Find-A-Friend Friday: Meet Tristan

I’m happy to introduce you to Tristan.  Tristan is a new blogging friend of mine, and I think you’ll agree that she’s doing some extraordinary mom work.  Thanks Tristan!

Good Morning everyone, my name is Tristan and I just turned 30 last month.  I finally feel like a grown up!  I’ve lived in Ohio my whole life and love it.  I met and married my husband Jason almost 11 years ago, at the ripe old age of 19.  We were sealed in the Columbus Ohio Temple.  I worked full time driving a forklift during the early part of our marriage, until partway through my first pregnancy.  Preterm labor sent me home and I’ve been there happily ever since.  I’m grateful for a husband who does all he can to make it possible for me to stay home with the children.  Let me introduce you to them, they are some of my favorite people:

1.     Makayla, who turns 10 next month, is becoming quite the young lady and helper, when she’s not trying to boss mommy around.  She loves to read as much as mommy does.

2.     Joseph, age 6, is my sensitive boy.  While he was a wall climber when younger he has settled into his boyness and loves to build things with Legos.

3.     Right on his heels comes Emma, age 5.  She’s my stubborn child, but she’s also very independent.  Learning comes easily to her and she keeps me running to keep up.

4.     Daniel is my charmer and at 3 ½ I am already wondering where his acrobatics and grin will take him.  He’ll either be in the special forces of the military or become a salesman who can get you to buy anything.

5.     Oliver comes next and he’s 2.  His talent at the moment is getting into everything, even if it’s higher than mommy can reach.  He still loves to snuggle with mommy and his favorite book this week is Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle.

6.     Caleb is the baby right now and will be 6 months old next week.  He’s been a happy baby from day one and is a joy and delight – even when he wants to play at 2am.

We’re a homeschooling family and always have been.  It’s a busy life, but a blessed one!  I found a few minutes to answer some questions, so read on to learn more about me.

Brag for a minute.  Do it.  What are a few things that you’re pretty good at?  I’m great at organizing – be it a house, basement, paperwork, or food storage.  If you let me I’ll happily come organize and declutter for you.  I’m also good at teaching all ages, it’s something I even enjoy doing.  I love homeschooling, teaching at church, or anywhere else.  Need a lesson taught because the teacher didn’t show?  I’ll do it – just give me one minute to think and we’re set for an hour’s class.

What are you loving lately?  Lots of things!  I love that my children are all growing and becoming little people who can do so many things.  Though I must be honest that finding the 2 year old climbing on the stove or stripping naked every hour or two IS getting a bit old.  I’m loving the 70 degree weather, can’t summer stay like this instead of getting really hot?  I also really love my Kindle and being able to read so many good books anywhere we go, including on a blanket in the back yard.

What’s something you don’t usually want people to know about you, but that they need to know if they’re going to be your friend?  I’m bossy and pretty opinionated.  I’m pretty good at keeping the bossy part to interactions with family members, but those opinions just seems to slip out all the time!  I really don’t mean to offend, but I will tell you what I think, especially if you ask.

If you were in charge of a girls’ night out, what kind of activity would you love to plan?  A book club!  We would all read one of Jane Austen’s books, talk about it, and maybe even watch one of the movies.  There would also be chocolate involved, the darker the better.

What parts of your testimony are you the most sure of?  I know Jesus is our Savior and that He truly understands our sorrows and pains.  I am never alone, and there is always someone who understands what I’m going through or struggling with.  I am so grateful for that!  I also have a testimony of the power of the priesthood and priesthood blessings.

What’s your favorite part of motherhood?  I love hearing my children’s faith in everyday conversation, that unwavering trust in God and His word.  If God says it, it’s true, as simple as that.  O that I could be so unquestioning!  I also love the snuggles, hugs, and kisses – especially right after they wake up.

What part of motherhood would you subcontract out if you could?  I would be completely happy to let someone else do the cooking, or at least plan the meals.  I don’t mind baking, but the day in day out thinking up meals and cooking just wears my brain out.  That and the never-ending dishes that go along with said cooking!

What homemaking job/task gives you the most satisfaction?  I really love it when my kitchen counters are clean.  Having things piled on them just makes me cringe and feel like running out of the kitchen.  So I love it when the dishes are all done and everything has been wiped down.

Tell us some of your best mom-tricks  (things you’ve figured out that work well for you).  Quiet time is my best mom trick, followed by the power of a family working together.  I’ll explain:

Quiet time happens every day.  Right around 1pm everyone in the house goes to a quiet spot with books and they stay there until 2:30pm.  The children are welcome to sleep, nap, read, sleep(or nap!), or listen to an audio book.  Mommy gets to do the same.  I’ve found that with so many people in the house every day all day we need that time to just be alone.

Family Work – from the moment they can crawl or walk the children begin doing chores.  First they are welcomed to help anyone older.  We encourage them to work with us, even though it makes the process take a bit longer.  Then as they grow they know how to do a job independently.  For example, my 2 and 3 year olds can load and unload the dishwasher all by themselves because they’ve been doing it since they could crawl over to it and get things out.  Here is where the power comes in.  When my husband and I gather six children to clean the house or do a job together we can accomplish so much in a very short amount of time.  We work well together, and the older children are gaining wonderful skills when training the younger ones.

Desert Island Question.  If you were stranded on a desert island (most moms would actually crave this) and could only take 3 items with you, what would they be?  My 3G Kindle to have access to all the books I want (including my scriptures!), ice, and something to cook in.

What’s something unexpected in your life, and how have you dealt with it?  I’ve always thought I would have a lot of children.  Growing up I thought ten was a good number.  However, I never expected to have difficulties during pregnancy.  In ten years of marriage I’ve been pregnant nine times.  Three of those times God filled my heart with love for a child but has asked me to wait to hold that child in my arms until eternity.  Three times I have had a miscarriage.  The first was devastating.  I had one child and it took several years to get pregnant again, only to lose the baby.  It was at this time that I truly became thankful for the power of priesthood blessings and for the presence of the Comforter.  I was in a very dark place, I felt forsaken and broken, but God gives ‘beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning’ (Isaiah 61:3)

Since that first loss I have had bleeding during various pregnancies that still ended with healthy babies.  I have also walked into an ultrasound for what I thought would be a routine check up only to find the baby had died.  It was unexpected and my heart broke all over again.  Over the years I have learned to celebrate every moment of pregnancy, from that very first positive test, through months of morning sickness, to swelling feet, sciatic nerve trouble, and exhaustion.  Because I know that those times may be all I have with the child growing in my womb, until the Resurrection.  I am joyful now, content to create bodies for God’s spirit children for however long they need them.  I do not have all the answers, but I know the one who does.  He sent His Son to atone for my sins and provide the ordinances of the temple to seal families for eternity.  I am blessed.

Give your best advice to a newlywed or expectant mom.  Treasure every moment of pregnancy and life because it truly goes by so quickly and there are no guarantees in life.  You are the mother, so while others may give advice, you are the one who knows your child best.  God is the best place to seek advice, and he is waiting for you to ask.  He will answer you or send someone to do so.

Tell us about your blog:  I love to write and you can find me blogging at Our Busy Homeschool pretty much daily.  There you’ll get a peek into our life and homeschool.  We keep it real, so you’ll hear the good, the bad, and the messy.

Thanks again, Tristan.  You can respond to any of her interview here or drop by her blog to say hello.  Next week our new friend could be you…. :)