March 4, 2012

I like Hugs...I like Kisses...but what I love is help with the dishes

I have been really blessed in my life. One of my most treasured blessings is my sister-in-law. She has come and helped my family when I've been on bedrest twice for more than a month each time. My words can't do justice to how grateful I am for her. She just had a baby of her own and when I had my baby she sent me the world's best long distance baby present ever!

I received a huge box in the mail that had the cute sign above in it and the box was full of paper plates (the good kind!--we are talking about 600) paper bowls, plastic forks, and those segmented plates that the kids love. AWESOME!! Every meal we have I am so grateful for the easy cleanup, definitely the best present a mom with a new baby could ask for!

February 14, 2012

Pure Love

Happy Valentine's Day! Here is a sweet video of Expressions of Love that will last forever!
I am so grateful for my hubby who I was able to be sealed to for Time and all eternity in the temple.

We talk to our children about being married in the temple where you can be sealed by proper Priesthood authority for time and all eternity. When you are married outside of the temple you are married until "death do you part". After looking at a wedding picture of my husband and I, my 5 year old said to me "I always thought you were married outside of the temple because in this picture you are outside of the temple" Glad she brought that up so I could explain to her that we take our pictures on the outside of the temple but we are still married inside the temple:)

February 9, 2012

Sisters share a special kind of friendship

I have the absolute best sister in the whole world! She is 7 years older than me but we are still best friends. We were lucky to get married to our hubbies within 9 months of each other so our kiddos are around the same ages. She is one of the most kind, compassionate, feeling people that I know. She can talk to anyone (and find out their life story and deepest secrets), teach, speak, lead. She loves the Lord, her hubby and (5) kiddos. She is amazing and I want to tell her how much I love her and that I hope she has the best birthday ever!

January 31, 2012

Ramblings of a Bedrested Woman

After 90 days I have just one more day of bedrest left!!! When I was first put on bedrest (this pregnancy) I did a search for blogs about bedrest and found many complaining, unhappy women. I'm not pretending that bedrest is great, (that feeling only lasts for the first 48 hours) I'm sure helpful blogs about bedrest exist but I couldn't find anything at the time that wasn’t depressing.
As this is my fourth pregnancy with bedrest I did much better at implementing the things that I have learned from previous bedrests that have helped me-- and it has been a much better experience. So I thought I would share some things that really made a difference for me. These things are really simple and common sense but sometimes hard to do when you have been laying down for weeks and weeks. Here are my 10 rules for staying sane on bedrest.

1) Don't watch TV (all day)

I know it sounds weird, this is your time to catch up on all those movies and sitcoms you've been wanting to watch. But don't do it! Bedrest is mind numbing as it is, watching tv only makes it worse. I was addicted to "friends" reruns my first go around on bedrest and I was supplied with tons of movies. That was my worst bedrest experience. I was super depressed and felt like my brain was mush. It wasn't until I was in the hospital for 2 weeks on bedrest with my 3rd pregnancy (having watched as many decorating shows as I could possible handle on hospital cable) when I read an article in a magazine that said 90% of people who watch more than 3 hours of tv a day are depressed. Duh, no wonder I felt so bad. My 4th and 5th bedrests I made it a point to not watch tv in my room and it has made all the difference. Notes* I would include any mind numbing activity: aimlessly surfing the internet or reading tons of pointless magazines had the same effect as watching hours of tv.

2) Write in your journal every day

Either that or call your sister and talk for hours--(my sister made up the phrase "ramblings of a bedrested woman" from all her hours of listening to me on my first bedrest experience) The reality is that everyone else still has a life while you are there in a weird kind of time warp. You most likely have many fears and concerns about your pregnancy or else there wouldn't be a reason you are on bedrest in the first place. You know that journal writing is therapeutic and it is a huge sanity saver. I’ve always had a hard time keeping a journal but I've been really good this time about writing every night, and when I think there is nothing to say because I didn't do anything that day, I can always think of some miracle or prayer that has been answered to record.

3) Read your scriptures everyday

You will have so much time to read and you will need the daily dose of uplifting that can only come from reading the scriptures. On a particularly difficult day I came across Philippians 4:13 which says "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" Wow, exactly what I needed to hear to keep on going.

4) Don't nap during the day

This is a hard one but so often when I would sleep during the day I would end up awake all night. Do that for a couple of days and you are on a vicious cycle that's really hard to break.

5) Eat healthy foods & drink water

Pretty much self explanatory. Processed foods have chemicals that really make it hard to deal with stress, (for me especially caffeine from chocolate) I always do better if I stay away from those things. However, being at the mercy of whoever is helping you sometimes doesn't give you many options for healthy foods. But if you choose when you can to eat fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains and drink water, you are going to feel so much better laying around all day. You don't have that yucky "couch potato" feeling even though you are the ultimate couch potato. Besides of course it is soo much better for the baby.

6) Accept help

So hard to do but so necessary. My first baby was premature and after I had her someone offered to bring us dinner and I felt so bad that I didn’t want to put anybody out that I didn’t have her bring it even though it would have been very helpful. My outlook has changed 4 bedrests later. I realized that when I offer to help someone it is because I want to and people feel good when they are able to help others. As ultra humbling as it is bedrest is so much better when you let people help you. I have been so blessed to have neighbors and friends and family members who have helped me and my family through all of the time on bedrest.

7) Be Productive

It's easy to feel unproductive on bedrest because obviously many of the things that you do normally require being able to get up and move. One time I got up and made brownies not because I wanted brownies but because I was going crazy because I needed to do something, (I don’t advise this as I ended up in the hospital that night) But I've found that I can get that same sense of accomplishment by doing projects with my hands. Over the 4 bedrest time periods I've colored, cut and glued lots of file folders, made quiet books, put pictures in albums, made lap books, cut out laminated flash cards, made a recipe book, made chore charts, and recently made valentines and teacher gifts.

8) Serve others

When you aren't mobile you start feeling as though you can't make a contribution. Serving others always makes me happy but it is something I have struggled with on bedrest because there is not much you can physically do for people. But you can be a good listener, you can write letters and emails. When I was on bedrest in the hospital I made I spy worksheets, cards and letters for my kiddos. I have been able to design things on the computer for people that they couldn’t do for themselves.

9) Be Grateful

No matter how bad it is there is always something to be grateful for! For help that you receive, for friends, for the opportunity to learn patience and long suffering. For nice nurses , for the shot that actually doesn’t hurt that bad. When I focus on the things I’m grateful for I have a much easier time dealing with bedrest.

10) Pray

This would be the most important thing to do to remain at peace while on bedrest. Being on bedrest you often have nothing that you can do to fix anything except to pray. I have prayed for people to come over when I needed their help and couldn’t get a hold of them, and they have shown up. I have had a problem with figuring out how to schedule kids home from school or to and from activities and have prayed for help and had someone call and offer the exact thing I needed. You start to realize that He is the master in all of this and He will help you accept His will and provide a way for you to do this. Pray and watch Him answer in miraculous ways!

You can do this! Have faith that everything will work out according to how the Lord sees fit. And just like me tomorrow, someday it will all be over and you will be forever grateful for the things you learned while you had this time on bedrest.

January 30, 2012

On Friday my five year old asked for a bandaid and being on bedrest I told her to go ahead and get one. We keep the bandaids in the kitchen in a top cabinet to the right of the stove. (If they were more accessible the two year old would have them stuck all over the carpet) Being on bedrest has made the kids very self sufficient and I didn't think twice about it, I figured she would get a chair and reach the bandaids easily. My mom (bless her soul) who has been staying with us to help us out while I am on bedrest had just gotten home one minute before and was changing the two year old's diaper. We had our two 12 year old neighbor girls over and they were talking with me in the family room while I was lying on the couch.

I heard the five year old say from the kitchen, "someone left the stove on" and then "the stove is on fire". She was so calm, I asked the neighbor girls to take a look since it is really hard for me to walk and it sounded like my daughter was describing a hot burner. The one said, "yeah there's a fire" and the second "yep, your stove is on fire". My mom, in the middle of changing the diaper, hopped up and grabbed a baby blanket that was in a basket next to her. I followed after her with another baby blanket.

What I saw when I rounded the corner shocked me! My crock pot was on the stove and it was engulfed in flames that were 3 feet high. My mom tried to smother the flames but it was not going out so she grabbed the flaming crock pot and put it on the ground, now with a fire on the stove and a fire on the ground we kept trying to smother both with the blankets. I was thinking "I don't have a fire extinguisher! I need a large wet towel" Too far away from towels to be fast enough I grabbed some dish towels from a cupboard, wet them down and started putting them on top of the blankets. Just when we thought the fires were out the neighbor girls would tell us, "now the blanket is on fire". My Mom figured out that the reason the stove fire wasn't going out was because air was getting to the fire from the other burners. Once she spread the blanket over the entire stove top it finally went out. Here is the bottom of the crockpot:

and the blankets used to smother the fire:

It turns out that the crockpot was on the counter and my five year old wanted to climb onto the counter to reach the bandaids. She picked up the crock pot (I didn't even know she could lift it!) and slid it onto the stove to make room to climb up. The crockpot must have turned on the burner when she slid it over the knobs.

We were so blessed! The situation could have been so bad. If my daughter hadn't noticed right away that the stove was on, if my mom hadn't have been there, if the blankets hadn't been close by, if my neighbors hadn't been there as extra eyes to guide us where the flames were coming back. To make matters even more scary, that night my husband looked and none of our smoke detectors worked and we actually had a fire extinguisher (I just didn't know where it was) however it was too old that it wouldn't have worked anyway. My daughter could have been badly burned, our house would have been destroyed if it had been just me at home on bedrest. My only option would have been to hobble out with the kids and try to find a neighbor to call 911.

That morning I had felt prompted to pray that my Mom, me and the two little ones would be kept safe that day. I usually don't do that, I always pray for those in our family that are going to school or work, but usually not for those of us that are hanging out at home all day. I was pretty shaken up afterward thinking about all the things that could have happened. That night when I was reading the New Testament I came across the quote up above. I felt it really summed up my feelings about this experience with the fire. All of us were blessed with sound minds, and we were not afraid while we were fighting the fire, I really feel like the Lord blessed us immensely.

Now we have 4 installed smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher installed near the kitchen. For family home evening last night we went over our escape plans in case of a fire and practiced how the kids would call 911. Most importantly we explained to our kids that they should never put anything on the stove. No more climbing up on cabinets and as my friend advised we are going to start keeping our bandaids in the bathroom!

January 21, 2012


My friend taught me how to make these a few years ago and I have made them countless times. Sounds silly, but learning how to make these boxes was one of the most valuable things I've learned how to do because of how useful they are.

Kids love to make them. One summer at my sister's house we bought a pack of 12x12 paper, taught the kids how to make them and they were occupied for a couple of hours.

I use them for visiting teaching, for treats for neighbors, for kids' teacher gifts, and friend gifts. You can use different paper for different holidays. In fact one year I made boxes out of Christmas paper for my kids' teachers in September and when things were crazy in December I pulled them out and filled them with cream puffs, it was so easy! I've also filled them with assorted cookies, fudge, one big brownie or one big rice krispy treat the size of the box, candy, bark...anything.

For treats: I cut a square of wax paper (twice the size of the box) lay it in the box, fill the box with the treat and fold the wax paper over the treat and place the lid on and tie with ribbon or twine and attach a tag (made out of coordinating paper-I usuallly cut it with my cricut)

Other gift ideas: We've also filled them with coordinating paper items like tags, note cards, and bookmarks. My daughter has filled them with assorted "girly stuff" like chapsticks, lotions, hand sanitizers, and nail polish for her friends.

I tried to take pictures of how I fold the boxes, but being on bedrest it was quite cumbersome to get good shots. (in the pic above the boxes are sitting on top of my baby bump!) But I found this video that explains how to make the boxes. It is a little different than the way I do it, mine requires cutting but the end result is exactly the same. Make sure your paper is a perfect square, I use 12x12.

Just make two boxes the same size from the tutorial above. You might have to squish a little bit to get the top on.

Check out some of my favorite yummy treats here to put inside and go doorbell ditch a neighbor!

January 20, 2012

Be One

My sister is the Young Women's president in her ward and wanted to do something for the young women. She asked me to design this quote for her and then she will print them off as 5x7 pictures and put them in a frame. Cute! I can't wait to see them. I adjusted the final so that there would be enough of a margin to fit in the frame. Hope it is enough room!

Here was my first go:

My sister had mentioned that she would like it with red so I made this one also:

Then she liked the colors of the first with the fonts of the second so we ended with this:

January 17, 2012


For the month of January we have focused our family home evenings on the First Presidency message from the Ensign January 2012 issue "Living the Abundant Life". President Monson talks about the ABCs of having an abundant life. Attitude, Believe, and Courage. Each week we have focused on a different letter. This week we were on the letter C. We talked about what Pres. Monson had to say about courage. One of my favorite quotes from the talk:

Then we asked the kids to give other scriptural examples of courage and then discussed the story of Captain Moroni and the title of Liberty.

In a nutshell Moroni was an ancient Nephite Military Commander who was concerned for the freedom of his people when a wicked man named Amalickiah tried to become King. Moroni raised a "Title of Liberty" made out of his coat and went through the land rallying the people to defend themselves. They were able to put down Amalickiah's attempts and Moroni had a title of Liberty raised on every tower in the land.

In our Family Home Evening, when we came to the following part in the story we read parts of the verse and then did what is bolded in the parenthesis:

Alma 46:12 "And it came to pass that he rent his coat;"
(we tore up one of Dad's old shirts)

"and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children"
(we had the kids take turns writing our goals for the year: following the prophet's counsel to have a good attitude, believe, have courage, and one that we wanted to focus on, serving others)

"—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole."
(we tied the shirt to a miniature baseball bat)

Then Moroni prayed and in verse 19 it says:

Alma 46:19 "And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the rent part of his garment in the air, that all might see the writing which he had written upon the rent part,"
(the kids took turns marching around the family room as we called out what was written on our family title of Liberty)

Alma 46:36 "And it came to pass also, that he caused the title of liberty to be hoisted upon every tower which was in all the land, which was possessed by the Nephites; and thus Moroni planted the standard of liberty among the Nephites."

Now we just have to decide where we are going to place our Title of Liberty, probably in the game room.

We ended with taking about personal experiences of when having a good attitude, believing in ourselves or having courage has helped us. The spirit was very strong and we ended with the most important part of any gospel teaching which is to bear your testimony of the truthfulness of the principle. I know we will be blessed with an abundant life if we follow the prophet's counsel. I have already seen a huge difference in our home this month as we have strived to have better attitudes and I'm definitely going to need a lot of courage in the upcoming months having a newborn and trying to regain my strength after being on bedrest.

The kids loved making the title of Liberty, it will be a helpful reminder of the goals we have made to follow the prophet's counsel this year.

And here are some variations of the ABC sign...just because I can never decide what I like better. I won't be having the luxury of all this fun creating signs once baby gets here:)

January 16, 2012

I am a Child of God

My kiddos are really getting into this sign making thing:) My 5 year old wanted to make this quote for her room. Here are two versions. Plus a really cute video of the song "I am a Child of God" Enjoy:)

January 15, 2012

Be Strong

Joshua 1:9
This was the first stake scripture that we memorized as a family. It is and will always be our favorite!

Small and Simple Things

On Sundays we only watch what the kids refer to as "Jesus Movies" (Def:movies that help you feel the spirit)instead of regular tv and movies.

On the LDS website they have a whole bunch of short vidoes that you can watch. This is great on bedrest when the kids can sit on the bed and watch with me (my dear hubby moved a computer to the nightstand so that I could finish work and have access to a larger screen than an i-phone)

For example on Christmas day, when the kids woke up at respectively 3 and 5 am we watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional from my bed while hubby slept. (by the way if you have not watched that devotional I highly recommend it, my 2, 5, 7, 11 year old as well as myself really enjoyed it,

to watch it click HERE. With my new found hobby of "digital sign making"
I made the following after I watched the video below:

I love this video and this quote: "Great things are wrought through simple and small things. Like the small flecks of gold that accumulate over time into a large treasure, our small and simple acts of kindness and service will accumulate into a life filled with love for Heavenly Father, devotion to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a sense of peace and joy each time we reach out to one another.”

Pin It

January 14, 2012


On pinterest I have this tutorial saved as something I would do when I had nothing to do. Last night my contractions almost sent me to the hospital. I am trying to go for a record of not going to the hospital until it is time to deliver (a feat I have never accomplished in my 5 pregnancies) So I was really trying to be good and not even move to the couch today. And so it goes that today bedrest nearly made me insane. I stared at the wall for a very long time, read the books closest to me, looked on pinterest for way to long. There are a lot of things I would like to do but they are on another computer or require moving. But then I remembered this tutorial so the first thing I made was this

feeling very proud of myself I tried to think of something to make.

This year we are memorizing the stake scripture as a family. So far we have the first verse memorized. Accomplished through the use of very original actions:) We have been using the wrinkled program from stake conference to refer to (since it has the scripture on it) and I thought it would be fun to make a "nice" looking version of the stake scripture. This is my first attmept, I might play with the colors a little later. But, ahhh the feeling of actually doing something is hard to come by these days
update, this morning my early rising 7 year old came in and I was so excited to show him the stake scripture sign I had made. Of course having it memorized he reminded me that I had written the scripture wrong! So here it is fixed:

I didn't love that one so my daughter and I made this one:<