Thursday, March 31, 2011

Muddie Paw Prints

This morning Roxie escaped when I opened the door for a visitor. She has been so good at coming back when I call. I didn't worry until about thirty minutes had passed and no Roxie. I got in the car and drove around the neighborhood. I didn't see her any where. I went home and got on with the daily chores. When to my surprise I looked out the window to see Roxie bolt across the back yard. I went to the front door called her name and she came bolting in the house. She has this routine she does as she enters the house. She darts into the living room and races around the coffee table as fast as she can around and around. Then she likes you to get into the action and chase her around and around. This is usually fun and games, it's great to get the energy out, but this time it wasn't so funny. She left muddy footprints around and around the living room. I hate to say this made me very angry so I put her in the sun room while I finished a couple of other tasks. I then gave her a bath. Well she looks better but I've got to get the carpet cleaner out and clean the carpet. Maybe I will wait for a volunteer.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lydia Says Goodbye One Last Time

Lydia wanted one last chance to hold and feed Maddie. Maddie cooperated. Maddie has been the little sister Lydia will never have. Aren't they cute together?

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Fond Farwell

It is great to get together with a few families and enjoy eating and chatting.

We had a couple of families, (the Losees and the Hawks) over to say goodbye to the Kaisers. We are sad to see them leave but happy for them as go to Pensylavania so that he can get more schooling. I am sure that they will find new friends and be welcomed into a new ward. We will miss our weekly visits from Maddie she has been so fun to watch grow up this past year! So until we meet again or email again go forward.

Monday Mania

I only have a few finishing touches on the kitchen I spent the day painting putting up curtain rods and window treatments. I love the new look of my kitchen. It beats the dark drearyness of dark cupboards and green walls. Here are some before and after pictures

These before pictures were taken after thanksgiving 2010.
This picture taken in January all the cupboard doors had been removed and painted and the cupboard shells were painted. This part of the project took about three months, but the hard work paid off. I added new hardwear and they look totally new. Below are the after pictures taken today. The wall to the left of the table is in Chalkboard paint. This will be a place for us to evaluate goals and write schedules. There are a few more finishing touches like hanging pictures and touching up the white trim. I love the color. I love the brushed bronze faucet and the back splash that matches it. I really like the contrast between the back splash and the wall color and the green countertops (too cheap to change it and they're in great condition) and the gold walls and white cupboards.
Love it!!!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Last of the White Stuff

Woke up this morning and saw white flakes falling from the sky. How strange it's the end of March. I'm just grateful the sun came out and before we got home from church at noon the snow was gone the daffodil's heads were straight and the earth was brown again.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Camping and Growing

Sleeping bags, duffel bags, water coolers, boots, coats, and young men clutter the driveway. Chatter about who is going with whom. Who is driving? Boys playing tag in the front yard. Discussions about the weather. And the usual chaos that goes with leaders and boys leaving for a weekend camping experience. It's a fun site, the energy, excitement and joy that boys feel as they take off away from home for the night!

As they return it's the feeling of tiredness, the lack of energy, the campfire smell that penetrates their clothes and their stories of the adventure that lets you know that they had a great time. To the leaders that teach and give them opportunities to lead, thanks.

Austin and Willy could not stop talking about it, especially the fire building competition.Willy gave an excellent analogy about building fires and building a testimony in priesthood meeting. Camping is for growing in more than one way!

Shirt Designs

I love getting the creative juices flowing so Tshirt time is just around the corner. Bill has been working on a design the Spanish elders asked him to do. the Elders were totally pleased and impressed with the design Bill created. Bill learned some new tricks about putting the words on the lower part of the circle. He likes to learn new things that help us make contemporary designs. You can just tell how pleased the elders are. We made them one to give to the mission President (along with our business card).

I have been working on a signature shirt for the fourth graders at Baldwin (Lydia's School). Where the kids will sign the shirt inside the number areas. It's a memory shirt for those moving on to Mayfield. I created six different designs, and this one is my favorite.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Weary Wednesday

The afternoon of the living dead would have greeted you today if you had come to visit. Each child wearily entered with heavy feet groping for a place to lay their heavy bodies. None of them had much left to give, all energy depleted. The couch beckoned sleep. Even Roxie joined the sleeping brood. Wednesdays are the afternoons of the living dead because Tuesdays are the nights of living way too late.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thoughts of Thankfulness

Today Lydia came home from school with this beautiful Easter bonnet she made in art! She looks so Springy. She is always so happy and adds to the joy I feel each day. All of the kids add to my joy! Bill is in the center he is my best friend. I'm so grateful for them for they have taught me what it must be like to live with God. Oh the peace the gospel brings. For I know that He lives.

The other day as Bill and I were driving I had this over whelming feeling of gratitude. I couldn't help but see all the things that are around me and be thankful for all the little things that really do matter. I felt gratitude for a home, for food, for children, for health, for a place to sleep. At the same time I felt saddened by the tumult in the world for those effected by the earthquakes, tsunami, war, and family problems. I actually wept knowing that the last days are here and that we too will have wars here in this land. That there may be a time when spring flowers will not bud, and that food will not be plentiful, and water may not be clean, and children may not have a childhood. My thoughts returned to ones of gratitude for this renewing season and life. I felt peace in my soul, and I recommitted to do whatever the Lord would have me do because of the many blessings I enjoy each day! Thank you for the beauty in nature, for family, for the gospel of peace, for guidance, for love, for abilities, and so much more. I realize these blessing are from above. Please help me to share with others.

A Day that Start and Ends the Same Way

Loud thunder, light streaks across the sky, large droplets of water falling slowly at first, then louder and stronger, from a drizzle to an all out down pour that's how the day began and that's how the day ended. But it was so beautiful in between, the sun came out. The sidewalks dried. The air felt clean and new. The humidity passed and the air was lung opening. The flowers were so beautiful after school I had to capture it. So I took these pictures!

Today Maddie came over. She was do fun. It's sad for us that the Kaisers will be moving soon. We love Maddie so much. I hope that everything will go well for them in Pensylvania.

We had a first aid challenge for our FHE tonight. I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out but both the girls and the boys did well remembering what they should do in emergency situations. They also learned some new things from each other. Each group won a game of Tic-Tac-Toe so they all got frosty's for refreshments. The boys should be ready for the first part of their First Aid Merit badge meeting. And the girls should be ready for girls camp first aid. Don't forget to treat for shock and call 911 if you are ever in an emergency situation. We'll be reviewing CPR and other heart starting events later this week. So stay tuned for more exciting health provoking ideas that may save someones life.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Where did the Week Go?

Wow this week just flew by. How can it be that the last entry was made a week ago and I plug in my camera and I didn't take any pictures this week how terribly sad. I will repent this week and make an entry everyday. Here's a short summary of the highlights of the week. In no particular order, as to day or importance. Sorry that it's a list but it works.
  • FHE talked about how everyone in a family is affected by the actions of individual members and that each individual is unique and that each is needed. Each of us told what they thought was their best qualities. Lydia would say after each person yep and I'm awesome and I'm nice. We ended by discussing the roles of mothers and fathers. (Trying to help the boys pass of requirements for the Family life merit badge and the importance of the Proclamation on the family.)
  • For the youth activity they all wore green to a get to know you game night. I worked with the cubs making pine cone bird feeders with peanut butter and bird seed. Great Fun!
  • Talked to two different groups about Shirt orders and worked on art. Excited about getting into the spring and more shirt orders. Hopefully we can pay for the Jessy's tuition with money we earn from the shirts. Completed an order of 50 shirts. So excited.
  • Each day spring is popping out the Daffodils are in bloom the magnolia tree blooms are ready to burst out and the birds are chirping more. It feels so good in the 60s and 70s.
  • Saturday we worked in the yard. Raking leaves, cleaning out flower beds and picking up sticks and debris. Next weeks plan compost, flower planting, and mulch.
  • Lydia received the assignment of a talk for primary all day Saturday she refused saying that others knew how to do it better. On Sunday morning before church she refused saying she didn't want to do it. As primary was getting ready to begin I whispered in her ear that Nephi had to do hard things like build a boat and that she could do hard things like Nephi by giving a talk. She was convinced she could be like Nephi and did a great job on her talk with the help of her dad. Thank you inspiration.
  • Girls had their last basketball game of the season. Played their best game ever!!! Jessica's last yw game of her career.
  • Drove kids to the stake youth activity Skit in A Bag!
  • Primary Meetings for me and Ward Conference today! It was great to hear from president Hylton and the Bishop! the Choir sang one of my favorite songs Whenever I hear the song of a Bird! it was beautiful.
  • Austin pulled out his loose tooth in church and asked if I had a baggie to put it in. It's a little strange to be handed a baby tooth while your singing a hymn.

Looking Forward to another wonderful week!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Jessy's Going to Live Where?

Interesting how growing up is physically natural but as parents we say things like "Will you stop growing." You can't get any taller." "Couldn't you just stay this age forever?" You are the perfect size." Like we can do anything about it. Even though at times we may say "Can't they get over this stage?" "Will we ever see them through potty training?" At least while their small they don't talk back like they will when they are teenagers." When will they get big enough to pick up their own toys." "I can't wait until......." I haven't been a perfect mom and I have wished away some of the stages of growing up for some of my children. And during some of the stages I was so busy that I didn't capture what they were going through. Now we have hit a new stage for our oldest daughter.

Jessica is getting ready for college. We are excited and hesitant as she turns this new chapter in her life. The chapter of leaving home, seeing what she can give the world, doing things on her own. Getting ready for college is a an adventure. From the applications to the acceptance letters, and now where will I live? Jessica and I sat at the kitchen table and discussed how far away from campus? where are most of your classes? Do you want to cook? We looked at Google maps. Tried to put into perspective the college experience and then make an educated guess as to what we thought would be the best place for Jessica to live. It's so cool now to sign up for housing at BYU I. You can sign up even to which bed you want. Jessica and I had a great time looking at all the options, Jessica's decision is to live in the Dorms Kerr Hall. She opted to live on the bottom floor and wanted to live with no one she knew. We signed a contract and found out she has roommates from New York, Minnesota, and Utah. Now we all hope it works out to be a pleasant experience for all involved. She can't wait to leave and I still wish she didn't have to grow up!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Dishwasher and Baby teeth

Happy Days! Happy Days!!! All other plans were down shifted when Willy listen to my voice mails and one said my dishwasher was in and that we could pick it up. Austin volunteered to wash the dishes first even before they left for the store. I doubt that will continue for very long but that attitude would be nice even for a short time. Bill installed it with only one trip to Home Depot for a corner pipe to connect the fresh water to the dishwasher. I now can have some of my time back after breakfast. In theory it should take less time for the kids to do dinner dishes. I can't wait to test out my theory over the next weeks. Yipee Yipee

Austin is eleven years old and today he lost another baby tooth. He still has several to lose. Seems weird but he's always been a little slow. Kind of like a turtle, slow and steady wins the race. Not sure if the tooth fairy will come for him, he's probably on the too old list. You just have to love to see how small baby teeth are so cute!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Best Pizza Ever

I love Fridays after school. The kids come home happy and more relaxed. I like that I can back off of the homework and let them not be so rushed. It's been a busy week We haven't got to spend an evening together since Monday,(Family Home Evening) Bill and I were going to go to the temple but we felt we needed to spend some time with the kids. Willy thought it would be fun to make homemade pizza so Jess, Emily and Willy went to the store to pick up the toppings. Emily and Willy made the dough and rolled out individual pizzas for everyone to put on their favorite toppings. They were great. Homemade pizza the best pizza ever.
Austin, Lydia and I played a few games, while the dishes were done. I hate to say that I had so much to do to get ready for sharing time on Sunday and for other meetings that we didn't have the entire evening together, but what we had was wonderful. I'm so grateful that our kids still like being home on Friday nights just hanging out with the family. I know that when I was a teen I never wanted to be home on a Friday night. I usually worked on Friday and Saturday nights and I never seemed to be home.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rainy Days

Where does all the water go? It rained hard for most of the day. It's like someone left the garden hose on full blast for more than twelve hours. The water lies in pools all over the yard the little stream from the backyard to the front yard and then out to the street protects the basement from getting flooded. How beautiful that is to me. Every time it rains so hard I think about how grateful I am that it never rained like this in Idaho. Because I cleaned up floods in that basement without so much heavy rain. Oh I can see those experiences flash before my eyes, all the wet towels and the wet vac the carpet drying out over chairs and time. I think that anyone who was there can recall the scene rather well. Enough reminiscing!

Let's just say I'm grateful. The earth is now ready for the spring the trees are starting to bud, and the earth smells so good. The Kids were very wet from their walk home from school but all in all rainy days are just a fact of life and they won't last forever.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dad's Surprise

Bill, is a wonderful dad. He comes up with some of the most unique ways to express his love to his family. Tonight was one of those nights. Everyone was busy away from the house except him and Lydia, so he decided to surprise Emily. Emily loves the singer Josh Groban. She likes his music, his eyes, his curly hair, his wholesomeness, everything about him. Well I must agree he does have a great voice and his taste in songs are awesome. Bill and I first heard him when we went on our 10th anniversary outing. A group of people were playing a CD of his loud enough for us to enjoy it by a beautiful stream. The music just added to the beauty of the nature that surrounded us. Well Bill knowing this found a picture of Josh Groban on the Internet did some adjustments to it, created a screen, and made Emily t shirts with his face on it. I say shirts because it was a beautiful array of colored shirts with Josh Groban's face in the center of each one. Lydia of course wanted one, she can't be left out so he made one her size.

He had the shirts all laid out on her bed so that when she returned from the temple trip she would see them. Austin predicted before he went to bed that she would scream so loud in joy that she would wake up the neighbors. And that is pretty much what happened. Bill expressed to me how wonderful it is to see how much happiness a little thing like a shirt can bring. He said that in Wednesday evening so he was still basking in the joy.

Lydia and Emily both wore their shirts on Wednesday. I asked Lydia on the way home from the bus stop who was on her shirt she said she didn't know but her teacher had asked her that same question and she didn't know then either. I thought that was funny that she was wearing a shirt with someone face she didn't even know. Emily and Jessica's friend, having seen Emily's shirt t wanted one so Bill made Jessica and her friend a shirt the next day.

Wednesdays Tortillas

Cooking with Austin and Willy is a wonderful way to help them learn new skills and have positive time together. Two weeks ago Bill and I decided that we needed to help the boys become more accountable for helping around the house. Also we wanted to help them change their attitude towards domestic chores. So we agreed upon some consequences for not doing or doing the assigned chores. One of the chores that I would help them with would be to teach them to cook dinners. We started out with some noodle dishes, which we have very frequently, such as macaroni and cheese with homemade sauce, spaghetti, and cheeseburger pie. We have moved onto stir fry, fish and tonight Willy and I made homemade corn tortillas for our tacos. We found out tortillas take a while to master. They stick to the tortilla press, but we figured out that putting wax paper between the press and the dough helps. Next time we are going to fry them in a little oil instead of cooking them on the griddle. We think this may enhance the flavor and we will be able to cook them faster. Willy and I had a fun time working together. He certainly likes cooking so this has been working out better then I imagined. By the way the tacos were great and everyone liked the tortillas.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Temple trip

What a beautiful site Willy, Jessica, and Emily dressed up ready to go to the temple to do baptisms. Two times a year our youth have the wonderful opportunity to do baptisms. They love to go to the temple and feel the spirit. They came home about 10:30 so happy. They had to tell us about everyone, how many youth went, who the leaders were, and how they felt. Of course they were hungry so they had to have a snack before they went to bed. I love these discussions and how they open up. I'm so glad they like to serve. I know they have felt the spirit of the temple and the joy you can have from serving there. So they finally slipped into bed about 11:30. Luckily temple trips they cancel seminary in the next morning.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Visiting and Playing

Boxing without hitting anyone, Bowling without a 8 lb ball,and eating pizza and salad made for a fun Sunday afternoon. Our home teacher brother Ford invited us to his house for dinner and to play on his new kenects Xbox. I must say it is pretty cool. You don't use any controllers the cameras in the box sense your movements and determine where you hit or roll the ball by your body movements. Way high tech!!! The pizza and the games were great but the company was even better. Thanks so much to the Fords. Only one down fall now the kids want one of those cool game consoles. Wish I had some pictures of Bill and I boxing each other. I'm sure it was funny just to see us breaking a sweat.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Work and Play

This morning I saw a beautiful site my kids working in the yard!! After much encouragement I was able to get Emily, Willy, Austin, and Lydia to join me in cleaning out the flower beds and raking the yard, and putting fertilizer on the front yard. We are going to keep a better yard this year. We need to get some compost, mulch, flowers, make new garden beds and oh so much more. But I'm glad that we at least started today. Big goals!!!

Jessica started the day off very early this morning by going to the stake center to hear Elder Bednar speak to the young single adults of 13 stakes. She was there an hour early and the chapel and half the gym was full. She said they had a wonderful time with a question answer format. They went over 20 minutes but she felt like she could have listened for even longer. After the meeting she went out to lunch with Melanie, Virginia-Rose, and Emily. At lunch the bishop happened to be at Red Robin and bought them an onion ring appetizer. The girls thought that was way cool. After they came back they had a fun time goofing around with some things they bought at the dollar store. I'm not sure what they did but they were having fun.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bill Chills and other Thrills

If you have ever had the chills so bad that your teeth chatter and you shake and shake even though you have at least ten blankets on, you know that something is wrong. That happened to Bill last night about bed time and then again this evening. We thought the chills might be connected to the leg wound from his varicose veins that has been oozing a clear watery fluid out of it for a couple of days. Or it could be several other blown out of proportion ideas I came up with. Bill came home from work early because he was feeling dizzy. (Bill never leaves work early or takes a day off if he is sick) He even stopped at the doctor to have his leg checked out. Amazing !!!!! He did have some tests run. His bp was good. He doesn't have diabetes. He had no fever, but he does now 102. They collected blood and a sample of the fluid coming out of his leg. But the wound is not infected. And the doctor recommended a vascular surgeon, and gave him a prescription for a diuretic. Really they don't know what is wrong. I think it is just a flu bug and the leg thing is a separate matter. He has always been so healthy, so its just out of the ordinary.

Because Bill came home from work early he was able to attend a meeting with me to help Austin get the services he needs to help him in school. I couldn't believe that it took us two and a half hours. We are glad to have a plan worked out to help him.

Last night at Dinner Lydia fell asleep even before everyone made it to the table. School just wears her out. Usually she takes a nap right after she gets home, but I've been trying to keep her up, hoping that she'll go to bed easier.

I forgot to mention on Monday Jessica received a bouquet of flowers from Bill and me for her birthday. She has some fun plans with her friends tomorrow!!