A Mother’s Work … {is never done}

Jimmy took all the kids to Seven Peaks so I could stay home and ‘rest.’ Very nice. Hannah asked if I wanted her to stay home and help. I reassured her that I enjoyed having some quiet alone time. So, we’ve got a few options of how to spend time this morning:Desktop5Not that I live by a beach… but you get the picture. And not that I smile like that mother as I tidy home (oh, and I don’t really ever iron!). But this mother knows today that it will be more FULFILLING to tidy home, do laundry, catch up on those darn piles, and perhaps nest a little with babe coming soon… than to sit and read a book. A time and place for everything. And rest will come later (hopefully!). I’ve already had a bit of a respite doing this blog post and drinking ice water (my non-stress tests tell me I’m slightly dehydrated!). So – here’s to building a home for my fam.

Sparkling Throne – Messy Child

04 april 201414
Today’s adventure was thus:
Toilet scour day…
major deal here.
Took the toilet seat off & all.
Nearly barfed many times from the grodyness of it.
(My poor pregnancy gag reflex is the most sensitive it’s ever been.)
We’re talking major pee build-up under the hinge of the seat.
Used Vinegar, Baking Soda, & Purify essential oil.
Cleaning with vinegar is almost as bad as pee smell…
but not quite.
But everything is super clean & disinfected
and I didn’t die of lung poisoning from lysol.

Ew… and the floor, the walls, the baseboards, etc
are now scrubbed.

I did have the cleanest toilet in the neighborhood…
until Tru had a “Giant Diarrhea” in said clean toilet.
Too much info…. but people, this is my life… and it’s real.
My life lately revolves around pee & poop from little ones.

Liza was much too quiet and soon joined me in the bathroom
with Black PERMANENT marker on her fingernails (“Polish”) arms, legs, and feet.
Where is this child’s mother?
Oh wait – scouring a toilet.

So although I was searching google an hour previous, “How to rid bathroom of pee smell?”,
I was now searching, “How to remove Permanent marker from skin”
Bath didn’t do it.
Lemon oil didn’t even do much.
Rubbing alcohol on dry skin took most of it off.
Then another bath.

Oh my goodness.
Then we all took off and went to the park for some fresh air and play.

A few hours later I decided to tackle the downstairs bathroom (while Liza was napping).
Holy Cow. That toilet was 10 times nastier.
But I persevered and it is now clean.

If anyone wants to visit,
tomorrow would be a good day
because it might be the only day (ever!!!)
that my toilets might sparkle
and the bathroom will be pee-odor free.

P.s. Lest my children read this someday and wonder why it was so monumental to deep clean the bathroom. . . 4 boys in this house. . . A few with poor aim, I imagine. Ummm, yeah. The fact is that Hannah, Abe, And Max are each assigned bathrooms to clean each week. Under ideal chore system, each gets cleaned with disinfecting wipes twice a week. I knew I needed to do a thorough cleaning monthly because kids don’t quite catch all the crevices, but yeah, I guess I haven’t done the best at that. Anyhoo. . .


The other day my sister shared a picture on instagram of some Gisele chick:
a glamorous woman breastfeeding a baby, with 2 stylists fixing her hair.
At the same time, she was receiving a manicure … all in a fancy apartment.

Real life?!  uhhh, no.

But then again…

after a dinner of tomato soup & grilled cheese…
tonight I was sitting on the bathroom floor sorting oodles of laundry
(me thinks the washer and dryer are both on the fritz, by the way).

Truman started combing my hair.
Then Liza joined in and brushed my hair.
Two Stylists fixing mother’s hair.

Then Tru started singing, “Baby it’s cold outside.”

And we laughed.  How does he even know that song?

He tells me that I taught it to him.
He listens every time I sing that when we leave the house I guess.

This moment made me chuckle.  I may not have the glamorous life that the ‘world’ thinks everyone ought to have,
But I have so many glorious blessings in my life.


p.s. Tru found 2 pennies when we were sorting laundry.
This kid thinks he’s so rich to have so much $.
We are blessed.


I never thought I’d can. Way too scary. I guess I was feeling brave… or at least adventurous.The past few years I’ve frozen fresh peaches. We figured out how to blanch and peel. Hannah is my helper with peaches. On Saturday Abe was also a happy helper with freezing.08-august-201311Later in the afternoon, Hannah helped me can. We blanched and peeled and sliced and pitted and sterilized lids and washed jars and waited for ages for the water bath to boil (no really – it was like 45 minutes) we timed and hoped and ended up with 7 quarts and 7 pints.
IMG_3017 copyIn the end, they are lovely, at least the quarts. I kept telling Jimmy to remind me that I never wanted to can again. I just am not sure all the tiring work was worth the small amount I canned. Mostly I think I worry about botulism. I’m the mom who overcooks all meat just to be sure it’s not raw. So my worried mom brain stepped in and researched botulism. Aaaak! All of our jars sealed so hopefully we’re good to go. And as long as the peaches aren’t mushy… perhaps the fresh peach taste in the middle of winter will make it worth it.

p.s. would never do pints again. i halved the peaches. and i felt like i could hardly squeeze any in there. same amount of time… fewer peaches per hour of work.

p.p.s. i used a million bowls and pans in this project. remember how many dishwasher loads it was? a lot!

p.p.p.s. i hope i dare to open and eat them!

Analysis of Favorite Meals

I am married to an analytic thinker.  When I ask him what some of his favorite meals are, he starts a spreadsheet, lists common meals, and assigns a rating.  I added my ratings and then we asked the 3 oldest to rate the meals.  This is what we came up with.
Screen Shot 2013-05-25 at 9.09.49 PM
This actually provides us with a pretty ‘intelligent’ list for a meal plan. We need to make sure we captured all our favorites. We’re simple. We’re actually all picky (in such different ways… notice #1’s were soup for me… 3’s for Jimmy). Evenings go so much smoother when I have a meal plan, stick to it, and make sure I prep in the morning or early afternoon. Sigh… this is my goal that rarely happens. But I’ll keep plugging along because I know it creates a better evening routine for our family.

my thoughts at 6:36 a.m.

i keep telling myself this.
over and over.

i also keep reminding myself to DO this.
i have a bazillion projects i want to do… all good… but i don’t have the time, energy, or uhhh … time.

I have a lot of housework to do today.
a house of order is a house of God.

and because color is always a good thing.
“Be a joyful mother of children.” Ps. 113:9

Gaining a real testimony of WORK.

A few weeks ago I was weary (ok – I’m always weary)… and I asked Jimmy if he ever tires of work.
uhhh, you don’t?
Do you ever get tired?
But not of work?
“If you don’t like work, you’re not going to like the celestial kingdom.”
Well… I like the accomplishment of a job well done, but I’m just so tired.
I’d be fine with work, especially in the celestial kingdom, as long as I have boundless energy.
whine, whine, sigh…

So, my mind has been laboring (ha-ha) on the topic of Work. In theory, I’m all about work and teaching the kids to work hard. But in reality, I spend a lot of effort trying to think of FUN things to do instead of hard work… like Saturday morning family activities in the mountains, etc. I think I feel discouraged because the work is never done.  If the work is never done – then let’s play instead. Oops!  Work first, play later… remember Heather.  Yeah, we can get the work under control… but a job is rarely done (ie… laundry/dishes). BUT – my goal is to find JOY in laboring and in creating the life the Lord wants us to have here as a family.

The rest of the ‘green’ words in this post are quotes from J. RICHARD CLARKE, APRIL 1982 – THE VALUE OF WORK. These are my favorite parts:

Work is a blessing from God. It is a fundamental principle of salvation, both spiritual and temporal. When Adam was driven from his garden home, he was told that his bread must be produced by his physical toil, by the sweat of his brow. Note carefully the words: “Cursed shall be the ground for thy sake” (Moses 4:23; italics added), that is, for his good or benefit. It would not be easy to master the earth; but that was his challenge and his blessing, as it is ours.

We are cocreators with God. He gave us the capacity to do the work he left undone, to harness the energy, mine the ore, transform the treasures of the earth for our good. But most important, the Lord knew that from the crucible of work emerges the hard core of character.

In this commitment, our prophets have led by example. It is said that President Wilford Woodruff loved work. “To him it was a blessing, a privilege. … His toil in the canyons, his sweat in the harvest field, … were all important parts in divine economy. …

“To sweat, was a divine command as much so as to pray.” (Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life and Labors)

We have a moral obligation to exercise our personal capabilities of mind, muscle, and spirit in a way that will return to the Lord, our families, and our society the fruits of our best efforts. To do less is to live our lives unfulfilled. It is to deny ourselves and those dependent upon us opportunity and advantage. We work to earn a living, it is true; but as we toil, let us also remember that we are building a life. Our work determines what that life will be.

Work is honorable. It is good therapy for most problems. It is the antidote for worry. It is the equalizer for deficiency of native endowment. Work makes it possible for the average to approach genius. What we may lack in aptitude, we can make up for in performance.

As recommended by Korsaren: “If you are poor, work. … If you are happy, work. Idleness gives room for doubts and fears. If disappointments come, keep right on working. If sorrow overwhelms you, … work. … When faith falters and reason fails, just work. When dreams are shattered and hope seems dead, work. Work as if your life were in peril. It really is. No matter what ails you, work. Work faithfully. … Work is the greatest remedy available for both mental and physical afflictions.” (The Forbes Scrapbook of Thoughts on the Business of Life, 1968)

To teach our children to work is a primary duty of parenthood. Our children have experienced unprecedented prosperity created by parents who have worked hard to provide what they themselves did not have as youngsters. If we are to save our children temporally and spiritually, we must train them to work. THEY MUST LEARN BY ExAMPLE THAT WORK IS NOT DRUDGERY, BUT A BLESSING. Fortunate is the young man or woman who has learned how to work. Wise is the parent who requires children to learn responsibility and to meet acceptable performance standards.

Now, what about our leisure time? How we use our leisure is equally as important to our joy as our occupational pursuits. Proper use of leisure requires discriminating judgment. Our leisure provides opportunity for renewal of spirit, mind, and body. It is a time for worship, for family, for service, for study, for wholesome recreation. It brings HARMONY into our life.

Leisure is not idleness. The Lord condemns idleness. He said, “Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent” (D&C 60:13.) Idleness in any form produces boredom, conflict, and unhappiness. It creates a vacancy of worth, a seedbed for mischief and evil. It is the enemy of progress and salvation.

In the broader sense, work is the means to achieve happiness, prosperity, and salvation. When work and duty and joy are comingled, then man is at his best. Tagore wrote,

Work was instituted from the beginning as the means by which the children of God were to fulfill their earthly stewardship. Work is our divine heritage. Elder Stephen L Richards taught: “Work with faith is a cardinal point of our theological doctrine and our future state—our heaven, is envisioned in terms of eternal progression through constant labor.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1939, pp. 65, 68.)

A Goober Week

I was such a nincompoop this week. Seriously. I was feeling so selfish. I didn’t want to do what I HAD to do. I only wanted to do what I WANTED to do. Lousy. I wanted to be 2 people… one who would have the satisfaction and fulfillment of hard work accomplished … the mom who was a nice, fun mom. And one who got to do fun projects, had no worries or responsibilities. The trouble is I end up battling inside myself because I KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT… I know where my responsibility lies.

I was reviewing my notes from the time I did the 29 Gifts. Each day I made note of the gift I gave, things I was grateful for, and gifts I was given. Most of the gifts were TIME or GENUINE LOVE for my family. During that time, we still had hard things, sick kids, long days and nights dealing with RSV in a wee baby. But my heart was trying to do things for the right reasons … to choose the better part. I value those notes that reminded me that this is where JOY lies.

Here’s hoping for a week with a heart full of the Spirit of God and with LOVE so I can fulfill my responsibilities with a sincere and pure attitude.

progress … and trust

2 thoughts from today.

Progress: I took a nap this morning. I kinda felt bad… but not. I told myself it was going to help rejuvenate myself to take care of my family the rest of the day. And ya know – it helped. After my nap, either from guilt… or increased energy/motivation, I got a ton of work done. Given – I wasn’t the most attentive mother today and we all hung out in jammies until 2 or so. But little Liza played around while I went through her clothes and tidied her room. We got some laundry done… some dishes done. Sorting/decluttering/etc for d.i. bins. I really felt like there was PROGRESS. I tried to look at all that I was accomplishing… instead of looking around feeling discouraged about all the rest that was left that wouldn’t be done today(yes, this happens frequently). But Progress… there was progress. It’s a good feeling.

Trust: The hymn that kept going through my head today was this:
I know there are reasons for certain adventures, events, and changes in our lives. So often we wonder where we’re heading next … God knows, and if we trust Him… and move forward with courage and a calm heart, we will start to see where He is taking us… what He is helping us become. This is random and perhaps doesn’t make sense… but it will, all in time.

I like the description in verse 2 about how we see the dark clouds a-comin’. We dread the ‘hard’ but really, the Lord is showering us with blesses throughout it all. Also love the imagery in verse 3 with the budding flower. At first the change is hard/bitter, but with time we see why it is the Lord’s will.

I love that the Lord teaches me to understand in small and simple ways such as this.

Home Organization

I really want to do this…
Jimmy might chuckle.
I feel hopeful.

I need a plan.
I reorganize the closets here and there (once a year or so – cough!).
But we have a great need to declutter … and find a home for each and every belonging (or out it goes!).

I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!