Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On Being a Mother

I got my hair done Friday.  It seems like for the most part, the women I go to for hair-care are young, worldly and their "children" are normally of the canine variety.  They live with their boyfriend(s) in a home they purchased together and plan on marrying "someday."  (I'm serious, that past three women that worked on my hair are in the same situation.)

 It seems like women who can actually work on my hair without ruining it are all in the same place in life.

It gives me a kick to say that I have six kids.  It is so shocking to them.  I know I look young, but there's more to it than that...  I think they don't really come across many people with soooo many kids! (By the way, with my "so many" kids I REALLY don't know how my mother did it with eight!!  Props to her!)  I feel like I'm a missionary for motherhood.  When they ask "how do you do it?"  I say, "it's just what I do!  It's my job and I love it!"

When I call motherhood my chosen career path, they seem to "get" it, and appreciate it.

With my blog entries I've written the past few weeks, I just feel that it's important for me to say that I truly love being these kids' mom.  No matter how busy or crazy I get, I do it all because I love my family.  I am one lucky lady...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Our Awesome Characters

Once again, terrible picture taking skills here...

But Matthew was picked as "Character Student of the Year" in Mrs. Diaz's class.  He was picked because he is always kind to others, always holds doors, and helps kids that need help.  He got loud cheers from the entire audience.  I promise, it's not just me being his mom, he DID get loud cheers.

Then, not pictured here is Julianna, who was picked out of the entire K-5th grade as "Character Student of the Year" in Physical Education.  Mr. Mills said she displayed great sportsmanship, stayed after class to help pick up and looked after others.  Unfortunately, he forgot to tell the person in charge of the assembly about his choice, so I don't have any proof - yet - that she won this award.

Needless to say, I am SO proud of my children. 

We're still doing respectable business here at "Samuel Family Inc."  :)

Happy Memorial Day!

I am watching Glenn Beck today, Memorial Day and he is talking to "Nienie" (Stephanie Nielson).  Stephanie is a popular blogger that survived a horrific plane crash that burned 80 percent of her body.  In speaking, Glenn told a story that I loved, that feels really appropriate to my blogging the past few weeks.  (Glad I tuned in today, I haven't watched in FOREVER and he goes off the air soon.)

The President of CBS news wrote a book about people that survived tragedies.  All kinds: mountain climbs, plane crashes, these tragedies are varied.  The one thing this writer found survivors have in common?  God.  Heavenly Father helped them survive it all. 

Let that be a lesson to me.  Next time I think I'm too tired or busy to pray, I will remember that while I'm playing my silly non life-threatening "Survivor" game, I will remember to turn to God and I am sure I will find more to be thankful for than whine about...

I appreciate the reminder....


Thank you Brent for serving our country all of these years.  We are ALL so proud of you!  We love you!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

National Anthem

Tyler and Michael sang at the Imagine High School ground breaking ceremony yesterday and I was able to upload their video to Youtube.  (That's the only way I can have video on my blog - that I've figured out.)  They are so talented!  I mean, not to brag or anything... just saying.  I'm going to link the Youtube post below.  It just amazes me how far their music teacher brought these kids in one year.  They just started this Jazz choir, about eight months ago!  So impressive....

FYI, Michael is directly behind the podium and Tyler is the very tall child you see to the right of Michael.  FABULOUS!  (Just ignore the very bad lighting and picture taking.  My kids can't help it that their mother is a very lame picture/video taker.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Survivor: Last Week of School

My house smells like urine.  That is probably ranks up as my number two worst smell that happens in my house.  (I will leave number one to your imagination.) 

I usually have one or two - give or take rooms - that take on that particular funk, but today, my entire house smells.

I can't wait for school to be over.  Then I will be home in more that one or so hour stretches.  You know, long enough to get something done besides breakfastlunchdinnersnacktencupsperperson dishes and one - on a good day load of laundry.  Sadly that one load is usually NOT clean clothes for everyone.  It's the last week of school and a few of my kids haven't changed their clothes in a few days now.  At least they make it out the door! (On time if not very clean...)

SO.... in the past 24 hours
I've had a Primary Presidency meeting, canned ten jars of Salsa, been to a concert, made and delivered invitations, attended a groundbreaking ceremony, emailed and sold bricks for Booster Club, and I still need to:
Count money for the PTO.... and

I just got a call from Derek saying he was at the school to pick up the kids...  I can suddenly breathe... my list is much longer and every day is pretty much like that past 24 hours BUT I will be okay.

It's a good this you are on a team in Survivor!!  (Thank you Derek, that was a wonderful surprise...love you!)

PS.  Much thanks to where it is due.  Mom and Dad have been FABULOUS this week!!  I've needed about an hour of babysitting every day to make life more doable.  Dad has been awesome to the point that Bella is now requesting him to make her "soup" (top ramen) whether I need help or not.  Today, after she already played at their house for an hour, I was taking her back and I told her she was going to Grandpa's and she said "YAYY" with a happy dance.  So cute.  Dad says he's just her "slave" now...

P.P.S.  I hope when I'm home a little longer - I can find and get rid of all the funky smells!

P.P.P.S.  (If there is such a thing.....)  Found the smell, I'll spare you the details.  I guess that I need to be a bit more specific with my children about where poopie diapers go ie:  NOWHERE IN THE HOUSE!!! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I started blogging for several reasons: journaling, a place to save my favorite recipes, keep important family memories, and a way to share our life with family and friends.

I've been thinking lately about my interest in Mexican food.  I decided that it's not only my favorite food to eat, it's a hobby that I enjoy.  I enjoy learning new recipes and trying new things.  As luck would have it, our house is less than two hours north of the border so getting access to authentic recipes and ingredients is pretty easy. 

My brothers and sisters always asks for a "Fiesta" when they come to visit, so I'm going to add all of their favorites recipes, and maybe I will learn some new ones for my blog. 

It's just another way for us to stay close... I'm going to make sure that they can all have a "Fiesta," whether I am with them or not...

I love you all!

Here are a few of the recipes I can think of off the top of my head.  Any requests or suggestions?

homemade enchilada sauce
sonoran enchiladas
green chili
mexican rice

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Simple Salads

So I've been asked for this recipe several times, and I thought I added it on this blog somewhere but I've been doing some blog "cleaning" and I can't find it, so I'm adding a few simple salad recipes.

Cabbage Chopped Salad

Half a head of cabbage, chopped.
About four green onion, white and green parts, chopped
Fresh cilantro, about five sprigs chopped finely.  So good to know about cilantro; there is a lot of flavor in the stem, so chop the entire sprig.
One lime

Chop the cabbage, add chopped green onion and cilantro toss together.
Add the juice of half the lime, adding the other half as needed.
Salt your salad.  Salt is key in this little salad, it brings out the flavor of all the vegetables so don't be afraid of the salt.
Toss again thoroughly.  Taste, add salt or lime if needed.
Let your little salad sit for a few minutes, and then you can have it on literally anything Mexican:  tacos, burros, enchilada.  My kids will eat bowlfuls of this stuff... it's that good. (And it's cabbage, bonus!)

Tomato Avacado Salsa

My sister, Christina served a mission in Chicago, and one of her members would always serve a cubed tomato and cubed avacado with her meal.  My sister adds a little bit of olive oil and salt for seasoning, and it's a delicious salsa!  As an option, add juice from the lime half leftover from your cabbage salad for a little flavor and also as a preservative for the avacado.  Once again, serve on any Mexican dish you like, or over a green salad or over chicken.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I'm just sayin...

Sometimes that's what it is.  I feel like I play the survivor game lots of times in my life.  I'm sure that part of that is my own fault for not being more organized, and maybe for trying to give myself five more minutes in bed, or for not remembering everything I'm supposed to be doing, or because I'm actually trying to do too much.

It is probably some combination of "all the above."

But I play "Survivor":

Primary Presidency  (I could really go on for a minute here, but I'll spare you)
Bella's Mom  (She deserves her own Survivor title...)
Booster Club

Occasionally "Wife" too, but if I was to compare how many times Derek plays "Survivor Husband" to my "Survivor Wife"  well anyone who knows me well knows who is in "Survivor Mode" more...

(Hint.... isn't me....)

Well, another school year is almost over, my kids just got a year older and I still don't feel like I'm close to winning this "Survivor" game.  My guess is, I'VE got a few more years to go...  Hopfully I'll "Survive!"    :)

PS.  The PTO put on a fun talent show this morning, and our family made a GREAT showing!  Tyler played another "original" song.  I need to post that one also.  Mike played a WONDERFUL piano solo.  They both won awards. I'm very proud of my children...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

What a great Mother's Day I had this year!

Derek and all the kids did such a fabulous job.  I am so blessed...  They cooked and served me, mom, Kathy and Christina a delicious steak dinner.  They treated us like we were at a five star restaurant.

And I have to say, the older I get, the more I love all the homemade cards and gifts my children bring home.  It makes me feel very sentimental.

Happy Mother's Day Mom, I love you!

I am thankful for ALL of you wonderful women in my life that have "mothered" me...

Love you and Happy Mother's Day!