On Being a Mother


“The joy in motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times. But amid the challenges, there are Shining moments of joy and satisfaction.” Elder M. Russell Ballard

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“There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply.” Elder M. Russell Ballard

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These pictures were not staged at all! So fun to see the love is still there.

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“Motherhood is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.” Elder Neil L. Anderson

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Preschool Graduation

It was a bittersweet moment to watch our two kiddies walk out of the door with paper caps and plastic table cloth gowns on for their preschool graduation. They were beaming and were very excited to be showing off for Mommy and Daddy. It was nice to have Daddy take the morning off for such an occasion.

Preschool mornings started off a little rough leaving each other at the top of the stairs as Holly and JD held hands with a high school student to walk through a big school to a little classroom, filled with more students. I will admit, there were a few times I cried leaving JD, he had the hardest time. I knew they were safe and they were having a good time. They came home with crafts, paintings and lots of other things that I didn’t know what to do with. The friendships they developed with the other kids blossomed and now are even better friends than before.

IMG_9397 IMG_9403 IMG_9406 As the kids walked out and sat down the little band played Pomp and Circumstance. I’ll admit I got a little choked up. My babies are growing up fast!

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As the student called each preschooler’s name they would go up the stairs and slide down the slide to get their little certificate. JD was so excited he ran up the stairs and flew down the slide, totally missing the girl with the certificates. His cap even flew off in the process and he didn’t want to waste anytime time picking it up! Holly, on the other hand, took her sweet time and daintily walked up the stairs and chose the opposite slide to go down.

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The kids were in preschool with some of their best little friends. Aren’t they the cutest?!

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After the students received their certificates, the kids were each given an award. JD received the award for ‘most improved’ and Holly received an award for ‘Ms.Giggles.’ Very fitting for both of them!

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During the school year the students filled out papers with the kids about their favorite color, animal, where they would go on Vacation and other things and compiled them into a Me Book for each preschooler. It was fun to read their answers to the questions. A nice keepsake from the year.



Now they won’t stop talking about Mrs. Perona’s preschool and wished they were going now!


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We Love Business Trips

Especially when it means that OGO gets to come visit us! The beginning of last month my dad came out and was able to stay with us for a few days and then do his work and come hang out with us in the evening.

Holly and JD were beyond excited to spend the weekend together. I know OGO was ready to be home after traveling for ten days, and then experiencing my crazy kids. They are calm sometimes but when people come visit they turn into crazy people. Okay so maybe that’s not totally true but they are almost four so I guess that’s normal. We were all sick and even sent OGO home with a sinus infection to match mine. I wanted to get out and do some fun touristy things but wasn’t feelin up to it and my dad likes to shop so we ate out and shopped! I’m okay with that.

Went swimming at OGO's hotel

A dessert stop at yogurt land

A trip to California calls for a In N Out visit. It was such a beautiful day that we ate outside. Either it was too bright or JD was not happy with getting his picture taken.
So thrilled love these two love my boy

The next day we headed to the Vacaville outlets for more shopping and more food. We just love Sonic, mostly for their drinks. The sun was still shining and we enjoyed being outside with each other. Holly and JD both fell asleep on the way home and I couldn’t resist taking pictures.

Holly fell asleep all ladylike all tuckered out cookie football at Panera love this picture of Holly again with the sun ducklips tough faces smile Church at the temple

The last time my dad was here we had stake conference up at the temple and this time we had a special stake conference and he was able to join us this time too. Elder Cook came to speak to us and gave us an apostolic blessing. It was really neat to see him shake hands with everyone afterwards too. Holly and JD were thrilled to have their picture taken as you can see.

We can’t wait for OGO to come back and visit. Next time he better bring Grandma though, per Holly’s request!

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Easter Festivities

The week leading up to Easter we really wanted to focus on the real meaning of Easter. We read some scriptures verses of the Easter story. Though our intention was there we didn’t quite make it the whole week, we will shoot for next year again! It was comforting to know that when we asked why we celebrated, Easter they could tell us!

Last year the kids had Easter pictures done with little chicks so I thought it would be fun to do something similar. My friend has a bunny and was happy to let us borrow the little guy for a little photo shoot. Holly loved him and JD wanted nothing to do with him.

IMG_9015 pure joy They had enough picture taking! Best friends! IMG_8988 My favorite! JD wasn't so sure, Holly was trying to convince him! Watching the bunny jump around. IMG_8950

The kids and I were invited to make peep houses with our little friends Friday. I think they had more fun eating the little decorations because it was more work for us moms! We had a fun time together.

What a cute girl. JD was so excited about his house.

Saturday morning the ward had the annual Easter egg breakfast and egg hunt. Breakfast was followed by the primary singing, “I Wonder When He Comes Again.” Holly and JD stood in the front row and sang their little hearts out. I love when they sing primary songs, I usually have a little mommy moment when they do.

After Grandma got home from work we went and dyed Easter eggs and played a little hopscotch in the driveway. Watching almost 4 year olds learn how to play is really fun! Grandma’s neighbor was having a party and there was a jumpy house for the kids. My kids were really envious and with Grandma’s help got in! It made their day!

I loved how Holly jumps! hopscotch fun so focused and even more focused sweet smile teamwork little hands I don't know what was funny but love this picture Holly's funny pose who needs a spoon when you have fingers our finished eggs

Easter morning the kids woke up to jelly beans in the silverware drawer and hidden baskets. Holly’s was in the wine food storage and JD’s was in the oven. They were so excited to find them and then to tell everyone where the Easter bunny hid them.

Love my eternal family

Church was wonderful as usual. Wonderful sacrament talks and I taught relief society. I’m grateful for my Savior, His sacrifice and resurrection that makes it possible for families to be together forever. I love being reminded of the gift He gave me, everyone.

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Grandma Raab

The last time I saw my grandma was six years ago at my sister’s wedding, before that it had been like ten years since I had seen her. I grew up in Wisconsin so most holidays and celebrations were spent at my grandparent’s house or the cabin on the lake. And boy was it fun driving to the lake as a kid. As kids we loved seeing all the Amish buggys and driving super duper fast up the steep hill only to go flying like we were on a roller coaster. Dads are the best when it comes to fun in the car! If I were to go back now I’m sure that hill is so tiny. I remember watching my uncles shoot the fireworks over the lake on the 4th while we sat with Grandma on swing. So many memories with Grandma at the lake.

I remember going to Grandma Raab’s on Easter, eager to search for my Easter basket. All 30 grandkids had Easter baskets and they were all in different spots. Hiding. Now thinking about this, it must’ve taken a long time to hide all those baskets. I remember the homemade chocolate bunnies and peanut butter eggs that were in each basket. No candy was store bought, except the jelly beans. She made little crocheted bunny poopers for the jelly beans to go into. I remember the sugar eggs with little pictures in them. My grandma had talent! I remember going on our Easter Egg hunt for eggs filled with money. Big kids in the back of the house and little kids in the front.

I remember playing the piano for Grandma, Spanish Eyes, she taught it to my sister and I. She was always so interested in our talents and especially enjoyed it when we spoke in German to her. I remember going to Grandma’s and playing on her stationary bike. My sister would stand on one pedal and I on the other, and we’d see how fast we could go. I remember Grandma’s drawer of cards and playing Go Fish and Old Maid over and over. I remember the pool table and jute box in the basement and playing ‘Hooked on a Feelin.’

I remember my baptism day, and even though my Grandparents were Catholic, they were there, happy for my special day. I remember the cake with the sugar hands that she made for me. I remember all of the birthday cards she sent with little pieces of confetti that came tumbling out. JD found a letter she recently wrote to me and as he opened it he was thrilled to see confetti falling to the ground. I couldn’t help but chuckle and smile. As young girls, my sisters and I wrote letters to my grandma very diligently, maybe secretly loving the confetti filled letter that we would receive in return.

My grandma loved her faith and was willing to share spiritual quotes and thoughts she found that we might enjoy. I wish I would’ve done the same. My grandma was an only child and very well educated. She went to college and went on to receive her Master’s at Stanford. She taught in Mexico for a few years and then moved back to Wisconsin, where she met my grandpa.

I will always remember her soft voice and her warm hugs. The day she went back to the hospital for the last time I had this thought to call her and I so wished I did. To hear her sweet voice one last time.

I will always remember her laugh and sense of humor. After she’d been in the hospital for a few days, on hospice, she woke up in the morning and joked that she was bummed she was still here. My grandpa worked with cows for a living and therefore smelled like manure and had boots that were covered in it. Near the end, she was in and out and at a moment of alertness, someone asked if she would recognize Grandpa, her response, “He’s wearing a white coat and doesn’t have manure on his shoes.”

My birthday will be a little more special to me as she passed away that morning. My dad had just visited her and was able to give her a blessing. I know it’s not a coincidence that she held on all week to see my dad, her eldest son, and to receive that blessing from him.

I’m so grateful for priesthood and the knowledge I have of Heavenly Father’s plan. Because I will see my grandma and grandpa again someday. And it will be a wonderful reunion.

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I Really Love Sundays

I have to admit that most Sunday mornings are rough for our little family. Getting ready for 9am church was not an easy task. JD cried almost every Sunday morning that he didn’t want to go and getting dressed was a struggle. Now that church is at 11o’clock our Sunday mornings are wonderful. JD and Holly happily get dressed early and we have time to actually eat breakfast while listening to some nice hymns.

Maybe it’s just my better attitude but recently Sundays have been amazing. So rejuvenating for the week, giving me the spiritual boost that I so need by the end of the week. Jim gave a talk on recognizing our blessings today in sacrament meeting and I couldn’t help but think of these two sweet blessings in my life.

They’ve been going to preschool four days a week for two hours a day and I find myself loving my free time but at the same time counting down the minutes until I get to go pick them up. They are learning so much these days. My most favorite thing right now is when they sing a long to the Primary cd. The songs they will learn this year in Primary. We got the cd the second week in January and they already know every.single.word to every song on that cd. Today when the primary chorister asked if the kids had the cd, Holly proudly exclaimed, “we listen to that in our car!” I secretly love listening to their sweet voices sing those primary songs, though sometimes JD remind me that it’s not Sunday so we can listen to fun songs too.

I love Sundays because Jim and I get to go to Sunday School together. I love hearing him comment and expound on scriptures. I especially loved the Sunday when the teacher asked if he’d give the First Vision in Spanish. I’ve heard him speak Spanish but never the First Vision. I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty sweet hearing him speak. No matter the language, the spirit testifies of it’s truthfulness. I’m grateful for the blessing my husband is in my life.

In Sunday School today we were given scriptures and needed to come up with a question and how the scripture we had answered that question. The scripture said to be patient, faithful and diligent. And the part that stuck out the most was “I will encircle thee in the arms of my love.” I can feel His love everyday. I want to be better at recognizing the blessings my Heavenly Father has given me, especially the little things. I’m blessed to be a mother. It’s definitely my calling. Though sometimes my days are filled with a little more whining and fighting than I would like, I wouldn’t change it for anything. The extra kisses and I Love Yous make up for it. I know I’m loved by my Holly and JD and I sure hope they know I love them. I’m gonna go kiss them goodnight, again.

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Love Day 2013

We thought we needed to celebrate Valentine’s Day a day early because Jim had young men basketball the night of. So we went to Five Guys, JD’s request because they have cool drinks and I think he really likes hamburgers, and then went to Dairy Queen for some ice cream. It was a great night with my little family. It turns out that we were actually able to spend Valentine’s together anyway. Yay for family nights.

I wanted to be one of those fun moms and make heart shaped pancakes for breakfast but I was rushing to finish the kids valentines for their friends before school. Instead they had poptarts and a glass of milk. I even bought little valentine mailboxes for the morning but forgot to put those out too.

We made it to preschool and so I took the opportunity to go get a couple heart balloons from the dollar store and ran home to clean the kitchen and set up a valentine surprise for the kids when we got home. I even had time to cut vinyl for the mailboxes. Go me! They absolutely loved their surprise and Holly even said thank you again to me today. Thank you dollar section of Target!

After preschool JD wanted me to take a picture so we jumped, no pun intended, at the chance. JD has had a hard time leaving me to go to preschool so I’m pretty sure he’s jumping for joy to see me. He does enjoy himself when he’s there though. He’s a mama’s boy for sure!

We spent some time at the park with our dear friends and the kids exchanged valentines with each other. They were so excited to give and get their little treats! No pictures though.

It was such a nice day that we went to yet another park later in the day and played some more!

And Valentine’s day wouldn’t be complete without some heart shaped sugar cookies. We made them on Saturday. Holly was persistent in asking so while JD napped we made them. He woke up in time to decorate and eat!

I found this printable yesterday and wished I would’ve found it sooner. Great valentine for a few of my friends!

I’m loving this quote right now too! Thank you Elder Holland for being so wise.

 xo Happy Valentine’s Day! xo

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