Friday, December 15, 2017


 This was the snowman relay at our homeschool co-op.  The kids had fun and were very good about cleaning up all the toilet paper.
I was teasing M about her no teeth smile.  I think she maybe got out of the habit of smiling with teeth because her teeth have been in a state of flux for the last 5 years. 

Today M was playing "Christmas Bells are Ringing".  It made me so happy.  I'm so grateful she has learned to play the piano and can make me so happy. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


I started this record for M long enough ago that I titled it "Little letter m".  Lately I feel like M is unrecognizable from her younger self.  She has so much poise and is so lovely.  She is so brave and competent.  I am amazed by how this year she is the queen of doing her school work.  Last year we were struggling a lot and felt like just starting over.  In fact we did throw away her 4th grade math book and start a new book. 

She smiles with her mouth closed.  But she still smiles big and has a great time.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Lantern Walk

M was involved in these lantern walks for the last 6 years.  We make lanterns and recite the story of St. Martin.  We sing songs about walking about with our lanterns then sing a song "Oh how lovely is the evening" in a round.  M is always up for singing harmony and rounds.  I'm grateful for this fun activity we do together and how she sings and leads.  She's always ready to shimmy up a tree and she's really mastered doing her daily assignments/chores.  Thanks Little Letter M.

Saturday, November 18, 2017


 M had so much fun at the Zoo.  She loves animals so intensely and loves to be an expert on their names, and characteristics.  While she was standing at the fence this tiger almost marked his territory.  Yikes! 
She spent more time looking at these spider monkeys than she did at the playground right next to it.  She loved their antics and playing games of imitation with them.  She had a name for several different ones and enjoyed them so much.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Last Sunday M played "I believe in Christ" on the organ as a special musical number for Sacrament Meeting.  She's very poised about it.  She gets up and plays from memory.  Then she sits down.  I'm so glad she handles her feelings of nervousness and gets the job done.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


These girls drive each other crazy and I get dragged along too.  But sometimes they are so delightful and kind to each other.  I think they were holding hands because I told the kids to hold hands crossing the road.  But here we were well past the road and they were still holding hands. 

M is a great older sister.  On the park she's willing to cast her eyes about from her perch atop something/everything when I ask her if she's seen a sibling recently.  And occasionally when I can't find a sibling I'll ask her to stay with one of the littles while I go search.  I try to not ask her to straight up watch the littles at the park and I am grateful that she still loves to climb and help so much.

Today she unloaded grandma's dishes and my dishes. 

Today she didn't let lP get lost in the book sale. 

Today she watched out for small children getting pushed at the playground that were not even related to her. 

Today she self advocated for fried eggs instead of the rather bad pineapple pancakes I had made.

I love this girl and love being her mom.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


M has a fascination with feces.  So too, apparently does the person who wrote these books and created this match up display of animal pictures and silicone scat. 

For several years now M has been happily cleaning rabbit, dog, and horse scat whenever she had the opportunity.  She definitely doesn't like human fecal mater having 3 younger siblings, she knows.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Boundless Enthusiasm

M has gone out 3 days now for hurricane clean up.  She loves her yellow shirt and she has earned it.  P took her to a muck out on Friday.  The homeowners caulked their doors, put plastic over them and sandbagged them.  They kept the water out, but their house flooded from the inside out. 
 She is covered in brown liquid that came out of a toilet... 

Today P took her and G to a yard clean up and she hefted large logs with zeal.  That's our special M and we love her.

Friday, September 1, 2017


I'm having M copy nice stories for her handwriting practice.  This is the one for next week.

One evening a man called his five sheep to come into the shelter for the night. His family watched with great interest as he simply called, “Come on,” and immediately all five heads lifted and turned in his direction. Four sheep broke into a run toward him. With loving-kindness he gently patted each of the four on the head. The sheep knew his voice and loved him.
But the fifth sheep didn’t come running. She was a large ewe that a few weeks earlier had been given away by her owner, who reported that she was wild, wayward, and always leading the other sheep astray. The new owner accepted the sheep and staked her in his own field for a few days so she would learn to stay put. He patiently taught her to love him and the other sheep until eventually she had only a short rope around her neck but was no longer staked down.
That evening as his family watched, the man approached the ewe, which stood at the edge of the field, and again he gently said, “Come on. You aren’t tied down anymore. You are free.” Then lovingly he reached out, placed his hand on her head, and walked back with her and the other sheep toward the shelter.1
In the spirit of that story, I pray that the Holy Ghost will help us learn together tonight about covenant keeping. Making and keeping covenants means choosing to bind ourselves to our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. It is committing to follow the Savior. It is trusting Him and desiring to show our gratitude for the price He paid to set us free through the infinite gift of the Atonement.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

happy place

M goes to help with this horse on Tuesdays.  This sweet lady lets her groom, clean up after and ride the horses.  She also gets to give the dog a bath sometimes.  That's heaven for M.

While we were in Virginia my sister Meg took M down to southern VA to visit my niece T.  T has rabbits and a baby.  While they were there a friend of T's had a medical emergency and so T and Meg took M over to help care for the kids and animals at the friends house.  They breed huskies.  Meg sent me this picture asking if we wanted a puppy.  Sorry.  No.  But I am glad M gets to have these lovely moments.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

back seat party

We went to ride the river last week.  My mom came along so we switched up the seating.  I sat in the back with M and G.  What a personality M is.  She is kind and watches out for all the kids.  I'm so grateful to have this funny little girl for my daughter.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Big letter M

M had a birthday.  She's 10!  She made and decorated this cake herself.  She also let me off easy and accepted a new scooter instead of a party this year.  We've got some things going on and I couldn't plan a party and don't know if one was going to happen later...  So we got her a nice scooter with big wheels. 

For M being 10 means she can ride around the neighborhood by herself and take lP along too.  Being 10 is special too because next week she gets to go to Grandma's house for a week and go to a day camp at the museum. 

M continues to grow and do amazing things.  Today she was rotating laundry along and accidentally brought towels out that were still damp and put diapers in the dryer before they had been soaped.  But like a champ she got everything washed properly and we were able to re-fold the towels later today. 

M is so patient with me.  I'm so grateful for this little girl so full of grace and love.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

new swimsuit

A friend told us about some nice swim shorts for girls at Marshalls.  M also found a nice new swim shirt so she's good for another summer of fabulous carefree, sunburn free, fun.  I'm so grateful my girls accept these swim clothes that cover their bodies.  I primarily care about keeping their bodies covered.  I'm also happy that they never have to have a sunburn on their back, shoulders, thighs, or but.  It saves us so much sadness.  No matter how good you put the sunscreen on, the bathingsuits most girls wear shift just enough to leave you with a line of sunburn right on those tender areas.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

punk rock princess

M got a dress with sparkles last week.  We put sleeves on it and she wore it to church.  This week she added black leggings and boots to turn her glittery outfit into a punk rock costume.  It's neat to see P's sense of fashion manifest in M.  I wish I could have seen his face when his punk rock princess came into sacrament meeting.  I was staying home with a runny nose, teething baby.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

the old days

Today I was wearing earrings.  M was impressed and said "So you're wearing earrings like the old days..."  and I said "Do you mean the old days before I had kids that wanted to tear them out of my ears?"  and she said "I don't think I've ever seen you wear earrings."  Yeah, it's been a few years.

M also got a fancy dress yesterday at the RS swap meet.  It's got sequins and a train of navy blue sheer material, but no sleeves.  No worries, I used some fabric from a swimming suit to make some sleeves.  In the end M wore a t-shirt under it anyway because the back was itchy.  I'm glad she understands already that comfort is important and modesty is easy.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

motivational maestro

When M was 6 she was invited to a birthday party with a bunch of girl scouts.  The other girls all knew each other from being in school and a troop together.  The mom reported back to me that M was so sweet in motivating her team to win the toilet paper sculpture challenge.

M has a gift for motivating others when she chooses to use it.  Today I had struggled with lP for over 30 minutes to get the repetitions I felt she needed.  lP was claiming hunger... as she often does when she doesn't want to do something.  The baby needed a diaper change, everyone needed attention.  M came and sat with lP and got her through the last repetition that had taken 10 minutes just by itself. 

She is figuring a lot of things out at a young age with how to motivate herself by being early, and motivate others, with sweetness.  I really admire her positive attitude and patience.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

balloon girl

M made balloons for a school carnival!  She was so nervous, but she was very poised and gave good service.  I went along and chatted with other parents.  I also helped out so M could go have some fun.  At one point a little girl came asking to have her bunny folded again and I didn't know how to make a bunny!  Luckily I had pictures of all the shapes M can make and I figured it out.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

hands for work and play

M likes to make things.  She's made this apple swan a few times now.  Next month she'll be getting paid to make balloon animals at a school fair.  She continues to do awesome things on the piano and climb trees like crazy.
She's figured out how to spin around on this cloth hung between trees.  And her gymnastics class is teaching her the proper names for this, and she's getting to do cool things there also.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Thou Shalt Not

Thou Shalt Not steal several packs of gummy snacks and put them in a heart box.
When I ask you where you got them Thou Shalt Not tell me that you've been saving them from the times everyone gets one for B buckling up.

Thou Shalt Not sneak the movie player under your bed.  When I ask you where the power cord for my tape player is, Thou Shalt Not tell me you don't know, when you took it to power the movie player.

Thou Shalt Not sign my initials on your practice record.

I don't know what to do with children who have been so dishonest in the span of 1 week.  So far this child is missing out on the awards party for soccer.   She shows no remorse for having lied, only for being caught.  When she lies, I don't feel mad, I just feel dead inside.  Like, why do I ever do anything nice for someone who is just going to lie, cheat and steal.  I do love her and pray she will learn how to be better.  In the mean time I'm going to give her more work to do so she has less time to be a sneak.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

happy hammocks

Last week we put up some hammocks for the children in the yard.  M has a hammock grandma L gave her years ago.  It is made with thin gauge cotton string, so it end up with wide holes where the weave has gotten pulled or stretched out of shape.  So I took a canvas shower curtain and strung it up.  Yay!  Sturdy hammock was born.  M practically lives in it.  I also put up a pink canvas curtain for the smaller children to lounge in.  It's been so fun. 

On Friday the little girl next door came over and showed the girls how they could use the hammock to do leg spins.  I've been trying to get the girls to do this for years!  I did them all the time in 2nd grade so literally for the last 2 years I've been trying to get M to do them.  I know that when I tried to do the tricks when I was in 4th grade, I couldn't do them anymore.  My body was starting to grow so and I was out of practice.

I'm so glad M is having such a happy childhood.  She meets new kids through our activities and gets to have so much fun.  And she's learning to spell and math and play the piano and flute.  Rock on M!  Get as many skills as you can use.  Above all the fun, learn to be grateful and give back.  Be the Santa you wish to see in the world.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

I can't do everything myself!

M is so lovely.  I wake her up at midnight to go potty.  It's working well for us.  We got the girls room cleaned up yesterday.  I love how the girls are learning to manage their things.  They love it when their room is clean.  I hope to teach them a habit of keeping their area neat.

Today M was searching for my keys after church as I held a sleeping L.  G didn't help clean up and I heard M say "I can't do everything myself!"

I say this a lot...  I told her, "Hey, that's my line!"

That's my girl.  I'm so pleased with her willingness to help.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

new dresses

M got some new dresses for Christmas.  One is a pull over that looks like 2 pieces.  M wears it with leggings so she can still sit like a small person and not have to sit like an adult.  The other dress M got is really a very nice tunic.  I explained to M that it looks long enough to wear with leggings, but since we're a family that wears skirts and dresses to church, she needed to wear a skirt with it.  Harsh!