Monday, April 26, 2010

clean house vs. stimulated kids

So you may remember me commenting a little while back about my lack of cleaning skills......

I'd say that from the moment my firstborn started to crawl I have had this dilemma and feel it will be a dilemma till they are all teenagers and no longer want me to play with them :)

Here's my dilemma. How does one clean a house and keep cleaning and tidying it up all day while also being the full-time carer of active, inquisitive and adventurous children?

Here's what happens in my house: a) While I clean or tidy up one section of the home, the children are pulling out things and leaving a trail of mess in the other parts of the house; b) the children fight and someone inevitably gets hurt; or c) I put the tv on and let them sit there like zombies while I get some things done. All 3 options leave me cranky, guilty and particularly in the first 2 cases 'the scream' comes a-visiting. So what do I do instead?

For the past 4.5 years I have ignored as much as possible, played all day and gone out to lots of interesting places. Now please don't imagine a filthy home with piles of stuff everywhere all the time. Yes, on some days there is a fair bit of mess, but generally I am quite tidy. What annoys me is that I seem to tidy all the time (yes, I know that's a given being a SAHMof 2) and don't seem to get to the deep cleaning.......

Now I don't profess myself to be the best mother in the world - far from it in fact. I also don't condemn those that do have clean houses and think that you must all neglect your children. Not at all.
I am aware of my talents and weaknesses. My biggest weakness is time-management. Something which I aim to improve everyday. Sometimes I do well. Sometimes not so well.

So here's my question: Is it possible to have an immaculate house and stimulate your children all day? Or, is it a case of each taking it's turn.

I have the following quote on my wall:

If you are in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scatttered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will - to your surprise - miss them profoundly (President Monson, Ensign, Nov 2008, 84-87).

It is why I try to play with them as much as I can and create memories of fun outings but......... just sometimes I wish I could have both.............

If you have any tips for doing both, let me know!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

DAY ?????

I just came across this quote on a favourite scrapbooker's blog. From Emerson apparently:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

I've had a couple of hideous days. A couple of grumpy days and I was feeling a little grumpy again as I contemplated having no fun plans for the 'holiday' tomorrow. But that thinking has gone. Today might have been a grumpy one (heck, it's been a grumpy week....) but tomorrow is a new day and I can make it whatever I choose to. So maybe that's my grateful thing for today. I'm grateful for the sun coming up on a new day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I'm grateful for food. But I wish it prepared itself.

I'm grateful for a comfy couch and wish I could sit on it longer.

I'm grateful for Masterchef. Thank goodness there is something on tv worth watching again.

I'm grateful my children can talk so well but wish they hadn't learnt my name.

I'm grateful for 7pm. There is no more fighting, no loud voices, no-one calling my name constantly. And there is silence. Priceless.

(Can you tell it's been one of those days?)

Is it awful of me to admit that I'm over this gratitude thing already and it's only been 6 days??? hmmmmm me thinks I need this gratitude exercise more than I thought!

I ust fished out a gratitude diary my mum gave me for my birthday a few years ago (she copied the idea off you Bobbie) and had many 'smile' moments.
I thought about listing them now but have decided I'll hold them so I can cheat and write them in subsequent days :-)

Monday, April 19, 2010


I'm grateful..... to be married.

What's great about marriage?
I always have someone to take to a party and will never be a nigel again.
I get to live with my best friend.
We have 2 beautiful boys who are sealed to us forever.
I always have someone to kill the spiders and catch the rats.
I never have to do the chores alone.
I always have someone to jumpstart the car when the battery goes flat (or rescue me at the shops when I've locked the keys in the car).
I always have someone to ring to have a whinge and cry.
I always have someone here to make me laugh.
I don't have to be in the 'dating scene'.
I can wear my pj's all day long and he still thinks I'm beautiful.

Of course, there's lots more but I could be here all night!

Here's to marriage and working hard every day to make it last. Here's to walking ahead together. Of dreaming of clear blue skies and dealing with the clouds that sometimes come along, together.

(Can I add that these comments of gratefulness are by no means in order of significance. Because clearly the gospel and my marriage would usually come before say the washing and silence. :-) )

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Today is the Sabbath. A day of worship. A day of service. A day of rest (????)

Today I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. We feel joy, and love and fulfillment. We enjoy many blessings from our Heavenly Father and though life is not all smooth sailing, we love it and know it's better because of the hand of the Saviour in our lives.


I am grateful for babies (and family)...........

Today we finally got to all go and meet my niece Lucy. I went by myself to meet her in the hospital but she was a little upset that night and I didn't get a cuddle. Then, Lachlan got croup and we were in confinement for quite a while, then I had camp stresses and the actual camp last week and then Hayden had a cold so yesterday all the stars aligned and we finally got there. She is just adorable. The boys were besotted and just loved baby Lucy. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE babies - I was totally besotted as a young girl and teenager - so cuddling this little bundle was lovely!

Welcome to the world little Lucy and especially to our family. Congratulations Darren and Paula! We totally love you already!! XXX

Thursday, April 15, 2010


And I'm grateful for................


I currently sit here enjoying my lunch and daily blog-stalking while my two cherubs rest. This moment, (which comes again at 7pm), is in my top 3 of the most wonderful experiences of motherhood!!

Now, no don't think me a bad mother. It's not because I don't like them. It's because we all get time to rejuvenate, to relax and replenish ourselves for the afternoon shenanigans. It's a bit cool this afternoon, so outdoor exploring is off the cards. I feel a bit of painting coming on......

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So I was just standing at the washing line for a good 25mins hanging up washing and taking down the dry things and folding them into my baskets. I was beginning to wallow in my mind of all the things that are currently not going my way.

But I hadn't got very far when a little voice spoke in my mind rebuking me and instantly into my mind popped several things that I can be grateful for.

I think I owe this to the blogging world. I read a few blogs (ok, I'll tell the truth - I stalk a few more blogs....) whose authors have recently blogged in detail of their gratitude journey. So as I stood at the washing line and had a moment that could have very quickly turned into a lengthy wallow and my week and family could have taken a steep downhill slide, those entires popped into my mind, it filled me with joy and my mindset changed.

On any given day, we will all have things that will go awry. I like to remind others of their own blessings when they begin to feel down but am often happy to wallow myself (in private).
So I'm revisiting my youth and bringing back that great quality I used to have of being a glass-half-full gal.

In the following month I hope to daily recount my gratitude :)

I am grateful for beautiful weather yesterday and today that allowed me to get my moutain of washing done. And to a husband who was home when I wasn't and could hang up the finished loads and put on more. Great team work!

I am grateful for a lovely friend who had us over for a playdate.

I am grateful for another great friend whom I admire so much for her dedication, cheerful nature and ability to make me laugh.

I am grateful for food to eat.

I am grateful that our electricity and phone are still working!

Extremely grateful that our lease has been renewed for another year! YIPEEE!!!!

Life feels great. I am happy and love my life. Accentuating the positive is wonderful!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Girls' Camp Rocked!

I had just one goal for our girls for camp: Have FUN! Our vision for this year is to unify our ward girls so this was also important for camp. I decided to ditch all plans of stressing myself out with fancy handouts, special activities planned for our girls during spare time, really pushing camp craft and not harrass or nag, in an effort to just let the girls relax, get to know each other better and just 'hang'.

I'm learning that just sometimes it is ok to let some important things fall to the wayside in pursuit of some other worthwhile goals. Take camp craft for example. I love camp craft. I believe in it. I worked very hard at it as a youth and received the box in recognition of completing all 6 levels. I loved camp because it meant I could do all those outdoor things like cook over a fire and learn firstaid. But......
It is slightly outdated. (It still teaches the heimlich manoeuvre). The camp craft program does not appeal to everyone. Stake wasn't pushing camp craft and was offering very limited camp craft activities. We weren't even encouraged to cook on the fire! So it would have taken a lot of extra time and harrassment on camp to get all girls to do their certification.
Now usually I am very opinionated and like to follow all rules, but this time I just had a feeling.
So I encouraged those who wanted to do it and about 5 girls completed their certificate. I felt that pushing the others to do it would have been unenjoyable for them and me so I left it. Did I do the right thing? Well, who knows. Maybe they'll get lost on a mountain this week and I will be sued because they didn't learn how to send a signal and orientate their way out using the stars and sun or light a fire using a magnifying glass.......

What I do know is that camp provided an opportunity to break down some of my leader-youth barriers. I got to know the girls. For us all to be a little silly. For us to laugh. For the girls to hang out in a social environment which they wouldn't usually do.
There was a lot of laughter and we got the 'unity award' at the close of camp, so I think we did alright with my goals.

And, we were the only ward to cook both dinners on the open fire. And it was DELICIOUS.

I loved being on camp with them and would love to find a way to have that feeling within our group all the time. Here's a few bad photos of our fun times.

I love that these girls even find fun in pitching the tent.

This was pretty common. Four girls to watch one actually do the task. Support team????

The huge slip 'n slide.

Clowning around waiting.... after the hard work was done.
THE game of the camp. (Which doesn't have a name)

Friday, April 9, 2010


I had a fabulous time and I think the girls did too. There was certainly lots of laughing so I'm taking that as a good sign. But I'm pretty tired so all the juicy bits will have to wait (till I find my camera in the myriad of bags and boxes lying on the kitchen floor at present.)

But...... I want to share this:

Me: How did you go honey? Were the boys good for you?
Elliot: Great! The boys were good.
Me: You look really tired.
Elliot: Yeah I am smashed. I take my hat off to you. It's full on. You do a great job.

And that is what every one wants to hear. Appreciation. Admiration. Recognition. Love. Walking in another's shoes and realising what their situation is like.

Thank-you Elliot for taking such great care of the boys on your own. He even mopped the floor and cleaned up the bombshell I had left in my wake as I evacuated on Wednesday. I walked into a clean, tidy house with 2 happy boys and that was the most wonderful gift. He'd even thought to get some meat out to defrost for dinner! You're a champion!

It's another week of study and assignment stress here this week so hopefully I can repay him and alleviate some of his stress just as he is so good at doing for me.


(p.s. I'm having a panic attack because I can't find my camera. I remember having it last under the chair before we packed the van..... eeeeek)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Girls camp dreams....

(It seems I may have been reading too many american blogs because I'm now calling it 'girls camp'!)

Tomorrow I am off to Mt Tamborine for 3 days of smokey hair, watery eyes, and fire-flavoured food....... YAY!!!!!

I have learnt many things in my 5 short months as president..... and the first about camp is that there is too much shopping to do. I'm exhausted and still have the fruit shop to do in the morning. oh, and the ice and now the bread because woolies was out tonight..... boo hooooo. I just want to go to bed and click my fingers in the morning and it will all be done!!!