Friday, November 12, 2010

Family Hierarchy

Last night Jerrod was telling me how much he loved Helam's admiration for him. Helam thinks his dad is quite awesome. I was expressing to Jerrod some examples of how true Helam's adoration, and I asked little man, "Helam, who's the KING?" Helam looks up at both of us, grins, and knowingly replies, "Mama's da King-Ding-Ding." So there you have it. Hahaha. Smart boy.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Helam's quite an adventurous boy, and I frequently find myself warning him that what he's doing is dangerous. (His pronunciation of the word is pretty awesome.) He's learned a new trick though, when I tell him he's doing something dangerous he'll look at me with a twinkle in his eye and say, "Gonna give Mama a kiss." Then he starts doing kissy sounds as he comes over to me, gives me a big kiss, then goes back to what he was doing and says, "I dangewous." Little stinker.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer lovin'

Tonight we spent a few hours in the park as a family. With dad. On a weeknight. During the summer. Do you have any idea how HUGE that is?!?

(Not to mention that this is one of the most relaxing park trips ever for me. HE played with the kids, I sat and read a book. Amazing.)

I'm loving it.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

I just got done reclaiming my onion patch. It was so exciting to see them actually coming out of the ground! They were hidden so well though. The entire row was covered in weeds, now it just has onion sprigs coming up. Very satisfying. (Although something bit my behind. Ouch.)

The kids are helping too. They get $2.00 for each 6 gallon food storage bucket they fill up with weeds. We both think we're getting a steal. Unfortunately, we've got enough weeds for them to each make a small fortune.

Oh, and my farmer's tan is coming in marvelously, though calling it a tan is being quite generous. It's more of a farmer's burn, freckle line, and extra dry peeling skin. Super super sexy.
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Maybe they're on to something!

My kids just asked me to stay in bed a little longer so they could finish getting their chores done! (Or maybe I'm still dreaming?) Ah. If I really thought it would really work, I'd think this was a brilliant plan! I'm willing to do my part though. Let's do it every morning! Haha.
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Friday, June 4, 2010


I told him that to go outside he needed more clothes, so he found a "sockie" to go with his shoes.
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Helam was putting his shoes on saying, "Outside?" He's now begging at the door.
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Mermaid Modesty

I was thrilled when Essi came to me today to show me how she made her mermaid more modest! (She was pretty skanky before) Essi used a broken part of a green balloon and it's a seaweed shirt. I'm glad modesty is becoming important to Essi, because she's my girl who's been pretty interested in what she thinks is "fashionable" which isn't always the most modest. She'll pull her shirt off her shoulders or tie it in a way that her stomach shows. I don't know where she gets it from, but I'm glad that our talks on showing reverence for our body, and dressing modestly are sticking somewhere.
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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May the fourth be with you.

So today is National Star Wars Day. May the 4th be with you. haha. Okay, it's cheesy. I know. This May 4th, Star Wars has a new HUGE fan. Helam watched episode 1 with his dad last Saturday.

He. Loved. It.

For a movie to hold his interest for even a few minutes, it must have cars, robots, tools, or an annoying dancing dinosaur. Star Wars delivered in a big way. They even have the annoying dinosaur in the form of Jar Jar Binks. (I wished he'd die in the first 10 minutes of the show, but Essi thinks he's funny, so that softens me to him. A little.)

Helam stayed in the room the WHOLE time, every time the scene changed, he'd say, "WHOA!" in his really husky voice. His eyes were SO big. In a very short time he mastered the word "Pace Sip" and he'd continually say it with reverence. He had a toy sword that automatically became a light saber and has had light saber sound effects since. (On a side note, WHO teaches boys these things? I still swear they come with their own sound effect chip in their brain.) He'd lay on his stomach and happily kick his feet. I haven't seen him in such bliss. He kept going right up right to the tv, he'd turn with excitement shining from his eyes look at us, his huge round head blocking the screen. I didn't mind. I wasn't watching the movie, I was watching him.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Book of Mormon/Youtube Challenge

I know some have heard about this, but if you haven't, here's a link with more information.

Facebook page

In summary, today they are trying to get Elder Holland's talk to page 1 of Youtube for a day or something, how you can help is by watching the video, linking it, favoriting it, liking it, commenting, etc. I guess multiple views are good too. Anyway, here's the link to the video.

Testimony of the Book of Mormon

Monday, April 26, 2010

Teetotaling, or Back on the Wagon.

I ain’t never shoutin’ “uncle” to you or nobody, ‘cuz I ain’t never down!
Come on, Molly, you’re tuckered.
Why don’t you quit?
Sure, I’m tuckered and I might give out,
but I won’t give in! How can anybody say that I’m down? Look. I’m thinking. I’m thinking very hard how to break through. Maybe here, maybe there, maybe no place. But, there’ll come a time when nuthin’, nor nobody wants me down like I wants me up! Up where the people are, up where the talkin’ is, up where the jokes goin’ on.
Now, looky here, I am important to me!
Ain’t no bottom to no pile! I mean much more to me than I mean to anybody I ever knew! Certainly more than I mean to any sideways, yassy-hampers like you guys! Go ahead, break my arm… me say “uncle”…hooo! Doesn’t make a bit o’ difference for you to keep sayin’ I’m down ‘til I say so, too!
D’ya ever try steppin’ on a piss ant?
Well, there’s one now. Jump ‘im, stump ‘im! Thinkin’ you got ‘im? Thinkin’ he’s quit? He don’t think so. There he goes! And you can be positive sure I’m as good as any piss ant that ever lived!
Oh, I hate that word “down”!
But, I love that word “up”! ‘Cuz “up” means “hope” an’ that’s jus’ what I got! Hope!

-The Unsinkable Molly Brown

So for my sugar thing I did awesome. Then, since I was invincible, and had kicked my sugar habit, I'd allow myself 2 days of eating whatever sugary things I wanted. Those 2 days turned into 13. I ate a lot of sugar. A lot. I can't pretend I didn't enjoy it. I did. I figured, hey I can do this in moderation! I can't. I felt like junk. I wasn't in control anymore. The sugar was stronger than I.

Today was day 1 again with no sugar. I didn't think one could do so much sugar damage in 2 weeks, or that I'd have to go through such severe sugar detox again. It sucks. isn't fun. I have a headache from he... that is really bad. I've been sharp with my kids. (Even Helam! *sniff.* On a side note, HOW do you keep an 18 month old from constantly sticking his flipping hands down his pants?!?) My brain is fuzzy. I'm really grumpy. I want more sugar.

I am stronger though. I'll keep it up, realizing that I can't allow myself to do this again. It's kind of empowering going into hand to hand combat with such a powerful foe. Unfortunately, today it's dealt some powerful blows. I didn't give in though, so does that mean I'm winning? For today at least?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

On again, Off again.

May I present "Nirvana." For Menstruating Woman.

I had this bad boy tonight after my homemade Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa salad. (It has been accurately described as Food Mecca.) The dressing is good too. Helam climbed on the table and was eating it with a spoon. What you can't see with this cupcake is that it is really a brownie. With cherries. And cream cheese. And milk and white chocolate chips. It was really good.

As for the giving up sugar thing, I agree with Scarlet when she said, "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Silver Linings

While we were at the dentist this morning, my tire went flat. At least it was after the appointment, AND we were in town close to the tire place, and NO cavities!! (-Though there was discussion of Sariah's impending orthodontia.)

When we went to get it filled, we found we were way overdue for new tires, AND an oil change. We've known this for a while, but at least we found out at a time when we could afford it (Though grudgingly. Seriously. Who wants to pay that much money for something as boring as tires?!) and that we were able to do it before we had a tire blow or something.

While we waited for the car to get fixed we went for a walk. (How awesome that the stroller was in the van!) It was cold and none of my kids had coats. At least it wasn't raining! (Or let's be real, we're in Rexburg, it could easily have been snowing.)

While we were walking a bird pooped. On. My. Hand. I'm not seeing a huge silver lining there, (at least it wasn't my head?) but I'm incredibly grateful for baby wipes. However, I am NOT grateful for sippy cups. A few minutes after that "fowl" incident I discovered that Helam's stupid sippy cup leaked all over my phone effectively destroying it. (Di-thanks for letting me use you as an emergency contact. My phone let me see that you said yes, but not reply. I'm glad you said yes, because I'd already put you.)

When we got home, it was 4. Helam, who usually naps at 11, went down for a late nap. (SO overdue.) I was supposed to get to spend my afternoon sorting and folding laundry, doing dishes, and rewinding the fishing line that Helam spread all over the house and organizing my craft room. That's really not happening. Neither is dinner.

Luckily, in about an hour I have a husband coming home who I hope has a lot of energy because he hasn't had to look for a lot of silver linings, while dragging "a multitude of blessings" (3) around town while getting pooped on today.

In other good news... before the dentist appointment, I got both the big bathrooms cleaned, scrubbed, and beautiful. (Baseboards too!) As I was getting ready to go, I tried on one of my old "skinny shirts" (that used to be way to small for me) and my skinny pants (Not to be confused EVER with skinny jeans, though they were jeans.) Both have now become my "fat clothes."

Sunday, March 28, 2010


This was my project today! I'm pretty happy with how this turned out!
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Welcome Spring!!

I've longed for it's arrival. I'd seen the signs of it's coming. My kids are starting to smell like outside. It must be SPRING!!! I'm a little more than excited. (A Lot.) I can finally come out of hibernation and it seems like everything is starting anew. Love it. Today we spent the day working in our garden. Our garden. We've never had a garden. We've moved every April and August (plus some) for the past 7 years. It's exhilarating! It's also nice to get to do "Spring Cleaning" instead of "Spring Packing." It's exciting that we actually get to stay in our newly cleaned and fresh (it will be;) ) house, and not just clean it to move out! Lalalala!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Our house has been infiltrated! We've got green footprints coming out from the heater vents...

Some more coming from the bathroom sink and all over the toilet, and I'm not sure what they did to turn the water green. There were tracks going to the kitchen and throughout the refrigerator, leaving adhesive symbols of luck and fortune on all of our food. In the girls bathroom upstairs it looks like there were a couple of them walking all over the counter. (More green toilet water.)

Luckily, they seem friendly! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I can't think of a catchy title but I wanted to show off a bit!

I've never gotten into the whole scrapbooking/homemade card thing. Well, I've sort of gotten into it, in that I've purchased piles of papers, letters, stickers, flowers, glue, etc. I've yet to complete a single page. So I'm pretty proud of my latest project where I actually used scrapbooking materials and completed a project. (I'd be a lot more proud had I used up some of what I'd already had, but instead I bought some new stuff, but let's pretend that part didn't happen.) This was my first attempt and I'm pretty happy with the results. I also enjoyed making it which I suppose is a really really good thing, as when I was buying "just a few" new things, I found a "really good deal" on smaller notebooks, (I love notebooks and basically anything made of paper.) and bought a lot. I figured they'd make great homemade gifts... Hmm. Well, at least one is done, and the recipient will love it! (It's Essi.)


This is a cute little writing book we got for Essi. Each page has a place at the top for a picture, and the bottom it is lined for beginning writers. Very fun. But not quite fun enough.


Much more appealing for my budding writer! (Unfortunately, the notebook was not as appealing as the Wii that Essi is now grounded from after failing to shower me with adequate gratitude, praise, wonder and excitement.)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I Heart Cauliflower!!

I feel like I've just been given one of the greatest cheat codes in the game of life. I guess it's not up on the same level as you know, knowing who I am, where I came from, and where I'm going, but for a girl like me who (really) loves carbs and has been cursed blessed with a body that doesn't... It's pretty darn close.

The secret is Cauliflower. I guess you can make some pretty great mashed faux-tatoes with it, as well as use it (somehow) for a fake lasagna, or easily imitate rice. Tonight I made cauliflower crust pizza, and I know there is someone out there who loves me and cares about me and I believe he created this magnificent vegetable just to show that. Can I just say, it was awesome?!? (I guess I could, but I usually like to ramble on a bit, so I won't leave it at that.)

I admit, I was a little (lot) skeptical before I started. I LOVE pizza, and some kooky knock off by a veggie loving, low carb eating, wannabe cook I truthfully conceded probably would not do it for me. However, I'm trying to become a veggie loving, lower carb eating cook, so I figured, even if it wasn't super great, but I could imagine I was eating pizza, it would still be worth it.

My efforts were rewarded. It tasted abso-flipping-lutely amazing. My entire family loved it, and it was fun to see how much cauliflower my 5 year old was putting down. It tasted really bready, and definitely carby, but it wasn't. Normally when I try healthier versions of recipes, I walk away feeling like I "kind of" had what I was craving, but still crave it and want the real thing. After this I felt like I had just had real pizza, and felt a little guilty knowing that somehow I'd probably just gone over my carb limit for the month. It was great. Another bonus, it's really filling. I made 1 cookie sheet of pizza (by quadrupling the recipe I'll post below) and normally our family could probably eat 2 pizza sheets. By the time it was half gone, we were all so stuffed, wanting to eat more, but unable. (So now we have left overs!)

Anyway, because I love you all, I'm going to share the recipe. (Or you can just google cauliflower pizza crust, but to save you the time, here it is. 1 caveat - it is not low fat.)

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower*
1 egg
1 cup mozzarella cheese

(I added some Garlic powder, some Oregano, (just sprinkled in enough for it to smell good) salt, (just enough for the plain cauliflower to taste kind of yummy) and Parmesan cheese (maybe between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup for the 4X recipe?))

**pizza or alfredo sauce

(On half I used Hunt's all natural garlic, basil, and oregano sauce, pretty low carb, and decent pizza sauce flavor without having to add anything. For the other half, I mixed some cream cheese, some heavy whipping cream, and some pesto sauce. It was good.)

toppings (make sure meats are cooked)
mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. (Very important. We didn't grease for the bread sticks that I tried to make. Yeah. Don't forget to spray.)

In a medium bowl, combine (seasoned) cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Press evenly on the pan.

Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes (15-20 minutes if you double the recipe).

Remove the pan from the oven. To the crust, add sauce, then toppings and cheese.

Place under a broiler (grill for the Europeans) at high heat just until cheese is melted **.

Nutritional Information for the entire crust:
calories: 434, fat: 25 g, carbohydrates: 8 (net), 13 if counting all, fiber: 5 g, protein: 41 g.

Final tip, expect it to taste pretty bad and weird, then when you taste it, you'll be like, "Nuh-UH! This is NOT cauliflower!" Let me know if you try it and what you thought!

Coming up this week (hopefully) funeral cheesy faux-tatoes!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wii love He-Man!

Helam's Youtube video link.

He-Man thinks he's the Wii champ, and whenever anyone else is playing, he has to too, and he gets quite into it.

Quick update..

So as of today I've lost 23.6 lbs, and I'm down a pant size. (But I still don't think it really shows much.) I don't know how much longer I can or will hold out. I think I'll edit my sugar goals to allowing myself sugar 1-2 days/month, and then I think even if I completely gorge on those 1-2 days, I'll still be doing SO much better than if I allow it all the time, and I'll probably stick to my goals longer if I know that I'm not saying goodbye forever, but we'll see. I think I'm going to try to hold out through at least Easter, maybe pretend it's Lent or something. Anyway, thanks for all the support!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Parting is such sweet sorrow!" or "Breaking up is hard to do."

I've started a new diet. Again. (But it's not really a diet. Isn't that what they're all supposed to say?) It's strict. This is my 3rd day following it, and I plan to follow it very strictly for the next 39 days, then re-evaluate where I stand. Basically I'm allowed to eat chicken, a piece of celery, and for desert a small piece of cardboard. Per day. (The cardboard is actually quite divine.) Okay it's not that bad, and actually with my new best friends basil and garlic, it's going better than I thought. Today my mind feels more clear, and my body feels lighter. My reflection in the mirror hasn't changed a smidge, but I feel 40 lbs lighter, so it seems like a step in the right direction. (Just don't bring cookies over!)

Yesterday was not as cheerful. Yesterday was day 2 with no sugar. Sugar has been my drug of choice a constant friend and companion for me. I missed my dear friend fiercely and the breakup was one of my toughest ever! Sugar was such a loyal companion. She helped me through trials, and kissed away my tears, celebrated with me when things were terrific and consoled me when things weren't. She always knew exactly what I needed and provided just that in every situation.

Our first days apart I felt as though I were cast into a scary world with no one to hold my hand. I was feeling emotions and feelings that I haven't had to deal with since the last time I gave up sugar. for a long time. I was feeling such amazing anger (I'm never angry.) and abandonment, and confusion. It honestly felt like every aspect of my life was going to just fall apart. Like Anne of Green Gables, I was in the "depths of despair." I also had a really bad headache. In the evening I longed to dive into Helam's bowl of macaroni with a longing that would rival that in any lusty novel. (You think Edward wanted Bella's blood. ha. He had nothing on this. lol.)

By this point my family didn't want to be around me any more than I wanted to be around them and their sugar eating selves so I ran away. So to keep my kitchen intact resolve strong I went to the library. Alone. I enjoyed my time at the library and got only books for me - all fiction books and strictly to take my mind off food. for enjoyment. As I got to the check out kiosk and put my books on the table I realized they were all sugar. Books with the intellectual nutritional value of maybe "Sweet Valley High" back in the day. I realized I was trading one form of sugar and no value consumption for another. I'm going to be okay with that for a while. Hopefully soon I'll be able to stand on my own two feet and walk without my crutches. (HOW do normal people DO it?!) For now, baby steps, and apparently a fluff transfer from my body to my brain.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Poop or Chocolate?

I think one of my favorite movie scenes ever is from Baby Mama. (You can see it HERE from 1:20-1:27) This kid comes out with brown all over his hands, the mom sees him and asks a couple of times, "Is that Chocolate or Poop?" then she licks the hand and says, "It's Chocolate." and the childless sister responds, "WHAT if that had been poop?!"

Now that the holidays are over, I keep finding stray brown fingerprints and little hand marks all over my walls, tables, cupboards, refrigerator, etc. Luckily, it's all chocolate. I hope I've found it all, but I'm pretty sure I haven't.

(These are the culprits.)

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Woman I Am.

I found this picture and poem and it touched my heart and soul. First off, in the picture, the mom isn't tall and slender and gorgeous. The kids remind me of my own, close in age and the same gender. I want to frame this. The poem touched me because it describes me so perfectly. After reading it, I realized that I really am okay with who I am and where I am. I'm really grateful to be me and to see the person I'm turning into. Am I everything and everyone I hoped I would be, no. In some ways, I think it would be good to remember those goals and dreams, and still make some of them happen. In other ways, who I am is better than who I dreamed I'd be. I think with the "Woman I Am" holding hands with "The Girl That I Used To Be," I can become a truly fantastic me. (And so can everyone else. ;) )

Lest We Forget

She came tonight as I sat alone

The girl that I used to be. . .

And she gazed at me with her earnest eye

And questioned reproachfully:

"Have you forgotten the many plans

And hopes that I had for you?

The great career, the splendid fame

All the wonderful things to do?"

"Where is the mansion of stately height

With all of its gardens rare?

The silken robes that I dreamed for you

And the jewels in your hair?"

And as she spoke, I was very sad,

For I wanted her pleased with me . . .

This slender girl from the shadowy past

The girl that I used to be.

So gently arising, I took her hand,

And guided her up the stair

Where peacefully sleeping, my babies lay

So innocent, sweet and fair.

And I told her that these are my only gems,

And precious they are to me,

That silken robe is my motherhood

Of costly simplicity.

And my mansion of stately height is love,

And the only career I know

Is serving each day in these sheltering walls

For the dear ones who come and go.

And as I spoke to my shadowy guest,

She smiled through her tears at me,

And I saw that the woman that I am now

Pleased the girl that I used to be.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Getting It"

A special privilege in motherhood is witnessing that moment when your child "gets it." You can almost see a spark. There is a metamorphosis when all of the sudden there is understanding, they've learned something new, and will never to return to their previous state. That's very exciting.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I've had so many people ask me about homeschooling lately that I thought I'd just put some of my thoughts here. (At 9:30, in my pajamas, hanging out with my kids who are also still in their pajamas, the day after most kids started school again after a beautiful vacation time home with their family.)

First let me start off saying, I was never EVER going to be a homeschooling mom. I had SO many things I thought were not great about it, most based on stereotypes. I also don't think that homeschooling is the only or best option for all children at all times and in all situations. I feel that mother's are uniquely qualified to know intuitively what is best for their children, and if they act on the feelings they are given, will be doing what that child need at the time they need it. Sariah (our oldest and so far only "school aged" child) has been in charter school, public school and homeschool. Each has their own set of pros and cons, and I won't be listing all of those here, I'll just share some of my favorite things about homeschooling and some of maybe the struggles I've personally had with it. I'll try to keep it short(ish), but I think we all know how successful I won't be at that.

Some of my favorite things:
Sleeping in. Seriously. An extra 30 minute to an hour of sleep in the morning makes a HUGE difference for me and my kids. It's also nice to not start our days looking for that paper we were supposed to sign, or finish up that last bit of homework and rush her out to school with both of us a bit frazzled and remind her to, "Have a great day!"

Seeing the best of my children. When Sariah was going to school, I feel like we didn't really get to see each other at our best. Most of our interactions were when we were still tired and grumpy in the morning (we both really need our sleep) and then she'd go to school and finally be awake enough to be in a great mood. Then she'd have a pretty great day, and about the time she'd start getting tired and grumpy again is when school gets over, when she'd come home and have a little sister and homework to deal with, and I'd be tired and grumpy and have to help her get her homework done. We never really fought with each other, but I think being tired and the stress of the requirements to be both punctual and successful at school kept us from enjoying being together as much as we could have. In contrast, now mornings start when we want to wake up, we usually stay in pajamas until something compelling requires us to dress, and our days are full of learning, fun, and family. I can see that she is a lot happier and more confident which brings me to one of my next favorite things.

Confidence, Creativity, and Contentment Let me start this out by saying my daughter is AWESOME. She seriously is so talented in SO many areas it's kind of unjustly disgusting. lol. She has an amazing singing voice. She is very creative, and her artistic abilities blow my mind. She is so great at such a young age. She writes really fun and funny stories, makes neat little gifts for people, and is able to come up with a lot of ways to entertain her younger brother and sister who absolutely adore her. Another thing I noticed a couple weeks ago was how confident she is. She got to sing a solo of Silent Night at our ward Christmas party. (That alone, awesome. So brave.) She started singing in a key that was VERY high. At first I felt so bad for her, and was just kind of expecting it to go bad. She went through the first verse (really high) and NAILED every note. Except 1 near the end. When she cracked instead of getting upset or embarrassed she just grinned her crooked grin and kept going. She did the next 2 verses in a more reasonable key and it was really nice to hear what an extensive vocal range she had. After she was done, she just kind of laughed about it, and explained to me what she was thinking when she realized how high she started, and told me about how happy she was with her performance. She also told me about how one of the other girls her age was bossing her around in the bathroom at the church and how she stood up for herself, and they were still friends afterwards, but she wasn't about to stop her own happiness because this other girl told her to. I was SO happy for her and couldn't help but contrast that to the version of her I knew when she was going to school. Without going to far into it, dealing with other little girls is hard. It's amazing how young girl drama starts. I also noticed her comparing herself to others and she would usually compare others best qualities with her own shortcomings. (Doesn't that sound familiar? I still struggle so much with this even today.) Now she is a confident girl who really thinks of herself as amazing and able to do anything, but also thinks of others the same way.

Curriculum I think one of the most fun things about homeschooling is the various and vast world of curriculum. Whatever you can dream of, it's out there. I love being able to use teaching tools and styles that I enjoy and that work best for my kids. I like being able to time things in a way that fits with my kids. Sariah made the 4th grade deadline by about 2 1/2 weeks. Had I not been induced a little early, she could be in 3rd grade. For most subjects it doesn't matter a bit, for example, she was light years ahead of her peers in reading. For math, I find that about 4 months made a HUGE difference. Some of the stuff that she was just beating herself up over, and feeling like a failure because she wasn't "getting it" was the same stuff she was laughing about how easy it was just a few months later (after a break). Kids learn at different times and speeds and it's unfair to expect them to all learn the same stuff on the same timetable, making those who don't learn as quick feel like failures when it is NOT the child who is a failure, but the system of teaching them. (I've got more on that, but not right now. ha.) I also LOVE being able to quickly go over the topics that are boring for both of us. (Because seriously. WHO needs a 2 week module on penguins?!) We make sure they get the pertinent information, and move on. Sometimes it takes weeks, sometimes a couple minutes while we're setting the table. I also love that when something so thoroughly captures their interest, we can spend the whole day on it, or longer. (Because I'm not 100% confident in my own abilities yet, a really easy option is to print out the grade curriculum standards for your state (or one with higher standards) and make a checklist, and check things off when they learn them. Then you can be confident they aren't "falling behind" if that is important to you. Right now it's still important to me.) There are SO many resources out there and so much support for homeschoolers that I find a bigger problem is sorting through all the mountains of available awesomeness and choose what is best and most pertinent to our child or family at that time.

Some of the best advice given to me about homeschooling was, "There are as many ways to homeschool as there are families who do it." Whatever works best for your family is the "right" way to homeschool.

3 of my favorite websites about homeschooling are which is a great website that helps you discover what you personally want out of homeschooling, and how to go about doing it. I felt like it kind of gave me the reigns and the permission to homeschool my way. There is a lot of information about homeschooling, some LDS quotes about homeschooling, but my favorite part of this website is the link for Virtual Field Trips. Very very cool. Lots and lots of links to lots and lots of cool places that you can visit without having to put the kids in the car and drive anywhere. (SO my kind of field trip.) This website has a lot of links to stuff for a more classical education. It also has a lot of other lds quotes and links. When I visit this website, I truly feel like I'm in a partnership with God in the raising of my children, and I often find the links to answers or inspiration I need in that sacred calling.

For us, it was a matter of choosing between "good, better, and best." I love what Elder Dallin H Oaks said in his October 2007 General Conference address, "We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives."......"We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families." That's what it really boils down to. My favorite thing about homeschooling.

FAMILY With homeschooling, I feel I have the freedom to do what is best for my family. When we were doing the traditional schooling system, I felt like our lives, our family, and in truth our existence revolved around the school schedule. We didn't have time to spend time enjoying each other, playing together, learning together and loving together, because we were so busy getting to school on time, getting homework done for school the next day, and getting the kids bathed and to bed on time so that they could be ready for the next day of school. Though it does work for some people, it was not a "best" for us. Homeschooling has allowed us the freedom to center our lives around Christ and the Family.

Friday, January 1, 2010


I really love New Years! It's like a fresh piece of paper just waiting for me to write on it! What magic will I create when my ink touches the parchment? I love the anticipation and every year I'm convinced that this will be the year where I will become skinny, I will probably learn a new language, I will read and reread any and all the classics, maybe write a bestseller of my own, and I'll start and most likely perfect a new creative skill and either draw pictures of all my friends and or their children for nice personal gifts, start calligraphy and make sweet sentimental gifts for people, I have my card box full to write personalized thank you cards to basically everyone I come in contact with from the person who spoke on Sunday to the grocer who was friendly. I completely fall in love with the person I can become in less than a year's time. Seriously, I could be awesome.

I think part of the excitement is that I really could do all these things. I think seeing my inner potential is exhilarating and frightening. The part that fills me with melancholy is that I never end up doing these things. They somehow fall by the wayside, and go to the land of lost dreams and intentions and possibilities. The loss of these possibilities stings a bit.

My whole life I've been blessed to be surrounded by absolutely amazing people to whom I would never measure up. I've always felt that if I could do something awesome, someone would recognize the something special inside of me, and somehow some of their magic would wear off on me and somehow suddenly I would transform into someone as awesome as basically everyone around me.

I think what needs to happen is I need to see the absolutely amazing in myself. This year I need to find a way to reconnect with me, and establish a relationship with the Giver of life and light. I need to come to a point where what matters to Him is what matters most to me. I need to accept myself and my family when I feel others don't, and be okay with that. I need to realize that I am enough and finally realize that I am someone special. I think I have an amazing talent for seeing the great in everyone around me but myself. I can see how the gospel and the Atonement and prayer and the Holy Ghost etc. will work for anyone except me. I am blessed and grateful to have a firm testimony in the Savior, the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and the restored gospel, I just don't have a testimony of my value to any of it, or anything really, and this year, that is what I need to improve.

Anyway, so that is that. If you have any insights or experiences on how to go about actually doing that, I'd really love to hear them either in comments or in a personal email to tenisewertman at gmail dot com.

On second thought, maybe that bestselling novel isn't such a bad idea...