Monday, June 29, 2009

My Mom made me cry.

I have the unique opportunity of being a vocal coach to many wonderful of them just happens to be my mother.
This past weekend, I wasn't a part of the service, so I got to actually sit, watch, sing, listen.

If you don't go to my church, let me set the stage (if you will). There are 3 large screens above the stage, we use plasmas on the stage, and there are camera guys on the stage, a jib in the back of the room, and 3 other stationary cameras elsewhere...all trying to get the best shot to "tell the story" we are trying to tell.

There were several "stories" told this weekend, but one that was for me alone. The story of my Mom.

You see, at one point in the service, the camera man got a beautiful shot of her...a side profile, much like the one above. The song they were singing was an oldie... "I Surrender All." Here are some of the words....

All to Jesus
I Surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live...

And my mom sung it so beautifully, because this IS her story.

She has given her life for Jesus. She serves him every day by the way she loves and cares for others. She gives up her weekends to care for my kids and my sister's daughter. She has taught us (by example) to give our offerings to the church and consider it a blessing not a requirement. She has never been wealthy, but has always been rich. Her morals are of the highest standards. She cares so deeply for others it hurts. She loves her family more than anything but she loves her Savior more. And this was the story she told this weekend. This is the story she tells every day...with her life.

As soon as I saw her image, all of those thoughts came to was like my life flashed before my eyes. So many memories of my mom filling my mind all at once. And I was so overcome with emotion, I couldn't sing.

I love you so much Mom. Thank you for being such a beautiful, selfless example of who I want to be when I grow up!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Not to be outdone...

I should mention Lexi....

Cause she likes to swim too....

And she's doing an amazing job!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Father's Day.

My husband is a wonderful father. A wonderful husband. A wonderful man.

And in honor of that, I dug deep and gave him the most priceless gift I could ever give....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mamma Mia Pizzeria....

Saturday night, Laurel Baker rocked my world by bringing her homemade pizza madness to my kitchen.

Billy slicing up the goods....

My favorite...veggie with artichokes!!! Which had an encore performance today as my lunch! Delightful...AGAIN! are FABULOUS! Thank you for a wonderful dinner!

A Natural...

Since my last two blogs have been pretty depressing, I wanted to post something that has made me immensely proud of Haley this week. In her swim lessons, she got moved to the Olympic sized pool. She was promoted to level 9 out of 10, and her teacher keeps calling her "A Natural." I am clueless about swimming. Don't get me wrong...I love to swim, but I totally fake it. I don't know the proper way of doing a single stroke. So, though I thought she looked pretty good to my untrained eye, it is nice to have it affirmed by the instructor. She said her freestyle stroke is amazing. Her backstroke is strong (but she's got to work on her kicks.) And the next step is cleaning up the butterfly/breaststroke.

Here are some pictures from her lesson....

Way to go Haley!!!!


There is a part in the movie 'Finding Nemo' when Nemo is so mad at his dad, he says, "I hate you." Every time I have heard it, I shudder. I am not naive enough to think my kids will never say that. Whether we have been watching NEMO, or heard it somewhere else, I have always commented on how that is not a nice thing to say to ANYONE, and we should never say it. Trying to delay the inevitable, I suppose. But all the while hoping that I will never hear it.

I truly don't think there is a harsher statement that can be said.

Imagine the fury that bellowed up inside me tonight when I heard Lexi say, "You shouldn't say that" in her sad little voice. I was washing dishes at the time and immediately stopped. I went and asked Lexi what Haley said to her. And she said, "I hate you."
I called Haley's name and there was no response. Lexi told me she was hiding in the bathroom, and sure enough she was. I shut the doors and the windows (since surely my neighbors are one step away from calling Child Protective Services on me.)

I asked her if she said that, but I could see that she did by the way she was holding her mouth and looking at me. The only thing I could think to do was grab the soap. Liquid Hand Soap. And I put a squirt in her mouth. (Now, if you are thinking of calling CPS, I kindly ask you not to unless you have walked one day in my discipline mom mode shoes with Haley...because it is no small task.) I did not yell. I just calmly told her that I was washing those words out of her mouth. I can assure you, she will think twice before ever murmuring them again.

It was simply awful. I sat with her for quite a while, trying to explain the way those words make someone feel. And how harmful they are to her sister. I think she understands. She apologized to her and told her that she does in fact love her. I know that she does too.

It has been an unbelieavbly tough week for Haley. I will attribute a lot of that to change. A new home. A new roomate (Lexi). A new schedule (no preschool). It's gotta be hard. But I still expect the girls to be kind to each other. The line was definitely crossed today.

....But here is the good news. As we were going to bed, and saying our prayers, Haley volunteered. And her prayer was this:

Dear God.
Thank you for my family.
I love my mom. My dad. My sister.
Even when I make bad choices I still love them.
And I am sorry.
I love my Grandma and Papa Don.
I love my Grandma and Granddad.
And for all they do for me.
Thank you.
In Jesus name,

Oh parenting is so hard, isn't it? But all of today's struggles seemed to melt away with that simple prayer.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Operation Shared Room: Total Failure.

I am so sad. It's just not working out. The girls can't share a room. It started out so well, but after the novelty wore off, it has resulted in the same story: Lexi talking and trying to keep Haley awake, and Haley yelling at Lexi and telling her to be quiet. Consequently, the parents are losing their sanity minute by minute.

So here are tonight's events....

The girls go down. 5 minutes later...the doors start opening. "Lexi won't be quiet." "Haley this...Haley that." Curtis talked to both of them several times...threats were handed out. Tears were shed. Repeat process.

Curtis leaves.

I am alone...with two crazy kids...refusing to sleep.

I devise this plan and calmly share it with the girls:

You can talk. You can laugh. You can sing songs. But if anyone says stop, then you need to stop. If I have to come in because I hear yelling and someone is upset, or if one of you walks out of the room to tattle on the other, I take a quarter out of your bank. (Cue tears.) Good news: If you go to bed without any drama, the next day, you can get a quarter back for good behavior. And if there are 7 days in a row of going straight to bed....CHUCK E CHEESE.

They seemed to like that. And I felt like the smartest mom alive.

This lasted approximately 2:24 minutes.

It was 10:14. I was done.

I took away their sleeping friends. And warned them that spankings were next (and I HATE to spank.) But with my strong-willed, stubborn kids...sometimes, it is the ONLY thing to get through.

So guess what happens next? Yep. Spankings.

I officially feel like the WORST mom in the entire world. I hate getting angry with my kids. I feel like a failure. I am bummed that the room share won't work, but I seriously can NOT go through this EVERY night. It's not worth it. I don't know what else to do.

In the end...we loved on each other. We all cried. Apologized to one another. Hugged. Said good-night.

But I still feel sick. Just sick. I had to call Curtis (who is at the movies) just to talk it out cause I felt paralyzed....I was that sad.
My face is still wet with tears. I think what hurts the most is that we only get one chance at this, you know? And what if I am doing it ALL wrong? What if my kids are messed up because of me?

Sigh. (BIG Sigh.)

I can't get caught up in that. I really am trying to do the best that I can.

I just want to wake my kids up right now and tell them how much I love them. But I guess I will wait for tomorrow since it took half of my life just to get them down tonight.

Tomorrow is a new day. A day of changes. A day for new rooms. And hopefully an evening of much better sleep!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How Does OctoMom do it?

Last night I went to Disneyland with 3 other friends of mine. Friends who happen to be moms. They each have 2 kids. After we arrived, we met up with Mandy's sister and her friend and 2 more kids. Then another mom, Metta, joined us along with her 2 kids. So to recap... we have 7 adults. 12 kids. We were outnumbered.

Oh, and Disneyland AND California Adventure were both SOLD OUT! Just what I love...a good, nice quiet day at Disneyland. Here are some highlights of the event.

Mandy with all the Kiddos.

Lexi running off with someone's drink. I don't know whose it was. Seriously.

Kayden & Haley

Midway through a Sugar High

I got stressed and turned to junk food.

Karey & Metta and their posse.

Haley entertaining the youths with bubbles while waiting for the parade.

Gracie & Lexi waiting for the parade.

And alas...

We overcame tears, fights, disappearing children, long lines, greasy food, tired babies...and we had a great time.

Green Thumbs.

I don't have one.
So I called my dad over and asked him to help. Both of his thumbs are green.
We spent a fun afternoon buying soil/plants/pots and various other items and then planted all afternoon with Haley.

Proudly featured in my garden:
Tomatoes (LOTS of tomatoes)
Bell Peppers

I would like to plant some carrots next. Any other ideas out there?

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's the Templeton Playhouse....

Come inside there's fun inside (to the tune of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for you preschool moms/dads)....

Anyway...these are pics of the new playhouse where the kids are spending countless hours playing restaurant and house. I'm in the process of laminating menus so the restaurant can be more official...and we're making an "Order Here" sign and "Pick Up Here" sign to place above the windows. It's a lot of fun.

Come over and PLAY!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Look out for the Party Van!!

After a fabulous family dinner, we were driving by the In-Laws house and decided to pick them up (and cousin Philip too)...put up in the car with the music pumpin' and the kids shakin' it...and headed down to DIPPIN DOTS!

Be on the LoOkOut!!! You never know when we might show up at your house!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

THESE DAYS ARE OVER (Warning - Not for the Faint of Heart)


When I came home...

this was waiting for me...

and if that wasn't enough my man told me to sit on the couch and turn on 'So You Think You Can Dance' and relax. I love him.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

2 Possible Downsides of our new home.

We have a big backyard.

The kitchen window overlooks the backyard so I thought it safe to clean up from dinner whilst the kids entertained themselves.

After a harmless game of playing "Auntie Jen & Emily go to Baskin Robbins"...they apparently broke out into a kitty/doggy game on the side of the house. I only discovered this after noticing wet spots in the gravel. After asking what it was Lexi declared, "WE PEED LIKE CATS AND DOGS." They really did. Pants down. Pee. Gravel. Lovely.

Secondly...I just tucked the girls in. After kissing me goodnight, Lexi told me, "Haley said when the pirates come in the room I am supposed to punch them in the face." God only knows the conversations that are going on in that room.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Next to Normal.

This is a show on Broadway. I had dinner with my friend yesterday who just saw it in NYC. Then I saw it on the TONYS. Here's the website if you want to learn more about it.

I WANT TO BE IN THIS SHOW SO BAD!!! It seriously makes me want to work up my chops again so I can audition for some local production a few years from now in CALI. By then I'll be old enough to play the mom!! With a few years of practice, I might have a slight chance.

Thank you Thank you Thank you.

I feel like I have been walking around for the past few days just saying "Thank you God" over and over and over again. Things I am thankful for:

*Watching my kids run through the back yard laughing so hard as they play catch with Molly.
*The beautiful paint job my husband did on our bedrooms.
*The bag of oranges left on our front doorstep from our neighbors.
*The "neighborhood swings" in a neighbor's front yard.
*Friends that helped us with the move.
*Parents that helped us with the move and with our kids.
*My stove that belongs in a fancy gourmet restaurant
*The girls' playhouse in the backyard that is big enough to be a bedroom.
*The girls sharing a bedroom that is twice the size of their old individual rooms.
*Lexi is completely potty trained. (The new house brought so many blessings!)
*Spending the day with a precious friend that made hours felt like minutes.
*Having enough space to invite other mommy friends over for a morning breakfast/playdate tomorrow.
*Having a playroom.
*New washer/dryer that make laundry fun. (It probably helps that my washer sounds like a slot machine.)
*Being able to decorate with special nick-nacks that have been in storage for over a year.
*Having my favorite cozy chair back (that was living at my in-laws for a year.)
*My kids sleeping so well in the same room together (Lexi even moved to a big girl bed and doesn't get out!)
*Feeling the ocean breeze come in through my sliding glass bedroom windows bringing with it the smell of sweet jasmine flowers.
*Planting flowers/veggies/plants with my dad this week...and future gardening with the kids.
*A Garage...which means never looking for a parking space again.

I just feel at peace. And it feels so good. I am thankful. I am blessed.

Kristi in 30 years...courtesy of Heidi.