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Friday, December 19, 2014

5 Days til Christmas?! What the What?! Our week before Christmas.

Does anyone else feel like Christmas just came so fast this year?  We put up our tree early this year a few weeks before Thanksgiving because it just felt right.     It's amazing how the children feel the Christmas spirit just putting ornaments on the tree and listening to Christmas music.

You know the Christmas spirit? The holy ghost that Christ sent to be with us to remember him. To know the truth of all things.  This same spirit has my children in the best spirits and were hugging each other so much while decorating the tree. Super big smiles adorned their faces. It's something I wish I saw all year round.

They've been wanting to fall asleep to Michael Buble's Christmas album (which I love and has replaced my usual Mariah Christmas album) I don't know why I'm saying album, we listen to it on Amazon.  This is 2014.   My husband is burnt out on Mariah, although I love her Christmas CD. :)

This month and week has been filled with festive events. The kids got to see Santa a few times and ask for different things every time, which kept us scrambling to try and get those gifts they asked for.   Does anyone else go into panic mode when they hear their child ask for something they didn't put on their Christmas list?  It's kind of funny.

Monday the kids got a chance to perform their Christmas numbers they have been rehearsing in their dance classes.  Clara got to do her Ballet number and Carson did his hip hop routine, which was so cute. The kids were so nervous, but they went out there and performed it anyway. I was such a proud mom! I AM a proud mom.  Watch it  HERE.

Tuesday we thought there was something going on at my sons school so my husband used his lunch hour running to his school only to find out the students were watching a performance not performing.  We are new to town so we don't know what goes on. Then my husband had meetings late at work that day so I was just worn out.  I think I went to bed around 9 that night for the first time in a very long time.

Wednesday the primary kids in our ward were going to a local nursing home to sing christmas carols, which I shamingly admit we skipped out on.   Thursday Clara had a preschool performance after school where all of the kids sang christmas songs to their parents. Do you see why I skipped Wed? I was just needing a break.

Meanwhile I have been busy sewing christmas presents for nieces and nephews, as well as trying to wrap as many presents as I can while the kids were at school.  I'm so thankful my 10 month old doesn't know what I'm doing!  I still have a few to wrap and I have no idea where I am going to hide them. Our house is so small there is literally no where to put anything.

Wednesday night we heard a knock at the door and someone had dropped a pretty significant amount of cash as well as some candies at our door.  I immediately start bawling because this time of year has been so hard on us financially. I hate our financial problems and I hate talking or thinking about it, but it never seems to go away.  Such is the life of a stay at home mom, it's not all glamour and real housewives of new jersey, york and whatever city they have that show.  When I decided to quit my nice paying job to stay home with the children I knew it wasn't going to be easy I knew we would go without and that was a sacrifice I was willing to make to be there for my children.  I am not ungrateful, I am not in any way saying woe is me, because this is what we chose and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I know it won't always be this hard as my husband works his way up in his job field but right now it's tough.  We don't expect anyone to help us, in fact I'm the type that would much rather do it myself and not ask for help.  It's not so much pride as it is, I feel it's our responsibility to take care of our family.  My husband is taking up a second job to make ends meet and hopefully save some,  which will be great.  I can also with this money purchase a business license to sell some of my crafts on Etsy and start getting paid for photography and graphic design.

I don't know who the Good Samaritan was that decided we needed the help this holiday season, but I sure hope they know how much we appreciate, how humbled and grateful we are.  How I cant wait to pay it forward when we can.  I hope that everyone can have a good samaritan in their lives and hopefully this holiday season we can think in our hearts how we can help those around us.

Within our family my husband and I have some pretty great parents who have helped us out tremendously in getting the kids things they want for Christmas. I know Christmas isn't all about the stuff and I hope I can convey that to my kids more, but kids have to have something on christmas!

Although, like that family in Utah I have reminded my children that I WILL cancel Christmas if I have to!   I was taken a back a little when I heard my 6 year old say "we won't get everything we want" as I have said that several times trying to drive home that they won't get everything on their list.  I was happy he was listening.

Last Christmas and this Christmas I remember thinking, well the kids will get one or two gifts and that will just have to be enough and every Christmas somehow it becomes more than I ever expected. I don't know why and I don't feel like we deserve it. It is truly humbling.

Phew so if you're still reading this we are blessed this Holiday season and every season. I'm hoping your Christmas season is Merry and Bright from our family to yours.   I hope we can all keep in our hearts the true meaning of Christmas and remember Christ, all that he was and is.  
May your days be merry and bright!




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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Recap of April, May and June






Linking up again this week and again, I am late to the party.  It's expected of me now isn't it?  Click the button link if you'd like to play along.

After re reading my recap of Jan, Feb and March, as well as other bloggers posts, I decided that post was extremely depressing and disheartening. I don't like to dwell on those times or feelings in my life.  

Time for the good news in my story this year! April we learned that my husband got the job he interviewed for. Negotiations were settled and our move date would be June. It felt like an eternity and I honestly didn't think it would happen. I thought we would have to move in with family until we could find something.

Finally the good news we had been waiting for! April and May I was still studying and taking classes in school. I was determined to finish my degree by the end of the year.  I was taking care of my two little kids as well as our newborn babe, packing a little at a time.  It was so hard trying to figure out what I could pack that I wasn't going to need with three kids, but still try and pack our whole house.  We were also searching for a place to live in our new state and handle all that mess.  April and May we tried to take advantage of where we were living and have fun.

I had to say goodbye to the best friends I've made in Columbus Ohio.  Side Note: it's really hard to make lifelong friends that just get you when you are married with kids. It just is. I don't know why.  Those girls and I clicked on a different level, and I still miss them dearly!  I am so grateful to have shared fun times and laughs with them and just happy to have known them.

I had to say goodbye to city life and about 4 targets in a 15 mile radius to only 1 target an hour and a half away.  So many free parks nearby to 2 small parks in town.

In June I scrambled to unpack while my husband learned the ropes at his new job. Can I confess that my husband still has unpacked boxes in our room? I refuse to unpack his stuff, haha.  He is a borderline hoarder.  I would just throw everything away and then he would be mad at me.

The only people I ever got to see were in our small little ward (our church building). Which by the way is so amazing.

In June I was also registering my kids for school. My son would start 1st grade and my daughter would start preschool.  There were so many exams and physicals and getting all their records transferred…it was a big ordeal. I was so happy when it was over and I could lovingly send my kids on the bus!  Insert big smile here. That is another post for next week.

I believe my summer semester started as well in June. As I stated earlier I was trying to finish my degree in graphic design by the end of the year so I needed a math class to get everything done. I took a couple classes over the summer.

My son celebrated his 6th birthday. I wish we could have had a party with all his friends and family, but moving set us back a ton. I was thankful we had enough money from our tax return to fund our move otherwise we never could have done it.  I believe even on a small budget he had a great birthday.

My fav of all the children.

 We tried to take pics after Easter, but the baby was only happy for this one shot.
Me and the kids went to our first circus show in Columbus before we moved. I know they don't look that excited but we all had a fun time.


 My son's last day of Kindergarten! Love his face.
Love this one.

 For some reason I couldn't see during this shoot in June. But I love how cute they are. Every photo was not focused…bad photographer!
I had a photography class and I snapped this as we were exploring where we moved.


I plan to make it around to all the other posts, though it may take me some time!! Happy Blogging.


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Friday, December 12, 2014

The Next Big Youtube sensation


My kids love watching Youtube.  My daughter especially loves watching this one channel in which a grown woman stuffs a stocking or a bag with fun little blind bags and unwraps it all on camera.    My daughter always does "videos" as she calls them, sometimes I record her, sometimes I don't and she still pretends she's being recorded.  Maybe it's because I'm here mama, but I think she's got some raw talent.  This is the first video I've actually edited, I think we will have to perfect this!

If you have your kids watch let me know what they think, also let me know if you have any suggestions for us!?

Have a great weekend!

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My 2014 Review: It is always worth it.




Emmy's Review Extravaganza is the perfect opportunity to update everyone on what's been going on with us this year. I also have the time now that school is out for the semester. So link up if you want to join in by clicking the button above!

Bare with me as I try to remember the events that transpired in the beginning months of this year. Is it sad that I don't remember that much? I literally have to go back and read my journal.  I will try and be brutally honest however, I don't know how vulnerable I can be or want to be with my life. I can promise to try my best.

January:

How do I start this post off with the most depressing stressful time in my adult life?  I only wrote in my journal 2 days in January. The last two days of the month I was 35 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child and second girl. School started for the semester and by the sound of things I was doing pretty well with that.  I learned I had cholestasis which was going to result in inducing baby girl at 37 weeks, 2 weeks later.  I was a little worried about the baby, although the doctor advised everything would go fine.  My husband's job was not paying enough money for us to survive. We couldn't pay our mortgage we couldn't pay our bills and we barely had money for food.  All of these thoughts swirled in my head every second of every day as I tried to hang on and be positive for my kids and husband.   My husband graduated from college and was seeking employment anywhere and everywhere. At this time he didn't have any prospects.  I was wondering how I could earn an income at 35 weeks pregnant.  At times it was beyond bearable.

Month in IG photos:

February:

Still the stresses of life going on around us and our baby girl Lola Rose made her appearance on Feb 20th.  A blurb from my journal entry ; "We have a new baby girl, Lola Rose Jeffries. 7lbs 6 Oz. 20 inches born February 20th, 3:57AM, and she is right now making noises in her bassinet at the foot of our bed. Robert sleeping soundly to my left as I type away. "  Update! Read the birth story HERE.

 I recorded two days prior to her birth, my husband had a job interview over the phone and was contemplating going to the city to interview face to face. It was a huge decision for us because we didn't have the money to get there and they were saying it wouldn't pay us very much. Although after much fasting and prayer we both felt strongly that he should go.  I just remember this month feeling the spirit so strongly, feeling Heavenly Father take care of us with the things we needed. Through our friends and family we were able to be blessed by their hands when needed and I will be eternally grateful to my in-laws mostly and to my parents and friends for their support and help.

 I remember our perfect baby girl and how much I loved that she was there in our lives.  I remember now how amazing of a baby she was during that time. She was specifically chosen for us from Heavenly Father at that time.   Bills went unpaid but we were still ok we had everything we needed and a roof over our head.

FEB IG :

March :

Still a hard time, my husbands face to face interview had payed off and they had made an offer. We  didn't know if everything would work out because we were in negotiations. I can't tell you how much we needed this job.  I don't know if anyone will ever really know.  I believe the kids had no idea what was going on, and I guess that's wonderful if we were able to keep them happy and unaware of the stresses of adulthood.  My husband fasted a lot in February and it was amazing to see how he received a call from prospective jobs or from the job he was interviewing with as soon as he started his fast.  My testimony was strengthened so much these three months.  I look back now and I think I'm so happy they are over. I'm so happy we have our baby girl, and I'm so happy that I have the faith and the knowledge that I do to get through times like that.  Often times I would look ahead and think this will be all be in the past soon....it won't be like this forever......I hope.

March IG:


Thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

2014 Oct Visiting Teaching Free Printable

I really should be studying for my math test on Friday...but I would much rather be doing this!

I was excited to read the visiting teaching message this month and like so many others, the thought to bake bread entered my mind. I wish I was an amazing cook and made my bread from scratch, however, it was the gourmet box.

I thought about just giving my sisters the box with a quote on it so they could bake their own, cause I'm lazy thoughtful like that. Then I decided they were busy ladies and might appreciate me making it for them.

Feel free to click the link and download a little banner for your loaves.

I wrapped my bread in plastic wrap. Then wax paper then taped my little quote strip on there. Finished off with a nice little ribbon. Sugar and spice and everything nice. Fall (pumpkin bread) is definitely in the air and I'm lovin it!

**Printable is for personal use only, is not to be altered or copied and sold***




Free Printable Here

Don't think I'm too amazing or anything though, this is the first time I've gone visiting teaching since we've moved here! I need to be better and what better way than to begin today?

Have you done your visiting teaching?

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Photographers : Why they are worth what they charge

I wrote this report for my communications class last fall.  If you remember I requested some information from anyone that has taken pictures professionally as a photographer and anyone that has employed professional photographers to take their pictures.

I had two different surveys, one for photographers and one for the client. One survey was about how the photographers felt about their pricing and business. The other survey was how the clients felt about the services of the photographers they employed in regard to pricing and their experience with the photographer.  The following is my final research paper.  You could just start with the introduction.

Here is the link that will take you directly to the paper.


Comments on what you think?


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Cellular service and Wifi Calling; the new, not so new thing.

Since we've moved out of a big city with 4G network and into a small city with no G network, the realization of how dependent we've become on our cellphones became all too clear.

I have been a long time, loyal T-mobile customer since I was old enough to get my own cellphone. I got my own cellphone with my own plan probably when I was 21. I did have a cellphone in high school under my parents plan but I didn't pay for it.   My very first cell phone billed to me was with Sprint but, soon after I switched to T-mobile because the plans were so much cheaper.  

Some years ago I talked my parents into switching to T-mobile because I have loved them for so many years. I tell everyone how much I love their customer service, because time and time again they have made me the happiest customer ever.

Having said what a loyal customer I am, let me tell you how I feel about their new advertisements for wifi calling.  If it is a surprise to you, T-mobile is now selling only phones that allow wifi calling. This means you can use the wifi signal in your home, or probably at any place offering free wifi to make calls and get a signal.

There is something on it here.

T-mobile even sent a text message about their "Latest big change inspired by you, We're breaking down more coverage barriers".  Here 

Let me first say I have the Iphone 5 (the first Apple phone available with T-mobile) and there is no wifi calling available with that model. I hear that the Iphone 5C and the Iphone 5S do have this capability with the new 8.0 update.   From now on, T-mobile will only sell phones that have wifi calling capabilities as I mentioned before.

Since I can't get a steady signal anywhere in my home I have to walk outside in the driveway if I want to call anyone. Also if I walk into any building in town I can't get a signal.   Sending a text message, I have to stand in a certain spot and not move otherwise it will fail to send. There are certain areas in my home I just can't get a signal.  If I get a call mostly it goes to voicemail and sometimes I can't listen to the message.  Sometimes I receive messages way later than they were sent.  So wifi calling is something I would be able to use.   Because I can't get an internet signal with my cellphone reception, I use my wifi signal to post pictures and use internet on my phone while I'm at home.  I already use my wifi for mostly everything internet related on my cell phone, but I'm still not able to use wifi calling for some reason.

My problem with T-mobile advertising this "breaking down coverage barriers" campaign is, we pay $120 for our cellphone bill which probably isn't a lot compared to most companies. However, if I'm using wifi calling most of the time on my cellphone (if I had wifi calling), I'm paying $120 to use my internet connection that I'm already paying for monthly through an internet provider.   I'm kind of confused why T-mobile thinks they don't have to work on their poor reception areas?  Doesn't anyone else think there is something wrong with this?

It's been on my mind since I've seen a few advertisements and I just get annoyed.  Granted wifi calling is something I need in my situation. Not everyone will care about this because in bigger cities the reception is probably great, ours used to be.  Essentially, I'm paying for a cellphone service I can't use, which really sucks for me.  But lets call it like it is T-mobile. You are advertising for people to use their own internet connections, not your cell phone service.  In a business sense I guess kudos to you for making money doing nothing.  


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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reflections on last year.

I want to blog a little bit, every now and then I get in that bloggy mood.

I'm linking up with Mama'sLosinIt weekly writing prompts.
Mama’s Losin’ It

My topic is what I was blogging about last year and what's changed since then.

Oh my heck where do I begin?

If you want to catch up  :
This was last Aug 
This was last Sept
and this was last Oct

I wasn't blogging all that much as you can see because I was in school full-time, I still am, but I am so tired of education in my life.  My son had started Kindergarten and I was feeling like a proud mom. My husband hadn't gotten into grad school and I was stressing out about him finding a job.  Also, around this time the big government shut down fiasco was happening and my mom wasn't working as a result.  She still got backpay for all the days they were shut down so I don't know what the big deal was, however, I still really like that post in Oct.

So much has changed since then, for the better. Last year was the hardest time of my life and I was pregnant with baby numero 3 to boot. How in the freaking world did I survive?!  I just did. We have since moved to a new city and state. My husband is enjoying his first job after college. We are raising our three beautiful children in a nice quiet small town with no TARGET!  I am almost finished with my degree! THANK THE HEAVENS ABOVE!!  I am exercising to be a healthier happier me at least 3 times a week, which has helped so much with postpartum.

I don't know how I juggle it all, I am NOT supermom. I have always been very good at multitasking so maybe that has something to do with it, but I know most days are hard. Most days are special, lovely, and exhausting with my children. I love the sweet kind caring people they are growing up to be.  I love seeing my middle child now in preschool and all the things she is learning when just last year she was turning 3. Now she's 4 and She is such an amazing little girl full of spunk, sass, and just the right amount of sweetness. My son is doing so well and loving his new school as well as loving being in first grade. Both are taking dance classes, I love how much they love music and dancing. Our little baby is eating more baby foods and continues to drool as her teeth come in.

My husband is an amazing support system and partner as we work together to accomplish our goals. He is so helpful to me so I can work on schoolwork and takes care of the children when I need a break. He is everything a wonderful loving husband should be and more. I am in awe at what an amazing man he is, even after 7 years of marriage.

If there is one huge lesson I've learned since last year that I am still learning, that lesson is patience. Things happen in their own time, in their own season, and I can't control it. I need to learn to be patient and just wait. Wait, watch, pray and continue to do the best that I can do.  I have to tell myself that a lot because I am not a naturally patient person.

I look back at last year and I think thank goodness that time has passed.  I look forward to what will happen this year! To what good things await us next year!

Thanks for reliving this journey with me it was fun, not fun, but fun!
XOXO


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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Birthdays, birthdays and even more birthdays!

My little girl turned 4 this weekend.
I cannot believe how fast the time has gone. From this wee little babe..
 To this little sassafras


Since my husband just got out of college and is in his first job, we really were worried about how we could make this birthday special for our little girl, or at least I was. With Carson our oldest we learned a couple of things as new parents. 

1. When we threw him big parties for his first few birthdays we set the bar really high for future siblings birthdays. 

2. older son expects big birthdays. 

3. If you can get away with a small birthday do it! And start now.

We just couldn't do a big party and invite all the cousins like we usually do. So we stayed home and we tried to make it fun and exciting and I think we did a good job.  This year with our move, older son didn't get a big party either and we may just continue on this tradition, cause I happen to like it. 

Just like my older son we decorated the outside of her room. (I'm gonna have to post about his birthday) It was busy this summer with moving and everything.

 My daughter loves Lalaloopsy, and I'm talking crazy love, wants all of them which would cost a fortune to collect love. So we tried to keep with a lalaloopsy theme. 
I made these cute little tassels I've always wanted to make and hung them from the doorways

 We made cute little buttons out of paper plates from the dollar store and Walmart. And all of these decorations I did get mostly from The actual dollar store, not the ones that claim to be dollar stores and really nothing is a dollar there. I think it was Family Dollar. 

 She was all too happy to pose for me. I actually caught her just standing in the hallway a couple of times loving the decorations, she said "it's so beautiful". 
 I dug through my fabric stash I had bought when Clara was a babe and decided I wanted to make her a Lalaloopsy inspired skirt. Unfortunately I am not very good at making patterns or know how to sew outfits, but I think I did pretty good considering that fact. She loved it . I made her that button headband and we put little pony tails in her hair. 

The top layer I did a circle skirt, but I didn't have enough fabric of the rest of the layers to do circle skirts as I would have liked. The ribbon trim helped to make it look more polished. 
I wanted to make cupcakes for Clara's preschool class. Older son's birthday is during summer and I never got to send him with cupcakes to school. So, I made these cute cupcakes. I tried mixing the frosting and it turned out really well. 
 While making the second batch of cupcakes for the park with friends I realized I doubled the butter and stuff for the preschool batch but I didn't double the sugar, so something didn't taste right with those. It was still good although really buttery. I think the kids liked it anyway.

This was my second batch with pink and purple frosting and my first time trying rose decorated frosting. So fun. I wish I had a bigger tip, it was kinda small.  If you want to know my frosting recipe you can find it here on my (update: it's obviously not MY recipe, I got it off the internet, but you can find it here) Pinterest board. Really yummy butter cream. 
So her school party was Thursday and Friday on her actual birthday we met with friends at a local park. 
Luckily we made some really great friends so far here and the kids get along with the other kids so well and I was happy Clara got to have fun with friends. When we moved here I found out I knew a couple from the singles ward I used to go to in Lexington. So it's cool to see their kids and our kids hanging out together. 





We did travel a little bit to my parents house for my dad's 60th birthday. His birthday is the day before Clara's and we had to go and see him. We actually celebrated both of their birthdays. Clara got to open her favorite present something she's wanted for so long. The Lalaloopsy Bubbly Mermaid. 

 Can you tell Carson looks a little excited about it too. The kids watch the youtube toy videos and this is a favorite. 
 Our yummy ice cream cake. We also celebrated my birthday which is this week, my dad's and clara's and my sister in laws birthday which is also this month.  

 The kids hadn't seen my brothers kids in so long, I wanna say since maybe last year. They were having fun together.
 Love to see them having fun.


Overall it was a successful birthday and Clara had a great birthday weekend. We all had a good time. 




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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Primary 6: Lesson 30 David and Bathsheba handout

Good morning,

I thought it would be fun to create a little handout my kids could take home with them. Something to remind them what we went over in the lesson as well as how they can study the lesson and what they can do at home.

My hope is for the kids in my class to either put this on their wall or in their journals to remember this important lesson.

Click on the image and you should be able to print the image, or download the PDF file on the link below or here, have it printed and give to your children.

Download PDF Here

Have a wonderful Week!



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