Monday, April 21, 2014

Alphabet Board Bean Bag Toss

I made some alphabet boards for the kids tonight. I'm excited for them to try out this idea tomorrow!

I have to give credit to my mom for putting the idea into my head. If you've taken piano lessons from my mom, you might remember her making a staff on the floor out of masking tape. You'd throw a bean bag onto the staff and then have to tell her what note it was. I remember doing this many times and having it totally help! So I thought why not try the same idea with the alphabet!

The kids have their capital letters down, but on the backside of the poster board are the lowercase letters. They'll throw their little felt rice bags onto the letters and have to tell me which one it is. I hope they love it

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Unsung Heroes

Tonight, when putting Danica to bed I read from a book called Thanks & Giving All Year Long.  It was one I picked up from DI probably 6+ months ago.  It has a bunch of short stories, poems, and songs.

I read her a poem today called, "Unsung Heroes"....

We love to say "I love you" to the folks we're mad about,
But forget to thank the objects that we just can't do without.
It's time we paid them back for all the things they help us do....
So, you small but useful things, I wrote this song for you!

My heart goes out to zippers, button, snappers, knots, and bows,
If it weren't for you, I'd freeze because I couldn't close my clothes.
And I couldn't take home things I buy without you, paper sack,
So I offer you my love, although you cannot love me back.

Thank you, plugs and stoppers - you hold water in our sinks.
And without you, corks and bottle caps, we'd surely spill our drinks.
Let's raise a cup to cups, and to the handles used to raise you.
I know you cannot hear me; still I'll sing this song to praise you.

If it weren't for you, galoshes, when it snowed I'd have cold toes,
And if I didn't have my hanky, well, I couldn't blow my nose
(Unless, of course, I blew it on my collar or my cuff),
So though you can't say "You're welcome," I can't thank you both enough.

I pledge my love to light bulbs, 'cause you help us light our planet,
And you stones who hold my beach towel down, I won't take you for granted!
Yes, thanks to all you things for all the things that you things do....
You are truly unsung heroes, and I sung this song for you!

I thought that poem was really cute, and it made me think about the little things I'm thankful for, but usually take for granted.  This season is a time a lot of people reflect on the different things they're thankful for.  There are certain things I am truly so grateful for that come to the front of my mind when I feel thankful.  But there is still more to be thankful for.

We complain about silly things and joke about First World Problems; those are some of the things we are taking for granted.  I'm resolving to spend some time thinking about the more "minor" things I'm thankful for too.  To catch myself when I'm grumbling and to stop and look around at the things I'm lucky to have and sincerely feel thankful for them.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Keep Christmas With You All Through The Year

I LOVE this time of year!  For me there's such excitement in the crisp and cold air!  I feel like a kid getting so excited for the upcoming holidays!

16. Stay young... again.

It was always the "rule" growing up that we could start celebrating Christmas after Thanksgiving, so I feel this little twinge of guilt when I start celebrating earlier than that.  But mostly, I just throw those thoughts out the window. 
And I'm allowed to; I'm an adult.

But, this year, I told myself to wait until Halloween was over.  So, that's what I did.  November 1st rolled around and the Christmas music came out... and has been here each day since. 
I've listened to a little Mariah, busted out my piano Christmas music, belted with Josh Groban and Michael Buble, reminised while the kids watched Small One (a movie I remember watching as a kid), and put on our Disney Christmas Sing Along dvds. I've decided to buy the piano music to Muppets Christmas Carol, and I can't wait to pull out our life size fake fireplace!
(We make a new one each year... below is the one from our 1st or 2nd year of marriage)

This season livens many emotions and feelings in me.  I feel like the Christmas season speeds by, so I feel very justified celebrating Christmas whenever I want to.  I want to savor the season and I have sooo many movies to watch and goodies to make before the New Year.
It's almost like the feelings I have during this time cannot be controlled.  They take over my body. Ha! And while I dislike many reasons stores bring out decorations so early, I get overjoyed at even a brief glance at them. 
My body knows what this time of year brings.
The friendships, good will toward men, food, family, kindness, service, Christ centered thoughts all around, beautiful music, fun with kids, great movies, seeing excitement in others eyes.

And I'm now realizing I basically combine Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Come November, I listen to Christmas music, but a lot of my thoughts are focused on feeling thankful.  I inturn, have the want to serve. December speedily approaches and I tune a lot of my feelings onto helping others and the joy that can be found around me.  Because of that, I feel very thankful for family and friends.  I think of Christ and think about how thankful I am for his birth, life, and sacrifices.  I feel very thankful at Christmastime.

I always thought it might seem like I'm skipping over Thanksgiving, or in the least taking a break from Christmas by focusing on Thanksgiving traditions for a couple or few days, and jumping back into Christmas.  Of course, I always knew I was thinking about the spirit of Thanksgiving throughout the month, but was confused because I was celebrating Christmas at the same time.  Really, I've come to realize that I like to celebrate the spirit of both holidays together.  So really I'm not only extending Christmas, like I originally thought, I'm extending the spirit of Thanksgiving too.

Seeing my kids enjoy this time of year is better than the joy I remember feeling during this season in years past.  And that's saying a lot :)

Next on the list: Get everyone pumped up and dancing to The Beatmas turned up on high!

Keep Christmas With You
This clip is the reason for the title

Friday, June 7, 2013

What you may not know about Tyler

A lot of you know that Tyler is a pretty funny guy.  He is a hard worker.  He speaks his mind and is very smart.

We are approaching our 7th wedding anniversary so I've been thinking back on my wonderful life since meeting Tyler. 

With Father's Day around the corner, I want to share some other things I love about Tyler, that some of you may not know....

Tyler is very thoughtful and is always helping those around him.  He will stop whatever he is doing to help our neighbors or a friend.  There have been multiple times he has stopped and helped someone move out of (or into) their home.
We were once on our way, walking to a community yard sale with the kids, when a stranger pulled over because of a popped tire.  Tyler immediately asked to help.  Being not far from home, he pulled out his tools and changed her tire for her.
He has been a math tutor for a couple of the youth in neighborhood on multiple occasions.
He amazes me with his willingness to help anyone and how much work he'll put in to helping others.  He is a great example and I love that our kids see him serving.

Tyler loves spending time with the youth in our neighborhood!  He has a great love for them and a desire to see them become their best.  He was really excited when he was called to work with the young men in our church. He is a big kid who loves camping, fishing, hiking, rafting, and plain being outdoors.  So, even before he was called to work with the young men, he would find ways he could go camping and such with the scouts/youth.

Tyler knows a lot about cars.  I'm sure I've actually mentioned this before.  Tyler has saved us a ton of money by working on our cars on his own!  He had spent time in his youth learning with his dad while they fixed cars together and it has helped us tremendously.

He has a gift for understanding things.  Tyler is very smart, but the way he comes to some conclusions is really inspiring.  He can always get the job done and ususally comes up with a plan to make getting there easier.  He's ingenious.  I think he enjoys thinking outside the box and challenging his mind. 

Tyler loves to work with his hands... whether it be a project done with tools or helping me with a craft. Yep. Tyler is crafty. He almost always helps me with a party or project I'm working on.  He has an eye for things.  He is a quick learner and has created beautiful pens from a block of wood and carved wooded Christmas tree decorations and pine wood derby cars from scratch. I appreciate his help because he not only does a good job, but he makes the projects easier to finish. (see above quality)

He is really sweet.  He'll send random texts telling me he loves me or that I'm beautiful.  On cold, snowy days he'll go out 15 minutes before I need to go somewhere and start my car so it's all warm for me.  He also clears all the snow off my car.

Tyler has always been so easy to talk with.  It's definitely his easygoing personality, but I think maybe hanging out with mostly girls in high school helped him to be more comfortable with girls.  I can talk to him about anything at all... even girly problems... and he doesn't mind a bit.  I'll be all emotional and start complaining about something, but Tyler doesn't mind listening and helping me out at all.... at least he never complains. :)

Like being so willing to help others, Tyler is always doing things for me.  He'll call me up on his way home from work and ask if I need anything.  He would travel wherever to grab even one thing for me. I've noticed this wonderful trait of his since we first became friends, but I especially noticed when I was pregnant and sick and couldn't do very much.  This continues today.  I can't believe how willing he is to just do whatever I ask or even unknowingly hint at.  He will grab food or another item I need from the store for me with no hesitation or excuse.  He surprises me with chocolate when he knows I've had a bad day (or just because).  All of this, and more - and never ever ever a complaint or tired look on his face.

He will cancel something he's got going on, just so he can spend time with me/kids.  He always wants to make sure I'm happy.  He is very selfless.

He is so great with the kids.  He is such a fun dad and the kids really love him.  Danica is his Daddy's girl and both kids are always giving him hugs and kisses and telling him they love him.  The kids are so excited when he comes home from work.  "Daaaaaaaad!!" 
The Primary song, "Daddy's Homecoming" definitely tells it right....
I'm so glad when daddy comes home,
Glad as I can be;
Clap my hands and shout for joy,
Then climb upon his knee,
Put my arms around his neck,
Hug him tight like this,
Pat his cheeks, then give him what?
A great big kiss.

I have a hard time opening up to others, even if I've known them a while, but Tyler is always so friendly and enjoyable.  He is not shy... I'm sure you know this about him, but I have found he was not always this way.  He has grown into ( and as I have always known him) a confident man.  I admire this about him.

Tyler is a great cook.  I love to bake, but not cook as much, so I'm glad he enjoys it so much!  While I still make meals, he has taken over as our main cook... and there are no complaints here!  Cooking comes so naturally to him.  He loves to experiment with recipes.  I think he takes pride when he can't tell you an exact recipe of his dish because so much was eyeballed or added on a whim.  

He loves me in spite of my faults (and I have many).  He has seen me without makeup (eek!), during my worst moments, and when I've been sick, and more.  Yet he still loves me and he still takes moments to compliment me.  He makes me feel special when I am not doing the same for myself.  He shows he loves me with no reason at all.  We have stressful moments in our life, but he has never yelled at me and hardly ever complains!  He is always so quick to apologize too.

I couldn't have asked for a better or more loving husband or a more fitting father for our kids.  He is always trying to improve and he brings a wonderful spirit with him and into our home.

I've been with Tyler for 8 years and we have really become each others' best friends.  He always makes me smile and laugh.  He is my other half and makes my life whole, as cliche as it may sound.  My life would not be the same with out him.  I want him to know how much I love and appreciate him.

I hope you have a Happy Father's Day, Tyler!!  You are a great dad, but you are so much more too :)  Love you!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A perspective changed

I have a little To-Do list on my phone of the things I had planned to do during Talmage's nap.
Instead, I want to write a little something on the blog... so here I am, and that's what I'm doing.

From the instant I woke up, I knew it was going to be a bad day.  (I went to bed in a bad mood, so I'm sure it carried over to morning). 
When I got Talmage out of bed, I came in to see tissues all in his bed and on the floor. 

(I had started to clean them up, but realized I should take a picture of this.  He looks so proud, haha!)

Then Danica came in and started jumping on the extra bed in his room (she knows this is a big no-no).  In the process she knocked over and emptied the bags of Talmage's small clothes I had just set aside to be packed away.
I totally felt like if something bad could happen, it did today.  Things were spilled, toys got stepped on, kids threw tantrums.  It was rough and I was starting to go crazy.

It was only 11:00 am and I sent Tyler a text complaining about what happened in the morning.  He told me he was having a hard day at work too. 

This must be the reason Garfield hates Mondays.

Just yesterday, I was talking to Tyler about how I feel like we've been really blessed lately and that I wondered when/what it might be that ends our streak... so to speak.  (Kind of pessimistic, I guess, but I didn't mean it negatively)

So today I sent him a text saying it was funny that I was just talking about how good it's been for us and then the next day we both have bad days.  (Not that I was considering these things, this little in magnitude, being something to consider the interruption to our blessings... just interesting) 
Being melodramatic and in the moment, I said (texted):
"I feel like Satan, to our conversation, was like... Oh, not enough bad in your life? I can help with that! ...Maybe that's dramatic, but that's sort of what it's felt like so far."

A half hour later, I was complaining in my mind, because the day hadn't gotten much better.  (And I should know better than to have the kids help me make muffins when I'm already in an impatient mood) and I started thinking, What is my problem?  I had just talked to someone about how you choose to be offended... how is choosing to be upset or in a bad mood any different?

After the muffins were in the oven, to Tyler came another text:
"You know what I was just thinking... Satan isn't the one that hands out the trials. Heavenly Father is. And we know it's not because he wants us to suffer, but, rather, grow.  And he won't give me anything I can't handle so it's all about how I handle my situation. It's actually Satan who makes me feel like this is a worse trial than it could be; that's his part. So I should not complain so much, but see how I can get through this bad day. (Sometimes the complaints helps me get better perspective though.)"

The more I thought about this, the more it rang in my ears.  Bad days (and trials) are going to happen.  There are going to be days when I'm on egde or in a bad mood.  But I need to remember that I am choosing to be in my bad moods.  Instead, I need to think of the things I can do to better my situation(s) and what I can learn from the little (and big) trials I face.  How I can grow... and maybe even help my kids to grow too.

This morning, I stepped back and got better a perspective on what was going around me.  I realized the kids weren't really being too bad.  They were "being kids" and moments were hard, but I was totally making the moments harder on all of us.  I lost my patience a couple times or was more stubborn than I needed to be.

The 2nd and final batch of muffins went in and everyone was happy!  The kids are always so easily happy again, but it took an ah-ha moment for me to snap out of my funk and I felt so silly that I had been stubbornly unhappy all morning; stuck in my bad mood... especially when the things going on today weren't really big deals at all.

I downloaded a free ebook today and read the first page and it was exactly what I needed to hear.  A woman told a story and then read a scripture she had found (1 Peter 3:10 & 14) that says, "For he that will love life, and see good days.... happy are ye" It wasn't telling us to love life and have good days, but rather see good days.

I definitely recommend downloading the FREE ebook, "Best of Mothers".  Here's the info they supplied on their facebook page:
To get you ready for Mother's Day we are giving away this awesome eBook from LDS Living! It is full of amazing hand-selected content and stories! You can get the FREE eBook here and then download the app here:
Apple Devices:
Android Devices:
Web Reader:

I found some other neat pictures on good ol' facebook today.  Just what I needed.

Update: Talmage got up from his nap and was still a little tired and started crying over a toy.  When Danica tried to cheer him up and it wasn't working (he was being stubborn), she said to him so quietly and sweetly, "Talmage, why don't to choose to be in a happy mood again?"  Haha, it was so cute. 
Glad the two of had a little chat today.  It's good to know some of our talks are getting through to her. :)