Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Living with Creativity

I grew up in a very creative household. My mom would set out still life objects on the table, with lamps and we'd sit around and sketch it together. She'd let me make my own pies by the time I was Lucy's age. I felt apart of my mother's world and more myself because of all of the creative-ness in our lives. It just was how we were. It was free and easy and cheap and so my childhood. All of those things are apart of my children's lives now too I think. I don't do the still life with lamps but we are creative in other ways. I must admit it is harder with Eli because he seems to have less patience with it all that my older two. They relish everything we do that is creative.

So are you wondering, how do you live creatively? Well this is totally my two cents on the idea. But these would be my tips.

1. Keep supplies for crafts around and available and accessible. We have various collections of art supplies. There is so much fun creative stuff at the dollar store now. And that is great. But sometimes too it is nice to be able to get them the nice art stuff, like a good sketch book and good pencils or the cute cupcake liners you've been saving, and let your kids use them. Yep, they'll do a kid job with them. But they'll realize that you value what they do enough to let them use it.

2. Accept that creative often breeds mess. Oh my I could show you the piles that are made around here constantly. I am trying to teach them now (especially Lucy) that paper mess needs to be picked up after you finish. But even think about creativity in the kitchen - that makes mess. Playing in the dirt? Messy.

3. Do something creative with your kids, not just them doing it alone. Family drawing time, building lego with them, playing with play dough, creating a stop motion movie with their lego creations, sculpting, junk sculptures, etc.

4. Let them see you doing things that are creative. Create things yourself. Start project life, write, take some pictures, draw, get creative in the kitchen, build something, paint a wall or a picture, etc....

5. Creative living isn't just arts and crafts. Creativity comes in music, in cooking and baking, in yard work, in writing, in paper crafts, in dress up and plays, in story telling, in dancing, in decorating, in building, etc.

6. Resist the urge to fix it. Let them do it however they are going to do it. And have THEM do it themselves. I can tell the kids who are over who's parents intervene in their creative endeavors by the way they constantly ask for help or have trouble getting started unless they are given complete instructions. If you want to show them, get your OWN stuff and model how to do it. When you do it for them you are telling them you don't think they are capable. Letting them do it on their own builds the thought in them "I am capable, I can do it."

7. Talk about it. When your children show you something they have made, ask them to tell you about instead of saying "is this a __________". Let them tell you and be interested and attentive to what they say. The greatest compliment to a child is when they hear an adult tell another person about what they've done. It means way more. So listen and then share it in their presence.

8. Give them a place to display what they've made. For my kids this basement wall is the place. The big wooden frame that is empty has a clip in it that they can rotate things they've made. And it's "framed".
Basement Photo Wall

9. Finds things out of the house that are creative. Like an art class or get a group of kids together and have them create a play or something together.
aug 12 - Cartooning class

10. Undirected play time (without screens) helps creativity in children. Think about when you were a kid. And how you created things, games, stories, ect. Often we over schedule our kids and they don't get a chance to just BE kids and let their minds create. There is a whole book that is great about this.

So what do YOU do to help your children live creatively?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

10 on Tuesday

1. I want to shoot a wedding on a beach.

2. I used my saws that my dad gave me on the weekend. It was fun.

3. I cut my hair off. Well I didn't cut it, Rebecca did :)

4. I read the Thirtieth Tale last week. SO GOOD!!! Read it!

5. Did I ever share this picture? I can't remember.

6. My dad calls my mom a "rabble-rouser". Apparently I am also one. ;)

7. Love these project life pages.

8. Some times taking untraditional pictures is fun.

9. I've fallen off the 365 picture a day wagon lately. I need to get back on because I love it. It captures moments I love like these....
09 January 2012
21 January 2012
26 February 2012

10. My messed up basement is driving me crazy.

Monday, May 28, 2012

In the Kitchen: Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Did you know that some of the BEST recipes come from the packaging? Those recipes are tested and retested. And because of that you can trust those recipes. This one comes from the Hershey's Chipits White Chocolate Chips.

The first time I made these Alden was beyond excited about them. The next few times I made different cookies he kept asking why I didn't make this kind again. He loooves them. And so do I!

Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

1 1/3 cups softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp milk
1 pkg Hershey's Chipits White Chocolate Chips

Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Bakers Twine from Sweet Estelle

Cream butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, soda and salt. Blend into creamed mixture alternatively with milk. Stir in white chocolate chips/ Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Spiritual Sundays

“While one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard” - Joseph Smith, TPC-JS, pg39

My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Ofttimes He weaveth sorrow
And I in foolish pride,
Forget that He seeth the upper,
And I the under side.

Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
-In Sourcebook of Poetry, comp. Al Bryant, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 1968, p. 664; quoted by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference Oct 1985

“If men do no comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves” - Joseph Smith, TPC-JS, pg40

Friday, May 25, 2012

Foto Friday: Our Year in Photos


Month 5 Week 4: Activities

For the first week of each month we'll focus details.

To know more about this project you can read my first post here.

Alden plays Tuesdays and Thursdays
10 May 2012
Alden at Soccer

Lucy plays Mondays and Wednesdays
Lucy at Soccer

And Eli "plays" Saturdays. If only he'd stop crying to leave and actually go on the field. ;)

It's currently a LOT of going to the soccer field. Good to do but I won't be sad when it's over.

You can see all my other entries for this project here

Go check out Brooke's over here!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I don't know about you but sometimes I get distracted. I get side tracked and forget about what's most important. Two nights ago I was tired. (Which by the way seems most of the time lately. I really at some point need to start getting more sleep or accept that at this stage in life I am just going to be tired all the time and learn to deal with it better.) ANYWAYS, I was tired from planting that garden and from a terrible nights sleep and just mothering.

I needed a few minutes to myself. I could feel that I was being crabby and not because of anything. Just anything. So my wonderful husband told me to go take a shower (I chose a bath) and he took care of things. I had a really hot bath and enjoyed just being in quiet and still.

After I was still tired - maybe cause my bath was SO hot. And I was still feeling a tad bit grouchy. It was time to put Oliver to bed, so I took him into his room and sat down to feed him. It was a great. It was quiet and peaceful. And as I was sitting there in the dark with just Oliver, I had a small thought come into my head. That this is the reason I am here. That all those silly things, like the ipod game I was playing while I nursed Oliver or the blog I want to read once they are finally in bed or the painting project in my garage half done. All of those are fun and lovely. But my kids are what I am about. It was a little whisper of the Holy Ghost tapping my heart, reminding me of what's important.

Made me think of this quote.

After those brief moments alone and a little bit of heavenly help I was ready for all the work of bedtime. And I was happier to do it. We laughed together and sang a few songs and did scriptures and testimonies and did all of it happily.

I've been thinking a lot lately about being a mom. And moments like this remind me of the importance of it. I know I want lots of things. I want to be lots of things. And somedays I feel like I have things bursting out of me to create or read or make. Of course I want to be a good mom. Doesn't every mother (and father) want to be good at it? I think so. But often I need reminding that this is what I am about. I am lucky enough to get to do some "nice to do" things as Julie B Beck called them. But the "essential" and the "necessary" things come first. (Go read that talk. It's amazing!)

The older I get the more I am realizing that each of us do it differently. And that that is the point. We are SUPPOSED to do it differently. I firmly believe that God chose the special spirits that came to my home suited perfectly for Regan and I. And that He did that for every other family. That knowledge should give me power. It should give me strength in what I am doing. Never mind what anyone else is doing.

I have attended some parenting classes in our town. And I have very mixed feelings about them. There are things I strongly disagree with and things I whole heartily accept. I could say a whole lot about it. But it's not necessary.

Above all my greatest problem with the classes is the feeling that is taught is that they know the RIGHT way to parent and that no other way is right. No matter what parenting style there is no cookie cutter mold for all children. I know I am not alone in thinking this. (In fact I had a talk TODAY with two different women who shared this exact feeling. And I could make a list of other women who feel the same.)

I collect parenting books. Like I've read a LOT of them. Some of them made me laugh at their ideas and some made me angry what they claimed and some I read and thought well that was a waste of time. But I think in every single book I have taken at least ONE thing and applied it to myself. Or at least tried. There are good nuggets in them. Even though every single one shares a different way to parent.

Above all I think these three things.
1. As long as I am prayerful and follow the answers and inspiration I receive for my OWN family I am doing what I should.
2. It doesn't matter how anyone else parents, it matters how I parent.
3. If I am overwhelmed with a child and a problem, first consult the Lord & my spouse, then look for outside help if I need it.

I am so lucky to have my children. They are fun, crazy, creative, smart, frustrating, happy, sometimes disobedient, encouraging, maddening, hilarious, talkative, affectionate little people who are growing up so fast. And I am so happy they are mine.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

10 in Tuesday

1. Love this article from the hands free momma.

2. Go check out my pictures of Lucy I did.

3. I don't think I'll ever get tired of the great relationship these two have. Love that they love each other so much.
14 May 2012

4. Our basement flooded. We'll probably need total new carpet and underlay. Yep annoying.

5. Whenever someone he wants to see (mostly grandma) he always waits in this position. Staring and waiting.
18 May 2012: Waiting

6. We planted a garden yesterday. And by the end I was tired and a tad bit grouchy. :)

7. This shot made me smile.
11 May 2012
And so did this one.

8. Love that Lucy gets to see women of generations together. I'm blessed to have all of them in my life!
13 May 2012: 4 generations of girls

9. Great grandma made a blanket for Oliver just like she did for me when I was a kid.
13 May 2012: Generations

10. Soccer night for Alden. And man does he love it. Especially when he gets to play goalie.
10 May 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spiritual Sunday

A few related quotes (chosen by Regan, not Rhonda this week...hopefully that's alright with everyone).

“We invest a great deal in the acquisition of stuff. Companies bombard us with slick, relentless propaganda as to why we must have their stuff and judge an individual’s success by their stuff’s sheer quantity and supposed quality. I like stuff. I especially like the word stuff. But consumption never was creativity; it brings few lasting satisfactions and can bring burdensome debts. Stuff beyond our basic needs does not liberate. Consider the overall investment of your time. You have to shop for stuff. You have to clean, maintain and organize stuff. You lose stuff. You look for stuff. You polish stuff. Secure it against theft, trip over it, recharge it, upgrade it, accessorize it, pack it, move it, unpack it, insure it, fix it, and eventually sell, trash or bequeath it. Stuff has no use beyond this life and it takes a lot from us. Very much unlike stuff, knowledge has few such liabilities. Knowledge does not depreciate but grows deeper, stronger and more valuable with each use.”
- Shawn W. Miller, BYU Devotional, August 3, 2010 (punctuation my own)

“Increased goods will not suffice if men display decreased goodness.”
- Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference, Apr 1983

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
- William Morris, British craftsman, early socialist, designer and poet, lived in England, 1834-1896 (I don't know if she ever reads this but Jodi Pinsent passed this quote along to Rhonda and I years ago, thanks, I've always appreciated the sentiment it expressed and the Pinsents)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Foto Friday: Our Year in Photos


Month 5 Week 3: Bathtime

For the first week of each month we'll focus on a room in the house.

To know more about this project you can read my first post here.

Well this week I focused in on Alden and Eli. Eli says he gets "lonely" in the bath so he is constantly trying to convince the other kids to have a bath with him. Now I think Lucy is too old to have a bath with little boys so she is out. And Alden thinks he is too old to have a bath with Eli but some days he still indulges him.

But most of the times they do end up bathing together ends in a huge mess.
Like last week they turned on the shower and pulled down the curtain and used it to make a water slide. Oh my the entire floor was drenched!
Alden also likes his baths soooo hot he can barely sit down in it at first. I am sure its cause he will be staying in it for at least an hour. eli doesn't really like them that hot!
It's one of the reasons he still has to bathe at night. He spends so much time floating in the water.

You can see all my other entries for this project here

Go check out Brooke's over here!

Please tell me if you have a link somewhere for playing along and I'll add the links.

Thursday, May 17, 2012



List 72: I love it when people....

1. Send thank you's
2. Come over for dinner
3. Open the door for you
4. Invite us over
5. Comment on my blog :)
6. are kind

And last weeks

List 71: Things to do when it's raining outside

1. watch movies
2. bake stuff ie cookies, bread, buns, etc
3. scrapbook
4. make play tents for the kids
5. jump in the puddles.
3 May 2012

And the week before that.....

List 70: Things I love about being a mom

1. hugs & kisses
2. that my kids are mine
3. that I get to be a parent with Regan
4. seeing the uniqueness of my kids
5. watching the joy my kids bring to my parents and inlaws
6. watching my kids learn
7. reading books with my kids
8. doing crafts and art with my kids
9. when they make me laugh
10. the special spirit in the room after giving birth when that new spirit has joined us on earth