After 10 weeks she is home snuggling with me, we have spent hours talking, cooking, and just hanging out. I am so thankful to have her home. I have missed her terribly, not that she is around much at this point but there is something wonderful to walk into her room in the middle of the night and smile because she is home once again. I know it's only a matter of time before she will no longer lives here at home with us, but until then I'm going to take advantage of having her home.
I sent a small point and shoot camera with her, along with about 8 memory cards. I should have known that she would never fill them up. She doesn't like to take pictures, but she did manage to fill one up and what amazing images I have to sort through. I'm like a child in a candy store. I love seeing her perspective, what she thought was interesting, what she thought I would love to have pictures of. Made me smile to think that my darling daughter did something she disliked for me.
What made it even better was to find all these pictures of her feet!!! What a treasure! I love that she took pictures of her feet in the different places she visited. She is brilliant and creative that way. It made me so happy to find them in the mix of the architecture and art. She knows I love pictures of feet, it's crazy I know but I do.
She even included a shot or two of her feet with her friends feet. I know it's silly to be happy about feet pictures from the other side of the world, but there you have it. I can't wait to show you the rest, maybe next week. Right now I'm trying not to be too selfish and share her with everyone else who loves her.
I walked into the room to see Munch with a calculator in hand exclaim, "I love physics. It makes sense and is so easy." I once again asked why she was not majoring in one of the sciences or math in which she excels and so clearly enjoys.
Before the words came out of her mouth she gave me "the look". The look that says, "We've gone over this already, many times. Please be supportive of my difficult decision and know I didn't make it lightly." It's amazing how much information a simple look can express.
In my very supportive voice I asked how her musicianship and ear training homework had gone. She shrugged and said, "As expected, it's still not easy. I just needed a break and thought I would do some physics to prepare for my presentation."
This trait of perseverance and absolute dedication comes from their dad and I'm so thankful that the children see his example, turn to him for guidance, and move forward no matter how slow that progression might seem. Munch and Arnold have had to struggle this year in areas that have allowed them to grow in difficult ways. The tenacity they have shown when I have offered an easier solution always warms my heart. They have taught me very important lessons about following the Spirit and enduring especially when the path is more challenging than expected.
Munch took these photos at the physics lab for her presentation. My heart skipped a beat to hear her say, "You know I really enjoyed taking these pictures. I think sometime I would like to learn more."
This could be one of my all time favorite photo shoots. Jessi Stringham captured the essence of the children and the images are amazing! I was a bit surprised to see that I don't have them posted here on this site. I will have to take care of that in the next few weeks. I could also do an entire post about Jessi because she is truly a one of a kind woman and thankfully a dear friend.
This photo shoot might have been the beginning of my love for the "outtake" pictures. The pictures of the real us: wiggly, giggly, and trying to survive. Many Christmas cards have been filled with our outakes, not to mention ward directories, etc.
Now, you might wonder where the 7th person is. Well, we were done with our family. We had six beautiful children, everyone was potty trained and in school. I had a few hours in the day to myself. it was an amazing experience. Then less than a month after these images were taken Brick was born.
Now our adoption stories are NOT typical. We didn't have long waiting periods and each of our children found us. So when we got the call about Brick these family pictures were suddenly part of our past rather than our present. (I might also add that I have since considered procrastination to be a vital part of our annual Christmas card photo, just in case).
Jessi came back shortly after Brick was born to snap these quick and wonderful photos of our now 7 children. Delight, protectiveness, shock, love, and peace all quickly became part of what our lives had just become. Of course all this narrative is simplified and highly condensed. Miracles are not easily wrapped up into simple paragraphs. Thankfully they can be swaddled and rocked in the early morning hours.
1. Tempting fate: I have been de-junking and organizing the individual rooms in the house. Each room leads me back to the storage room and those precious shelves filled with baby clothes. I finally did it. Found someone that was having a baby and sent them all away (except for a couple cherished ones that went into her baby box). It made me a bit teary, end of an era and all, but it was time. It made the children a bit nervous, because every time I give baby things away within months a new baby comes home. Made me smile. I'm just happy with a few empty shelves.
3. I am becoming more and more versed in texting, or rather my phone. I still write everything out and try and include punctuation and correct grammar. Arnold showed me some alternate keyboards, who know there could be so much on one little phone (this makes me sound old).
4. Loaf loved Munches glasses to death, quite literally. First it was the side which was glued back together until we get an appointment. A few days later she had snapped the glasses in half. She did not get my happy face.
5. Adding this just because I think it's pretty. It's been sitting on my desktop for months waiting for the perfect post, but I haven't been able to think of anything so it just makes it today because this post is all over the place.
6. As I go from room to room each morning picking things up and cleaning I am constantly adding ribbons, elastics, bobby pins and such to my hair. My hair is usually quite festive when I'm done. I didn't want to forget the remote that Rock had hidden so it automatically went into the hair. I might need to rethink this technique.
7. New hat and gloves from Grandma. New pajamas from Gus (she made everyone in the family pajamas. She is awesome that way.)
8. I received a text from Arnold (isn't there a rule about texting during class, actually it was during lunch) asking if I could find a sketch book for her art class. As I was looking I found this sweet little portrait she did of Tank 3 years ago. I'm excited to see where this new class will take her, even though she doesn't like figure drawing.
9. I didn't think it was ever going to happen, a picture refusal because she LOVES to have her picture taken, but it did. It was cute that even though she was saying no, she was giggling and peeking yes.
I was recently asked what kind of blog I had, was it a craft blog, personal, scrapbooking, photography, art, quilting, or food? What category would I classify it as? My response was it's a little bit of everything. I'm the quintessential "jack of all trades", master of none (I wonder if that is a category).
Thus the identity crisis. I can't decide where it should go and some days it (the blog that is) seems to have a mind of it's own. You are certainly welcome to voice your opinion, but really this post is a "mind dump" of the scattered condition of my life, rather than a discussion of something pointless as the category of my blog.
First and foremost it's about our lives, so it's a personal blog with all the good, bad, and ugly. I write for my children so this will not change. This blog will always contain beautiful children saying silly things, showing off art work, and filling my life with joy (and sometimes frustration and tears).
However I'm the author (poor spelling and all) and I'm more than just my children's mother. They define me of course, but I find I need something else to fill the artistic yearning inside of me: scrapbooking, quilting, knitting, painting, etc. As you can see I have a problem choosing just one one hobby. With my past work in the paper industry and now the dabbling on the digital side I find that I could certainly focus on that one aspect, but I don't want to be defined as only a scrapbooker.
Perhaps I'm taking inventory of where I have been and where I want to go because every other room in my home is getting a bit of sprucing up, or deep cleaning over the next few months (oh how I would love to say weeks, but it will turn into months) and somehow I feel the need to consolidate, simplify, or organize things here. To pick a theme and stick with it, but I still have so much to learn when it comes to photography I certainly couldn't stop now.
I would love to stop cooking, but as the boys get older I seem to be cooking even more. The recipes will keep happening because I have big girls on the verge of moving far away and having our family favorites at the click of a button will bring them memories from home. So the food will stay.
One of my goals for the year is to learn to draw, truly draw so there will be more of that here. Not because I want a cheering section, but I have found this to be a wonderful place to archive and document.
I have far too many unfinished projects and even more quilts I want to make that this will always be a quilting blog (even if it takes me years to complete something). Fabric is my "true" medium (that really sounds lame huh?) and really it's the only functional art form so it stays as well.
So where does that leave the identity of this blog, I'm not sure. It's just a reflection of me and my desire to create something beautiful. Besides one of my favorite people said it was divine so I'm going with it.
"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty. You might say, I am not the creative type. If that is how you feel, think again. Creation is your opportunity in this life….. Start small. Creativity does not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you. You will make the World a better place. Improve, beautify, extend, smile, cultivate, develop, create." (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Happiness, Your Heritage, General Conference, October 2008)
First, to the people who have been giving us the 12 days of Christmas I want to say thank you. We have tried to catch you in the act and believe me the children are quick on the draw, but you are faster. Your knock has filled our home with rushing feet and eagerness to see what is on our doorstep. Thank you for your kindness. We don't know if you read here, but we wanted you to know we appreciated your thoughtfulness.
Second, is the annual ornament documentation. I have always wanted to make a mini album to the different ornaments and the stories they hold, but I haven't had the time. Perhaps as I slowly photograph the ornaments, some day I will pull everything together. Until then here they are.
Each one has a story or a memory associated with it. The children remember and as they unwrap their individual ornaments they reminice about a time once forgotten. Their young lives have great depth as time moves by.
The youngest hands, dimpled and pink, cannot resist the bobbles and sparkles. However I have seen even the biggest hands move an ornament for closer examination.
Friends and foes grace the branches of our trees. Many bear the scars of battle wounds, decapitations, and other unmentionable horrors.
Pysch even made it on the tree this year with a pineapple. We have found the the memories we treasure the most are those filled with spiritual significance. Just seeing the stained glass star and the children start talking about Nauvoo, pioneers, and long car rides.
I look at the wonder in their eyes and think about what the future will bring for them. What new memories will they form and hang from our tree.
As I look at these images a lifetime flashes before me. We have a couple of ornaments from our childhood. We have hanging from our tree the first ornaments from each of the children's first Christmas'.
Arnold took these photos while in NYC a few months ago (Thanks N!). I loved finding the disk (sorry I forgot about it sweetie) and viewing the items and places she thought were interesting. Here are a few:
I loved that she noticed the old building amidst the skyscrapers. She and Munch had a great time together, they saw "Wicked", did baptisms in the Manhattan Temple, and ate delicious food. It was a quick trip and most of their time was spent watching tennis.
It's a good thing she took the zoom lens because they were pretty high up. Apparently on some of the other courts they were very close, but she didn't take pictures then.
My favorite quote from the trip was when Munch looked around on the subway and whispered to Arnorld how awesome that it was that there were no white people on their car. She said she felt right at home. It made us really giggle conisdering Munch is our most "white" child.
Gus needed some images for an assignment in art. She grabbed the camera and started shooting. It was fun to see the resulting images and talk to her about the particulars of of her photo shoot. She is such a wonderful daughter and I'm so thankful to be able to love her.
Her babies are nearly full grown, the roosters are becoming noisy, and they all go running to the fence when they hear Gus coming. They can tell it's her as she is exiting the garage, they get more excited the closer she gets. Dash and Brick ask every day how many eggs she has gathered. There were only 4 yesterday and for some reason they needed to express their concern to me as if I could fix the problem. When I could not they wondered what I could do? Love these little men.