Thursday, July 27, 2017

Things that are Hard

You want to know what's hard?  Unfair judgement.  Assumptions.  Stereotypes.  I'll make this short because I don't like to complain but sometimes, I just have to say it.  Just because I don't leave my house, to drive to a different location, to check in on a time clock, to perform different tasks for someone else, to then receive a paycheck for these duties, and then return home at the end of a certain amount of time, doesn't mean that I don't work and doesn't mean that my schedule isn't completely filled most of the time and that I'm not completely exhausted most of the time by all of the many things that I accomplish each day.  I find myself continuously rearranging MY schedule to accomodate others...sometimes this is for my children, for my husband, for the church and my busy church calling, for employees who work for us, for my own parents and extended family members.  I find more often than not that others ASSUME that I don't have anything else going on that could or should stop me from the things that they are needing/wanting at the time.  My latest example is that I am currently serving as my ward's Relief Society President.  What a tremendous responsibility, especially considering the fact that I am the mother of 7 children, all of which are currently at home and my youngest just barely turned 3.  I have been serving in this compacity since my baby was 14 months old.  On average, I spend about 20 hours a week serving the sisters in my ward and fulfilling my responsibilities.  I know that they don't know or understand how much sacrifice this takes.  Some of them think that they do, I can tell by the criticism they freely give, or little snide comments that they make.  It wears on me.  I have a 4 year university degree, and I chose not to pursue my masters degree and a career because I decided that the most important thing that I could do with my life was to be a full time mother, to give all of my time and energy in raising my children to the best of my ability.  Because of this decision, Andy and I have had to scrimp and save and go without many, many things that other families have.  This church calling has required me to sacrifice that which is the MOST valuable thing that I have in my possession, the most valuable thing that I could ever sacrifice for the Lord, and that is TIME with my children and family.  I know that people judge me and look down their noses at me, and that they assume many incorrect things about me.  It gets so very old.  I wish we could all just learn to give each other the same respect that we desire.  We are all different.  Everyone has a busy schedule, with important things on their schedule.  Just because they are different doesn't mean that one's schedule is more expendable than another's.  We should treat everyone and their time as a very precious commodity.  No one has it easy.  Everyone faces extremely challenging situations, everyone has heartaches, every single individual person on this earth will be stretched to their very limits at one point in their life to another.  So don't assume.  Don't stereotype.  Don't judge others.  You.  Don't.  Know.  Them.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Valentine Time!

Brooklynn was super excited for her 5th grade class Valentine's Party this year.  They were having a contest with their homemade Valentine Holders with prizes for the biggest, most creative, etc.  She decided to make hers into a Valentine Briefcase.  She got the idea from Pinterest, and Rachel was her big helper for the evening.  They had a lot of fun with it!  Give my girls a glue gun and free rein of my craft room...and amazing things can happen!
It turned out really cute...hard to believe that this is Brooklynn's very last Elementary School Valentine's Party...she's on to Middle School next year!
Brooklynn is a huge help to me at home.  She is so responsible, and needs very little reminding to do homework or chores.  She works so hard at everything she does...and loves to work with her hands.  She has a beautiful voice and I love to hear her sing throughout the house.  I'm excited for her to start choir next year and get more opportunities to sing in front of others. One of the things I love most about Brooklynn is her sweet smile and cute little giggle laugh.  She has had the same laugh since she was two years old...and I hope she holds onto it for always!

Oh Yes...Yes I Did

Addyson has been getting into a lot of mischief lately.  Part of it is because I have been gone a lot and she has been left to the care of older siblings...and part of it is because she is an extremely busy little 2 year old who is having a blast "exploring" her world.  Well...I decided I needed to "get in the ball game" so to speak.  I knew I needed to do something that would keep her busy and happy and occupied inside the house without getting into trouble. 
So yes.  Yes, I did.  I made her her very own private ball-pit.
She plays in it.  She throws all of the balls out of it, and then throws all of the balls back into it.  She slides down into it over and over again.  She even takes "rests" in it with her favorite blankey.

She's not the only one who likes it.  I came downstairs to find Taylor home from ball practice lounging in it.  

So, of course, Addy had to join him. 
Yes, it gets messy with all 500 of those colorful balls all over the family room...but it's a more fun, and quicker and easier "mess" to clean up than say...flour?  Are you confused?  Just read the next post.

Little Miss Messy

Our little Addyson Adelle is one busy little bee.  She reminds me a lot of Taylor when he was her age, except that I was 12 years younger and remember having a lot more energy than I do now.  She is hard to keep up with!  Her most recent "adventure" was in the kitchen.  I have 3 large glass canisters on the cabinet.  One for white flour, one for wheat flour, and one for sugar.  I guess seeing those canisters up there was just too much temptation for her little inquisitive mind...because when I left her under Brooklynn's "watchful" care while I ran down to the school to pick up Rachey after cheer...I came home to...a white kitchen and a huge mess.

Addyson had emptied out both flours and most of the sugar all over the cabinet and the floor...and herself.  She had white hair.  It was actually pretty funny...except that I had only a few minutes before I had to leave again for a meeting.  Luckily, I had some good helpers around.  Matthew had already swept up the floor, and was working on getting the cabinets cleaned up.
I asked Addy what she was doing with all the flour and sugar and she said in her little 2 year old voice, "I's baking Mommy!"
Oh boy...each one of my girls have done something very similar to this.  Rachel too got into the flour and sugar, Brooklynn got out my big glass mixing bowl while we lived out in Cleveland and filled it with jello mix, water, sugar, chocolate chips, and pudding mix.  I found her busily stirring up her concoction.  Lainah also enjoyed getting into the jello boxes and mixing them with water...and now Addy is "baking."  I wonder what Miss Emma will do when it's her turn to be two?


Little Emma Elyse is now 7 months old, and we grow more in love with her every day!  She has beautiful blue eyes that light up with excitement when any of us talk to her, she coo's and says "Mama."  She loves to play on the floor, and rolls around to get where she wants to go.  She can also sit upright from a laying on the ground position.

She can almost crawl...she gets up on her hands and knees and rocks back and forth.  She can scoot backwards really well, and has also started throwing herself forward in order to get to certain favorite toys. 

Her two bottom teeth came in this month, and boy are they sharp!  She's like a little puppy and tries to chew on anything and everything!  Her favorite foods are peas and rice cereal with apples and bananas. 
She loves bath time, and I love how her hair gets curly when it's wet.  I also love how when she's tired or sad, she'll look at me and say "Ma..."  It melts my heart every time.  She has also started to say "Ba ba ba ba..." but the "mama" thing is my favorite, of course!  When I say her name from across the room, she looks over and smiles and tries to get to me.  Sometimes Andy will hold her up like she's going to walk with her feet just barely touching the ground and if I say, "Emma!" in a really excited voice, she starts "running" to me!  She doesn't get anywhere, but her little chubby baby legs are moving like crazy and it makes us laugh.  She is so sweet, we are so blessed to have her.

Reading Ralphie

Matthew reads every night before bed.  He loves to read zoobooks, and pretty much anything nonfiction.  He is such a fun little seven year old.  He asks me every night to remember to come down and tuck him in.  Well, a few nights ago, I went down to tuck him in and found him like this.  He had on Taylor's sunglasses frames, his reading light on, had taken his pillowcases off of his pillows, and had put a huge foam pad onto his bed on top of his already soft mattress pad.  And he was reading out of one of his zoobooks.  I took one look at him and just started giggling.  Would you like to know why?  When I saw him, I immediately thought of a movie we had watched this Christmas season.  Can you guess which movie?  I saw Matthew and immediately saw the little boy from this movie...
See the resemblance?  I saw Matthew and thought of Ralphie from A Christmas Story!  Ha! Ha! 
What a funny kid!  I told him what I was giggling about and ran to grab the camera.  He just shook his head and grinned.

I love this little boy so much!  He turns 8 in just a few weeks, and he still makes me laugh every single day.  He is in the 2nd grade, loves reading, science and recess...math and writing?  Not so much.  He is so big and tall for his age that it's easy to forget how young he is...but he's still my cute 7 year old boy who loves to snuggle, and is timid about new situations and still loves me to tuck him in at night before he goes to sleep. 
Good night Matthew!  A.K.A.  Ralphie!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Emma? Do You Remember?

The day that we brought little Emma home from the hospital, Addy came up to her and said in her little two year old voice, "Emma?  Do you remember?"
That sweet and simple little question touched my heart that day...and made me wonder what kind of friends these two had been before they came.  Emma is now 7 months old.  She still can't crawl or talk...but she and Addy are friends.

If Emma cries, Addy brings her binkis and tries to console her.  When Addy talks to her, Emma smiles and coo's...and when Addy is silly, Emma laughs.

Emma is a character.  You can see it in her big blue eyes...she smiles in her eyes before the smile reaches her mouth...almost like she has this funny little secret surprise that she's bursting to tell...

and then she just laughs over it and keeps it to herself. 
I often hear Addy saying, "Oh're so silly."  And I have to agree.  This little Emma of ours is so sweet and so silly.  I think she and Addy will have a lot of fun growing up as the two youngest in the family.  In fact...with these two...we'd better all watch out because who knows what they've got up their sleeves.

100 Candles and Lots of Glitter

The 100th day of school was just about a week ago, and as tradition goes...the Kindergarteners bring 100 items to display for their class.  Well...Taylor brought mini-marshmallows, the "colored" kind.  Rachel brought fruit loops.  Brooklynn brought cheerios, and Matthew brought elbow macaroni.  Well, by the time you get to the 5th child...everything seems a little boring to this Lainah and I came up with something WAY different than any of her siblings!
The 100th day of school actually landed on Lainah's 6th birthday.  So, we decided to draw a huge birthday cake on a poster and put 100 candles on it.   

I drew the cake and pedestal and Lainah colored it all in with crayons, then we decorated it with glitter.  We made a good mess in the kitchen, and it turned out so cute!

Here it is before the candles. 
I had her arrange all of the candles on it first, then I started helping her to glue them on.  I don't know what I was thinking...Elmer's glue does NOT work on wax candles.  So the next morning when the glue was all dry, she was so excited and picked up her poster and they all started popping off.
hmm...not to worry!  This mom got out her trusty glue gun and we put those 100 candles right back onto that poster.  And that's where they stayed!  She was so proud and excited to bring her poster to school to show her teacher!  And now her poster is hanging up in the hallway at school. 
Another 100th day of school celebrated with success in the Thuernagle house!


One of the things that comes along with little Emma's long thick tangles.  When other little babies move their heads from side to side in their cribs...they just rub bald spots on the backs of their heads.  Not Emma.  No bald spots for her.  Instead, we get a thick tangled mass of hair to work through every morning...and every afternoon after her long nap. 
So this is our little routine. 
I put her into her baby buggy...and get out the detangler spray and a comb...

And slowly make my way through the tangled mess of hair.  Look how long it is!  Crazy!

She is so patient with the whole's really amazing that she'll sit through it so good! 

The girls and I usually have a little fun with her hair while I'm at it.  We'll put little ponytails all over the top, or comb it straight up to see how long it is...or...

We give her the Justin Bieber side swipe...
She is too fun.

Rachel's Christmas was "SEW" Fun!

So Christmas morning, Santa left Rachel a huge wrapped gift that turned out to be a new sewing machine just for her!  She was SO excited and has had a lot of fun with it during the past few weeks since Christmas!

She got started immediately on a new quilt!

And she's used it to fix a hole in in one of her favorite shirts...and she used it to make a few hair bands...and she's been itching for me to unpack my patterns from the box in the garage so that she can start on a new skirt. 
That Santa is a pretty amazing does he know just what will keep the kids busy and happy?  It makes me happy to see Rachel spending time being creative and making things with her own hands.