...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Friday, May 31, 2013

Grin and Bear it!

So we have this fabulous, enlarged ruler in our basement for keeping track of the kid's growth.  It is a favorite feature at our house.  The kids love to check the board to see if they have grown.

What I didn't know was that they were interested in measuring more than their own growth.

The other day I noticed a mark near the bottom of the board and since none of our children is under two feet tall I was intrigued.  When I checked it out this is what I found.

Tucker and Ted are a couple of favorite stuffed animals at our house.  Apparently the kids wanted to be sure we watched their growth as well since they are important members of the family.  

I loved it.  What an adorable and creative thing for my sweethearts to think of.  No wonder I like these little people so much.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The shoe on the other foot

Ellie is three years old.  

She has gotten more and more insistently independent as she has gotten older (I can't imagine where that feature came from).  

Lately she has taken to entirely dressing herself and this new talent comes complete with tantrums if Mom or Dad tries to step in and help.  This means that sometimes shirts or underwear end up backward and often shoes end up on the wrong feet.

Thankfully, one of those problems is pretty easy to fix (not that anyone ever died from backward clothes or wrong-footed shoes).

When I was little my mother (who is brilliant) used to draw smiley faces on the inside of our shoes.  Then, she taught us that when the faces are looking at each other our shoes are on the correct feet.  Most three and four year olds that I know don't want their smiley shoes to feel lonely because they can't see each other so they are quick to adopt this little trick.

Works like a charm.

And now Ellie normally doesn't duck walk due to awkward footwear.

(Thanks, Mom.)

Friday, May 24, 2013

DeMoux family sing along

At our house we love to sing.

We are not exactly the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but we love to sing anyway.

I love it when the kids come to me and say something along the lines of, "Mom, will you play this so I can sing it?"  and then slowly other family members dribble into the living room and eventually we have our own ensemble singing along.  Everyone gets to pick songs and everyone gets to be part and it is great. 

Just thought I'd give you a sample of one of our favorites.  I told you, we aren't fabulous, but we do love it. 

Thanks, kids -- this kind of thing makes my day.  No wonder I adore these people!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Our Arms are His Arms

A few months ago I was called as the relief society president in our ward.  I'll be honest, this spot can be a little bit daunting at times, but it is also such a wonderful chance to serve that I am super grateful for the opportunity.  I have honestly LOVED the chance to better get to know the women of my ward and I tell you what, I love them to pieces, every single one of them!  No exaggerating.  No fluff.  No crossed fingers or sideways glances.  I honestly love them, all of them.  I thought I loved them before this calling, but that was nothing to what I feel for them now.

And because I care for these people so much I am concerned with their lives and how they feel about themselves and their families.  That care has done something interesting for me. It has brought into the spotlight the amazing way that people around my ward serve and look out for each other.  There are so many times that I have a concern for a woman or her family and while I am trying to figure out how to help someone swoops in and saves the day -- often without knowing there was even an issue to begin with.

I feel uber blessed to be surrounded by people who care about each other and are not afraid to show it.  I love that these incredible people seem to be sitting on edge just hoping for opportunities to bless the lives of those around them and that they are quick to listen when the Holy Ghost whispers to them that someone could use a boost. 

I know this sort of thing has been going on for like forever and goes on in every ward and every neighborhood around the world, but at the moment I have a front row seat to much of it here in my ward and it is an amazing thing to watch.  I am so grateful for angels in blue jeans and mini vans who answer prayers every single day.  I love being witness to regular people doing extraordinary things just because they care.  It makes me want to be a better person and to better share my Heavenly Father's love for His children through my actions as well. 

President Kimball, past prophet of the LDS Church, once said, "God does notice us, He watches over us.  But it is usually through another person that He meets our needs."  I totally believe that is true. 

I also remember a Family Circus comic that I saw when I was growing up that stuck with me (even though that was never really one of my favorite comics overall).  It showed pictures of the older sister going to each person in her family and giving them a hug.  The final frame held the caption, "Our arms are the only ones God has to hug other people."

I really do love that.  God has given us the chance to look out for each other and to care for each other as part of our experience in this life.  We get the chance to act for Him and do what He would do if He were here (if we are willing).  Thankfully, He helps us along the way because we don't always know just the right thing on our own (or at least I don't), but what a beautiful blessing to be able to be His arms in our neighborhoods, wards and homes. 

Anyway, that's what has been on my mind lately.  I see this ward full of people that I truly adore and think there is no way I can ever really help each of them feel how much I love them let alone how much their Heavenly Father loves them.  Thankfully there is an army of service minded soldiers running around here doing the job.  I am grateful for the chance to learn from their example and try to step in and join the action. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

It was a glaring daggers sort of day...

Yesterday I was a horrible mom.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed even though it is the same side as always.  I knew I was not in the best frame of mind from the get go so I decided to linger under the covers for a few extra minutes to try to get myself in order. 

As I listened to the sounds of piano practicing by a child who had a concert quickly coming I was frustrated because said child STILL is not counting and is therefore slaughtering a three measure section of the song.  Never mind that his teacher has scolded him fiercely for lagging behind the rest of the orchestra, never mind that I've gone over the section time and time again the past many weeks, never mind that I've begged and pleaded and everything in between that he just count the beats out loud so as to stay on tempo.  No, he still stumbles through without counting and the timing is completely off.

So, I drag my lazy body out of bed (having not read my scriptures yet which never results in good things) and plop my chubby behind down on the piano bench and force him to play those measures with me at tempo over and over and over.  I also force him to count the rhythm out loud which is apparently torturous because much whining and dagger glaring and even a few tears ensue.  Some of the tears may have been mine.  It was not my best moment as a mother.

This incident was followed by another practicing issue...not the piano, the flute this time...in which a child tried to cheat and only play one of the songs for an upcoming recital rather than both (why do they do this, I catch them almost all the time?).  Oh the eye daggers when I called the child on the carpet and sent it back to complete the task.  That's right, show me how mad you are by playing your flute REALLY REALLY loud...oh wait, that doesn't really work with your chirping, little instrument -- HA! score one for Mom (see, sarcastic and nasty -- it was that kind of day).

That's when I found our youngest prancing around in front of our glass front door completely naked.  Hello, neighborhood!  When I shrieked for her to come away from the window and close the big door and put some clothes on she instead burst into tears and wafted into her bedroom in a cloud of crying.  There's nothing like a three year old in tantrum mode over nudity. 

Then, as it was time to leave for school I accidentally stumbled on the fact that only one of the three elementary age children had cleaned their room (a regular morning requirement).  I insisted the cleaning be done (having reminded them several times already this morning and having been assured that said work was done, I was not the happiest of campers when I found it was not).  So, Ornery Mom sent kids to rooms and glared daggers of her own until the job was complete (which is a loose interpretation because their version of clean and my version of clean are not exactly the same). 

One child opted to test my sticking power by sitting on the floor of the bedroom doing nothing assuming that I would relent when I realized the child would be late for school if I didn't let it leave.  However, it must have missed the fact that I was an ogre yesterday because I simply sent the others off and said I hope this child finished soon so it wouldn't be too late for the day.  I boldly refused to drive it to school even though a tardy was pretty well assured at that point.  That resulted in scurrying around the room in a whirlwind of straightening.  I guess I am only half ogre because my sunshine and rainbows side shone through and I did give in when most things were done and allowed the child to leave with the understanding the rest would be finished after school (and there will probably be some bonus scolding going on then as well).  I watched in frustration as this child plodded out the door and waddled down the sidewalk at a snail's pace.  I yelled for it to hurry, which it sort of faked doing until it was past the tree so I couldn't see it anymore. 

I don't love mornings like this.  In fact, I hate them.  I don't want to be a jerk.  Really, who does? 

But sometimes it happens.  I know I shouldn't let myself get grumpy, but sometimes I do.  I know I shouldn't fall into the drama that children sometimes stir up, but sometimes I do.  I know I should be controlled and patient and kind and sweet and tender and all that jazz, but some days I am just not that way. 

I'm not making excuses.  I need to be better.  I have oooooodles of room to improve.

But I'm not always better.  In fact, I screw things up pretty regularly.  However, despite that, I really do adore these small people.  I do get frustrated with them, but I wouldn't trade them for anything.  I do give them a Scotch blessing from time to time, but I also wouldn't want life without them.

I don't love their messes, but I love them.  I don't love their fighting and arguing, but I love them.  I don't love the frustration that dangles off them like tendrils waiting to ensnare me if I get to close, but they don't love the frustration I bring to them either so I guess we just have to learn to get through it together.

I do love the chance I have to try to teach and train them and I do love all the amazing things I learn in the process.  I'm far from perfect (understatement highlighted here), but if I am honest I have to admit I have come a long way and much of the credit for that goes to these little ones.  They are slowly working miracles on the person I am growing into. 

I have an awful lot to thank them for.

(But I'm still going to make them clean their rooms.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pre-School graduation for my little man

Last night Logan's pre-school class put on their end-of-year program.

It is always an incredible production and I am grateful that each of my children (except Ellie yet) have had a chance to be part of it.

I assigned my sweet husband to handle picture taking, but I forgot to change the settings on the camera (and since I usually do the photography and am the one who reads the manuals Josh doesn't know how to make the necessary adjustments).  That means our pictures are not the best, but they will do.  He did a great job with a camera on all the wrong settings.

I wanted to share a bit of the excitement we had at the program last night.


These lovely ladies are no kidding THE BEST thing a mom could ask for in pre-school teachers.  What they do goes WAAAAY beyond learning letters and singing songs (although that is there too).  These women ADORE the children and it shows in every ounce of what they do.  My older children still get giddy when they see their beloved teachers and can't be kept away.  I cannot imagine our growing up years without these angels, they are incredible.

Happy pre-school graduation to my youngest son.  I love you, big guy!  I am so proud of the young man you are choosing to become. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Birthday Boy!

Recently, Josh had a birthday.
I do love a birthday, especially when it isn't mine (not that I hate mine, it is just more fun to celebrate everyone else's).
This year I decided to announce to the Salt Lake Valley that my favorite man was celebrating his special day so I slathered that info all over his car.  This is not his favorite things, but he played along and was a really good sport about it. 
He called me a few minutes after he left for work to let me know that while he was filling up his gas tank on the way to work he had several people wave at him and wish him a happy birthday.  Then, he stopped to grab some breakfast before getting to school (you get to sleep in on your birthday...but that means there wasn't much time to eat) the lady at the drive up window gave him free cookies to celebrate his big day.
He got honked at while at stoplights by giddy strangers and his students sang to him and wished him a great day. 
All in all, I think it was fun!  I do love that guy and I'm glad he got to celebrate yet another year on this earth.  I hope we will share many many more of those together.

Don't you love my wrap job?  It was lot of fun to do.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Generally speaking I don't use our gas grill.
Because generally speaking this is what happens.

I tend to get distracted by children or messes or whatever else and then I forget about whatever is on the grill.  And even if I only forget for a minute or two, by the time I rush out to check on things this usually happens.  Sigh.  Another would-have-been-fabulous dinner down the drain.
At least the dogs liked it. 
They love it when I grill.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Scratch that...

Some days are really horrible.

I hate it when my gut hurts.

How do my children know when I am most tired and why is that when they most want to play?

How in the world do six people manage to dirty this much laundry overnight?

I am really hungry, but nothing sounds good to eat...no fair!

Hey, Remission, do you have a Facebook account?  I'd love to be friends!

Thank you whoever invented Humira.

Thank you whoever invented nap time.

How many more hours until bed time?

Do I really have to make dinner later?

I'm sure grateful we have food to eat.

Whoever invented cereal, I love you.  No matter what I can always eat that.

Whoever invented my children, I love you too.  No matter what they always take my mind off of things.

My husband is the best.

My family is the best.

My home is simple, but beautiful. 

I'm glad our house is small so I don't have more rooms to clean.

Thank you whoever invented Magic Erasers.

I really do love it when we cuddle up on the couch together and read.

It is a wonderful thing to watch a garden grow, even if it isn't very big.

Prayer is pretty incredible.  Thanks for that.

I love myself a heating pad.

Indoor plumbing pretty much rocks.

What if I didn't have a bathtub, what then? 

Thank you whoever invented the crock pot, dinner may not be out of reach after all.

Only a few more hours to spend with the people I love until they head off to sleep, even if I'm not the best mom ever I'm glad I have the chance to enjoy these moments.

Six children, who would have thunk?

I'm glad our house is full of stuff...and love.

Maybe I'm not perfect at this life thing yet, but I'm sure glad I have the chance to try it again moment by moment.

Life is good.  Really, really good.
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