Daily Life

Musicals and Genealogy

This morning I was looking out the kitchen window and all of a sudden a bunch of birds landed in the tree. The was a pair of mourning doves, several chickadees, and a starling. It was fun to see them all. I’ve even seen a woodpecker visit occasionally. I like birds quite a lot. I have chickens because they are useful birds. My favorite though is a meadowlark. Their song is my favorite.

I had so much to do today but Evangeline was so needy. She isn’t one to entertain herself. If I don’t get the work done before she wakes up then I don’t get the work done. I thought I would just give it a go and do the dishes. She decided going between my legs over and over was what she needed to do. Then play with the bottles under the sink. Don’t worry, nothing dangerous. Then later she has me helping her put shoes on and take them off for half an hour. No one can say I don’t play with my kids.

Alex took Noah, Elizabeth, and Lauren to the play tonight. Noah and Elizabeth were so excited when Michael came onto the stage. They were shouting his name and were quite put out that he didn’t acknowledge them. Alex was trying in vain to shush them. They loved the play.

I held babies and watched a movie while they were all gone. Tomorrow isa my night to go see it.

Today was my grandpa’s 90th birthday. I didn’t go to it, obviously, because I had the play and because it would have been a 14 hour round trip. Don’t have time for that. But my parents and some of my siblings went so that was good. I used to call my grandpa every week but got our off the habit. I think im either going to have his caretaker teach him how to read my blog or print them off and mail them to him. He likes getting letters and keeping up with what’s going on. It’s hard when family is far away. Technology makes it easier to keep in touch though, thank goodness.

Last night Alex and I got talking and we ended up looking at genealogy stuff. He wanted to know what nationalities he was. We looked and his direct grandfather back to the 1600’s was a native American chief. Both our families go back to the Mayflower on some lines. Its always fun to look that stuff up.

Well, its late, as usual, so I’ll end here.

Daily Life

The Days Blend

You know, the days kind of blend together. I struggled to get out of bed again. I don’t know how Alex gets up with so little sleep. I can’t. But then I don’t have to support the family by going to work either. That would make a difference. He had trouble getting up too. Going to bed too late this week. Tonight’s plan is to go to bed insanely early. Like 8:30. Yes, that is insanely early to me.

The kids got themselves up, like they always do, thank goodness. I love that about my kids. Michael is just naturally like that and set the example for all the kids that followed. It has made my life so much easier. They all left cheerful this morning which made a difference, too. Michael’s play was performed for two of the local elementary schools so he wore his costume to school today. It was so cute seeing him go in a Sunday suit with a bow tie and a bowler hat. Alex is going to go see the play tomorrow and then I will go on Friday with my mom, dad, and sister. If we do that then we don’t need a babysitter. And we don’t have to bring the baby which would mean I might as well not even go because trying to control a toddler is like trying to control an octopus that can run. It doesn’t work.

Today I saw that Little Women is in the cheap theaters so I am planning on taking Lauren to see it this weekend. A little girl outing. I will probably take Elizabeth with us to see it. Not Evangeline. Not this time. I am looking forward to actually watching the movie.

This morning when I went to the garage to feed the cats and take out the garbage there was another cat, not ours, in the garage. I don’t know if it is getting friendly with my cats or just there for the food. Benjamin got Skylar to go after the cat. I am glad that she can tell the difference but I doubt the other cat really cares.

And speaking of garbage, we missed garbage day last week. And of course this week I did some decluttering and cleaning and have more garbage than usual. Ugh. It always happens that way. I forget and have excess garbage. I had taken the garbage out for years every single week. The last year or so Edgar had helped so it usually got taken out. He left last week and I didn’t think about it. I heard the garbage man come but I couldn’t get up to take it out or Evangeline would scream. I should have just let her scream. Oh well. I have since set an alarm to remind me to get me back in the habit of taking the can out to the street.

Evangeline was a busy baby who just needed my attention all day. That’s fine. I got stuff done earlier and so it wasn’t a big deal. By the time the kids got home though I was ready for a break. I took one in the form of making and after school snack and dinner. Remember how I made bread dough on Monday and stuck in in the fridge for later? Well today was later. I needed a fairly quick snack and so I put the dough on the pans to warm up and then baked them. The smell was amazing and the flavor was pretty good, too. I think I might do that more often. Make a giant batch and keep it in the fridge for when I need some fast-ish food.

After school Edgar called the kids. When I was a missionary we could only call our family twice a year. The rules have thankfully changed and now with technology we can video call and once a week. The kids talked to him and they updated each other on what was going on. It was fun for them. Evangeline was holding the phone and kissed it.

Later, for dinner, I made cabbage and hamburger to go with the bread. I usually make it into a deconstructed egg roll type dish but I decided to just use salt, pepper, butter, and red pepper flakes. All but three people at it. Not bad. And really no leftovers. That is a win in my book. I like leftovers, but sometimes it is annoying to have the fridge full of them. And honestly the cabbage is a horrible leftover. The after effects are unpleasant.

After dinner I was fed up. The dog has been shadowing me for, well, three years. I reached my limit today. She literally matches my every step. I move, she moves. It is insanity. I told the kids to get her away from me and take care of her. And while they were at it they were to clean the kitchen like I would. I cook for them and clean up after them every day and I was done. The little ones did the basement and the older ones the kitchen. I have yet to go up and see if they have. I seriously doubt they did a good job even though I know they know how. I’ll let you know later.

We all chilled for awhile and then since I needed an early bed time we ended the night just after 7. We turned off all the electronics and we had a discussion on listening to the Holy Spirit. Alex and I asked them what they needed to do to hear the whisperings of the Spirit. They all answered the usual, read scriptures, be kind, say prayers, be good. It really is just the simple things and being a good person that makes such a big difference in whether we can hear the Savior speak to us through the Holy Ghost.  It was a good discussion, though short.

I will end here so that we can go to bed because everything is so much better when you aren’t tired.

Daily Life

Broken and Family Time

Woke up and was responsible. I called and made an appointment for Michael at the doctor’s and we were early! I try to be on time for everything but for the doctor’s appointments I am usually running late if I have to get all the little kids up and dressed early. They like to sleep in so early (before 9) appointments are difficult. But we did it. Blessings for sure. We sat in the waiting room for about 10 minutes and when we were called back we had double doctor duty. Well, a student nurse practitioner saw Michael’s finger first then the doctor came in a few minutes later. Pat myself on the back, he said I did exactly what he would do which was watch the injury for a week or so and then bring him in. Michael’s injury happened a week ago. He was playing dodge ball when an errant ball hit his finger straight on. To be safe, the doctor sent us to the hospital for an x-ray. Noah and Elizabeth asked the x-ray technician if they could see the x-ray. How do you say no to cute little kids? You don’t. He showed us the x-ray and I could clearly see a piece of bone had been chipped off. I asked the tech if it was broken. He said he wasn’t the radiologist or a doctor so he couldn’t say. Well, I understand that he can’t say anything. The doctor’s office called later to say yes, it was broken and that we needed to see an orthopedic doctor. I set an appointment up for next week. I don’t know what they will do then, but I guess we’ll find out, won’t we.

I took Michael back to school and the kids and I went home to wile away the hours. Laundry, cleaning, cooking and holding kids. At least I got a break earlier from the monotony. What was funny though, at Walmart I ran into one of my friends. I really only go to Walmart once a week if even and the last three times I was there I ran into her and she said she hardly goes there. We always run into each other. Weird.

Lauren came home from school needing to do a school project. A vision board. I really wish she didn’t have projects. It stresses her out and in turn frustrates me. I like it better when she just has math problems or stories to write. She has a science project coming up. Doesn’t that sound fun.

Today was Marco Polo day for my family. Basically all my family except one brother talked a lot of the day to each other on the Marco Polo app. It was fun. My sister mentioned that she hates cooking because when she goes to make stuff she is missing stuff, among other reasons. Her husband likes to cook and is good at it. I was thinking, that is too bad about missing ingredients when I realized I was missing one for my dinner. Dang it! I told my sisters I didn’t have the fajita seasoning packet and one of them said she had a recipe for it. Yay! I did have all the ingredients for that and it was good! I won’t put as much crushed red pepper flakes next time but the recipe is a keeper.

Tonight I attempted to make another cake for this weekend. Alex ended up taking last week’s cake to work and it was a hit. He said I found my test subjects. Hahaha. Tonight’s cake looked okay. The pans were too big to fit on one shelf and I just remembered that I had put them on two shelves last time. Because I put them all on one shelf the pans tipped and my cakes are lopsided. Good grief. Eventually I’ll figure it out. Maybe. The cakes were white and just used egg whites and so I had a ton of egg yolks left. What do you do with egg yolks? Lemon curd. I made that while the cakes were baking and got the dishes all done.

As  I was baking I started thinking do I really like to cook/bake or is it the creative/productive aspect that I like about it. I think it is probably both. Who knows.

I guess I better go tuck the kids in and go to bed earlier. I was so tired this morning I woke up late and struggled to wake up and get going.

Daily Life

Messes from the Weekend

I will start with this: It is amazing how much what you eat effects your life. I had been off sugar and some other inflammatory foods for 3 weeks and was feeling better. Joints didn’t hurt and waking up early was easy. I ate “normal” this weekend and there was a noticeable difference. I had a hard time getting up this morning even after getting to sleep on time. I am back to eating healthier today. Lesson learned- for now.

Its always a toss up how a morning will go. I told all the kids last night that they were all going to school tomorrow and that I wasn’t going to brook any arguments. I still had a short little drama-fest. But they all got out of the house and on their way to school shortly after 7:30.

The house though, was a mess. We did clean the house this weekend but you wouldn’t know it. Depressing. But I sat down, said my prayers, because heaven knows I need all the help I can get, and got my routine back into action. I had a feeling to start with the basement. It was awful. There was watercolor paints all over the table. Not just on the paper. The kids had messed with my melted wax thing and there was wax all over the counter tops and wax mess all over the floor. I was not happy. I did get it all wiped, swept, and vacuumed before the little kids woke up. That is a win in my book. The kitchen never got fully cleaned though.

For meals today I was struggling. All I had were ingredients. I hate when that happens. I tried to get them to be excited about a spoonful of peanut butter. They didn’t buy it. I heated up some beans from the night before and they were fine with that. I decided to make pigs in a blanket for dinner and since the mixing bowl was dirty I made another two batches of bread. Why not. They will all eat bread. With peanut butter. The snacks around here have gotten simple, as they usually do when I am not eating junk food. I can boil a couple dozen eggs and they are happy with that.

I slacked on family home evening tonight. After dinner I just had no gumption left so I turned on the tv and called all the kids to come watch. We watched two episodes of Show Offs on byutv. It was fun and I didn’t know it but two of the kids were on the computer behind me watching Disney’s Coco. My favorite part of the day was when the end song came on that Miguel sings and all of my family was singing it at the top of their lungs. So fun. We sang it twice.

That is about all that is going on. The day passed pretty fast for some reason and that is okay with me. Some days just need to go faster. Though today I forgot to make a doctor appointment for Michael. He jammed, or we think he jammed his finger last week. It isn’t getting better as fast as it should so I am going to go have it looked at tomorrow. He also lost his glasses last month and we are going to have to go get him some new ones. Sounds like a fun time. Okay, no, it doesn’t. But it is a break from the everyday routine.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Daily Life

Fairly Productive Weekend

Friday night we stayed up late so I didn’t write. Sorry. It was a busy day, too.

I woke up at the usual time and got the kids off to school. Michael stayed home because he wasn’t feeling well. It is totally possible because Noah was sick. It is a mild thing that is now making the rounds. Where is this stuff coming from? I read that some of my friends were airing their houses out today. I am going to do that next weekend when it is above freezing.

Anyways, I got the house picked up, cleaned up my sewing mess since Lauren accidentally broke the needle on the sewing machine and I had no replacements. I figured I will pull that whole mess out in another month or so. I eventually would like to have a sewing/craft room because sewing takes up quite a bit of room- at least the way I do it. So I cleaned it up and then as I was cleaning up the rest of the basement I went into the miscellaneous room. It was a bit cluttered. There are three bedrooms in the basement and that one was used for our treadmill and weight bench and some storage. It also has a washer and dryer in it. Well, I cleaned it up and told Alex we should probably fix it up and get the little boys down there. I figure we can have all the boys in the same area and they can share the basement bathroom and the girls can have the upstairs. I am glad that the boy bathroom mess can now hopefully be contained to one area.

Alex and I went to Walmart and got some paint and supplies and then a movie for our “date night”. After Alex and the kids got home from soccer at 9 we put the kids in front of a movie of their own and Alex and I watched Ford vs. Ferrari. Michael and Lauren ended up watching it with us, which was fine, but it went until 12:30! It was such a good movie (minus the swearing- I don’t care for that, at all). I love car stuff. I know hardly anything about fixing them, but I love it anyways. I would love to go on a racetrack and just floor it. The movie was right up my alley. The ending was not what I would have liked, but based on a true story what can you do? My favorite is the kid on the movie. He is in a couple other movies I love and what I love about him is that he looks like my Samuel. So cute!

Saturday morning, we got up and got to work. I gave Alex and Michael both haircuts. I really don’t like giving haircuts. I am going to work it into my budget to have someone else do them. With 6 men/boys needing haircuts, it gets expensive. If I space them out I can probably get it to be so we can have them alternating months so the cost is spread out. That should work. If I was better at giving haircuts I wouldn’t mind doing them so much. This morning though my clippers accidentally fell and broke a corner of the guard off. I used it anyways and then as I was cutting the back of Michael’s hair the guard flipped off and I cut Michael’s hair with the bare clippers! Ahhhhh! It wasn’t too bad and I managed to fix it so that if you didn’t know it was there you wouldn’t really see it. At least that is what we are all telling ourselves. That is the first time I have messed up that bad. And it doesn’t help that two of my sisters are cosmetologists and if I don’t cut the hair right they give me a hard time.

After that averted fiasco Alex and I started painting the basement bedroom. We picked a light grey color and it looks much better than the bright colors and sunset/ocean mural we had in there for years. The kids were sad. They loved the mural. Alex had to promise them that he would paint some sunset pictures for their rooms. The kids kept coming in and begging to paint. I wasn’t going to have that mess to clean up so I told them to go get their watercolor paints and paint some sunset pictures of their own. They loved that idea and off they went. They did some pretty ones and it kept them out of the paint where I was.

While we were painting I put on the podcasts I listen to. I always tell Alex he should listen to the podcast All In on Spotify but he wouldn’t. I put it on today and he loved it. I think he might be persuaded to listen to it on the way to and from work now. He said nope.

Sunday morning I wasn’t sure who was going to go to church. Benjamin was the only one not feeling well this morning so he stayed home. I left early with Michael and then Alex followed later in the van. Michael had supposedly started the van so it would be warm when everyone else left. He didn’t start it all the way and it was dead when Alex got out there. Luckily we have three cars at the moment so he used one to start the other.

When I it was my turn to take care of Evangeline at church she needed my attention. I was a little upset because the mother’s room at the chapel was locked- for the second week in a row. There was no where convenient to change the baby’s diaper or feed her. I looked to see if I could find someone with a key but no luck. If it were summer I would have just gone out to the car but it is still too cold outside. So I went to the empty stage and changed her there. I knew no one would bother me there. But seriously. Next week if that happens I will not give up until that door is opened.

We had potluck today after church. I made some rolls and mac and cheese. I was going to make dessert but I am glad I didn’t because most of the people had the same idea. So much dessert. They were good though. I made a cake last night because I had seen a website that had some really pretty cakes and I wanted to try making one.

Oh, my goodness. The cake was huge! It was a peanut butter chocolate buttercream cake. It was good but if you make it make sure you have a crowd to eat it. I should have brought it to potluck. I probably will freeze it and bring it next month. (And in case you didn’t catch it, I went off my eating plan this weekend. Was it worth it? Definitely not. It made me feel sick. Back to the better for me food tomorrow.)

For scripture study this week we gave each kid a chapter and told them to read the chapter and then this weekend tell us what they read. They were Isaiah chapters so it was a bit of a tough assignment but they did it, for the most part. Gideon asked Alex after church to help him read his and he did a pretty good job of telling us what they read. We also went over our goals, set some and the steps needed to reach them. Hopefully I remember to follow up and help remind them to keep working on it.

Daily Life

Making Things

It is so cold outside!! I took the kids to school this morning because I would have felt bad if they had to walk to school in -24° windchill. It was bitter. Where I grew up in Utah it just didn’t get that cold. Ever.

This morning Noah came in and said that he felt like throwing up. Great way to start the day. Alex laid a blanket on the ground and we gave him a bowl. He fell asleep for the next four hours. He felt iffy until late afternoon and then he was up and running. No puking- thank goodness. I hope no one else gets it.

I finished the one quilt. They don’t like it. They say it isn’t comfortable and it isn’t colorful enough. Well my plan was to have the room look nice and add some colorful pillows. Good grief. Puts a damper on my desire to make the other one.

I was talking to Alex on his way home from work and I was telling him about my day and all I got accomplished. None of which remotely looked done when he got home. Most of the time he just has to trust me. If I did nothing the house really would look like an episode of hoarders. No one noticed all the work. Their laundry was washed and put away, floors mopped, stuff like that. Kinda makes my life feel meaningless.

I did try a new bread recipe and used it to make pizza for dinner. They actually noticed that and said they loved it. I need to fix a couple things to make it better but since I have to feed them all meal after meal I think I have ample opportunity. My great grandmother was a great baker. Her mom died when she was three years old and she had to go live with her aunt because her father was a farmer and couldn’t take care of her. He said when she could cook she could come back home. She learned to cook and bake but said she messed up a lot. The dogs grew fond of cake and bread because they got to eat all the mistakes. She got to go home when she was nine and had to cook for all the farmhands.

Today, Lauren also finished her doll blanket. She was quite proud of herself, as she should be.

I had my nightly 15 minutes with Sam tonight. The other kids just wouldn’t stop interrupting. So rude. When it is their turn they get upset when it gets interrupted but can’t be bothered to show any courtesy. Sam chose to read a book. He’s always reading a book. But he read it to me and then we looked through a science experiment book. That was fun, too.

Then the was the circus of getting the ks to go to bed. It is always ridiculous. Gideon was crying because we didn’t help him with his spelling words (we did just not how he wanted) and I wasn’t going to help him until morning because he wouldn’t leave me and Sam alone no matter how many times I told him I’d help him in a minute if he would go upstairs. He is a my way or my way kind of kid.

Parenting so many personalities, stubborn personalities, is difficult some days. They are all fun cute people but heaven forbid you ask them to do anything.

Daily Life

Tough Morning

This morning before the sun rose, Edgar left for two years. Alex and all the school age kids were up in time to see him off. He’s my husband’s distant cousin but he’s lived with us for three years and has been like an older brother to my kids. He’s quite the social person so he wasn’t aound a lot, but when he was the kids played adn rough housed with him. They will miss having him around.

This morning Elizabeth said that when he comes back that she will say, “Hey. I ate all your nutella.” The silly girl.

This morning was another anxiety, panicked morning. Two in a row. It was hard enough sending all the kids off to school. The temperature was -9° and the windchill was -17°. It was so bitter. Benjamin started panicking because he had to carry his saxophone to school. I didn’t want to fight him another morning so I gave him the keys and told him to start the car so we could get the ice off the window. Do you know how long it takes ice to defrost in negative temperatures? It took awhile and scraping it off was tedioous and took a while. As I drove him to school, again, unfair to all the other siblings who walked, I told him that every time he makes me take him to school he owes me an extra chore. I think it is only fair.

Everyday I sit down to write out my daily plan adn end up using the same plan for the day- nothing changed. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming, coooking, kids, etc.

I unplugged the internet today thinking I would get a lot done and the kids would be off the television. It seemed like a good idea, but it didn’t work out. Noah slept in my room last night and was making noises all night and kind of talking in his sleep. I found out why in the morning. He had a fever and wasn’t feeling well. I plugged the internet back in. No one wants to be sick and stare at the ceiling all day. I ended up holding him for most of the day. Actually juggling the three of them. Oh, well.

I am hoping summer comes soon so the sickness goes away and we can go outside and play. This cold is getting really old.

This past week Lauren has been bugging me to make a blanket for her dolls. I was trying to make one for the kids. But she was relentless. Fine, I’ll get it done. I cut out all the fabric and asked if she wanted to do it. She was scared of the sewing maching but we got her over that. She kept sewing the lines crooked but I made her pick them out and start over. She got better at it. She said she is going to turn it into the fair this summer. Sounds good to me. I’m sure that since she is getting more familar she will try her hand at maybe making some doll clothes. Or some for herself.

I have to end here. I have a crying baby who refuses to let her Dad console her.

Daily Life

Another Day, Another Anxiety Attack

Anxiety rears it’s ugly head again this morning. How did I know. Three day weekend. He said that isn’t why. He said he was ready to go to school but his chest hurt. It has done that before and it went away shortly after. He said he can’t run in gym. I really hate that class. I always hated gym. The boys have to run a mile every day. It is good for them, I guess. But that is what sent him into a tailspin this morning. Gym. I had to argue and push him out the door and practically walk him down the street only for him to turn around and run back home and start the process over again. I locked him out, it was 9° outside this morning. Don’t worry, he was bundled up. He finally walked to school though he purposely left his saxophone. He missed four days last month, I couldn’t let him stay home.

After he was finally off to school I went through and did a quick pickup of the house and vacuumed and swept the basement. Then I went and did the dishes since Evangeline was still asleep. I have to stay upstairs when she sleeps because although she’s figured out how to climb up stairs last week she hasn’t figured out how to go down.

When she finally woke up, I found her lounging against my pw on the bed just looking at the ceiling and playing with her fingers. I picked her up, got her a sippy cup of milk and we went downstairs to be with the other kids. Edgar was there, too. It is his last day here for two years. He leaves tomorrow on a mission for our church. He’ll be down in Arizona. But today he said he was going snowmobiling. I said if he were my kid I’d say no way in heck. But he’s not so he went snowmobiling.

I spent a good deal of the day quilting and juggling kids. What else is new. I’ll be done with the one quilt tomorrow. Yay!

(Here’s a sneak peek.)

Tonight for dinner I made chicken soup and rolls. We bought a pizza dough blend flour so when I made the rolls for dinner the texture was different from what it normally is. Too bad I didn’t eat any if it. But the family said it was good and it smelled amazing.

I just finished day 21 of my diet. Not bad. I was frustrated because the weight hasn’t been coming off as fast as I would like (I’ve stalled these past few days). I’ve been dieting for 3 weeks, why haven’t I lost all the weight yet?! Just kidding. If only it really worked that fast! But I am sticking too it because I wasn’t a new goal. Years of the same goal is really getting old.

Tonight it was Benjamin’s turn to have his 15 minute Mom time. He chose a racecar game on the Switch. I won. Then we played Just Dance. He won that, but just barely. It was fun. The kids are loving the one-on-one time. I am too. Especially because we don’t have to go anywhere or spend any money. Not a bad deal.

Daily Life

Burnt

Today, being President’s Day, the kids had no school and I got to sleep in! It was wonderful. It really was. The kids all got up when they wanted to and I was able to get my usual morning routine (scriptures, prayer, plan, breakfast- my food I want to eat, etc.) done without any interruptions. Noah wandered in and wanted breakfast. What to make? I had a loaf of bread Alex made the day before. Zebra toast it is, kids. Zebra toast is just what I call cinnamon sugar toast because when I sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar it comes out in stripes. I had it made and I put it under the broiler to cook. Michael came in and I asked him to take it out in a minute, I had an emergency and had to leave the kitchen. Noah followed me, left and then came back a few minutes later. “Mom, there is smoke in the kitchen.” What?! I rushed to the kitchen to find smoke billowing out of the oven. Michael had done something, forgotten, and left the kitchen. Breakfast was black and the house smelled of smoke the rest of the day. Lesson learned. Don’t leave the kitchen with anything under the broiler. Ever. I had to make pancakes.

Then the boys had their weekly activity moved to this afternoon. They were going to go sledding. Michael found his pants but they weren’t long enough. Growing boys are great, but keeping up with their clothes is not so great. We just took the overall straps off and he wore it like that. I don’t see a need to buy new snow pants just yet because he literally wears them twice a winter.

Today I worked on the quilts again. The stripes are so much easier. I’m almost done with the top of one. I spent most of the time measuring and cutting the stripes out. But they look so good.

While I was cleaning and quilting today I listened to podcasts. I was trying to find one to listen to and remembered that I used to listen to Dave Ramsey. Warning, listening to Dave Ramsey will cause you to want to get your finances in order and get out of debt as fast as possible. I sat down and wrote out a plan. I then listened to Christie Wright. She talks about business stuff and I learned a lot.

Against my better judgement, I made some peanut butter bars for the Family Home Evening Treat. I didn’t eat any though I did lick a small piece of the frosting and then spit it out. I told you I was serious about this diet thing. I really do miss peanut butter and chocolate. They are so good together, but I told myself that it isn’t forever and the faster I get to my goal, the sooner I can make allowances. Just not eat an entire pan of cookies by myself in one sitting. I would never do that.

For Family Home Evening we talked about Temples and Family and then I talked to the kids about gaining a testimony of Christ and how important it is. I told a story I heard in church on Saturday about a farmer who needed to hire a worker to help him. Where he lived they had bad storms and he needed a worker who could handle it. He interviewed so many people but no one wanted to deal with the storms. Finally an applicant he was interviewing said that he “sleeps when the wind blows”. The farmer was confused but couldn’t be picky and hired the man. The man was a good worker and the farmer didn’t have reason to complain. Then one night a storm woke the farmer up and he put on his coat and ran to get the worker so they could get everything put away. The farmer shook the man and managed to wake him up but all he said was, “I sleep when the wind blows,” and went back to sleep. The farmer, frustrated, ran to the barn to start getting everything put away. But it was all done. The animals where put away, the hay tied down, the equipment put up, etc. The farmer then understood what it meant to “sleep when the wind blows.” If you are prepared and doing what you are supposed to do then you have no need to worry.

The kids put up with my lesson and even added some comments. Then it was time for the activity. The kids wanted to play freeze dance. I obliged and put on some music. Unfortunately Spotify kept putting on slow songs. I skipped until it wouldn’t let me skip anymore. Still slow. Finally a fast song! Then it was time for bed.

It was a productive enough day. I had time to spend with the kids and think. One of the things I was thinking of is how awkward I am when it comes to speaking with people. I say things that I really don’t mean to or shouldn’t say and immediately regret it, but how do you take it back? So many awkward things. I did have a thought though that I think the only way to get better at it is to get out and talk to people. What a nightmare. Not really, but kind of. Life is tricky sometimes.

Daily Life

Valentine’s Day Weekend

Valentine’s morning I woke up and got straight to work. The little kids were sleeping and since I’d made the kids help clean that night after dinner the dishes weren’t weighing me down. I went from room to room and picked everything up. It is not deep cleaned, mind you, but the floor isn’t littered with trash, toys, dishes, and clothes. That is good enough in my books. For now anyways. It’s been awhile since it has been thus and I appreciate it.

The night before, I had Alex stop at Sam’s Club and get some things. I told him I wanted a big clock for the front room and the one I had my eye on was only $20 at Sam’s Club. He said are you sure you don’t want flowers? I said I’d rather have the clock (I’m way too practical- it gets annoying to me sometimes). He looked at the price of the clock and said, “The clock is cheaper, you’re getting a clock.” Hahaha. I have wanted a big clock for the front room for ages. I have clocks in most rooms. I hate not knowing what time it is.

(By the way, it is still sitting on the couch as of Sunday night. Maybe I’ll get it hung on Monday. Maybe?)

I had wanted him to go to the store that night to get groceries and save me 3 hours of drive and shop time. He didn’t know the layout of the store so I talked him through the whole store and item by item. I think it’s hilarious, so did he. I had him in and out of there pretty fast. And I’ve only been there 3 times. The three times I’d been there I had to walk all over trying to find stuff so I knew if I didn’t lead the way he would have been there all night.

Since the house was in good enough shape I got to work on the girls’ quilts. It has been over a year since I did the boys’ quilts so I forgot a few details and what I had planned on doing. I messed up a little on the first one but it just meant making two cuts instead one. Didn’t effect the quilt at all, just the amount of work. I got it right on the second one that I did.

After school on Valentine’s Day Michael was at play practice and Alex headed on over to work on the piano prop. The play is in less than two weeks so he kinda needs to get it done. It didn’t work out quite the way he wanted it and so he still has more work to do on it. When I called to see what time he’d be done I thought it was him answering his phone. It sounded like him. The only thing that clued me in was the cadence of his speech. It was Michael who answered the phone. The only way I can tell them apart is by what they are saying because their voices are almost identical.

Finally Alex came home and being the old folks we are (we’re still in our thirties but definitely not twenties) we thought let’s hit the restaurant at like 5-ish and miss the rush. Haha. We have been doing lunch dates for so long that we forgot how busy restaurants get at night. We got there and the restaurant was full- of older than us couples and young couples with a baby in tow. We only had a half an hour wait so we turned on the movie Hitch and watched that on Alex’s phone while we waited. Dinner and a movie! Haha.

Finally we got seated and enjoyed our dinner. When the waitress came with or check she asked if we wanted separate checks. What?! Haha. No. We tried to figure out why she would say that- on Valentine’s Day. Who takes a woman out on Valentine’s Day and makes her pay for herself? We had a chortle over that and Alex paid for both our meals.

Then what Valentine’s Day date would be complete without a trip to Walmart? Haha. Alex did have some fun activity planned but they fell through. I wasn’t upset at all. We had time to look around and talk. The kids were fine so there was no rush. It was okay.

The next day was a usual busy Saturday. Cleaning, getting Sunday clothes found and ironed, etc. I had time to get some more quilt prep done. I like the sewing far better than the prep. I realized I was out of some fabric I need for the girls’ quilt which is not good because I didn’t see any more of it when I was at Walmart last. Oops! That will teach me to not take years between finishing a project. I’ll figure something out. In the meantime I drew out a design for the boys quilts and they approved. Then the annoying part- ironing, measuring, and cutting. I’m doing thick stripes this time and not tiny squares. The squares look good but take FOR-EV-ER! The thick stripes took just a couple hours not days and weeks. I got a bunch of it ready to go for Monday.

When I was working on the quilts Noah came up to me and holding out a sucker to show me said, “The Holy Ghost gave this to me.” Really. I tried not to laugh. Where does he come up with this stuff? The then asked me what the Holy Ghost looks like. I explained the best I could and told him what the Holy Ghost does (helps us make good decisions, among other things). Noah obviously wasn’t paying attention to the prompting to do good because he got the sucker from a sibling’s valentine candy stash.

Saturday night Alex and I went to an evening conference at our church. It was the first time in 15 years I’ve been able to go without a baby to hold, chase, or be pregnant with. It was so nice! I actually heard what the speakers were saying. It is so great to have built in babysitters. They have fun at home and we get to go out and don’t have to pay a babysitter (we get them their favorite bag of chips or whatever treat they want for babysitting).

Sunday morning was relaxing. Well, as relaxing as it can be trying to get 10 people ready and out the door on time. The twice yearly meeting we have called Stake Conference, where a bunch of congregations meet together, started at ten in the morning. We had an extra hour to get ready. I made eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, and country gravy for breakfast in lieu of the usual quick bowl of cereal or granola bar. And we were still half an hour early. By the end of the meeting, which was very good, I was ready to pull my hair out because 1 and 3 year olds can’t sit still for two hours. When the prayer was over Noah (3) started loudly singing his version of the Hallelujah Chorus. He sang it all the way out of the chapel and through the parking lot. Made me laugh. How does he know it so well?

The rest of the day was spent with the kids reading and building blanket forts. We finished up by watching an episode of Random Acts (a show) and Veggietales which Elizabeth picked out and the big boys joined us to watch. It is funny how they wouldn’t watch the other show with us but heard the theme song for Veggietales and they came running and plopped onto the couch. Silly kids.

Noah and Evangeline fell asleep around 7. Not good! They woke up an hour later and now we have to stay awake because they are not going to go back to sleep for a couple more hours. The kids don’t have school tomorrow (President’s Day) and I am tempted to let them watch the kids so I can go to bed. They can sleep in in the morning, I can’t. We’ll see how it goes.

Gideon is reading this over my shoulder. He is first grade and I am totally counting this towards his reading goal. Multi-tasking.