P52 | Week 8: Black & White

Feb 28, 2016

This week was a crazy one. The youth basketball team that Bruce coaches had their big tournament Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings which is so much fun to go watch, but takes up a big chunk of time. Then we were asked to speak in church today. Yup- that's right. I spent my 31st birthday speaking in church. My topic was the power and purpose of the Book of Mormon and the preparation was nerve-racking for me. There was so much information and not enough time to absorb and ponder it all, never mind put it into a 20ish minute talk. 

As I was studying for my talk and also thinking about the fact that I needed a photo for this week's project, it occurred to me that the theme of Black and White went along perfectly with the things I was pondering for my talk. I ended up focusing on the importance of understanding that the Book of Mormon was written for us, specifically for our day and time. The last days are ugly- Mormon described our days as being filled with wars and rumours of wars, earthquakes in divers places, great pollution upon the face of the earth, murders, robbing, lying, deceiving and all manner of abominations. He was right! Yet, the Book of Mormon offers us peace and guidance, direction and hope. It is a black and white guide to living righteously in these latter days. 

This past week we started a new practice in our family... one we've been talking about since the beginning of the year but only just put into action. We decided that instead of reading the Book of Mormon during our already chaotic evening routine as we have done for years, we would instead get up half an hour earlier, eat a big breakfast as a family then study the Book of Mormon around the dining room table. It has been so much fun! It is hard to get up at 6am. I don't love it, but I love sitting around the table with my family and hearing the girls take turns reading verses. Even Man Cub wants to be part of reading. He insists on having his own Book of Mormon opened in front of him and he repeats a verse or two, one phrase at a time so he can read like his sisters. It has been such a blessing. Our mornings are more peaceful and so much less rushed, despite having added several new aspects to our routine. I love feeling the Spirit first thing in the morning. It helps me to do the things I know I should be doing and be quicker to repent when I do things I know I should not, like raise my voice or speak unkindly. I love that I then spend the day thinking back on the things we've read and reminding myself and my children to "be like Alma", the prophet we are currently reading about. 

Despite the craziness of basketball and talk preparation, I am grateful for the moments of peace we've had during our morning scripture study this week. I am so so grateful for the Book of Mormon and its black and white principles for living righteously and drawing closer to God. I hate speaking in church but I really did enjoy the chance to learn more about the Book of Mormon and strengthen my testimony of its divine purpose. Now, time to go to bed! 6am comes early. Ü

P52 | Weeks 6 & 7

Feb 21, 2016

We were out of town last Sunday when it would have been time to post my week 5 P52 post. I intended to do it sometime throughout this past week, but it never happened, so enjoy a double entry!

Week 6: Waiting

I promise when I made the schedule for this project, I just took a bunch of words and phrases I had collected and allowed the computer to randomize them for me. I didn't plan for our week at Disneyland to fall under the theme of "waiting" but it worked out quite perfectly. We did a LOT of waiting at Disneyland. It was a great trip, and I'm excited to make time to blog about it soon, but no matter how crowded or not crowded Disneyland is, there is always waiting to be done.

I love this photo of Man Cub waiting. Just him and Buzz Lightyear, passing the time. The girls would typically get a little restless during any down time, but Man Cub would just grab a little toy and play.


Week 7: Chaos

Once home from our trip, I hit the ground running. I had several big projects on my to do list and I wasted no time tackling them. My biggest project from last week was reorganizing my preschool room. It had become quite the mess and was not functioning in a way that I felt was beneficial to me, my preschool students or the rest of the family. Bruce helped me put together a big wall unit from IKEA, then Beebs helped me sift through the chaos. We spent well over 10 hours in that room, going through every scrap of paper, every toy and every classroom item. We got rid of 3 big garbage bags of trash and 2 of donation items. I took 2 trips to the store to buy storage tubs for the shelves and I ended with a beautifully organized room that I think we will all enjoy using more. 

But for now, this is the only photo anyone gets to see... the chaos before the calm, and my cute little helper in her Hello Kitty robe. 

Shark Bait | Seven Months Old

Feb 18, 2016

This little guy turned seven months old during our family vacation to California. I forbid him from doing so, but he has already decided he doesn't have to listen to me. I'm trying hard not to think about the fact that his first birthday is in five short months. Thinking about it makes me want to lock myself in my room and cry. 

Over the 9 days that we were in California, Shark Bait changed before my eyes. We would wake up in the morning and it seemed that he had grown by leaps and bounds during the night. He gained a bunch of weight (for him!) since turning six months old, he popped his first tooth and he has taken quite the interest in food. And as if that isn't bad enough, he is determined to feed himself! With a spoon!!

Luckily, he is still my sweet and snuggly little guy with bright, sparkly eyes and a smile that is going to break hearts left and right as he gets older. He had every princess in all of Disneyland fawning over him. Multiple princesses and other employees offered to babysit him while we went and played. And they were pretty serious about it! 

He is still just as easy going as ever and we all just adore him. He has no shortage of affection at any given time. I hope it's true that you can't spoil a baby with love and attention, otherwise we are in big trouble! 

P52 | Week 5: Sunshine

Feb 7, 2016

Living in the Valley of the Sun, I kind of assumed that this week's photo would include some outdoor time, maybe a pretty sunflare. Instead, my sunshine photo features Sunshine, as she has lovingly been called since minutes after her birth. 

Sunshine is growing up so fast and this picture captures just that. How is she old enough to be styling her own hair already!? This is a typical part of our Saturday night routine. All the time Sunshine puts in at the pool each week takes a toll on her hair. Between the gobs of conditioner we use to help keep her hair from breaking under her swim cap to the inevitable chlorine build up, by the time Saturday rolls around, Sunshine's hair is in need of some TLC. It has become our tradition that I wash her hair for her, using baking soda and vinegar to remove the build up, then we hang out together and style it. Sometimes I blow dry it, sometimes she does, and while it may not seem like much, I treasure this little bit of girly time with Sunshine each week. I'm not the best girl mom... I can't French braid or do fancy hair styles, my sense of fashion is lacking, but this little bit of girl time each week is fun for me, and hopefully for Sunshine. 

I know the tumultuous teenage years will be here before I know it, but I hope Sunshine will always need my help to wash her hair. 
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