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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Seven Gift ideas for 3-6 year olds!


Guess what!? I hand picked these items to share just for you! 
I am kind of a sucker when it comes to certain kinds of toys. 
I love wooden toys. Beautifully crafted. Old fashioned looking. Educational and classic.
We love bright colors and unique books.

We are very picky about what we bring into our home. We are not big toy shoppers. When we do buy toys we really try to stay away from trendy items, plastic toys that will get trashed easily, and huge items that do not store easily out of sight in a closet. Most of all, we do not believe kids need an abundance of toys.
 Less is more.
Quality not Quantity.
Often I am asked how we manage to keep everything so organized and tidy. First, it is not always such. We live life and messes happen. The best thing we did years ago was move across the country and sell or get rid of almost all of our stuff except what we could fit in two cars. 
This is not a likely scenario for most people out there but a major De-Owning session could be just what your family needs if you find yourself searching often for great organizing tips.
This thought process is wonderfully explained here at Becoming Minimalist.

We store our toys in little shoe box bins or a couple of milk crates.They each have a shelf in the closet to hold their special activity kits, like quilling, origami, or spiral art.
 Most of our time is spent playing games, reading books, doing arts and crafts or the kids playing outside. 

We have don't have many toys but when we buy them we are very selective on what we get.
 Below you will find SEVEN AWESOME gift ideas for your very special child that will not disappoint. If you don't think these are a good fit for your family, check the links out. You will be led on a wonderful adventure with many treasures to be found!


1. Spinning Like a Top $7.95 from The Land of Nod
What child would not be entertained by this? A classic yet so rarely seen in homes these days. 

2.Die Cast Metal Tea set $25.00  from The Land of Nod
For around the same price you can purchase a fancier tea set for your child to practice her princess manners. Don't forget to let them play with real food and real drink to practice their fine motor skills while carefully pouring.

3.Uncle Goose Classic blocks $36.00 from Uncle Goose
One of my favorite links here! You have got to check that website out. Blocks in different languages! This is a must. Stop! Don't go to toymartchina to buy blocks. 100% made in the USA and absolutely beautiful and book shelf home decor worthy too! Seriously.

4.Lately Lily ABC Travel Flash Cards $14.99  from Lately Lily
Adorable Flash cards featuring Lily the traveling girl. The cards help your child learn the ABCs while learning about traveling the world. (ONE of my favorite dreams!so, no wonder I love this! ) Have you heard of Lately Lily? It is a super rad tshirt clothing line for ages 2-10. Each hang tag is filled with observations from her travels.The flash cards are in the LL shop alongside other wonderful play items. 

5. Lately Lily picture book $16.99 from Lately Lily
Need I say more? She is just adorable and her world travels are dreamy to say the least.
 Fit for any child , or child at heart.

6. Stitching Block $8.95 from For Small Hands
Want to have your child learn to sew? This is a great first step. 
Even if you are not going teach them to sew this is Great for hand-eye coordination,
 concentration, and pattern design. A sure way to keep them quiet and busy in a Dr.s office, or at church. 

7.Plan Toys Water Blocks $39.99 from Learning Toys
Great classic blocks. Perfect for hand-eye coordination,dexterity, problem solving , imagination and creativity!

Check back this week for more posts on: 
 Gift ideas for Ages 6-12 !
 Favorite books gift ideas
 Classic Gifts for Boys! 

Have an AMAZING week!  

 

Monday, November 17, 2014

What are you thankful for?

I love this time of year!
 I love the air when it feels refreshing and crisp. I do not love the freezing weather but I do love light jacket weather. Mainly because I always love layering and wearing vintage coats. I love when I get to dig in to my boot collection. Here are a few more of my favorite things about fall! 

  

Who has made your own potpourri on the stove?
 I grew up with my mom doing this and so it is just something we love to do here too. 
Reminds me of growing up. Reminds me of my moms home.

  I say add water when needed because we have had it simmer all the way to being gone (gone=burnt). That my friend is not a smart idea. yikes! so I make sure to add a cup of water every now and then. Usually it simmers on low. I love the way our home smells when we do this! Yummos!!!!

A pic of my first time decorating for Thanksgiving! 
I love thanksgiving! 
I have only hosted it once at my own place but I loved making everything pretty and we had such a good time picking out our menu and finding topnotch recipes to try.



What are some things you are thankful for?
 I made this little image for my instagram  (momentsbyjl)
 and thought it would be perfect to share here too. 



 I wish you an absolutely amazing Thanksgiving ! 
Most important is spending time with your family!
 


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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Non-Perfect days and why I love them.


Today. Our Sabbath day.
Today is supposed to be our day of rest. Minimal work and lots of family time.
Didn't turn out that way at all.

Life with six kids isn't always picture perfect. wait, no,...it is.


Here is how my days go on Sundays.

I wake up at 6am to shower, get all gussied up without forgetting the important detail of fuchsia or red lipstick. I then put on an apron and cook an amazing healthy breakfast for my family.
I then spend a bit of time reading and studying.
When it is 7 am I wake my darling children up. They smile happily and hop right out of bed running to the table with cheerful voices. "oh- I was going to sit there but you can. " while the other says "No- its okay. You can have the chair."

They perfectly work the  miscommunication out themselves with smiles and love.
As I serve their breakfast they eat slow. Not too slow. But not too fast. Just a good polite pace complimenting my cooking as they go.

After breakfast I ask my girls to get ready in their Sunday best.
They do. Right away. I bathe baby girl, toddler boy and 5 year old girl one after another. They stay clean and beautiful as they calmly play while waiting for the signal to go to the car.

We gather in the car and everyone buckles up right away. Quickly and with no quarrels. My daughters hair bow lands on the floor. I see her carefully pick it up exclaiming " oh- no! my bow. I am so sorry mommy. Will you please put it in my hair? I don't want it to stay on the floor of the car and get ruined."

We go to church and enter the chapel. All the kids walk reverently and mannered. No running, or jumping. They sit in a row on our bench. We sit through one full hour of what we call Sacrament meeting with all the children ending in the same spot they began the meeting in. I held baby swaddled against my chest ever so sweetly while she quietly cooed and smiled at people behind us.
 Little toddler boy was so calm and folded his arms often.

Primary (kids Sunday school with music) was just wonderful. Baby girl smiled and waited ever so patiently as I made her a bottle to help her quietly fall asleep.

After church all my children were waiting so happily at the door for me. They had their coats on and were ready for the cold walk to the car.

When we got home everyone took their shoes off and out them away in their shoe drawers we keep in the garage. Then they sweetly proceeded to change into comfortable clothes in their room where they hung their Sunday dresses up ever so perfectly.

They were hungry and ready for dinner. I had a roast in the crock pot and potatoes ready to roast in the oven. A prefect salad was made and in the fridge ready for us to enjoy to refresh our palettes before we enjoyed our scrumptious dessert of chocolate chip covered brownies with a dollup of ice cream on top.

The children happily played in their clean and orderly rooms together while they waited for dinner time. Dinner was the most delightful time. We enjoyed great conversation. The food was enjoyed and all who were present marveled at its beauty and taste.

After dinner we proceeded to get ready for bed. Children quickly did their bedtime routines of pajamas and oral hygiene. They took their sips of water and soon found themselves on their knees ready for prayer before I even had to ask.

Once all children were sang to, read to and tucked in I was able to go and sit on my lovely Victorian sofa and relax for a bit. It was all so perfect and smooth. I love my days and how perfect they are.

-----------

wait wait wait. scratch that. My day did not go like that at all.
I had pee accidents on the newly mopped bathroom floor. Kids hyper and jumpy knocking baby over too many times to count.

I ended up with toddler boys poo on my arm for accident number two of the day.

Breakfast was cereal. Milk spilled on the table. No problem. Oh- now a bag of cereal spilled on the table by toddler boy. oh boy. Everyone eats... except me. I forgot.

Everyone somehow ends up matching.Not planned.  I feel happy they look darling. . ..until Teenager daughter is not thrilled. No teenager wants to show up at church matching not just her siblings but her mother too. oh well. its funny.

While I get ready, the school room is taken apart by toddler boy because he is going on a trip. To Tokyo and California and France. He wants to pack everything. Five year old daughter agrees. How do I not agree for them to dream up a little globe trotting??Plus I am too busy getting ready to care.

Lunch was leftovers because I was too tired to make anything. I tell the kids Leftovers are a blessing, and we should not let food go to waste. So I serve 3 different types of meals to my six kids to rid our fridge of macaroni, taco soup and I can't remember. I forget to eat....again.

We enter the chapel in three rounds because five year old girl has shoe issues and toddler boy wants to open doors all by himself. Teenager,baby girl and sisters go on ahead. We end up Sitting on a side bench against the wall hoping it will act as a gate for toddler boy.  Baby girl is in constant wiggle, whine, smile, repeat mode. I wrangle her as I catch toddler boy doing headstands on the bench. Teenager daughter is laughing at him and thinks its funny.

Joy.

Primary, I could hardly stay awake. Not because I didn't get sleep. I slept 11 hours but because of my thyroid health issues I was not rested. I realize I need food. I need energy and forgot to eat.  I teach a lesson on forgiving others barely able to talk and trying desperately to not fall asleep mid sentence. I've done that before at home in the kitchen.

After, kids all wanted to eat the kitchen. The table, the chairs, the doors, the tablecloth. Anything. They wanted dinner. Sent kids to tidy room while I cooked dinner , which ended up being something you could *maybe* call shepherds pie.

Kids won't tidy room like asked so as warned in weeks prior I calmly bagged their stuff up in big black bags. Stuff is not important in the long run. Family is. Time is. They cry. Now their room is clean. done.

I will let them earn it back by obedience to their mother and keeping wherever they are playing tidy.
Whatever is left in one month they will donate.

I was calm but frustrated.

I was blessed with another potty accident from toddler boy.  third one of the day. Toddler boy asks me on repeat a million times "mommy, you mad? you mad? you mad? You don't wike poop on the floor? you don't wike poop on you arm?"

yup. yup. son, I don't like that.

The Toddler boy. Today.


While I take care of that baby girl is screaming in her highchair for another bite of who knows what I made oh yeah. Shepherds pie wannabe. .She likes it. She will sleep well so I am happy.

Finally, all children are in bed. They know I mean business. Not because I yelled. I didn't yell. I actually was pretty calm. They know not to mess around though. I took their stuff. I compliment how clean their room is. oh wait...

I sit here now blogging for a few minutes looking at dishes needing to be done, a school room that really, just a day ago perfectly clean, and loads of laundry to be done.

But all the while, all of this "craziness" you would think would make me say "no more". The pretend day I wrote in the beginning sounds lovely but for  some reason, I wouldn't trade any part of my day  for that. Does that mean I am not striving to improve our life through teaching my children manners, patience, love, kindness, forgiveness ..? (all of  which they know and are very good at)   No. I want to improve every day. We tell our kids "Everyday in every way you get better and better." its true.

All of these experiences shape who I am. Shape my kids. Is every day as crazy as it felt for us today? No. Many days are not. They are never perfect but they are full of character. Full of moments that we can learn from and build upon.

I am grateful my life isn't perfect. I am thankful I can wake up tomorrow and start a new day. I may not be up at 6am like I would like, but I will be up and love on my kids and do the best I can tomorrow. They will know all is well and that they are loved.

I never want to make the impression via social media or blogging that life here in our house runs smooth. Nope. school library cart pretty one moment, next moment devoured.Thanksgiving decorations pretty one moment, next moment pulled down by bouncy toddler all the while he says "I didn't mean to!"


Moments change and life goes on. That's okay. I like it that way. Don't think I'll ever like poop on my arm but I will always look back on these days with smiles. So it is today that I remind myself, So why hate them now? No matter how rough the day was, in twenty years I will look back and miss it and ask why it happened all so fast?



  
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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Scrubby the bunny


When Anakha was five years old we bought her a pet bunny. We were so excited to get it for her. It was kind of on a whim. We were on a date and stopped in at a pet store if I remember correctly. Daniel fell in love with the little baby dwarf bunnies and got the idea it was just what our Sweetface needed for her Birthday.

She had so many invisible friends and often took in dead bugs as her pets. She loved them so much giving them a special home in little containers or shoe boxes. Her invisible friends were a daily part of our life. Talked about often.

So that night, 1 week before her birthday we took this sweet bunny home. Without even a cage for him. We had him in our bedroom on one side of our bed with a makeshift baby gate from some play mats we had. That week we had fun playing with him and being sneaky about it. She never knew there was a bunny in the house all week.
On her birthday we put him in a large tub with a blanket on top. She was so excited and happy when she uncovered him she immediately knew what she would name him. She was always very creative with names for her invisible friends. We knew she would come up with something perfect and on her own. She exclaimed " Oh! He is so cute! I will name him Scrubby Emerald Dopey Jasmine ....!!" 

And so it was. That became his name. We just called him Scrubby. Her friend to play with and take care of. He comforted her when she felt lonely. He cheered her up when she was sad. He calmed her when she was hyper or mad.

She loved him so much. Sadly, he died on Saturday last week. She aches with sadness for him. She misses him so much. We all do. He was an awesome bunny. Everyone loved meeting him.

Some memories we have of him make us laugh. On our way out to move to Utah we got a leash for him. Except it was too big. We were in the mountains in Tennessee for a stop to stretch and we got him out to walk around. He slipped out of the harness and my husband and I were running around and through bushes to catch him. Thankfully we did not arrive in Utah to tell her we lost him in Tennessee. It was a scary but funny moment.

Last year he went missing and Little Mr. T told us that he dropped him off our apartment balcony. Oh boy. The tears were flowing. Our Sweetface was so mad and worried. I went outside and looked for him everywhere. Talked to neighbors, asked if they saw a bunny. It was a huge ordeal. She was devastated and very angry at Tobin who supposedly dropped him off the balcony. Well, the search was over. I gave up and we moved on with our day. It had been a little while and I hear laughing and yelling from the kids room. She completely forgot that she was playing with him and then had to clean her room so she stuck him in a drawer for " a few minutes". He was safe and okay and never was dropped off the porch thankfully.

At night when he was younger he would love to run and bounce and do little flips all over our apartment. It always provided great entertainment for us when the kids were asleep.

He was 7 yrs old which is old age for a bunny. Now we know he is playing and bouncing around once more. We know Heavenly Fathers plan of happiness was for all. Not just us. It was for animals too. Although it is sad when we have to say goodbye to family pets, we know we will see him again.

This has been an experience that has brought with it great lessons for the kids to learn. I am grateful we had Scrubby in our family. We love him!

..pictures of our little bunny that I have posted over the years on the blog.

in Tennesee just before we almost lost him.

She loved holding him. She cried so much when he died and is anxiously waiting for him to come back to life.




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Let's RE-sensitize

                      


Yesterday I came across by accident a very sad & disturbing photo connected to the news of todays horrible act of evil by the evil group I shall not name here. At first I did not believe what I saw was real. I thought it to be a scene from a movie. I did not flinch, I thought of course it was gross and kept scrolling, but not super fast. I again, just thought it was fake. 

Realizing what it was after seeing the statements I quickly felt my chest tense, my eyes fill with tears and my heart ache for him, and his family. This is just so sad. Such an evil act. I know he is not the first victim of such evil, and they are not the first humans to commit such an evil crime. I am aware that there are many vicitms in this war going on right now. This was just the first thing that woke me up to it, and a few other thoughts. 
 
My thoughts following are not to detract from his memory or the war that is going on over there right now. It's purpose is 1, for me to share some thoughts to get off my chest, and 2, to maybe, hopefully help someone re think things going on around us a little bit more. To take a stand in their own home, and make a change. 

Why would I be so calm about such a disturbing horrific evil scene just because I thought it was hollywood? How sick has our world become? How sick have I become without even realizing it?! I do not think of myself as a sick person. Clearly I am sick in some way if my first inclination was not to immediatly look away and cringe at it. We live in times where so much is fake. So many videos are planned, prepared, scripted in a way to look like it was of the moment., To look like it was an accident. So many want to have theior photos or videos go viral for instant internet fame. Or maybe to get on a talk show. So much of hollywood is believed to need action, and real life scenarios including the horrible , unthinkable and just plain sad situations that happen in real life. 

Let's think about this. 

We have hated "t.v" our whole marriage and have only had a tv for movies on dvd for the majority of time. Only a few years we had cable in an apartment because it was free and I gave in to the idea that having disney jr. would help me in some way. (false)  We have never been "tv" watching family. We stopped watching movies a whole lot too. I probably would have watched more but my Mr. started enjoying them less and less as he would see hidden agendas and strong themes that were teaching in sneaky ways bad thinking or un-truths. For many years we encouraged eachother to read books, listen to positive talks that uplift, inspire and help others. We would seek friendships with others who believed the same. 

Then somewhere on the road we got side tracked. Netflix told us we could enjoy tv with out having "tv" We could watch what we wanted, when we wanted. Then what happened after that, looking back on it today, is sad. Something I believe has happened to too many of us. 

I started watching different award winning, loved and talked about popular tv shows. I did not feel guilty. I thought I was not a tv junkie so it was ok. A few shows in one night. A season in a few weeks. A few seasons in a few months and finished all 7,8, or 9 seasons in about 5 months. THAT IS ALOT OF TV. no matter what excuses I made, no matter how good the excuses sounded, no matter how popular it is to watch tv or netflix, it was ruining my life.Subsequently my childrens too. How you say?
 
                           

The ability to withdraw and not think ruined my thinking. It is known you have to practice something to be good at it right? Well, how do we expect to be good at thinking if we dont use our brains often? Use our minds not just for work, or for church but for ourselves. For our own personal growth. How is it possible for me to be creative if I stop practicing crteativity? My motivation for seeking knowledge was almost entirely gone.My motivation for a clean home was easily trumped by a desire to "relax". I mean, heck, I deserved to relax right?! I have six kids, I homeschool, I just moved,  blah, blah blah...  My motivation for a better relationship with my husband.  Wow. That is a whole blog post in and of itself. Actually all of these are. 

How can one strengthen a marriage by staring at a screen? Seriousy. In todays hectic life some nights he would go out to play a board game with friends. Some nights I might be out with a friend, and some nights we all may be bsuy with a church event of some sort. Then some nights we are home together after kids are in bed but often I would say I didn't want to think or do anything and we would enjoy a show together. Spend a year doing this... how many converstaions, or moments of laughter did we truly experience with one another? For a family who believed they were a n\"non tv watching family" it was a lot. 

I have a hunch we are not the only family out there like this. All I have to do is have a conversation with a handful of casual acquaintances or close friends to hear the same kind of statements. 

"oh we dont like tv but we do have a few shows we like on netflix" or 

 "yah, we LOVE all the same shows. We cant stop. We just watch all the episodes as fast as we can"  

Often someone asks on FB 

"what shows do you like on netflix? then EVERYONE and their mother loves to chime in all their favorite shows to watch.... But,..."we all don't watch tv that much." 

I did not want to think, so I let the TV do the thinking for me. I got used to scenes I thought were more mild then other shows I've heard people watch. I thought I was doing okay. In my mind, I didnt watch nasty looking zombies eat flesh, I only watched Jack Bauer (24) torture a suspect for information. I didn't watch CSI crime scene investigations, because surely that would be just too horrific to see,...but I did watch Bones, because it seemed more scientific and less morbid. (false) Oh- I did not watch reality shows because that was just full of drama but, spend a nigth watching Pretty little Liars to figure out who "A" is that was ok. 

 I enjoyed shows such as prison break, bones, 24, Alias, Fringe etc. I became used to seeing horrific scenes and believe.... actually,  I know my senses were dulled. I was becoming de-sensitized. So much that when I saw the photo yesterday of the U.S. photo journalist beheaded I did not believe what I saw was real and DID NOT FLINCH. 

I am upset about what happened to him. What this means for his family. What this means for our country.  I will pray for his family this evening just as I have for the families trapped on that mountian and for our country to take the right actions in conflicts such as this. However. If I pray but then go about my life changing nothing how much am I really wanting things to get better? 

How can I , How can we go back to normal life after such horrific wars go on? How do we raise our children by example to know that weather fake or real it is inspired by the same.  We must stop in our tracks and take a look at what we allow into our minds. Our homes. I believe we must all ask ourselves "Am I infected with the hollywood and the media disease?" The invisable disease that dulls our mind, and blinds our senses. We as a society are becoming de sensiitized.It is so difficult to know if this is you or not. I did not knoiw I was desensitized until yesterday.

I am so thankful for my husbands wisdom in canceling our netflix a few weeks ago. He asked me about that many times in the past 6 months. He would tell me he wanted to cancel but I kept saying I would rather not. Then a few weeks ago he came to me and asked  what I would think about a family fast of it for one month. To me, one month wasn't forever so I agreed. I thought sure, why not take a break. So he cancelled it and at first that was hard. We had kids begging for a cartoon that I didnt have access to anymore. So, what did we do? We pulled from our dvd collection. 

Almost immediatly after it was cancelled my Mr. went on a business trip to GenCon in Indianapolis for almost 2 weeks. I wished a few times we had a way for me to watch something. Admittedly I downloaded the fox app so I could watch something. I just felt so bored. Then That was no fun and I started (amazingly ..sacracastic tone) spending time doing what I used to do. Read, study new topics I want to know more about, craft, sew, and even write in my journal. Its only been a short while and as each day passed without netflix I felt the spirit in my home change. I noticed when the kids were bored they easily found something to do non electronic related. I also became increasingly annoyed at the tv when I had kids whine that they wanted to watch it. 

After yesterdays experience, the hymn "I need thee every hour" kept popping up in my head.

                       

 It gave me hope and peace.Something we need to feel during these difficult times. Not too long after I felt frustrated at a child interrogating me as to why I did not like one dvd I asked her to turn off because it sounded not nice. I told her how I felt and sent her to read. Then without even really thinking about it or even really acting upset I just went downstairs and unplugged our ps3 and Tv and hid them away in a different room in storage. I rearranged the room to look normal and filled the area where the tv was with our keyboard and some classic books. Then went on my way to feed my children dinner. No one had noticed as they did not go downstairs to play. I didnt want to make a big deal out of it, but I was done. 

                                     
   

 
I knew after my experience of being woken up to the fact that I was de-sensitized and after the way my kids were begging for the tv we needed a complete detox. We needed to enjoy a life with board games, books, gardening, outside play, writing, art, dancing, music, sewing, crafting, cooking, baking, laughing, wrestling,tickling, exercising , using our imagination and playing toys with our toddler and baby siblings. We do not need a tv to do our thinking for us. 

 I know there are many wonderful virtuous and lovely videos out in the world by righteous and loving people. I know the tv is a tool and it can be used for good and it can be used for bad. We will decide if and when the tv comes back out and what rules need to be in place. For ALL. 

Today I challenge you the same challenge I have for our family. I challenege you to unplug your tv. Pause your hulu, netflix, amazon prime subscription or whatever you use for tv and detox from it. If you can hide your tv. get it out of sight so it is out of mind for all. If you cannot move it, maybe just cover it. Classy I know, ;) but if people ask just tell them what you are doing. Make a list of things you enjoy doing for fun and a list of what your family enjoys doing together. Seek those things out. Do it as an experiement if you will. See if you can go a month. We can be in this together. Share with me your experiences or thoughts on how it is going. we can hashtag it #Resensitize  Share your thoughts on your blogs, fb, twitter, or IG. Share pics of your no tv room , or your kids doing something else when they otherwise would have been watching tv.  

I believe stepping away from it and seeking out the better things in life we will find our spirits more sensitive, our hearts more open, our minds more busy with ideas and our hands more creative. We will be awake again, awake enough to see opportunities around us to serve others. To see moments we can have with our children & family that we would have missed if they were watching tv. To feel again. To RESENSITIZE instead of de-sensitize.  Lets do something wonderful. Something in memory of those lives lost by the hands of evil. The same evil that seeks to darken the light that shines within all of us through tv, movies etc.  #resensitize 

                                               
                                 Feel free to use the #resensitize photos to use in social media. 
                                                   Images made in #rhonnadesignsapp




Thursday, August 14, 2014

We love flash cards..and baby!

Try again. Written originally last month but it would not publish. ;) 



This sweet little gal is 10 months old this weekend! 

I am amazed at how much she changes eachand every day.





 




She is a fast crawler and quickly moves abvout the house to anything she thinks looks fun. Or yummy. She puts everything in her mouth. She has taken up to two steps recently but still prefers to crawl and sit down. She has been mastering the art of standing without falling this week. But when we encourage her to walk she sits down. She will be walking by her first birthday thats for sure. 

She is a whopping 13 lbs. 
Let that tiny size not fool you. She is getting chubby underneath. All her bottles of formula and baby food has certainly helped. I am sad we finished nursing this month. 10 months isnt bad though. I have had babies nurse less time. I just didnt have very good milk supply and my milk apparantly wasnt fatty enough for her to grow. Once we put her on formula she started to gain a pound a month. 

These photos are where her new favorite place to hang out is. She knows we keep all our flash cards on the bottom of the red library cart. Its pretty common to have a bunch of those cards strewn about around the cart. We are deciding where we can put them so they are up and away from her but not out of sight ( out of mind)


I tend to forget about flash cards if we put them away where we dont see them everyday. When we see them its so easy to pull a deck out and go through it for a fun activity. My favorite pack of flash cards are places around the world. (of course!)  Target is known for having some awesome flash cards in their dollar section usually around July-August. I always keep my eye out for new packs around this time. ( one of my favorite times of the year, shopping for school supplies for cheap during back to school sales)

New boxes of crayons for .39 ? YES please! 

We also love to stock up on supplies to put in Operation Christmas child shoe boxes. 

For now Leela just loves to eat the cards but one day shell get to read them herself. Who doesnt want to know all about Turantulas!? 


Thats all for now. Sorry Ive been MIA. Life with six kids is busy. An adventure for sure. 

Love, hugs, Best wishes and all that jazz! 

Jenn-lee 




A few more Photos just for fun: Follow me on Instagram if youd like. momentsbyJL


















Wednesday, May 14, 2014

DAY 2 OF gym

                    



So it looks like blogger decided to post what I wrote yesterday morning this morning. So as mentioned in the other post I had a personal training appointment this morning. AT.....5:30 am. Now, This is not my usual wake up time. Usually I wake up around 7:30 when either leela or Tobin wake up. I have known I wanted this to change. Actually, I know it needed to change. So I made the apointment early so I could have time to get home and enjoy some quiet before the whole house is up. It feels wonderful and quiet. 

How did my PT appointment go you ask? Well, ...He didnt show up. yah. discouraging and frustrating. They called him and he talked to me. He felt bad and wanted to reschedule. I did but I was a bit mad and felt like switching to try a different one but decided sometimes people need a 2nd chance. So tonight I'll meet with him. I have not set specific goals yet as I dont really know where I am at with stats etc on my body. I am excited to get all that down on paper so the real fun and hard work can begin. 

I have not exersised in 8 years. This is so foreign to my body. Today I did 10 min warm up of a brisk walk on the treadmill and after the whole PT reschedule I went to do 15 min on the eliptical. Its easy to feel dumb only doing such a small amount but I will have to remind myself its okay. Everyone is at different levels. This was a push for me. All of it. To get up at o dark 30 and to do that cardio. I forgot my music so I just watched all the super strong people workout. haha Motivating.

Well, I am going to go read a bit ( might as well start more new habits with mny early rise) and then get ready for a rockin day with my kiddos. 

xo,
JL 

                      

Hello there!

I am so excited! I am all set up to blog with my mini Ipad. I opened my Birthday present a few minutes ago and this is me trying it out. whoohoo!!! 

I have been missing blogging but have not had a computer that works properly for a while. When deciding on what kind of computer to get we ultimitly decided to get a tablet and eventually get a keyboard cover I could use to blog with. Its so exciting to be back connected! I told my kiddos I would try this out while they watch me and eat their cereal. haha So far this is great. I love that its a cover/stand for the tablet then a separate sleek apple keyboard to type. Easy for travel and great for homeschool too. 

I hope to be sharing my new journey with you very soon. What would that be? Well, I joined a gym last night and decided recently that I want to start body building. I have a few friends body building and have inspired me so much. I am tired of feeling weak. I just want to be strong! I need to be able to br strong enough to have more kids.  I want to be strong enough to work hard. Go on missions trips and help do hard work. Go hike with my sister to her property in Costa Rica one day.  Ride a bike and not get winded, heck, get on a bike without fear that if I crash all my bones will break in a million pieces. 

                    

I have felt like I can barely open a jar. That is sad. Just wrong. I have felt my bones feel like they are going to break in half. Thats scary. I have been to my Doctor and am working with her on everything. We found out I have HYpoThyroid so I am on meds to help with that. Plus on lots of vitamins everyday to help where I am defficiant. 

Anyhow. More on my goals and progress later. I am just here to say Hi and try out my new setup but that new and exciting things are happening!

Thanks sweetie. I love you and am so blessed you treat me so good! 

I hope you all have a great and fantastic day! 

 Want pictures? I'll leave a few for you. ;) 

              

Leela misses me all the time. I have not started baby wearing her and she does not like when I have to leave her on the floor to make lunch.  She is getting to be a fast little crawler. I love it. Too adorable! She does not cry all the time. She really is a great little baby. She loves attention and snuggling. So she is happy to play for a while but then she wants to suck her thumb and have her face in my neck. Weird I know but so cute, 

              

We snuggled on the floor Sunday night. I LOVE how snuggly she is. MAkes my day to feel her warmth and feel so needed and loved by such a little human being. 


I started using a fun new app called Paper. I LOVE sketching fashion designs out with it. Its been great doing that again. I hope once we are settled in the new house I will be able to pick one and sew it into real life. ( oh yah. We also recently moved into a bigger place. A house! We LOVE the space and yard and neighbors. Its been SO nice having a yard fenced for Tobin to run and play in.)


                

Its me! Have not taken many pics of myself over the past while. Less selfies happen when I am without my iphone. Which I gave up because I was on it way too much. So far The ipad has been an easier fun electronic to have but too inconvient to hold when nursing or cooking and such. I will continue to keep a goopd balance. Blogging again will be so much fun. Kailani insisited she take my photo. She did a pretty good job too. 



                      

Finally, Some words to inspire. Its true. When I had Leela Naturally I repeated in my mind 
" I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. " I found so much comfort and strength in that during the hard contractions. It was amazing because I truly would not say labor was painful. It was difficult and uncomfortable but it was not pain that I know. I use this to help me with anything else. I know I am capable of hard work when I remind myself that I had a baby with no drugs. To me that is an amazing feat. 

I am excited for my future. I am excited to achieve results but patient and know they will happen in their own due time. I will share Before and after / current pics and updates here. be on the look out! I have my first PT appointment tomarrow at 5:30am! So exciting. 

Well, Thats all for now. I'll share more pics another day. I need to get back to my kids who just finished their breakfast. Because....I love them and .....

                           


              Miss you all friends and family. 

                          xo, 
                      Jenn-lee 











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