Family and the Beginning of Summer

I’ve been absent on here for awhile. Its been a weird time. A lot has gone on and yet nothing much has happened.

The kids are out of school for the summer and we are trying to get into a pattern. I have enjoyed the quiet mornings where they sleep in and I get stuff done. I did lots of running around the last two weeks. There is summer band and youth activities and friend get togethers as well as grocery shopping that inevitably needs to happen to feed all the kids multiple times a day.

The past couple weeks have also been a little difficult. My dad texted my mom who in turn informed us that his uncle had a stroke. The ambulance showed up and took him to the hospital. They kept him alive long enough for his family to get there. The doctor said it was the worst brain bleed he’s ever seen. He was 85. He was a very good guy. We went down for the funeral last week and though it was a sad occasion, it was nice to see family that we hadn’t seen in so many years. My dad is an only child so all the extended family we have on that side, my dad’s cousins and such, are our family. We call them our cousins, aunts and uncles. No differentiating between 1st and 2nd cousins and what have you.

I took all my kids down for the funeral. I didn’t take them to the church for the funeral part because I don’t think they could stay quiet that long. The service was good and I cried a bit too much because my cousins and my aunt were crying so much. I did take my kids to the grave dedication though. My uncle was a veteran and they did the whole 21 gun salute and played Taps on the bugle. My dad was in uniform and participated. When he handed the flag to his aunt I kind of lost it again and was crying. There was a funny part though. The cemetery is on a steep hill. Like a 30-40 degree angle mountainside. The pallbearers put the casket down and it started to slide off. They readjusted it and set it down again. It slid down again. This happened like three times before they got it to stay. We were all aghast and then giggling. Alex said they should have tiered the cemetery but my dad said they couldn’t. There were so many rocks and boulders. My gramma’s cousin (who was also my elementary teacher) died about 2 weeks ago and it took three hours to dig her grave when it normally only takes an hour an a half. So burials on the slanted mountainside is what we’ll have to deal with.

Then, my grampa’s saga continues. He was in and out of the hospital three times last week. He wasn’t going to die no matter what. The social worker talked to him and asked him what his plans were. He said he was going to live another 10 years. Make it to 101? Not likely. She had to take the wind out of his sails. She told him that all the health problems that he has have no cure, that he is never going to get better. I bet that was a huge blow to him. My grampa called my dad and told him to come down and get all his affairs in order. My mom sent pictures last night and it was a huge night and day difference. It was sad. He looked resigned and the fight had gone out of him whereas the week before he looked older, but he still looked like himself.

My dad and him haven’t had the best relationship but it was good he got to go down to visit. They talked and my dad told him aviation stories (my dad was a pilot and my grampa an aviation mechanic). It was a good thing. My grampa’s brother and cousin were there visiting from Pennsylvania and were still there when my dad got there so he got to visit with them for a bit. Now we just wait. Death is a hard thing to deal with no matter how it happens.

Other than that, life has just been work. I worked on the inside of the house last year and this year I am working on the outside. I fixed the flowerbed in front because I took a picture of my peonies and all I could see were the weeds all around it. I quickly weeded it all and went and bought mulch. I put a good thick layer all over the flowerbed and it looks much better. I hope that it keeps the weeds at bay and keeps the dirt moist. The west is in the middle of a drought and it is bad. I water my lawn and the next day it is like I did nothing. It is a huge chore to keep everything watered. I’m trying to be judicious with the water but I can’t let the trees and garden die. We need the shade and food.

I am also working on the side yard next to the driveway. It has been an ugly mess since we moved in. I finally decided what I want to do with it. Grass would be nice but would take a lot of water and we couldn’t really park on it. I was going to pave it but then I would have to deal with weeds growing between the pavers. I decided to do both grass and pavers so we can park on it but still have some visual interest as well as keep the weeds at bay. I had the boys help me till the ground so that we can level it and get it done. Hopefully this week I will have it finished. And I also bought a bike rack because I can’t take all the bike mess any longer.

The before
I want to do something similar to this.

Also, I decided to put the pool up. I wasn’t going to put it up until the middle or end of July. June in Idaho is usually pretty chilly. Last year was just plain cold. Not this year. We’ve been in the upper 80’s and 90’s and a bunch of records have been broken. We decided to just put it up so we could cool off. The water warmed up a lot faster than it ever has this early.

I have a ton of work to do but I thought I would check in for a few minutes. I’m going to go finish the projects I started and get my kids to help me out. They live here too and need to pitch in. I want to enjoy the summer, not work the entire time. I also have two birthdays and Father’s Day to prepare for coming up in the next few days. It will be busy.

Daily Life

May 28th

Where to begin?

Yesterday the kids had no school so I left Michael in charge of the house and I went with Alex to drop him off at work and run some errands.

For a long while I’ve been wanting to go find my great- great grandmother’s grave. When I was looking through all the family history I found out that she had come to Idaho in the 1800’s. I have Idaho roots! The family lived in Taylor, Idaho which is just a few minutes from Alex’s work. So took an hour yesterday morning to go check the town out. I found the cemetery and eventually, with the help of the caretaker who was mowing the cemetery and had almost memorized all the grave and names, we found my great-great grandparents graves. I was a crying mess. I texted pictures to my family and my mom said she started crying. I told her she needed to come stop by next time she visited me. She never been to see the grave.

My great-great grandpa was from Sweden and my great great grandmother was from Norway. Now my sister’s went to the town that my great great grandmother grew up in Norway a few years ago and the pictures were gorgeous. Yesterday it was very green and pretty in Idaho but definitely different from Norway. If you notice their ages are 20 years apart. It is a very interesting story, sad start but a good story. I may tell it some day. I am glad I took the time to check out the cemetery. I needed the beautiful drive and the connection.

Afterwards I ran my errands and I’ve been looking for some shelves to go on my wall in my kitchen. Haven’t found what I want. I almost don’t know what I want. But I didn’t find anything I like. All I ended up getting was a few more pots, dirt, and flowers for my front steps.

The worst part of the day was the wind. I’ve mentioned it before and I will mention it again. It has been an insanely windy spring. Not just a breeze, but several wind warnings every week. It’s been awful. We had an inch of rain less than a week ago and the ground is dry as a bone. Droughts are extreme already this year and I fear the fire season is going to be horrible. I hope people are very careful.

Despite all the wind, Alex and I had a good time. I picked him up from work and we had to wait for the restaurant to open for lunch so we went to the mall to look around. It was only 10:30 and most of the stores were still closed. (We hadn’t had breakfast and were hungry but decided to wait for lunch- hence 10:30). Barnes and Noble was open and we wandered the store. I loved looking at the pretty covers of the classic books. Alex was looking for a good title to look up for an audiobook as that is what keeps him awake while commuting to and from work daily. He didn’t find any but it was fun to look around.

Lunch was pretty good. It was a hole in the wall grill in the back of a strip mall. I don’t know how Alex found it but we’ve eaten there before. It is really hole in the wall but the food is good.

When we got home the kids had surprised us. They had actually cleaned and cleaned up after themselves! Amazing! We put the groceries away, I planted some of the flowers and attempted to keep the plants from all wilting in the awful drying wind.

So my friends son had knee surgery the day before and my other friend suggested I take her dinner. My friend had had a rough old time of it lately. They are living in an airBNB for the last month because their house caught fire and it is still being fixed up. Not fun. It was pizza night and Alex and I were trying to think of how to bring pizza to them and keep it warm. Costco sells pizza boxes!

It was a fun way to bring them dinner.

After dinner that night Lauren wanted to go bowling at the bowling alley in town. We all decided to go except the big boys. Alex decided to ride his bike there only to have to ride it straight back home. We got there and to our great disappointment, it was closed. The sad part is, who knows if and when it will open again. Covid restrictions ruined so much. We drove home trying to distract the kids. My brother, earlier in the day was asking opinions on what color to change his siding. So I thought it would be funny to give him an idea. Pretty sure he won’t go for it.

As bright and out of place as it looks, it is a fun looking house.

We ended the night by watching Bluey on Disney+. The second season came out and it is a good as the first. We love it. Even the teenage boys will sit and watch it with us. We watched Twister after that. I probably won’t watch it anytime soon. I love the movie but there is too much language I don’t approve of in it.

While we were watching Twister Michael noticed that the dog had thrown up on the carpet in front of him. Barf! Thankfully it was a quick clean. Last week she’d made a big mess in the other side of the room and were still trying to get the smell gone all the way. Alex and I finally went upstairs and left the kids to watch Bluey as it was Friday night and they are allowed to stay up on Friday nights. Alex went down the hall and smelled something foul. The dog had lost it from the other end all over Lauren’s carpet. The carpet is very old and will be replaced sooner rather than later so I scrubbed it up as best I could with laundry detergent and bleach. I normally wouldn’t recommend bleach on carpet but if you saw the carpet you wouldn’t care either and would do the same, I promise.

By the way, I am pretty sure that our dog needs to be an outdoor dog now. Upset stomach or not, all she would have to do is let me know and I’d take her outside. She is the quietest dog unless someone comes near the house and she sounds the alarm. Otherwise, we have to read her mind. I’m tired of cleaning up messes. I have enough on my plate.

It was a very long day and I was more than glad to finally go to sleep.

Daily Life, Thoughts

On His Third Cat

Well, my grampa is in the hospital again. He survived the ambulance ride. His artery was blocked.

He has a caretaker, Miss K, I’ll call her. She is a wonderful woman. She’s been a good friend to him. She called my dad tonight and told him what was going on. She said he told them to do whatever they could to keep him alive. He has cancer, his lungs are filling up, heart problems, kidney problems, diabetes, overweight, etc. It’s only a matter of time, but we’ve said that before.

In my lifetime I’ve lost two great grandparents, two grammas and a grampa as well as some grand uncles and great aunts and been to other funerals as well. It was sad. Especially the younger ones. But I wasn’t sad because they were gone forever, I was sad for the people left behind. I am Christian and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I believe that life goes on. This mortality is just a small part. It helps me cope and makes death not such a dark thing. Just a temporary separation, hard as that is.

My Grampa doesn’t have any such beliefs. He thinks that when you die that is it. Miss K thinks he is fighting so hard because he is scared. I would be too if I thought it was the end.

My brother-in-law and my sister were talking awhile ago and he said that if the church wasn’t true and having good morals and standards got him nowhere when he died because that was the end, poof, no more existence, he would still choose to live a life like he is now because his quality of life is so much better. I think the same thing is true of my beliefs of eternity and heaven and continuing on; even if when you die that is the end, wouldn’t life be better and worth living if you believed it wasn’t the end? I’m not saying look forward to it and make it come faster, but rather not fear the end.

When Miss K called my mom told her my grampa was like a cat and had nine lives. Miss K said he was actually on his third cat because he’d already used eighteen lives.

We’ll find out soon enough what happens. We’re praying for him either way.

Daily Life, Uncategorized

Weekend Drive and Other Stuff

The past weekend was a hodgepodge. Soccer games, scenic drives, snow, bad attitudes, messes, nightmares, etc.

Saturday morning I tried to sleep in. It doesn’t work too well. I always try again the next day. New flash, it doesn’t work the next day either. Alex thought he’d have the day off. I just laughed.

We got ready for the day and then made German pancakes for breakfast with the million eggs or chickens are laying. When we have excess eggs that’s what we cook because we use 18-20 eggs for it. We still have lots of eggs leftover. After breakfast the older kids went to work. They managed to get a job mowing the neighbors yard. Poop scooping, mowing and weed wacking. While they were at work the rest of us headed out to the soccer game. The game was at one o’clock but we had a long drive to get there. Victor, Idaho is in the middle of the most beautiful nowhere. If it wasn’t so far away I’d live there.

The soccer field.

The drive was stunning. Rolling wheat fields as far as the eye could see, small canyons, and the mountains. I can see the Tetons from my town. If I had a two story house I could see them from my house. I love looking at them so much, so the drive to the soccer game was wonderful. It’s nice to see them up close.

On the way there.
On the way home.

After the game we drove home and then headed to a baptism. A family had two boys getting baptized. One of the boys was baptized two weeks ago and two of his brothers were baptized that day. It was a nice experience to witness.

We finally got home for the night but it was a long night. All the kids needed to get ready for Sunday. Luckily I had all the clothes ready. They all just needed to get baths. And the house was a mess.

I sat all the kids down and gave them a “lecture”. I asked them how long they would be alive. Barring any accidents, a long time. All the grands and greats lived into their nineties. I told them that they are going to be cleaning up after themselves for a long long time so they better just change their attitude and get used to it. I asked for half an hour. 40 minutea later the house was cleaned. They dig their heels in and complain for nothing.

I turned on a movie while the kids were bathing and getting ready for bed. I didn’t check the length. Pirates of the Caribbean didn’t end until 11 o’clock! Dumb move. I feel asleep on the couch. When it was over we all made it to bed after that and no, we didn’t get to sleep in the next morning.

Sunday morning it was raining. Then it was snowing. Luckily it never got below freezing so all the plants were fine but only the little kids enjoyed the snow. The grown-ups grumbled. We just want the warm weather to show up. It’s been chilly and rainy for a week and the wind has been blowing for what seems like the entire year. It it added to my sour mood. I’ve decided that I definitely need more sunshine and warmth than we’ve been getting. Looks like June might be warmer. We can only hope.

Daily Life

Rainy Date Night

Yesterday was date night for Alex and I. I thought and thought all day about what we could do. Reminder, we live in a small town and the nearest town is a college town. Oddly enough there isn’t a lot to do. There are places to eat but as for entertainment we are very limited and have to get creative.

We made a quick stop at the hardware store and talked for a bit with the kid who worked there. We’ve known him for a few years and talk every time we stop in. He is graduating high school this year and is moving to Jackson Hole tomorrow to go work at a resort for the summer. Sounds like an adventure. I hope he has fun.

As we were walking back to the car I told Alex to come in the gem store with me. This gem store opened in town a few years ago but I’d never been in. They just recently bought the theater in town and remodeled a portion of it and moved their store into it. I am still sad we don’t have a theater anymore, the whole town is, but no one was able to step up and buy it and fix it to run properly.

I took these pictures to send to my family. My mom and sister-in-law are into this kind of stuff. I followed my mom around it when I was young but never was really into it. But they had a lot of pretty and fun looking stuff.

Later we were driving down the main thoroughfare and Alex saw the music store and said he’d like to take a look. No cars were immediately behind me so I made a quick right. We started looking and I found a book I wanted to get. It was the sheet music for The Greatest Showman. Alex wanted the music of Simon and Garfunkel. We didn’t find a book of just them but we did find a huge book of songs from the 60’s and another with the 70’s. So many fun songs. I know what I’m getting him for Father’s Day.

We spent a few minutes more looking around and bought the one book and left. It was still raining. In Idaho it doesn’t rain much or often but the day had been an exception. Rain all day. We were trying to decide where to eat and decided to drive around campus to see if there were any new buildings going up. There weren’t but I was reminded again why I avoid driving on campus- the drivers! Well, and the student pedestrians. It’s like running the gauntlet. You might get out alive, you might not. Either way your temper will flare.

We drove a bit more and made it to the restaurant of our choosing. We’ll, my choosing. I love the food but the service is so-so. We ordered and the waiter did the best he could. I enjoyed my food but with where we were seated and the door opening so often, we were a bit chilly. The whole time we discussed what kind of place or places this town could use for more date options. We considered opening a comedy club. I follow a quite a few comedians that live in Utah and such and it would be nice to have a venue that was consistent that they could come up to do a show. The few shows I’ve been to here are always a packed house. Maybe someday.

After eating I had some things to return to Walmart (can we ever not go there on a date? Does it count as a date if we don’t go? Hahaha!). We looked around and I bought a sprayer for weed killer because the seal on mine busted and it doesn’t work anymore. Real romantic date, I know. We got some stuff for our daughter’s science project and then compared skin colors on Crayola’s new skin color crayons while in the art aisle.

Before we left home Benjamin asked us to bring home ice cream. We one upped him and shipped for stuff for banana splits. We picked up the kids from my friends house and surprised them with banana splits. That was fun. We usually go on early dates so the kids aren’t home alone at a night. And in small towns everything but a few fast food restaurants and the movie theater closes at 10 o’clock so there isn’t any reason to go out at night.

When we got home my daughter showed me a video they had made. She and all the kids had made a fast motion video of them cleaning their friend’s bedroom. An hour and a half of cleaning and a bit of goofing off condensed into five minutes. And I got to watch it. Fun times. I guess. It’s always more fun to clean someone else’s stuff anyways.

It had been a long busy day for everyone and the next day promised to be just a busy. With hopefully a little less rain because there’s a soccer game to go to.

Daily Life

I Had to Get Out

I was sitting down for a minute and taking a break between thr million loads of laundry I had been working on and I was about to look up some test or something to help me figure out what a good job for me would be. It hit me that I have a job, the most important job ever and that I need to devote all my time and talents to that- being a mom.

The hardest job ever.

It’s all I wanted to be when I was growing up. I’m still figuring it out after almost 16 years and will be figuring it out for the rest of my life, I am sure.

I am also sure that it is Satan trying to distract me into thinking that being a mom isn’t enough, I need to go out and do and be more. Wrong.

So once I had gotten that into my head, I wanted to get out of the house. I had Noah and Evangeline sitting around and on me, as usual, and I had them help me make a menu for the next 2 weeks.

I was talking to my family (mom and sisters) the other day and we thought about how much time food takes from our lives. We spend time working to pay for it, growing it, planning it, shopping for it, driving to get it, cooking it, cleaning it up, etc. So much of our day! Dinner comes around every single day. It’s annoying. I thought how much more we could do if we didn’t have to worry about food. But then, I thought how much we’d miss without it. We socialize around it. Bond over it. What would bring a family together daily if it wasn’t for the evening meal?

So we gathered the menu and shopping list and away we went. I also had a list of other things that I needed to get. Lamps and plants. We shopped at Walmart and they are remodeling ours. They painted over the bright orange and made it blue (again). Noah saw it and exclaimed exasperated, “Why are they doing this to my life?!” I understood him completely. I laughed at that though.

We found everything we needed and then went to the nearby nursery for some more flowers. Every year we take all the kids to the nursery and let them pick whichever flower they want. They love watching them grow throughout the summer knowing that they picked it out. I was a bit discombobulated during that trip and couldn’t figure out what I needed. This time I had my head on straight and was able to get what I needed. They had a giant rhubarb plant so I bought it. I have a side garden that I’m just tired of tending so my plan is to fill it with rhubarb. I love the way it looks and I love to eat it. Rhubarb crisp is a family favorite. So now we’ll have enough to eat all year round.

The nursery had only half of what I needed so I went to the next one closer to my house and got the rest of the plants. I told Alex we should be set but when I went to plant them I got an idea and I don’t know if I’ll be able to rest until I see it through. I want to put a pot of flowers on both sides of each step of the front porch. It would look so nice. Might be overkill, but I am willing to live with that.

At the second nursery there was a rooster wandering around crowing. Oh my gosh it was so fun. The kids loved it. I did too. I miss having a rooster. All I would have to do is move 1/2 a mile away from my current house to get one. And a cow. I would like one of those, too. I’m a little crazy that way.

After all the running errands and enjoying the time with my little kids we got home and I got to planting the flowers in the front garden. Evangeline and Skylar, the dog, my ever present and under foot companions were there to “help”. They are good to have around and Evangeline is insanely cute, but man they make the task drag out twice as long. I put Evangeline to work throwing rocks away from out of the garden. Oh so many freaking rocks. It’s like we live in a gravel pit. But Evangeline is learning to work and I am excited to see the flowers get bigger.

After a dinner of burritos I headed out to the blood drive. I had never donated blood before and figured now was as good a time as any. It was an interesting and fascinating experience and I even got myself on the schedule for the next one in September. This blood drive set a record for our area. 113 pints. Not too shabby. Now to talk Alex into coming next time. Benjamin wanted to come but he’s not old enough. In a few years I’ll take the older kids with me.

It was a very busy day but I want to make sure that when I have busy days, that I do it with the thought in mind that my work is important and not to let it become a drudgery. I want to spend meaningful time with my family and to be a better mom. It is the hardest and longest job in the world and I would hate to fail it because I was distracted and trying to find out what I am “supposed” to do.

Daily Life

Family Relationships

It’s been a weird past couple of days.

On Wednesday my parents got a call from my grampa’s caretaker. She said he had the”death rattle” and that they had better hurry down to see him, in fact they might not make it. They jumped in the car and drove the entire 450 miles to hopefully see him.

We have a joke in the family- the man has nine lives (probably more). Every time he is on the brink of death he comes back miraculously. He has diabetes, congestive heart failure, kidney problems, he’s had pneumonia, etc. He’s gone to the hospital on the brink of death so many times and comes back alive each time. Well, my parents drove all that way and guess what? No death rattle. It was gone. He perked up and rallied again.

Now, I feel kind of sorry for the guy. He’s 91 and lives alone. 30 years ago he and my grandmother moved down to Mesquite, Nevada; far away from their only son/child and grandkids. We visit from time to time and he even moved in with my parents a couple years ago but because the altitude at my parents house was too high, his heart couldn’t handle it and he had to move back to Nevada.

By the way, I’ve seen this happen several times. The grandparents settle in some far off low altitude warmer place and their kids live in a higher altitude place. The grandparents get old and want to be near to family but can’t because their body can’t handle the altitude and the kids usually can’t uproot their lives. Lesson: Don’t be so attached to a place that you have to die there alone.

Anyways, my grampa rallied. His brother is coming to visit in a couple weeks from Pennsylvania so hopefully he can hold on that long.

It has been an interesting thing to witness. It has been a lot of lesson learning. Build relationships with your family. Just because you are related doesn’t mean that there is a relationship there. It takes work and effort. The relationship between us and our grandparents was an interesting one. Not very close for lots of reasons. We didn’t really have a relationship with them. They were just there and that is sad.

On the other hand, I’ve watched my neighbors and they have the absolute opposite of what I grew up with. They all are together all the time and have fun together. I want it to be more like that. I’ve tried to make sure that my kids do have a relationship with their grandparents. Good memories to look back on. In fact my daughter calls my mom just to talk to her all the time. So, I think we’re doing okay.

We’ll see what the next little bit brings and go from there. Life is interesting.

Daily Life

Keeping Receipts and the Rest of the Day

The other day at the end of the day I called Alex on his way home. I tried to figure out what I had done all day. It was a bunch of busy work. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much all I do.

I watered the front and back yards. While the water was going I did a quick clean up of the upstairs and I got a text from Michael. He asked if I had paid for a yearbook for him. I remembered that I had. He said his name wasn’t on the list. Well, I went to work. I checked my checkbook and found the duplicate from paying the fees but no details written on it. I had to go hunt for the receipt. I had been meaning to organize my receipts for months. I had them all in a bag. Some had been organized but most were just shoved in there.

I started to look through the stack and luckily August 2020 was pretty close to the top. I found the receipt! I had proof that I bought the yearbook. I sent Michael a picture of the receipt and the rest was up to him.

I spent the next hour or so separating all the receipts by year and month. I got it all done and filed away. I don’t throw away any receipt so it was a big pile but it was fun to kind of go down memory lane. I’d see some of them and remember when I bought what and why and what we were doing. Sometimes I would see one and think, has it been that long already? I was going through receipts from 2019, 2020, and 2021. There were even a couple from 2018. Yeah, I had put off that job for way too long.

Once that was done I got ready to bake. I made a cake. Peanut butter chocolate. Evangeline “helped”. Then I made lasagna. It is something 90% of my family will eat. Next time I’ll make more for leftovers. Several kids were asking if there was any to eat the next day.

After dinner my clean kitchen was no longer clean. It was a disaster with stuff on every surface. So discouraging. We quickly put dinner away and went downstairs. I figured I would just clean up the mess the next morning. Mistake. I left out an entire bottle of Cesar dressing because it was hiding amongst all the mess. I was mad when I found it the next morning. I had a talk with the kids about helping after dinner. It’s a bad habit we have of just leaving the mess. Even if by then we are just exhausted from the day.

After dinner I took the kids to their youth activities. While they were there Alex and I finished watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. I had just bought a remastered copy. It was so much easier to watch! The picture was crisper, the colors were natural, the details were visible! And there were captions! Well worth the money. I’ve been watching this movie since we had it on VHS. Love it! And my favorite is that Alex will watch it with me. He quotes it quite well. He might roll his eyes but I know he loves it, too.

The kids came home and we finished out the night. Even though Evangeline hadn’t had a nap that day she still fought sleep. I held her, turned out the lights, and she was out in 5 seconds. Literally. One of those who have to have everything just right to fall asleep and then she goes down fast. Typical kid. All of them are different and you have to figure each of them out. I just wish I could figure out how to keep her in her own bed all night every night.

Daily Life

Went Went to the Zoo

I decided to do something fun with my kids. Elizabeth had a field trip to the zoo so I thought I’d take the little kids and go see Elizabeth at the zoo on her field trip. They all loved it.

We would see Elizabeth throughout the zoo. It was easier to see the animals with just my two little ones rather than a whole passel of grade schoolers so we walked ahead. There were multiple schools there.

Noah and Evangeline were eating fruit as we walked around. The monkeys wanted the fruit. It was kind of rude of the kids to eat in front of them. But they had their own food behind them.

Afterwards we stopped at Costco. I can’t go to the “city” without stopping. We needed milk anyways. And lunch.

What you don’t see is that cup is mostly empty because the whole thing spilled just about as we were sitting down. My fault for trying to keep her from dumping it.

By the way, those bright yellow hats made it way easy to keep track of the kids all day. And can I just say how nice it was to not have to wear a mask in Costco. It was the lone holdout. Normalcy.

I know it’s blurry but look at her living it up.

We got home just as the kids were about to come home from school. Best timing ever because I didn’t have to bring in the groceries. That is how you do it. The rest of the afternoon was spent running kids to activities, cooking and cleaning. When dinner was done we headed to the basement and Michael had a movie going. He’d just finished The Incredibles and had started Finding Nemo. He was laughing the whole time. He makes me laugh. His favorite movie ever is Wall-E. He says it is the best movie ever made. I will argue to the death that it isn’t but it still makes me laugh that he thinks that. He’s 15.

After the movie the sun hadn’t set yet but I put the kids in bed around 7:30. When you wake up at 5- 5:30 you just have to go to bed early. I have never learned that lesson and suffer for I almost daily. But we we to bed while it was still light out. I told myself I lived in Alaska and the sky never gets dark so just go to sleep. It worked.

Daily Life, Sunday


I’ve written so many things the past week but didn’t publish any of them. I’ve been working a lot out in my mind so I either wrote too much that I didn’t want to really share or I wasn’t ready to share.

Saturday though was a busy day. Alex and I got up early and went to Walmart before the kids really got up. I needed some pants and while we were there we got side tracked. Imagine that.

We are kind of focusing on our yard this year since we need a break from the house. The best time to plant trees and shrubs is years ago. We bought some weed and feed because the lawn needs it. Clover, crabgrass, dandelions, etc. It needs some work. And lots of water. We also got some boxwood bushes to go between us and the neighbors house out front. We want to put pavers down and make the side between our houses a good place to park bikes and not a weed patch.

We got home and made breakfast for the family. German pancakes. Our chickens are laying a good 6-8 eggs a day and that is without the 5 new chicks that will eventually start laying in about 10 more weeks. And the old chicken we thought was done laying has prolonged her stay and has started laying eggs again. Good for her. She’s a few years old and pretty past her prime but she still is good for it I guess.

After breakfast we planted the garden. Alex had Evangeline out there helping- she insisted. Her little fingers were perfect for planting all the tiny seeds.

We had already planted tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, broccoli and cabbage. We planted green beans, peas, onions, beets, carrots, and cucumber. Should be a good garden this year. We accidentally left some carrots in the ground last year and low and behold they came out again this year. Carrots need two summers to produce seeds so we’ll let these ones go and we should have enough seeds for the next few years after that. I do love gardening. Well, mostly the eating part of it, but I do like to watch them grow. I made Alex do most of the planting because I am the one who does the watering, weeding, cooking and preserving. It’s only fair I give him the hard job. Hahahaha.

I’m looking forward to the warmer weather and yes, even the yardwork.

On Sunday I woke up to the bright sun streaming into my window. It was lovely. I love the early morning sun. So much.

We all got up and ready for church and even made it on time. I substituted for the music director in the English ward. It is my month off but she texted me that night and I said yes. The speaker started to talk and my jaw dropped. He was talking about the very subject I have been pondering for the past two weeks. I’ve been working stuff out in my mind and my life, trying to fix a problem that I have that I know needs fixed. He talked about the very thing. I took notes and hopefully this week, maybe after everyone is in bed or I can get up early and figure it out better. It was truly a miracle.

I saw a thing online Sunday morning that asked to put your testimony of the gospel into one sentence. Here is mine:

God knows each of us and has a hand in all the details of our life.

He knows me, he knows you, he knows every single person who ever has or will live. Ask and ye shall receive. I have been receiving guidance and help for this issue for the past couple weeks and it has been amazing. Help and direction is coming from all sorts of sources. I love it. I’ll write about it someday, but I am still figuring it out for now.

My sister told us today she signed a contract for an apartment for her and her girls. She is moving out of my parent’s house. It is a good thing. She is a divorced mother of two and the miracles and guidance she’s seen and had in her life are amazing. It is pretty cool to watch. Hard as well because she has been through a lot. The housing market is crazy right now if you weren’t aware. The apartment she applied for had 45-50 applicants. The landlord told her he’d been frustrated because none of them felt right. When he got to hers he felt that she needed to be there. She got the apartment. There are lots of other details that make it even more of a miracle, but I will say it again, God knows each of us and has a hand in all the details of our life.

We have quite a bit planned for the coming week so I’ll end here and let you go.