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More kids!?

Dont worry, it’s not what you’re thinking. I’m not pregnant, again, and I’m not fostering or adopting anyone. But Jordan and Halle DID choose a “brother and sister” last night.

We were minding our own business during the Toby Mac concert by eating (lots of food in our Jazz suite), dancing and laughing. There were several opening acts before Toby came out, and they were all good. One of the people started talking about how if there were 100 people in the world, everyone there in the Vivint arena would represent the first person standing in the line — as far as physical blessings were concerned. I totally agreed with his logic, and that because of this, we all have a responsibility to do what we can to help out the people “in the back of the line”.

He talked about a program where you can sponsor a child in another part of the world, and he showed pictures with his own sponsored “son”. Then he offered to the crowd of thousands of people to pick their own child to sponsor and asked who was interested. Scattered through the area were people raising their hands and volunteers were bringing them profiles of children to look at.

I started raising my hand, and then jumping up and down, because people don’t pay attention to the weirdos in the box, or maybe they can’t see us, I don’t know. Either way, nobody was listening to me. I turned back to look at Jon and he smiled because he knew I was on a mission! He gave me some cash because I didn’t have any, and I grabbed Jordan and Halle’s hand and left the suite to find a child to sponsor.

“Mom, I can’t wait to pick out a little sister! Mom, can I sponsor a little sister?” Halle asked me as we made our way down do the main floor. “A SISTER!?” Jordan yelled! “I already have enough sisters! Six is enough!”

So I did what any (in)sane person would do; I let them each sponsor a child! It was really cool because as we were picking who we’d slonsor, the artist/speaker (I don’t know his name) came out and took a picture with us!

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Halle found Merlyn first and she was sure about her choice. She wanted a younger sister that “loved to draw”. There were several of those, but she connected with her. She’s from Guatemala and has such a sweet look about her. Halle is excited to be her pen pal and send her clothes. She said, “I just had a feeling about her that she was right.” She’s upstairs right now packing up her build-a-bear to ship overseas! I don’t think Merlyn as any idea what’s about to hit her!

Jordan, on the other hand, was a lot more particular. He made us visit four different tables with many options on each one, until he found Waner. He also wanted a little brother who liked to draw and one he could possibly meet someday. Waner lives in the Dominican Republic and we have friends that live there, so we thought maybe it would be an option. He also wanted him to be younger that him, and he recently turned 5 on January 31st. Jordan said “He looks like a good younger brother and he likes drawing so we can send each other pictures.”

So, true to “Moss style” Jon and I brought 14 kids to the concert and we left with 16! If you want to sponsor a child, too, you can contact this company:

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It is overwhelming to think how many kids need help and that a child starves to death every three seconds, somewhere in the world. But we can each do something. I’ll be paying $38.00 a month, each, to Merlyn and Waner. It will be well worth the experience our family will have of learning from them and sharing our blessings with them.

And so in celebration, we danced the rest of the night away!

 

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Utah Women & Leadership Project

I’ve been hearing random people say that they saw me in a magazine and yesterday I finally saw it! I remember being interviewed a few months back and also having the photoshoot, but I had no idea where and when it would be printed. I’m heading to school right now, so I can’t write much about it – but it’s an honor to be featured in this magazine!

I have a great love of learning and encouraging women to find their passions and to develop them. It’s taken me over two decades to go back to school to finish what I started, but every minute has been worth figuring out how to fit it into my life. I’ve met women in my classes that have taken one or two classes over many years and are now graduating, and I’ve met women who mostly do online school and are graduating with more skills to better support their families.

Every person I meet at school, every day, gives me hope that I can keep going. School is not easy for me. I have to study longer for a test than most people I talk to, and I still don’t get the best grade. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’m working hard at something that is hard for me. Challenging myself is the only way I can continue to grow. And if putting myself out there in the colleges’ magazine can inspire at least one person, it’s worth it.

I said to Jon last night, “Now I really can’t drop out!”

Today I woke up and got the kids off to school, like I’ve been doing for the 21 years, and then went trail-run/hiking/walking in my favorite place. As I was running through this valley, I was thinking, the mountains don’t care if you didn’t get ready before you came to work out that day. They don’t care if your clothes match and they certainly aren’t counting your calories. It’s a non-judgemental place to be free and create. Create your mindset. I took a little longer today and sat in a clearing to pray and write personal notes. Praying in nature is so powerful and I plan to do it more often. As parents, we spend so much brain power on helping our children. This is so important, but so is our personal sanity and peace. Have a great day!

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Long Lost Friend

Last night I was standing at the information table at the Women’s Leadership meeting at UVU, just acting like I knew what I was doing when a super cute lady walked up and called me by name. I looked at her closely to see if I knew who she was. I meet new people every day and sometimes it’s hard to keep everyone straight. With around 2,000 people that work with us, new people I meet in the non-profit world, and the students in my classes – I can hardly remember my own children’s names. And don’t even ask me to try and recall their birthdates. Heck, I can barely remember the year they were born when the doctor asks me so they can look it up on their computer.

Anyway, this darling lady that called me by name said, “Are you Janae?” and I said that indeed, I was. Then she looked at Brighton and Ella, which I drug to the conference to help me and get good info with me, and she said she recognized them as well. I asked her how I knew her and she smiled and said that I didn’t. I was confused and asked her to further explain. She went on to tell me that she had followed my pinkmoss.com blog before Facebook was a big deal and that she knew so many fun things about our family. I laughed and gave her a big hug. She felt like an old friend to me, which is exactly how my blog feels. It’s like a long-lost friend that moved away, and I’m horrible at long distance relationships. Just ask Mandy, or Kori, or Melinda. They are some of my very favorite people in this world and I never reach out. Even my own Mother and Father would say they probably wouldn’t know if I visited Mars until I posted about it on Facebook.

Well, this meeting with my blog friend got me thinking. I miss my blog so much and I always do. I want to have time to do everything. I am writing countless papers for school and (GUESS WHAT) writing some really awesome stuff for the Parent Advocacy Council that will be taken nationwide. Anyway, I miss my parents and I miss my best friends and I miss my blog. Jon just walked through the room and asked me what I was doing – just now – and as I expressed my thoughts, he gave some great advice to JUST HAVE FUN! Write because it’s fun and don’t let it be overwhelming. So there you have it.

And because I feel like writing two blog posts today, I think I will. I have a story to tell.

 

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Back to School

Next week I go back to school after twenty-two years.

This is a huge step for me. I wish I could say that I went to college the first time and finished, but I didn’t. I did, however, have a grand time living with roommates, dating my boyfriend, and skipping class to do who knows what. You could say that I still learned a lot during this time in my life, it just wasn’t anything that helped me finish my degree.

Now I have children going to college with me! I took my first class last January. I decided to hit it head on, and I began with the one subject that has given me grief my entire lift – MATH. I’ve never liked math and I knew that if I could prove to myself that I could overcome this obstacle, I could do anything. I took the class with Whitney, Kinley and Ethan. The timing was pretty crazy, as Ethan and Kinley were married the week after our finals. This class moved very quickly because it started on a junior high level and worked all the way through college algebra in one semester. I only cried three times in math lab, but I finished.

During summer semester I decided to take two block classes. This was also a miserable decision because the classes moved very fast, and it was summer! My kids wanted and needed my attention, but I knew I couldn’t get into my program this fall if I didn’t plow through and finish my Psychology class (a class I had dropped once 20 years ago) and my Health class (a class I dropped three times 20 years ago). So I did it. My grades weren’t perfect. My grades have never been perfect, but I finished with an A- in Health and a B+ in Psychology. I enjoyed both classes and I wish they wouldn’t have gone so fast. I also believe I would have enjoyed the lectures and interaction with other students, if I had the class at the university.

But it was all worth it! I finally get to start into my program next week! I’ve decided to get a degree in Integrated Studies with emphasis in Psychology and Leadership. I believe this will help me to build the Parent Advocacy Council and give me more knowledge to help run our companies. I’ve wanted to learn Spanish for a long time because we have roughly 1,500 employees that speak Spanish! My goal is to stand at the Christmas party this year and speak to them in their native language. I want to do this to show them appreciation for who they are and what they bring to our organization.

Cross your fingers and toes for me, I’m sure there will be more tears! Some tears will be because I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and other tears will be because I’ll be sitting in Statistics for the next nine months.

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Last week I went to the Thanksgiving Point Gala. It was lots of fun and we came home with some pretty great stuff. This picture is of myself with Jeanette Bennett (Owner of UV Magazine and Mike Washburn, CEO of Thanksgiving Point).

I was asked to dress to look like I was attending the Grammy’s in the 40’s. First I went to Hale Center Theater to rent an outfit, but as they pulled several options for me, I realized I had the same thing in my closet and it would actually fit me right. So I went hope and pulled out one of my formal gowns that I recently bought, and watched a YouTube tutorial on how to do my hair in pin-curls. It all came together and we had a great night! People often confuse Jeanette and myself because we do look quite similar, and we attend a lot of the same events. Jeanette joked that we are the “Sequin Sisters”, because we rarely see each other in anything other than formal gowns.

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I feel like since I stopped blogging consistently for several years now, I’ve lost huge chunks of my life. I know they still happened and I have glimpses of memory, but it’s hardly the same as being able to look back and read my thoughts. I want to change this.

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Little Adventures Dress-Up Princess Party

Do you remember when you were young, and all you wanted to be was a princess?

We knew we were pretty. We believed that the world was full of adventure, just waiting to be discovered. We understood our talents and what made us special. And when people gave us compliments, we accepted them whole-heatedly. In fact, we often reminded others of our achievements and strengths. Do you remember?

After I agreed to do the first sponsored post on my personal blog – ever – I pushed myself to discover why. But when I learned more about this company, Little Adventures product I was so impressed and I knew how excited my nieces and nephews would be when they received their favorite princess dress! And to make it even better, the new Beauty and the Beast movie was coming out right after I receive the dresses from Little Adventures and so we decided to go to the movie all dressed up!

“Little adventures started when two moms discovered the lack of clothing-quality dress-ups and princess costumes available for their children, they decided to take action. Jenny Harrison, mother of ten, and Heather Granata, mother of five, began their own little adventure by sewing and selling their very own dress-ups at local craft fairs. They made them soft and machine washable! They engineered them for everyday, all-day adventure! It didn’t take long for Jenny and Heather to realize the potential of their little endeavor. During their first year in business, they sewed over 2,000 dresses in Jenny’s basement…and with that, the Little Adventures brand was born.”

My favorite part was watching their faces glow, because they knew they were beautiful! We can all learn a thing or two from little girls. Often we push them to grow up and act more mature, but in that moment, something is lost that never really comes back. Sure, we can re-learn that we are beautiful, smart, funny, and fantastic, but once girls become older, we are inundated with ideas that challenge our self worth.

That’s why it’s important to enjoy our little ones while they are young. Tell them they are wonderful, every chance you get! I’ve heard some parents say that they “Don’t want their daughters to get too high of a self-esteem”, but NEVER worry about that! There are plenty of other people in the world that are willing to take hits at your daughter’s self worth and you don’t want to be one of them. Having raised six daughters, I can tell you this is true.

Carefully choose your words when complimenting them. Celebrate their personalities, not only their physical beauty. Although girls want to feel beautiful, this shouldn’t be the way they judge their worth. Talents aren’t only the ones that are easily spotted, like piano, soccer or ballet. We need to also share things like “strong”, “happy”, “giving”, “funny”, “patient” etc. You know your child better than anyone, so tell them the things you admire. When we study our mind, we understand that if we focus on our positive traits, we are more likely to strengthen ourselves overall. Basically, it is not uplifting to focus on our weaknesses all day, everyday, yet often when we listen to our self talk, we do it!

When you get the chance to dress up, do it! Dance with them, sing with them, play with them! I’ve spent time running away from my kids mentally and physically before, and I’ve spent time actively running toward them mentally and physically. Parenting is WAY more fun when you purposefully engage! We had so much fun at our princess party and we planned it just for fun. Just look at their faces! Oh, and the boys were so jealous about our party, we let them come last-minute and enjoy balloon swords and crowns.

AND I WANT TO GIVE A HUGE THANKS to my nanny, Kenzie! She has an amazing wedding planning and events company, and I take full advantage of her skills when I can! She is so talented with everything she does (do you remember my Harry Potter Halloween Party?!) Well, when she found out I’d be hosting a Princess party, she offered to decorate it so she could refer to our pictures when talking with clients. Her website is Kenzie’s Events – go and check her out to find her information. She’s priced wonderfully and oh, so talented! And finally, my daughter, Whitney, took all the photos and I edited them. She is so naturally talented and it gave me a chance to wrangle the kiddos and keep things flowing.

 

 

Oh, and remember to find Little Adventures online by visiting and liking their FACEBOOK PAGE.Their products are very well made and can even be washed in the washing machine! I can’t help but wonder why this is so uncommon for children’s dress-ups!

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