Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Hike Analogy

Monday we were invited to go on a hike with some other families for Family Night. I was under the impression that this would be a leisurely little jaunt up into the mountains behind our home, because heaven knows toting four children on my own up a peak of height and rockiness was not the first on my list of exciting activities to participate in.
Thus my analogy.
This hike was an example of our journey through life.
With ups and downs, we are trying to make it to the top.
Obstacles are there, discouragements, and fatigue- but also helpful hands to guide us on our way. We are never alone.
Here comes the symbolism…
Earlier in the day I saw a doctor to address my week long ear infections.
Ear infections are like sins- they don’t just magically disappear unless you take your four medications like I was given- recognize you did something wrong, repent, right the wrong, and try not to do it again….letting the infection get worse weakens your hearing or your spirit, making it hard to listen and do what’s right.
Filled our water bottles and made treats for the masses. You never know how thirsty or hot your journey will be. Sure its fall and you’re in the mountains, but don’t underestimate the power of a drink from the well of the scriptures, or a meal after a hard fast. Life takes a lot out of us so we must be sure to give back.
Landon touches an electric fence. Fences cover the earth, some made out of wood or vinyl, some metal, and some with very high voltage. You’re better off not touching the fence if you’re not sure it will hurt you (this includes peeing). My list of electric fences include- coffee ice cream, diet pepsi, tattoos, The Hills, and ding dongs.
Landon reminds everyone that he touched said fence during the whole hike. We all get shocked now and then, and we all get hurt. That doesn’t mean you need to remind everyone of all your heartache, past and present. Don't dwell on the negative, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, learn from your mistakes, and keep going.
I am carrying Tade in a backpack and he is heavy. We will never know how good we have it until we are expected to carry a heavy load. Trials make us stronger, especially when they are walked uphill. Burdens may slow down the pace, and your face may get red and sweaty- but don’t give up.
A tarantula crosses our path. Just because you might be on the right road, doesn’t mean there won’t be distractions.
Kind neighbors offer to carry Tade and the backpack. Learn to accept help from others. That is why we are brothers and sisters, here to serve and lift one another. You don’t have to do everything on your own to prove your strength…surrender to service.
Oliver gets very tired halfway up the hike. We must be cheerleaders sometimes. Family and friends need convincing that they “can do it”, that they will “be victorious”.
I missed some of the scenery of the changing leaves on the trees. Life is beautiful. If we are too discouraged with our heads down, we will miss so much, and that beauty will pass us by.
At the top of the hike I notice that Oliver had his shoes on the wrong feet all the way up. We are not perfect beings, nor are we expected to be. Mistakes will be made, probably a lot of them. To overcome our weaknesses we should recognize when we have our shoes on the wrong feet and resolve to do better next time.
A blister formed. If you forget to wear socks life will wear you down. You may not notice it at first, but out of nowhere your foot will start to sting. Arm yourself, protect yourself, and wear your seatbelt.
We all made it up the hills …and down. This too shall pass. Just as there was a spread of delicious desserts and ice cold water waiting for us after the hike, so too will there be a great reward if we just stick with it and finish to our journeys end.
We arrive home fresh with fatigue, Tade is missing a shoe, homework needs to be done, teeth need to be brushed, and Chris calls me from Idaho saying he has kidney stones. Just as one mountain is conquered another peak may appear in the horizon.
You are stronger now, so you will make it.

Nana Dear,


Yesterday was Nana’s birthday.
On Sunday Jon and Leslie hosted a wonderful birthday dinner.
Les made one of her signature cakes from scratch,
and Jon made an amazing pork roast…
also included was yummy bread, tender potatoes, homemade applesauce,
plump strawberries, fresh green salad, and garden zucchini.
(I must remember to start taking pictures of our gorgeous dinners)

There are so many reasons we love Nana…
Her big heart, her unselfishness, her sense of humor,
her candid attitude, her enchiladas, tuna salad, and magic squares,
her talent for attending to everyones needs and knowing just what to say.
I have a small handful of ladies that have changed who I am
as a woman. I admire and look up to them for their
strength and perseverance.
Jeanne is included in this amazing group of women.
Her sacrifices for her family that she’s made throughout her life
and her thoughtfulness to detail and inclusion have made me
want to be a more giving and loving person.
If you were to visit Nana’s house she would drop everything to
make you feel comfortable- she would make you something to eat,
offer you a comfy seat, tell you a story, and when it is time to leave,
she would wave from the driveway to be
sure that your visit was homey from start to finish.
Nana makes opportunities to create memories with her grandchildren
through crafts, activities, or teaching them to cook and sew.
I hope I have half the energy she does to keep up with all the little
spirits when I’m a “nana” someday.
There will surely be a special place in heaven for a woman as great as her.
I hope that place is filled with scrapbook supplies, comfortable shoes,
yummy treats, and people to attend to her like a queen,
she definitely has earned it!
Nana we love you so much!
You are the QUEEN of our HEARTS!

Friday, September 26, 2008

5SF Edition 20

Homemade Caramel Apples
granny smith apples, caramel,
white chocolate, cinnamon sugar
-recipe compliments of Leslies:)

Lavendar Soap
compliments of Nadia:)


An Ear Ache


Art by Paul Cezanne

Al Jarreau
Breakin' Away
Hello 80's childhood nostalgia
When I was little my mom
would do aerobics to this music....
work it girl!
No one can "scat" like Al!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Raise the Roof MiniSchof!

Happy Birthday to our brother and uncle Jason dear,
We’ll celebrate in style with a water and no beer.
A talented artist and photographer true,
He is humble as pie and doesn’t hog the loo.
We love when he visits, especially his bro,
They play nerdy xbox games and eat funyuns you know.
Handsome as a hunky dude and smile bigger than the moon,
I just know he has a fan club affectionately known as “Faint & Swoon”.
He says funny things, a right jolley ol’ chap,
A stand up comedian that makes you slap your lap.
His clever mind is always brewing deep thoughts like Jack Handy,
I hear he even stays clear of strangers danger offering candy.
They know him very well at the theater showing movies,
A connoisseur of fine sound systems, popcorn, and all things groovy.
Often seen with books, this boy knows how to read,
even a comic would suffice as he finishes in record speed.
He also likes his music, varied taste does he have,
One moment he’ll be hearing indie, then electronic or some jazz.
A puppy companion steals his heart and tugs at his strings,
The lady folk will melt when they hear how he sings.
The little kids adore him and jump when he’s around,
Always a listening ear to humor their stories kindly found.
We love our Jason dearly, and hope he knows how much,
A real cool cat with oodles of talent, dependable, loyal, and such.
Happy Birthday JASON!!
Remember who you are and don’t party too hard:)
We love you!

p.s. sorry about the out of date picture, you need a photo shoot stat!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I ate this for dinner.
1 can of olives
1 string cheese
1 fruit roll up
1 handful of goldfish crackers
Looks like it's time to visit the roadside farmer again...

and help me,
this was dessert.

i really like how the package says,

"This is REAL Chocolate!"

like i would waste my time with anything less.

**disclaimer** this is not what my children ate, but would you judge me if it was?

The Amish Changed My Life

Are you CONTENT?
contentment (noun):
bliss, comfort, ease, gladness, happiness, pleasure, satisfaction
1. the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.
2. the act of making contentedly satisfied.
A few years ago I was watching an interview by a social icon with Amish people. They talked about contentment, and this conversation changed my life. I started to think about what was stopping me from feeling content, and I really decided from then on to take the steps and switch my paradigm to always feel that contentment. Just yesterday I listened to a discussion about the financial crisis we are in as a nation and how many people are living a lie about who they are and what they have. Again it brought up the idea of contentment, and I was reminded of the differences between people who chase it all their lives, and those who surrender themselves, be honest, live simply, and feel content.
photo by skippysanchez
Contentment is found when you are at peace with who you are, where you are, and where you are going. You care very little for the business of other peoples lives, or what they think of you, and are free to worry less about others drama because you have your own full life to live. Contentment comes from living more unselfishly and serving others. You are less greedy for your wants and more concerned about lifting others and helping where needed. Your life is full of meaningful deep relationships, not things. Contentment is being Christ-like.

photo found on flickr

These are the top qualities of my favorite people in MY life that define contentment...

One- They rarely say bad things about others. Even when the group is gossiping or meddling in other peoples business, they sit quietly or chime in with something nice to say about that person.
Two- They live simply. They aren’t filling their lives with fluff and circumstance. They appreciate beautiful things but don’t need every single one of those beautiful things. They are living in the world, but are not of the world.
Three- They care very little about what others think about them- they know who they are, they’re self worth, and that God loves them… this is all that matters.
Four- They make me feel happy and joyful after spending time with them. I know that I can act or say something stupid and I won’t be kicking myself afterwards because they are quick to forgive me and see past my faults.
Five- I learn from them. There are wonderful moments where new thoughts, ideas, or worlds are opened up to me.
Six- They make me want to be a better person. They inspire me to develop my talents and aspire to greater things.
Seven- They care very little about what social interactions others are busy with, and are happy when others succeed. They aren’t filled with jealousy and don’t compare themselves to others because they are busy with their own friendships and relationships, and they are grateful for all that they have.
Eight- They make me to want to make good choices.
Nine- It’s not all about them. They are not self absorbed or always changing the subject to talk about their accomplishments or “Debbie Downer” woes.
Ten- They are hard workers. They are not idle and lazy. They use every precious moment to its fullest- whether its working, cleaning, playing, or meditating.
Eleven- They see the simple joys in life and make me laugh.
Twelve- They serve. There are times when no one knows all that they do because they don't boost or brag when they give back. Giving comes naturally.
Thirteen- They glow with the light of goodness. They have an inner beauty that radiates and attracts people to them.

photo by Hollywood Noosebleed

I won't be living like the Amish anytime soon, I love my sassy peep toe heels too much, and I like listening to a little ACDC every once in a while.

But we could learn a thing or two from the way they live....
They work hard, they use their hands, they make their food, they build their houses, they clean their own houses, they teach their children, they reap the rewards from their labors...

they are content.

photo by acastat

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lub Lub The Great

My youngest brother is 19 years old today.
Dude, you're so old dude!
I remember when you were little,
and your buddah belly hung over your diaper.
I remember when you would smile and melt us all.
You would dance and sing to Newsies like it was your
own broadway musical.
Dude, remember that one time when you stepped
on our neighbors duckling?
So not cool.
Remember that time when you wrecked the car,
or that time you chopped off half your finger
in the planer?
So not cool.
But dude, remember that time when you bought me candy,
or that time you laughed at my nerdy jokes?
Or remember that time you stayed home to hang,
instead of being with your friends?
So cool.
You stand for loyalty, goodness, and strength.
I'm so proud of the man you've become.
I'm tearing up just thinking about it,
for reals.
you'll never know how cool I think YOU are.
What a buddy to me, and Chris, and the kids, you've become.
You are the king of studs....
after all,
it is Calebs house,
not Grandma and Grandpas!

Dude, you rock,
and I love you!
Happy Birthday!!

Portraits From A Weekend

Happy One Year Tade

A year ago on the 19th I was getting prepped for a c-section.
Almost two weeks late, you were content to stay put,
comfy and warm in my belly.
Like your sister and brothers,
we had to intercede and bring you out on our time,
or else you might not have ever wanted to take the leap.
On earth you came with help from cautious attendants,
and giving a strong cry announcing your arrival,
you surprised us with your head full of hair
and cute little scrunchy nose on an old mans face.
I sang bye-o bye-o while with great spirit you nursed
and then calmly fell asleep.

I expected to have a handful after such a good baby
from your big brother Oliver.
How could I be so lucky to get two content babies in a row?
But with each peaceful day that passed,
I learned that the two of you had perhaps
made a pact in heaven to be good little boys,
knowing that this chaotic mother needed that.

It's amazing how fast you changed from a baby to a boy.
Needlessly nervous about your thumb sucking

and sporadic bowel movements,

I knew that life had prepared me to have you as

a gift and reminder on days that needed it.

Now you're walking and singing,
saying words, and bouncing when you hear
a familiar tune.
Your fair leprechaun features soften my bad moods
and your cuddling makes me feel important and needed.
What a great year its been, and with many more to come,
I know that our journey together will be full
of laughter and tears,
but always learning and growing.
I love you Tader Tots!
Happy Birthday big boy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

5SF Edition 19

Good & Plenty
Any black licorice fans out there?
Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Wallflower



We spent a fun relaxing weekend with Papa Bear in Idaho


Vintage Tractors