I can’t Think of a Better Way

16 Jan

Yesterday as I pushed my double stroller with the 5-month old scooter pies up the sidewalk to the YMCA, flanked on either side by Baby Bean and Banana Cream Pie (who are 2 and 4, but look the same size.  People have started asking me if they are twins, too)

An older Y patron said to me something I’ve heard eleventy-billion times since I got brave enough to start leaving the house with the four baby pies.

“You sure do have your hands full.  You sure are busy.”

Usually I just nod and smile, or maybe add a “yep,” before continuing to press forward to my goal.  (Little tip:  moms of twins are generally running late to whatever it is they wanted to be to.  If they are also chasing a toddler, they don’t usually have time to stop and answer your well-meant questions.  They’ve answered these same questions so many times for so many strangers, the time investment isn’t worth it any more–especially if the toddler might run into the street/parking lot at any moment. ) 

But today Baby Bean was holding onto the stroller handle to help me. And suddenly I knew what the perfect response to this comment was.  So I looked that old guy right in the eye-ball and said,

“I do have my hands full, and I can’t think of a better way to spend my time.”

And I meant it. 

He said, “You’re right, and it’s a good thing you are young enough to do it.”

I didn’t tell him that I’m almost 40.  That would have baked his brain. I don’t look my age (woohoo). Most people still think I’m in my twenties. I know, 40 isn’t as old as I thought it was back when I was 17.  But it isn’t 28, and it isn’t even 35.  Most people don’t expect a mom of 4 kids 4 years old and younger to be over 32ish.  Heck, I didn’t expect to have 4 preschoolers at this stage of my life.  I’ve been in the enviable position of having my youngest child be 3 years old and all the other kids in school.  

My house was so clean and orderly that year.

I never planned to have so many kids so close together.  (Until Banana Cream Pie’s birthday in December, I had 4 kids 3-and-under.). I didn’t do it when I was a young mom.

But God had a plan for me different than my plan.  

It’s been scary. It’s been overwhelming.  And I don’t deny that sometimes I feel a little spark of something like envy when my friends talk about all the projects they get done while their one remaining child at home takes his nap.  

But it’s also been miraculous, joyful, amazing, and incredible.  I’ve learned a lot.

Also, apparently I’ve become patient.  That’s the number 2 most frequent comment I get from friends and strangers.  

“Wow, you are so patient.”

“I could not be as patient as you.”

“You have so much more patience than I do, that’s why you have 9 kids.  I didn’t have that much patience.  I stopped after 2 (or 4) kids.”

Here’s the thing: what they are calling “patience” is just me having a deeper understanding than I used to have of what is important and what is less important. 

And when I say deeper, I mean DEEEEEEEPER.

Ocean deep.

Dark side of the moon and back again deep.

So that I can look at a puddle of milk and Cheerios on the floor and say, “meh. Oh well. Let’s clean it up.” 

I’m not saying I always keep my cool.  There are still days when I close my eyes and turn my face to the sky and silently ask, “Why is this so hard?”  There are days I grouch at my kids.

But I quickly realize how truly blessed I am. 

In her book, The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom beautifully explains how God gives us the strength we need when we need it, and not before.  

When I only had 2 children, I did not have the patience or understanding for 9 children. I did not have it when I had 6 children.  I did not have that until I had 9 children.  

Don’t limit God’s plan for you because you don’t think that you have the patience or the skills or the whatever you lack to do the job. 

The Lord gives us the strength we need when we actually need it and not before.  Sometimes it’s after–long after–we thought we needed it.  But He knows we are capable of so much more than we think we are.


Psalms 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

1Nephi 3:7 … I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 

Vintage Metal Dollhouse

13 Jan

Is there anything you can’t resist, even when you *know* you don’t have room for it in your house?

My Aunt Jodie gave this doll house to my girls. 

It was her dollhouse when she was a girl. She saved it for her girls, but neither of them wanted it. 

I admit, it’s kinda big, about 48 inches long and 18 inches high.  

But I LOVE doll houses.  So even though we already had 2, a Barbie dream house and a Melissa & Doug castle, I said I would be happy to have it.  

At first, I admit, I didn’t love this house.  It is made of tin and I stressed out about the younger kids bending or breaking it. But I decided to chill out.  It’s sturdier than it looks, and I think already past the point of use that would make it attractive to collectors.  

There are 2 things I just love about this doll house.  

First, it came with tons of furniture. All the furniture isn’t to the same scale, but a lot is. The older girls spent hours arranging  it. And they don’t care about scale.

Second, I love all the pretty painted details.  (Check out the landscaping!)

  This is the second story patio.


 This is the nursery. 

The horse is my favorite thing about the whole house. 

The bathroom provides all necessary appointments, including “his” and “hers” towels. It also has a mystery stain in front of the toilet.  Just like my house!

The master bedroom is luxurious.  Seriously, that carpet looks plush! 

 Downstairs is a cheery utility room.

The kitchen has red checked curtains!

Check out the cherry wallpaper in the living/dining room!  I have it on good authority that back in those days, if something was “cherry” that meant it was the best shiny new cool totally tricked-out thing.  Sort of like “fine” or “sweet” when I was a kid.  I do believe the current equivalent is “sick”.  Go figure.  

Last is the den.

It’s so cozy!  Also, I looked up metal dollhouses online, and while I found many similar houses, none of them had a den.  So that makes this house pretty unique!

Lots of fun for the girls (and me).  

After some more internet searching, I’ve found that this doll house was made by Marx and is the Marxie Mansion, first made in 1961 and the biggest of all the tin litho houses.  Most of the furniture is original!  Cool.

I think the family is a smaller scale than the furniture, probably 1/16 or 1/18.


The Scooter Pies are 5 Months Old!

12 Jan

             Zeke     And              Skeeter
Skeeter weighs 17 pounds 4 ounces now.  
Zeke weighs less.

They smile and laugh and babble at us.  They are both ticklish.

Skeeter is pretty good at rolling from front to back, and stays content on the blanket for longer.  

Zeke just fusses until someone flips him.  

They are so cute, I think I might die almost every day from cuteness overload.

They got haircuts for the new year because their hairs were just too scraggly.  


 This is Zeke (left) and Skeeter (right) before the haircuts.     

Hey, Look at That, its 2016! In which I use alot of exclamation points!!!

12 Jan

I absolutely LOVE new beginnings and fresh starts.

A New Year is as fresh as it gets.

Don’t get me wrong, I make and work on goals all year round.  But there is something magical to me in the new year. I feel like my potential is unlimited, and hey! look I made it through last year.  That feels like a success

I started to type out my goals to share with you, but I got so bored I’m figuring you would be bored too.  So instead, let’s just say I’m focusing on being healthy-

Spiritually Healthy , Physically Healthy, and Financially Healthy.

Also, I’m trying to be more mindful.  More present.  I am a person who loves to think and I think all the time about the past and the future.  But my brain needs to be present for my kids more.  a lot more.  I have a serious Facebook/Pintrest addiction, too.

I vow to not check Facebook or Pintrest

during the hours of 3pm-9pm this year. 

Because I should be looking at my kids instead.  Yoga is helping me a little with meditation and I’m learning about what it means to be Mindful.  I’m reading a book called

Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!

and it’s sister

Hands Free Life: Nine Habits for overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More by Rachel Macy Stafford.*

Also, guess what?!  God is mindful!  I discovered this cool verse last week while reading with the family.

Alma 26:37  Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth.  Now this is my joy and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever.  Amen.

I was super excited that this thing that has been on my heart for awhile is in the scriptures.  Just another nudge that, hey! I really should get better at this.

As a Family we started a non-negotiable Night-time routine.  Beginning at 7:30 we flash clean the big play room and kitchen, do baths/PJs/brush teeth, lay out tomorrow’s clothes, read a chapter from the Book of Mormon, and have Family Prayer.

Routines make things happen!

Anyways, that is my Word for 2016:


It means I’m going to focus my efforts on being in the present moment.  Interacting with my kiddie pies and Dear Husband instead of living in the dreamy future of Pintrest projects and the random click-bait of Facebook.

I think its gonna be good.


*Note: These are links to Amazon, but because I live in the unbelievable state of Missouri, they are not affiliate links.  Residents of Missouri are not allowed to be affiliates because of Missouri tax laws which Amazon thinks are unfair.  Sad day for me.  I cannot be making sweet moneys on my blog with my favorite online retailer.

Baby Bean is Officially 2

11 Jan

She is still a baby.

She is still the terror of the house.

She is still bent on destroying every thing we own.  (That’s nail polish on her face.) 

She is also just delightful.  I love to play “This Little Piggy” with her toes while she giggles.

When she is going to get what she wants, she runs towards it with a “Ya-hoo!!”

She loves to play outside.  She loves to pretend that she is a kitty.  

She is very efficient with her language. Before the Scooter Pies were born, she mostly just pointed and yelled when she wanted something.  This was effective, so she did not try anything else.  After the Scooter Pies’ birth, Baby Bean  discovered that she had to talk a little because she had to rely on someone besides Mom to get her what she wanted.  She bumped up her language just enough to be understood by more of the family and halted there.  

She calls both of the Scooter pies “Ant”. When we try to differentiate, she ignores us.  All the big sisters are one name, “Na Na.”  

She has several words that are actually whole sentences:

“Wa-doin?” Means “What are you doing?”  If you answer this query, she will say “Oh.”  In a very matter of fact way as if all is clear to her now.  Then she will repeat her question. “Wa-do-in?”  You can give the same answer.  She will say, “Oh.”  Again. And so it repeats. 

She also says “Ont-ilk”

When you give her milk. She will say “Kankyouwelcome”

Crazy kid.


Lazy Halloween Mom

11 Jan

   For Halloween Banana Cream Pie wanted to be “a sloth in a tree”. Thanks, Diego.  I think she was the cutest sloth ever, if face paint counts as enough of a costume.  All the kids chimed in to convince her (since I was such a slacker.  Also, in my defense, I thought she meant squirrel until the day of Halloween and I had gotten brown fabric, which was not the gray she wanted.)
Key Lime Pie was happy to be a fairy.  

So fairy like she is.
Cherry Pie chose a costume from the dress up box that allowed her to wear a mustache.

Pumpkin Pie was Pocahontas.  I sewed the brown shift out of flannel.  She figured out the rest.  

Blueberry Pie really wanted to be Corvo
He made a freaking awesome mask from cardboard. (I can appreciate the skill even though I prefer Corvo without the scary mask)

I really wanted to make him the skinny steampunk black trench coat.  Really.

But I had to bow to reality.  I did not have the hours to make that coat while taking care of 2-month old twins.  I begged his forgiveness and have promised to make the coat next Halloween.  

Instead He did a pretty convincing impression of one of my favorite TV characters ever:

 Steve Urkel

We convinced Bean to be a horse so she could get candy.  But immedieately when  we got home, she wanted the costume off.  

We had some fun with mustaches   
  We even prepped a pumpkin for carving, but he never got a face.

Banana Cream Pie experienced scooping the gloop.

Tamale Pie is Ten

11 Jan

This girl is crazy sauce.

She has some rad creative skills, which I am loving watch unfold and develop.

 She loves to be helpful and will come back multiple times to ask what else she can do to help me out.


She has a really nice singing voice, and she is brave enough to use it!

She is amazing and I love her.

She likes to ask questions that she already knows the answer to, which I need to be more patient about.  I can’t figure out if she just likes to make certain sure of things, if it’s her way of making sure I’m paying attention, or if she just likes the feeling of hearing the answer she expected.

She always tells me that she loves me before she goes to bed.  I used to suspect that this was a stalling technique, but now I’m convinced that she is totally sincere.

I’m really lucky to be mom to this super cute, kinda loud and tacky girl.

She is a lot like me that way.



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