" which was his favorite song.
Even though this is not my story, this has hit me really hard because it brings back the painful memories of the day that I found out that my baby had died. She never got to live to the age of 5 even, and my story is completely different from this family's. And yet it feels so similar. I know how this mother will feel when her son's birthday comes around every year. I know how she will feel when she sees other children his age playing soccer, or graduating from school. I know how she will feel when she goes on vacation and thinks to herself that it would be even better if her child was there. I know the peace that she can feel if she decides to rely on her testimony and the comfort that the gospel can bring her. I know the peace that she can feel if she turns to the Lord and asks Him to help her through her trial. I know the feeling of complete and utter love that she will probably feel as people tell her how much they love her and her family and how much they wish they could do something.
It has been an emotional day for me as I think about what this mother is going through. No one. . . and I mean NO ONE should EVER have to bury their child. It doesn't feel right. Even though we know that they are happy and at peace, it is the hardest thing that you will ever have to do in your life, and I sincerely wish that no one ever had to go through it. So for today I will spend a little more time basking in the warmth of my newborn's smile, listening to my girls sing as they play with each other, and grab every hug and kiss that is offered to me today from my children and hope that they last forever!

Friday, June 20, 2008

It finally happened!

Well, it finally happened. I can't believe it. I am usually quite scheduled and I like things to be just right. Yesterday, right after school, Anne went to a birthday party that ended at 6. So, I had Otto pick her up right after the party and while he was getting her, I had the other kids and I eating dinner and getting changed. Why you ask? Well because it was Abby's cello recital last night. Otto got home and I shoved food down his and Anne's throat and made them quicky change for the recital. We left just in time to get there 5 minutes before 7. When I went to put my snacks down in the gymn of the church (where the recital was being held), I noticed that a few people had started nibbling on some snacks and I thought that that was quite rude of them!! Then instead of being the first people there we seemed to be one of the last people to arrive. I was impressed that everyone had arrived so early. . . that usually doesn't happen. Well we sat down in the second row from the front and Abby's teacher asked me why we were so late. I said, "What do you mean? We are here a minute or two early." That was when I was informed that the recital started at 6! I didn't believe her. She told me that, in fact, they had already gone and had started eating the refreshements when another family had shown up and so they had called everyone back into the chapel because there were 3 kids in that family who needed to perform. (This explained the look of the snack table). We just happened to show up right after that family, so that was why everyone was back in the chapel. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN??????? I NEVER do this!!!
Anyways, Abby did a wonderful job and I was so proud of her. It was amazing to see how far she has come from October. I love her and my only regret is that we showed up for the recital after it was over!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Guess What???

So you will never believe what is happening at my house right now!! Right now only Lee and I are inside because the other kiddies are playing with the neighbour kids on . . . wait for it. . . wait for it . . . yep, it's true, the kiddies are playing on the lawn in the backyard!!!!! YAY!!!! After this weekend we will have put up the other fence and then NO MORE DIRT!!!!! This is a dream come true for me!! I would like to thank all of the people that have made this day possible!! Thanks to Weston for your awesome crew (and your Mexicans) who laid the sod for me, thanks to Otto for building the sandbox beforehand so we knew how much sod to get, thanks to the rain for making it easier for the kids to not want to be outside and for saving me $$$$ on watering the grass, and thanks to my neighbours for putting up their fences!! You know what they say. . . .good fences make good neighbours!!! Having 5 kids, I know how true that is!!!
So for now I forsee a wonderful summer full of days of playing in the backyard with their friends!!! Lets just hope that the weather cooperates or else I forsee an entirely different (not quite as fun) summer!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's not. . .

It's not that I haven't been writing on my blog, it's just that every time I want to upload a video or a picture it completely shuts down my internet!!! Stupid vista!!! This past weekend was a bit hectic, but so much fun! I got to see two of my girlies perform in their dance recital. While I was helping out, I realized something. First of all I realized that my kids still think that I am so cool and so I need to take more advantage of that and spend more time with them. Anne and Caroline loved having me backstage and we had tons of fun taking tons of pictures and just goofing around. The second thing I realized is that not all volunteers are helpful. It kind of annoyed me when we were backstage waiting to get onto the stage and I was helping the teacher keep all of the kids in order and staying put, and the other 3 moms were just standing around talking to each other. What's the point in volunteering if you don't actually do anything???
The second event that went on this weekend was the baptism of Abby's best friend Dana. The reason I bring this up was because this baptism was a bit of a learning experience for Abby. You see Abby had also been invited to go to a birthday party for a set of triplets that are in her class at school. The triplets are a ton of fun and Abby loves playing with them. The problem was that the birthday party was at the same time as the baptism. Now being an 8 year old little girl and having to choose between your best friend's baptism and a birthday party is not an easy choice. I told her that she could choose whichever one she wanted, but I explained how attending the baptism of her best friend was a better choice. . . even if it wasn't the most fun. Well, after alot of tears she did choose to attend the baptism and she ended up having a great time.
And then there was Dustin! Yep, that little guy turned 3! Can you believe it??? My oldest son is now 3!! I mean what is going on here?? Have I just been sleeping their childhoods away??? I am afraid that one day I will wake up and they will all be grown up! How did this happen? Who can I talk to about fixing this?
And last, but certainly not least, it was Father's day this Sunday. I felt a little bit sorry for Otto because Father's Day wasn't even mentioned at church on Sunday. (He did get the traditional pie afterwards though). We were able to have Jenna and Kristin and some of Jenna's friends over for dinner, and that was fun times. It did make me miss my dad. . . him being on a cruise and all. I do love my big guy and I couldn't imagine my life without him. Not only is he a wonderful husband and father, but he has also given me 6 beautiful little babies, and for that there is no present good enough to repay him.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Boring

Okay, I know that I am being boring and I am not really updating this blog very well. . . however today is the beginning of 5 different performances that my girlies are in. I plan on making good use of my camera and its many features, so I PROMISE I will post videos and pics (hopefully some cool ones) starting tomorrow. . . so stay tuned. . . .

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

You are not seeing things!


Yes, I did change the look of my blog. It was looking rather. . . well. . . blah to me, so I decided to spice it up a bit. I kinda like it now.

I decided to write today because I have been getting ready for my piano recital tonight and it has made me reflect on things. When I was looking through some of the things that my mom had kept for me from my childhood, I came across a booklet that I had made in joy school. It had a cute picture on the top of it and then it said "When I grow up I want to be . . . " and wouldn't you know it, I put down that I wanted to be a piano teacher and a mom. Interesting hey?

Lately I have been thinking about my students. I have 8 of them (including Anne) and each one has been special to me. I already wrote about one of my boys who had the nose picking episode one week. He always makes me laugh! There is another little boy who was 4 in September who always tells me all about his week. . . and I even manage to slip in a bit of a piano lesson between stories. I have 2 boys who have just absolutely LOVED taking piano lessons and even though they both started this year, they are both now on the 3rd level and will be starting Royal Conservatory in the fall. I also have this one little girl who talks like Caroline . . . and she's a bit cheeky like her too. Whenever I teach her, I think that this will be how it is with Caroline. I have another little girl who is soooooooo shy. So much so that she won't participate in the recitals, but I am getting her to attend this one. I love this girl so much and I have LOVED getting to know her throughout the year and watching her become more comfortable with me throughout the year. I am also her Activity Day's leader and having her come to my house for piano lessons has made it easier to get her to have fun at activity days. My last piano student is the daughter of a good friend of mine. I love it when she comes because she is so comfortable coming to my house and we joke around alot during piano lessons. It is also nice to get to see my friend every week because she lives close to my parents and I don't get to see her as often as I would like otherwise. Spending the 1/2 with each of these children each week has been fun. I actually love teaching piano, and actually just teaching music to children in general. The end of the year recital is always so exciting to me because it is always amazing to see how far each of these children have come since the beginning of the year. 7 out of the 8 of them had never touched a piano before and you would be amazed at the pieces that some of them are going to be playing tonight. We will have everything from Disney, to Jazz, to primary songs and there is even going to be one performance where the boy arranged a piece of music that he had done at school.

Anyways, I had better get back to making the programs for the recital, but I just thought that I should write down my thoughts while I had a quiet minute. . . because that sure doesn't happen too often.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Fun with my cousin Brady

While my Aunt Christie was in Calgary we took the kiddies to Calaway Park. There were two highlights of the trip for me. The first one was seeing how brave my big girls were in trying to go on every single ride that they could at Calaway including the Roller Coaster, Ocean Motion and the Log Ride (which Abby waited in line for for an hour and a half just to ride!!). The other highlight was hanging out with Brady and teaching him this song while we were waiting for the kids to finish on their rides. It kind of became our little song. He LOVED it and I LOVED listening to him laugh every time we sang it and signing "again!!". Even though he actually became quite good at singing the song and doing the actions, I still smile whenever I see this video. I sure do love this little guy!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Is this really me???

Take this test!
You are Marge from The Simpsons. You may not share Marge's blue bouffant, but you do share her animated style of mothering. Sometimes the pressures of maintaining a happy home may push you toward the edge, but at the end of the day, you believe in your children wholeheartedly, even when they're being rather, um, spirited.

You encourage your kids' creativity and individuality, whether that means watching them perform the saxophone or helping them raise exotic lizards. You may sometimes say things that sound like old-fashioned parenting clich├ęs, but when it comes down to dealing with domestic disasters, you can be a pretty together, modern mama.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Laundry

This past week has been a BLAST!! I have had so much fun spending so much time with my cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, great aunts and uncles, first and second cousins, etc. The only problem is that now I have a HUGE amount of laundry to do. I actually don't mind doing laundry. In fact if I didn't have to put it away, I would actually go as far as to say that I ENJOY doing laundry. I think that it is the one household chore that I actually like to do. . . . oh and cooking of course!
I know that I am a little bit weird because of this, but doing laundry is almost like reliving certain moments. Let me share with you what I am reliving through my laundry right now:
- I am currently washing blankets and backpacks that the kiddies used on our trip to the farm where Abby and Anne got to ride down with my grandparents and ride back with my Aunt Christie and her family.
- I am washing socks that the kiddies wore while they pet the horses and we all walked down to the ice cream store.
- I am washing the dresses that my girlies wore to the temple when my cousin got married.
- I am washing the princess costumes that the girlies wore when they sang "Someday my Prince will Come" at my cousin's family dinner. (Otto was the best man so he got to wear a tuxedo, but that will be dry cleaned so I won't have to wash it . . . YAY!!!)
- I am washing the PJ's that my kids wore when they got to babysit themselves with their cousins while I went to the wedding reception here in Calgary.
- I am washing the shorts and T-shirts that we all wore when we went to Calaway Park with my Aunt Christie. Dustin, Brady, Christie and I all got a little sunburned, but it was worth it!
- I am washing the clothes that we wore to my parent's house for a huge family games night where we had a blast playing Rock Band and the new Cranium Taboo.
- I am washing the Sunday dresses that we wore when my Aunt Christie joined us for church on Sunday.
- I am washing the food stains out of the clothes that the kids wore when we went to my Grandma Bennion's house for dinner and had a family reunion on my Archer side of the family and then going to her house again for a Mexican Rio dinner and birthday party/father's day party for lots of the family members.
- I am washing the socks that I had to buy for Dustin when Christie, Kent and I took all of the kids to "Lets Play" for the day on Monday.
- I am washing the swimming suits that my kids wore when we all went to the Village Square Leisure Center to go swimming on Tuesday.
- I am also washing the clothes that have pizza stains on them from taking the kids to "Chucky Cheese" on Wednesday evening with my grandparents, my Aunt Marilyn and Katie, and my Uncle Kent Aunt Christie and their kiddies.
Now with all of these outfits, plus the blankets that Lee uses, plus the dirty jackets that I always have to wash because my girls think that the floor of the school bus is where you are supposed to put your jacket, I have definitely created laundry mountain in my laundry room. I will admit that it is a tad overwhelming to have this much laundry, but making all of those memories makes it worth it!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

And the Winners Are . . .

Emily and Suzanne!!! You have won the Play it Forward game!!! I won't need your addresses because I already got Emily's from the awesome package you sent me with the pictures in it!! And Suzanne. . . I know where you live!! Okay, so now the next part of this game is that you have to play it forward. You can create a post on your blog like I did or you can choose another way, but the idea of this game is to show your friends how much you appreciate them. . . . and what better way to do that then to give them a little present???
Woot! Woot!! I am soooo excited for you guys!! Now I just have to figure out what to make . . . . this may take a bit of time. . . but I will definately get it to you soon!!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Having Too Much Fun!!

I know I haven't written in awhile, and I don't really have time to write right now, but I just wanted to say that we are just having too much fun playing with my cousins!! I will write more on another day!!! See Ya!!