Sunday, May 30, 2010


I have now played the piano for over 23 years. That really seems like a long time! I should be better than I am, but that's a different story.

It wasn't an option at our house of weather or not to play the piano. My mother's motto was "you can quit playing the piano when you are in college, or when I die." I guess that's a bit better than what my grandma told her kids: "You can quit playing the piano when you decide you don't want to eat anymore." So, just like my dad and his five siblings (one which makes his living by playing the piano!), I played the piano. My parents told me that someday I would be grateful for it. I never believed them, but (like most things) they were right.

Since then I've not only played (for myself, for church, for school, for all kinds of things), I have also taught. I should have kept track of how many students I have taught. I think it's about 100. At one point I taught a lot--23 students. I taught every day after school and twice a week before school. It was kind of crazy. When we moved to Colorado, I said I would limit I have 9, including my two girls, and I am very full. So, twice a week. It's do-able.

Last weekend was our recital. I was so nervous! I'm not sure why. Maybe because I felt like I hadn't given my kids as much time as I should have (May totally snuck up on me this year! Maybe it was the snow every other day!). They were awesome though. Every one of them did so well and I even managed to pull off my song without too many mistakes.

I also performed a duet with my oldest student today in Sacrament Meeting. My prayer all day was, "help those who hear it feel the spirit." Technically, it went really well (other than the fact that my foot was on the wrong pedal for the first half of the song, I hate it when I do that!). I just hope my prayer was answered.

So, teaching piano with 4 kids, and homeschooling seems really crazy sometimes. I often wonder why I teach at all with so many other things to do. The answer keeps coming back to me over and over that I need to teach kids to play the piano so that they can play for church. It is sad to me that pianists are getting more and more rare. It used to be that every good LDS kid played the piano, but it doesn't seem that way anymore. My heart sank when I found out that new LDS chapels were getting digital pianos so that they didn't have to have anyone play, they could just start the recording. I think it is sad.

Every time I think of quitting teaching, I just get the feeling that teaching these kids to play in church is so important! So I will keep teaching until I receive the revelation otherwise. Maybe I can stop buying fabric and save enough for the serger I've been wanting :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Family of Twelve

Almost as long as I can remember, I've wanted 10 kids. My mom used to just smile when I told her that. Now I'm starting to feel my biological clock timing out. At this point I will fill absolutely blessed to have just as many as we can.

This last week I got my wish...for 5 days! We watched Jeff's brother's kids while he and his wife went to DC for an "outing." They have 7 kiddos, but took the baby with them. So with our four and their six, we had 10 kids! It was life like it would be if we would have had 3 sets of twins and my youngest two 11 months apart.

The best part of it was...I enjoyed every minute! I know, some of you may question this. I was at the grocery store one night and ran into a gal in my ward, we were talking at the checkout and when I mentioned we had 10 kids under the age of 10 at home, I think the checker just about passed out. But really, I never once counted the days left or the hours until bedtime. It was great! The only issues I had were (of course) with my own children.

We did a lot of fun things. The best part was (and this is the teacher in me) NO SCHOOL! Hooray! We did crafts in the morning and went to the park a couple of times (when it wasn't snowing), and even braved the crowded streets of Denver to go on our Homeschool group field trip to the Molly Brown House. (Jeff helped me with that one, there just weren't enough seat belts). We also watched a movie every day, since movies are rare at both our houses, the kids thought it was a treat. The rest of the time the kids just played and enjoyed each other.

My favorite part of each day was the 30 minutes of personal reading. The first day, I walked into the family room to see this:

Noah read to Samuel every day. I loved it.

Mealtimes were a little crazy,

But with help like this, prep and cleanup were a snap!

I do have to say though, that the fabulous experience was made possible by my amazing sister-in-law. Her kids were so helpful, obedient, happy, never fought (seriously!), ate all their food, went to bed on time, and even the not-quite-two-year-old was as patient as could be. She is doing an amazing job raising her kids. I've said for several years now that I want to be like her when I grow up. Now I want to even more :)

I think through the week, I learned to be a better mom. I learned to be more slow to anger (you think twice about blowing up when other kids are around!), how to delegate, and how to focus more on my prayers (I knew I needed extra help!). I hope I can remember all these things and try to be more organized in every area of life!

On a crafty note...I even got a few scrap pages done, a skirt finished, and a baby quilt started. Woo Hoo!

By midnight Saturday when the extra kids were reclaimed, I felt like I had accomplished a lot and had a wonderful week!

The hardest part? Setting the table for lunch on Sunday with only 5 seemed a little empty.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Happy Mothers' Day to all of you wonderful women!

This post is celebrating the day I became a mother. April 6, 2000. Now that sweet baby is ten years old! She has taught me so much. I just hope I have taught her something too!

Here's some highlights of her special day.

Bacon and Puffy Oven Pancakes for Breakfast ( hot cereal this morning!)

A trip to the Denver temple. When Sarah was little, she loved to visit the Washington DC temple on her birthday. Weather was a little (OK a LOT) warmer in Maryland in April, but we made the most of it!

Isn't she beautiful!

And had to snap this little guy while I had the chance:

For presents she got a new dress (made by me--hope it fits for a little while!)

And some $ to do what she wants (along with a card telling her how awesome she is!).

Her "cake" request was pumpkin pie (which didn't require any decorating--I was kind of relieved!)

Make a wish and take a bite!

Happy Birthday Sarah!

10 things I love about Sarah are:

1. She always tries to do what is right.
2. She is a great help with her siblings. She loves them a lot!
3. She is a fabulous pianist--listening to her is a joy!
4. She is fun to talk to and share my little excitements with, like a gorgeous new fabric or a fun scrap page just finished.
5. She likes to be with her family.
6. She thinks a lot about others.
7. She is a great cook (and makes some meals all by herself!)
8. She sticks with me when I need help.
9. She is a great student.
10. She is beautiful inside and out.

Thanks Sarah, for being patient with me and letting me be your mom!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Scrapbook Challenge!

Today is National Scrapbooking day and May is National Scrapbooking Month! I know, it seems there is a day/month for everything, but sometimes I just need an excuse to get motivated! My pictures should be in books for my family to look at, not in boxes or stuck on my computer.

The last couple of years, I've issued a challenge to finish 31 scrapbook pages (an average of one per day) during the month of May.

It's been awhile since I sat down to scrapbook other than doing my exchanges. But I hope to change that this month. I have a lot of partially finished pages that need journaling and/or pictures. I hope to finish all those up as well as add many more.

I also hope to finish my 2006 albums. I'm pretty close, but am down to those pictures that haven't quite fit into my exchange pages.

My other goal with this is to use more stuff than I buy, It's part of my New Year's Resolution. I'm not sure I'm ahead for the year, but I'll be keeping track this month. With thousands (yes, thousands) of sheets of paper, yards of ribbon, 100+ stamps, and embellishments galore, I think it's do-able.

I would love you to join me with this challenge. I'll be posting photos (hopefully) every week and I would love to hear how you are doing with it also!

So, here's to scrapping...hopefully I can get a bit done today!