Sunday, October 5, 2014


We had a happy enjoyable Sunday today as a family. It has been many weeks since Jared last had a Saturday off. Although he spent the majority of his time home working on homework it was still nice to have him for two days out of the week instead of one. We spent the past two days listening to General Conference play off of on my computer. We choose to be pretty relaxed with the kids and the atmosphere while we spend the days listening. I asked the kids today to pick out several toys to bring down from their room to play with while they listened to the first session. I enjoy conference so much more now then I ever did as a kid. I think it is the combined happiness of listening to motivational talks and not having to rush everyone out the door to church. I made cinnamon rolls and applesauce during Saturdays sessions, they turned out fantastic and were gone very quickly.

My really nice neighbor a couple houses down has dropped off at least 7 bags of apples in the last short while. Luckily my kids love apples, I do too but I have this weird thing where I feel like I need to save every healthy food for my kids to eat... I can't really explain it, just a weird mom thing. So I sorted all of the non buggy apples from the ones with obvious bug damage and I've so far made apple pie filling and apple sauce with the bug damaged ones (don't worry I've removed the bad parts) while the others hang out in the fridge for the kids. Today I made two batches of apple sauce which amounted to three quarts and one pint of apple sauce, its crazy (and sad) how much they reduce themselves to through the cooking process.
In between sessions yesterday I went and cleaned with my little brother Levi both the Roy and 12th street Nowcare. My mom was up at the cabin and needed a sub for the weekend. I'm pretty sure that has been the longest I have been away without children in the past 5 months. It was about 3 hours, I did get to talk with old friends that I grew up talking to at the clinic and hadn't seen in at least a couple years. Its hard being a mom, when the only break you get is cleaning bathrooms, taking out garbage's and wiping out sinks for 2 hours and the rest is drive time... at least it comes with a paycheck!

After the last session today I needed to get Jared out of the basement and everyone out of the house so we took a drive up to Logan. We stopped by the park near Hyrum Reservoir and checked out the same area that was my transition spot for a triathlon I did so many years ago. After letting the kids explore we drove over to a playground and let the kids burn some more energy before we headed home for dinner. I love car rides and I love the dreaming we allow ourselves to do while we are riding around. I also love when Jared and I can just hang back and watch the kids play. We are so blessed.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Road Trip Entertainment

This is going to be our families first true to the name "roadtrip" we will be in the car FOOORRREEEEVER! I've been trying to prep like crazy because I don't know how the kids are going to take being in the car for so long. I want to share with you what I have put together and maybe it could give you ideas yourself or maybe you have better ideas than mine and can put them in the comments below!
 This first picture is just my snack box that will be riding between me and Jared up front. I've packaged all of the kids treats individually in snack bags that I will hand out when wanted. (Hopefully that will work better then giving them the whole box). If your curious this is what I packed to snack on-
  • Ritz type crackers
  • Animal Crackers
  • Nilla Wafers
  • a small box of Whoppers (for me, nobody else needs to know about those ;)
  • Better Chedders
  • Jerky
  • chewy jolly ranchers
(non-food items- Arby's coupons and Mad Gab)
Not pictured-
  • grapes
  • cheese sticks
  • apple slices
 its like Christmas morning in this box :) I set everything out so you can get an idea of what its carrying.
  • Binder with blank paper, paper-protected mazes, lined paper, and dry-erase markers
  • etch-a-sketch
  • mini magna doodle
  • crayons in a plastic carrying bag
  • a stack of Jared's old comic books
  • 3 small I-spy books
  • Window markers
  • Gameboys- and several games
  • 2 mystery imaginx toys to be opened on the way
  • a giant DK Starwars Complete Vehicles
  • a colored pencil roll that I made
  • New Frozen coloring book
  • National Geographic kids Ultimate U.S. Road trip atlas
  • CAT mini machines (beach toys for when we're there)
  • Book on CD from the library
  • American Girl catalogue that Makayla hasn't seen yet
  • Usborne 1001 things to spot in the sea
  • Usborne My first encyclopedia of seas and oceans
  • dollar store headphones for three kids
  • color wonder marker travel pack
  • and brown bear, brown bear (Beckam's favorite book)
I do plan on bringing my kindle and a dvd player too so hopefully the kids will have plenty to occupy their time, if not there's always Benadryl :)

I will try to do an "After the Road-trip" post and tell you what worked for us.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Breastfeeding in Public

I'm writing this only because I have very strong feelings about how we treat women who breastfeed in pubic.

Todays news article on KSL featured a mom who was given a letter by the principle of a school she was at, asking her to cover up or go somewhere private when breastfeeding. She was at the school with her children for the free summer lunch program that they offer. Ultimately the news sells a story that has a polarizing effect on what peoples opinions are on this breastfeeding mother.

I wouldn't have even read the story if Jared hadn't mentioned it to me, thinking I would join his opinion of she should have covered up. I didn't check out the story until hours later because I knew it was going to bother me, but I did think about the mom featured and what her reasoning would be to nurse uncovered.

A little background about me, I have four kids, I breastfed all of them, I currently have an infant that I breastfeed. In my own opinion breastfeeding was the hardest part of having a baby, even though I have previous experience with feeding my babies this way, I wouldn't say it gets easier. Each new child brings about a new experience and separate difficulties. To tell a mom breastfeeding is easy is absolutely crazy talk, it should get much easier with time but moms have to be tough as nails to get through the first several weeks if not months.

We live in a world where we are repeatedly told "breast is best", I think we're making a huge transition from the last generation where formula was the norm and breast wasn't encouraged. I could be wrong but it seems that way. I was bottle-fed after two weeks, my husband was solely bottle-fed. In this same world where breastfeeding is encouraged, I cant say that I have ever felt comfortable breastfeeding out in public. On the news there are reports of women being approached or reprimanded for feeding a child out in public... and people eat it up, blasting their opinions of modesty and what not. I choose not to discuss this with Jared because we have completely different views and it only upsets me. His idea is that it should never be done in public, covered or uncovered, bathrooms are a much better alternative feeding space. Maybe he has softened a bit since we last talked about it but I really wouldn't know.

Here's my view, I cover up in public, if I don't have a blanket or cover which has only happened a couple times in my churches mothers room I am very discrete. At home I don't cover, its a pain to get the right latch and it is hot for both me and my poor sweating baby. My kids are around when I feed, they could care less, they've been around when other mothers feed, they could care less. I still try to remain fully covered when I feed at home and really there is not much to see even if you are watching. I have no ill will or bad thoughts about mothers who don't cover or who do cover in public. We're not the same person and I would hate for someone to judge me for feeding my hungry child, no matter the setting.

I've been to "lunch at the school/ park" with my children, I currently don't go because it is too difficult with such a young baby. The reasons I've taken my kids to lunch at the school were
a. we're poor and it helped reduce a financial burden
b. I was too overwhelmed/ tired/ exhausted to make lunch and so that was a better option.
It has never been C. it was fun and it was free, yes its free, but my kind of fun doesn't involve begging my kids to eat some of their food while they are distracted by a hundred other kids running around a hot building. I don't know what the reasons are behind this mom going to free lunch at the school, but it could have also been that she is poor and it helps, or she goes because it is one less worry she has on her plate for the day, or maybe she has other mom friends that go and she gets some support in going. It has to be one of those things other wise it is NOT worth it, it is too much work to take kids in the middle of the day in a hot van to get them some food that they will only piece on and then raid your cupboards when you get home because "they are hungry" all the while having a NURSING INFANT in tow. So she does go, and being a responsible mom she stays with her kids while they eat, baby gets fussy and needs to eat so she feeds baby. (Better alternative than screaming baby and miserable mom and everybody in earshot)(or leaving small children to fend for themselves "don't go home with bad people kid, I'll be right back" while she finds a dark corner to nurse). It didn't say in this article that she wasn't fully exposed but I guess in other articles it states that she had a "two shirt" system, I don't know what that means but it sounds like she didn't have her full breast out there. She may have chosen not to have a blanket because the school was hot, the schools in Brigham City are hot in the summer. They don't have AC and so whatever it is outside add a couple degrees because they have food being heated inside and you'll get the idea of the sauna schools are in the summer.  Anyway, people were uncomfortable and put up a stink and everyone wants to paint her as someone who exposes herself to children. I don't believe her agenda is to expose pre-puberty boys to breasts. She's a mom, and in so being she is probably tired and just trying to make the best choices for her own situation. I know its never going to happen, but please people just stop to think about other peoples situation, you'll never really understand who they are and what they are dealing with, but compassion on your neighbor never hurt. Not everyone is evil, and not everyone is good but we could all try a little harder to help and show compassion.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Date night

Last night my good sister came over and let me and Jared get out of the house and have an actual date. This occurrence has happened so little in the past 5 years that it is truly a treat to be out with Jared without at least one child. If I remember right it was back in February that we last went out without children.

When we went to Yellowstone we were able to get out on a day date with just my two youngest kids. Thalia slept the whole time and Beckam was just so pleased to have nobody to compete with that he was a perfect angel. We went window shopping and stopped at an old time diner to eat lunch. Older kids are easier in some regards but taking them out window shopping usually involves a ton of "I want that" and running off and not listening to parents = not easy to shop with. We bought Beckam a huge sucker from one of the candy shops and he was on cloud nine for the whole "date".

Last night we had a late start out, about 8 pm, so we went to Sonic for their half priced shakes after 8 and then drove to Willard and took a walk. Willard has a couple older homes on highway 89, but if you drive just a block or so west into town there are a ton of really cool looking older homes that have remarkably been very well preserved. I love old homes, I wish I could walk through them. On my runs I keep busy by checking out peoples homes and gardens as I pass. I wish I could run through their backyards and see what they are growing and how.

Halfway through the walk I got a text letting me know that Thalia was fussy and needed me home. We finished our walk and drove back home to find her finally asleep.

Friday, July 11, 2014

My Permacuture Garden

Several months ago I shared my start of a permaculture garden, one that incorporates key hole gardening and hugelkultur. Thought I would share how things are looking and what my current projects are.
 this is the first Hugelkultur bed that I made, and below is this years growth on it.
 I have corn, pumpkins and peas planted in that garden bed, everything gets watered from irrigation once or twice a week so the concept is to store that water in the buried logs and organic matter that the bed is made of. Honestly the peas probably didn't get enough water (they were planted on the very top of the bed), but both the corn and pumpkins are doing so well this year.
 This small hugelkultur row has taken off considering that one of the logs that were buried is visible on the surface, I labeled the plants so you can see the variety that I was able to plant together.
 heres a view of the whole garden, the white flowers in the back are some weed that I've allowed to stay, if anything it invites bees to my garden.
 another view of the garden, the small tree next to it is a sour cherry.
 I moved one of my grape vines to the north fence of the garden, this way when its bigger it wont cast shade on the garden but it will use empty space that would have otherwise not really been in use.
 we have a funky garden bed that runs along the side of our driveway, in the spring it has tulips, in the summer it is home to my raspberry patch, grape vines, strawberries, spinach and one tomato plant that needed a home. My grapes are doing great this year and will produce fruit for the first time this year. I marked that I had planted green seedless grapes in this area, although time will tell if I remembered right and that is truly what they end up being.
My newest project for the season is trying my hand at growing giant pumpkins. I chose Dills Atlantic Giant, I picked up the seeds from Smith and Edwards for $4.98 for 10 seeds. I planted 6, two per hill, and as you can see I have two left. Bugs ate 4 of the plants during the night and I've worked hard to keep the last two alive!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Planning a summer vacation (San Diego)

School is almost out and I'm both excited about and dreading the summer break. I have 4 kids now and it makes for a full house and on normal days a bit of chaos. Having two of my kids in school at least some of the time is pretty sweet to say the least. I will love not worrying about homework and doing the whole morning routine, but my kids wake up at the crack of dawn anyways so we won't be sleeping in until all the kids are teenagers.

I've started planning our trip to San Diego, its still in its early stages but I have a pretty good idea of what we plan on doing while we are there. My little brother moved to San Diego several months ago so we plan on visiting him and getting in some quality time with the ocean to last us a couple more years.

We will be driving because flying is the cost of a small child when you have six people in your family. I'm hoping to break up the trip and maybe drive a couple hours into the night to Cedar City and stay at a hotel and wake up to finish the trip from there. Its a total of 12 hrs and 23 minutes to San Diego from Brigham City, and that's a looooong time to be in a car with children. (thank heavens for electronics).

I've been looking up fun places to visit besides the ocean while we are there and this is the list of places that I think we will try to visit on our trip.
  • Living Coast Discovery Center - it has a turtle lagoon, shark and stingray exhibits, and nature trails. Its $14 for Adults, $9 for kids 4+ and free for 0-3.
  • Cabrillo National Monument (Point Loma National Park)- it has tide pools, whale watching and a light house. $5 for a Day parking pass.
  • Reuben H Fleet Science Center- basically an interactive science museum with an I-Max movie dome. To get in and also see a show it is $17 for adults and $14 for kids.
As you can see I don't plan on going to the typical amusement parks with my kids yet. I think that Lagoon this summer will be enough and the crowds at the big name places would not mix well with my wandering, hard of listening children. The ocean and a couple learning centers will be enough fun for us this year.

If you've been there or lived there and have any suggestions I would love to hear them, we wont be leaving for a couple months and I'm going pretty blindly.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monster High Party

This post is just about a year late but I finally got a new SD card for my camera and I thought I would post some of Makayla's birthday party pictures from when she turned six.
She's had a total of two birthday parties in her lifetime and the first was when she turned one so I put a decent amount of effort into this one and it turned out fun.

 I made her cake with lots of frosting and colored sprinkles placed really close to each other.
 For the planned activities I printed out several different coloring pages for the girls to work on while we waited for everyone to show up. Then after coloring we had cake and ice cream. After cake the girls played a made up game of Zombie tag, which took the least effort and was actually the best played activity. I did spray paint a lawn twister for an activity too. I bought a cheap 4 pack of toilet paper for a mummy wrap game and the girls had fun racing each other, we had a giant mess of toilet paper in the end but that was okay. After presents we let the girls color white felt masks with markers for the rest of the time left.
Monster High Coloring Pages
 We called the red punch "Vampire Blood"

 I used Red Vines in mason jars for a snacking center piece.
 The beginning of the mummy wrap game, I timed everyone on my phone for a minute to see who could wrap up their partner the most in that time.

 The girls wanted to keep playing so they put together the unwrapped pieces and played several more times.

 Gift time