6.12.2013

pack it up, move it out

6.03.2013

home new home


   



 
  

  

Perhaps you've heard the fantastical news?  If not, then I'll tell you: the promotion went through!  Which means we get the house!  So very excited!  I even took a video of the place, but it seems Blogger doesn't like it...  So for those who won't be able to visit any time soon and are crazy with curiosity, I can email you the tour ;)

Now you'll have to excuse me; I've got a garden to plant and a house to decorate!  *B

5.08.2013

just keep swingin'

5.07.2013

word play


Will brought this assignment home from (public) school yesterday, and I loved it!  Such a great idea; one I'll have to remember to use in the future...  Since I've been using this last trimester as a practice run for homeschooling, and since Will is repeating the first grade, I didn't see much benefit in spending a lot of time/money investing in a curriculum.  But I've been trying to make mental notes of Will's learning style in the hopes of coming up with something cohesive and relevant to his needs.  I plan on spending more time this summer actually researching specific curriculums and writing up more structured lesson plans for next year.  And I'll be honest, I'm not looking forward to that part of homeschooling.  I'm much more interested in colorful typography!  *B

5.06.2013

fingers crossed


Our lease is coming to an end shortly, and so we've had to make the difficult decision to stay or leave.  Rent here is expensive, and the apartments here like to think they're just as good as houses...  Brad has a promotion in the works, but we're waiting for official approval.  And so, we've been house hunting.

No, we're not quite in the market to buy and we won't be for a while longer.  We're simply looking at homes to rent.  And it is a nightmarish process.  But, miracle of miracles happened and we found a darling little place, that just happens to be nearby, on 1.5 acres!  With a chicken coop, gardening beds, and indoor hot-tub!!  And get this, the owner is LDS (well known, used to be in our Stake) -- and for a minimal deposit (that we will get back if Brad's promotion does not go through), he is willing to sit on it for two months until we are able to move in!!!

And so now we wait.  Patience is sooo not my virtue.  *B

4.24.2013

coloring cutie

4.23.2013

outdoor playschool


After (public) school, we had an impromptu picnic at the park across from Brad's work.  Will continued his education by learning how to weave flowers ;)  Elsie played (princess) pirates, while Timmy threw and/or ate rocks...  Sometimes Mother Nature is the best teacher.  *B

4.22.2013

flower fest










This past weekend we drove around looking at beautiful barns and fields of flowers.  I really do love it here!  *B

4.18.2013

just smile


Pretty sure this picture was captured during one of many diaper changes.  Thank heavens for smart phones that distract busy hands!  And thank you, DesiTim, for your candid documentation ;)

Last week was one of those weeks.  You know, where the baby's bowels decide to revisit the newborn days, resulting in mountains of laundry.  Where it's sunny one day, and raining hailing the next.  Where everyone has a crazy case of cabin fever due to said crazy weather, but you can't leave the house in fear of said baby's bowels.  That, coupled with the fact that it also happened to be Spring Break, which alone necessitates some form of creative expression and/or forced enjoyment.  All this followed by a week where you volunteer to teach Scouts, and spend two days frantically coming up with something to educate/entertain eight 9 year old boys.  A week where you finally tackle aforementioned laundry, and attempt to restore some sort of "normal" routine, all whilst brain-storming about food storage and day-dreaming about your future home plan/site.

Good times!  *B

4.10.2013

Springtime

4.09.2013

fine-tuning


I love school performances!  They always make me teary eyed.  There's just something about seeing a group of kids, singing/dancing their little hearts out, that is so sweet.  It always reminds me of how proud our Father in Heaven must be of them, of us.  It is at times like these where I can feel of His love for all His children so strongly.  Hence, the teariness ;)



I've really enjoyed having Will in public school part-time.  He gets to participate in activities, enjoy some time with his friends, and spend some time away from me.  I might ruffle some attachment parents' feathers when I say that I believe it's important for children and mothers to have time away from each other.  I believe the time Will spends in school helps foster his sense of individual worth.  And school gives him the chance to practice what his parents preach.


It's a fine line, but I know that public school AND home school can both drain Will and energize him.  It's my job as his parent and ultimate teacher to figure out the appropriate amount of each.  And for now, this part-time schooling seems to be a good fit.  It's the best of both worlds!


Together, they can make such sweet music.  *B

4.08.2013

Conference weekend


I loved Conference this year!  It seemed like all the talks were meant for me...  And we started some fun traditions this year: Conference boxes/cups and 72 hr. food kits.  The kids helped decorate their own boxes, and helped color the tags for the Conference cups.  I think having them involved in the process helped them to get ready for what could have been a long weekend...  And I really do think that the activities were engaging enough without being too distractive.  I plan on doing the same thing for each Conference, it worked so well!


Each box had the following:
  • folder full of Conference related coloring/activity pages - one page per talk rule
  • snacks - one per session rule
  • new coloring pencils
  • pencil sharpener
  • pencil case
  • clipboard
  • glue stick
  • silly putty

Brad and I decided on five words we wanted the kids to focus on for the afternoon sessions.  This year our words were: Atonement, repentance, baptism, reverence, and service.  I blew up some Conference squares, cut out the words we wanted to use, had the kids color them, and then used double-sided tape to stick them to clothespins to attach to the cups.  Each cup had a different treat inside, and you're allowed to eat a treat every time you hear a word.  During the morning sessions, we played Conference bingo with stickers - I didn't want them getting high on sugar in the early morn ;)


We also used this weekend as an opportunity to put together our 72 hr. food kits.  The plan is to rotate through them every Conference.  So come October, we'll use Conference weekend to restock our supply while snacking on the items from April's kits.  I'm really not the most organized person (ask my mom), but it does feel nice to get some things in order...  And I'm excited for next Conference!  *B

4.05.2013

birthday boy

4.04.2013

one


I can not believe my baby turns one tomorrow!  And I can not believe how much he melts my heart.  He could not have come at a better time; he was just what I needed.  It was by far my most difficult pregnancy, and he was by far my most difficult baby.  In all honesty, he came at one of the most difficult times in my life.  But I learned a lot through it all, and I know I'm stronger in part because of him.  He kept me going when all else seemed lost...  And nowadays he is a complete joy!  Once we figured out that he was basically starving and suffered from exhaustion, and once we addressed those needs appropriately, it was like a light switched on and he has not stopped shining since.  I can always count on him to make me smile and lift my spirits.  He has saved me since day one.  *B

4.03.2013

backseat drivers

4.02.2013

why we homeschool, part II


I have really enjoyed our afternoons lately.  Before, when Will was in public school full-time, I felt like the afternoon blended into the evening.  I'd wake the littles from their naps, rush to school and grab Will, then head home to finish homework and prep dinner.  It was stressful for me, and for the kids.  I felt like Will needed a decompressing period...  And there just wasn't enough time in the day for it.  As soon as Brad got home from work, we'd eat and get to spend a few moments together.  But bedtime always seemed to sneak up on us and I felt like Will still hadn't reconnected/recharged from school.  Nowadays our afternoons are much more peaceful, and we actually get to spend time together as a family.  Home has become not only a place of learning, but also a place of restoration.  *B  

4.01.2013

new beginnings


      
   
    

It's been a rough week...  But, I am grateful for Spring and what it represents.  And I'm especially grateful for the Atonement that makes fresh starts possible, regardless the mess.  *B

3.27.2013

Spring snow

3.26.2013

why we homeschool, part I

[source]
I'm not necessarily anti-schooling, but I definitely think the public school system isn't for everyone... I feel like it's an institution that tries too often to fit square pegs into little round holes. And there is nothing worse than feeling like a bad mom with a troubled kid, especially when you know neither is true!

Will is on his third year of public school, and I've had to develop a thick skin. But it is so very hard to watch his confidence waver and watch him doubt his own self worth because he is incorrectly labeled by his superiors. Little boys are little boys, and accidents happen. Tolerance is practiced when convenient, simply because there's no time for it. And I don't blame the schools for trying! I know how hard it is teaching a primary class of five for two hours; I can't imagine what it would be like to be a full-time school teacher and I give them props for trying.

I remember when I was in school, being told that school was my REAL home... My mother calls it glorified babysitting  But when your kids spend more time away from home, then you are allowing the babysitter to discipline your child the best they can. And sometimes their best isn't necessarily the best.  *B

3.25.2013

baby steps






We love our silly little (climbing) walker!  *B

3.20.2013

sweet is the work


3.19.2013

learn at home

[source]
Yesterday marked our first official day of homeschooling.  We've been struggling with public school since day one.  I've felt a gentle tug to homeschool for a while now, and I've been putting it off for various reasons.  Our current living situation is less than ideal, but I can't sit around and wait for perfection!  I don't think the transition will be that difficult. We've been doing quasi-homeschooling ever since last summer anytime there's a break in school....

For now we're only homeschooling part-time.  I send Will to school in the morning and then I pick him up after lunch/recess.  He's a very social kid (extrovert), and he really needs to feel connected to the community.  My original plan was to teach him the basics and send him to school for things like music, P.E. and library.  But that just didn't work with our schedule (aka. Timmy's naps).  And I'm ok with that, because I'd like to use this last trimester as an adjustment period, for both of us.

Depending on the grade level, and how involved I want/can be, I might end up enrolling him in public school for certain subjects, too.  Or maybe an online or virtual classroom.  I would love to be a part of a group so we can supplement our school days with field trips, etc. as well.  I'm leaning towards Montessori-based learning, so the current plan is to intersperse required works with free time.

I honestly don't know how long we'll be homeschooling.  I'm not going to commit to a specific time-frame.  I'm just going to take this a year at a time, and we'll go from there.  *B

3.18.2013

it was the best of times, it was the worst of times

video

Some background: Will had asked prior to filming if he could sing a silly birthday song.  I said no, because 1.) we already sang a silly birthday song in the car, and 2.) I hate how disruptive/distracting it is.  Call me over-reactive, but I think it's borderline rude...  I don't like how it detracts from the special occasion; whether you're at someone's birthday party, or on someone's doorstep singing Christmas carols.  It's one thing to sing silly songs for fun, as a family or with your friends, but when it's time to perform I think it's only appropriate to sing appropriately.

And so, on Elsie's special day, Will chose to ignore my request and that's why you hear his name called out.  And then he blew out her candle.  And so, if you look up 3/11 on our calendar, you won't see "Elsie's birthday" written on it.  Instead, you will notice William's handwriting, declaring it to be the "worse day of my life" - the day he lost his cupcake.

You have just witnessed my parenting in action.  *B

3.15.2013

wannabe farmgirl

[source]
I want to live on a farm.  It's a dream I've had for a while now, and it's something I think about every day.  I want a farm so bad, it makes me cry.  Yup, I've got it bad!  Brad and I frequently talk about our plans for the farm, like it's just a matter of time.  In reality it'll be years until it's even remotely possible...  Especially since we have debts to pay and money to save for the type of property I have in mind.  You see, I want at least five acres.  Ten acres would be ideal, and anything over ten would be icing on the cake.  I need space to breathe here, and the kids need a place to run.  And just what will be on this farm?  Well, let me tell you!
  • 2 boarder collies
  • 2 barn cats
  • 3 pigs
  • 12 chickens
  • 3 pygmy goats  OR 10 angora goats
  • 10 alpacas, maybe
  • 1 mini dexter cow, maybe
  • beehive(s)
  • kitchen/pottager garden
  • flower garden
  • fruit trees
My dream-dream would be to have my own little fiber shop, with beautiful yarn made from the mohair and/or fleece from our goats and/or alpacas.  And then Elsie and I could run a flower stand at the local farmer's market, and Will could either sell puppies or piglets on the side.

There's a reason why I call myself {B}dreamy!  I'm just a "little" girl with big dreams ;)  And I'm lucky enough to have a husband who shares those dreams.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see where those dreams will take us.  *B

3.14.2013

cultivating faith

[source]
To be honest, I've been struggling with my faith lately...  So I was a little nervous when asked to participate in an experiment as part of a Relief Society lesson.  So I want to preface my experience with what someone told me: We all go through cycles.  I used to believe that faith, and testimonies, were concrete.  And maybe for some they are, and maybe for some it can be.  But for me, and others I know, faith is something that comes and goes.  Sometimes it's weak, and sometimes it's strong.  And that is ok.  That is when our free agency comes into play.

Instead of beating ourselves up, concerned that we must be doing something wrong, or that we're somehow evil, we simply choose: We choose every day, and sometimes every moment in every day, to have faith.  To cultivate it.  We choose to believe, because we want to believe.


I chose to read 3 Nephi 17 because of what it teaches: that Jesus knows us and pray for us, a truth (I'm sad to say) that I had forgotten.  I figured it was an appropriate topic for me to study and put to the test.  So after a week of reading, cross-referencing and praying, I felt like I had nothing to share.  I mean, I was nervous to begin with, and now I was starting to panic.  I had nothing to share with the class.  Sure, I could point out some uplifting scriptures, but I couldn't share anything personal because nothing spectacular had happened.  Until late one night/early morning, when something did happen.  My eyes were opened, my heart was softened, and the tears began to fall.  In short, my prayers had been answered.

  • vs 2-3: "I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.  Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again." - this is a perfect description of my entire week.  I chose to continue with my study throughout the week, even when it seemed like nothing was going to happen.
  • vs 8:  "For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you." -I was envious of those who had stories to tell, stories where their faith/testimonies were strengthened.  I didn't have stories (or none that I could readily recall).  But I had the desire, and I chose to move forward.  My faith was not perfect, but it was sufficient.
  • vs 7, 9: I have read these verses many times, and have always appreciated them for what they were: faith in action, where miracles happened.  But then I realized that these illnesses were not just physical in nature, but also spiritual.  How many of us have moments of blindness?  How many times do we find ourselves unable to hear the Spirit?  God is still a God of miracles, and there are certainly cases where those with physical illness(es) are healed.  But there are many more of us who are sick in spirit.  And He can heal us, too.
  • I was eventually lead in my reading to D&C 84: 72: " And the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them."  -And who is that serpent?  It is none other than Satan, the serpent who plants those thoughts of doubt and despair.  Poison that makes us spiritually sick and in need of God's healing power.
  • There were many other things that I learned that night, but I will leave you with one last scripture (D&C 112:13): "And after their temptations, and much tribulation, behold, I, the Lord, will feel after them, and if they harden not their hearts, and stiffen not their necks against me, they shall be converted, and I will heal them."
I do not know what tomorrow will bring, and I do not know where my faith will take me.  It might even leave me again.  But what I have learned is that the Lord is always there, waiting and ready to heal us.  It's simply a matter of choosing to believe.  Because there will be times when our beliefs weaken, and all we can do is choose to believe.  When skepticism tempts us, we cultivate that faith.  And when our faith returns, we ignore that serpent and decline his poison.  We clench that iron rod, whether we're standing still or moving forward.  We choose not to let go.  We choose to hold on.  *B

3.06.2013

a rambling confession of sorts

I have a lot of blogs...  I used to blog a lot, but not as of late (obviously).  I don't think a lot of people blog nowadays, unless they're 1.) professional/business bloggers; 2.) mommy bloggers.  I used to be both(?).  I used to be involved in a lot of giveaways, creative teams, features, tags, etc.  And it was exhausting!  And I hated that anytime I talked with someone in real life, they would always ask "So what's your latest project now, Beth?".  I couldn't meet someone new (blogland friend) without them thinking I was something great, and I couldn't meet with someone old (real-life friend) without them thinking I thought I was something great.  The truth is, I'm just me.  I know what sounds good and I know what looks good.  And so I'm afraid I can come across as having it all together, which is absolutely ridiculous!  Just ask my mom/husband ;)

I wasn't purposefully creating a facade, but I started to vicariously live one.  And it grew tiresome, and so I stopped.  Until a year ago I came to an earth-shattering conclusion: I am creative.  But creative and competitive don't need to coexist.  I used to get frustrated with blogging not because I would read blogs and think, "I could never do that" (although there was plenty of that running through my mind); what frustrated me more was knowing that I could do that, and then feeling like I should.  If I wanted to, I could design quilt patterns and fabric lines.  If I wanted to, I could design wedding announcements and Christmas cards.  If I wanted to, I could design whole websites and publish books.  But I don't want to.  Realizing that I could but didn't have to was very liberating for me.

I don't know if that makes sense to anyone, and I pray this doesn't come across as me sounding egotistical...  Nothing makes me feel worse when people assume the worst!  All I'm saying is that I enjoy writing, crafting, networking and everything in between.  And that's enough for me.

So, I have a lot of blogs.  And this post kinda got away from me, because what I planned on confessing was that my favorite blog is my food blog.  I maintain my stitchy niche blog because I do like sharing things I've accomplished or things I find inspiring, but I love food more.  I find myself taking crappy pictures, scribbling down experimental recipes, and composing informative posts inside my head all day, every day.  It actually takes extreme focus for me to write something here, on this blog.  And I wonder why that is...  Certainly, my family and my life experiences are more interesting!  Or at least they should be.

And so I wonder.  *B

3.01.2013

slap happy

My mom came to visit last week, and we had lots of fun :)  Especially Timmy:


I think I stopped blogging in part because I lived next to my mom and we saw each other almost every day.  So there was little point to sharing my thoughts, or children, through the interweb when I could just drive to her house and do so in person!  But now that she's far away, I'm more motivated to document and share our lives.  Some days I find myself (still) homesick, so blogging also helps me to feel connected somewhat to old and/or new friends.  And that, my friends, makes me happy.  *B

2.13.2013

in the bleak midwinter


This is what I like to call our backyard.  We live on the bottom floor of a three story apartment complex, so we don't technically have a yard of our own.  But our apartment is backed right up against the green belt, so at least we don't have the concrete jungle to stare at out our windows.  It is frequently overcast here, which isn't too horrible in and of itself...  The rain isn't half bad either; it's more misty than pouring.  As long as the sun makes an appearance every few days, or if I can catch a quick glimpse of the blue sky every now and then, I'm good.  Not so good: our apartment is dark, even with all the lights turned on and all the shades drawn.  It gets a little suffocating at times, and so I tend to daydream about being surrounded by acres and acres of open land.  The sky is oppressive enough, but being surrounded by trees and then living in what's essentially a basement...  It gets a little depressing at times.  And now that Fall has come and gone, all the pretty trees are naked and all that's left is gray and green.  Gray sky and gray bark coupled with green grass, green pines, and green moss.  It's all foreign to me.

Autumn was beautiful, with all the different colored leaves.  But I hear Spring is even better.  I can't wait!  *B