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Sunday

Today went pretty well. I put some black beans to soak last night for chili for dinner tonight. Btw, in chili there is such a thing as too much bacon. I never thought I would say those words. But its true.

There was the broadcast for the introduction of the new church wide youth program today. I’m excited for it. A lot of people were saying that there wasn’t anything to it. I believe this is a line upon line situation. This was enough to get our toes in. Let this sit, get some goals in place and the direction we want to go and then be ready for the next step. We can’t drink from a firehose. Besides, after they announced and started the ministering concept the questions people asked. My goodness. It was meant to be simple — be friends and follow the spirit and help each other and people couldn’t handle simple. We are being eased into this new youth program folks.

I was also listening to the John Bytheway talks today as I was making cookies and washing the dishes. So good! I think I’m going to have my family listen to them one a night this week. They are entertaining enough they shouldn’t complain.

We had a family meeting today to discuss stuff and plan the week and holidays and goals. We talked a lot but I don’t think we got much else done.

Then we watched Relative Race on byutv as well as watch the new show Making Good. I love all the shows on byutv.

It was a good day.

Now to prepare for 2 weeks of the kids being home for potato harvest.

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Luck Ran Out

It’s 5 AM. I’ve been awake since 3. I wanted to sleep in so bad today. Not to be.

None of my kids ever pee the bed. We’ve been lucky. If their diaper leaks I blame myself for not changing them in time. Buy one they are potty trained the age no accidents.

Until today.

I was awakened at about 1 a.m. by someone laying by my legs. uncomfortable but whatever. Didn’t think anything of it. It happens often enough. Then I woke up at 3:30 and noticed I was wet. The bed was wet. The kid was wet. The blankets were wet. Ugh. Got up to clean up the mess and shower the kid, strip the bedding, change clothes and find somewhere to sleep.

That’s right. My brain is awake. I can’t sleep. It is 5:30. I’ll try because I don’t have to wake up until 8.

Later:

I managed to get some sleep. Got up at almost 9. I was still a little tired but could function.

We all got ready to go to a cousin’s birthday party. It was a fun party. My sister-in-law loves to throw a party and she’s good at it. The kids all had fun. Who wouldn’t with a bounce house and piñata.

We managed to dress the baby so she’d blend in.

We visited and then drove home only to hit traffic at the usual place Alex hits traffic everyday. They are redoing the bridge so they diverted traffic to one side. The was no earthly reason that traffic should have been so slow and at a standstill. I had to slam on my breaks and so did the guys behind me. But imagine my surprise when the traffic hold up was people gawking at the albino elk at bear world. Ok. I looked too. But that’s because traffic was so slow that I could.

We finished the day off cleaning and doing laundry. Nothing too exciting but that’s fine with me.

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Nothing Much

Today’s lack of busy made up for yesterday’s busy.

I did dishes. That’s all. And took care of a baby. Oh, and played with kids and kittens.

Then Alex and I went on a lame date. Walmart for cat food and an oil change.

One of the qualms I had about getting cats was Lauren’s allergies. She is allergic to most animals. Since the dog is part poodle and hypoallergenic for the most part, she’s fine with our dog. The cats are another story all together. They absolutely cannot be in the house. She’ll learn not to play with them.

The second issue is the dog hates cats. I figured if we got kittens we could work with it. I still have hope but can see it will be a long haul. I tried getting the dog used to the cats. They have been in a crate and seen each other. Growled and hissed at each other.

Our dog is fairly obedient. I tested her limits and will power tonight. I had her sit in front of me while I held one cat. This poor kitten was brave but was whimpering all the same. The dog sat but was shaking because it took everything in her not to get the cat. It actually was comical to watch. In the end the dog failed and we will have to try again tomorrow. Don’t worry, the kitten is fine. Maybe traumatized but she’ll live.

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Baking and Picking and Pets

Yesterday I took the little kids to story time. They love it. Elizabeth is a talker. I feel a little bad taking her because when the librarian is reading Elizabeth asks a lot of questions. Yesterday she asked the same question like 5 times in a row and wasn’t getting an answer. The librarian said “let’s be quiet” very nicely and Elizabeth didn’t give up. She asked the same question- quieter. Haha. I had to laugh at that. I explained before we left home that she needs to sit quietly and wait until the story is over but it really fell on deaf ears. She’s 5. She’ll learn someday.

Last night was project central at our house. The older boys had projects that needed doing/finished. Benjamin’s was a geography one that he needed to print off pictures for a posterboard.

Michael’s was a model that required a lot of salt dough. The only thing we didn’t have was enough glue sticks but we made it work.

It would have been better had he not waited until the last minute. He was gluing stuff on literally up until he left for school. We put it in the oven to dry last night. It is a model of a Nez Pierce hut if you were wondering. Benjamin was smart alek commenting that they didn’t have glue guns back then. But I will have you notice the leather strapping we used. I happened to have everything he needed for the project (except enough glue). Pays off to hoard a bit sometimes.

Today I also got a lot done I’ve been meaning to do.

Okay, I love fresh bread. I’ve worked in several bakeries and you can’t come down after that. People think its hard to make and that its time consuming. Its really not. I think the active time I worked on this was maybe 5 minutes total. I even forgot I was making it until I passed through the kitchen on my way to change a diaper and saw the dough had risen over the sides of the bowl. Oops.

Since we are getting snow this weekend 🤨 the garden season is over. The boys came out and we picked all the tomatoes. Now comes my least favorite part- waiting for them all to ripen. I wish our growing season was longer. As is, we’re eating fried green tomatoes and fried zucchini on Sunday afternoon. I guess since the hard freeze is coming I should pull all my flowers, too.

We live next to a field. It is wonderful because the view is awesome. Problem is that with country living comes rodents. We’ve done traps and poison. But because of where we live it is going to continue to be a problem. On a lot of social media posts I’ve seen people ask for solutions and the one that comes up the most is cats. So now we have Lulu and Piper. Outside cats. Because cats are ruled by no man and dogs live to please.

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Grown Ups are Really Kids

I was watching a story a girl I follow made. She was tired and sick and thus a bit weepy. She’s 36 and says she feels like a kid and that she isn’t old enough to be doing all these grown up things. I feel the same way a lot of the time. I feel like a kid raising kids. Playing house 24/7. But you can’t just say I’m done playing house and go do something else til you are ready to play again. Life doesn’t work that way.

This morning I was so tired. I couldn’t make myself get up. I co-sleep with my babies. All of them. It’s just easier. I’m almost done! Last night baby woke me up probably about every hour. So my sleep was interrupted about 8 times. I haven’t had a real full nights sleep since January 2005.

I took a nap with the kids today.

When the kids got home from school they proceeded to watch tv. Of course. Ducktales. Haha. Dark wing duck came on and I said darkwing duck. They asked how I knew what it was. Kids, you live in an entertainment recycled world. My generation loved it so they remade most of it.

If you think about it we were probably the first generation of real couch potatoes and so maybe our imaginations are stunted and we can’t come up with anything new. Or not.

I made more cinnamon rolls tonight because 1. Im good at it, and 2. My kids need a fast breakfast and snack. Because I wasn’t the for the whole thing (helping kids with stuff) they didn’t turn out quite right. Kids pulled them out too early. They are edible though.

The oldest boys are in band and Benjamin and 3 of his friends came over to record them all playing for extra credit at school. Nothing like 4 amateurs on brass instruments in the basement. Then Lauren got out the violin to practice and someone was also playing on the piano. No one was near proficient but I give them points for trying. Quite the musical afternoon.

And lastly. Evangeline is finally on the move. She started to kind of crawl today! Now we really have to keep the mess cleaned up because everything goes into her mouth.

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Priorities

This morning after I sent the kids off to school I got the dishes mostly done. I only got done what Evangeline let me do. Should I do all the dishes before bed? Yes. Will I be better at it once Evangeline lets me? Yes. She runs my life.

She’s a cute little dictator though.

She is playing more by herself but if I get up she will cry like I’ve abandoned her forever. So I sit there trying to find useful stuff to do. I listened to this weeks scriptures and crocheted the pillowcase I started.

Later I was cleaning while Evangeline slept and was talking to my sister on the phone. We started to discuss the need to teach our kids more/better and she shared a post from a friend. This friend teaches the 12-13 year old girls at church. The girls started talking about things they struggle with. They said one thing they needed was more time with their mom but felt they couldn’t compete with their mom’s phone and social media. How sad is that?! I realize I have a problem with that as did the friend that posted this experience. Her solution is to be phone free from 3:30-8 p.m. I’m going to do that as well. Every night at tuck in my kids want to spend time with me. They ignore me from the time they get out of school until bedtime. Its really frustrating. I think that I am the solution though. I need to put myself on the back burner and make my children the priority. I need to go to them since it is obvious they are too “busy” for me. This is going to take a lot of discipline and creativity on my part. And time and organization. I’ll let you know how it goes. I figure it isn’t realistic to go off the internet or even social media altogether. It’s like a diet or most things in life. Moderation and order. Besides, I like ice cream and Facebook/Instagram too much to give them up completely.

Later I took the boys to their young men activities and when I came home a miracle had occurred. The kids cleaned up. Without being told. They cleaned up so they’d have room to dance but I’m not going to complain. As long as it got done.

And I did wash all the dishes tonight.

Well, almost all of them.

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Stop and Stare

Ever have those days where you have a ton to do and all you can do it stare. I’ve got projects I want to do but don’t know how I want to do them. I found ideas on pinterest but in order to spend ZERO money on it I need Alex’s help. I know how to work all the power tools but ripping a board (cutting it lengthwise) scares me. And it’s not smart to work alone anyways.

I made the birthday cake. Easiest cake I’ve ever made. Not the best but definitely the easiest.

The kids have watched enough cake making shows and wanted candy in the cake.

Earlier before the celebration the kids were playing outside and found a snake. It was a garter snake but it made me laugh because the kids were desperate to show me. I think if my window hadn’t had a screen on it they would have brought it into my room. They stood in front of the window holding it up. Since Evangeline wasn’t going to sleep with all that going on I went to see. If you are squeamish scroll past.

We used to watch a pest control show. The guy was crazy- you’d have to be- but I’m grateful that the are people out there like that. He said how to tell the difference between venomous and non venomous snakes was the shape of the pupil. If it looks like a cat’s eyes its poisonous. Round like human then it’s fine. Honestly I’d rather not get close enough to know. But Benjamin did. And I have but don’t need to do it again.

I looked again at that last picture. Sam has one shoe on and one off. I don’t understand how they run around in only socks. But they do and they ruin so many socks. I guess it saves the shoes from wearing out. I’d rather they be barefoot though.

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Make ’em Laugh

So my boy Benjamin is a quirky kid. He’s quick witted and has a great sense of humor. But he will hide that he thinks something is funny. He also get sad and anxious often enough.

So I had decided a few months back to make it my goal to make him laugh once a day. At least. It has been so much fun. He loves puns as much as I do so I can get him with those. Lame jokes told with gusto will get him as well.

Yesterday my Dad told me what him and my brother and nephew said as they were watching a video where a car was racing around an abandoned factory and burning rubber left and right.

Nephew: How many tires does he use?!

Brother: All of them.

Nephew: Where does that guy live?!

Grampa: On the edge.

I laughed so hard at that. And I got Benjamin to laugh too. It was great.

Benjamin was a little down this morning. I told him school wouldn’t be that bad. At least there is a little variety. And I told him that when he grows up his job will have some variety as well. I told him my job at home has a little variety, too. I sometimes do the laundry in a different order just to shake things up. Ha!

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Primary Program, Family History, Birthday Parties

This morning my parents drove the 2.5 hours to see their grandchildren sing and talk in church. It’s always the best Sunday of the year. I went to the practice so I knew where to sit to see all the kids the best. They all were so cute and did so well. And I wasn’t mistaken, even in the back of the chapel Elizabeth’s voice could be heard. Maybe because she is mine but I’m partially deaf and could pick her out so there’s that.

When we got home my mom and I visited while I made lunch. Ham, potatoes, rolls, and country gravy. It’s my new favorite meal. So good! Then awhile later- cake and ice cream.

While we were sitting there visiting we started to look at family history. She knew a bunch more than me, of course, because she’d actually known the people. I love family history. I love knowing the stories, the how and the why of people’s lives. Like what made them go here or there, what they liked to do. It is sad that there is such a lack of written history of all the people that make a person who they are. Journals people!

Family history has always interested me. I love learning about my ancestors. Luckily my aunt is really into it as well and has done a ton of it. My family tree is filled. It’s not an easy task. I’ve tried. It takes a lot of sleuthing.

Two of my sisters went to Norway this summer to visit a former foreign exchange student of my sister. They send back pictures and videos and it looks so pretty there. But the fun thing to me is that where my sisters were visiting is the area where my ancestors are from. They took pictures of the church where they were christened going back 400 years. How amazing is that?!

My great-great grandmother was born in Norway in that area. When she was still young she emigrated to Utah and awhile after she got married she moved to Idaho. I didn’t know this information until I read it a few months ago. She lived and was buried 45 minutes from where I live. I’m going to take my kids to go see her grave sometime this fall.

Anyways, later we went and visited with Alex’s siblings and families. We were celebrating two birthdays. Birthday season is starting up again. In the next three months we have so many holidays and birthdays.

During the sacrament I like to read conference talks to keep me focused when I can. Today I read this one. It had so many good things that I wanted to share with my family. So tonight we read it and talked about it with the kids. At least the older ones who were paying attention.

And I decided to check the forecast for the next week. Snow. For reals. So now we are plotting how to save our tomatoes. The growing season is just not long enough for them.

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Planning, Injuries, Messes and Noise

This morning we all had to get up early. Well, early for a Saturday morning. The kids had their primary program practice at 9. I wasn’t a big fan of the time but as I was driving to the church I saw all the parents and players bundled up at the football field and felt incredibly grateful I wasn’t sitting outside in the cold and damp.

Elizabeth’s birthday is on Monday and we are having two parties. One on Sunday with grandparents and then another one on Monday for her actual birthday. So I’m trying to figure out what to do for food both times. Tomorrow I think we’ll use the raspberries with the ice cream because the bushes are full. So good.

Since we are having my parents over and having parties we are going to have event cleaning. That mad-dash to get the house spotless so that people don’t know how you really live. I wish I lived like that but kids don’t cooperate. At least not without raising voices and threatening to take away everything under the sun.

After we cleaned the house the kids were up to their usual shenanigans. Noah decided to use the vegetable peeler to shave a bar of soap. I don’t know where he got that idea. Elizabeth thought she’d try it. She cut a bit of the tip of her finger off. Oh the crying and blood. It wasn’t bad enough to warrant a hospital trip but enough to have Sam say, “Think about happy stuff. Like monsters. Monsters are happy stuff.” Noah agreed.

We bought a 15 passenger van a few months ago and the headlights were awful. So dim. Like a flashlight ready to give up the ghost. Since the days are getting shorter and I knew we’d be driving after dark tomorrow we went to get some new headlights. Alex wanted to have the auto people install them but it was a four hour wait. Not staying at Walmart for four hours for something that took us 15 minutes. When we were done shopping we saw the checkout lines and we reminded why we don’t do Walmart on Saturday if we can help it. But we went and checked out at the oil change counter in the back. No line. But over the speaker they announced that the local food bank was completely empty and they were conducting an emergency food drive. It was a sad announcement but I hope that with as full as the store was they got some food to fill it up a bit.

After dinner we made the kids clean up. I distracted them by making them go outside with me to see a rainbow and they took it one step further and went to dance in the rain and hail. Then back to cleaning. Elizabeth came in crying and asked when I’d be done. Why? “Because,” she cried, “Dad said we can’t stop cleaning until you do!” I laughed and told them I could clean for twelve more hours. They groaned.

Finally after scriptures and prayers and tuck-ins I was beat. I went into my room and was horrified. All over my fairly new dresser was bright purple marker scribbles! No, I didn’t take pictures. I was so frantic to see if it would come off. Luckily it was dry erase and with some windex it came right off. Thank goodness.

Now I’ll try to go to sleep but I live next to the football field and they are having a dance out there tonight. Bright lights, loud music, and someone directing the dancing on the loudspeaker.