This Thursday I am thankful for…(here we go)….I already stated I was thankful for family, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, clothes, food, heat, my car, a bed, and so much more….but I have not stated that I am super thankful that….I do NOT cook on Thanksgiving…or any other holiday….So thankful to have a day off! I get to sit back and relax….yeah…and probably do dishes…but hey, I get to tune in every year and watch the parade and dog show….whoop whoop! So thankful to have a husband who loves to cook….honestly, no joke…I do not cook on Thanksgiving….okay, maybe I make the corn. LOL.

The mister and the kiddos making pie

Love it…So Blessed!

Since this is somewhat a journal of my thoughts and I know someday my children will read this…I just wanted to say parenting is not easy. Lately, I have been feeling the need to be the best mom EVER…sometimes my children tell me I am….the other times….they don't say that, but I am okay with that.

Growing up I never thought about what our parents go through raising us. I am not saying my children are bad, by all means they are not, but they aren't perfect. They make mistakes, they make a mess, they say mean things, they don't listen…but hey they are kids…Right? I get that, but I am tired of using that excuse (and I am tired of hearing people use that excuse). I am the disciplinary in the family and I hate repeating myself and lately I have found myself raising my voice a lot more than normal…too much. The old me minus one child prior to living in TX would have NEVER raised my voice at my children, I simply would just put them in their room and have them cry it out with the door closed…long story short they were usually tired and would just fall asleep. Back then my husband and I were super passive and I can honestly say it worked for us. We raised a happy little girl who was and til this day is very understanding of right and wrong and is fully aware that I (we) do not like to hear crying especially from someone who is not a baby. Fast forward to now and add on trials, a new baby, and other stuff that we have experienced…our parenting strategy has changed and it has us looking dazed and confused…thinking...What can we do to better ourselves? What can we do to stop the constant whining of a toddler? What can we do so that we can NOT yell? What can we do so that we can be more understanding and sensitive to our child's need? what can we do?…A lot of this is What can we do as parents because it is not the child's fault, it is how the parents parent the child…right? 

To kick off my new parenting strategy to help me not loose my cool and be more understanding and patient…here is what I am doing…starting the month of december I am going to do a test run and change up my parenting skills by: 
1. not yelling or raising my voice but I will still use my stern voice
2. cutting technology down by 50% (meaning no answering phone at dinner (dad), no work calls while at home (dad), no eating and being on the computer/ipad at same time, no tv on while eating)
3. Be more consistent as a family unit (not just mommy doing it) with family nights. A lot of times it is just mommy and the kids…so we will save those significant days for when daddy is home. 
4. Being more consistent with time outs
5. Returning back to crying it out in the room
6. locking mommy and daddy's door (My kids love to play in my room and it makes mommy upset…unnecessary mess)
7. Hanging the rules up on the wall so that they can see it and (maybe) say them on a daily basis to remind ourselves of the rules (We have house rules but we don't have it mounted in plain sight)
8. Use our manners more (they use their manners but I plan to introduce more)
9. Listen (sometimes I don't take time to listen to their needs because all I hear in whining)
10. Take a mommy time-out
*11. Say a prayer

I hope these will work. I feel like I have OCD when it comes to a lot of things that kids do or the mister does that bother me but as a mom sometimes I need to give myself a time out. so hopefully I can establish that before I start repeating myself over and over again and allow me to become more patient. My kids and my husband knows I cannot stand mess or crying so this list is basically to help me stay less stressed. *A happy mom = A happy home*

Sometimes it is the comfort of your own (rental) home that can make someone smile and feel sooo blessed. With that said, I am so thankful for my husband's J.O.B, he works so hard and I am thankful that with his job we have a place to call home. I am so thankful that he receives a paycheck so that I can stay at home and take care of my children even though 70% of the time I wish I had a break…but I would honestly NOT want someone else tending to them. I am thankful for the food that we are able to buy and for having food in our cabinets. I am thankful for all the benefits that my husband's job provides my family with. I am thankful for the clothes on our back. I am thankful for the plethora of furniture we have, even the ones we really do not need. I am thankful for all of our beds and blankets to keep us warm. I am thankful for having heat in our home and shoes on our feet. I am thankful for our vehicles (thanks mom for car #1, car #2 and for finding our van for us when we were not even considering a new vehicle, you are the best) that we OWN…had to add that, b/c I am so thankful that we were able to pay our van off in one year. I am thankful we have running water and that we are able to shower. I am thankful that we are able to go about and do things (on a budget of course). I am so thankful that I have a husband who works so hard to do his best so that he can provide for our family….Love you babe…Feeling so thankful for all that have…Blessed. 

The Mister working

Something strange happens the older you get….For me, I have come out of my shell…I am still somewhat of an introvert, but I am not afraid to be outspoken. I have been stepped all over, I have been talked about, I have been broken down…but not any more. I may not know what I am destined to do nor have I reached the limit of greatness, but I do know that I am more than I appear. I may look young, I may sound a bit clueless, I may not be great at math…but this I know to be true: I am a Mother, I am a believer and I strive to be the best, I am woman and I know my worth, I am faithful, I am honest, I can be funny, I am mean (when needed to be), I am a lover of design, I love to be challenged, I am loyal, I am….Me….Strange things happen when you get older…you change….and change can be GOOD. 

Before I start…I would like to say that my Thankful Thursday's are in no particular order

 I am Thankful, ever so grateful for Jesus Christ, our Savior. For his sacrifice and for his example. I know I am not perfect, but I am so thankful for having the knowledge of someone who was and is perfect. I am thankful for Heavenly Father and all that He has blessed me with... wonderful parents, a husband who loves me, my children, a home, a car, food to eat, clothes to wear, and so much more. I am so thankful and blessed to have the gospel in my life and to be influenced by it and to know right from wrong.  I am thankful for the Temple and to have been sealed for all time and eternity to my family. I am thankful for all the opportunities that I have to visit the temple with my family and the feeling of warmth and love that we receive when we visit, it is a feeling like no other. I am thankful for our church leaders and for the goodness that is within them, they are truly a source of inspiration and admiration. I am ever so thankful for all that I have been blessed with, I know I may be undeserving at times but I am so thankful that I a Heavenly Father who sees through my flaws and knows me for me. ...So Blessed. 

You see this little sweet girl, yeah this girl (in the pic above)…although she does not look very happy, this is my 3 year old baby girl…who thinks she is grown. First let me address, this photo was taken when she was throwing a fit, because she had an accident on herself (hence, the diaper). Second, doesn't she still look adorable. Anyways, this sweet, fun, adrenaline running little girl…thinks with every ounce of her itty bitty body that she is grown. One of her favorite things to tell me or her daddy when she does not get her way is, "we ruin her life"….honestly? Let me start off by saying, we (her father and I) do NOT, absolutely, do NOT entertain that type of attitude….It has been corrected and we let her know that, that is not something you should say to anyone because it is not nice…we absolutely do not talk like that in our household, so we expect our kids to have a clean mouths as well. sometimes it slips out of her mouth which she is fast to correct. Let me say, she did not get that saying from me or her father…I 100% think she got it from her barbie movies…which I might give away…I just think it is way too grown for my kids and as of right now not one of my favorite wholesome family get-ups…if ya know what I mean.

On a side note: I am sooooo NOT ready for her to grow up….

Although we should be thankful all the time, everyday, every single moment of the day, I am dedicating my thursday blogs to what I am thankful for in lieu of thanksgiving. To kick it off, I am most utterly grateful for…(drum roll….) : My Family

My Family is so special because it is made up of special people…lol…We have the mister, who works super hard and is an excellent daddy. We have my children who inspire me to be better and who make me laugh on a daily basis.

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Topic # 18 from the Baby Making Machine playlist

Hmmmm…..This one is hard… craziness????? Why else would he stay???? Just kidding…I don't really know. Okay, this came straight from the horses mouth while he was half asleep, "Jess, this may sound counterintuitive but I like your innocence, clumsiness, and your just a genuine person"….there you go…from the mister's mouth himself. 

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