Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Grammy and Papa Debehan Visits 2015

I borrowed my dad's computer to grab a few of the pics we're always taking when we're together! These are the misc photos from this year... no particular order :)

We wanted to do a belayed mother's day hike, but we went for a drive to check it out and it was a little on the snowy side. Instead, we went walking on the bell canyon trail that my mom walks on all the time- all as a family. We had a few skeptics, but it really was such a fun time spent together- everyone expressed how much they enjoyed it!
We visited Grandma Chris on the way home to St. George

Grampa Debenham likes to take us to Neilson's to get icecream when he's visiting!

These pics with Uncle Blake are extra dear to us. They are the last pics we have of Blake and my girls. I'll copy and paste my thoughts on his death that I shared on facebook at the end of this post.

Blake was always really sweet with my girls- excited to see them and would chat with them about their life :)

Bedtime stories and snuggles

Uncle/Elder Chase home for the funeral

We took a hike the day after Blake's funeral as a family and it was incredibly healing. 

Kaya tagged along with us. We were happy to have her.

We saw a little family trying to carry a huge kayak with a crying baby and it wasn't working all that well, so we offered to help them- we know blake wouldn't hesitated like we were, so we went to action, carrying the kayak all the way back. We had a nice chat with the family from Alaska!

Slip N Slide and Kolob Trip

2 of my favorite things: Slip n Slides and Kolob... Here's a few shots so we can remember the good times!

It was Josh's idea to pull out the tarp and jump in the little pool they used for a scout activity.

We all thought it was a great idea!

See that cot in the background? That was actually used to make a ramp into the pool... it worked better than I woulda fathomed, but yeah, not the best idea.

dorky mom selfie.

We listened to general confernce in Kolob

we printed some activities straight from lds.org and they were a hit!

Daddy and Lila

I kid you not, we drank like 10 cups of hot cocoa while we were up there. It just hit the spot!

We saw these elk on the way home and Josh started dreaming of his upcoming (1st ever) hunting trip.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Halloween 2015

We were so happy to be able to spend Halloween with my parents in Salt Lake this year. My dad loves to go all out for Halloween and since they moved to a new neighborhood, they weren't sure they'd get any trick-or-treaters. They got at least 3... a minnie mouse, a pink princess, and a kiity cat!

I love this shot so much. I feel like it captures the feeling of the night for me. Off to a new house we go! We went to my parents' new neighborhood, and their old neighborhood- both had such a fun excitement about them. 
They hopped down the steps and giggled over and over again :)
"Paupa Dehinhan" and Kate.
Santa Claus gave out mustard packets to the naughty boys and girls for Halloween here.

This was such a nice afternoon- kids were happy, calmly playing with each other- there was a wetness in the air and we didn't have anywhere we need to be or anything we needed to do. Just be! I am so grateful that I can be home with my kids. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Creating a Sunday Well-Spent


It’s Monday. My husband and I say to each other in passing. “Yesterday was like the perfect Sunday!”  With 3 young kids and a short list of un-ideal circumstances, unfortunately, Sundays were often filled with feelings of frustration for our family. I used to LOVE sundays as a teenager, but being a mom to 3 young kids has altered my Sunday scene. Our church has been sending the message strong and clear over the passing months that if we aren’t using Sunday as a Holy Sabbath, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and Him. At first it sounded kind of random to me. Of all the things to concentrate on right now, why the Sabbath?

But, after trying to create a better Sabbath day for my family, and then revising and tweaking again, I totally get it now!!!  A Sunday well-spent is so fulfilling! We miss out on a lot of good that can happen on that day if we’re not diligent about our Sundays.  

How to create a Delightful Sabbath: (problems and solutions)

Problem #1: Rushed and late to get to church: with hair combed, shoes on (and still on when we pull into the parking lot), bag packed with enough activities to keep the little ones busy, etc. Then struggling to keep them in their seats is… exhausting. Can I get an “Amen” here?
SOLUTION: every Saturday night I try to take care of these things:
1)What’s everyone wearing? Lay out clothes and accessories.
2)What are we eating? Lay our breakfast items, or at least have a plan.
3)What do I need to take to church? Is my lesson printed? Is my church bag packed? Rotate quiet activities for the church bag so kids’re more likely to be content.
4)My most helpful strategy: Figure out how long it takes you to get everyone ready, and once you’re at that time (it’s 7:55 am for our 9:00 church), focus on doing only those things that need to be done to get there! I like that it’s pretty predictable that we should be on-time if I’m quick and focused.


Problem #2: Having an extra parent around during the day actually messes with the flow I’m used to! I’m used to being the only parent around during the day: when a child cries, I go to that child at the time I asses that they need me. Add another adult, and it’s a little more complicated. Who is on duty? I subconsciously think , “Oh hubby’s home… He can take care of that fire...”- and he’s actually thinking. “Where is Jenn!? I am trying to take a poop!” or “I am totally enjoying this msn article”, or “I was just about to hop in bed for my well-deserved Sunday nap!” We’re totally lucky to have an awesome husband/dad around, but this element of uncertainty throughout the day, though small, is taxing.
SOLUTION: Sit down with your partner and talk about how you can make it an enjoyable day of rest for both of you. Here’s what we do: when we get home from church, we all get out snacks, chat for a bit, and then make a plan for who gets their “me time” when. We usually need to switch off which spouse goes first and for how long since no 2 Sundays look alike. We totally use the white noise app on our phones to try to drown out the inevitable fighting between siblings etc. If possible, we try to use our one-on-one time with the kids to be outside.

Problem #3: We make a bigger mess on Sundays since we are home all day and have time to graze through the entire leftover situation in the fridge, and are curiously always in the mood for various snacks from the pantry. Are we on the same page about cleaning it up? Nope.
SOLUTION(s): Sundays are a great day for everyone to work together to clean up. Start a fun tradition for Sundays after dinner. Turn on some music, and incentives for fast cleaning aren’t a bad call sometimes! Another mom shared with me that their family enjoys having a special meal on Sundays and everyone knows that you don't get any dinner until you've helped with the preparing! So everyone works along-side each other, and the same is true for clean-up. Love that :)

Problem #4: Feelings of so much I’d like to do on Sunday... Each week I can only get to a small percentage of it because I feel like I'm just responding to small fires, being a little cooped up and don't have the structure other days have.
  1. My husband and I are shooting for unplugged Sundays. No using the internet- we have 6 days to find out the latest on facebook etc. and 1 day to take a refreshing break and let our minds think about what He wants us to do to progress. We’re not perfect, but this app has helped me a ton (actually every day of the week! it’s called Stay Focused and you allot how much time you want to spend on instagram, facebook, pinterest and chrome--- or whatever you’re downfall might be… and then it kicks you out! LOVE it). We don’t completely unplug- the kids sometimes watch the awesome bible videos that’re on youtube etc.
  2. That “snack-chat” I mentioned earlier about planning with my husband? Yeah, we also use that time to talk about what we will do for service that day and plan out what needs to happen to make-it-happen. Last Sunday I dumped a bunch of ingredients in my breadmaker and viola, fresh hot bread to take to a neighbor :)
  1. I got these cute little journals for my girls (ages 2 and 4) and it has been a fun tradition to pull them out every week. Ideal time has been when I’m breaking up a fight… Kids: “She’s hitting me!!!” Mom: “Hey wanna pull out your journals?” Both kids: “Yay!!!!!!” I let them tell me what they want me to write down about their week or church that day. We’re going on week 6 or so, and they still REALLY look forward to it. I let my 4 yo try to write a few words on her own with me helping her to spell, and the 2 yo can scribble with a pen with me sitting by her. Sometimes I write down cute things they said or did as well. (The BEST journal for recording their cute quotes for the day-to-day life tho is this one!)

My attitude about Sunday activities changed when Elder Nelson said in general conference April 2015:  “the Sabbath is a sign between you and God” (quoting Ezekial). Rather than wondering “Is this activity ‘Sabbath appropriate’?” It is easier for me to ask: “What do I want to show the Lord on his day?” It has actually both broadened and narrowed my activities into things that are truly better for me and my family.

I remember one Sunday in April, I was in my bathroom looking for something under my bathroom sink. Since we’d moved in I hadn’t found the energy or time to organize under there. I actually had the mental clarity to attack this “ job” at that moment, and normally I would dismiss it saying to myself it wasn’t Sabbath appropriate activity. But I thought about it: it would take me 10-15 minutes and I would be a more organized mother and wife for my family, AND I had a quiet moment to ponder as I sorted through things. (so theraputic, right?) I went for it and I really felt like that was a lot of the point that Elder Nelson was trying to teach us. Our Sabbath activities aren’t a sign for you to anyone else, but a special time to progress into the person He wants us to be. I felt great about it actually! The main goals are: to do his work, rest, and strengthen relationships with others in a way that we’d feel comfortable if he happened to magically appear at that moment. “Oh hey! Wanna see what I was up to? Love you :)”.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Abby's First Day of Preschool

 Do you think she was excited? My SWEET neighbor Holly was on board to carpool and so we get to carpool with Jolie! We love their teacher Teresa. It's a perfect fit for us. Abby is starting to read already!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Down time

We were home-bound for like 10 days. It all started when I went to a Zumba class one lovely tuesday... Dropped the kids off at the daycare, and then it hit.... Kate got a croup-y cough, followed by a bad cough for Abby. Then, despite my efforts to save Lila from it, she eventually developed  symptoms which turned into and ear infection. 3 trips to the pediatrician later- we are all ALMOST over it! (I can't decide if I'm experiencing allergies or what...)

Since we wanted to avoid the spread of germs, here's what we've been up to keep from going loco!

We borrowed a bunch of games from my Kathryn. Jackpot! That Frozen Spot It game was fun enough that I ended up ordering our own online. I'd compete with Josh at the same time the girls raced each other. Blokus was actually really fun for a date night in! That's prob Josh and I's very favorite. Mighty Mind was totally great for Abby- kept her busy for a long stretch. Feed the kitty was cute to see my girls easily catch on. Fibber and Yahtzee we never got around to...
Just sayin' hi!
That one time I went looking for Kate and found her all buckled in, shoes on, just as happy as could be. Ummm... next time, let's have you do that when I ask you to get in the car, k? (and have my car magically stay that clean too, alright?)
Chalk silhouettes were fun! This one's Kate.

I let Abby do mine too. Nice excuse to lay down and take half-a-nap ;)

Abby is SOOO excited for her first dance class. We took pics for fun since she couldn't actually go! She's been anxiously awaiting dance and school to start, and the cough hit. Bummer.
Kate is big-into twirling as of late.

Kate is a little jealous, but she's fine once Abby's out of sight-- out of mind. We really relish in one-on-one time. Those 2 have been "at" each other more, so they need a break, separate from one another.
We fed the ducks, took a selfie or 2, and Kate earned her first big prize with her fuzzies! And we had humidifiers galore going round the house. The end.