Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sprinkler Day

On Tuesday our apartment complex had a sprinkler day for the children.  They turned on the huge rainbird sprinklers that I remember from my youth, large slip 'n slides, kiddie pools and Popsicles to cool off with.

Olivia and Lucy were very excited to play in the water.  Lucy is holding onto her big sister in the long line to go down one of two slip 'n slides.  I thought it was darling how she was lovingly holding onto her big sister.

Olivia was ready to go down and found it thrilling.  She wasn't afraid at all.  Olivia tends to be on the cautious side of things so to see her being so brave was a nice change.

Lucy had one look of Olivia going down and was terrified.  Another surprise to me since Lucy is very daring!

Olivia was quickly in line to go down a second time and naturally loved it!

Ed was down the hill taking pictures and told me to grab Lucy and toss her down.  Here she is not too sure what is going on but didn't cry.

And quickly she decided that this was the funnest thing ever!

After that time down, Olivia and Lucy spent the allotted two hours standing in line and going down the slip 'n slides.  After a quick mold inspection back at the apartment (thankfully no mold!) Ed came out and joined the girls.  All three of them were sliding down with joy.  I wish that I had the camera to capture just how much fun they were having! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


After a week of super sick kids, we were all needing to get out of the house.  As a surprise we took the girls to a local drive-in theater to see 'Brave'.  Leading up to it we told the girls that we were taking them to a surprise.  We drove across town and Olivia would try to guess what it was.  It wasn't until we were at the theater and parked before she realized that we were watching a movie outside.

Overall it was a good experience but a few things I simply must remember IF we do this again.  First is to borrow a smaller vehicle from someone.  I hate that since I was in a mini-van we were forced to park in the rear of the parking lot.  We drove around several times and I was afraid that we would stuck behind a giant truck with a lift package.  Thankfully we found something in the back but not behind anything bigger than us.  Our view of the screen was at an angle and pretty far away.
Lucy getting ready for the movie!

Second thing to remember, When Lucy is done, Lucy is done!  She was begging half way through the movie to go home so she could sleep in her bed.  After Brave was finished and before the second feature (Avengers) we made Lucy a bed out of blankets and she finally slept.

Last thing to remember is that I do not like staying up til 2am.  I didn't enjoy much of the Avengers because I was SOOO tired!

Brave just started.  This was before the girls started to climb all over us!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Book: 5 Spiritual Solutions for Everyday Parenting Challenges

I LOVED this book!  I loved it so much that I'm actually going to write about it here.  This is not something that I do very often.  Actually I think the last time I reviewed a book on a blog was when I was doing reviews for Harper Collins and that has been several years on a totally different blog.

5 Spiritual Solutions is something that ANY parent can use no matter what their denomination is.

I have struggled with my sweet Lucy since her birth.  She is very determined which is a good quality but when it is followed with being controlling, teasing her big sister, back talking, and stubborn; I feel that I am losing control.  She is only 2 1/2 and I worry about her teenage years.  I want her to grow up being a well adjusted child who is stubborn and determined to do good.  Someone who will stand her values no matter what the world is doing around her.

What really stood out about this parenting book is that it is all spiritual solutions that we can try and use and not some of the typical 'worldly' options.  The authors, Richard and Linda Eyre, do state not to try everything in this book.  There is simply too much to try at once.

I wanted to jot down a few of the solutions and ideas that stood out to me.  This is mainly for my use but perhaps something will stand out to you as well.  As parents we have a hard job to raise our children and we can use all the help we can get.

  • Remember your children's true identity.  We did not create them.  Each is a unique spiritual personality and not just a reflection of who we are or who we want them to be.  
  • We are only their stewards, the real father is our father in heaven.  (We're kind of just the earthly babysitter, helping to prepare them to go back to their true Father.)
  • We are not starting from scratch.  They formed their personality and talents (waiting to be developed further) in the preexistence.  
  • Applying 'Remember Who You Are' and helping Kids make decisions in advanced.  Many have have heard this the same way as reminding their children to 'Return with Honor'.

  • Remember God's Parenting Patterns
  • Learning and teaching unconditional love
  • Create Family Laws and not rules.  God has laws or commandments not just rules to follow.
  • Trust your children
  • Live for 'moments' or enjoy the season your in. 
  • Giving stewardship for clothes, toys, goals, grades, conflicts, choices and values
  • Create a Family Mission Statement

  • Remember the direct channel to Father:  Prayer
  • Fearing God and not your children
  • Hold Monthly Family Testimony Meetings
  • Have a small notebook to write down who to pray for and any feeling or impressions that come.

  • Use the Church's Scaffolding:  Church leaders, teachers, etc
  • Help Children memorize scriptures and quotes
  • Discuss what was taught each Sunday after services.

  • Remember the Saviors Power
  • Seeking and follow promptings
  • Men to always use the priesthood.
  • Remember Christ through the Sacrament.
  • Learn from other Christians

They talked about a 'repentance bench' that they used for their children.  When the children would quarrel they would be sent to the bench together.  They had to think or realize what they did wrong and make it right.  They then had to ask the other person for forgiveness.  It was teaching children the process of repentance.

The book also talked about a Family Economy which you can read more about here

With the Sacrament tell children probably age 5 and up (depends on their maturity): "Do you know that this is the most special moment of the week?  For just a few short minutes we get to really think hard about our love for Jesus and how He gave His life for us.  You get to take upon yourself His name for the whole rest of the week which means you can try to think of things to do that would please Jesus.  You can try to think of someone to help this week.  That would make Jesus happy."

Discussing the Sacrament with children and asking these questions. (Again it's all based on maturity) 
* What does the bread represent?  What about the water?
* What are the promises we make when we take the sacrament?
* Have we made these promises before?  (If they have been baptized)
* What does it mean to 'take upon us His name?'
* What does it mean to 'always remember Him?'
* What does it mean to 'keep His commandments which He has given us?'

They have 9 children and would have 9 different framed pictures of Christ.  Each week the children would rotate pictures so they would get a different picture to put into their room.  Creating a spiritual atmosphere in our homes is important.

Annual school year blessings and A Mother's Birthday prayer.  A special prayer that the mother gets to give on the child's birthday.  

Let your children Hear you pray for them

Eyre Family Laws:  Peace, Respect, Asking, Order, Obedience.  (For example:  law of asking means that they always ask before they leave and always let mom or dad know where they are.)  

When children are being disrespectful or talking back say to them "Let's Start Over" until the child figures out how to say what he just said with more respect. 

Say 'I Love You' at the end of each phone call or each time they leave.  

Bedtime rituals and ways of saying 'I Love You'

For Men:  Use the Priesthood More.  Meaning:  The Priesthood is Key to a strong family even when your not giving an actual blessing, think of yourself as a priesthood holder.  Feel and magnify the priesthood when you pray, teach, discipline and comfort.  Use it in the way you live.

Before a Priesthood blessing is given, the mother could say a pray inviting the spirit to be there and that her husband may know what the will of God is.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

More Horse Adventures

It was nice that Ed was able to come with Olivia and I to 'horse lessons' this past Friday.  Because I am required to be next to Olivia at all times while she is on the horse, it has been nearly impossible for me to get photos.

Grooming Dixie.  Every session we begin by grooming one of the ponies or horses.

There is a nice little play area for the younger kids.  Lucy was actually happy to play.  After having 5ths, which at this point is not completely gone, she was feeling pretty good. 

More grooming.

Olivia is starting out learning to ride on a bareback pad.  This will help her be a better rider in the future because she has to be very cautious of her balance.  She must sit centered and tall and straight.

Let the riding begin.  Sometimes we stay in the corral, other times we head out on the road and near by trails.  Today was a trail day!  Olivia loved the 'road trip'.

Readjusting her balance. 

Dixie getting a drink

Lucy riding 'woody' the saddle set aside of the little kids in the play area.

Putting Dixie away in the 'Pony Palace'

Thursday, June 21, 2012


So my Lucy has been sick this week and no one could decide what she had.  It started out with a cough and then a very high 104 degree fever that lasted for only a day and yesterday a whole body rash.  It was finally the rash that gave it away, we have Fifths at our house.

It is a very common but very contagious childhood virus.  We will be cooped up in our house for the next week. :(

Bright red cheeks. 

Hard to tell but her belly, back and legs are all speckled like her arms.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Not Where I Saw Myself

Since we moved I've been feeling even more inadequacy than usual.  I've moved to a place filled with wonderful people.  The odd thing is that there is a greater percentage of women here who have served missions and have collage degrees than any other place I've lived before.  There are seriously only a few people that I've talked to that haven't served a mission.  Ed has even noticed this.  I really dislike when they ask me where I served or what my degree is in because I didn't do either.

Back in High School I had tons of plans.  I remember being interviewed for the yearbook to document just what I was going to do.  I was going to attend a University in Europe (I was either going to head to Germany or France).  I was to studying International Business with a minor in a language (French or German).  I was going to work for a large European corporation and be successful.  These plans didn't work out.  Shortly after graduating from school my dad became very ill and my older siblings and I had medical power of attorney so I had to stay and help him.

Shortly after, I got married to the most wonderful man in the world.  I decision that I am VERY happy about!  I attend collage continued to attend until I got very sick.  I just couldn't continue that semester so I withdrew and never went back.  We decided it was best for me to work and Ed to go to school.

While Ed was attending the university I would think of the different degrees that I wanted to go back to get.  I've thought about History or Elementary Education and several others that I can't remember now.

When Ed graduated with his bachelors degree, it still wasn't time for me to go back.  I had a new baby (my sweet Olivia) and she was to be my focus.  Years have gone by and I still haven't gone back to school.  Ed is now doing his Masters degree.  I don't know when it will be time for me to go back or even what I would study.

Honestly I am terrified of going back and doing homework.  I am afraid of failure.  I really have no intention of getting a degree to use and perhaps that has a lot to do with my lack of motivation.  I LOVE being a stay-at-home-mom.  I could never picture myself as the big corporate woman that I once wanted to be.  Even when my children head off to school, I want to be home.  I want to be at their cross roads.

I am doing the MOST important job in the world and certainly one of the hardest jobs I've ever had.  Someday Ed and I will serve missions.  That is actually one reason why he's gone back to school.  He wants a career that will bring in some money and it's not for us to be wealthy.  The money is for our future missionS, our children's collage educations and to give.

I don't know if I will ever complete my goals of learning another language, graduating with a Bachelors degree but I do know that I will work hard in the path that I've been given.  I have things to learn from these wonderful women around me and hopefully I have something to give back to them.  Hey, Ed and I do hold the ward title for being the longest married by 3 1/2 years.

Just my thoughts today.        

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Let the Swim Lessons Begin!

Today Olivia started swim lessons.  She is doing Level 1.  Over all she did very well except she cried after she went under the water.  This will take some time but I feel it's important that she learns to swim.  I never learned and still have a small fear (HUGE if I'm on a boat) of water.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Reading

Olivia making bookmarks.  

Since moving, we went the the library for the first time this week.   Oh what I glorious place!  I truly feel that way.  We had a small library in our last city but it was not just small but nearly every book was old and donated from someone.  It's a great way to begin a library, but not if you want to read current books.

Now we're in a place with a County Library system and a City Library.  My lists of books to read is becoming longer and I feel more like me.

While at the County Library, I signed us up for the Summer Reading program.  Olivia must read 20 minutes a day and Lucy needs to sit while being read to.  For me, I must read 8 books in the next 2 months and then we will all receive a free book.  This should be a simple task for us, as long as we don't get distracted.

I hung up the reading charts in the girl's room and so far they are excited to mark off their reading.  I truly hope that this becomes a life long habit for them.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Better Looking Pioneer

My original Heritage Park issued pioneer dress was giving me major problems over the past two weeks.  There is nothing like the Velcro (not very authentic) coming undone and me losing my skirt.  Thank goodness for a petticoat.  :)  So on Monday, I went in and exchanged my blue dress to a much better looking one. Still not a completely period accurate dress, but it fits me so much better and I personally feel it looks better.

My arms are not that large, this is the style of sleeve chosen for this dress.  Here I am wearing a day cap.  Used often by pioneer women inside their houses to keep their hair clean longer or to keep people from seeing their dirty hair.  I am wearing it because my short hair is not period. 

With my UGLY bonnet.  A pioneer woman would have never left her house without a bonnet or hat so I wear it over the day cap when I'm going out into the village.

Some day I would love to save up and get some much better and accurate clothing.  I personally find many of the dresses used at the park either not completely accurate, or so worn that they should be used for rags.  I think that Heritage Park would be so much more fascinating to the public, if the Pioneers looked like Pioneers.  Any why do they call them pioneers?  The park is set in the 1860 to 1870 which is at the very end of the Utah Pioneer movement and even when they reached the valley they still tried to dress their best no matter what their circumstances were.  Either way, I am still really enjoying the experience.

Here is a dress and accessory that would be fun.

The Colonel's Lady Civil War Attire  Love this one!

McCall's Costume Pattern-- 1860 Garments by Glenda  I also like the lace collar and brooch. 
 I'm not too sure yet on the 'actual pioneer bonnet'.  I believe those were worn when the pioneers crossed the plains or on the frontier while working.  I think many people forget that pioneer women, even though they are living during a hard time, did all they could to look nice.  Think about all the beautiful china, lace, embroidery, furniture, etc.  Naturally their means would make a difference.
Necktie to hold my lovey cameo on -- 1860 Garments by Glenda 

Reticule/Purse  1860 Garments by Glenda 
Of course there is the whole matter of underpinnings (under garments) that I don't think I'll get into, but it's been interesting to find out what pioneer women really wore.  Many even on their long treks across the American Plains wore several petticoats and many layers of underclothing.  There are journal entries saying they entered the valley with only 3 petticoats left, the rest had been used during the trek for bandages and such.  Can you imagine?

How to dress?  From The Lady's General

Dressing authentically starts with your underpinnings.  
  1. Pantalets:   This garment is what we would categorize as underwear.  The pantalets of the era were spit from front to back enabling a lady  to go to the necessary.  (Bathroom)
  2. Chemise :    This is somewhat like a night gown.  They could be plain or decorative depending on the financial means of the lady.  The garment protects the corset from body oils and absorbs moisture.  They are usually large fitting and hemmed mid calf.
  3. Socks and shoes:   These items should be put on prior to your corset.
  4. Corset:    This should be a well made and correctly fitted.  A corset is comfortable as well as flattering to the figure.  A proper fitted corset will be 2 inches smaller than your actual bust size, 2-4 inches smaller than your waist and 2 inches smaller than your hips.
  5. Privacy slip :   This is a under slip fastened at the waist and hemmed just above the ankle.  The garment was worn to protect  the lady from embarrassment in the event she was upheavals. (Remember, your pantalets are split!)
  6. Hoop slip:    Another word for Crinoline.  A crinoline is the distinguishable under garment of the era giving the gowns their fullness without the need of many petticoats.  A hoop slip was fashioned typically from steel hoops.  Hoop slips should not be worn near or around open camp fires. (Nicol making a note here:  Some women did not wear the hoop slips but a corded slip.  I'll put a photo of one below.)
  7. Over slip :   This slip was made very full and could be plain or very decorative.  It's function was to hide the hoop rounds in the hoop slip.  A properly attired lady would never have her hoop  rings showing through her gown.
Ladies, all these items are worn before putting on under sleeves and gowns!  The whole purpose was to protect the gowns from body oils and perspiration.  This manor of dress also kept the ladies cool in summer and warm in winter.
Chemise and stockings held up by garters 

Pantalets or Split Drawers

Chemise and Corset.  
Privacy Slip
Hoop Skirt 
Corded Slip or Corded Petticoat 
Overslip or Petticoat    Depending on the time of year, women would wear 3 to 7 petticoats.

So there you have it.  How to dress like a better looking pioneer.  

Soccer Fun

Lucy saw come children in our apartment court playing soccer and she insisted on getting out our soccer ball and joining them.  It was fun to watch her even though it was right before we had to leave for an appointment.  The few minutes spent playing was well worth it.