Remember the reason for the season....
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
We've been in the new house for 6 days (I'm including Friday....because I can.) and we're STILL in pretty much the same position we were when the boxes were dropped off here. I've only arranged the family room and the boys' bedrooms. We're still looking for things that have been packed, but we're surviving.
Over the weekend we found out that we didn't have any hot water. Our hot water heater was not working. After 3 different men looking at it, and one professional plumber, we figured out that it wasn't getting any power to it. Someone had moved the fuse box to the wrong spot. All is well now.
The boys have been enjoying sleeping in their own rooms, I'm enjoying the non-late-night-brawls.
I'm sitting in the family room watching the little puffs of snow fall into my back yard....BACK YARD. I have one now!! It's really nice.
Unfortunately, since we've moved, both boys have gotten QUITE mouthy and disobedient. I'm beyond frustrated with their attitudes and think that I might just cancel Christmas all together.
We'll get there, right?
But for now, my number one priority has been cleaning up the old place. I know that our landlord is planning on taking out the carpeting and the icky floors, repainting, and generally fixing up the place, but I don't want to leave a huge mess for him. He's done so much for us over the years that I don't want to do that to him. Today I have to clean the kitchen floor, sweep the garage/basement, and then take all the left over stuff to DI. It's overwhelming, but I CAN do it. I have to....we're supposed to be turning in our keys today.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
So, my last post....yeah, a bit of a lie.
We had a miracle. On Friday, we began running around doing errands for the house (changing the electricity, gas....) when our mortgage lady, Julz, called.
Julz: "Dawnyel?? I just left you a HUGE rambly message on your home phone. You're funded."
Me: "What!? How did that happen?" (Seriously dancing in my seat and grinning ear-to-ear.)
Julz: "You're funded. You can get the keys...NOW!"
There was other talk (boring, boring, BORING...especially after the happy news...) and she told us that we had to see the title company and it was ours.
We finished our errands and hurried to the title company, signed the extra papers (a few mistakes) and we were done.
We've been moving in since yesterday. It was a HUGE job, but we had TONS of wonderful help. We're actually IN the house right now. I'm sitting in my cold family room with freezing fingers typing right now (darn that draft...) but we're HOME!!!!
Just a few things left to move over, an old apartment to clean and release, and then we can unpack and just BREATHE!!
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Today we signed the closing papers on our house. It feels AMAZING to have a house of our own.
BUT, because we didn't sign all of the papers and get them processed before 5:30, we have to wait until Monday before it's "official."
We're just hoping that the owners will allow us to move our belongings into the house before Monday. We have everyone set up to help, and it would be amazing if we could. (It's most likely to happen, but you never know....)
Anyway, we're on the TAIL end of apartment living.....and it feels GREAT!! :)
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Friday, December 02, 2011
We close on the house in less than a week. We still have a BUNCH of stuff to do ON TOP of the packing. I'm overwhelmed. I can't do it all.
I'm going to suck it up and ask for help. I know there are people who are more than willing to help (I've already had TONS of offers that I've kind of blown off....) I'm taking them up. I need help. I want OUT of this crummy apartment and into my cute little home.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Driving around town at night, I've noticed the brilliant light displays that many have put up already. Not only have I noticed them, but so have my boys. Jake will say, "Mom! They're all ready for Christmas." When he says this I notice that it's with a bit of jealousness.
Normally, any other year, our family tradition is that we put up our tree on Thanksgiving evening or the day after. This year, not so.....Why would I want to put up a tree only to take it all back down to move to a different house?
So our house is totally untrimmed....and a bit chaotic with the boxes filling up and things being moved around.
I'm not a Scrooge, I promise....I'm just moving.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Today has been an absolutely WONDERFUL holiday.
I spent the morning making pies. I was in charge of assigning people the things to bring, and didn't have many people for making pies, so I volunteered myself. I told my mom that I would make the cream pies (banana, coconut and lemon meringue). I baked the shells yesterday and then went to work this morning making the filling. I had never made a meringue before, so whipping up the egg whites got to me. I didn't realize that it took SO long to whip them when you have a little ol' hand mixer. After a VERY long time, I finally had my stiff peaks, and I baked them. Oh, my GOSH!! They were SO SO SO yummy.
I also volunteered to pick up my grandpa from the assisted living center and bring him to my mom's house. This was a chore.
Grandpa will go for a long time, having good days where he remembers and then he'll have bad days....today was a bad one. He spent the morning calling my aunt (one of 4 phone numbers that he remembers) to see when he was going to be picked up. She reassured him that someone would get him and that he wasn't forgotten. Then she called my mom who called me. When mom called me, I'd JUST finished my food preparations (I also made a salad and dug out a can of cranberry sauce....) and finished my shower. I promised her that I would be leaving the house shortly.
I left my boys in the suburban while I went in to find Grandpa. I had fully expected to find him in the front lobby waiting impatiently. When I entered...he wasn't there. I went to his room and found him napping on his bed.
So I told him that we were going to Thanksgiving Dinner and that he would probably need his jacket because it was cool outside. He then told me that he probably didn't have one there, because he didn't live there all the time.
I finally got him ready, then we slowly (and I DO mean SLOWLY) sauntered down the hallway. I told him that I would check him out at the front desk and meet him at the doors. He tried banging the doors open, but there's a code to open them (dang good thing...) I got him in the car and then he asked, "Are you going to pick up mom now?"
*Sigh* These are the moments it's hard to have a grandpa with a memory problem....
I told him, "Grandpa, Grandma died 3 years ago now. You don't live with her..." My boys, in the back seat, chimed in: Cameron said, "She's in heaven, Grandpa." Jake said, "She's in a hole in the ground."
Things were silent after that.
Soon enough we were at my mom's house, and I took in the food and then sat down to rest. My cousins and aunts soon arrived and the house was busy and full of happy noises. The kids were begging to go outside to play and the adults sat around and talked. My mom had miscalculated the time the turkey would take, so we waited an extra hour for dinner to be ready. Unfortunately, Steve had to hurry off to work, but did manage to get his food before going to work. He also took a few plates of food with him to share with his employees.
After dinner, we were all beyond stuffed, and sat and talked. I got to talk with my two female cousins who showed up. It was so fun to just sit and talk and laugh. I wish I could do that MORE often.
We ate our pie, and then it was time to go home. My grandpa had been having a VERY rough day and was in and out of the bathrooms the WHOLE time. (I swear, when he was supposed to be eating, he was in the bathroom 10 times.) He'd had an accident, and it was TIME to take him home. I didn't let him sit (it's hard to get him up off of a chair if he DOES sit...) and herded him to the suburban. I put a towel around my seat, so he wouldn't make a mess....and then I opened the door so he could get in.
He couldn't do it. He couldn't raise his leg to get in, he couldn't put his feet on the running board to get IN the car, he couldn't do it. I stood behind him, knowing that he was wet and gross, and thinking, "This is taking WAY too long....should I just push him in and wash my hands later?" I resisted the urge, and after 6 minutes of struggle, went into my mom's house for a step stool. By the time I got back out to the car...he'd managed to get in. *sigh*
I took him home, and on the way he said, "Now, remember, I need to go home." I looked at him and said, "Oh, don't worry, I remember." As I pulled into the assisted living center, he began to complain, "I don't live here....why are we here!?" "You live here, Grandpa." "I DO NOT!" "Grandpa, you've lived here for about 3 years now....I promise." "You have GOT to be kidding me!" "Why would I kid you about something like this?? Is this funny!?"
I parked the car outside the closest door to his room, and he asked, "So, do you want me to stay here until I will be dropped off?" "Nope, you are being dropped here."
I helped him in, and he feebly made his way in the door. I had to hold his hand as he walked the 20 feet to his room....then he collapsed on his couch.
As I left him I worried that he would follow and ask me more of the same questions. It's hard to tell him over and over that his wife is dead and that he doesn't remember it. I think I told him that at LEAST 5 times today. It's hard to leave him in an assisted living center when I know that he'd rather be in his own home. It's hard to hear him talk about driving himself around, then telling him that no, he can't drive, and that he really can't do much of anything.
Dementia/Alzheimer's is rough on the family as much as it is on the person who is suffering from it. I just want to cry after visiting him when he's had a bad day. I think he's beginning to forget the simple things now. (How to climb into a car.....) It's just sad all around.
I have to say though, I am grateful for my family and the love we have....and the memories we make.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Yup, we're still here. We're in the midst of all of the house-buying things. Last week we had our inspection, which turned out not so bad. We do have an older house, so there are many little things that need fixed, but we can still live with a lot of things.
I'm also going through things in the current house and purging and donating things that we don't wear, use or need anymore. THIS is what's sucking....both my time and just in general.
I know that once we move, things will be SO much better....especially if I can get rid of the extra things now, but right now I'm in the middle of it, and it just stinks.
Monday, November 14, 2011
...that after a few months in the Primary Presidency....I got released.
I knew it was coming, the current president had been in for 3 years, but I was SO sad to lose such a fun, wonderful, fulfilling calling.
Because the bishopric member knew about the house hunt, he hesitated to extend me a new calling, so as of right now, I'm without a calling. I haven't had THAT privilege since we first moved into this ward....EIGHT years ago.
I am, however, keeping busy. There's a class that has no teacher and while they find one, I'm the "permanent" substitute. I don't mind it at all...I'm just glad to still be in Primary.
And to address the 8 year comment, yes, it's absolutely true. We moved into this apartment when Cam was 3 years old and one month. He'd just started preschool, and I had to wait to put him into the new school district for over a month.
This means that I have EIGHT years of accumulation to go through and purge and pare down. This will NOT be an easy job. BUT I am hopeful that a lot of the boxes I've neglected over the years are easily de-junked and tossed. I can do this....I can do this....I can do this....
Friday, November 11, 2011
I'm SO beyond thrilled. Honestly, right now I've got perma-grin.
Steve called me with the news, and I asked if they'd counter-offered....they DIDN'T!!
OH MY GOSH!!! I've got a house, and at a SCREAMING deal too!!!
I am just overwhelmed with happiness right now, you have no idea!!
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Last night, Steve and I put in another offer on the house that I dreamed about. It took a lot of talk and discussion to get us both on the same page, but we're both there....and anxious.
We wait to hear back with nervousness and anxiety....and giddiness.
I have to admit, I'm BEYOND giddy about this house. I can't wait to hear whether they'll accept our offer or counter-offer.....
Not knowing is SO hard.
Monday, November 07, 2011
We've been looking for a house for MONTHS now. The first day we looked, Steve found the house that he loved. I thought it was nice, but it just didn't FEEL right to me. Then the next week I found a house that I loved, but Steve didn't like.
Then we'd been on the fence for a while. Steve told me that he felt like either house that we picked (of the two we both liked) would be fine. I thought we should still look, and we agreed to not decide anything yet.
Then last week we went looking again. We saw a BUNCH of houses....and none were really speaking to us. Then we visited a house that we BOTH were in awe of. We both really liked it, and both felt really good about it.
That night we put in an offer on that house....and found out there was already another offer.
Today we learned that they went with the other offer.
When I heard that, I was relieved. That night that we signed the papers for the offer, I had a bad feeling and dreamed about my first dream house...the one that I love, but Steve was having a hard time seeing us living in. ALL night I dreamed that we lived there, that we were happy there, that we were content.
I ignored those dreams, and bad feelings, because I didn't want to tell Steve that we'd made a mistake.
I actually prayed that we would be approved for the house that was MEANT to be ours, and if the house we'd put an offer on was wrong that we'd be denied.
I guess I got my answer, didn't I?
I really and truly feel like we need to put in an offer on that other house. I feel at home every time I think about it, drive past it, look at pictures of it....
Now I just have to convince Steve of that....
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
We had a long road getting TO Halloween this year. The boys were threatened on a regular basis with it being taken away....but they both made it.
We walked all up and down Grandma's neighborhood and got a GOOD haul. The boys were completely exhausted by the end of the night....
Now we move to the other holidays!!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Jacob is 3 and 4 (almost 5) months old. He understands when he's messy. He usually hides when he poops....all signs he's old enough to go to the bathroom on the toilet, right??
I've been asking the boy for MONTHS if he wants to potty on the toilet and the answer has always been, "No, thanks." (Yes, he's polite...) Finally, after Cameron went back to school and it was just the two of us at home, I'd had enough and I started FORCING the issue.
I would like to report (happily) that for the last 5 days Jake has had VERY few accidents. In fact, out of the last 5 days he's only had 3 accidents, and they were in the last 24 hours. On top of this, he's been sick. On his sick day last week, I offered a pull-up instead of his underpants and he began crying hysterically. His words were SO cute, "No, MOM!! I wanna be a BIG boy!!!" I allowed him to be a big boy and sure enough, he was dry all day long!
Potty training is one of the things I absolutely HATE about being a mom, but right now, it's not as bad as I'd remembered. :)
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I've found myself having similar dreams lately....all of them with us in a new house.
I wish the house-hunting process was easier, but it's not...and I'm frustrated. My boys fight constantly because they don't like sharing a bedroom. And I mean, who can blame them, right? Neither one has his own space, and he wants some room for himself.
Frustration comes when after hours of screaming and fighting there seems to be NO end in sight.
This too shall pass, I guess.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Tonight I've been reflecting on where I was 11 years ago. I was laying in a hospital bed, anxious for the birth of my first child. I was having blood pressure complications, and was nervous about everything that was going on.
I was so anxious that my nurse (who happened to be a good family friend) gave me a shot of morphine to help me relax. The night seemed to drag by. At that point, I had been pregnant for 3 years....or that's how it felt.
Little did I know the excitement that was awaiting me the next day. Loss of heart-beat, drop in blood pressure and an emergency c-section later I was a mom.
It hasn't been ANYTHING like I had imagined, but it's been the most wonderful, exciting, scary, frustrating adventure I've EVER been on.
Happy birthday, Cam. I can't believe you're SO old.
Monday, October 03, 2011
It's interesting to me that when I complain, my sweet hubby decides it's time to take action.
Last week we decided that it's time for us to find a house of our own. The boys need their own rooms, and we are officially on our own with our rent now (Steve got a raise, and Cam now has supplemental Social Security....) so we decided that it's time. On Tuesday we looked at 3 houses. The first one is one that I fell in love with online, but once we actually SAW it, it was a different story. It was SO teeny. Steve couldn't even stand upright to go down the stairs. I stood at the bottom and the ceiling was grazing my head. Definitely NOT the house for us.
The second house was nice. It's one that someone had fixed up and was trying to flip. The floors were new, new carpet, paint, it was cute, but it didn't have NEARLY the room I was hoping for. Steve fell instantly in love with this second house.
The third house was one of our friends' houses, and while the upstairs was cute and nice, the downstairs needed a LOT of love and attention. It was missing walls and just a mess. I knew it was more than we could do.
That night we went back to see the second house and show Cameron. The boys were SO in love with the backyard and didn't want to leave. I wasn't feeling the same level of love for this house that Steve was, so I was trying to find it's positive features. We told our realtor that we would love to put in an offer on this house, but we'd like to keep looking as well. He thought that was a great idea, so this week we're going to be looking at a few more houses.
I hope we can find something that will work for us, and won't kill us financially. It's a scary/exciting time for our family.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Why can't my boys stop fighting me on every request?
Why can't the two of them sleep in the same room at the same time without World War 3 breaking out?
Why doesn't the 3 year old understand that he can't do everything that his big brother can?
Why is it that I make too much money to be poor, but I'm too poor to be rich?
Why can't I seem to fall asleep when the rest of the world does?
Why can't I have a house?
It's because it's life, right? Things can't always be perfect, but I can keep on plugging along....at least, that's what I tell myself when I feel this pity party coming on.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
This week was my turn for Sharing Time again. I was grateful. I actually ended up switching with the other councilor, because she was leaving town....and I had NO idea what I could do for next week.
Anyway, this week's lesson was about how we can prepare NOW to be a missionary. It helped a TON that we had a missionary speak and the high councilman spoke about missionaries. I took my lesson from this site. I did all the same things, except I didn't read ALL of their explanations. The kids loved it and educated me a bit as well. (*giggle*) Did you know that frying pans are to kill people with?? ;) Thanks, Tangled.
Anyway, I think it went well....and it was fun too. Now to unpack and put things back where they belong....that's MY problem though. ;)
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I've been thinking about how different my two boys are. Cameron is a sweet boy (unless he's with his brother...) and is extremely shy. He is just now learning how to read. He is somewhat hard to understand if you haven't been around him (he slurs his words together, for example, "Family home evening" would be "famihomevening" coming out of his mouth). He loves basketball, and will do ANYTHING to play. He is always seeking out verbal approval from those around him.
Jake is very verbal himself. He can say things that Cameron can't. He is very inquisitive, and when he's super tired and doesn't want to sleep, he'll ask questions that he KNOWS will be answered. He makes up stories and has an incredible imagination. He is an all-around jock. He loves playing baseball, soccer, football, basketball....anything he can. He's even asked grandma if he can dig holes in her front yard so he can play golf. He is constantly busy and can just run circles for hours when he has nothing better to do.
Jake is SUCH the story teller. A few months ago, we went to a movie for family home evening. My parents took the boys (because the boys begged, and my parents are suckers for those little kids). On the way to the theater they passed a police car. Jake started his tale: "My daddy got pulled over by a police officer. He was speeding and got a ticket...." My parents asked us if that was true, and of course, it wasn't. But Jake can be very convincing.
Cameron loves to have very short hair. He complains loudly if it gets too long (he pulls it out on his own if I don't buzz it for him, so usually when he complains, I buzz both boys' hair.) Jake wants "long" hair. We've got school pictures coming up this Friday, and I want Jake to look nice, so I kept offering to trim around his ears. I kept promising him that I wouldn't buzz his hair off, but he kept turning me down. Finally, yesterday, I grabbed the scissors while he was in the tub and the whole time promising him I would be careful, and that I wouldn't hurt him, I trimmed his hair. But it was a HUGE fight.
Jake also loves to eat. He is always begging for food all day long. I swear, I feed the kid, but when you've got as much energy as this guy does, you burn through your food pretty quickly.
He's pretty independent as well. If you don't get right on whatever he asks, he tries to do it himself. I've caught the boy trying to run his own bath, climbing on a chair to get food out of the fridge, moving things, just because he wants to.
He's very different from his brother, but there's no one would would stand up more for Cameron in the whole world. Whenever Cameron gets in trouble, I get the wrath of Jake. He will come up to me, and in his deepest voice he will say, "THAT'S MY BROTHER!!" I try to calm him down by saying, "That's my son..." but my argument has NO validity with him.
He has a wicked sense of humor too. He will do things just to make us laugh. He pulls the best faces and knows he's funny.
What a fun boy I have in Jake. He's nothing like I would have expected to have when I first learned I was pregnant with him, but he's everything our little family needs. We really love, Jake.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Lately I have not felt like myself. I'm grumpy and angry at the drop of a hat. Yesterday was no exception.
I woke up early to watch the 9/11 things on TV (I am a 9/11 junkie, I watch so many shows about it and absolutely cannot get enough...) I was SO tired, neither of my boys went to sleep the night before until well after 10:30, and I was grumpy with having to deal with them all by myself.
Anyway, I laid on our comfy couch, snuggled under a blanket, and watched the show. A little ways into the show, the boys woke up. It was 7:00, and the boys were WIDE awake. I was still groggy and tired...even a little emotional, because of the 9/11 stuff, and they were needing a mommy.
I will admit, mornings are NOT my thing. I am a night-owl to the core. My boys, however, are early risers. Jake's justification to me has always been, "Mom, the sun is UP!" Yes, son, I know the sun is up, but that doesn't mean I have to be up.
So the boys are getting rowdy and I'm getting grumpier and grumpier.
Finally, I'd had it. I grabbed Jake, and took him upstairs. I was DETERMINED that he was going to get more sleep. (Anytime Cam would touch him, he'd whine and cry....I KNOW the boy was tired, he just didn't know it himself.)
I quickly fell back to sleep, but Jake did not. He laid in my bed for an hour. Finally he'd had enough, and wiggled and hit and kicked. He wanted out.
Anyway, I got upset, and so did Steve. At one point, Steve said, "FINE! I'll get up with the boys..."
Look, DUDE! I have been dealing with these children of yours all by myself for a VERY long time, and I have been awake with them, but this child needs more sleep.
If only I'd said that, right??
Instead, I got up with the wiggle-worm and went back downstairs where I got grumpier and grumpier.
Finally I decided that it was time for baths and took the boys upstairs to get ready for church. Generally, Jake goes first, because I can have him done REALLY fast, and dressed before Cam is even finished washing his hair.
I'm not even sure what exactly happened next, but Steve said something that set me off. I was looking through the clothes to get Jake dressed, and I had only found the boy's shirt and vest. I was in the midst of looking for his pants when Steve said whatever it was he said. I had it.....and I said so. I threw the clothes at Steve and said, "FINE! You get them (meaning the boys) I am DONE!"
Then I didn't look back...I went downstairs and took a time-out on my couch. I let Steve have FULL care of the boys.
When the boys came down, they were treading carefully. Jake came over and patted my knee. I did NOT move. Cameron looked like he wanted to ask me something, but he didn't. I just sat in my time-out and said NOTHING!
Then I realized something....the boys got dressed just fine without me harping on them for every little thing. They were happy, and I wasn't micro-managing every little thing.
At this point I realized: "The house is happier when we don't get angry and yell....it's best when I am quiet and listen."
Yes, a realization I should have had YEARS ago.....I have tried to be quieter since then, but I still have old habits that I need to break.....but I can do this. I can. I want a happier home and I'm sure my boys do too.
Thursday, September 08, 2011
School is back in session (has been since last week, but who's counting?) and life moves quickly. Jake has done his own "school" a few times and loves feeling like a big boy.
I'm a little frustrated though.
Bedtime has become my nemesis....yet again. Jake and Cameron fight EVERY single night. I'm losing my mind and just want to sit in the fetal position crying.
It starts out innocently enough. We do our bedtime routine: scriptures, brushing teeth, and prayers. Then I encourage BOTH boys, "Leave your brother alone. I do NOT want to see or hear from either of you for the rest of the night." The boys respond, "We won't. Good night...."
Then the brawling begins. Cameron hurts Jake, Jake screams bloody-murder, Jake comes bawling down the stairs, "Mom, Cameron hurt me..." I yell at Cam, Cam yells down the stairs and Jake screams a little more.
This repeats nightly.
I'm SICK of it.
I thought the bunk-beds were to blame. Whenever we'd send one boy to bed, the other would follow (usually after the first was sleeping peacefully) and shake the heck out of the bed, waking the other boy and causing a fight. So I took the bunks away. The boys have been sleeping on their mattresses on the floor all summer long. Finally, a few weeks ago, I got what I THOUGHT would be the perfect solution: a day bed with a trundle. No touching of beds at ALL! Unfortunately, I forgot that due to the size restraints, the beds are still only 3 inches apart. The fighting STILL happens.
I'm tired.....more importantly, my BOYS are tired. I wish I knew what to do to fix this situation, but I'm at my wits end and going more and more crazy each night. Tonight I just let Jake sit on my lap until Cameron fell asleep....it wasn't until after 10:00.
This is ridiculous. What more can I do? Why can't they just get along!?
Friday, September 02, 2011
Every Labor Day weekend, my family goes camping. It's kind of our own little family reunion of sorts. All of my aunts and uncles from my dad's side (well, with a FEW exceptions) goes hunting and camping on Labor Day weekend. We look forward to it every year.
A few years ago (when Jake was a baby) I was camping alone with my boys. I was trying to zip up our tent (the zipper was broken) and looked out to see a coyote just a FOOT away from my face. I screamed to scare the beast away and ended up scarring Cameron for life. The boy will NEVER forget the night we saw a coyote.
We almost double the size of the little city we camp at, but they love it.
This weekend will be our last summer hurrah. We won't be able to go camping after this....unless we want to freeze our buns off. We are going to eat SUPER yummy food (dutch oven ribs, chicken, cobbler...) and we'll laugh and have a good time.
The highlight of the trip for my boys is going shopping in Salmon. We hit up Kings and Alco and find some obnoxious or cool finds. The boys have already discussed what they HOPE to find.
All in all, it should be tons of fun. Enjoy your last little bit of summer before autumn really sets in. (And I get REALLY happy for the cool air and the pretty colors.)
Sunday, August 28, 2011
I think Sharing time went well. The message was "reading, watching, and listening to wholesome things helps keep my mind clear." The manual had only 2 paragraphs to fill the 15-20 minutes I have to teach this concept. Seriously, it wasn't enough.
I found some great ideas from this blog and used the Sunday Savers book. I had two glasses of water, one with mud and gunk in it, the other clear. I asked if they wanted to drink from the muddy cup, and one boy in senior primary ALMOST did...gross. Then we talked about how we want our minds to be clean and clear. Then we had several scenarios where you either had a good thought or a bad thought. We separated the thoughts into happy and sad bags. For the kids to pick out of the bag, they had to wear my goofy glasses. I found some giant sunglasses at the dollar store, popped out the lenses (you couldn't see through them anyway...) then I taped ears onto the side. I even had a hat that I taped a "clear mind" to. The kids absolutely LOVED it!! They didn't want to stop playing when time was up.
Anyway, I think it went well. I already love those kids, and now I just have to teach them. I think I'm going to be okay.
(Oh, and Kim, I'm not so sure teaching would have worked out for me....I don't have much patience past an hour or so of time. ;)
I've got them in BUNCHES.
Tomorrow is my first Sharing Time. I'm not too worried about the kids, I already love them and know most of them....but I'm worried about getting my point across. I've got all sorts of props and things, but I want the kids to remember past church what I'm trying to teach....too much to ask?? Probably.
Not only do I have nerves, but Cameron does too. He starts school back up on Monday. (I'm doing the happy dance...I can't wait!) He's excited to go back and even MORE excited because this year they have a pet bunny. The kids are going to vote on a name for the pet, and he really hopes his choice is picked. He is still thinking of a name, but either way, he's happy to be able to take care of such a cute critter.
Jake's a little bundle of nerves as well. He was very disappointed this week when he didn't get to take his "school supplies" to school. He thinks he's big enough to go to school too. I've promised him that we will have our OWN school at home while Cameron is gone. He's okay with that, for now. I just worry that he'll see right through my non-knowledge and want real school anyway. So far I've got him flash cards, videos, a workbook, and some crayons and other goodies. He's SO ready to go to school, even though he's only 3.
Wish us all well....we may very well need it. :)
Thursday, August 25, 2011
I've been given a HUGE blessing in the form of help with Sharing Times. My cousin, who is SO wonderful, has given me many websites with TONS of help. I'm going to post them on my sidebar, so we ALL can share in them.
I'm just grateful for people who are creative and make ME look good. ;)
Monday, August 22, 2011
A few weeks ago (while I was out of town) I was called to be in a new calling at church. Since becoming an adult (18 years old...) I've held MANY callings: Primary teacher (11 year olds and 5-6 year olds), Primary chorister (twice...two different wards), Cub Scout Den Leader, Visiting Teaching Coordinator, and Relief Society Meeting board-member. They've all been challenging in their own way, but my love was (and still is) Primary. I love hearing the kids bear sweet testimony of the gospel basics. Don't get me wrong, I've absolutely LOVED being in the adult classes, but found staying awake in class a little difficult. *giggle*
Anyway, new calling, right? I'm now in the Primary Presidency. I had a feeling it was coming when the previous counselor announced that it was her last Sunday. Then that same day, I went down to our Primary room for my calling, and realized that it felt comfortable. I KNEW that calling was coming, but I didn't say a word. Not to anyone....
Then, when Brother R, from the bishopric, called to come and visit with Steve and I, we began discussing why he was coming. Steve started saying, "I JUST got my calling (he's teaching the 9 year old kids, he is struggling, but seems to like it well enough.) It can't be me!"
I calmly looked at him and said, "It's for me."
He huffed for a minute, and then asked me why, and I said I'd discuss it with him after the calling came.
Sure enough, it was what I had thought and I accepted it (I think I'd accepted it when I felt like it was coming the previous Sunday).
I have been anxious about it since receiving the call...mostly because I've never been in a presidency before and don't really know what to expect.
After a quick run-down from the Primary President (a VERY good friend) and spending this last Sunday in Primary I'm no longer worried. I'm excited and ready for the current challenge. When I was set-apart (a special blessing given to those who are called, giving them the rights and blessings associated with the new calling) I was reminded over and over that Heavenly Father WILL hear and answer my prayers. He will guide me and help me say what the children need to hear. My family will be blessed, and most importantly I will be blessed (both spiritually and physically) as I serve.
I'm hoping to share some Sharing Time ideas on my side-bar, just like I did with my singing time ideas. Sharing is my best kept secret. I'm not that creative on my own, really....but I can play up someone else's idea like you wouldn't believe.
Monday, August 15, 2011
I have a confession: I never swore until I had children.
I remember accidentally saying "damn" when I was younger and I felt SO embarrassed and horrible that I promised myself I would never say a bad word again...
That worked, until I had children. And when I say "children" I do mean MORE than one. I didn't swear until I had TWO kids.
Now I'm a big bad swearing machine. I say words I don't want to say and feel horribly guilty after I say them.
Today I was chewing the boys out for making a mess of the living room and leaving their toys strewn across the floor. I said a particularly poopy word about 5 times. After the fifth time and my guilt growing each time, I said out loud, "I need to STOP saying that word!"
The boys just looked at me with questioning eyes....
Then I randomly said, "DOG POOPY!"
Both boys cracked up. They couldn't STOP laughing. Pretty soon they were chanting, "Dog poopy!" Followed by uncontrollable laughter.
I told my boys that if I say that potty word again, they had my permission to say "dog poopy" and stop me in my tracks.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
So my Girls' Weekend Out was FANTABULOUS! The theme of the trip was "You are Beautiful." I'm SO glad that it was, I really needed it (as well as a few others of us.)
On Saturday we all took a class that was entitled "You are Beautiful," and it was taught by 4 LOVELY ladies, who I look up to. One of them talked about changing your internal language to positive thoughts. She talked about her own personal journey, and encouraged the rest of us to do the same.
She talked about sitting on a rock for 4 hours and contemplating who we are....I hope to do this sometime soon.
She said that when we're having particularly negative thoughts, to write them on our hand (the negative on the left hand and the positive on the right.) Then we can choose which one we want to keep in our mind.
And she talked about figuring out our own personal internal sentence that defines who we are and make it something positive if it's negative. I have come back to this many times since she first brought it up. My first thought was to find my negative sentence, and I found it pretty quickly. It isn't necessarily something that I always entertain, but when someone sincerely compliments me and my first thought is negative, THIS is the sentence that comes first: "I'm fat, and fat is ugly."
I know, pretty harsh, right?
So then I was thinking about what I wanted my positive sentence to be, and realized that I already have one. On my happier, and more positive days I have a sentence that I think when someone compliments me: "I'm happy to be me, and I will not accept your criticisms."
I was pleased to know that I DO have some positive things to combat all those negative voices that sneak in.
That night we were having a special testimony meeting, and one of my most favorite people got up and talked about something that I've come to LOVE! She said that we needed to think about a woman we know who has the traits that we look up to and list them. She asked us to think of four traits (because that's her lucky number....) then she gave us time to think. I thought of a wonderful woman in my ward, one I love and have actually told that I want to be like her. My four traits for her were: 1. She's a happy woman. 2. She is confident. 3. She is hilarious (she ALWAYS makes me laugh.) And 4. She is kind.
After we'd thought about our traits, my friend said that those traits we listed are things that we have within ourselves. We can recognize them because they are apart of us. They resonate through our whole lives.
After hearing this thought, I realized that it was true...not necessarily at all times, but those ARE who I am.
My weekend taught me SO much about myself, and how to truly love others that I had misjudged. I want this feeling with me ALWAYS.....
Monday, August 08, 2011
I had an absolutely WONDERFUL weekend:
I got to see friends that I've never met in real life (and we totally clicked!)
I got to see friends that I've never met in real life (and we totally clicked!)
I laughed until my cheeks and belly hurt.
I ate fantastic food.
I got to sit in the temple with my best girlfriend.
I stayed up talking until 4:00 in the morning.
I felt the Spirit.
I learned that I can love myself and that is a GOOD thing.
I learned that I shouldn't make quick judgments.
I found out that my family is okay to be without me, for a little while anyway.
I am rejuvenated and can't wait to do it again.
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
The last few days have been VERY frustrating for me. While trying to see some paintings on Monday night, Cameron had an utter and complete melt-down. I had to literally DRAG the boy out of the building while he was screaming and carrying on. It was SO embarrassing.
Then yesterday I kept yelling and yelling until I was ready to lose my voice. Cameron would not do a THING I said. I was beginning to lose my mind.
At first, I thought it was because I'm SO excited to get away this weekend. (I'm going on a Girls Weekend Out...I've been looking forward to this trip for a VERY long time, and I figured that I was just super excited to be gone....) And while I AM excited to see my friends, and play without being bothered by little kids, it wasn't the reason I was going nuts.
Last night, right before I went to bed, I checked Cameron's pill container....he has NOT taken his pills for the last 2 days. I was SO SO SO mad. I was ready to pull the boy out of bed over it (but I didn't...) Whenever I had asked him if he had taken his pills, he lied and said he had. Then he continued to act out and not listen.
Today I remedied the situation by WATCHING him take the pills.
Here's hoping the next day is happy, and he's behaving well for daddy while I'm gone.
Friday, July 29, 2011
I'm still healing from my wound. People are very concerned, and it's touching.
I haven't had to take pain pills during the day for QUITE a while (yay!) but I do take them when I go to bed, because I almost always inadvertently pull on it and hurt myself.
I'm healing in more than just the physical way though. I'm working on healing my toxic behaviors. I re-read the book, "How to Hug a Porcupine: How to Love Hard to Love Personalities." I LOVE this book, but it always reminds me of my own toxic behaviors. I want to work on loving my boys and husband just a little more and not criticizing them so much.
Unfortunately for both of my wounds, I'm a slow healer....this will be a long process.
Monday, July 25, 2011
I got the call this morning that I was to see the surgeon at 2:15 this afternoon. No problem....wait, a small problem....I am on strong pain meds, I'm NOT supposed to drive.....
I ended up staying off the meds, so I could drive myself, since I didn't have help today.
After dropping the boys off with my mom, I went to the office. I sat in the waiting room and filled out 5 pages of medical history. Then I sat and read through a full issue of People. I even read many stories all the way through.
An hour after I arrived (45 minutes past my initial appointment time) I was taken back and my vitals were taken. Then I was shown to a large examination room. I sat in there and waited by myself and WITHOUT reading materials for another 15-20 minutes.
The surgeon finally came in and asked me about what had been going on. I gave him a condensed version, and then he asked me to change into their paper shirt to be checked.
I waited another 3 minutes before he came back.
When he returned he was on his cell phone with another doctor discussing a man's treatment. He was talking about chemo and surgery and removing his colon.....all the while he was pulling out a long strip of packing that was inside of me, and causing me to call out in pain. (What I really wanted to do was scream loudly and interrupt his phone call....am I NOT important??)
Then he finished his call and told me that he wants the wound to heal and then he'll come up with a plan of action. See how much of the tissue is affected and where to go once we know more. He recommended that I not wear a bra for the next 2 weeks while it heals....um, no...thank you.
Then he bandaged me up (hello, I'm allergic to tapes and adhesives....oh, well, I'll just take it off as soon as I can....) and told me he'd see me in 2 weeks.
Yup, that's it. I spent a good chunk of my afternoon waiting for this man to tell me to hurry up and wait. *eye roll* Thanks for your PROFESSIONAL opinion.
Friday, July 22, 2011
I was in excruciating pain today. I couldn't even lift up my arm to help out...it was bad. And last night the wound started oozing.....
I called my doctor's office multiple times and got NO answer. I had enough, so I went to a Redi-care (ER alternative, supposedly faster and better...) They were super busy, so I sat in the waiting room and slept for a half hour while I waited.
When the nurse called me back, I explained everything that has been going on. I mentioned that it began oozing last night. She told me that they'd have a doctor (who turned out to be an RN) come and look at it.He was very nice. He apologized over and over for hurting me (I did cry.....and I always thought I was a tough gal...) I warned him that it was already oozing (when I'd changed into their gown I noticed LOTS of pus and crud....it was SO gross!) He was okay with it. He covered his face with a mask and his glasses (in case it REALLY decided to explode) and lanced it for me. The worst part was when he was packing gauze into the wound when it was all over, THAT really made me cry.
Then they put me on an antibiotic IV that I have to return to get for the rest of the weekend. I also have to get the packing changed out.
He gave me two prescriptions and I was done.
Thankfully, my parents had kept my boys with them the whole time. That was wonderful.
But things are starting to get fuzzy....I've taken my pain pill....so I'll leave it at that. More treatment is necessary, but I'm okay for now! :)
Thursday, July 21, 2011
This will be TMI, so if you don't want to know, please stop reading now. Just a warning.
I called my doctor today. (Yes, I've been waiting for things to take care of themselves for 3 weeks.) The nurse told me that there are two options to help my poor, painful, purple/black boobie out: do hot compresses and ibuprofen OR visit a surgeon and have it taken care of surgically. Since I've already tried the cheap option (hot compresses and meds) I now have to do the more expensive/scary option. She said she'd try to find a time for me to see someone next week.
As much as I would LOVE the pain to be gone, I'm nervous about having surgery again. I've had multiple cysts taken care of, so I know it's not a big deal, BUT none of my previous cysts were THIS big or painful.
I'm a little scared.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Remember a while back when I mentioned my lump on my breast? Well, it's gotten bigger, purple and WAY more painful. (Not that it was painful before, but now it hurts like a dirty-bugger!)
I keep trying to remind myself that it's nothing bad. No "C" word, but it does hurt. At first it was a mild annoyance. I would rub my arm against it and it hurt a bit. Now I can't even bend over.
It has grown to fill the bottom quarter of my boob and is an ugly purple. It hurt whenever it pulled against my skin, so I've taken to putting clothing between it and my chest.
I can't believe how much something so small can overwhelm my life.
I am in pain, but believe that if I leave it alone that it will eventually go away.
I'm highly tempted to just lop the darn thing off all together, but then I would look WAY funny.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I LOVE looking through old pictures and laughing and remembering. They're so much fun.
Right now I'm in the middle of a huge project though: making a family picture book. Last night I got a CD with over 400 pictures on it, and none were cropped properly. I'm in the midst of cropping them right now. It's SO fun to see these pictures and wonder about what was going on in them. It's so true that every picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes I wish I knew more of the story.
Just for fun, here's a few of the fun pictures I'm looking at:
What a huge, but FUN project!
Monday, July 04, 2011
It worked, but not ideally.
Sleeping in the suburban was a bit of a feat. The inflatable mattress was too big to fit between the wheel wells, so I had to deflate it a bit, which means my hip bone was on the floor all night long. I guess the boys didn't care, both of them slept VERY well.
I got to spend time with my aunts and uncle that I don't see that often, it was SO much fun. They're all pretty funny and tell a good story.
The boys were thrilled to go fishing with Grandpa and Uncle Wes. The first night out Jake caught a fish (never mind that it was actually on my dad's pole, it was Jake's to reel in...) He was so thrilled that when he got back he came into the motor home SCREAMING, "MOMMY!! I CAUGHT A FISH!!!" He was so proud of that rainbow fish.
The next trip out Cameron caught HIS fish. He was less excited than Jake, but that's not hard to do. Both boys were completely satisfied with their fishing exploits. (My uncle told me that he LOVED having the boys go fishing with him and my dad, and that any time they want to go out, he'd be happy to go with them.)
This picture expresses BOTH boys' phobia of touching the slimy fish....*giggle*
On Sunday we took a road trip to my favorite of all pretty places: Wade Lake, Montana. It was a LONG drive there, but the scenery was absolutely BREATH-taking. The mountains with their snow capped peaks...the green fields, the rivers roaring along....absolutely BEAUTIFUL! We spent about 20 minutes at Wade Lake, enough time for my dad to sit in fresh dog poo, Jake and Cameron to go wading in the lake (and soak up their pants) and for me to drop my camera in the lake. Don't worry, all is well. It was so fun and just BEAUTIFUL!
Today we packed up and left. I was sad to see the weekend end, but was excited about the shower to come.
Tonight is the fireworks show, and I am debating on whether to go down there by myself and the boys or not. Usually I'd have my parents with me, but I just found out my mom had a nasty fall and has probably dislocated her hip. She and my dad are at the hospital....we haven't even had our annual 4th of July picnic. :( I hope she's okay.....my mom in even MORE pain would not be fun.
Update: I did end up going to the fireworks, I met Steve at work and we walked just to the off-ramp nearby. Even though it was through the trees the boys enjoyed the show. (And I wasn't by myself in the huge crowd...)
My mom is at home and recovering well. She didn't dislocate anything. (*whew*) BUT she did pull several muscles and is on some heavy-duty pain killers and riding around in a wheel chair. She should recover quickly. (*whew*)
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Usually we let the 4th of July weekend go by without much fanfare, but this year, we've decided on an impromptu camping trip. Unfortunately, since it's impromptu, that means Steve can't come, because he has to work, but the boys are REALLY excited about going.
The ONLY hesitation the boys had was missing our town's parade. I'm all for it, because I've been IN this parade for many MANY years, and then watched it for many MANY years, and it's not that impressive...in fact, it really sucks. We won't miss MUCH, but the boys are devastated. I told Cameron that I'd ride around in a car and throw candy at him (Jake piped in and said, "Mom, you'd HURT him!") I have even offered to buy the boys their own flags.....this has calmed them a bit, but they're still disappointed. They WILL survive, I'm sure.
Because I'm tired of putting up my tent all alone, we're doing a car camping trip this time. We'll sleep in our suburban. Since all we really ever did in our tent was sleep and dress, I figured it wasn't that big of a deal....we'll see once the weekend's over if this is a good plan or not.
I'm excited to spend this holiday out in the woods. I absolutely LOVE Independence Day and all it stands for. I get weepy when I hear those special patriotic songs and my heart stirs when I see flags flying around town.
We are truly blessed to be living in this country with the few freedoms we enjoy. God must have helped out those Founding Fathers for them to have created such a special Constitution for our lives.
God Bless America!
Friday, June 24, 2011
You know, the ones you SWEAR you will never allow yourself to become?? The ones you just KNOW are too lazy to correct their children, who allow the kids to do whatever they want whenever they want....the kind we promise ourselves we WON'T become.
For the last month or so my boys have been terrible about going to bed. For a while they shared a bunk bed. Then when they'd be in bed together, Cameron would shake the bunk bed and wake up Jake, just because, and Jake would reciprocate. I got annoyed with the squeaking and the fighting, so I took the bunk bed apart and then downstairs. Right now, the boys' beds are just mattresses on the floor, nothing more.
Since I took the blasted bunk beds down, bedtime has been a nightmare.
Cameron will poke/hit/kick Jake, and Jake will bug/poke/annoy Cam. We tried separating them (which worked!), but then I spent a week at my parents' house. Things were completely messed up. This week I've been on the brink of tears every SINGLE night.
The boys scream, yell and fight even more than usual. Bedtime has NOT happened before 11:00 all week. Both boys are cranky, and to tell you the truth, I'm grouchy myself.
Tonight, Steve helped out. He's truly been a HUGE help when the boys won't listen to me. After 3 times trying to send the boys to bed together/separate times, he'd had enough with the fighting and let Jake stay downstairs until Cam fell asleep. (This is what we've been doing, and generally it works....) Soon Jake was running around playing with pillows and blankets, then he was playing with his toys. At that moment I saw myself through someone elses' eyes....I was the lazy parent who let their child stay awake as long as they wanted and just let them have free reign of the house.
I yelled, "We're THOSE parents!!! We let our kid run amok and haven't enforced their bedtime!!"
I sent Jake off to bed and just allowed World War III continue without intervention.
Again, it was after 11:00 before the screaming stopped, but I've hit my limit....I'm DONE! I don't want to fight this fight any more. I want my kids to listen the FIRST time I tell them something (maybe the second, but not on the 10th time....)
I'm so disappointed in myself...I'm one of THOSE parents.
Friday, June 17, 2011
The other day my boys and I were going to go to hang out with some friends. We were all really excited about going and didn't want to miss this for anything. We headed out to the suburban and buckled up. We were ready to leave, but the suburban wasn't. It wouldn't turn on. (Now, let me preface this a bit....We're buying my parents' old suburban. It's been having issues with the starter for about a year....if you hold onto the key too long after the engine has turned over, it dies. The trick is that you have to let go of the key as SOON as it starts up. So far, we've not had many problems.) The engine wouldn't even sputter. I was worried that this was the end of the suburban until we could afford to replace the starter. I was sad. My boys were in the back seat complaining loudly.
I had a thought, 'Let's say a prayer.'
So I told the boys we were going to pray. Both boys folded their little arms, squeezed their eyes shut, and listened as I prayed for our car to work so that we would be able to go to our fun activities and continue through the week.
I worked with the vehicle for a while (probably 5 minutes) and it FINALLY started! As we pulled out on our way, I told the boys, "Guys, we need to remember to tell Heavenly Father thank you."
In that instant Cameron called out, very loudly, "THANK YOU, HEAVENLY FATHER!!!"
I giggled at that, and we were off.
Then yesterday we were doing some more running around, and we'd parked the suburban in the same spot. It was just me and Jake this time. We were preparing to leave, and the car immediately turned over and Jake called out, very loudly, "THANK YOU FOR STARTING OUR CAR, HEAVENLY FATHER!!!!!"
I think now we'll work on thanking Heavenly Father IN our prayers. ;)
Thursday, June 09, 2011
How about attend Webelos day camp with your son, friend and another scout?? I did.
Besides falling flat on my backside not one minute outside of the car, it was a fun day...filled with interesting tidbits of information taught by "educated" scouts. For true-life examples, visit Deanna....it's all true!
The boys loved the little bit of sun we saw...as well as the baby racoon (that would be MY favorite part.)
I'm just glad to be home now. Can someone carry me upstairs to bed?? I think my body is aching all over....
Monday, June 06, 2011
Today was my munchkin's 3rd birthday. My, how the time has FLOWN!
He got a few cool things for his birthday: a big monster truck, a pitching-tee, and then some Cars characters. He loved it and couldn't wait to play with his bat and pitching-tee, unfortunately the rain settled in before he got a good chance to play.
He'd asked for a monster truck rally cake, so I made one (it was SO yummy and WAY rich) and then we went bowling and out for burgers for family home evening.
Overall I'd say it was a VERY fun birthday for a certain little boy. I'm so glad he's in our family!
(By the way, the big-eyed face he's making in these pictures is new. We all laugh HYSTERICALLY when he makes this face.)
Saturday, June 04, 2011
On Friday night we went to our local zoo for "Dream Night." A night dedicated to special needs kids and their families. It was completely free and COMPLETELY fun! They had people all around the zoo with things for the kids to feel and see (pelts, skeletons, feathers...) then they handed out free water bottles, animal crackers, tattoos, ice cream, stuffed animals for the kids....
I was so happy that our community provided this service.
Cameron was thrilled that he could see his friends and the zoo at the same time.
Jake loved the painting, animals and playing the drums.
Steve was happy to spend time with our family and not be working.
It really was a great night. We topped the zoo by going to the drive in and seeing Kung Fu Panda 2 (good, very kid-friendly...) and Thor (good parent movie, and VERY good!) It was a happy night, one that we said celebrated the start of summer break. :)
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I have a lot to say most days, but I forget it when I get on the computer and I play my time away. *hee hee*
Anyway, a few weeks ago the boys got hair cuts. Cam got a cool mo-hawk because the school had crazy hair day (not allowing hair paint, so what ELSE could we do with a little boy's hair??)
He LOVED it and Jake kept asking for the same thing....even though his hair was too short. Maybe this summer sometime we'll have matchy-matchy boys.
Cam tried to teach Jake the "cool" finger thing so he could look like Cam, but he couldn't figure out why we were making him put up his fingers, so we gave up.