Thursday, May 24, 2012

Life is busy right now. Blake graduated from VPK last night, Oh gosh it was cute. Hopefully I can get a post up on that soon... I haven't forgotten about the romper I promised to show you how to make either, But when Blake saw the fabric that I was planning to make the romper out of, He begged for a shirt... So I made a shirt instead. Mike and I are going to Miami in about 3 weeks so I'm on "Chicken breasts, brown rice, fruits, veggies, and protein shakes"... Strictly. I'm having caffeine {I was a 5 hour energy addict} and sugar withdraws {I was an oatmeal cookie dough addict}...  At the same time...  So, I'm a bit grumpy. I'm trying to find a routine for summer that will work, trying to fit in scripture study, {For myself and with the kids} healping Blake become a champion reader before kindergarten, math, spelling, and I am going to teach Blake and LaLa how to read music so that by October when we move they will be ready to dive into piano and violin lessons. So, Until I get my head on straight, I may be MIA.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Blake and LaLa both fell asleep at 4:00 this afternoon. I let them sleep for a bit, because they both needed it. Their behavior towards one another was out of control. They were going at it, And then Blake jumped on LaLa for stealing his airplane, and knocked the wind out of her and hurt her pretty badly. I was so mad, and at the same time heart broken. How does that sweet little man have that kind of a temper? We're working on that. I put him in time out. After that we sat and had a long talk. I asked him why he didn't control himself like we have practiced, {walking away or counting}, and then explained to him that he hurt Lexi, himself, me, and God. I told him that first he needed to apologize to Lexi for hurting her, then he needed to apologize to me, because he hurt my child and I love her and when she is hurt I am hurt, Just the same as it would be with him or any of my other children. And then he needed to go upstairs to his bed and have a talk on his knees with his heavenly father. He needed to tell Him that he was sorry for mistreating one of his daughters, and ask for forgiveness. And lastly he needed to forgive himself, and do his best to not do it again and control his temper next time. Yes, I had this talk with a 5 year old, and he understood every word of it.
He went upstairs and offered the sweetest little prayer. His words were muffled with his sobs, not crying because he was in trouble, but because he was disappointed in himself. He was truly sorry... And then he fell asleep.

I knew I was going to pay for letting them sleep though... and sure enough, here it is 11:00 at night, and guess who came down the stairs asking for a drink and a little snack... it's rare that Blake and I get moments to be just the two of us, So I told him he could come down. "Mom, Can I have a cinnamon roll?" {They were leftover from breakfast}  "Sure bud, hop up to the table and we will have a warm cinnamon roll and some milk, would that help you fall asleep?" "Yes Ma'am!" I sat across the table from that little boy and gazed into his innocent little eyes and marveled at how big he's grown, and wondered how these 5 years have gone so fast. We sat and talked and shared a few sweet moments together. He is not a perfect young man, Nobody is... If we don't make mistakes, How do we learn? That little boy is more amazing than I could ever put into words. The way that he understood the situation today, and how much it pained him that he had hurt people he loved was a testimony to the love he has for his family and his Heavenly Father. This little boy may not sit still in primary, or sing all of the songs, But he knows the important things, and he has the desire to do what's pleasing to his Father in heaven. Thank you Blakey for teaching me and allowing me to have a glimpse into what our Heavenly Father must feel for us.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kynzi bit LaLa tonight during bedtime stories... While reading the tooth book... Ironic no?

Today was lovely. Mike took the older two kids to the splash park, and met with the audio wire specialist so he can run the wires for the TV's in the new house, and also went over the plans again... Which still weren't right... While I stayed home and finished Kynzi's yellow ruffle dress. Oh it's cute.... I followed this tutorial. I'll post pictures when I can get her to hold still long enough to put it on her.
Brent is pulling up on things and standing, Which makes me nervous... He seems to be pretty happy with himself. And as a side note, that cute little outfit... it cost me $2. TWO DOLLARS!!! I made it out of a shirt I found at goodwill. I'll post a little quickie on how I put it together, later... I love shortall rompers for little boys during the hot Florida summers... and I love that price tag! Speaking of price tags, I'm currently looking for more ways to cut back on the grocery budget, and more specifically my Costco grocery bill each month... And so far, the only option I'm seeing is to cut out the 5 hour energies and that will save us $40 a month... I'm not liking that idea very much... maybe we should cut out organic fruits and veggies instead! ;) Was this totally random or what?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Raspberry rolls with lemon frosting.

Sorry I don't have a picture. I wasn't really planning to post this.
They are basically cinnamon rolls minus the cinnamon, plus the raspberries and lemon.

1 cup milk
4 Tbs butter, cut into chunks
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 16 oz package of frozen raspberries
2 teaspoons flour
1/4 cup sugar

1 pkg of powdered sugar {32oz}
1 stick of butter {softened}
4 oz softened cream cheese
3-5 Tbsp. lemon juice. {that depends on how lemony you like it!}
Whole milk as needed to thin. I like it kinda thick.

 {It's the same dough as Our best bites everyday cinnamon rolls}
Dough: Place milk and 4 Tbs butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute 30 seconds. Butter should be at least partially melted. Stir and set aside. In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2 C flour, yeast, white sugar, and salt. When milk mixture has cooled to warm (not hot) add it to the flour mixture along with the egg while the beater (paddle attachment for those using a stand mixer) is running. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. (Switch to the dough hook now) Add remaining flour only until dough barely leaves the sides of the bowl. It should be very soft and slightly sticky. Let the dough knead for 5 minutes. Let rest for about 10 minutes while you make the filling.

Filling: Mix together raspberries sugar and flour and kinda smoosh up the raspberries. You want them kinda frozen just starting to thaw.

Assembly: Roll dough into a rectangle about 12 x 14 inches. Spread brown raspberry mixture over the surface. Roll up from the longer side of the rectangle and pinch edges closed. Some of the goop is going to spill out. These things are MESSY to roll. Score the roll into 12 equal pieces and then cut into rolls. Place in a 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about an hour. In the mean time, preheat oven to 325 degrees.
When rolls have finished rising bake for 25-35 minutes {depending on your oven, These can be tricky to cook all the way through and not burn on the top} or until light golden brown. Spread with icing while still warm. Makes 12 rolls.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy mothers day.

This is the day I became a mom.
I hadn't met this little guy {Blake} until several hours after he was born.
This is the day our little lala joined us.
Kynzi "The Beast" Surprisingly, She was the easiest delivery.
And finally our little Brent. Lets not talk about his delivery... Not so easy.

I learned on December 13th 2006 the love that could not be understood until I saw that little boy. I felt as if my heart was broken when I didn't hear him cry and saw him turn blue. I told my Heavenly Father to take my breath away and give it to that little boy, and I meant it with every fiber of my body, and every part of my soul.
The months leading up to all of their births, were literally a living hell. I felt pains mentally and physically that I couldn't comprehend before I was in their midst.
The months after every birth were equally as trying. Battling with a demon that tried to get me to forget my role in our Father in Heavens plan.

My story is not much different from any other mothers, the experiences may differ, but the love and anguish that fills a mothers heart is the same. The sacrifices that we have made for our children are unfathomable.

That love is shown in the humble and small things. Making a sandwich, cleaning a cut knee, chasing monsters from the closet.

“There are many people who can do big things, but there are very few people who will do the small things.”
― Mother Teresa

I learned to do the small things by the examples of some of the most humble women.
My mothers. My Grandmother. And the sweet women who have rocked my children in their arms everyday and loved them as their own. Thank you for teaching me to cherish the small moments and take pride in the small and simple acts of service. I am grateful that those acts were performed for me, and that that love was shown to me. I am grateful to have been given our Fathers trust, to raise these sweet spirits.
An excerpt from my favorite talk:
Now, sisters, why are you a symbol of Christ? As Jesus shed His blood, to give spiritual life and eternal life, what then is the role of those who have the opportunity to be mothers? They shed their very life’s blood to give physical, mortal life. And so the birth process—how we all enter this world—is literally a symbol of being born again, a symbol of the Son of God shedding His blood. In fact, Elder Matthew Cowley, a former member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said this,
You sisters belong to the great sorority of saviorhood. You may not hold the priesthood. Men are different, men have to have something given to them to make them saviors of men, but not mothers, not women. You are born with an inherent right, an inherent authority, to be the saviors of human souls.
Therefore, it is expected of you by a right divine that you be the saviors and the regenerating force in the lives of God’s children here upon the earth (Matthew Cowley Speaks, 1976, 109).
You, as a woman, whether or not you have the opportunity to bear children, belong to the sorority of saviorhood. I don’t know if I have heard anything more beautiful than that. It is an incredible statement.
 Jack R. Christianson

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Downin' pickle juice.

I have a bazillion things that I should be doing, Like, cleaning and cutting the food from our Costco trip, and putting it away neatly in the fridge... Or picking up the house, Or you know, preparing a power point presentation that I have to give tomorrow night in front of a whole bunch of people... You know, Nothing important... {Yeah, Insert eye roll here}
Today was one of those days where the only times I got to sit down were when I was driving from one errand to the other. And yes, I will get to those other things that I need to do, But I have to get these few thoughts out so that I can clear my head and focus... {This (my blog) is where I let go of all the things that are on my mind. My friend and I always joke that we have emotional constipation.... It's true. I'm not a crier, I don't tell people how I really feel, and eventually they all build up and I end up eating a dozen cupcakes in my closet and crying for a few hours.... And then the vicious cycle starts over again.}

Just keep reading... These will tie in soon enough.

I have been wanting to write my thoughts on this talk for a while, But I wanted to do it in just the right way because the spirit of the message is so sweet and so pure, That I didn't want to mess it up...

The Laborers in the Vineyard

Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

 Jeffrey R. Holland
Please listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit telling you right now, this very moment, that you should accept the atoning gift of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I wish to speak of the Savior’s parable in which a householder “went out early in the morning to hire labourers.” After employing the first group at 6:00 in the morning, he returned at 9:00 a.m., at 12:00 noon, and at 3:00 in the afternoon, hiring more workers as the urgency of the harvest increased. The scripture says he came back a final time, “about the eleventh hour” (approximately 5:00 p.m.), and hired a concluding number. Then just an hour later, all the workers gathered to receive their day’s wage. Surprisingly, all received the same wage in spite of the different hours of labor. Immediately, those hired first were angry, saying, “These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.”1 When reading this parable, perhaps you, as well as those workers, have felt there was an injustice being done here. Let me speak briefly to that concern.
First of all it is important to note that no one has been treated unfairly here. The first workers agreed to the full wage of the day, and they received it. Furthermore, they were, I can only imagine, very grateful to get the work. In the time of the Savior, an average man and his family could not do much more than live on what they made that day. If you didn’t work or farm or fish or sell, you likely didn’t eat. With more prospective workers than jobs, these first men chosen were the most fortunate in the entire labor pool that morning.
Indeed, if there is any sympathy to be generated, it should at least initially be for the men not chosen who also had mouths to feed and backs to clothe. Luck never seemed to be with some of them. With each visit of the steward throughout the day, they always saw someone else chosen.
But just at day’s close, the householder returns a surprising fifth time with a remarkable eleventh-hour offer! These last and most discouraged of laborers, hearing only that they will be treated fairly, accept work without even knowing the wage, knowing that anything will be better than nothing, which is what they have had so far. Then as they gather for their payment, they are stunned to receive the same as all the others! How awestruck they must have been and how very, very grateful! Surely never had such compassion been seen in all their working days.
It is with that reading of the story that I feel the grumbling of the first laborers must be seen. As the householder in the parable tells them (and I paraphrase only slightly): “My friends, I am not being unfair to you. You agreed on the wage for the day, a good wage. You were very happy to get the work, and I am very happy with the way you served. You are paid in full. Take your pay and enjoy the blessing. As for the others, surely I am free to do what I like with my own money.” Then this piercing question to anyone then or now who needs to hear it: “Why should you be jealous because I choose to be kind?
Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those.
Furthermore, envy is a mistake that just keeps on giving. Obviously we suffer a little when some misfortune befalls us, but envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know! What a bright prospect that is—downing another quart of pickle juice every time anyone around you has a happy moment! To say nothing of the chagrin in the end, when we find that God really is both just and merciful, giving to all who stand with Him “all that he hath,”2 as the scripture says. So lesson number one from the Lord’s vineyard: coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image. So be kind, and be grateful that God is kind. It is a happy way to live.
A second point I wish to take from this parable is the sorrowful mistake some could make if they were to forgo the receipt of their wages at the end of the day because they were preoccupied with perceived problems earlier in the day. It doesn’t say here that anyone threw his coin in the householder’s face and stormed off penniless, but I suppose one might have.
My beloved brothers and sisters, what happened in this story at 9:00 or noon or 3:00 is swept up in the grandeur of the universally generous payment at the end of the day. The formula of faith is to hold on, work on, see it through, and let the distress of earlier hours—real or imagined—fall away in the abundance of the final reward. Don’t dwell on old issues or grievances—not toward yourself nor your neighbor nor even, I might add, toward this true and living Church. The majesty of your life, of your neighbor’s life, and of the gospel of Jesus Christ will be made manifest at the last day, even if such majesty is not always recognized by everyone in the early going. So don’t hyperventilate about something that happened at 9:00 in the morning when the grace of God is trying to reward you at 6:00 in the evening—whatever your labor arrangements have been through the day.
We consume such precious emotional and spiritual capital clinging tenaciously to the memory of a discordant note we struck in a childhood piano recital, or something a spouse said or did 20 years ago that we are determined to hold over his or her head for another 20, or an incident in Church history that proved no more or less than that mortals will always struggle to measure up to the immortal hopes placed before them. Even if one of those grievances did not originate with you, it can end with you. And what a reward there will be for that contribution when the Lord of the vineyard looks you in the eye and accounts are settled at the end of our earthly day.
Which leads me to my third and last point. This parable—like all parables—is not really about laborers or wages any more than the others are about sheep and goats. This is a story about God’s goodness, His patience and forgiveness, and the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a story about generosity and compassion. It is a story about grace. It underscores the thought I heard many years ago that surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it.
I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.
Whether you are not yet of our faith or were with us once and have not remained, there is nothing in either case that you have done that cannot be undone. There is no problem which you cannot overcome. There is no dream that in the unfolding of time and eternity cannot yet be realized. Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning. “Come boldly [to] the throne of grace,”3 and fall at the feet of the Holy One of Israel. Come and feast “without money and without price”4 at the table of the Lord.
I especially make an appeal for husbands and fathers, priesthood bearers or prospective priesthood bearers, to, as Lehi said, “Awake! and arise from the dust … and be men.”5 Not always but often it is the men who choose not to answer the call to “come join the ranks.”6 Women and children frequently seem more willing. Brethren, step up. Do it for your sake. Do it for the sake of those who love you and are praying that you will respond. Do it for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ, who paid an unfathomable price for the future He wants you to have.
My beloved brothers and sisters, to those of you who have been blessed by the gospel for many years because you were fortunate enough to find it early, to those of you who have come to the gospel by stages and phases later, and to those of you—members and not yet members—who may still be hanging back, to each of you, one and all, I testify of the renewing power of God’s love and the miracle of His grace. His concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not the hour of the day in which you got there.
So if you have made covenants, keep them. If you haven’t made them, make them. If you have made them and broken them, repent and repair them. It is never too late so long as the Master of the vineyard says there is time. Please listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit telling you right now, this very moment, that you should accept the atoning gift of the Lord Jesus Christ and enjoy the fellowship of His labor. Don’t delay. It’s getting late. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I hesitated to write about it for several reasons. It would be easy for someone who didn't know my whole story to think or say, "Sure, This is an easy pill for you to swallow, Your kids are healthy, you have a good husband, You are building a new house, You have cars to drive, What do you know about feeling hurt or being envious, everything is going your way" Surely only someone who didn't know, could ever think that. Why do we do that to ourselves? Down the pickle juice? Time after time! All too often do I find myself thinking, Man, I Sure wish I had _______.  Or I wish I could do _______. Why can't we see what we have, and what we do well? We all struggle with our own weaknesses and trials, And There will ALWAYS be someone with a bigger house, different talents that we wish we had, better abs or prettier hair, Blah, Blah, Blah...

And then I read this...
 "All of us have different talents, different desires, different faculties. I will be myself. I will be humble, But I will not hide my talents. To be what I am and to become what I am capable of becoming is one secret to a happy life."
"I have heard my calling. I am blessed with special skills that are mine alone. I will use them wisely, and forget about wearing another's hat."
An excerpt from Dr. Peter J. Lord

I am happy to be me. Flaws, weaknesses and all. I will not hide my talents, but use them to help build others up. I will be what I am, A daughter of a Heavenly King, And strive to become all that the Lord sees I can be. I will be grateful for, and see what I have been blessed with, and be joyful when others are gifted or given blessings. I will be Kyrsten, and I will not be jealous when the Lord chooses to be generous to his other children. He has been generous to me, And it is by his grace, mercy and love, That I have what I do, the talents, the gifts, the blessings, the gospel,  and the ability to be forgiven. I will wear my own hat.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I am up to my earballs in studying, reading, preparing, Whatever you want to call it.
Today I sat Blake and LaLa down to practice writing their names, To my surprise, LaLa was done in seriously no more than 5 minutes, Perfect lines, neat and tidy.... And then there was Blake, The kid sat there and whined about doing it for 45 min, and wasted his day and mine. Finally he did it. In 2 minutes might I add, It's not like this is new stuff to him folks, He does it everyday. So, after that little incident, I got to thinking, I really need to do better at spending more time with just those two working on letters, numbers, and reading. So I started looking around for a preschool curriculum to do with them for the summer, and stumbled across this blog and am thrilled with what she's put together. So that's what will fill our afternoons this summer. You know, In between pool time. So I spent the last few hours looking at that and planning out the logistics of it all. So there's time consuming project number one.

Then, I'm also studying and reading and researching for a talk/power point thingy, I have to give on Friday night at out Stakes {Church's} high school senior recognition night. Which, I am excited for, but also terrified. Not to mention I've completely lost my voice. And I have no idea what I'm going to say yet. If I can even talk.
And lastly, It may seem crazy, But it takes me an entire week to prepare my Sunday school lesson. {I teach the 16-18 year olds} I'm slow to comprehend okay? And this week our lesson is on Abinadi. He is a prophet from biblical times in the Book of Mormon. He happens to be my favorite prophet in the Book of Mormon,  {Peter from the New Testament is my all time favorite, Ask me about that sometime, I could go on for days} Any who, So I just want to make sure I know my stuff and that I put the time and effort in that it deserves.
Okay, well, When I write it out, it really doesn't seem like a lot, But in real life, It is. Well, It is with 4 kids, a sinus infection, house plans, dishes, laundry, yada yada yada. You know, Another day in the life, Just living the dream, folks. Just living the dream. So I may be MIA until next Monday, I have a lot of unfinished projects that are waiting to be finished and shared, But they will just have to wait.

Friday, May 4, 2012

This is what I'm up to these days...

*As a note, My mom is doing fantastic. Thank you for the meals, and all the love and support. She is already up and walking with her new hip. She should be good as new in no time!

Reviewing and changing house plans... I feel like it's the biggest babysitting job of my life.

 Making baby shower presents... Its a changing kit to leave in your car. Onesie, Bum cream, diaper, wipes, Changing pad, And a baggie for soiled things. This is probably one of my favorite shower gifts I've ever made. And yes, I took a picture of the wrapping... Everyone at the shower made fun of me because of how "fancy" it was wrapped. 
"Sure let's all laugh at the really cool guy" {name that movie}

 Lusting after the dyson digital slim... Remember, I wanted it at Christmas... And I have regretted not buying it every time I pull that useless electrolux hand held out. It's on sale this week at target. Plus my 5% off from my red card, plus I have a 5% off my entire purchase from my pharmacy rewards. Bringing my total down to $236. Don't double check my math.... It's probably wrong. I'm TERRIBLE at math. Here's to hoping prince charming approves of this purchase....
 Chillaxin' at the splash park in our new neighborhood. It's the least we can do for the kids after making them sit through planning sessions...
 Working on this monstrosity... Eventually that will be a dress for one of the girls...
And making this poor little deprived 4th child some new rompers... The green one I actually bought fabric for, This one was made out of one of my moms old shirts.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stretch knit, and snaps... Heaven help me.

Do you ever feel like you're king of the world? That was me last night! I haven't felt the thrill of accomplishment like this in quite some time! I couldn't get the goofy smile off my face! Let me elaborate. I seem to ignore making my little boys clothes just because, Well, One, If I'm taking the time to make something, little girls clothes are much cuter, So, I'd rather spend my time on those. But I decided that I needed to man up and make something for Brent. And I decided that I needed to challenge myself and learn to sew better on a stretch knit. Now, I've made a few skirts/dresses for myself out of knits, but Never anything so tiny, And definitely nothing with teeny tiny sleeves. But Katy, over at No Big Dill   {Take some time to look at her site, Holy amazing mom of 6 and PHENOMENAL seamstress!} inspired me to try something new with this post.
Stretch knit, and snaps... Heaven help me. It was a frustrating few days. I messed this thing up so many times it's not even funny, But alas, I am thoroughly pleased with the outcome, and confident in my new found abilities. See what happens when you stretch yourself and push yourself to do things you're scared of?!? Now, I feel like I am a snap expert, {Thanks to MANY trial and errors} And I also am confident in my abilities to make pretty much anything out of knit. It's really not so bad.
And as a side note, You remember my theory on not buying cheap crap, just wait until you can save enough to purchase quality things? I should have listened to myself. A while back I bought a cheap singer at Costco instead of waiting and saving for my bernina. And well folks, You get what you pay for. It lasted me a total of 6 months. When we move, {Because I can't spend ANYTHING until we close on the house,} I will be buying that Bernina to be the crowning jewel in my new fortress of sew-itude. {That's what I've decided to name my office, You know like superman has his fortress of solitude? Mike and I are both huge superman freaks} But For now, I've stolen my moms machine.

In between this is when I get to sew... My life is pretty wonderful. 

 Attempt one at a picture...
Isn't he a cutie patootie in his new outfit?