Friday, June 22, 2012

My Center

I have often read and heard that this life is not easy.  And I have lived enough in my almost 27 years to know that statement is true.  Just when things are going great, or finally picking up speed, a warning light flashes or someone gets hurt or you get a bill in the mail to remind you that you are human.

This life is a test, it isn't meant to be perfect or easy.  What kind of test would it be if we knew all the answers? 

I have been a lot happier lately than usual, at least, trying to be.  Life is the same as it always is, the kids are kids, crazy, way beyond what I can control, but they let me think sometimes I can.  I am still waiting to hear back from a publisher about my book, I still cook and clean and talk to myself all day, I turn into a dragon (that is what Josh calls me when I get mad), I turn into a human (nice mom), Tyson goes to work, comes home from work, we hang out.  We have doctors appointments, dental appointments, play dates, park and library adventures, trips to the store that end with bribery for good behavior.  So really, life is normal.  But I am happier.

I am fairly certain this is because I am finding my center.

I guess it reminds me of those compasses you use in drafting to draw perfect circles.  There is one end that is a fixed point and the other revolves around it.  I am trying to make that center the Lord.  It is bizarre how quickly I can focus my life on something or someone other than Him.  I nigh unto worship Tyson, so it is pretty hard for me to remember to put someone ahead of him.  And the three darlings consume so much of my life, I all too quickly revolve around them as well.  And where does that lead me?  Spiraling into the chaos they create.  :)  No, they need me to lead them, I shouldn't be chasing after them.  And how do I lead them?  By having someone to guide me.  And I need Tyson beside me, I can't focus everything on him because what kind of pressure that is for him!  It isn't fair and he is human (gasp, sometimes I don't believe it myself), so he is not totally a constant himself.

No, the only true constant in this life is the Lord.  He is my "ever fixed mark," as 'Sense and Sensability' quotes I think Shakespeare.  So it is rather amazing that as I make Him my center, my focus, my guiding light, I find that the spilled milk, the broken air conditioning, the poorly phrased comment seem to either not matter so much or be something I can use to become a stronger and better person and guide for my little midgets.

So here is to focusing on the right center.

More of My Giggly Guy

It is a little dark, but Matthew is just busting up, so I had to show it.   Such a cute little guy and Daddy always makes him laugh the most.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Love the Ordinary Day

 Matthew and Pop on Father's Day
 It was raining and Caleb was yet again playing in the rain spout.  Somehow his blanket was protecting him. :)
 Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup:
-bunch of carrots, peeled and cut
-bunch of celery sliced
-chopped onion
(put the above in a pot, cover with water and boil with a Tbsp of minced garlic, about 10 min)
-add diced cooked chicken (I just use a can of chicken, it is way easier)
-1/2 bag of wide egg noodles
-2 small cans of cream of chicken soup
Let cook until noodles are cooked.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
See?  SO easy and super yummy!
 Cool tower.  Love Caleb's pose.  Just love that kid!  Actually, I love all three of these kids!
Picnic in front of the fridge.  Why they always play right in the way, I am never sure, but it sure is cute.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

O My Father

What a special day, a day to celebrate fathers.  My dad is hilarious, I love him to pieces.  He is crazy, and I'm sure I am like him more than I realize.  He is so sweet and aware of others needs, especially his home teaching families.  He is really spontaneous, and once called me and wanted to take me for ice cream, but the place closed in a few minutes.  So we made it just in time, and he was SO happy to be with me.  It was precious.

Tyson's dad is really neat.  So quiet, but very firm beliefs and selfless.  He has such a strong devotion to his family and takes good care of them.  It really meant a lot to me when right after Tyson and I were sealed, he hugged me and told me I was family now and that he loved me.

My mom's dad, Papo, is amazing.  He works really hard, but he has come to every important moment in my life.  And even though he isn't a member of my church, he is so supportive of all the things we do, like baptisms and missions.  What a great grandpa.

My dad's dad, Granddad, was kind of gruff, but I guess I hit his soft spot when I became a teenager.  He let me ride his riding lawn mower and plant pansies with him.  It was great.

And now I have Tyson as an example of a great dad.  Tyson is so caring and loves our little guys so much.  He talks to them about their lives and their futures, it is just perfect.  They adore him.

So, I am incredibly thankful for all the fathers in my life.  But most of all I am thankful for my perfect father, my Heavenly Father.  He is perfect, and kind, and listens to all my problems, no matter how trivial they are.  Even when everything seems to be going bad, He is there.  O My Father, I love that hymn, it just says it so perfectly.

O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence
And again behold thy face?
In thy holy habitation,
Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood
Was I nurtured near thy side?
For a wise and glorious purpose
Thou hast placed me here on earth
And withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth;
Yet ofttimes a secret something
Whispered, “You’re a stranger here,”
And I felt that I had wandered
From a more exalted sphere.
I had learned to call thee Father,
Thru thy Spirit from on high,
But, until the key of knowledge
Was restored, I knew not why.
In the heav’ns are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal
Tells me I’ve a mother there.
When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I’ve completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.

I'm so thankful for fathers!  And especially for my Heavenly Father!

I'm a Lady, That's Why!

I was teaching my sweet Mia Maids today.  They are so wonderful, and I have been thinking about them since I got home.  They all sit so sweetly through the lessons, smile and listen (at least they seem like they are).  And they are all growing up so fast, dressing so fashionably, but almost always modestly.  It is just so neat, when I first moved here, even when Tyson and I came into the ward 6 years ago, they were all so little, some of them just 8 years old.  They have gotten taller, thinner, changed hair styles, some even wear make up.  It is so crazy.  They are polite and soft spoken, take turns talking, we get giggly sometimes and most of them hug me after the lesson.

Then I come home and I am surrounded by my four favorite people...all boys.  They are rowdy and crazy and jumping on every piece of furniture we own.  They yell and scream, burp and make all kinds of inappropraite noises.  I love them and I fit right into their world. 

So I started thinking about it and wondered what a little girl would be like in our home.  I thought of the movie Aristocats and little Marie.  She is the sister kitten with her two rowdy brothers.  And through out the whole movie she tries so hard to mantain being a "lady."  It is so cute.  My siblings and I would always run around and pretend to be kittens and I would say "cuz I'm a lady, that's why!"  It was just so fun.  But I'm pretty sure having a girl would be a fight all the time to try to teach her to be polite admist the chaos around here.  Of course I try to teach my three boys to be polite, but it just seems that a little girl would have to be rough, but I would want her to be more delicate.

Anyways, I have just been picturing having a little girl a lot these days.  Probably some little creature up in Heaven, just dying to come and hang out with these crazy boys.  I must feel her presence or something.  :)  Or maybe I have just been thinking about how I need to be more of a lady these days.  That really couldn't hurt.  Haha

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Good Day

It is amazing how much one day can change from the next.  Yesterday was a horrible day, I was cranky and everything was problematic.  The boys were abnoxious and whiny, and I just cried and yelled, a lot.

Today was beautiful.  The boys were happy and sweet, funny as ever.  I laughed a lot, was able to handle good and bad things no problem.  The weather was SO perfect, I could barely believe it.

What changed?  Me.

I decided I really needed to start praying again.  I read my scriptures every day and we pray as a family a lot, but rarely do I actually pray, out loud, for real.  So I have been trying to just talk to the Lord through out the day, as I would a friend.  The effect has been immediate and intense.  Nothing seems out of reach or too difficult.  Life just seems better.

I read Elder Ballard's talk from this past conference (here), and it was about families.  How if we focused more on the family than everything else would fall into place.  So I am trying to do things that would be beneficial for my family, not hindering it.  I just really enjoyed the boys today.  We had things we needed to do, but I didn't stress so much about it.  I watched the kids as they played, saw the cuteness in the way they moved and talked.  It is so much easier to be happy when you just stop thinking about all the problems and just focus on the few basic, simple things in life that are the most important.

There are so many things that can wrong in life, so many things that can hurt us and problems that can happen.  Why worry about them?  The Lord will take care of us.  Even if bad things do happen, why let them ruin us?  Just like a little kid trying to walk on the little curb of concrete.  Stop looking at your feet and worrying about falling off.  Grab the Lord's hand and walk happily, enjoying the walk because the Lord won't let you fall.  That doesn't mean staying on the path will be easy, but you can still enjoy it and be so much happier when you make it home.

So, tomorrow, no matter the weather, or the challenges the day might contain, it is going to be a good day.

Sniffles and More Giggles


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Just Us Crazies

I tried forever to take a picture of little Leo and how he and Josh look way more like each other than Josh and his actual brothers (at least the coloring of their hair and eyes).  This is as good as I could get.

Aunt Carmel built an amazing fort!

Love pancakes for dinner.  Pretty good heart huh?


Park adventures.

Anyone who says Tyson's job is boring, is so not right.  This is what he came back from lunch to one day:

So this is how he retaliated:

Papo came for Ammon's graduation and we LOVED having him here!  He was SO patient with the boys I couldn't even believe it.  Josh kept trying to walk them into poles, it was just so cute.  He even took us out for ice cream (yum!)

Graduating and Eagle Scouting!

 My little Ammon has graduated!!  I am really glad we were here to see it all.  When I left home Chanson was 11, Ammon was 8 and Carmel was 5.  They have changed a lot since then, obviously, people usually do.  :)  So it is really great getting to know them all again.  Ammon is a riot and I'm so glad Tyson and I got to be there on his big day!

 They have matching ties.  :)
 The Mills smile :)
 For his Eagle Scout project, he painted the SVU dugouts.  I didn't even do anything, but hang out with the kids and provide support, but it was SO hot, I don't know how these guys painted for so long!  Way to go!  And seeing Tyson working "blue collar" work, woah, I just LOVE it!  :)

 Look at that little leader.
 Such a patient Aunt, Carmel has been awesome the past few weeks!  Not to mention these cookies were super yummy.  Mom and Papo brought pizza, so really I pigged out and watched Carmel watch my kids and everyone paint.  Okay, I watched Matthew.  What a great day.  :)

 Finished dugout!  Then we topped the day off with an yummy cook-out that Ammon and friends invited us to.  Super good, and Matthew loved the watermelon!

It's a Bridal Shower!

It's crazy that Cassie is getting married SO soon!  I guess August is still far away, but the way this month is flying by, I'm sure it will be here in no time.  We threw her a party, and it was a lot of fun.  A little awkward at moments, but still a lot of fun.  Caitlin (remember the yummy looking raspberry/strawberry cookies) made these wonderful cookies for the party.  Aren't they incredible!!  I LOVE the lingerie ones, they are just so perfect.  And they tasted good too. Check out her website here:

   I did say it was awkward sometimes, but they were great, and beautiful brides!

Hooray for weddings!