Sunday, September 28, 2008

The little Angel learns guerella warfare

So that little story about how Luke helped get Emily out of her "funk" was cute and all, but I am here to tell a little more of the story of that little angel. In the past when Luke didn't like the food on his plate he would do what almost all little boys do, namely, shove it to a corner of his plate, dump it on the table beside his plate, or simply throw it on the floor. However, such behavior at the Pilling house results in not only eating the undesired food that you displaced, but an additional helping of the same food of which you tried to dispose. So.. Here is a picture of that little angel at the dinner table angelically eating his dinner that Emily slaved so hard to make. All the other kids are saying, "good boy Lukie. way to eat all your food....praise praise be to the almighty Lukie, eater of all sorts of nasty tasting vegetables... blah blah blah...

Oh our cute little angel!!

However, upon closer examination it is apparent that what we have instead of a good meal eating angel, is an angel utilizing the wartime art of camouflage.

Wikipedia defines camouflage as follows:

is a method of cryptic or concealing coloration that allows an otherwise visible organism or object to remain indiscernible from the surrounding environment through deception. Examples include a tiger's stripes and the battledress of a modern soldier. Other examples include the careful placement of green beans on khaki colored kitchen table chair armrests creating the appearance of desert Army battle fatigues... hmmmm.

Angel?? You be the judge. Good thing I was in the military and can spot camouflaged objects at table's length. Stay one step ahead of the enemy I always say.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Angels Amongst Us

This morning I had one of those moments that I am not too proud of. I lost it. And by lost it I mean totally lost it. I snapped. After "losing it", I ran out of the house. I needed some serious cool down time. I knew my children were probably in tears, thinking I had run away, but I needed to simmer down before returning.

I walked to the end of the neighborhood and my slippers no less. (I have no pride.) Upon returning home, I went straight to my room. I had calmed down some, but was still angry inside. I didn't want to face my kids yet. I did have to comb the girls' hair, but then I sent them all out. I felt helpless, frustrated, and sick inside. I didn't know what else to do, so I fell to my knees and began to pray.

I pleaded for help and guidance. I poured my heart out to my Heavenly Father. As I knelt by my bed, sobbing, my sweet little Luke tip-toed into my bedroom. He quietly knelt down beside me, then gently placed his little hand on my leg. There he sat, quietly and patiently, until I was finished. When I opened my eyes, he was looking up at me with his big, beautiful eyes. I hugged him and he hugged me back.

He was my little angel, waiting to comfort me.

He was shortly followed by Ben, who climbed onto my lap and nestled his head up against me. My heart felt softened.

Thank you my sweet little boys.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Words of Wisdom

As I was reading a talk from a past General Conference, I came across this quote.

President Gordon B. Hinckley has pleaded that we "work at our responsibility as parents as if everything in life counted on it, because in fact everything in life does count on it."

I love this. So straight forward, as our beloved President Hinckley always was.

Are we following this counsel? Sometimes we (I) find ourselves distracted. We need to remember that every choice we make affects our children. Are we teaching them not only by our word, but by our example? Do they see us wrapped up in worldly pursuits, or do they see that following the prophet is our number one priority? Is image important to us? Because if it is, what are we teaching our children? Do we think small things don't matter?

Because everything matters.

Do we follow the counsel we give stand up for what they know is right at all times and in all things and in all places? Are we taking a stand for what is right? Because we need to take a stand.

Being a mom (or dad) is more than just changing diapers, finding shoes, making meals, doing laundry. It is much, much more.

We are responsible to teach our children, to empower them against the evil forces of our day. That often times means going against the norm. But we are strong....we can do it.

I am not trying to lecture....just sharing some of the thoughts floating around in my head. It's just me on my soapbox again!

After all, we are all in this together!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Good Times

One week ago today, this was me, and my fellow triathlon buds, Lana and Adria.

Do I look cold? Because I am! I am also anticipating getting even colder as I jump into Pineview reservoir! Brrrrr!

Why am I going to do such a thing on a crisp September morn? Because it is triathlon day! Sprint triathlon day, to be exact. We are on our way to Pineview Reservoir where the triathlon will take place.

How was it? We had a great time and definitely want to do it again next year! We were each proud of ourselves for different things, and all had things we wanted to improve on. But, overall, we were SO dang proud of ourselves! You feel so great when you you have really accomplished something, because have!!

The weather was beautiful (we didn't freeze after all), the scenery was beautiful, and we all finished! Hooray for us!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What's a gal to do?

OK, it's a good thing this kid is cute, because HO-NEST-LY! He is driving me crazy! I mean, do I really need to clean my garage out EVERY day?? Yesterday I was cleaning out pee...yes, that yellowy substance that is SUPPOSED to go in the toilet. And today, it's mud! Yesterday he peed on the steps in our garage, and today he has spread mud all over them. Also, he has a certain fondness lately for creating piles AND waking up Ben. Those two are a bad combination, since often times he wakes up Ben and THEN piles toys into his crib. Poor Ben will be trapped into a corner, screaming his disapproval.

Where am I when all of this happens??? Well, a girl does have to shower every now and then!

So, what am I going to do about all of this? Why, what any good mother would do. I think I'll take him for a fun outing to the library.

What? Reward him for his mischief??

Well, I have to admit, I may be part of the problem. The poor kid is probably bored without all his buddies (brothers and sisters) to play with, so he is becoming "creative". I have become spoiled as my kids have gotten older. They all entertain eachother, leaving me with more time to carry out other responsibilities. However, on the other hand, the more kids I have and the older they get, the more messes and responsibilities I have to deal with!

Back in the day when I only had two kids, I spent more time doing things with them. We looked forward to outings, because I needed to get out of the house as much as they did! Now, I find myself always trying to get my work done first....the things I think NEED to be done. The problem is, those needy things are never-ending.

So, I am going to try to be a better mom, and enjoy my little ones more. Don't get me wrong. I love them and enjoy them. I love those little moments that make me smile and bring joy into my life. But I can do better. I think this quote by Anna Quindlen states it so well. She said, "The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make.....I did not live in the moment enough. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less."

I want to treasure the doing a little more. That is my new goal. Wish me luck!

Speaking of enjoying kids, I have to jot down a couple of my favorite Lukeisms for the week. Sorry, but this is my way of recording and remembering.

A couple of days ago, Luke asked me to get the marbles down. We keep them up high, as they are a danger to my baby. But, Ben was asleep, so I got them down for him.

He said, "Thankyou mommy!" He then headed for the door, saying, "I am going to Caitlyn's to play her marble game."

Me: But Caitlyn's gone to school.
Luke: Oh, OK. I will just play with the mom and dad then!

I have mentioned before that Luke refers to himself as Lukey pookey tookey. However, that has changed.

Me: Luke, you are crazy.
Luke: No, I not crazy...I Lukey pook (pause).....No, I Lukey only.

My boy is growing up!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Life is "Peachy"

Peaches, peaches, and more peaches. That pretty much sums up my day yesterday!

I love peach season. We, here in the Pilling household, love to eat peaches until they make us sick! We eat and eat and eat them for a good month, until sadly, peach season comes to an end.

However, our enthusiasm for peaches generally leads to a very sticky day of bottling, freezing, etc. You see, the problem comes when we buy the peaches. We think to ourselves....we better buy a lot of boxes,because we don't want to run out! But I think 6 boxes may have been a bit of overkill, don't you?! Oh, and did I mention we have 4 more boxes ordered?!

So, yesterday was peach day around here. In order to preserve all those beautiful, delicious peaches, I spent hours and hours in the middle of a sticky mess. As I canned peaches (why do we call it canning? I don't see any cans, do you?), everything else fell apart around me.

What do I do every day? Apparently a lot of maintenance and prevention! As I finished and went to put my children in bed, I walked from one room to the next finding this,

and then this,

and then this,

and more of this!

Puzzles dumped, clothes torn out of dressers, toys piled in heaps and heaps, cushions torn off couches. And, on top of that, my kitchen was covered from top to bottom in stickiness. I'm pretty sure some serious moaning and groaning escaped my lips as I surveyed the house.

However, Brek rounded up the troops, put them to work, and we conquered the in the kitchen, them everywhere else. (OK, almost everywhere else. I keep finding more hidden "treasures"....thanks Luke.)

Having said thus, I will now get to the blessings. Because, yes, there were blessings amongst the debris.

#1- I am SO grateful to be done with the sticky peach mess! And now look what I have! (Not to mention a freezer full of peaches just waiting to be made into delicious smoothies.)

#2- Did I mention I love peaches?? Because I do. And, we have a whole box left, just for eating. YUMMY!

So, you see...there is always a blessing to be found!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Luke Moments

As we were driving in the car last night to pick up kids, Luke and I had this conversation.

Luke: Mom, I not cute. I'm a big boy.
Me: You are a big boy. But, you're still cute!
Luke: No, I not cute anymore. I'm a big boy now.
Me: So, what are you....handsome?
Luke: Yep.

Today, Luke was needing me. I was just finishing up some work, and told him I would be there soon. Apparently, he didn't want to wait any longer.

He wanted an ice cream cone and decided "who needs mom".

He found ice cream in the freezer, and cones in the pantry. The cones were up high, so he used a stool to retrieve them. He then found an ice cream scoop and proceeded to make himself an ice cream cone. I found him enjoying the fruits of his labors. How can you be mad at such initiative?! He is such a Pilling.

Life is Good: Day Three

I was so grateful this morning that my alarm clock said this,

instead of this.

Yes, I am crazy. A few days a week I enjoy an early morning run with some friends. Yes, I actually do enjoy it once I drag myself out of bed. However, today I did not go running AND I was minus one kid (Syd) to practice with. So, I got to "sleep in" until 6:30!

I know.....pathetic.

Off She Goes

As I mentioned previously, I will be posting about blessings this week. However, those posts may be interspersed with some of the everyday happenings in the Pilling household.

Yesterday, Sydney left with her Grandpa Burtenshaw and Saydi for the much anticipated, yearly trip to San Diego. They were meeting Grandma Burtenshaw and Hallie there. Each year, Dad and Darla take the grandkids who have turned 8 throughout the year to San Diego for a few days. They go to Sea World, Lego Land, the beach, or sometimes the San Diego Zoo. The kids, of course, love it!

Syd was packed and ready to go when Grandpa arrived to pick her up. Out they went, followed by Luke. Luke was happy, smiling, laughing, taking pictures....

until he realized he was being left behind. He didn't think too highly of that!

Poor Luke. I told him he had to be bigger, to which he responded, "I am bigger!" I told him he had to be 8 years old, and he was only 3. A few minutes later he exclaimed, "I want to go on the trip. I am 8!" I corrected him, but he wouldn't budge.

So, it seemed there was nothing left for me to do but give him a bubble bath. Nothing like a great bubble bath to wash away your sorrows!

Life is Good: Day Two

Ok, first of all, this isn't actually day two, but day three. However, yesterday I had many things to be grateful for, so I am backtracking! I have to mention not one thing, but TWO (or maybe even three).

First, and most importantly, I was SO grateful that Brek came home! Yeahhh! He had been gone since early Sunday morning, and surprised us all by walking in the door a good 3 hours before we actually expected him. He loves to surprise me that way....catching an earlier flight than planned. I sure do love my guy! What a blessing he is in my life.

Which brings me to another moment of gratitude. As a result of Brek's early arrival, he was able to help Scott with his math. Thank heavens! Brek is much better at math than me. As it is, it took the two of them quite some time just to solve 2 problems, during which time I was able to fold laundry. (Would you call that a blessing?!) I'm afraid so. It was better than doing math AND laundry!

Yes, poor Brek is exhausted!

And last, but not least, I am grateful for the little miracles that bless our lives. Let me explain.

This weekend, I am doing a sprint (basically a half-triathlon) with two of my friends, Lana and Adria. It should be fun. Did I just say fun?! Wow, that's a little miracle in and of itself. Anyway, we have been looking forward to it. We planned to leave on Friday, spend the day in Utah, stay overnight with a friend (Holly) who lives nearby, then sprint on Saturday.

It was a great plan....that is, until I realized there was a glitch. That glitch was none other than my adorable little Ben, who still relies on his mama for daily nourishment. Brek is staying home to man the fort, running kids to soccer, football, temple trips, etc. But, therein, lies my problem. I am planning to do a sprint while doing what with Ben???

OK, so now the blessing. Yesterday, Lana called Holly to make sure we were all set for the weekend. While they were chatting, Holly said, "Does anybody have a baby I can babysit? I am so baby hungry!" Lana mentioned my dilemma, and wa-la, problem solved! Can you believe it?! I couldn't! You may not think this is a little miracle, but to me it is. How true it is that seemingly simple things done by one person mean so much to another!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Life is Good: Day One

For the next week I am going to randomly share with you things that I am grateful for. Often times I find myself so caught up in the day to day craziness that I forget to "stop and smell the roses". So, this week, I will be looking for the good things in life. You never know what I may be grateful for on a given day. It may be something as random as wet wipes! I mean, who could not be grateful for wet wipes?

Anyway, here goes. Sometimes, when I am sitting quietly, with no distractions of the little people sort, I find myself thinking. This often happens when I am driving, or listening to music. So, the other night, while at a concert with Brek, my thoughts began to wander. I found myself thinking of one thing, and then another, and then another, until eventually, my thoughts turned to my family.

My great husband, and as my license plate so eloquently states, 6 wild kids! (The license plate was Brek's idea. He thought he was pretty clever!)

I know there are some people out there who think I'm have HOW many kids???? As our family grew, we began getting different responses to our announcement of yet another baby. For the first 3 babies, maybe even 4, we would hear congratulations....that is so exciting....we are so happy for you, etc. However, with baby #5 and 6, the responses began to change ever so slightly. We still heard many congratulations, but we also heard, "Wow! Was that planned?" or my personal favorite "Don't you know what birth control is?"

But, despite the craziness, I would have to say that blessing #1 is my family. If given the chance to do things over again, would I do things the same? ABSOLUTELY! My children (and my husband, of course) are my treasures. Each one of them brings something wonderful into our home. They each have unique gifts and talents.

Don't get me wrong. We do not live a blissful, trouble-free life. We have our fair share of fighting, crying, whining, and frustration. My yard is frequently littered with bikes, basketballs, golf clubs, shoes, etc. My garage has random sticky spots, most likely from popsicles. And I have laundry ga-lore!! But the good outweighs all of that about a trillion times!

If you don't believe me, then you've never seen Maddy's smile and heard her little giggle.

Do I have a lot of free time for myself? No. Can I do all those things I used to be able to do without kids? No. BUT, I get to do something far better. I am taking part in a great work. I am helping to raise part of the next generation. I am hopefully making a difference in the lives of 6 very wonderful little people. I get to see them grow and mature and become remarkable in so many ways. I get to feel love like you can't imagine! I get to feel joy...not just momentary happiness, but true joy!

So, there you have it. I'm a mom and proud of it! I have the greatest job in the whole wide world!

(Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go prepare for the onslaught that is about to hit. Any moment now, the kids will be walking through the door, dropping backpacks, grabbing food, and in general, creating chaos! Let the fun(?) begin!)