Friday, October 24, 2008

Chalk One Up for Mom

This year I have moved on to a new stage of life. I feel like I have stepped over the threshold of young mom into whatever the next step is! I know, I know, you are probably thinking....What do you mean you still thought you were a young mom?! Six kids? You lost young mom status long ago!

However, contrary to what anyone may have thought, until this year, I still felt a bit young momish.

So, what happened this year to change everything? Two words. Junior High.

This year, Scott started Junior High. In many ways, this year hasn't been much different than any other. Scott still rarely has homework. He loves some teachers, and others...well, not so much. He still comes home after school with lots to talk about. But in two ways (so far), it is quite different.

The first is the morning drop-off. Instead of hitting two schools, I now have to hit three. And, Scott's school starts 5 min. earlier than last year. AND, he gets in trouble if he's late. Thank heavens Brek can drive them most of the time. So far so good on the whole tardy issue.

The second took place this week. Three words. Parent Teacher Conference.

Enter here the whole 3 school issue once again. Three schools to visit for parent teacher conference! And do you have any idea how many teachers Scott has?! About a bazillion.

Thursday night was CRAZY for me, so all I could squeeze in was a quick visit to Syd and Maddy's teachers. Wait, did I say quick visit? Oh, excuse me. Is there any such thing? It seems the people in front of me typically have a LOT to talk about. Oh well. Such is life.

Anyway, back to my story. Last night was crazy....I only got to one school, leaving two schools for Friday morning. I arrived at Burley Junior High at 9:15 am, leaving myself plenty of time to hit both schools. I had until 11:00, or so I thought. I quickly realized something was up when I entered Scott's school and saw tables labeled 7th grade and 8th grade, with nothing on them. Hmmm, odd, I thought to myself. And how strange it seemed that there was nobody to direct me. I was new to this whole junior high scene, you know. And stranger still, as I entered the gym, I found several small tables, labeled with teachers names, teachers!

Apparently the junior high parent teacher conferences ended at 9:00. OOPS!

My first parent teacher conference at the junior high was a huge success, don't you think? Hopefully next time things will work out a bit better!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I want to print my blog. You know, have it made into a book. You see, this is my new form of scrapbooking/journaling. Hence, all the daily going-ons that I write about. Sorry if they bore you.

Here's where you come in. Does anyone know a good place to get this done? I found a great, but now they don't print blogspot blogs. Arghh! Any other ideas???

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Guess What?

If you spill krazy glue on your hands, you should NOT try to rinse it off with water. This does NOT work. Instead of the water rinsing away the glue, it has the reverse effect. It makes the glue instantly dry!

How do I know this? Oh, you know. Just a little tid bit of info I picked up today.

By the way. Does anyone know how to get krazy glue off skin?!

One Year Older

Last year, this was me. Plump and round through the midsection.

And here we are a year later.

Yep, that's right. It was birthday weekend around here. And we had not one, but two birthdays! Ben was a mere hour and a half away from sharing a birthday with his dad.

It amazes me how fast time flies. And the busier life gets, the faster time goes by. I want to freeze my little Ben in time, but yet I want to see him grow. Oh, how I will miss his snuggling when he does grow! I have never had a baby quite like who loves to snuggle up to me, and does it frequently.

Ben is such a joy in our home. He makes us all smile with his cute little personality. That cute personality, however, can turn awfully fiesty when things don't go his way. He is already learning how to express his disapproval by throwing himself on the ground. Let me just say, I don't think he is going to be a push-over! He has a bit of that Pilling determination in him.

And to celebrate turning one, Ben took his first step yesterday. Hooray for Ben! We love you!

Here's how the party went down.
There was cake and ice cream. (Ben's favorite part)

There were presents.

And cousins.

There was help from his brothers and sisters in the unwrapping department.

And,there were new fleece pajamas, which made Ben want to snuggle up and suck his thumb.

The End.

Then there was birthday number 2, which belonged to none other than my better half.

Let me share with you a few of the many reasons why I love this guy so much. I love his determination. Brek is such a hard worker. He doesn't know the meaning of the word quit. When confronted with a problem, he will work until he finds a solution.

I love the way Brek loves music. He really loves it. It touches his soul. Often times at night, he will grab his guitar and head up the stairs to sing the kids to sleep. It has become somewhat of a tradition in our home.... a special treat for the kids.

I love Brek's generosity. He is such a giving person. Most people probably don't know the extent of his generosity....not even me. He would much rather go without in order to help another.

Brek is a doer. We have so much fun together. He is one good-looking, waterskiing, basketball playing, coaching, canning, hiking, snow-skiing guy!

I love the way Brek treats me. He is my "biggest fan". He never speaks bad about me, and I know he would do anything for me (except let me turn the A/C down low!) He notices the good and overlooks the bad. He says such kind things like, "I am so lucky that you married me."

But, you know what? I am the lucky one!!!

Love you Brek!

Friday, October 17, 2008

What have we been doing this week?

Food storage, food storage, and more food storage. I checked out the sealer from the church cannery, brought it home, and we went to work.

At the end of the day, this is what we had to show for our work.

No, this will not feed our family for a whole year, and yes, my kids eat a lot of food!

I left the kitchen unattended for a moment, and returned to find this. Luke had taken over where I left off.

He had the general idea....just overdid it a bit! Everything was coated in flour.

Ben crawled underneath Luke's "work space" and was dusted.

Ben loves to suck his thumb, especially when he has a blanket or something soft to hold. When he can't find a blanket handy, he gets creative. Often times a sock or a shoelace will make do.

"All done Mom!"

This turned out to be a great family project. All the kids wanted to join in the fun. Scott and I did what we could, then headed off to mutual. When I got home, this is what I found.

Brek, the scooper. Otherwise known as the filler of cans.

Josh, the sealer....the guy in charge of manning the machine.

Sydney, the labeler....the gal in charge of the permanent marker.

And then there was Maddy. Maddy was in charge of creating forts out of all the big boxes lying around our kitchen.

What a team!
It is such a great feeling to see your kids working together....happily.
And happy they were. Wouldn't you agree?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Winter Already?

Early Saturday morning I heard the pitter patter of little feet running up and down the stairs. I groaned. It was way too early for a Saturday morning!

I went to see what was going on, and instruct whoever belonged to those little feet to be quiet and not wake everyone else up. I found not one, but three owners of little feet. Sydney, Madelyn, and Luke were all staring out the kitchen window. When they noticed me, they exclaimed, "It snowed!!!"

I thought I would see a little skiff of snow when I looked out. After all, it is only early October. Boy was I wrong! There was a few inches of snow on the ground and it was still coming down hard.

Thus began the blizzard of October.

The kids could hardly contain their excitement, gathering cups of snow to make "snow cones". They couldn't wait to get outside!

There's nothing like a big snowstorm to motivate kids to get their work done fast! Soon they headed out to play (this time bundled up!)

Ben had a great view of all the fun. He was cozy and warm on his side of the glass.

There were lots of hot chocolate breaks throughout the day, often accompanied by chocolate chip cookies and chicken noodle soup.

The boys took a break from all the snow to watch the BYU game, but the girls were still going strong.....

building the best snowman ever. Oh, excuse me...the best snow woman ever. (Notice the hair.)

Ben was a great help, cleaning up the floor after the kids would come tromping through. He gobbled up clumps of snow whenever he would spot them. He managed to get a lot of snow into his mouth before I discovered what he was up to!

We here in the Pilling household LOVE snow, so we were all excited. The kids played until well after dark, then collapsed. What a fun day!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Things That Make Me Smile

#1: This was a yummy breakfast I had yesterday. I particularly liked it because it tasted good AND I felt like I was doing my body a favor. I know, I know....most people don't call oatmeal yummy. But with a little honey, and some blueberries, it is quite tasty. I also added some ground flax seed (you can't even taste it), and topped it off with some rice dream (my father-in-law likes to call it "rice nightmare"!) It may sound gross to you, but I thought it was delish!

That is not the only thing about this oatmeal that made me smile. What really made me smile was the day before when Brek came walking through the door hefting a huge bag of oatmeal. He continued hefting in bags until a whopping 350 lbs. of oatmeal lay on my bedroom floor!

Why does this make me smile? Because that is SO Brek! When Brek does things, he goes all out! If soup is on sale, he will come home with 200 cans! He loves a good deal, and apparently he has caught the food storage bug. So, I will be eating this yummy breakfast for many more mornings to come!

#2: Last week Madelyn bought a pumpkin while we were at the store with her very own money. This $.87 pumpkin was her pride and joy. She carried it with her everywhere and informed me this is what she would be taking for show and tell (a good 6 days later). However, one day while playing, the pumpkin took a blow. Madelyn was swinging with the pumpkin, and the poor little pumpkin fell to the ground, splitting in half. Madelyn came in the house sobbing.

I told her not to worry, we could easily replace the pumpkin. But she was not to be consoled. She was now a mere two days away from show and tell, and her beloved pumpkin was broken.

However, not to be one to let a broken pumpkin get her down, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Hence, the pumpkin below. The pumpkin lived just long enough to go to show and tell.

#3: Yesterday I took the boys for a walk. This stroller is awesome. It has a plastic rain guard that also blocks wind, so although it was chilly outside, they were toasty warm.

I am pretty sure Luke did not stop talking the entire time!
This is what I heard from where I stood.

Jabber....jabber....jabber....jabber....huh mom, huh?!

Jabber....jabber....jabber....jabber....huh mom, huh?!

Occasionally I would hear,
Jabber....jabber....jabber....jabber....why mom, why?

And once I heard Luke's impersonation of Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Boom-chicka-wow-wow, boom-chicka-wow-wow, one more time....boom-chicka-wow-wow.

Definitely smile worthy!

As we were walking past the junior high, Scott poked his head out the door and yelled Hi! He was in between classes and had seen me. It made me smile to know that my 7th grader still likes his mama....even if she is walking around in her sweats with no makeup on!

#4: This past week Ben has been learning to crawl down the stairs. Each time he would slide down a step he would exclaim, "Oooh!" He was often surrounded by his adoring fans (that would be the rest of us) cheering him on! Even the rather large crocs he was wearing did not seem to inhibit his progress. Go Ben!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A day in the life of an 11 mo. old

Poor Ben has had a rough morning. It all began quite early when he was awakened by his brother, using who knows what tactics. All I know is I found several toys in his crib when I went to lay him down for his nap. (Were the toys given to him as a gesture of kindness, or were they thrown at him to arouse him from slumber??? Only Luke knows.)

At approximately 6:30 am, I was in my bathroom multi-tasking (attempting to comb my hair, while practicing with Syd), when I heard some major commotion outside my bedroom door. I heard some yelling, followed by Ben screaming. I ran out and Josh yelled, "Madelyn threw Ben down the stairs!!" A horrified Madelyn was sitting at the top of the stairs. She cried out (practically in tears), "No I didn't!"

I scooped Ben into my arms, and he nestled his little head under my chin as he continued to cry. I then got to the bottom of the trauma, because trauma it was! Madelyn explained that he had been crawling down the stairs, then something happened and "he just started rolling down!" Luke was sitting next to Maddy and corroborated her story. "Yep, he just rolled down. Maddy didn't push him."

Poor Madelyn.


Ben, however, was fine....not a bump anywhere. After a little snuggling, he wiggled down and resumed his general exploration of, well, everything!

However, his troubles didn't end there.

Later, as I was loading the dishwasher, I heard a scream and ran to find him "trapped".

He was in the bathroom and apparently decided he wanted to play in the toilet. (He is chartering new territories.) When I walked in the bathroom, I found him with his head trapped underneath the toilet seat. Each time he tried to lift it, it would fall right back down, pinning him to the toilet. I, once again, came to his rescue, and in true mother-of-6 fashion, ignored the fact that his hands were a bit "damp", and ignored the fact that he promptly stuck his "dampish" thumb into his mouth! Of course I had good intentions of washing his hands, but he beat me to the punch. And once the thumb went in, I figured the damage had been done! Besides, he was so distraught and just wanted to snuggle. How could I say no to that?!

He then moved from the bathroom to the kitchen where he opened the puzzle cupboard (another new territory for him), and proceeded to empty it. One box broke. Luke exclaimed, "Oh no, Benzie (Luke's new nickname for Ben), you broke it! You are going to be in big trouble!" Ben then looked up at me, batted his big eyes, and said his very favorite word, "Uh-Oh!" He is already learning the fine art of "charm".

His next adventure involved the vaccuum, which he managed to pull over on himself.

Poor Ben....or is it lucky Ben?

Always into a scrape, but always loved and doted on by his many admiring fans! Oh, to be so loved!

I think I'll have to go with lucky.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My baby is all grown up....

and going to general priesthood meeting!

My how time flies. Scott is growing into such a fine young man! He and Brek had a great time together.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Making a Difference

I have a dear friend who amazes me. She has been handed one trial after another, yet she always comes out smiling. Her mom passed away (breast cancer), she has two deaf children, and she has been faced with multiple health problems herself, including breast cancer. She has now adopted two children from China.

As I watch her and her darling little family, I am so touched by the difference she is making in their lives. Those two sweet children from China are now part of a family with a mom and dad who love them so very much.

Tonight I had the privilege of going to the temple to witness the sealing of Jonah (their newest son) to his mom and dad. My heart was touched as I watched them enter the room. I love my sweet friend Marianne, and I am so happy for her. I also felt an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude for my Heavenly Father who has given us the opportunity to be sealed to our families for time and all eternity. It was a wonderful night!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's Autumn Time, It's Autumn Time

I love living in a place where I can experience all four seasons. We are now well into fall, and although we still have some very warm days, there is a chill in the air when the sun goes down, the leaves are beginning to change colors and fall from the trees, and there is a smell....the smell of autumn. I don't know how to describe it, but it is a smell that makes you want to go to the pumpkin patch, eat warm soup and drink hot apple cider, wear sweaters, jump in leaves, and go to football games.

If you are wondering what we are doing on Saturday (this Saturday, last Saturday, next Saturday), let me tell you. It involves several of my children (the players), my husband (the coach), and me (the unofficial cheerleader). There are friends to visit with, snacks to keep kids happy, and often times, hats, gloves, and blankets to keep us warm.

Yep, you guessed it! Saturday is game day for us.

Along with fall comes the beginning of football and soccer season. We run from one game to the next. Sometimes Brek and I have to divide and conquer. He goes to one game while I go to another. I cheer them all on, even though sometimes they can't hear me. (I can't help myself!) Maddy and Syd play soccer, and the boys play football. Brek helps coach Scott's team.

Last week I was not only the cheerleader, but the family photographer. Here are a few pics of the action!

As I looked at Maddy through my camera lens, I thought perhaps I should wait to take photos of her on a game day when we had actually combed her hair AND washed her face. But on second thought, I realized this was a much better representation of reality....for us anyway!

We are so glad to see Maddy smiling on the field, considering the fact that she was in tears her first two games, refusing to play. Sometimes she feels shy (biting her bottom lip), and she is nervous to get in on the action. But one kick is all it takes to get her going!

Go Maddy! Her coach said she has become an "amazing defender".

Now we have Syd. Do you see how excited she is to be playing goalie? It is like the worst form of torture.

That's better! Syd loves to be in on the action. She is a great little soccer player.

Now for a little football action. Scott is #24. It is so fun to watch him, especially when he gets to run the ball. He is a great running back.

Last but not least, there is Josh (#44). Josh is a great player, as well. He is just an all-around good athlete.

Josh and his buddy Davis (#8). They have so much fun together. If they have to stand on the sideline, at least they're there together!

The girls help watch Luke and play with him while we are at games.

Go Team!