Man, I’m struggling with keeping up with the “now” as I record the “then.”

There here are some of the “now” thing I’ve been thinking about lately:

I love how Lucy keeps me organized.  She had our days after Fall Break all situated, with planning in a trip to Target to buy a Lego set with the money she got from her birthday.  Seriously, I’m pretty sure that girl has enough Legos.  Pretty soon there will be no room for her in her bedroom because of those things taking over.  But she was pretty excited to spend her own money and there was no sweet-talking her into branching out to anything different with that money.  That girl has a mind of her own I tell you.  And it’s going to get her places in life.

One of the things on her agenda was to pull out the Halloween stuff.  Bo wasn’t overly thrilled about the new addition we picked up for her at Target:

We love the television series “This Is Us.”  Does anyone out there watch it?  It is so good.  I love that my girls are so excited about that show and it’s a thing that will start some pretty good family discussions.  We set aside some time the last night of Fall Break to catch up on that thing because despite the fact that we all love it, we’re terrible at finding a time to sit down and watch it.  We are not good tv watchers around here.  But I love having something that will pull me away from my running wheel of life to just “be” every now and again and look into eyes and souls.

The main characters in that show have a marriage I love.  It’s interesting to see the ups and downs.  Even the best marriages have the “downs.”  I’ve been thinking so much about marriage lately and have a blog post half-written about it, inspired by a question from a blog reader and also suddenly a lot of marriages around me struggling.  Hope I can get to that soon, but I love how that show makes me think about the work that needs to go on even in the best marriages.

I’ve been thinking and ranting a little about technology (back HERE) but there was one night last week when Dave and I lay in bed, enshrouded in darkness except for the glow of Dave’s phone with Elle on speaker phone telling us all kinds of light and goodness going on in Hawaii.

It’s times like that that I thank my lucky stars for technology.

I think it’s so interesting how as your kids grow and mature, and some move away, you “grow out” of some things as a family.  This week I tried to bring a couple things back.  Because even though my kids are older and we don’t have as many, as I look back I think there are some good things that “younger mom” version of myself did.

So this week, on the spur of the moment as I was putting shepherd’s pie on the table for dinner I decided we should have an “International Night” once again (we have totally dropped the ball on those suckers we used to do back HERE).  Because shepherd’s pie originated from England…at least I think it did…and whether it really did or not, it worked for that night.  Everyone broke out their English accents and our kitchen filled up with love.

This week I again reverted spur of the moment back to my “young-kid-mom” when the kids asked what we were doing for Family Home Evening.  I sprinkled “clutter-bug-fairy-dust” on my girls, which transformed them into clutter busters.  Cheesy as all get-out, yes, and at first they rolled their eyes at that idea, but we did a little tour of our home and examined all the clutter areas and got them whipped into shape and it just felt so good.  I was the worst clutter culprit in the kitchen, and they were the worst in their closets. Yowzas we cleaned out a lot of stuff in a short amount of time and then played our traditional card game:

(Love Dave’s face up there)

Where Lucy came out victorious.

 Sorry, but we NEED both of those pictures in this post.

I love that girl.

And that guy.

I follow this guy:

(another good thing on technology)
And he makes me want to go back and explore more of Utah.  I want to find that exact spot and bask in that beauty for a bit.

We have trouble getting to bed around here.  We stay up too late to be getting up early.  I get on everyone’s cases about it but when I got home from book club semi-late last month the house was quiet and everyone was sound asleep.  

Then it happened again last night.
Hmmm…I think I have found the “problem.”

Speaking of book club I had to cram like nobody’s business this month.  I felt compelled to finish the book because dang, it was a good one.

It’s called “Letters to a Young Muslim” and I have tons of thoughts on that that will have to come another day.

For now I’m off to organize lots of Families Fighting Blindness stuff for the upcoming Turkey Trot.  That thing is right around the corner.  Lots of people have sent me ideas on how to help raise awareness about vision loss in the past…keep them coming if you have any to share.


  1. I LOVE this is us!and all thw thinking it makes me do about relationships and judgement. And i checked out letters to a young muslim literally an hoir ago from thw library. Glad to hear it was good.

  2. You mentioned This Is Us on a blog post a couple months ago so I convinced my husband to watch it with me and it is our favorite!! We love it and it's so refreshing to find a clean and inspiring show on TV. Such great life lessons on that show—thank you for suggesting it!

    1. We play all kinds. Our main games are "lucky unders," "scum," and "stick it to your neighbor." You may be able to google how to play those… We also play a lot of Rumikub. Love that game as well.

  3. Hey! In past posts you've talked about your morning routine and how you guys start at the crack of dawn. How do you do it?! Are you guys naturally early risers? I'm a young mom of two little ones and I'm trying to wake up early to get a better routine and get a good morning scripture study in and get some other productive things in before everyone rises… but waking up early has been so hard. I want more of the spirit in my life as a mom. I loved what you said about how you've been thinking about daily revelation lately. I'm in the same boat!! Do you have pointers how to wake up early? I know it takes a while to get used to it. How did you get a good study in with young kids? Have you always woken up early to get studying in?
    I would love any advice you have!!!
    I've been a reader of your blog for a couple years now.
    Thanks for being so real and vulnerable on here!!

    1. Hi Diane! We get up early out of necessity because high school starts so dang early and it's the only time we can figure out to all be together. It has come together after years and years of practice:) Yes, we did it when our kids were younger and in elementary school as well, but it sounds like your kids may be even younger? It doesn't have to be done in the morning (in China it worked out to do it at night and I loved it so much more…everyone was so much more alert…but we didn't have as many extracurriculars there). You just need to do what's best for you and your family. Work it to your needs. If you want alone time in the morning before everyone else wakes up, with enough practice it will work. When the desire is there things happen, and it sounds like you have the desire. Good luck to you and thanks for your good question.


  4. I love This Is Us too! Haven't quite gotten my family on board yet but I will. I love that you said you are "not good tv watchers" I wish we were more that way because sometimes I feel like the TV is a big black hole sucking us right on in and stealing our time and innocence. I have a top five list of couples whose marriages have something they are doing right that I want to emulate in my marriage and Jack and Rebecca are on that list. I read this great article the other day about something that kills relationships and I have seen this in so many of our friends who have recently gotten divorced. Not just in divorce but also in my own home with my kids a lot of the time too. It's a great read.

  5. i also would love to know where you found such a large round kitchen table. and the small wooden circle on top of it that spins. i LOVE them both!

  6. thank you for responding! is there any way you can tell me the diameter of your table? and the lazy susan? i love how your big family doesn't seem squished together at all and it is still roomy with the lazy susan on top as well. thank you for your time!

  7. It’s truly interesting how you’re reading Letters to a young Muslim – I’m a Muslim from Singapore and I’ve been reading 71toes since I was about 17. I’m 25 now. Knowing you read something I’m reading now makes me feel connected, somehow. Wow.

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