JOYrific Etsy Shop Launch

I am launching the JOYrific Etsy Shop just in time for Black Friday and Christmas Presents!  If you would like to order a JOYrific chart for your family visit my shop today.

www.etsy.com/shop/JOYrific

Use Coupon Code: LAUNCHPARTY2013 to receive $5.00 off
Expires on Black Friday

#ldsconf Sunday Afternoon Session April 2014

Conference has come to an end. This has been a glorious uplifting weekend. My children have been patient and listening. My husband has been busy taking care if their little demands. Gracie taught everyone how to do the rubber band rainbow loom (she prefers using her fingers) and we have lots of general conference bracelets, rings, headbands! Garth has taken care of all the meals and pampered me while I filled my spiritual bucket! Last night I started having a few contractions and figured it was due to the late night and busy day along with the recent weeks of moving and unpacking. Today I took it very easy in bed during conference and napping in between sessions. I have an appointment on Tuesday and am fairly confident all will be ok and baby Jameson will continue to cook as long as I take life easy! No bending down, picking up or lifting heavy items. Thank goodness our house essentials are unpacked. All we have left is a pile of boxes in the garage that can wait until after the baby and school gets out. And hopefully by then I will have emotionally let it all go and will donate or sell the items!! The goal is more and more of less and less! President Monson has said at every conference session for the past few years in his final remarks “May your homes be filled with love and courtesy!”
So with the last conference session over I have one final to do list that answers all my prepared questions for General Conference.

To-do List:
☑️ I know for myself. Now I need to teach my children to KNOW their Savior for themselves.
☑️ build upon the Rock! The Savior LIVES
☑️ teach my children to know and learn their own family conversion stories. Grandpa Jim, grAnnie Annie, and other extended family members further up the tree.
☑️ listen & study the words of the Prophet
☑️ do NOT forget the things of the Temple
☑️ stand on the shoulders of giants
☑️ be guided by the Holy Ghost’s gentle tug and still small voice
☑️ obedience is a choice
☑️ be willing to alter our course according to His will not my will.
☑️ absolute FAITH
☑️ learn & teach the difference between right and wrong
☑️ if I lack wisdom I must ask God and I can be prepared to learn the truth of all things.
☑️ study and share general conference
☑️ be aware of my time and energy. Where my treasure is there will my heart be also.
☑️ family relationships is what matters most
☑️ ONE SHOULD NOT ROAM THROUGH THE GARBAGE. Satan distorts and keeps us busy with Garbage online.
☑️ ask God with an Honest Heart to learn truth
☑️ MY SAVIOR IS RISEN
☑️ Be found doing the work of The Lord
☑️ be Kind and Loving
☑️ do a little better
☑️ carefully review and study #ldsconf
☑️ allow God to bless me & my family

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#ldsconf Sunday Morning April 2014

My family is listening downstairs and I’m peacefully taking notes in bed because of my pregnancy. Prayers have been answered and I am spiritually fed every conference session. When I take notes I write down what I feel – not necessarily what the speaker is saying. And every speaker says something directly to me!
Just as Elder Hales taught in October 2013 #LDSconf “This is possible because the Holy Ghost carries the word of the Lord unto our hearts in terms we can understand. When I take notes at conference, I do not always write down exactly what the speaker is saying; I note the personalized direction the Spirit is giving me. What is said is not as important as what we hear and what we feel. That is why we make an effort to experience conference in a setting where the still, small voice of the Spirit can be clearly heard, felt, and understood. Oh, how we need general conference! Through conferences our faith is fortified and our testimonies deepened. And when we are converted, we strengthen each other to stand strong amid the fiery darts of these last days.” By Elder Robert D. Hales (General Conference: Strengthening Faith and Testimony) Saturday morning Oct 2013

My To-do:
☑️ be a mother
☑️ press on
️☑️ this day is of Joy & gladness
☑️ have a ready heart
☑️ be grateful in times of abundance
☑️ be grateful in times of trial
☑️ take courage
☑️ gratitude IN things (not for things)
☑️ trust in the Lord
☑️ glory in the Atonement
☑️ invite & follow up
☑️ study Preach my Gospel
☑️ replace fear with faith
☑️ PRAY
☑️ I am not alone
☑️ create a family covenant plan
☑️ HUG: help each other
☑️ daily prayer, scripture, family home evening
☑️ run with patience
☑️ do good & become better
☑️ bear my load with gladness
☑️ study the Atonement
☑️ LOVE SHOULD BE THE HEART OF FAMILY LIFE
☑️ discipline and then show an increase of love
☑️ rise each morning with love & kindness: POWER
☑️ LOVE The Lord with all my heart, soul, mind
☑️ LOVE my neighbors

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#ldsconf GNO during #priesthood

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The Braithwaite girls went out while @GarthDB went to priesthood!

#ldsConf

Social media users can share and discuss news about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the following list suggests hashtags to better organize social media discussions surrounding Mormonism.

General Hashtags

#Mormon
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General Church Leadership

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#PresMonson (President Thomas S. Monson)
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#PresPacker (President Boyd K. Packer)
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#LDSconf April 2014 Saturday Afternoon session

Garth took the girls for ice cream and I took a power nap between sessions. Ainsley sat next to me the entire afternoon session drawing and taking notes AND listening to the speakers! Astrid took a nap and Gracie and Emiline listened while keeping busy with quiet activities inside and out. I love my family! I love feeling the spirit in my home and listening to the words of latter-day prophets and apostles. I prepared many questions and each one has been answered directly to my heart with a piercing in my soul!

My to-do list:
☑️ budget, avoid debt, save
☑️ protection through the scriptures
☑️ let my Faith SHOW
☑️ have Faith not Fear
☑️ tie myself to God
☑️ courage
☑️ serve, love, trust
☑️ ask questions that make her think
☑️ pray
☑️ study diligently
☑️ work to be a family forever
☑️ TRUST
☑️ BE CAREFUL who you follow
☑️ willingly obey
☑️ teach children by example
☑️ practice, practice, practice
☑️ be more courageous and less crazy
☑️ communicate with kind soft language
☑️ do family history on Sunday
☑️ share stories of the past with my children

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#LDSconf April 2014 Saturday Morning

Notes from General Conference. Our family listened together, drew pictures together, and were uplifted together!!!

My to-do lists:
☑️ build a firm foundation
☑️ press forward
☑️ lead kindly
☑️ listen & learn #ldsconf
☑️ be strong
☑️ live the gospel
☑️ YES!! It is worth it!
☑️ love one another
☑️ keep my commandments
☑️ be able & willing to serve
☑️ choose the right
☑️ let the house be a mess
☑️ daily scripture
☑️ daily family prayer
☑️ weekly family home evening
☑️ talk, preach, rejoice of Christ
☑️ stand alone if needed
☑️ never force righteousness because it is a choice for each individual

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Weakness vs Rebellion

Yesterday at church we had a great talk about the weakness of man. Coming from the scripture “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” (Ether 12:27)

I had an overwhelming feeling and love for Gracie. She has been struggling with an issue and when we got home I was able to talk to her about the difference of being weak and humble Versus being rebellious and lying. Heavenly Father gives us weaknesses so we can grow, learn, have faith, and be humble. It is not bad. It is for our good. When we make a mistake because of our weaknesses we can learn and grow when we are close to the spirit striving to do what is right. Mistakes are ok.

Rebellion is when we knowingly go against what the spirit has taught. Lying, deceiving, hiding, and being contentious is how Satan would want us to act. It might start out small and innocent but it quickly can become a way of life.

We discussed the CHOICES we make and the CONSEQUENCES that follow.

The atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ can help us when we ask forgiveness! His GRACE is sufficient for all men!

It was a great talk! It was a break through for me as a parent and hopefully I was able to teach with the spirit and she will continue to learn and grow from her weaknesses so that they will become her strengths! She is an amazing daughter! Oldest daughter! Full of responsibility and care-giving to her little sisters! She is a special spirit that I am grateful to know and love and raise as a daughter of God.

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Picture Day today

I think the most eventful morning of the year is picture day in a house full of girls! And this is just the beginning. Gracie had sponge curlers in last night. Ainsley showered this morning and got Velcro curlers. They made it to school on time and looked beautiful!!

Writing again (sweet memories)

I watched a great video by Brad Wilcox at a conference. http://youtu.be/UMx3xJ9Ei8c
And it inspired me in many ways to begin writing again and my passion for writing on my blog.
I have published my JOYrific book but there is so much more I want to do! And I want to inspire my kids to write and become published!!
I have a zillion ideas and projects going and it has gotten me out of the habit of writing daily of our happenings here in the “Braithwaite beehive”. But I want my kids to be able to look back and remember/read about what we are doing. I want them to look back and remember that I was “here” playing and working and cleaning and reading by their side. Our lesson today in Relief Society was about Strengthening the Family

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And this reminded me of Garth! “You ask me to tell you of the man I know. I have often thought when he is gone people will say, ‘He is a very good man, sincere, orthodox, etc.’ They will speak of him as the public knows him; but the man they have in mind is very different from the man I know. The man I know is a kind, loving husband and father whose greatest ambition in life is to make his family happy, entirely forgetful of self in his efforts to do this. He is the man that lulls to sleep the fretful child, who tells bedtime stories to the little ones, who is never too tired or too busy to sit up late at night or to get up early in the morning to help the older children solve perplexing school problems. When illness comes the man I know watches tenderly over the afflicted one and waits upon him. It is their father for whom they cry, feeling his presence a panacea for their ills. It is his hands that bind up the wounds, his arms that give courage to the sufferer, his voice that remonstrates with them gently when they err, until it becomes their happiness to do the thing that will make him happy. …The man I know is unselfish, uncomplaining, considerate, thoughtful, sympathetic, doing everything within his power to make life a supreme joy for his loved ones. That is the man I know.”

(Chapter 4: Strengthening and Preserving the Family)

And I am glad that together we make our family a priority. Together we work hand in hand to make life enjoyable and fun even when we have to work!
Like this Saturday…we had a million errands to run and we are packing up the house in preparation to move in April. We split up and tagged teamed the responsibilities until it was done and then we went to the Lego movie together – exhausted and sweaty – after a hard days work!

20140216-220910.jpg of course – I take a picture to document the moment and post it on Instagram/Facebook. And a comment that was made that has really stuck with me lately.

20140216-221250.jpg…you guys make it look deceptively easy.

It is easy. But in the same breathe it is really hard! Finding balance. Prioritizing. Faith. Work! Teaching. Playing. Cleaning. Learning. Growing.
We take it One day at a time!

“Family unity and family commitment to the gospel are so important that the adversary has turned much of his attention to the destruction of families in our society. On every side there is an attack on the basic integrity of the family as the foundation of what is good and noble in life. … ”

“Far more important than the question of occupation or wealth of people is the question of how their family life is conducted. All other things are of minor consequence, so long as there are real homes, and so long as those who make up these homes do their duty to each other.
The primary function of a Latter-day Saint home is to insure that every member of the family works to create the climate and conditions in which all can grow toward perfection. For parents, this requires a dedication of time and energy far beyond the mere providing of their children’s physical needs. For children, this means controlling the natural tendency toward selfishness.

Do you spend as much time making your family and home successful as you do in pursuing social and professional success? Are you devoting your best creative energy to the most important unit in society–the family? Or is your relationship with your family merely a routine, unrewarding part of life?”

The home … is the workshop where human characters are built and the manner in which they are formed depends upon the relationship existing between parents and the children. The home cannot be what it should be unless these relationships are of the proper character. Whether they are so or not depends, it is true, upon both parents and children, but much more upon parents. They must do their best.21

“Oh, go away and leave me alone, I haven’t time to be bothered,” said a hurried, impatient mother to her little three-year-old daughter who was trying to help perform a certain household task. … The desire to help is born with every normal child and parents have no right to complain. There can be no such thing as household drudgery when all assist with the tasks, and through the association in the discharge of these duties comes the sweetest companionship that can be experienced.”

(Chapter 4: Strengthening and Preserving the Family)

The lesson in Chapter 4 is awesome and worth studying!! Above are a few of my favorite whole heart beliefs!

20140216-223523.jpg doing Laundry with Emi.

20140216-223608.jpgshopping with Ainsley.

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20140216-223738.jpgHealthy Heart Fun Running with Astrid (and Emi).

20140216-223835.jpgValentine Dating with Garth.

Super Bowl 2014

Ainsley says “we are going to Grandma and Grandpa’s to watch the Thunder Bolt”.
Garth says “you mean the Super Bowl”
Later Ainsley says “Dad we are watching the Super Bolt”

Ainsley says “Did they forget how to play the game? Why is it still zero?”

Ainsley says “Why can’t the Broncos get behind the Sea Hawks?”

Garth made delicious steak!! And slept through the first 3/4 of the game.

Dad says “can’t you find a plug for that baby?” We said “what? I can’t hear you because Astrid is singing so loud!”

Grandma made a huge bowl of Salsa and I forgot the chips! The band forgot their shirts at half time too.

favorite commercials:
Jme – Bruce Willis hugging Fred Armisen #hugfest and the TurboTax one with the kid watching the Prom Date.
Dad – Cherrios getting a baby and a puppy deal

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My dad is my hero!

20140125-175927.jpgI was in a pinch! I have been working on scout paperwork all morning and afternoon!!!! By the time I got done the BSA office was closing in 45 minutes and it takes 33 minutes to get there! I left the kids with Garth and headed out. On my way I called my Dad and he said he would meet me there to help!

We did it! All 50 Merit Badges purchased and sorted. Along with 15+ Rank Advancements and mother pins.

I’m almost ready for the Wednesday Court of Honor. All I have left to do is summer camp scout paperwork, merit badge counselor paperwork, invitations, program, final touches on the power point parent presentation, confirm all 2014 dates and costs for parents, assemble staple/sign all badges, confirm refreshments, confirm set-up crew, confirm guest speaker, set up projector, and then show time!

Wood Badge

I am so proud that Garth earned his wood badge beads tonight!!

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20140124-213358.jpgthese are two of the most important people in my life!! Garth mentioned tonight this is the first award as a Scout he has gotten since his Eagle Scout. Also meaning this is the first award he has gotten without his mom by his side.

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It might be the pregnancy hormones — I got teary eyed watching my Dad perform the bead ceremony and awarding Garth his beads! These two men mean so much to me!!

busy with JOYrific

Life is busy! and this is what we have been up to lately. I love being a mother of 4 adorable girls!  I really do enjoy!  This pregnancy is more than half over!  109 days until we meet our little guy.  I have been keeping busy on my computer (“keeping it easy”) working on JOYrific!  We have recorded several JOYrific Podcasts – today Shauna Earl was on the show – and it was so much fun chatting with someone who is as passionate about the chart as I am!  She really is one of my heroes!

In iTunes we now have 2 books!  The Basic JOYrific Flip Chart along with our 90 page JOYrific: The Art of Mastering Meltdowns and Attitude Adjustments.  A Guide to the JOYrific Communication Tool. Click here to see it in the iTunes Store

JOYrific Book

 

Some additional things that I am working on are the JOYrific Certification classes and the JOYrific S.M.I.L.E. Skills for Early Childhood Developmental Milestones in the areas of Social skills, Motor skills, Intellectual/cognitive skills, Language skills, and Emotional skills.  It is a FANTASTIC program and I am so happy to get the ball rolling!

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So for now my daily “blogging” of pictures has been put on hold while I am working away like a busy bee on the JOYrific Project.  I hope one day my girls will look back and see that everything I have been doing is for and with them along my side!  I have recorded them on the podcast.  I have talked with them.  I have trained them.  I have learned everything from them!  They are the best JOYrific teachers in the house!  100% Certified!  I love them with all my heart!  Along with my sweet husband Garth who has been by my side encouraging me to continue working and gathering the information together.  He talks me through things and helps me over road blocks!  I am feeling super blessed and grateful for my fam!


Since the New Year we have recorded the following:

Dr. Joy J. Lea and Jamie Lea Braithwaite come together to discuss the origin and explanation of the JOYrific Communication Tool with answers to many frequently asked questions.  Topics addressed include: Real Life Examples, Vocabulary, Meltdowns, Temper-Tantrums, Mean Talk, Teasing, Sarcasm, Bullying, and applying JOYrific to your home along with upper elementary school and middle school aged tweens and teenagers.  Listen for free at SoundCloud.com/JOYrific

JOYrific: The Art of Mastering Meltdowns and Attitude Adjustments

Listen to the first chapter of the JOYrific Book.  Read by Dr. Joy J Lea and Jamie Lea Braithwaite.

JOYrific Podcast:  Communication

Dr. Joy J. Lea and Jamie Lea Braithwaite come together to discuss the topic of Communication.

JOYrific Podcast: Through the Eyes of My Children

Here are a few words about the JOYrific Chart from the mouths of my daughters. I created the chart and JOYrific System over 4 years ago when my now 8, 6, 4 year olds were only 4, 2, and 6 months old. They have grown up with a Chart in our Kitchen and the JOYrific Vocabulary discussed on a daily basis. This is completely unscripted and they said (and sometimes sang) what they wanted to about the JOYrific Chart. This should also give you a good idea of how we discuss the chart as a family when visiting the “high and middle”. We recall stories, feelings, emotions, and openly share our experiences. 

1st JOYrific Podcast: General Information

Dr. Joy J. Lea and Jamie Lea Braithwaite come together to discuss the origin and brief explanation of the JOYrific Communication Tool with answers to many frequently asked questions. Topics addressed include: Real Life Examples, Vocabulary, Meltdowns, Temper-Tantrums, Mean Talk, Teasing, Sarcasm, Bullying, and how to applying JOYrific to upper elementary school and middle school aged tweens and teenagers.

100% BOY

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20140107-151923.jpg today I had my BIG ultrasound. I’m 21 weeks and they check all the vitals and stats and measurements and we get to see the adorable baby!! This is when it really becomes “REAL”. My favorite time. I’m not too uncomfortable pregnant. I still have energy. There is still time to get all my projects done and the house rearranged before the baby. But now I’m on the downhill slope. Only 19 weeks left.

I’m excited for a baby BOY! The girls are excited for a baby boy! He is measuring large (like all my babies). They say he will be 8 or 9 lbs and we saw his cute chubby cheeks on the big screen!

FaceTime with GrAnnie

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Merry Christmas 2013

20131225-212819.jpg we had a fantastic Christmas Eve! Grandma and Grandpa took the kids to play at their house most of the day! We then had a talent show and nativity before bed. The talent show included Astrid saying “Hi” and giggling in the microphone. Emi singing Twinkle Twinkle, I am a Child Of God, and Pat-a-Cake. Ainsley did a cart wheel and read her new Christmas Book “Gingerbread Pirates”. Gracie almost sang “Let it Go” and read her favorite Christmas book “the Fourth King”. Mom told the Christmas Story from the bible with help from the girls and Grandpa added a new insight about the wiseman. Garth read our families favorite story from the Book of Mormon that talks about the New Star appearing and what was happening to the Nephite & Lamanite people in America the night before Christ was born. (See 3 Nephi 1:20)

20131225-213834.jpgChristmas morning was wonderful! Our family was at home and enjoyed our time together opening gifts, sharing, and celebrating together!!

20131225-213955.jpg after a fantastic nap (with my new pillow!) we headed to Grandma Joy and Grandpa Jim’s house for Christmas dinner.

Merry Christmas to all!!

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10 year LOVE STORY infographic

Merry Christmas @GarthDB our Love Story continues…. 10 years later this is our family infographic.  See our first infographic love story here.

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our 10 year love story.  2003-2013.

 

the Family History Bug has Bitten me!

 

 

For Christmas I am framing these prints and hanging them up in our house. I created this cool 7 generation family Fan Chart online at www.familysearch.orgfamilyFan-Tree-web

 

and I created this cool family TREE in Adobe Illustrator that combines My living family and Garth’s living family.  It has all of the cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and one generation of dead people (Great Grandparents).

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Merry Christmas to me!

Life lately

20131218-215127.jpgInstagram (and probably pregnancy #5) has ruined my daily blogging. Life is busy. We are always up to a zillion things. Moving and shaking! I have been able to take it fairly easy because I “Let It Go” as sung by Elsa (and Gracie) in the new Disney movie Frozen. Gracie actually sang the song in front of her entire 2nd grade class! After school she got in the car had told us all about it. She was too shy to sing it to us! But she went for it loud and proud at school! She loves her teacher and her school!! She came home sick on Monday and I kept her in bed all Tuesday to make sure she was HEALTHY! She was begging begging begging to go to school! (Such a big change for our Gracie Girl over the last 6 months!)

Ainsley has turned into a book worm! She begs and begs to read more and more! She loves reading and reads to all of her sisters all the time.

Emi is so excited for Christmas. She says it’s Christmas (time) but not CHRISTMAS until my count down tree reaches the top because Mrs. Heather said so!

Astrid is getting bigger and such personality by the minute! She will say new words every day perfectly clear. Like diaper, buckle, etc… And she understands everything!

The baby is growing!! I am feeling VERY pregnant. But it’s probably because I need to do laundry and have no clean clothes in the closet that fit me! They are all too tight and uncomfortable.

Garth is doing great. He is still doing low carbs pre-diabetic doctor prescribed diet. He says he has hit a rough patch and is feeling frustrated with his menu. But he has come so far I am very proud of his dedication! Right now he is downstairs baking cookies (he won’t eat) and cleaning up the kitchen. I love him so much!!!

I am still the Scout Committee chair and am working to get every leader trained! (An impossible task with our turnover!) I have also been substituting in the Youth 16-18yo Sunday School class. (As blogged before) we learned about spiritual self reliance along with 15 minutes of scripture study + 5 steps.

This week we are discussing the symbols used by the Savior to teach about the second coming of Christ. It is a great way to “remember” Christ this holiday season!

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OCD

I have decided that I need to be OCD with my housework. Or at least SOMEONE in our house needs to be OCD. Because right now I’m housework constipated. Plenty to do but nothing is moving. I am ignoring the housework “situation” causing a blockage.

Here is my to-do list
-throw away all the clutter!
-do laundry
-dejunk toys
-get rid of the crap!
-change the sheets on the beds
-do dishes
-organize desk
-and SO MUCH MORE

I can’t even make a to do list with out getting side tracked and distracted. I’m housework ADHD.

Elsa Braid

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Step1 part the hair

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Step 2 start to braid

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step3 keep on braiding

DADDY IS HOME

And I survived five days with 4.5 kids. We are so happy to have him back and that I was able to sleep in Saturday morning!

Day 4 countdown adventure

Thanks for calling and waking this sleepy bag of bones!

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20131212-122244.jpg we have enjoyed the daily walk to work with you! Astrid wakes up calling your name and refuses to share the phone. After your call she sat and took pictures. I have a zillion of her cute little pony tail.

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After getting big kids to school we came home and cleaned up the classroom and played some board games.

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Gracie forgot her lunch and I took it to her (late) but at least she will eat something.

20131212-122607.jpg I dropped Emi off at preschool and came home and showered while Astrid is napping. I am headed down to eat lunch and then we have an afternoon of activity! Meeting at School, Activity days, and we were invited to dinner with the best neighbors (after my library fiasco)! In the hour I have alone I’m going to finish setting up Uncle Richards laptop

20131212-123027.jpg notice my rocking bed head and PJs that I was wearing when I dropped off the lunch. Glad I’m showered and less stinky now! We love you! We are staying busy! And the girls are doing extra chores for a play date on Saturday! Only 36 more hours.

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Day 3 the Library Adventure

We left the house in a flurry this morning. Someone glued me to my bed and I was stuck until it was rush out the door time. We FaceTimed this morning. It was a great motivator for the big girls to quickly get ready and it is a drug for Astrid! If she is not holding the phone her world comes crashing down. She woke up saying Dada and went searching for my phone. Look at her grasping with all her might to hold you! She is a daddy’s girl!!

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The babies and I stayed in our pJs to save time and I forgot my phone (camera) as we rushed out of the driveway for school. After dropping off big girls at school – not late – we decided to purchase milk and a few necessities at the grocery store. We were headed to Smiths but I decided I was dressed more suitable for Walmart so we kept driving down the road to the Walmart grocer. We fit right in with the morning PJ dress code and matted hair. When we pulled into the parking lot Emi said “MOM I CANT GO INSIDE IN MY PAJAMAS!” True. This is something I have tried teaching my children but this week is a special week! It took a little convincing but in the end… We all went in together. LUCKILY we didn’t see anyone that we know! Or at least I avoided everyone in the store and never made eye contact.

We got home and put milk on our dry bowls of cereal with the newly purchased blue berries. Astrid was in Heaven! Emi picked out M&Ms and we played a math sorting, counting, JOYrific lesson.

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We cleaned up a little and Emi wanted to play play-do. So I told her after a nap we could play together. We watched the Frozen music video 19 times and then were ready for sleeping. Astrid went down like a champ! Emi did a great job too. I hit the pillow like a sack of potatoes and slept like a rock! My 30 minute power nap turned into a much longer beauty rest. Emi sang along to Frozen soundtrack 200 more times and Astrid and I kept sleeping. It was magical!

The day moved on and we got the big girls from school. They had a fantastic day and I had packed up all the library books. Astrid was screaming and screaming and screaming. So I told the girls we could only drop the books and not go inside. They begged to get new books and promised they would help with Astrid and be fast! So we braved the small library – which is not my favorite library.

I recall visiting that library 4 times in my past. 2007 trip #1 I remember being pregnant with Ainsley and being a super-awesome first time mom taking Gracie to story time when she was 18 months old. We were asked to leave because Gracie was not sitting the entire story time and she got up and was moving around. 2009 trip #2 I was pregnant with Emi and had two toddlers. Gracie was 3 and Ainsley was 18 months. Ainsley decided to read ALL of the board books and we were asked to clean up and go because she was being so loud. 2012 trip #3 I was pregnant with Astrid and the big girls were in school & preschool. Emi was 18 months and she was “communicating” loudly – ok – she was screaming but COME ON! I’m right there next to her trying to keep her quiet! We went to the library weekly in Utah for the previous two years and never had a problem!!

Today December 11, 2013 was trip #4 I am pregnant again. I have three big girls that are learning to love reading! and an 18 month old that loves screaming. I forgot my library cards in the car. Garth’s out of town. I’m trying to encourage reading but it looks more like HURRY- GRAB ANY BOOK AND RUN before the baby screams.

We made it. It was a 20 minute library trip of torture. But everyone exited the building unharmed with a bag full of books.

I recognize a pattern. I despise the library close to our house. And I should never go to the library with an 18 month old when I’m pregnant. Trip #5 is scheduled for sometime in 2015.

We came home and the girls read on their beds while I got dinner ready. Everyone pitched in and did some extra chores and picked songs for the playlist on Spotify. LET IT GO is still my theme song and Gracie picked it several times and reminded me each time :)

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We’ve been watching you and I started dreaming of living closer so I looked at the housing market on zilliow. And WOW! It’s a big leap to find anything near the same size as this house! All the houses for sale are over 600K and anything for rent is crazy expensive!!

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20131211-232106.jpgI don’t even know how they get 5 bedrooms to fit into 1000 sq. ft!? Maybe all the bedrooms are the size of Astrid’s current bedroom (in our walk-in closet).
Mom came and joined us for dinner. And super-random…Marci stopped in and trimmed my neck line and gave my mom a haircut. I finished mom’s address labels for her Christmas Cards and we chatted for a bit while clearing the table and doing dishes.

The big girls have been doing a really god job of tucking in and reading to Emi. Tonight Ainsley sang her a song and Emi went right to sleep. Gracie showered and they both stayed up late reading (lovely lovely worth the pain LIBRARY BOOKS!)

I called and chatted while eating my routine bowl of nightly Cheerios. And sat and missed you some more. Overall today was rough. But at the same time it was great.

20131211-232749.jpgthis girl drives me crazy! And is adorable at the same time! And the Christmas room looks wonderful!

20131211-232847.jpgI taught Ainsley about vacuum lines and her OCD vacuuming is now magical!
Good night!

PS. I can feel the baby moving around!

Day 2 of 5 Temple Adventure

For some weird reason I was up at 6:30. I guess my body feels responsible for getting my children to school while my brain was still sleeping. Astrid woke up soon after and the house was alive and rocking. Emi was sleeping in her room….but come to find out she was “asleep” under her covers with technology reading the pigeon books app. At least she took care of her business first (that is where she found her technology). We face timed this morning on your way to work and It brought smiles to all of our faces!!

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By some miracle we were in the car and headed to school in good time.
The plan was to get to the temple with Lauren Brown before she left for Texas at the end of the month. We’ve been coordinating and rescheduling for months!

While I was waiting I studied up on the Temple.

20131210-205330.jpg I like how it mentioned in an article I found on preparing for the temple the 8 steps.
1. Faith
2. Repentance
3. Baptism
4. Confirmation
5. Worthiness
6. Maturity
7. Dignity
8. a Guest in the House of The Lord

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And today we made it work! By another miracle!! We had our 5 kids under 5 farmed out and with babysitters. And we made it to the temple with 3 minutes to spare! I grabbed a family name from the Stake envelope but didn’t notice the initiatory work had not been completed. Lauren pointed it out when we were on our way upstairs. So with another rush & name exchange we were settled in the 12:30 session. They offered me a cute old-lady shall to keep warm and I was nice and cozy! Maybe a little too cozy because the 1:00 Quiet Time hit me and I swear I almost fell out of my seat when my body stopped responding, my brain started dreaming and I was zzzzzzz z z ing away. After getting up and moving around I was able to at least keep my eyes open! So embarrassing!! Lauren reassured me that making a baby was hard work. The temple was beautiful and sunny and bright! The stained glass windows had an extra special sparkle with the noon sunshine.

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I think the old lady sprayed a sleeping potion on my shall….probably not….but it does make sense why all the old lady’s sleep with magic knitted shalls at the Temple. I need one for home!
Speaking of sleeping…after school I picked up Emi & Astrid and they watched a movie in the car while we waited for the big girls to get out of tutoring club. Once the big girls climbed into the back we noticed Emi was conked out!!!! She was exhausted! Came home and slept some more.

I had a lovely JOYrific preschool chat and the girls took a long relaxing bubble bath together. We ate dinner. Played on the computers. Read books. And you sang good night songs.

Life is pretty good! I miss little things like how my phone magically gets charged and my water bottle magically refills. And how your magical dirty diaper detecting skills.

I’m snuggled up and am going to throw my technology across the room (probably not) so I will go to sleep!!

PS. Gracie said tonight “dinner smells bad but I ate it so it wouldn’t hurt moms feelings.” Ainsley filled up my water bottle. Emi sang the Frozen sound track at least 43 times. Astrid pooped three times this morning instead of taking a morning nap.

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20131210-212720.jpgand I think Astrid takes more pictures than I do. And someone drew a picture of a pigeon.

Day 1 of 5 Survival Adventure

20131209-200500.jpgWe were all up and gave Daddy kisses at 6:30. The big girls got dressed, fixed their own lunches and ate breakfast in good time. Astrid had a rough teething night so she was finally sound asleep. Grandma was on her way into work and since she passes right by our house (after her +35 minute drive from across town) she was able to pick up the big girls for school. It is an amazing blessing to have grandma involved so closely in my girls lives! Astrid slept in so Emi and I did some dishes, made the big girls beds, and started a load of laundry. Astrid woke up and we ate our second breakfast and watched Cake Boss. We changed a few diapers but mostly chill-axed on the couch. We are our first lunch and Astrid was ready for her nap. Emi took a bath while Astrid was sleeping and we chillaxed some more. I showered and got dressed. Astrid woke up and we ate our second lunch just in time for my school meeting. So we packed up and headed out! Come to find out my school meeting is on Thursday not Monday. Oops! So we sat and chit chatted in moms office until Board Game clubs got out. Gracie’s teacher caught me in the hall and let me know she improved 200 points in reading!! The kids are doing great in school! Gracie and Ainsley are both really excited to help start a buddy bench on the playground to help shy kids find a friend.
After chatting we headed home via Dropping off a bag of handy-me-downs to the sweetest family. Then after chit chatting some more we were home ready for dinner & bedtime. Ainsley helped make the dinner. The other girls “took care of business” with technology in the bathroom. Dinner was great. We FaceTimed with Dad and then it was bedtime. Ainsley was exhausted! She crawled in bed and was asleep first. Gracie read 2 books to Emi and then sang a song and tucked her in and Emi fell asleep next. Gracie tucked herself in and said prayers while I was holding screaming/teething Astrid. After sitting and rocking to a show (actually I couldn’t decide what to watch so I just watched previews) I sang to Astrid and she was the last to go down at 7:55pm. Now I’m curled up in bed cozy. (I turned up the heat) And ready for sleeping. Day 1 pretty successful overall. After school we watched cake Boss and cleaned up a little. We love you daddy!!

20131209-214358.jpgthis is my theme song for the week: Let It Go! From the new Disney movie Frozen. I am letting it go! I’m letting the dishes go! I’m letting the messy house and sticky fingerprints go! I’m letting the laundry go! I’m letting my computer projects go! I’m letting go and signing and dancing with my girls! The perfect house is gone and let the storm rage on!

Little Mr. Jameson Garth Braithwaite

Dear Little Guy,
Today, after checking and re-checking, the nurse and ultrasound tech informed us that you are a boy! Multiple times we heard the words “that is definitely a boy!” We will have our “official” 20 week check up on New Year’s Eve so if something changes we will love a little girl with all our heart. But for now we are going with “it’s a boy!”
Mr. Man we have you named already. Your name will be Jameson Garth Braithwaite. Your middle name will be Garth, after your very proud father, who’s middle name is his father’s name. Carrying on the tradition.

Your first name has been picked for over 20 years. Jameson has been my favorite name since I can remember. I grew up knowing my first baby boy was going to be named after my Grandpa Jameson. My mother named me Jamie because that is the name everyone called Grandpa Jameson. I remember the day I saw my name painted on the trailer grandma and grandpa would travel between Las Vegas and Kanab. In high school I had several friends call me Jameson (without even knowing the history of the name!). When I married the love of my life and started having beautiful babies we had one boy name picked out with long lists of undecided girl names. You have many cousins! There are 19 grandkids, over 40+ great grandkids, and 5+ great great Grandkids from the Afton & Karl Jameson family tree. You are one of 17+ of the Joy and Jim famLEA cousins (10 girls and you will be the 7th boy). And I must mention your four older sisters!! Needless to say you have one very big and excited family ready for you to join us!!
Along with the Braithwaite side of the family that has 9 cousins. (7 girls and you will be the 3rd boy. The first boy with the last name Braithwaite).

Your dad is excited to do scouting, camping, video gaming with you! We are exited to have a future priesthood holder, missionary and Eagle Scout!

You have a lot of girls in your life. We are here waiting and excited for your arrival!! I grew up with all boys. I was the only daughter. Mom says she prayed so hard for a girl (after 3 boys, plus one more) that God didn’t respond until the next generation.

I have dreamed and dreamed of a little boy. I must say we have a lot of pink and princesses around here. But your Dad is ready! He is ready for someone to be on his team! At the doctor appointment the first thing he said was “it’s time to buy BOY TOYS!” By the time you get here we will have an abundance of Legos, superheroes, action figures, video games and more!

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We are ready for silly faces and tigers!

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We are ready for more rough and tumbles, giggles, laughter!

20131127-213849.jpgwe are ready for adventure!

Every baby I have picked an “animal” to love and represent during pregnancy that has become their sleepy time friend. I have known for a long time that you will be our little Tiger. Your great grandpa was called Tiger in South Africa. He was a boxer and fighter pilot. He was tough and strong. “Tiger” Hartley Braithwaite.

See you soon Tiger! We love you!!
Love,
Mom
(And Dad and 4 big sisters)

It’s a BOY!

Confirmed by two ultrasound techs! We love Jane & Marlo! Garth took tons of video! The girls were jumping out of their skin with excitement!!

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Boy? Girl?

20131127-140144.jpgGarth doesn’t think we will be able to see today. I’m hoping and praying we can see!!

Waiting at the Doc

Is it a girl? Or is it a boy? Our appointment is in 15 minutes! Garth and the big girls came to see the baby!

20131127-134810.jpg15.5 weeks