Sunday, January 12, 2014

strong 12

Going strong. I feel amazing. My poop is green and I feel alive and strong. The cravings are gone. In fact I love that I actually feel hunger pains from a low blood sugar system I've created. When I was eating heavy carbs and sugar my blood sugar and insulin spiked and crashed quickly and I craved everything- especially sugar. Before I always "felt" like eating something even though I wasn't even hungry- now I actually feel hunger pains which reminds me to eat. Sugar doesn't really seem tempting anymore. My thoughts have changed and I don't seem to focused on my next meal- I feel like I am understanding my body a little bit more. I know I will want to crash one of these days- but that's ok. For right now, I feel great.

I did have some potatoes today. In this competition with my sister-n-laws we get a free day to eat something sweet. So I decided to have a few potatoes pieces in this soup I made for the family. They are so yummy when you don't eat them very often.

ok, time to make dinner for the sister missionaries. Should I serve them chopped kale? Ha! I was a missionary once, I know the value of a good unhealthy fulfilling meal on the mission.

Monday, January 06, 2014

strong 5,6

5 conquered Sunday- I am already down 6 pounds. Water weight is what I call it- I always lose 6-10 lbs the first week. I feel energetic and content. I still crave the good stuff. Chay made his awesome panko chicken strips and they looked awesome- but I just kept reminding myself that I am seeking health not temporal satisfaction.

6- I made 4 loaves of wheat bread today for the family and I didn't have one slice. I am so incredibly proud of myself. It smelled wonderful but I decided to just appreciate the smell. I will definitely have to have bread baking in the oven when we show our house when we move someday. So inviting...

I don't tell many people what I am doing because they choose not to understand it and the crazy remarks come flying- but our good Brazilian friend came over and I told him I had been Vegan, wheat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, white-rice-free, potato free, processed food-free for 5 days and he just looked at me and asked what do I even eat? There are so many things to eat!!! You just have to be creative. I told him about my chickpea curry I had the night before, cucumber hummus sandwiches, spaghetti squash drizzled in avocado oil and pepper- food has come alive again for me and it is fun to take all these plant based foods that we usually rarely eat and make it my main dish. I have these Anthropoligie bowls that I love but never use but I told the kids that I am going to use them when I eat magic food. I use them everyday now. Makes me happy.

I feel amazing. I feel energetic and excited. Today I started a health fitness competition with my sister-n-laws and other people. I exercised for the first time in a long time. It felt good. I had so much energy. I was able to take on so much with strength and patience. So this is what normal people feel like? Is this why their house is always clean and they accomplish so much? Because today I said to myself, "If I felt like this everyday I would have a clean house...and I would be an entirely new mom" I like those thoughts.

Ok well off to bed I go-

little moments and thoughts

This morning started out sad. I had to take Kenzie back to school. I have loved having the kids home for break. In the van I popped in the CD the primary handed out with all the primary songs for 2014. Oh my gosh!!! All my favorite songs! They are going to learn "I stand all amazed" as well! Beautiful. I felt so much peace. Kenzie was singing along. I started to cry. I told Kenzie I felt the spirit- music does that to me. It was just an awesome moment. So I might just have to trade my favorite radio station for the primary cd- at least when the kids are in the car :) so worth it!! I will have to make sure to thank the Primary presidency for this awesome awesome idea!

I love picking up the kids from school. Julia is always looking anxiously. I love seeing them wave. I wave back with so much excitement. I see them so small waiting by the fence- they just had a big day dealing with friends and learning new things and I know how it feels to see mom's van pulling around the corner in the pick-up line. I asked what their favorite part of going back to school was and Kenzie said, "lunch" and Julia said "when you picked us up" That bad, huh? They don't love love school- I think Kenzie enjoys it, because she is just an enjoyable person- but they rather be at home. I know that will probably change once they start making closer friends outside the family.

The music from Frozen is overtaking our house. The kids have memorized all the songs just by watching clips on youtube. They sang a song tonight for Grandma and Grandpa Ramsey. I will say, it is always always in my head and I can't help to belt out the songs too from time to time.

Tonight from family home evening we shut off every light in the house and lit a candle that Kenzie made for me at school for Christmas. We asked the kids to come out of their room- oh they thought it was so cool. We put the candle on the kitchen table and we sang "Teach me to Walk". We talked about light, Christ, the Holy Ghost all under candle light. Usually Family nights are chaotic but this one seemed to not be as boring or something because they participated a lot and stayed focused. Even Xander- Chay taught about the Holy Ghost and Kenzie receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost when she is baptized. Xander thought we were talking about a real ghost and he started to get scared- well the lights were all off and we kept saying the word, "Ghost"  it makes sense.

Today Xander finally went back to taking a mid-day nap. He hasn't napped for 2 weeks during the break. We read some Look and Find book together and we both fell asleep. I woke up an hour later. Oh, yes, I remember one of the few things I like about kids being in school, Mom can take a nap while the little ones nap. I am so so excited about having Xander all day next year. He needs more one on one with me. He is such a funny kid. Can't understand half of what he says- but he sure tries.

Today is my brother Bryon's birthday. I love my brother so much. I don't even know where he lives or where he is. I know he's probably making poor choices or whatever- but I don't care. My love for him is the same. I love him so much. I knew I would cry if I started typing about him. Bryon has a good heart. I cherish our sweet memories together.

ok, well I am trying really hard to write more in my blog. I want to capture little moments and thoughts I don't want to forget. I think I will now go to bed and get warm.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Christmas break 2

5 bottles of antibiotics, a nebulizer, and a suction machine. Bronchitis, pink eye, hand foot mouth disease, ear infections, sinus infections, stomach flu (Xander and Mommy). Aaaand that is why none of you got treats from the Clarks, or any presents in the mail. It was more than I could handle. It all was manifesting itself before Christmas and it is finally going away. AHHHH So much coughing!! We met our deductible and our maximum on our health insurance so we made a huge trip to the Doctor. All 4 were seen and treated.

So no, we're not inactive from church and we really do like our friends and family, but we just needed to stay away from everyone because we're highly contagious.

*Scripture study last night went really well mainly because Mckenzie asked if she could braid my hair. Um, Yes! I read while she braided away. Normally I expect the kids to either sit still or draw what we're talking about- but all rules are out the door if you want to play with Mommy's hair.

We are finishing up the Book of Mormon- trying so hard to get it done before her baptism on February 1st. She stayed up way late the other night and read several chapters by flashlight. I wasn't sure how the comprehension was going but the next day she went off about stories she read. well, alright.

*The Pom Pom store. So each child has a jar. The girls have bigger ones. When they do their morning chores, help around the house, play the piano, or I catch them being good I give them a pom pom. It's those fuzzy little colorful balls from the dollar store. Each Pom Pom is worth a nickle. I have a Pom Pom store with little prizes that have pom pom price tags on each item. At the end of the week at Family Council we count poms poms. We put a money value on them just so they can pay tithing and put some in savings but the rest they can buy something out of the store or trade all the remaining pom poms in for money and save up for something big- a trip with mom or dad to the real store and get whatever they saved for. The pom pom store works awesome for Xander and is half in half with Julia. Kenzie already has saved enough the past month and half to buy a rainbow loom.

I have a clipboard for each child with several clothespins clipped on one side. Written on the clothespins are the things I expect for them to do that day. When the chore is finished, they move the clothespins to the other side of clipboard- on the other side of the clothespin it's the chore/verb in the past tense. Practiced, made bed, and so forth.

Sounds pretty awesome and it is- but it's rocky. It was really bumpy at first as we tried to work out the kinks and I almost lost the children's excitement because it wasn't organized. Plus I'm a scatter brain from time to time so I forget to reinforce and sometimes it is late going to bed at night so I forget to hand out pom poms. Other times I frankly don't have it in me to care about the pom poms and so it will die off for a couple days. Other times I lose it and go crazy mom on them and threatened to take out 20 pom poms for fighting, it usually works but I really didn't want this to be a negative thing. Sitting outside or sitting in the corner should be their punishments. I don't want those fuzzy cute happy balls to be associated with anything too sad...but oh its tempting. Once I was being a bad mom (just once) and I said to Julia that I was going to take out some pom poms if she didn't stop what she was doing. Well, obviously that was the wrong thing to say to Julia because she just took out the balls and started throwing them all over the room "FINE! Take the stupid balls!!" Oh precious child of mine. She will be the type that will have the most delicious bowl of ice cream in front of her and she won't eat it out of pride. May this all turn to strengths someday.

Julia spelled her name wrong in this notebook she earned from the pom pom store. It was the end of the world in the Clark home for about 2 hours. I did all I could as her mother. Nothing worked. She had to sit on her top bunk and just figure out everything on her own. She finally got over it and she was back to being Julia- fun and creative. But oh boy. How I love that huge spirit. How could I be so lucky to know and raise someone that is so unique and beautiful.

Julia loves Legos. She got some for Christmas. It's a Daddy Julia thing. It has been great for those two. Chay loves to build Legos and Trios with the kids. He will sit and watch cartoons with them and I can hear him giggling right along with the kids. That's my man.

On New Year's Eve we were pretty lame. Kenzie might be 8 but she still doesn't understand the excitement of the year rolling over to the next at midnight. So asleep they were at midnight and asleep they'll always be until they actually want to stay up. That night we had a family night and we did our annual gift to the Savior. It was a tradition my Mom started when I was a teenager. We opened up the gift that stays wrapped all year and placed on my bookshelf in the piano room. Inside the box were our written gifts to the Savior from the year before and the old ones from previous years. It was fun to see how handwriting has improved. Fun to see how we try to improve on the same things every year- visiting teaching, home teaching, temple attendance, scripture reading, health- our hearts are good, right?

My favorite part of the night was when we went around and bore our testimonies. Some shared stories of how they helped others and some were real testimonies. It was neat and it was good practice.

Last night there was a snow storm and so the air is cleaner. What is up with this place? I read on the news that we should consider wearing masks when we walk outside???? I'M NOT A FAN!!! Drives me crazy. I feel like we're living in the middle of a mini natural disaster, or downtown Hong Kong.

Chay took the kids on a 4 wheeling ride and to play on the hill by our house. It took us 20 minutes to get 3 kids ready in their snow gear. Hard work. I told them that I am locking the door and they can't come in for at least an hour to make it worth putting all those layers of snow clothes on.

Do you think there's room for Sam? 

Saturday, January 04, 2014

strong 2,3,4

Day 2 I was tired again but it wasn't a yucky bloated tired- just a "change" tired. I had a hard time moving around. Tired to the bones tired. My headache was really bad the first day and all through the night but today it is gone. 2nd day at night while working at the health club I started sweating everywhere. Detox? It felt good. I know sweating is so good for me.

Day 3 My back pain went away and I was in a good mood. I was craving everything under the sun. Chay told me that everyday I stick to eating alkaline he will give me a back rub. I am running into troubles with being creative on what to eat. I am not as prepared as I would like to be. I still have to make family dinner because I am the mom, but I don't eat what I make and it's hard. I have to remember that I am stronger than my weaknesses.

I don't like the word "self-control" all that much because I see so many people trying to accomplish hard things without God and many times fail because they forget who really is in control- but I know if I change my thought processes around and I look at things differently, I know that the "things" we give up to accomplish a goal aren't really as important as the natural man says they are. It's all in our mind. When I say "things", I don't mean jeopardizing relationships, I mean silly things that seem to have so much significance in our lives- like chocolate and bacon in my case. It can actually be harder to be nice sometimes than to refuse bacon anyway.

I like the word "surrender" better than self-control. Handing it over to God and let Him help with the battle. Plus when we succeed along the way we tend to be more humble. "Look what I did all on my own, look what huge thing I did. I am so amazing."  verses "Thank you for all the help Lord and for giving me the strength I needed to get through this. I couldn't have done it with out you."

My health is in the Lord's hands. I know it must be done with God's help to fulfill all that I need to do in this life. And if I die in a car accident at 38 then at least I was obedient to promptings and that's all that is expected of me.

Day 4 I woke up at 6:30 wanting to wake up even though I went to bed past midnight. I never want to wake up. I feel energetic and silly. I have been dancing and singing around the kitchen all morning making the kids laugh. I wasn't sluggish like I usually am. I have a huge zit on my face. Hello, wrinkles and zits don't go together! I am thinking it's the slow detoxing.

The night before I started this whole experiment, I bought a gallon of Tillamook's Huckleberry Mountain Ice cream. Why or why???  It now stares at me every time I open the freezer....CONQUER!!!

Master your fears, stay the course and watch the beauty of of life unfold for you- love this quote.

Christmas traditions and a tired mommy

Christmas Break.

I love any kind of break.

Okay, so the kids have been home for almost 2 weeks and it is going by way too fast. I love having them home and I love the not having to rush them. No early mornings or rigid schedules. I swear elementary school should start at 9:30 and be done by 2.

We have done a lot of crafts and hanging out.

 I have been cleaning like crazy. We did a bunch of Christmasy things the first part of the break. Church party- I was in charge of the ward Primary Nativity (part of the ward Christmas party)- Chay, bless his heart had to go find a broken down stable and fix it in the freezing temperatures.

He had to haul it to the church and set it up on the stage. Here is a picture of the stable the night before when we were starting to decorate. Huge and really heavy. We got rid of it after the party. No thank you. Next year we will find something more simple. We gathered costumes and had a nativity rehearsal the night before the party. We were in dire need of a manger so I pulled up my sleeves and decided to make one myself out of the pile of wood stacked outside on our porch. This is not my thing to work with tools and to build something out of wood, but I have always wanted to learn. Well it took a lot of brain power to figure out angles. My neighbor Bill came over when he saw me pulling out the miter saw. He was concerned :) but he helped me figure it all out. Turned out great. Chay was so impressed.

Kenzie was Mary for the Nativity. The kids were all strung out on sugar and it was a little crazy. They all sang "The Nativity Song" in the primary song book. I played the piano for the primary rehearsal and I was quite happy with myself for being able to play the piano without sabotaging the song. The skit ended up adorable. I am trying really hard to set traditions in the ward- one being a yearly Nativity. We can forget Santa for just a little while and focus more on things that have more substance- and I think there will be more vivid memories when the kids grow up of them being on stage in costume acting out the Nativity in front of many people instead of sitting on Santa's lap. I like Santa and all and he was at the party but we didn't want him to be the focus.

As a family we went to a city parade (those types of things always stresses me out- big crowds bleh) and we went to this place that displayed hundreds of Nativities from all over the world. It was so awesome. The girls and I were in love. I found Xander laying down on the floor right in the middle of all the tables just looking up at the lights on the ceiling. I guess he wasn't as interested. At the end of the Nativity tour, there was a dress-up Nativity for kids. My three were the angels. We should have stuck Samson in the manger. We were tired.

Kenzie finally sat on Santa's lap. It was time to face her 8 years of Santa fears. I am serious, 8 years. I have a picture when she is barely a one year old and she is screaming her head off. She has always hid and cried when it was her turn to sit on his lap. I figured she better at least sit on his lap once while she still believes in him, right? Good Job Mckenzie!!!

Right when Christmas break started Chay was at the tail-end of interviewing for a job. It was the perfect job and a great career move. We prayed so hard. They loved Chay and we were almost 100% certain he would get the job. They kept calling him back for more and more interviews and they even gave him a tour of the place. But they decided to go with the other candidate at the end. When Chay told me I thought he was joking. He wasn't. I started to dry heave I was so sick about it. I cried really hard for 2 hours straight. I was so mad and confused. I felt so sad for Chay.

Lesson learned: Just because you are doing everything right, does not mean things will always go right. I also don't think God cares as much as we think He does about jobs and careers. He just wants us to be faithful I guess. Although I would love to serve more and go on missions someday and get 4 kids out on missions- and pay off my silly student loan for crying out loud- so divine help in the money department would be nice. I know Chay has done so much to further his career. He works for a great company already. I know we will be blessed. I guess we will just have to keep working hard and waiting for that next big job.

So during the long 2 weeks of interviews and the anxiety of it all, I decided to focus on Christmas more to keep my mind off of things. I wanted to do a 12 days of Christmas for a family. I know a special family I met through Kenzie's school and from a city soccer league. The mom and I became friends quickly and I found out she lives close to us. I knew I wanted to do the 12 days of Christmas for her and her family.

I loved the idea of giving a Nativity away and each night give a piece of the manger scene. I found a cute poem that goes with each piece of the nativity on Pinterest. Of Course. (You know, my mom would have written the poem herself if she was me because Pinterest didn't exist. I thought long and hard about how some parts of the tech world are sucking out the creativity in me, and so next year I am determined to write the nativity poem myself.) Well anyway, I searched long and hard for a nativity set that was in my $12-15 price range that had all the characters- shepherds, angels, animals, mary, baby Jesus, Joseph, wise men. It is so hard to find one with everyone! Nowhere to be found. I couldn't even find a nativity in most places. I was hauling Xander and Sam around with me to every store in town. We kept saying to each other as we pushed the shopping cart through the aisles of Christmas decorations, "Where is baby Jesus? This is His birthday and we can't even find Him. With all these Christmas decorations and no baby Jesus." Xander jumped on board so fast, he wanted to find baby Jesus too. A few places had nativities but not in the price range I wanted or they only had a few of the characters.

The same day we found out Chay didn't get the job, I found a nativity on KSL. With swollen eyes and feeling so forgotten I decided to check a couple more places. I got on KSL and found the perfect Nativity with every character and even a stable. I called the lady knowing my chances of the Nativity not being sold already were pretty slim. She was so nice and she said, "You know what? I thought it would sell in 30 minutes but it never did, it's been online for 10 days!"  She was selling it for $10! I reluctantly asked Chay in all his misery if he could possibly swing by Kaysville and pick up this manger scene for me. He did and he was even willing. Heart of Gold that man has. The nativity was HUGE! It made me feel gratitude in my heart despite the major let down earlier that day.

Delivering each night was kind of a pain. The family's house was in a super inconvenient location and having something to do every night became more like a chore, especially to Chay. The kids loved it but it was harder than we thought it would be. The family doesn't have a doorbell and they have this huge metal cage like screen door in front of their front door. One night I borrowed a friend of a friend of a friend's phone and sent a text to the family that said

It's Christmas time and we love you so
but there's one thing you might not know
we dropped off a surprise at 7 o'clock
but there's no doorbell and you can't hear us knock.

we eventually just dropped off stuff knowing they wouldn't get it until morning...

But it was good- and I think it will get better through the years. It's all about the experience. One night I dropped off the package and I knocked really hard on the window. I booked it so dang fast and ran through another yard- full of snow. Chay came and picked me up and I was just laughing. That was so fun! I need more stuff like this in my life. Reminds me of younger years when my mom would have me always deliver the secret packages.

One tradition that I love doing with the kids is driving around until we find an outdoor manger scene lit up in someone's front yard. We stop and sing Silent Night. It always ends up being a sweet moment no matter what, even if Daddy disagrees :) What would Christmas be like without women and patient men???

I performed 2 times over the Christmas season. Once for the stake and once for the ward. I played and sang a song I wrote about Mary. I had the melody and tune for a couple years but couldn't figure out the right words until I was pregnant with Sam. Then one day it came. I really love the song and I feel so comfortable at the piano singing. Especially when I don't have to read music! It was just something I wanted to do. Now will Faith Hill buy my song for 1 million dollars please!

I sang for the ward- I sang a really pretty version of The First Noel. As I was singing I turned my music to the next page and the music wasn't there. I freaked out. I kept looking and looking and in the meantime I just started making up my own words. A person can only sing about how nice the shepherds are for so long...I just laughed and turned to Rachel the pianist and told her I had to stop. I told the congregation I lost my music and I need to stop making up words. They all laughed and it quickly put my nerves to ease. I love laughter. So I started again once I organized my music and found all the sheets and it turned out great the second time. My ward knows me so well- I have embarrassed myself enough over the years- what is one more thing, I mean seriously.

Christmas Eve we attempted to do the Christmas Story in Luke 2. Everyone was sick and ornery. We had the kids dress up but it ended up being a fiasco. That night I felt a little discouraged that the night wasn't "neater". Then I noticed Kenzie's letter to Santa. She left him a scripture. I cried. I cried probably because I was tired, emotional, and just wanted to sleep forever- but it was very touching and gave me hope that my kids are catching on to the real meaning of Christmas despite imperfect parents and total chaos.

When the kids went to sleep the "Elves" painted their fingernails. One of the Elves was naughty and got fingernail polish on Julia's new pajamas. But it's something so sweet Chay Santa does every year. Xander even got his nails painted- can't leave him out.  

I could tell Christmas morning I was so done. We were all sick. Everyone was coughing and wiping their noses. The kids woke up to their Santa presents. They were all so happy with what they got. The next day or the day after that the tree went outside and I took down all the decorations. I just needed a new start. Farewell Christmas 2013.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

strong 1

I made it through the day. My head is pounding and I feel very tired and slightly sick to my stomach.

I knew this would be coming so I was sort of prepared.

Off to bed I go.

right in the thick of it

etsy shop leesaralou
Because lately I have been obsessed with organizing my home, (no, I'm not pregnant) I made the whole family sit around the table on Sunday and put together all the kid's puzzles so we could throw away the ones that were missing pieces. It ended up being a really fun memory. Loved that Chay was so into finishing his 100 piece Fairy puzzle. It seems that putting together puzzles makes for really strange and humorous conversations. The girls had a throw down singing competition at one part of the puzzle marathon- Frozen. They love the music from the new movie Frozen. So right now in their life, including Xander, the songs from that movie are literally everything to them when it comes to expressing their musical abilities. They sing so loud with such emotion.

The goofyness was out of control on Sunday and everyone was just giggly. I don't know if it's because we feel sort of trapped inside because it's winter and we really have no place to go or what- but the house was full of laughter and sillyness and I loved it. I can't believe how lucky I am to be surrounded by all these certain people- especially children. It is a great time of my life.

I panic sometimes when I think of life passing too quickly, especially my kids- but I know I won't have any major regrets, I know I am spending time with them, I know I have treasured many many moments- I am living right in the thick of it and loving most of it.

I really do hate however how these sweet sincere older ladies will come up to me at the store and say things like, "They grow up so fast" or "I would do anything to have them little again" or "I don't know where life has gone" or "just wait until they're teenagers and you'll miss them being little".

First of all it gives me a little bit of anxiety when older people say stuff like this because all of the sudden I feel my kids will be 20 years old when I wake up the next day and I will somehow wonder where the last 15 years went. Second of all, those kind of remarks put this artificial doubt in my mind that I am somehow not loving being a mother to these adorable kids. I then realize it must be the older mothers who have some sort of regret who always say those kind of things to young moms. I feel like their words are their own sorrowful thoughts of their past or something. It's like they feel this need to warn young moms that their future happiness is in danger. (I'm laughing while I write this because I know this isn't always the case and that I'm being dramatic, but I like to play it out in my mind for moment that it is the case, so I'll go with it)

The other day this sweet bent old lady with good intentions noticed me at the store with my kids. She came up to me with certainty she was going to say something so prophetic and wise. I am now prepared for these encounters but on this particular day I wasn't in the mood. "Try to enjoy it my dear." She said, "They're only small once. You will miss it one day and would do anything to have them small again." Ahhh okay, never heard that before! I just smiled and said out of frustration, "I do enjoy it. I enjoy every single moment of it (white lie) and I will never have any regrets (white lie again). Each age of my children's life will be exciting to me and I don't worry about if I am spending enough time with them or not, because I am." She kind of didn't know what to say or she thought I was weird because she just slightly smiled and said, "ok, dear". I started to laugh at how I acted and I couldn't wait to go home and tell Chay. Life.

The other day I got my guitar off the wall. Lately it has become nothing more than just decoration in our front room. The kids quickly flocked around Mom and all wanted to play it and Xander kept strumming the strings while I played and it was getting a little annoying. So we decided to play a game where I play a tune and make up the words of a song and then I stop singing and the next person has to make up lyrics. Oh my gosh it was funny. We laughed to hard. Kenzie was impressive and she could hear her own melody with the chords I was playing. Her words consisted of rainbows and unicorns and how much she loves her siblings. Xander sang about chopping off heads and poop, Julia started to sing with her sweet voice but something sucked the confidence out of her and she started to whine about how she hates singing in front of people. (I have heard Julia sing in her own time and place- usually when she thinks no one is listening and she has a beautiful voice for a 6 year old). Daddy was on his phone in the corner chair just laughing at the situation.

 Maybe this is why I was supposed to love music and learn to play piano and guitar- maybe it was for my family and that's it. The memories and love I share through music for my family are not performing for audiences obviously but more for bedtime, singing babies to sleep, playing songs on the guitar about chopping off heads and poop, singing around a fire, playing Christmas music on the piano, helping Kenzie figure out a hard song at the piano, trying to teach Kenzie and Julia how to harmonize the song Kumbaya while I curl their hair in the morning, singing "I love to see the Temple" a million times at Xander's request before he falls asleep. I'm pretty sure all these memories will put a greater worth on my love for music more than anything when I look back on life. Music brings people together!...even if the quality of it is questionable. :)

Dates with my kids. Yesterday just Xander and I went to the ENT to get his wedged-in-with-wax tubes removed from his ears. It was just the two of us. We had fun until he screamed bloody murder when they poked his ear drum. And the fun is officially over-  I wished I understood him more. I know it is building a wall that I so desperately want to take down. He gets so so so frustrated with his speech. He is learning more and more every day- but I only get about 60% of what he says but I find him alientating himself and doing his own thing. He will try to explain something to us but after the second try he does this anger groan and walks off. Oh my heart. It will come, it will come. When we do understand what he says, he gets the most adorable grin across his face and we finally both connect with each other- it's the best feeling!

Samson. I can't get over how fun this baby is! He loves touch. I pick him up and he immediately swings his arms around my neck and holds on tight. He holds on so passionately. He grabs my face and pulls his face towards mine and nuzzles. He loves to hold on to hair when someone holds him. He will softly touch my mouth, cheeks and nose. He weighed the most out of all my babies when he was born but he is the smallest baby growth wise. He will be a year next month and it feels like I still have a 6 month old. He is only 18 pounds. Kenzie and Julia weighed that at 3 months. He doesn't want to crawl. He just sits there and plays with toys. THANK YOU!!!! I am not ready for a mover yet. Sammy we love you. Cute cute baby. Especially at night when all the kids are asleep and Daddy and I get to spend some quality time together with you- Sam comes out of his shell once he realizes that he has no one to compete with for attention and he gets so animated and loud! He giggles and screams- most of our video footage of Sam is late at night when everyone is asleep. It's too adorable. I love babies. I love having babies in the home- their sweet sweet spirit seems to calm down many situations that would normally play out different- when everyone is bickering and raising their voices, there's Sam just smiling sucking on his fist- it kind of puts things at ease real fast.

ok, well I am thankful that I woke up at 6:30 to write this. I have a hard time figuring out a good time to write in a journal or to blog. But I somehow moseyed my way into the room with the computer and just started writing- which is a miracle that I didn't get sucked into Facebook or Pinterest. ok, I hear the kids starting to make noises upstairs. Another day begins.