an apple a day…


… or two, or three… may just keep the sanity away in some cases!

Let me explain…

Last year, I got a chance to pick a whole slew of apples

(well, okay, I loaded up the kids and we ALL picked a whole slew of apples!)

Then had visions of a years worth of applesauce running through my head…

It was all a very beautiful plan, really, as all plans begin.

We picked, washed, cut, boiled,

Sauced, bottled, and canned.

and after a HARD days work,

I had a whole slew (we’re talking 30+) quarts of good, ole fashioned, homemade applesauce.

I could see it now,

The praises, the admiration,

the mother-of-the-year-award…

So I opened the first bottle (in hindsight, something I kinda, maybe shoulda done right after the first batch!)

and lovingly dished it up for my kids (who LOVE applesauce, BTW!)

and after the first spoonfull,

as if on cue,

they all made that scrunchy-what-is-this-vile-thing-that-has-dared-to-cross-my-lips face

and asked, “Where is the normal applesauce??!”

(scratch the ‘hail to the chief’ intro to the mother-of-the-year award… )

And so, as apple season has come upon us once more,

and I sit here a year later,

and a year wiser,

I still loaded up the kiddos,

still picked a whole slew of apples,

still sliced and diced them,








but this time, I poured ooey, gooey sauce over them

and turned them into:

Apple Pie Filling!








… lots and lots…

of apple pie filling.


So c’mon over, sit a spell –

I’ll whip up a hot apple pie just for you!

… and even offer it with a side of applesauce

(because we also have a years supply of that, after all!)


What’s RIGHT with this picture??

I mean, really, there is plenty to discuss over what is wrong with this picture…
like the lack of pants…
Or the yet-to-be-wiped-off chocolate on her mouth…
Or the fact that she is so enthralled with the TV that she won’t look at the camera…
Or even the fact that she is eating in the family room…

But wait… lets just get over the eating in the family room, and hone in on what she is eating in the family room…

Yes, it is upside down,
But did you get that??

She is eating…
No added sugars, no candies hidden inside.
Just pure, unadulterated Fiber.
Of her own accord,
Straight from the pouch
(that she opened herself)

So, on this momentous day, where there were oh-so-many things wrong…
Let’s take just a tiny moment and witness a little miracle:

yes, there is something very RIGHT with this picture after all!

let dirty dishes lie… and other wive’s tales debunked!

At one of my bridal showers, some sweet, well-meaning woman gave me this advice, “Don’t ever go to bed angry! Talk and work things out.”
And we tried.
and tried.
and tried.
But it seemed that for us, with any argument that came up, regardless of how small it was, if we tried to stay up and iron it out,
the only thing that happened was
we got more tired
and more grouchy
and more fighty
After a few years of this (I said we tried and tried!) (or maybe it was that we just plain got too tired to stay up anymore!)…
We started to just go to sleep.
still angry.
but sleeping.
By morning time, 9 times out of 10, we both looked at each other and said, “I’m so sorry!” almost simultaneously. Sometimes we even wondered why we had gotten so bent out of shape over really small things.
For us, this method works. We have found that our energy levels are at their peak in the early morning hours, so those are the times that have morphed into our ‘deep thought’ moments.
I am fully aware that this doesn’t work for everyone.
But it works for us.
I just wished someone had told me that not ‘everyone’ stays up to duke it out at night many years earlier.

… in fact, this philosophy works across the board.
One question that I pose in my nutrition seminars is, “what is the best time of day to exercise?” I get many different responses, depending on what studies people have heard about exercise and health.
What we then discuss is the fact that this is a trick question.
The best time of day for you to exercise
Is the time of day that you WILL exercise.
In other words –
If you are not a morning person, DON’T set the alarm to ring at 4:00 am and expect to bounce out of bed and do a quick 5 mile run. That plan is going to last as long as it takes for you to reach over and find the ‘snooze’ button.
Find YOUR rhythm.
Know YOUR body.
We all have different peak energy levels at different points of the day. Don’t fight yours, learn how to utilize your peak hours, and give yourself a break on your ‘off’ hours.

… which brings me back to the dirty dishes.
Well, as with my marriage, I have found that my kitchen is another area that I can best work in the morning.
In many circles, it is often heard, “oh, I can’t go to bed with dirty dishes, it is such a mess to wake up to – I have to wake up to a clean kitchen.”
… and I have fallen victim to this thought pattern, thinking that if the ‘other moms’ do it, then it must be the way it should be done.
So I have spent many nights cleaning my kitchen.
Being very tired
and grumpy
and yelling
and not snuggling the kids
and not reading extra books
because I had to go to bed with a clean kitchen!

… but I have in recent years started applying this ‘go to bed’ scenario with my kitchen.
And guess what?
It works!
Not for everyone, mind you,
But for me…
Leaving this:

(don’t worry, I did put the hamburger in the fridge!)

right where it is,
and heading off to bed
is the best thing for me.

You see, when I get up in the morning, and I am once again greeted by this:

(only minus the hamburger, I just didn’t take another picture – deal with it 🙂 ).

I instantly have something tangibly productive that I can do.
And I dive in. It kind of becomes a rhythm
and me cleaning the kitchen,
lets the kids know that it’s working time,
and they start doing their chores.
and by the time we head off to school,
I get to feel so productive because my kitchen then looks like this:

(okay, maybe not ALL the time when we walk out the door, but I’m creating the mo-jo here, so just go with me!).

… and instantly I feel like the day has been a success.

So I invite you to site back,
Do a little introspection,
and if it works for you…

Let the dirty dishes sleep 🙂

On Your Mark…

… since moving into the new house,
… which has barely beige walls,
… painted in flat paint
… I have had many opportunities to clean these…








(okay, quite honestly, the only times I have really cleaned them are times when company is coming, and I suddenly look around and see all of the little ‘handy’ work of the kiddos on the walls)

… and I oftentimes chant to myself something my mom has told me before, “you will miss this when they are all gone… you will miss this when they are all gone…”

On one particular wall-wiping occasion, which took a bit longer than usual, thanks in part to our lovely Joshy, who by the looks of the walls was afraid he would forget how to find his way back up from the basement, so made himself a little chocolate hand trail to follow… I started thinking about ‘leaving your mark on the world’ and began a thought process that I will attempt to recreate here…

WARNING: kind of weird, deep-thoughtish-not-completely-put-together thoughts coming through…
There. Consider yourself warned…

I started thinking about the role of motherhood (which started out with something like, “really? REALLY?! Will I REALLY miss this when they are all gone?!)…

And I started thinking about how in today’s society the actual role of mother is so knocked down. Sure, people give it the ‘lip service’ like saying, ‘oh, motherhood is the hardest job of all’… or, ‘every mother is a working woman’…

But, unless one has truly been in the trenches, day in and day out, reorganizing your schedule for the 97th time because you suddenly find yourself cleaning the completely dumped out bottle of sunscreen all over the floor, or fabric softener filling your purse, or get all the kids loaded into the car only to find the last one has had a major diaper blow-out, I don’t think those lip service phrases mean anything. There really is no way you can describe the role of a mother with any cliche or catchy phrase.

Mother hood is…
… simply indescribable.

In both good and bad ways. It’s tough. It’s awesome. It’s sweet. It’s stinky. It’s fun. It’s depressing. It’s enchanting. It’s lonely. It’s pretty much every emotion, every day, every minute showing one extreme change with some sort of emergency or fire to stamp out in some aspect.

… and then there are the moments of ‘ahhh’ when you can find an eye of the storm to just sit and be.
… but then you feel too guilty for simply be-ing.
… so you get up and get busy doing something
… because, c’mon, at the end of the day, you have to have something to show for all of your work.
… and dishes don’t seem to count, you did those yesterday.
… and laundry, also a ditto from yesterday (although you would never know it as clothes have come from nowhere to build a replica of mt. everest in the laundry room).
… and vacuuming, well, you did it this morning, but no one could possibly tell because not one single vacuum line remains in tact.
… and the glistening toilets just hours before are now smoldering pots of sewage left by recently potty-trained-yet-not-expert-aiming users.
… and all the poopy diapers you changed during the day… well, those are just better left in the garbage.

… so what exactly is it that you have to show that you have actually made your mark on the world?

… I am so not an expert in this arena by any means, nor do I propose to have all of the answers.

… but in this particular moment of time (of wiping down Joshy’s chocolate trail home), somehow, somewhere, I found great satisfaction in knowing that I was (hopefully) making my mark in the hearts of 5 little souls that Heavenly Father has gingerly placed in my care. Though I couldn’t put any tangible name to the mark, I became acutely aware of just how important the ‘Mother’s Mark’ is on the heart of every child who enters this world.
… I have felt my own mother’s mark every moment of every day, in ways that I’m sure she will never be aware of. Tiny things that as I look back on my own little lessons in life that I learned at her side, and that I now call back upon as I go through my own moments of wondering what in the world I should do at this particular juncture and can easily answer with a simple question, “what did my mom do in this type of situation?”
… more often then not, the answer is, “she always, always put the needs of her children first, made sure they were comfortable, fed, clothed, kissed, hugged, changed, etc etc before she took one thought for her own comfort or her ‘alone’ time”
… that is a mark that can never be erased in the soul of a child who learned the love of a Heavenly Father through the role of a mother.
… that is a mark that I will work everyday to re-create in the hearts of my own children
… will I be able to create the ‘mother’s mark’ in my own children?
… I may never know in this lifetime…
… but one thing I do know – they have left marks in my heart that will last much, much longer than a chocolate handprint on the wall.

… and yes, I think I will miss those tiny prints guiding my kids back from their basement adventures once their adventures lead them outside the walls of my home and the grasp of my arms.
… so for now, I will be content to wipe off the wall marks, and try to etch in my own marks on their tiny precious hearts.

The End.

The power of the pea!

Our not-quite-so-baby girl is pretty much a clone of me… (yes, even inherited the drama-queen gene, much to the chagrin of hubby whenever that one comes to full force!), down to the super duper sweet tooth.

In fact I think ‘coookeee’ was one of her first words.

… which brings us to this week as I was eating some peas fresh from the pods (yummy!) in the kitchen. (which happened to be by some cookies we had made a day before).

As she walks in, she comes up to me and reaches out her hand (sure that I am eating some of her favorite treat.)

When I gave her the fist pea, this is how it ended up…

yes, she put it on the floor, then stepped on top of it. Kind of a sign that she wasn’t terribly interested… then she walked to the cookies and repeated “cooookeeee”

calling on all of my dietetic lessons, I thought about the studies that have shown that children need to be exposed to a new food up to 11 times before they will actually eat it… (a fact that was much easier to tell people before I had kids – once I entered parental realm, 11 times seemed like a much higher number of times to offer a rejected food!)

So I offered it again…

And much to my surprise…

She went for it!


and again…

Who knew the power of the pea could cut the 11 tries down to 2??!

One small step for the vegetable…
One giant leap for mommy sanity.