Monday, April 22, 2013

Mother of SIX: Day One

Holy moly, people.  My last post was August. I can't even begin to play catch up from there! So I'll will start with introducing my current self.

HI!  My name is Maria.  I am 30 weeks pregnant with my third baby girl, Vaeda Alyce.  I have a spunky, sassy 2 year old, Afifa Karen, and a fun, artistic 5 year old, Delia Esther. We also just welcomed to our family my youngest brother, Sam, who will be 13 next month! He moved in with us the beginning of January, and we officially became his legal guardians on February 20th, after a long, hard, emotionally challenging process. I have 12 brothers and sisters (11 living), and I love them all so passionately that I can't handle seeing them hurting and not try to do something, even if it's something drastic.

I am in my 4th year now as the musical director for a youth theater called Center Stage Youth Performers, and, other than being a wife and mommy, it is the most fulfilling, joyous thing in my life :) We have 80-100 kids between age 7 and 18. We do classes on Wednesdays from September- December, then audition and cast all of the kids in January for a spring musical. My first year was Beauty and the Beast, last year was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and 2 days ago was closing night for The Little Mermaid. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Love all the staff and kids I get to "work" with so much :)  It is hardly work. I mean, really, can you even call it a job if they came to you and said, "Sorry, we can't pay you anymore" and your immediate response would be "That's ok! I'll do it for free!!" LOL Not that I don't appreciate the little bit of extra income... Really though, the staff in just incredibly inspiring and uplifting, and I have grown tremendously just through pure association!!

My insanely hot and hardworking hubby and I will be celebrating our first 7 years of Eternity in 3 weeks. He is, hands down, the greatest thing that has ever, or will ever, happen to me. I love him and I love the family that I married into! Lucky, blessed, and, very much spoiled girl right here.

Less than 2 months ago, we bought our very first home!! We moved from a 1000 sq ft apartment into a 6 bedroom, 3 bath, 2800 sq ft place that is on almost a quarter of an acre! YIPPEE!!! It was miracle after miracle to get us here, and it is magnificent. I like to think (hope, pray, cross-fingers) that it is our first and LAST home :)  Of course, we'll be prepared for anything or anywhere the Lord wants to take us, but I know that He has led us here for now, and here we will stay until told otherwise :)

My best friend and little sister has been in the mission field now for just a couple weeks now, entering the MTC on Feb 27th to prepare for service in the Phoenix Arizona Mission, Spanish-speaking :D I love that girl a crazy amount, and am so so SOOOOOO proud of her. She is loving the work and has already threatened to never, ever come home :) Her sweet missionary, Cortland Dickey, is in the Philippines on a mission, due home about 6 months before her. I am really hoping he is my brother-in-law sooner rather than later after she gets home ;)

NOW. For the motivation to actually log into my blog. My brother and his wife are, at this moment, getting ready to board a plane to HAWAII for their 10-year anniversary trip! YAAAAAY!! I am so excited for them, and excited that I could be a big part of them being able to do it :)  I am, for the next week, the mother of 6 children! :D Their 3 kids are ages 8 (Mark Jr), 6 (Marlayna), and 4 (James).

This is a report of DAY ONE:

I fed 4 adults and 6 children breakfast this morning :) French toast and fruit. Mmmmm.
Hubby headed to work, Sam caught his bus to schoool.
Jillayne and I put together a workable meal plan for the 8 days that I would be watching their kids, then we went grocery shopping with Afifa and Marlayna.
Had fish sticks, salad, and grapes for lunch.
Mark and Jillayne said their goodbyes and hit the road to Vegas about 1pm to catch their red-eye flight to Hawaii.
Sam got home from school and the kids all played for awhile doing various things (jumping on the tramp, PS3, Wii) then we went to the library to return/checkout books. After the library we had a snack (carrots, crackers, cheese) and then headed to Sam's soccer practice. Dropped him off and went to Home Depot to return a bath-plug that didn't work and picked up some wildflower seeds to plant in our front flower beds.  We went next door to the pet store afterwards to see all of the little animals there and dream about buying a couple of parakeets :)
Picked up Sam from soccer then came home and made chicken/black bean quesadillas for dinner.
After dinner we had FHE (Family Home Evening) on making good choices. I loved one of Marlayna's comments about WHY making good choices makes us free. She said it's like a maze. If you make a bad choice, you will keep running into a wall and getting lost. But if you make GOOD choices, you will find your way out and be free :)  I loved all of their little insights!! Made me want to do it every single night they are here!! LOL
Brushed teeth, said prayers and said goodnight. James came out but wouldn't respond to any questions as to why, so I picked him up and carried him back to be, which he did NOT like. At all. Said he hates me. His mom warned me of that :)  Mark came out of bed for a snack and I told him no snacks after brushing his teeth.
All in all?  A very successful day :)  My goal is to document every single day, so brace yourself for what it might be like 6 days from now :D

And now....sleep. <3 p="">

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dear Society:

I am a bearer of children and, therefore, 
a creator of the future. 
My compassion, love, and guidance helps to develop the leaders, heroes and mothers of tomorrow.
I am a counselor, chauffeur, chef.
I am a nurse, a librarian, an educator.
I am a historian, and art collector, a musician.
I am a cheerleader, financial planner, and maid.
I am a seamstress, wash lady, and I crochet.
I am a wife.  I am a mother. I am a Mormon. I am woman.
And there are not words to express my joy in being.

Tell me that part again...the one where my religion oppresses me?
And that, because of my children, I'm missing out on a more fulfilling lifestyle? 


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Catch up? Haha :) That would take hours, and my bedtime was 4 minutes ago :)

So much has happened since my last post, and I keep thinking that life is going to slow down, and I will have massive amounts of time to do whatever I blog! ha. Not happening so far.

I have had loads of fun and excitement this summer with a trip to my big sis's wedding in Seattle; camping and hiking with my lil fam; some precious time spent with the in-laws in June, then a not-so-happy trip back to the in-laws to say farewell to my mom-in-law; went to Star Valley just last week to see my lil bros and sister, and had some awesome catch-up time with my dear cousin Terynn; took all the kiddos swimming at Bear Lake; am in the middle of teaching my 2nd set of workshops at the theater; AAAAND Delia started pre-school!!! GAH! Welcome to my crazy summer. lol

I was doing some reading and studying for my talk this Sunday and came across this gem by Prophet Joseph F. Smith, I think from 1911. Played with the fonts a little bit, and printed it out to frame as an everyday reminder. It hit me really hard. I get angry way too often. I'm not as kind as I should be. I don't sigh and let it go enough. I yell too much. I forget that patience is a virtue...and a necessary one to be a great mother. I know some of my issues are learned behaviors, stemming from the way my parents treated me, but I also believe in my ability to change myself, to create new and improved methods of living and reacting. My goal is to memorize this, so that I can repeat it to myself instead of getting angry. Love. There is no replacement. And there is no excuse.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dinner. I know, right? I'm blogging about dinner?!

Ok, don't be disappointed, but I wasn't planning on blogging after dinner ABOUT dinner, so I didn't take any pics. I'll try to be better about that :)

I'm only blogging about it because it turned out AMAZINGLY and I don't want to forget it. I usually make up a good portion of most of my meals, so they're hard to recreate. I need to get it all down on I forget :)

Step 1: Put 3-4 inches of water onto boil (I used a big soup pot)

Step 2: Peel and dice potatoes, be sure to cut out any weird stuff (I had 5 smallish ones)

Step 3: Dump potatoes in water, boiling or not.

Step 4: Add a few shakes of seasoning salt and a tablespoon or so of an Italian herbs mix

Step 5: Add a packet of Lipton's Onion Soup mix.

Step 6: While all of that boils until the potatoes are tender, pour 3-4 tablespoons of apple juice in a skillet and turn on high.

Step 7: Cut up a dinner sausage into 1/2 inch rounds, then quarter them (Hillshire Farm Beef Polska Kielbasa...I only had half of one, quartering them makes them stretch farther...)

Step 8: Drop sausage pieces into apple juice, cook until apple juice boils down to a sticky sauce and sausage is crispy. Remove from heat

Step 9: In a blender, blend together 1-2 cups of the boiling potato soup and a brick of cream cheese. Pour back into the pot.

Step 10: Add sausage.

Step 11: Start adding potato flakes until it reaches a desired consistency (I like mine fairly thick, I think it took a little over a cup of flakes. Remember it will thicken as it cools, too)

Step 12: Dish up. Add a little grated Cheddar for garnish and taste, and VOILA!!! :D Dinner is served :)

Pool party with the sibs!

I called my dad last week to ask if they wanted to come play in the pool and see our new place. Ironically enough, they were wanting to come down to a close friend's mother's funeral in Alpine, about 40 min southeast. So I encouraged them to come stay the night on Wednesday and leave the kids with me on Thursday while they went to the funeral. They did just that, and we had a blast!!

I was really sad when my little bro Aaron didn't come because of some school event/trip. Can't blame him, but I was disappointed he didn't come. That kid is AWESOME!! He is so smart and funny, and just fun to be around :) He just turned 14, which kills me, because I still have vivid memories of mothering him as a baby, helping him learn to walk and toddle along... lol Not saying that I don't have those memories with all the other kiddos too....they are all really incredible little people and it's just plain WEIRD to see them growing up a little more every time we're together. Being able to spend time and give some love to Daniel (16 next month), Samuel (12) and Katherine (10 next week!) was uber fun though!!! We hung out til late morning and went to the pool for a good hour, came back and ate pizza, then went to the pool for a couple more hours :) Did I mention I'm addicted? lol

Back from the pool, it was funny to hear the doorbell ring and open it to, not only my parents, but my little sister Melissa's "significant other". lol We were expecting him, of course, but the timing was impeccable! It was a fun "meet the parents/siblings" evening, complete with "Apples to Apples" (the game), lasagna, and a great spinach salad creation (sauteed-then-cooled zucchini, yellow squash and purple onion, glazed with honey, and fresh red peppers, tossed with spinach and a poppyseed dressing. YUM!)

Dealt with the anticipated break-down after everyone left, when Delia bawled about her Uncle Daniel leaving. lol She loves him SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much. I know it might make her other 10 uncles sad that she is so vocal about Daniel holding that title (and he wears it proudly, believe but what do you do? Delia is pretty sure the answer is that Daniel needs to live with us so she can play with him EVERY day. I tried talking him into it, buuuuuuut....he does kinda have a life where he's at now :) I did talk to my dad about having Katherine and Samuel come stay for a couple weeks this summer, and it seemed pretty likely! I would sure love to have them around, and could use some babysitting help too! Hopefully that works out. Well, I'll get some pics on here to top it off, then maybe later on I can tell the rest of the Curious?! Stay tuned!!!! ;)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

First post from HERRIMAN!!!

Okay, first of all, I have to say how pleasantly surprised I am. I absolutely LOVE my apartment! I guess I had sort of resolved to just "deal with it", and knew I was going to be cramped and claustrophobic. We lost about 400 sq ft and a garage moving here. However, I really can't get over how quickly we settled in, found a place for everything, and how "at home" I feel. Loving it! The floor plan is nice and open, we have a patio so the girls can play "outside" without me having constant supervision(yes!), the hallway is really wide, main bath is HUGE, AND I have a master bath (HALLELUJAH!), the girls' walk-in-closet doubles as a "play room", and with them being in a bunk bed now, the rest of their room has plenty of play space! As far as my little kitchen goes...yes, my pantry is smaller, but it's not going to get cluttered with "stuff", just because there IS space there. My favorite thing though? It's never taken more than 10 min to clean, and that's including doing dishes. MAJOR PLUS. I felt like I was forever cleaning my kitchen at our old place! More space means more places to stack/pile randomness, which all the sudden becomes these big, overwhelming mountains. lol. So no more of that! Let me see if I can figure out some pics here.....although, if you've seen my facebook, most of these are on there :) OH!! And did I mention that I am completely ADDICTED to our pool?!! LOL I'd say it's the best feature of our entire new lifestyle :) Already not looking forward to winter because we spend SO much time there! We're all looking nice and tan :) got some funky lines going on, but whatever. It's worth it :D So that's it for this post :) Have lots more to write about, but it'll have to wait. Hubby went on an all-day hike with his bro, took some AMAZING photos....I'll have to see if I can get some up here tomorrow....anyway, he's exhausted, so I'd better call it a night, too. Still got dinner dishes to do. I'll try to write some more tomorrow....have our very first get-together with some new friends tomorrow! Excited to do that part of "settling in" :) That's all for now! Later!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hello 1 am :) So good to see you again! psht.

I know I should be in bed....tomorrow is going to be a long day. But my mind is going a billion miles an hour over this moving business. Thinking of all the things I need to do, vs. all the things I want to do, and where in the WORLD am I going to find time to do "that"?! :) I hope all of this planning and work that goes into a yard sale pays off :P I've decided to sell the girls' beds and get them a bunk. The rooms that we're moving into are smaller, and we're already wall-to-wall with all of their "stuff". It's funny the problem-solving that goes into just a little thing like this. I first decided just to move Afifa to a toddler bed because her crib is so's one with a changing table attached with drawers and shelves. Then I thought, hey, maybe they make beds that are just a top bunk? Quick google search and, voila! Loft beds! So then I thought, Great! We'll get a loft bed and put the toddler bed underneath! But if you know me, I rarely pay full price for anything, and I wasn't finding a good selection of 2nd-hand loft beds. More people are selling bunk beds. So I thought, why not? I can just put a safety rail up for Afifa, Delia would love a top bunk, and there we go! So that's the plan. I can't believe I'm going to put my 17 month old on the bottom of a bunk bed. LOL It's hard to think of her as not even 2 yet, because she is insanely advanced right now. She repeats back most everything I say to her, she is BEGGING to be potty trained (she asks about 5 times a day to sit on the potty and I'm totally resisting with the move and everything), she follows instructions perfectly, most of the time I only have to show her something once and she is a pro, she feeds herself, she makes up songs....seriously. And it's hard for me not to expect too much from her, because she is so bright. I expect her to NOT get into my makeup drawer every. single. day. (Today it was RIP to my favorite tube of lipstick....the other day it was my eyeshadow) I expect her NOT to pull the wipes out of the container every. chance. she. gets. I expect her to stay out of the neighbor's dirt....what's wrong with ours?! lol But I have to stop myself, because what I start to expect is perfection. From my 1 year old. And if I don't keep my perspective straight (she is ONLY 1), then I turn into a punisher, not a teacher. Not even a disciplinarian. Just a punisher. And I hate myself when I get that way. Wow. I'm way too honest with myself this late at night. Hmmmm. Better not make a habit out of it :) But hey! It's me. Going to bed now. Missing my honey. Glad he's home tomorrow night to snuggle me! Here's a pic of my lil bug Afifa! Complete with wings from Aunt Jillayne ;)