Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Intentional in 2019:: Happy New Years

 I've set many goals in my life and I've failed miserably, I've started hard and fizzled quickly and I've even been successful and created life long habits because of a set goal. I have heard of other people having a "word to live by" and have never really applied this to my life, but lately I have been so drawn and focused on my intentions of many things in my life. I have been more aware of the things that I plan, do, say, think and create and cannot stop thinking of how when all things done "Intentionally" can become so much of who I am and who I am becoming (or hope to become).

My hope for 2019 is to live INTENTIONALLY

Here are a few ways that I can plan to pull this off.

Self- I intend to have some quiet time in the day to focus on the tasks/ day ahead, whether it's during an early morning workout, an afternoon quiet time session or taking a walk. I intend to move daily to keep up with the needs of my active children. I intend to eat healthier foods that will strengthen and build my body and keep it active and able. I intend to teach and learn with my family on how to care for our bodies and minds in the process. I intend to avoid social media accounts that make me feel less than or make me neglect who I am. I intend on working through my mental health issues wisely and appropriately.

Relationships- I intend to leave people feeling better than when they came. I intend on creating a safe space for my children, my husband, my siblings, friends, clients, strangers to want to share their thoughts and feelings with me, no matter what they are. I intend to listen and to learn from others, to walk away loving something about this person (even if it is hard) with at least one thing that I can use to strengthen my own character. I intend to remind others through my words and actions that they are loved and they are important.

Words- I am guilty of saying many things that I have immediately regretted. I have recently paused and asked myself, "Is it my intention, to say this thing, in this way?" "Could what I say, have an affect on how this person feels?" Marshall has been home for the last few days, and I have noticed a huge difference in how we have been communicating because of this small pause. 
Words are powerful- when spoken genuinely and intentionally, they can be a link to communicating in a way that will unite and strengthen every relationship.

Faith- I intend to kneel in prayer daily and offer a sincere heartfelt prayer of gratitude to my Heavenly Father. I intend on living worthy of direction from the Spirit and Angels. I intend of asking more questions, finding answers and applying these to my life. I intend on acting on impressions to serve or say or teach something when guided.  I intend on building a home of faith and hope where questions can be asked and answered through prayerstudy and patience.

Homeschool- I intend on connecting with each of my children daily and teaching/learning with them on what genuinely interests them. I intend on reading to them daily and discussing with them about themes, characters and life lessons and applications. I intend on focusing on what we have accomplished and connected over for the day versus what was not done. I intend to nourish each of my children's gifts and encouraging them to use these gifts to learn in other subjects. I intend to never compare my children or myself to others journey in schooling. I intend to find joy every (scary, daunting, intimidating and discouraging) thought and step in the process of teaching at home. I intend on studying on my own of things that interest me, even if it is new techniques in the salon or new intimidating recipes.

I re-read these thoughts and think (sarcastically) "good luck, Kristy!" but knowing that I have the "intention" to be a little better will help my perspective in all aspects of my life going into this new year. 

I hope that you have a wonderful year and live every day with purpose and love.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

End of year dates out//

We desperately have needed to get out of the house with the boys and knew bowling would be just the thing for the boys. We invited another family and met them at the alley and played for as long as the kids could handle (one game/one hour tops)

The boys had a great time and it was fun to watch Ezra try new techniques and get a little more confident every time he played. 

I have to say, bowling with littles is a completely different game. 

For Christmas gifts, (homeschoolers group discount was a killer deal!) I brought my mom and sister to the Orpheum to see Les Miserables. It was superb in every way. It made me want to get on stage and perform! I loved it and and hungry for more! I have decided that this needs to be a regular thing in my life. I love musical theater it makes me so happy.

Marshall and I were also able to sneak away after the kids were in bed (grandma came to sit with them) to see Mary Poppins Returns. It was great, but we are suckers for the original. 

Christmas 2019::

Christmas is obviously one of my children's favorite holidays for the obvious reasons, gifts, cookies and family time. I learned this year that it can still be magical without doing all the "extras" We never saw Santa or gave him a wish list, we didn't drive around and see lights, the elf only made an appearance 5 days before Christmas and we didn't even get around to making our gingerbread nativity. We didn't intentionally avoid these things, they were just skipped over by the countless Christmas books and stories, the family movie nights ( The Grinch, Frosty the snowman, Mary Poppins, etc.) 25 days of Christ and gift prep for siblings and other things. Each of the boys were able to pick out little gifts for each brother while either shopping with me or Marshall and they were so excited to wrap it up and give it. It was really sweet to see each of them be so excited to surprise their brothers.

We had family photos taken in the fall before it got too cold and were able to send a few out to our family in Hawaii, Kazakhstan, Utah, and friends. We didn't send as many as in the past due to the fact that we ran out of envelopes because of all my mistakes in addressing them.... I'll order extra next year. 

  We did manage to pull off another "annual Christmas photo" from our living room. I absolutely love seeing how much these boys have grown from year to year.
 Christmas Eve was so relaxed and cozy and I love creating memories with my little family. This year, I made a ham, mashed potatoes, rolls and veggies, we sipped sparkling cider and ate Christmas cookies and treats. The boys opened their Christmas eve gifts which is always a pair of matching pajamas and a christmas book. This year, the boys got The Polar Express, Christmas from Heaven - the true story of the Berlin Candy Bomber, and Father Christmas Letters by J.r.r. Tolkien and a nutcracker-- because they LOVE nutcrackers.

 Marshall and I surprised the boys in almost matching jammies to theirs. They loved it.

 Christmas Morning came fast. I heard each boy wake up and creep into the living room and race back to their room to tell the others what they saw. They tried so hard to go back to their beds only to race into our bedroom to exclaim what they were feeling about what they had seen. Eli said to Marshall, 
"Will you jump up and down in our room when it is time to open up presents?!" 

Our no toy Christmas was a total success. They were all excited about the things they were gifted and each got something specific for them to use and enjoy. Ezra got a new bike, Eli got a scooter and Oliver got a cool pj masks watch and Isaac got a tickle me Elmo. (He was the only one who got a "toy")
The boys got things like, drawing pads, charcoal pencils, sewing kits, books (Illustrated Harry Potters books 2 and 3 and others) toothbrushes and toothpastes, puzzles and some clothes.

That rascally Elf brought each of the boys their own box of Lucky Charms which were enjoyed immediately and gone quickly. 

After we opened gifts we dialed it back in the real reason for the season and talked about the life of Jesus and watched a couple short bible videos.

We were able to skype Marshall's parents who are currently serving a mission in Kazakhstan. It was good to see them even though they are so far away. The boys were so excited to talk to them and share with them all their excitement.
Isaac pretty much roamed around the floors eating all the lucky charms that fell to the ground. He, alone, ate SO MANY sweet treats.

 This is the real life breakfast of a six year old's Christmas breakfast. I did have good intentions of making a delicious breakfast, but gave up. (Notice the overflowing bowl of cereal withOUT any marshmallows, the chocolate Santa, and gingerbread cookies with the head nibbled off, candy canes and drawings scratched on his new notepad.

 Christmas day we had my parents and my sister, Kelly and her husband, Mike over for dinner. We had our usual Christmas Chinese and my dad's famous special k bars (which I ate way too much of) The boys played their Christmas piano songs that they have been working on and even Marshall played Jingle Bells. I sang Oh little town of Bethlehem. We played some fun games and laughed until it hurt. It was a great night. 

 My parents gifted my sister and husband the cutest welcome mat with their doggies on it. It made me want a dog for a hot second.

I am so glad I have some photos from the Holiday, I have been trying to be more present in the moments with my family and less documenting but also trying to find a good balance because I love to journal and remember all these times together. Keeping a healthy balance is always the challenge!

It was a great Christmas and as stressful and crazy as it can be with 4 little boys in a tight little home cluttered with Christmas decor and mess-- these are the days that we will look back on and miss.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

November + December

November came and went so fast, as I sit here and try to remember anything that we did-- I struggle! October was such a an exciting month and also such a whirlwind that I think we just shut ourselves in and tried to recuperate.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. We had Marshall's family over for dinner and we ate until we couldn't anymore. Our home felt filled and cozy. (and clean! we love having people over- it gives us an excuse to clean our house!)

 Our schooling at home has been going well. I still can't believe that we do this and we are successful! Eli is reading fantastically, he is writing beautifully (better than me!) He knows so many things! He enjoys math in all things and he is having fun with his brothers! Ezra's love for learning is intense and alive and I literally cherish it. He craves literature and history, he is eager to do math "on his own" he doesn't like me guiding him- which has been somewhat hard for me, but he is willing to let me correct him if his math questions go awry. I think he will be a human calculator like his dad. It is really fun to quiz him and watch how his brain gets the answers. It has made me come to love math more than I ever have. We have recently read some wonderful books.
Ezra got the Illustrated Harry Potter book #1 and we read it and loved every second of it. I've never read the series and I know I will love reading these with the kids. The boys now have the Harry potter bug and loved anything that has to do with Harry potter. Its been pretty fun! He is hoping Santa will bring him the next books in the series. I hope so, too. 
 We picked up Maleficent on a whim and read this as a family in one cold weekend in. We couldn't put it down. We discussed forgiveness and love in this story- also betrayal and trust. There are some pretty strong themes in this story to apply to our life.
Where the Red Fern Grows- oh!!! Reading this again as an adult was such a treasure. Again, this story taught the boys how to work hard for things you want, to dream and to do hard things. Already the boys have acted more independently from this, wanting to do more things on their own. I love the confidence that is learned through good writings. I appreciated Billy's faith in God and was surprised by so many mentions of the miracles that God performed for Billy and loved how he was so grateful and knew that it was because of God that things happened for him. I loved that the boys were reminded of how mindful God is of ALL His children all the time and how we can give glory to Him in gratitude for those blessings. Of course, I balled like a baby at the end and Ezra wiped my tears, I turned to him and said, "you know, Ezra, it's okay to be sad," and then he threw his head in the nearest pillow and wailed. We had a moment together, especially because the book was over and done. We felt every ounce of love that Billy had for his dogs and didn't want to close the cover. We also just finished The Hatchet. Another excellent book about a boy who had to overcome some really hard things as he needed to survive with what was around him. We felt every mosquito bite and every twinge of hunger as he struggled to find shelter and protection. Ezra and I loved when Brian succeeded in his efforts. We also felt like we were right beside him cheering him on. We are just starting My Side of the Mountain and Ezra had made a list of all the things that he would need to survive because he was going to run away and live in the woods. I love his romantic idea  he has of "running away" as if it's a way to be "one with nature" doing hard things and learning and living off and from whats around you and not "running away" because he is unhappy here. (He likes a pretty cushy life here- he would miss it) So, while his bag was packed and the sun was going down- he begged to just go down to the bridge. I had to tell him no a million times- but tired of saying no, I said, "Ezra, get your boots on and your coat and run to the end of the street and back" I had to let him do something with all this excitement he had.
 He quickly did this and ran all the way to the end of the street and back- it didn't take him long but he was happy to have done it. I also told him that if he wanted to camp in the backyard for 24 hours with whatever he had in his bag that he could absolutely do this. It really just sounds to me like the boys need a camping trip as soon as possible. These boys sure do keep things interesting around here.

Isaac is nearly 18 months. He is climbing on everything- pushing chairs up to the stove top, turning the burners on, (now all the chairs stand on TOP of the table at all times) He throws things in the garbage including his shoes and throws fresh,folded laundry down the laundry chute. He is a handful.
Oliver is so physical that we have to remind him when he is extra handsy to give us hugs for 10 seconds to remind him what a good touch is. It is exhausting trying to keep up with every individual need that is needed in this house. I am so touched out and emotionally drained by the end of the day, I can't wait to shut my eyes.

Marshall's swim season has started, he is about a month in. He gets home just before bed time and the boys are usually so amped to see him, they can't go to sleep. Marshall has also been working on a demanding project at his office that he has needed to work overtime for and hes been leaving before 5:30 am every morning. I don't know how he is doing it-- or how WE are doing it but we are both desperately looking forward to him being home for Christmas break.

With that said, it has been kind of hard to get into the Christmas spirit of things this year, we have been really good about doing our "25 days of Christ" as we nearer to Christmas and we always look forward to that. I love reading of the saviors life and all that he has done and does for us.

The boys have been reminded that this year will be a "toy free" Christmas, and I have been impressed with how well they have taken to it. Our basement is cluttered with random toys and we do not need anything else. They are also terrible about picking them up and if it was up to me they would all be packed up and donated. Which will most likely happen in 2019 anyways. I really want the boys to understand that what we have is ENOUGH and that experiences will impact our character and be so much more fun than more toys. Don't worry, there will be gifts to unwrap.

We are counting down the days to Christmas and New Years and look forward to being together.

Here are some random photos from the month.

 Eli picked nuggets and fries for his birthday lunch- of course he wore a crown because he was king for the day! 

He loved his gift of POP THE PIG. (see a theme here?)

 piggy bank from grandma and walking pig with leash from aunty Kelly
 Eli wanted a Pig cake- he got a pig cake!

 This is what school looks like at our house. Snuggled up together on the couch reading as the sun goes down.

 The boys have memorized every picture of every page of every book and I am not kidding. If we are talking or learning about something that they seem familiar with, they will run to a particular book and to a specific page and point to just the thing we were talking about. It is impressive that they can do this and I LOVE IT! Here is Eli teaching Oliver something important.
 Ezra's job at home is to make sure the sidewalk to the salon door is shoveled and clear for my clients. It hasn't snowed much which has been pretty easy for him, but he loves his new shovel.

My favorite times spent with Ezra are when we are just out running errands together. We have the best conversations. He is extremely thoughtful and helpful to me and I love seeing how he could potentially treat his future wife someday. He is such a gentleman.