Sunday, October 24, 2010
Miracle #1: It's raining (and not just a lame-o drizzle like we usually get in Southern California). Peeps, if you have access to a Trader Joe's, this is the time you need to go and get yourself some spiced cider and maple cookies (the ones that are shaped like a fall leaf). Perfect, cozy treats for a rainy day.
Miracle #2: My house is clean. miracle. Well, we did all work on it for about 7/8 of the day, but ahhhh... (laundry doesn't count, right?)
Miracle #3: My dear, amazing friend Cherie and her miracle-working camera. She took our family's pictures last weekend and they turned out beautifully. Like everything she touches. She captured our family so perfectly. Now, the pressure is off for last-minute Christmas card pictures ...whew. Love you so much Cher. Thank you a million times over.
Are you enjoying the Fall season? Have you gone to a pumpkin patch lately?
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Things we have done this summer so far:
1) Gone organic. Organic meat, dairy, fruits & veggies. It's an experiment. I'll keep you posted on my findings; however, I find that I eat a lot less and am feeling good.
2) Watched T.V. I'm cancelling cable.
3) Listened to 1776 by David McCullough. Amazing. Check it out from your library. It changes your thoughts. Loved loved it. David McCullough is a brilliant researcher and writer. It almost convinced me that I want to have another son and name him George Washington Thunell. almost.
4) Bought a bunch of new roses for my garden. Oh mama mia. There's a rose. Her name is Neptune. If you want to smile every day too, you'll plant her in your garden. She's a lovely shade of lavender and she's planted all over Oprah's garden up in Montecito (you know, Oprah). Also, she has a friend...Chrysler Imperius. She is a deep hot pink color. These two roses are so fragrant that Savannah was watching me smell them yesterday and said, "Mom, you should plant these all over the place because every time you smell them, you smile." Indeed.
5) Prepared to teach my music classes this fall. Now, I am very careful and selective on what I whole-heartedly endorse. I whole-heartedly endorse the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is something that will completely change your life. I speak from experience. I can 100% endorse this. And, not nearly on the same level, but an amazing thing that I whole-heartedly endorse is Let's Play Music. It is an incredible music program that I wanted for my children and since there isn't a teacher in the area to teach it, I decided to certify and teach some classes myself (which included my children, of course). I flew down to Phoenix a couple times in June to do this. Look on this website and see if there's a teacher in your area. If there is, sign up--I can guarantee you won't be sorry! amazing.
6) Carted Annie and Savannah to Ventura every morning for Jr. Lifeguards. Oh oh! This morning as I was driving them to the beach, I noticed trailers, security and a fake brick entrance by the beach here. Movie filming. I would've never believed it if I didn't live here, but I've seen so many of these situations, especially off the 1 in Malibu.
7) Didn't swim very much. It's been rather cool and overcast. I think it's an extended "May-Gray, June-Gloom" this summer.
8) Didn't take pictures.
9) Purchased a lovely new thing for our living room that I will have to share pictures of next time.
10) Turned one year older (and wiser).
Watch this (sorry for being so bossy). Please watch this. It'll make you laugh.
Old Spice Guy and then BYU's version
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I'm here, I'm here, I'm here!
Last week we celebrated our fourteenth anniversary! We started a new tradition. Adam took the day off from work and dropped off our little ones with a good and true friend. We spent the morning down in L.A. at the temple which always, of course, puts everything into perspective--especially our marriage. Then, we spent the rest of the day down at Disneyland. Yes, that's right! Just him and me at Disneyland. It was a dream. A lot has happened in fourteen years. We've moved 9 times, had 6 children, finished 2 degrees, been so poor that lunch would consist of the free popcorn served at the bank (pathetic! but true), completed 20, 647 loads of laundry (or at least it feels like it), eaten thousands of dinners at the table together, dreamed hundreds of dreams together, laughed at our funny and clever children together, kissed goodbye in the morning and at night--who knows how many times?! That is the beauty of marriage. To me, this kind of love has roots. It grows and deepens. It's an amazing thing really. Here's to another fourteen years...and many more.
Tomorrow is the last day of school. I'm always nostalgic around this time. It's now when I realize just how fast life is ticking by and another school year is behind us. Today their school had an awards ceremony. After none of the girls had received an award during the time their teacher was handing out awards, and the three youngers were getting mighty restless, I left. weird. That afternoon when I picked up the girls, Annie and Savannah told me that right when I left, their principal gave out awards. She gave out the "Top Dog" Award--two from each grade. Annie and Savannah both received it. Kate received a Talent Award for her piano piece in the talent show. That's super! I'm glad for them. Mostly because they are all kind and good girls.
This past month I had a tender experience that I'm still thinking about. So, one overcast morning ("June Gloom" as California calls it--the marine layer) a couple weeks ago, Erika and I were sitting outside watching the birds hop around our backyard. It was a delight to see her face watch each of these little birds perch in the branches and swoop down onto the grass. After a little while, I left the back slider open and went upstairs to get ready for the day. As I was upstairs getting dressed, this bird came flying in and crashed into my bathroom mirror. I screamed! Then, Joseph, Austin, and Erika joined me in trying to shew this little birdie out of my room and down the stairs and out the front door. This hopping, screeching, and laughing (mostly nervous laughter with a few ignorant squeals from Erika) went on for about 15 minutes. All at once, the bird saw the the outside window from our bedroom door and flew at it with full speed. As you can imagine, the bird then crashed to the floor, it's wings spread out on the floor as if they were broken. We all ran down the stairs and realized the bird was still alive, but just couldn't move it's crippled wing. I started to cry. Joseph looked at me and said, "Mom, are you crying about this bird?!" So pragmatic. I carefully picked the little birdie up and took it outside on the grass. All four of us knealt down around this sweet little thing. I told the kids that we should pray for this little bird, so it could go back home to its family. We said a simple heartfelt little prayer that the wing would be repaired. The second we said amen, that little bird took flight. I couldn't believe my eyes. I learned two things in that moment that I keep thinking about:
One, that all living things are truly His and He knows each one. "He who notes the fall of a sparrow, surely hears the pleading of our hearts" (Pres. Monson). Two, I am so glad I can be at home with my children-all day. It is in these brief, impromptu moments that I get the best teaching in.
Summer starts tomorrow! Time for some serious swimming and sunshine!
Monday, May 24, 2010
After a series of pretty interesting events this past month (a visit from the police was one of them...I'll give you the details later), I have felt quite defeated and rattled, especially in my mothering abilities. Then, as I was about to go upstairs and collapse in my bed, I read my dear, dear friend's blog. Cherie...my vitamin C. It came at the perfect moment. A life preserver rather. Hope you don't mind Cher... but hope you all can glean as much as I did.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
- Everyone wears the same thing (boys & girls & moms). So, we barely have to pack anything. We wash these outfits every night and then voila! You are ready to go the next morning. Also, we can keep track of the littles better when everyone is wearing the same bright green shirt. You get the picture.
- We usually put in our orders of what meals we love. My dear mother spends who knows how long, preparing our favorites: spinach lasagna, burritos (or some type of dish with beans. I mean, we must've eaten pintos 3-4x every week growing up. It just wouldn't be home without them), jambalaya, and of course, topped off with Blue Bell.
- Each day, we usually take a field trip somewhere. Favorites: Blue Bell Factory, Bluebonnets, Houston Children's Museum (incredible), the park (simple and perfect), NASA, Chuck & Nancy's "ranch," Miller Theater, and the Houston Temple.
- A Tea Party. The children dress up in their Sunday best and sit around Merlsie's dining table They sip peppermint tea using her lovely dishes, eat dainty cookies and sandwiches, and have a delightful conversation. They love this part.
- A gigantic van is usually rented to fit everyone. Merlsie had a magnetic sign made for the van which reads, "Watch out! It's Grandma Camp!" I had the honors of driving the beast this year...and mercy! was it a beast! (I'm bummed I didn't get a picture of this. As you can see, my picture portfolio here is a little on the skimpy side).
- This year we did a little "service project." The women-folk put together these darling fleece blankets for the babies down in Mexico, coming home from the hospital. My girlies loved it.
- The children and mothers play, talk, and laugh. Laugh and laugh and laugh. It's a chance for the cousins to bond...and they do bond. They're all little buddies--just the way it should be. And, us women have so much fun talking, working in the kitchen, giving eachother pep-talks and ideas. just magical.
We all love and look forward to this little bright spot of the year. It normally falls in the springtime. Thank you Grandma Merlsie! Here's to another fantastic Grandma Camp! (The last picture has nothing to do with Grandma Camp at all. I just love this house. It's also on my parent's street. I drool everytime we go past it).
We had a bonus of having Adam's two sisters join us this year. We're all just one big family anyways.
And, as a side-note, us siblings threw together a surprise 40th Anniversary party for our parents. It was so much fun to plan and then to pull off. Ahh...all those years of Student Council paid off. At least I know how to operate a helium tank! BTW, fyi Costco enlarges pictures for a STEAL!! You can get a 20x30 poster-size for a sheer $9.99. We enlarged eight pictures of my parents through the years. They made us cry.
(Thank you Meesh. I love you too. Let's connect soon. muy bueno.)
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
You didn't know this, but I've been nine weeks pregnant with our seventh little one. After getting our heads wrapped around the thought of caring for and loving another baby, we, of course, were thrilled. However, as we've talked about many, many times before, life doesn't always do what you think it's going to do. This week has been the perfect example. On Monday, I went to have an ultra-sound to make sure everything looked okay (even though I've been super nauseous for the month of Feb.--which I've heard is a good sign in pregnancy). I saw the little bean and heard the little heart beat. I sighed and smiled in relief.
Yet, early Friday morning I started miscarrying. I've done this before, but it's never any easier. Adam and I cried. Then, after experiencing some complications, I ended up in the hospital Saturday night. I don't know why this happens. But Heavenly Father does. I'm left feeling wiped-out, weak, sad...but, not empty. I have six beautiful babies, an amazing husband, and a wonderful support system of family and friends. Most of all, I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. He knows my purpose. He has a plan for me. And, I have faith in that.
Thanks for listening and being there. Love you.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
2009 was a wonderful year, but you will be even better (I can feel it in my chub-covered bones)!
2009 also went way too fast. Please, please don't do that to me. I don't want to get to Christmas and wonder how my children became just so grown-up. Just slow it down a little...for me.
And, I am going to be better. Look! I already bought a brand new beautiful calendar and four dozen exquisite tulips to inspire me, in your honor (I know. I always go a wee bit overboard. If 1 dozen are good, then 4 dozen are, of course, better).
My resolutions (filling a full sheet of college-ruled paper) include writing in my journal daily, havng 10 min. of alone time daily with each of my babies and sitting and talking with them at bedtime (versus falling asleep on their floor and mumbling, "Please, just go to sleep."), which leads to going to bed by 10 p.m., planting my rose garden this month, keeping up with my laundry every week, keep up with my book club list, invite a new friend over 2x/month, keep my outdoor pots lovely, finish painting my kids rooms, sing in church as a family, run 1/2 marathon with my husband (or a 5K or maybe just a run around the block...we'll see)...See, it's going to be a full, wonderful year!
Welcome 2010. We're in for a treat!