Everyone is on a the trail, here's my view.

Archive for the tag “family”

Keeping up with the Littles!

We have six little ones at our house. Their ages are 12, 10, 8, 4, 2, and 4 months. It is crazy to think how the older ones are not so little any more, but I digress.

One of my goals that I have always had as a mother was that I could be healthy (read: not fat) enough so that I could play with my Littles. Actually I have been fairly successful at playing with them, even when I am not at my goal weight. (I have recommitted to that.)

I have found that playing with my Littles helps me to keep the goal to be able to play with my Littles. Like the chicken and the egg.

So while I am not as strong as I used to be (I love lifting weights!), I am getting back into shape by playing with them at the park! In the early morning, before it gets too hot, they bike and I walk to a park in the neighborhood. I do not have a fancy runny stroller, just an old double stroller. Pushing it gives me quite a workout. It is heavy and it pulls to the left, so my arms are constantly working simply to keep it straight! Once I get momentum going, I don’t like to be stopped, so the Littles all know not to stop in front of me – they might get run over! The best part of the stroller? The passengers…


They love playing on the playground. They go across it like it is an obstacle course. They challenged me to do it. Wow! That was hard. I felt awkward, but I did it. Good thing no one was there to witness it. The kids cheered me on, then told me I was slow. 😉


I taught them how to play Freeze Tag. It is lots of fun, but I seem to always get frozen, because I cannot outrun any of them! They know I am an easy target. I guess I need to work on running…


This was the first time I had ran since before Baby! I was tired and sore. But it was fun!


What game should I teach them next?



General Conference – NEW Tradition

Every first weekend in April and October, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds a world-wide General Conference. When I was a child, we went to the church to watch it via satellite. As much as I NOW love every talk and the spiritual feast that is the weekend of learning from the Prophest and Apostles of the Lord, as a child it can be difficult to sit through and understand it all. If you are not familiar with Conference, there are two 2 hour sessions on Saturday and also on Sunday. Eight Hours!!! (For the boys and men there is an additional meeting Saturday night.)

Now a days, you can watch the conference live, on-line. So, we watch Conference from home. We work hard to keep the Littles interested and paying attention. The girls like to draw the ties that the speakers are wearing. But I struggled to find a way to tie a family tradition into Conference weekend. Then, like most traditions, it just happened.

Our oldest daughter LOVES panqueques! My hubby is from Argentina, and panqueques are the Argentine version of crepes. So, on Sunday morning, she asked if I could make them. The recipe I use calls for the batter to sit in the fridge for an hour, so I was finishing making them just as the morning session was about to begin.


Everyone came in and helped get the panqueques together, then we watched Conference.


Someone said, “Hey, we should do this EVERY Conference!” We all agreed and that is that.


Next Conference, if you want to watch and eat panqueques with us, come on by!


Our Favorite Easter Tradition

My older sister is amazing and she has an amazing daughter. Five years ago we invited her over to dye Easter eggs with us. She spent the night and we had so much fun, we wanted to do it again the next year. And so a tradition began. Each year, we know that Easter weekend is our special time with our favorite Arizona cousin!

Here are my two oldest and cousin in 2010!


This year was no different. She came over Friday after school. The kids played. We ate pizza. Once the little boys were in bed, the older kids watched “Free Birds” (Funny, right? Watching a Thanksgiving movie on Easter!) They served themselves bowls of ice cream.

In the morning I made Easter egg waffles. (Nothing Pinterest worthy. I just had three bowls of batter colored yellow, pink, and green and then layered them in the waffle iron.) The kids sure loved them!


Then after the kitchen was cleaned, and the kids were dressed, we started coloring eggs!


I boiled FIVE DOZEN eggs! Luckily only three cracked while boiling. The kids loved to see the color tablets fizz and dissolve in the vinegar.

I like to slow the process down, so I give everyone ONE egg. That way they can take their time and really make it look good. Then I give them each another egg. We had fewer dropped eggs and only one bowl of dye get knocked over. Success!









Another Easter filled with fun memories for cousins!



P.S. After spending a full day with their favorite Arizona cousin, the kids get sad when she leaves. This year when she left, Enzo was taking his nap. When he woke up, he wandered around the house and in the backyard calling out for his cousin. When I told him that she left, he just sat there. Then Arianna started to cry. She talked about how she wished she could buy a street full of great houses and invite all of her aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents to move in. I LOVE the idea! We had better start saving. But until then, we KNOW we will have her NEXT Easter!

Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt

I LOVE EASTER!!!! It is such a fun holiday without all the stress of Christmas. Think of all the wonderful things about Easter time:

-chocolate candy

-Spring weather

-Easter egg hunting

-chocolate bunnies

-green grass

-The Easter Pageant

-focusing in the importance of the Savior

-time with family

-and more chocolate!

Seriously, what could be better?

We enjoyed a neighborhood Easter egg hunt this morning. It was so much fun! The sky was overcast, so it wasn’t sunny and hot, and the chocolate candy in the eggs did not melt. There were so many families enjoying the park together. There were so many eggs to be hid, that the good hiding places were taken so the rest of the eggs had to be strewn across the lawn.


The way they organized the hunt, the littlest children went first and then waited until releasing the next age group. It was smart, because it slowed it down and no one was trampled!

Here are some pictures of our Littles and the eggs they found today…





After the hunt, there were other activities organized! There was a cake walk, jump ropes and other outdoor toys to play with, a parachute, even stilts! The kids really had a fantastic time!


Here are a few pictures of the Littles opening their eggs…


He is so excited!!!!


She is so disappointed when the egg was empty!


The best part was on the walk home, we saw the “Easter Bunny” running through the desert bushes in the neighborhood. It is hard to see in this picture. Can you see him???? He was so fast!


Now we know where he lives…


Happy Easter!! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Brothers Gotta Hug!


There is something so heart-meltingly irresistible about one of my boys being sweet to the baby… Girls are naturally more nurturing. I see that in our two older girls. However, I think boys have a soft spot too. I also think that sometimes in the process of “toughening up” our boys into men, we loose that gentle side that loves babies and is not ashamed to show it.

So what do I do? Easy! When I need to go to the bathroom, or answer a phone call, or help another child with something, I ask the boys just as often as I ask the girls to hold or play with the baby. Our oldest son knows how to change diapers (even if he complains the entire time). I am training all of our children to be parents one day – not just the girls to be mothers!


He really brought down his books and just started reading them to her. It was one of those special moments I had to capture on film because they are both too young to remember it.


Our girls know the names of Thomas the Tank Engine and all of his train friends!

“Brothers Gotta Hug!” It is a line from a movie. Do you know which one? It is a comedy. It really does make me laugh, but I have always loved the phrase. Brothers and sisters DO need to hug. They need to hug each other. They need hugs from their parents. There is nothing as sad as someone who feels alone in a house full of people. Humans need to touch – lovingly. So whoever you are, go hug whoever is in your house! Brothers gotta hug!




Here’s my FROZEN post…

All around BlogLand, people have been posting their thoughts on the Disney movie, Frozen. There have been all kinds of posts: the design of Elsa’s ice castle, the cameos, the supposed gay agenda, how it relates to autism, or the subtle teachings of right and wrong – just to name a few. Here is my post…

I did not see it in the theater. My wonderful sister-in-law took the kids. They loved it so much! I bought the soundtrack so they could keep singing the songs. I learned the songs and appreciated the beauty of each one. I pre-ordered the movie and it arrived in the mail the day before it was to go on sale in the stores. We literally stopped everything and watched the movie.

So while I don’t see (or try to see) any political agendas, there is a part that speaks to me and where I am in life.

You remember after the castle is built and Anna comes to convince Elsa to go back and unfreeze Arendelle? They sing back and forth until they are singing simultaneously. Anna pleads with her sister to work together. Elsa realizes that she is not “alone and free” after all. Then she sings, “I’m such a fool! I can’t be free! No escape from the storm inside of me!”

That is a glimpse into  the brain of this mother of 6. It is hard to explain, but it really feels like a storm in my brain. I am constantly battling the negative thoughts of, “You are not good enough,” “You are not the best mom for these kids,” “You can’t handle the needs of each one,” “You are fat and out of shape – how do you expect to keep up?” It is cold and lonely in my brain of negativity!

I know that God would not have blessed me with each spirit if He didn’t trust that I would do my best by each one. But there are so many opportunities for failure! In those cold, solitary moments, I have to force myself to think my way out of the storm. It is usually the touch of one of my Littles or a smile or laugh that reminds me they are happy and I can choose to be happy too!

After all, it was Anna who sang, “We’ll make the sun shine bright!” It is something that she knew they could do TOGETHER. I will never be the perfect mom. However, with the love and support of hubby, family, friends, and my Littles – I can calm the storm inside of me and feel the sunshine!


Traveling with your TRUE self

I just got back from visiting my sister that lives in Arkansas. (Why do we not pronounce it the way it is spelled?) It was a FABULOUS trip! I wanted to go and meet her new baby, and introduce her family to mine.

Completely necessary.


I would NOT have made the trip at all, if it weren’t for my older sister who booked the flights and told me I was going…


I will post more on the trip later. Today I have to comment on a few observations at the airport. The place where stress runs hotter than someone about to lose their flight!


There was a family (dad, mom, pre-teen daughter). They appeared to be flustered trying to determine if they were at the correct gate. He hollered at her. She rudely questioned him. He barked. She barked louder! When they finally found out they were at the right gate, they sat down – the daughter at a different set of chairs. They continued to bicker and make a scene.

The second couple I observed was also in a stressful situation. After leaving the plane, the wife realized she could not find her glasses. Agitated, she set her belongings in a seat close to me. She began the frantic search of pockets, books, bags – she even touched her head several times to see if they were up there! The entire time the husband stayed calm and supportive. He held items as she pulled them from her bag. He kindly offered suggestions on where they could be. He did not accuse or use words like: you should have or I told you.

After they decided to go back to the plane and look, I started to think – how traveling brings out your TRUE self. You can see how someone acts in a stressful situation, or reacts to a difficult person. Each person had a choice of how they were behaving. It was an honest, candid snapshot of these peoples’ lives.

Which brings me to my older sister. She KNEW I needed to get a break from my Littles at home. She sweetly helped me obtain boarding passes, carry bags, tuck my blanket behind my back so I didn’t flash everyone when I nursed my baby. She paid $8 for small bag of trail mix and three crackers because we didn’t get lunch and she was worried about my milk supply. She showed me her TRUE self during lots of little moments and the really stressful ones as we ran through the terminal with just minutes to make our connecting flight. And when my bag didn’t make the flight, she offered to lend me her clothes – even though NO amount of force could get my post baby body into her weights instructor/super model outfits!!!

She is constantly showing me who I want to be. Thanks, Dea, for always being my example!


Post Navigation