Friday, August 31, 2007

A picture says 1,000 words!

Here are my JOYS!! These are the people I love being around & live my life for. :) This picture is a good one because it tells so much about us & who we are.

First of all, everyone is in their Sunday Clothes. Kinda funny that we had time to actually stop & take a picture before we went to church! This never happens!! We're usually running out the door & barely making it on time. That's why this picture is a treasure! We were all completely ready this Sunday with 5 min. to spare. MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!!!!

I'm sure you've noticed Cameron's eyes. Yes, this is a typical look for our 9 yr. old boy. He calls himself the "Class Clown". He is always doing something funny & trying to get a laugh. You'll also notice that his shirt is a little short on the arms. I bought that shirt only 2 months ago & he has already grown out of it!! I can't keep up!

Brianna is sitting in her Daddy's lap which is her favorite place to be. She is also snuggled in her favorite blankie that she got from Grandma. She HAS to have this blankie when she sleeps. She is playing with her fingers which is a trait that she got from her mother (ME) & I got from my mother! We are always counting on our fingers & moving them around when we sit. (Do we need therapy?!?!?)

McKenna is standing in back & overseeing the family. She is the 2nd Mom in our house. She loves to be in charge & take control. Most of the time she does pretty good except when her 9 yr. old brother doesn't want to listen. She also is growing up & has become so tall. She's not a little girl anymore. This picture is where I see a young women starting to bloom & it scares me a little bit! I don't know how to parent a teenager. (I think I need to get some books!! Or maybe some counseling?)

Jeff & his trademark smile are what first intrigued me by him. Isn't he cute? The sweater he has on is one that I bought him for Christmas. I'm not sure he really likes it but he wears it because I gave it to him. That's the kind of guy he his - he tries to do anything to please me. And, he does a pretty good job of that - sometimes. :) (Hey, you can't be perfect all the time!)

And then we have the lovely background of this picture. This is our office & it looks very messy. It always looks messy! I clean it up once a week & within 5 min. it's a mess again. (I would hate to see what it would like if I didn't clean it up once a week?!?!??) But, the fact that you get to see us for who we are is priceless!! This is the Shephard family & my treasures.

Ah, the life of a Mother!

I love being a Mother. I really do! However, being a Mother has its moments...

So, yesterday morning I am woken up to a 9 yr. old boy practicing the piano at 6:30 a.m. (He is an early riser & practicing early in the morning was his choice.) Normally, this is a good thing. I love to hear my kids practice the piano. But, today he decides to pound as loud as he possibly can and he is playing the same song over & over!!! I get out of bed, go into the piano room & in a quiet voice say - "Can you play a little softer please?" His VERY LOUD reply was - "I thought you liked me to play the piano. I thought you wanted me to practice! I hate piano. I hate this song. I hate practicing." I walked out of the room & decided to go back to bed & hoped he would to so that he could possibly wake up on the "other" side of the bed this time & be in a better mood.

The entire family continued to endure the loud pounding of the piano music until McKenna, the controlling older sister who likes to sleep in, has had enough. She yells from her room in an extremely irritated voice - "STOP IT CAMERON!" And the war begins. It's 6:35 a.m.

After putting out the fight, I proceed to go into the kitchen to start breakfast. It's now 6:45 a.m. I am thinking in my head about the yummy fresh peaches I got from my mother-in-law & how good they would taste on a bowl of Millet. (Yes, we do eat Millet & love it. Okay, not all of us love it. I would say MOST of us love it. The rest of us like to sit & complain for 20 min. & then eat the whole bowl.) As I start to get out a pot to boil some water, I here my 9 yr old walk into the kitchen. (He's the complain for 20 min. kinda kid!) He asks - "What's for breakfast Mom?" I reply - "Millet with fresh peaches! Doesn't that sound good? Would you like to help me set the table?" And the whining starts & goes something like this - " Why can't we have pancakes? I love pancakes! We NEVER have pancakes! You ALWAYS make healthy stuff. I'm so tired of healthy stuff!! My friends eat pop tarts for breakfast. Why can't we have pop tarts for breakfast?" (Just have to clarify here that I make pancakes about every other day.) After listening to the whining for a good 5 min. I proceed to finish the Millet breakfast & the whining boys sits down & complains some more & eats his whole bowl. My 3 yr old smears her cereal on the table, in her hair & then proceeds to "accidentally" drop it on the floor. I clean it up as the 11 yr. old, who is running late, continues to say - "Can we hurry with scriptures & prayers? I have to fix my hair! I need to finish my room. You're reading too slow!!" The 9 yr old then starts to tease the 3 yr old & make her scream & puts up a fit when asked to move to another chair. We finish breakfast, read scriptures & say family prayers. (Of course the 3 yr. old HAS to say the blessing on the food & the family prayer to day!) It's 7:30 a.m.

All fires put out, messes cleaned up, I start making lunches. I see the kids getting ready for school & ask Cameron - "Did you brush you teeth?" His reply - "YES!" I look at his teeth & it is very apparent that he has NOT brushed his teeth. I said - "Did you REALLY brush them?" He says - "Oh, you mean TODAY?"

As I get dressed in my workout clothes, (positive thinking here!! If I actually put the workout clothes on, the chances of working out increases!) I notice that our 3-yr. old potty-training girl is standing still, looking down at the little puddle that has dripped down around her feet. She looks up & says to me - "Mommy, I need to go potty!" I clean up another mess...........happily.

I glance into McKennas room who is now on her bed reading a book without her hair fixed & her room is a BIG mess. (Remember the rant she made at the breakfast table about being late & not having enough time to get ready?) I look at the time & realize we need to be in the car NOW to be on time for the carpool. I holler out to the kids to get into the car. McKenna comes running into the room without her hair fixed & says - "Hold on! I'm not ready!" Cameron then starts in with - "Then why were you reading a book?" And another war begins.

We barely pick up the 4 other carpool kids on time & make it to school as I kiss the kids goodbye & tell them all - "Have a good day! I LOVE YOU!!" It's 8:30 a.m.

So....................., today is a new day. I wake up to a happy boy playing a great rendition of "The Hall of the Mountain King" on the piano. He asks me whats for breakfast. I turn on the wheat grinder & say - "Pancakes!" He grins and continues practicing.

It's going to be a good day. :)

I won a Scout Award!

This past week Cameron was supposed to make & decorate a dessert for a merit badge in scouts. The dessert had to reflect the 100 yr. celebration of Cub Scouting!! Here he is with his creation! He made cookie dough rolled it out into a big circle on a baking stone. Then he frosted it with the boy scout colors & did the entire design all by himself. He's a pretty good artist. (The center design is the picture on the side of his cub scout book.) He won an award for the most unique because his was the only one that was a big cookie!

Cameron is eagerly working on all his scouting requirments so he can earn his Bear before his birthday in October. He & his dad have been working together & he's on top of it all. Isn't he a cute little cub scout?!?

Anyone for homemade bread?

There's a new cook in town!! For the past month I've been making homemade Whole Wheat bread. It's the only bread we eat! McKenna, my 11 yr. old has been right beside me everytime & helping me put it together. One day she said - "Mom, can I make some bread?" I was busy at the moment & told her I wasn't able to help her. She said - "No, I want to make it all by myself." (Okay, now remember - she's 11 yrs old!!) I figured it would be a good experience for her & told her to "clean up her mess!!" :) :) :) :) :)

Without me ever stepping in the kitchen or giving any pointers, she went to work completely on her own. Pretty soon I was smelling fresh homeade bread cooking in the oven! When the bread came out, it was aboslutely PERFECT!! As a matter of fact - IT WAS BETTER THEN MINE!! I told her she was hired as my new bread maker. I haven't made a loaf of bread ever since. :)

When grandma came over, she tasted the bread & decided she wanted to hire McKenna to make homemade bread for her twice a month. She sells her bread for $5/loaf. Did I mention that she's 11 yrs old!! (Don't you just love her pose? She's 11, going on 18!!)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Time to get with the program!

I haven't posted on here for awhile & figured I needed to get with it!!!

Our family life has been a little "stressful" lately & it's just been hard to find something fun & happy to post!! But, I realize that everyone has these times in their life & it's OKAY!! We always survive & come out better in the end. I have always said that there's something to learn from every situation & I figure by the time these challenges are over, we'll be ready for anything!

So, I've decided I'm going to post all the WONDERFUL things that I have in my life. Are you ready for this?

1. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ & feel this is one of the biggest blessings in my life!! I can't imagine what my life would be like if I didn't know the truths that I know!
2. I KNOW that God loves me & my family & is watching over us. He is in charge!
3. I have a big, loving family who are all great examples for me.
4. I have 3 healthy, happy kids who are smart & have testimonies. Yesterday at breakfast we were reading the scriptures & the conversation came up about having to be killed or denying our testimonies. Both McKenna & Cameron said they'd die before they ever denied their testimonies. I had no idea they even understood what that meant. When I asked why they felt that way, they said because if they die they knew they'd be going back to Heaven to live with God & that wasn't scary.
5. I have a nice house & 2 running cars!!
6. I have a healthy body.
7. I have 35 great piano students & love to teach them & see them learn & get excited!!
8. I have a 3 yr. old who loves to snuggle & tell you she loves you several times a day. :)
9. I like (hate) working out on my treadmill. (I hoping that trying to stay positive about this will make me actually like it!!! ha!)
10. I have a husband who is determined & never gives up!

So, there you have it!! My TOP TEN LIST!! Just writing this has made me feel happy! :) So, next time you feel a little down, try making your happy list & see how you feel!

I'm doing the HAPPY DANCE!!!!

I absolutely LOVE Spaghetti!

We recently attended a Ward Spaghetti Dinner. Brianna was more then thrilled! She was the first in line. We were laughing when we saw her plate filled with noodles ONLY! No salad, no bread, no sauce, no drinks! NOTHING BUT NOODLES!! Then, she proceeded to climb up to the table & chow down on the entire plate. She was enjoying her spaghetti so much that we had to take a picture.
Believe it or not, she ate the entire plate!!!!
(Isn't she just so dang cute?!?! Look at those closed eyes and how wide she opens her mouth. And can I just mention how much I love little girls in pig-tails? Oh, am I bragging?!?!?!?)