Daily Life, Thoughts

The Chosen Makes You Think

So this past week I finally sat down and watched The Chosen. My husband and I and some of our kids watched it over the course of a few days. It has been awhile since we had a series to watch together. Again, I have pretty high standards. I don’t tolerate much swearing and immorality even though the story “is so good”.

I’d seen this series advertised and I didn’t give it really a second thought. Then I saw a gal I follow on Instagram saying she finally gave it a good try and got hooked and binge watched it multiple times. Okay I thought, I’ll give it a shot. I downloaded the app and started to watch it. I got maybe halfway through the first episode and I was hooked.

It was so good!

Do I think that it is 100% accurate? No. But what I do think is that it is good.

For I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also.

Moroni 7:5

I was praying and wondering if it was a good thing and the answer I got was “If it brings you to Christ it is a good thing.” Good enough for me.

I am excited for Season 2. The first one made me cry, made me laugh, and made me feel more of a longing to have more of a relationship with my Savior. He is my elder brother. The Chosen I don’t think took away from the deity of Christ, but rather showed him in more of a 3D perspective. It reminded me that He knows me and loves me and understands what it is like to go through mortality.

So this weekend if you have some time and even if you think you don’t, you should give the show a chance.

Daily Life

There is Peace

I don’t think I wrote about this so I will try again.

I had been struggling. I could see myself getting off track. Nothing major but I could feel myself distancing myself from God. I don’t know why exactly. I was being a stubborn and petulant child. I wasn’t enjoying the feeling of it either but my stubborn pride would not let me fix it. I told myself “not now, I’m not ready” which is a very sad mindset. But just like when my children are upset and refuse to be comforted I patiently wait until they are ready. I am sure that my Heavenly Father does the same. How hard it must be for Him to patiently wait for so many of His children who refuse to be comforted to finally- hopefully- come to Him.

I finally am coming back around. It has been four months since we’ve been to church. Church makes it easy. You just show up and share the job of teaching each other. Sometimes you just show up and learn. But at home it is all on me and Alex to teach our children. We made it a priority to have church at home every single Sunday. It is work. It is good work, but it is work. There is no one to carry you along. No one to make sure you do it. It is all on you. It has been an opportunity to see what our priorities are and are we willing to follow Christ when no one else will see it?

Like I said, I was getting off track. I didn’t feel the spirit like I needed to because I wasn’t doing what I needed to. I started doing what I needed to. I started praying more and with more thought and sincerity. I started to study the scriptures more earnestly. I started listening to more uplifting podcasts and religious material. I got back on track and it will be a daily effort to stay there.

In the scriptures Christ commands us to pray always that we will not be tempted. He didn’t say it because it sounded like a good thing to say. He said it because it is imperative. As I follow the news daily I am astonished at how much we need the Gospel of Christ. It really is the only true anchor we have in a world of shifting values and daily changing opinions and “truth”.

It might have been easy to just float along as a Christian up until a few months ago but it feels like we are being sifted now. Where do you stand now? Are you firmly rooted in Christ or are you wish-washy, still trying to grasp the world? It has been interesting to watch these days unfold. It was prophesied that in the last days before Christ would return that men would call good evil and evil good. I never understood how it could be possible really until now. To me it feels like time is running out. Chaos seems to multiply daily and it is time to choose a side. As it says in the scriptures, “Choose you this day whom you will serve.”

I hope that things are going well for any who read this. I hope there is peace in your life. This song is so beautiful and if you have a minute or two to listen to it I highly recommend you do so.

Have a great day!

Daily Life, Sunday

Start the Week

Sunday was a good day. Very slow. Rainy.

For the kids singing time at our home church I asked them each what song they would like to sing. Noah said the sun song. I don’t know what that is so he picked another one. Elizabeth said she wanted the raspberry song. Again, I don’t know what that is. Turns out they were going by what they thought the picture was on the songbook page. No raspberries. I told her to go through the book and find it. She came across a page with palm leaves on it. I told her the song was called Hosana. Oh, she said then proceeded to sing, “Hosana ooh na-na.” Um no. That is not how the song in the book goes. I got a chortle out of that and corrected her. The other song says Havana, not Hosana. Hopefully we cleared that up.

Around dinner time I didn’t want to cook. The kids said they wanted donuts. I said if they made them then they could have donuts for dinner. Everyone ran upstairs as fast as they could. I believe they all helped Alex and only one bowl was broken. I found remnants when I cleaned on Monday.

Benjamin wanted to make the frosting/ glaze for the donuts. I told him butter and sugar milk and vanilla. I didn’t specify powdered sugar because I thought it was obvious. It wasn’t to him and the regular sugar didn’t work. After the failed batch he asked what kind of sugar to use. The second batch was good. Alex said he saw him using the wrong sugar but figured it was an easy lesson for Benjamin. Benjamin asked why Alex didn’t stop him. I asked if he would make that mistake again. He said no. Okay, lesson learned. And the donuts were good.

Monday wore me out. With the appraisal looming over my head I need the whole house decluttered and cleaned. I cleaned the whole day. Bedrooms dusted, vacuumed. Bathrooms cleaned. Laundry room cleaned. Laundry washed and put away. Front room cleaned. All the upstairs vacuumed and mopped. The basement cleaned. All the dishes found scattered throughout the house washed. All that’s left is the kids bedrooms and the garage. And the basement bathroom. I don’t want to do that one, it is gross – five boys use it. But I’ll do it anyways. If I could I would ban my kids from the house. I’d set a tent up in the backyard and have them camp out there for an extended period of time to save the house. I won’t but it is a nice thought.

Once the cleaning is “done” (is it ever done?) I need to mud and texture the girls’ bedroom ceiling then paint it and the walls. I haven’t moved the little girls into the room yet because I want to get that done first so I am not dodging furniture when I mud. It is just easier that way.

Last night Alex should have been mudding the drywall on the new closet he build but he spent hours finalizing drafting of the renovation plans. He loves drafting. We made sure the measurements were correct and moved a couple things that we’d wanted to change, added a few more lights, etc. The good thing about being able to redo a house is that we’ve lived here for eight years and know how we’d make the space work better. A good thing about taking our time is we’ve been able to think and rethink what we thought we wanted and try and improve it. Things that have bugged us we can change. Things that we have always wanted we can add. I am looking forward to ripping the whole thing out but not necessarily putting it back together. It will be worth it. I hope.

Alex did stop working on it long enough to join us for scriptures and prayer. It was fun because the story we were on is an exciting one and Michael was practically on the edge of his seat. He loved it and said, “Ammon is awesome!” I have to agree.

Well, I need to start the day. It is the last day of June. I’ve got lots to do including fortifying myself for July because if it follows the first half of the year we need all the help we can get. Can we just pretend that 2020 is over? Just me?

Daily Life, Sunday

Gardens and Family

The weekend was so busy!

Friday and Saturday was spent on errand running and yardwork. Usually I am the first one on the block to have my flower garden in. Not this year. I was the last. I don’t think I’ll do that again. The nursery near my house was completely out of flowers. We came home and loaded the kids into the van just to get them out of the house and to make the yearly pilgrimage to our usual nursery for plants. Most of the kids enjoy it. They all get to pick out several flowers for the gardens and they have fun doing it. My flower gardens are never the same color year after year. I also have what I have dubbed my “odd” garden. When the kids pick or random flowers I have no idea what to do with then so I plant them all in this one garden so they can look at their choices. It’s always colorful.

Gardens always look so sparse when the flowers are just babies. (And I did spray those weeds and yes, there is still a lot of work to do. So much work!)

In my front garden- sorry, no pictures yet- I had two daylily plants that have been getting bigger every year. I finally divided them. I dug them out and Alex and I chopped them into three or four each and spread them farther apart in the garden. Yay! Now I’ve got more foliage going on. I’ve just got to wait for the tulips to finish dying back for the year. They are taking forever and look very haggard.

Luckily, the one flowers, Alyssum, that I grow every year reseeded themselves because both nurseries were completely sold out of them.

Enough garden talk.

Sunday, Father’s Day, was pretty laid back. We took our time getting ready for church (actually I hadn’t washed Alex’s white shirt so we waited while it washed) and then finally at noon we had church. Michael gave a talk about the importance of having a father in the home leading and supporting the family. While he was talking a circus broke out. Gideon’s nose started bleeding and it was a bit of a mess. I think Michael kept talking through it all. Haha.

Later Alex made his own dinner. He had a specific meal in mind and made it. I was good and he didn’t make too big of a mess. Marinated chicken cooked on the grill and roasted vegetables and rice. I made oatmeal cookie sandwiches with marshmallow frosting. Bit of a mess because the frosting was sticky but it tasted good.

That morning I had received an email from the family history site I am a member of that said they’d found a hint for a relative. It was the 1900 United States Census. I love looking at the census records. This time was kind of the jackpot in one way but a really upsetting puzzle in another. In this particular census it had my great-great grandparents and their kids. (My dad’s dad’s mom’s parents.) The big shocker was there were two kids on there I didn’t know existed. I’ve been working on this family tree for over 20 years. Technology and indexing (connecting records to people’s name so they are searchable) is making more information available every day. If you haven’t ever indexed you should, it is fun to do.

Anyways, there were two more kids! An eleven year old boy and a one month old girl. The problem came in when that was all the information I could find. Alex and I spent a couple hours looking everywhere. Cemetery records, obituaries, and trying to find the 1890 census that the one kid would have been one year old in. Fruitless pursuit because it turns out that the 1890 census records were badly burned in a fire. The 1910 census we looked at was a sad record. The father had died and the two kids I had found, well their names aren’t listed as living with their widowed mother. The son could possibly be living elsewhere as he would have been 21, but we couldn’t find any mention of him anywhere but that one 1900 census. The baby girl would have been 10 but she was gone also. My great-great grandparents had 11 kids that we know of but only 8 made it to adulthood. It was exciting but incredibly frustrating and sad at the same time.

Before we turned in for the night Alex drew up the plans for the new window we are putting in. I need a drawing of the plans in order to get a permit. When the window guy was here I said I wanted the window to be the same size as the window in my daughters’ room. I had never measured it. Um, I should have. The window doesn’t look that big in the bedroom. It is 60 inches long! Alex drew the outline on the wall where we are putting the window and it takes up most of the wall! Its huge! I mean I am okay with it and that’s good because it is already ordered. I wanted the window for light because that room is dark and I am thinking that big window will definitely do the trick.

Daily Life

Weekend Ramblings

The weekend started out with busy waiting. In order to save gas money I took Alex to work. We drove the 45 minutes to get him there at 7 a.m. He was off to work whilst I had errands to prepare for. Grocery shopping for two weeks worth of food so I don’t have to go out again anytime soon. I sat in the car in a parking lot and planned the menu while I waited for the stores to open. Sam’s Club opened at 9 so I had two hours to wait. I planned all the meals (tedious- but since they are written in my planner maybe I’ll be smart and reuse them at a later date), I planned the day out, read my scriptures and then called my sister to talk for awhile. I’d left all the kids home with my oldest babysitting. I love having a built in babysitter.

I decided to go to Hobby Lobby first because I needed a couple decorative storage boxes. I walked up and down every single aisle (love that they are open again!) and they didn’t have what I was looking for. But I did find a few things I love and couldn’t resist buying. Then I thought I would check out Tjmaxx and see if they had what I was looking for. Waste of time. It is sad to see a store so empty. The shelves were mostly empty. There were just a few knick-kacks. Hopefully things get back to normal soon.

I finally got to Sam’s and managed to get through in less than an hour. They even had toilet paper stacked super high. And there were no limits on items like the were last time I went.

I picked Alex up and we went and had lunch. There is an Indian restaurant we’d been wanting to go to for years so we had lunch there. This particular restaurant has two locations one was where we were and the other is in our old college town and is connected to a gas station. In spite of the location, it has really good food. The last time we’d gone I was two days away from having my fourth baby and barely fit in the booth- like I had to squeeze myself into the booth and I was pinned between the table and chair back. It was ridiculous but made it memorable. The new coronavirus measures put in place made for an interesting meal but the food was good. What is interesting about Indian cuisine is how it resembles Guatemalan food in flavor. Alex said the flavors are reminiscent of each other because they use a lot of the same ingredients.

Our plan after eating was to go get some new shoes for both of us. We’d worn ours out. I found a new pair of workout shoes and Alex found some comfortable ones for work.

Shopping days aren’t my favorite. It takes so much time. Planning, driving, shopping, driving, and putting it away. Luckily the kids can help with putting it away. I don’t think they mind so much because then they see what I got and can see what they get to eat. They eat so much!

Later I did give two of the boys haircuts and Alex as well. They all needed it. I like when its warm outside so I can cut their hair outside and keep the hair mess outside. Cutting hair is low on my list of things I like to do. Actually it is not even on my list of things I like to do. But when I can save a bunch of money then I’ll do it. Then I can go pay someone to cut my hair soon. It is down below my waist and it is getting a bit out of control. I just don’t know what to do with it.

A storm came blowing in on Saturday afternoon and Alex and I went outside in the windstorm for fun to watch it. The actual rain was just blowing by about a mile to the east so we enjoyed seeing the clouds speed by. The wind gusts would come in waves and I could hear it coming as it whipped through the trees with a low, loud whoosh!

Sunday we had church at home and probably will for a while yet. I can’t see us being able to keep masks on all the kids at church. We’ll see. The lesson I gave was on making good choices and being kind. We had singing time and it was so fun. We went through some longer songs with 7-8 verses and sang them at different speeds. The kids loved it.

Since it was a chilly and rainy afternoon we worked on a puzzle I had been saving. It was an Eric Dowdle puzzle of Old Nauvoo. Alex and I were married in the Nauvoo Temple so it was a fun reminiscent puzzle to do. It was 500 pieces and I’m surprised we got it done in just a couple hours and one sitting.

Before bed we watched a scripture video about what we’ll be studying this coming week. I love all the stories but this is a particularly good one. The kids all sat and watched it and we discussed some of the doctrine if talked about.

Right before it got dark I checked the weather. That storm Alex and I watched, that was a cold front coming in. Snow was forecast for the next morning. Yep. Snow. In June. Alex and I went out and covered the cold sensitive plants- tomatoes and squash. The weather wasn’t supposed to freeze but we covered them just in case. We didn’t want to lose the months of work and have to buy big plants. This is the first year we’ve grown the whole garden from seed rather than get the plants from the store. It’s looking good. We have tons of tomatoes, squash, carrots, cabbage, onions, strawberries, raspberries, and radishes. So many radishes. Alex pickled radishes last week and we have so many more. We have 13 tomato plants. If all goes well, I’ll be super busy canning tomato sauce this fall.

That was the weekend. Just kind of a chill weekend which I am totally okay with.

Daily Life

Normal Feeling Day

After Evangeline went to sleep late we thought she would sleep in. Nope. Before 5 a.m. she was awake. Noah had come in during the night and he was awake, too. So was I. Alex slept longer. All my kids are late risers- except for today. Everyone was up before 6. Why?!

The babies sat on my lap at 6:30 and fell asleep. So I was stuck for awhile. While I sat I planned my outing. Since I am trying to stay out of the crowds I needed to make the most of my trip so I don’t have to go out again. I planned the menu and shopping list. I decided to go early so I would be home when Alex was. It was a good idea because everyone else started to file into the stores as I was leaving.

I got food for 2 weeks as well as some emergency preparedness stuff since the earthquake made me take stock.

Then I went to the craft store. They have one more week until they close. What a time to go out of business. I was torn between staying home safe and getting a good deal. I chose to get the deal. There is only one case of coronavirus in the town and it is a male college student so I figured all the local old ladies that were there would be safe to be around. Still, I was wary. But let me tell you of the haul I got. 90-95% off. Um, I couldn’t pass it up. In the end I only paid $35 for the cart full and saved $550! That is insane! Tell me that wasn’t worth it. I got picture frames, a blanket and scarves, bolts of fabric and seasonal decor for Saint Patrick’s Day and Easter. The fabric I’ll use for dresses for the little girls and aprons for all of us girls. There were ladies there with bolts and bolts of fabric. I didn’t get that much, just 2. It was on sale but you had to buy the whole bolt. I’m glad I went and got the Christmas fabric the other night when I could get it in just a yard at a time. Bolts of Christmas fabric would be too much for me.

I got home and Michael helped me unload. Then we made two big sandwiches (french bread loaf) for lunch. It’s my favorite. For dinner we had hamburgers. I had planned it for another day and was going to make the buns but we changed our mind and ran to the store. Still out of tp. Ridiculous.

Alex, Evangeline and I were at the store together and we decided to call it our date. We went and got a soda at the drive thru and then parked overlooking the river. It wasn’t much but what are you going to do when you’ve only got 15-20 minutes and pretty much everywhere is closed and you’ve got to go home and make dinner for the kids? We stopped at Redbox and got the movie Abominable and Spiderman Far From Home. And we got a giant bag of theater popcorn to make a fun night of it.

So that was the day. It felt pretty normal for us and that was nice. I decided that Fridays we wouldn’t have school. Just do a four day week. I asked the kids how they were holding up and they said okay except they couldn’t go anywhere. They never go anywhere but school but I realized they miss their friends they hang out with at school everyday. Hopefully it doesn’t last too much longer.

A lady from my church called me to see how I was doing. I told her I was good and asked how she was. She said she’d returned early from a trip to Maine visiting her daughter. There were only 6 people on the plane. It was like having a private jet (but not nearly as nice). Because of the airport in Salt Lake being closed due to earthquake damage her plane had to divert to Jackson Hole. Not bad. She didn’t have far to get home from there.

Anyways, she asked me how my friends were doing and I said they were fine but needed to check in with them. I’d forgotten but then to ight I got a call from one of my friends. She was checking up on me and it was nice to know that someone cares. It reminded me and I texted my friends to see if they were okay and if they needed anything. In my church we are assigned people to minister to. I’m just lucky that they are all my friends. I’m really grateful to be a member of the church. I was thinking about it today and being the extreme introvert that I am I really wouldn’t have any friends if it wasn’t for church. I would never meet anyone. It’s true. I would never have met any of the people I interact with if it weren’t for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Call me weird but I am so very grateful for it. I wouldn’t have met my husband either. We met in church. Haha.

My Grampa called me today. His caretaker had been reading my blog to him. I figured it was a good way for him to keep up with my family. It was good to talk to him.

I’m going to leave off here and go finish the movies with my kids. It’s hard to type with Noah and Gideon on my lap anyways.

Daily Life

Sunday Past

So I didn’t write last night because frankly, I was not in the mood to type a post with one finger on my phone. Most nights I do that but last night I didn’t want to, so I didn’t.

Yesterday was a day like none I have ever experienced. Our leaders made the decision to cancel church meetings worldwide until further notice in an effort to help stem the spread of the virus. This hopefully will help stem the spread of all illnesses- a nice side benefit. We were to have church at home.

I thought about this for a couple days. I talked with Alex about it and decided we have a great opportunity here to set the standard. We decided that we would pick a time that we would start church each week and that we would dress up like we were going to church to preserve the reverence for what we were doing. We planned the hymns, talk, etc. It went well. And Evangeline was fussy just like she would have been at church. After the “meeting” we figured out what was making the baby so fussy. She saw us all getting ready for church and she knew what it meant. She would go to the door ready to leave but we weren’t leaving and she didn’t understand why. So after the meeting we loaded up whatever kids wanted to come, and the dog, and we drove to the church. We had her look and wave bye-bye to the building and we drove back home. It was so funny and cute.

Noah, on the other hand, was the opposite. When I jokingly said we were going to church he got a scowl on his face and vehemently said, “I hate it, my class is boring!” I then told him we were staying home to have class. He was so excited. The weirdo. Needless to say but I will anyways, when we were leaving the house to appease Evangeline I said we’d be back in a few minutes and Noah said. “Okay! Bye!” and waved. He never does that. He loves to come with me.

I will say that the kids, Alex, and I liked having sacrament meeting at home. It was a reverent and more personal experience because it wasn’t all done and ready we just show up kind of thing. We had to prepare every bit of it and it caused us to think more on what it represented, which is our Savior’s sacrifice for us.

The rest of the day was pretty normal. We read some scriptures and caught up on Marco Polo with family. The sister missionaries were scheduled to come to our house for dinner and we had fajitas on the menu. But we made our own tortillas. We found another recipe and Alex made them. We need to add more salt but they tasted pretty much like the take and make ones we get from the store. Never have to buy those again. Unless I am in a hurry and want to. Which we know I will.

My kids are still in school. The Governor of Idaho left it up to the individual school districts to make the decision to close based on what is going on in their area. I was hoping that ours would close just because Lauren and I don’t want to work on the science fair project that is due on Tuesday. I never really had to help the boys and so theirs weren’t a big deal. I would rather work on almost anything else. It’s only because I don’t know how to put all the information on the display board. It need graphs and stuff. I will probably make Alex help her. Graphs and all that stuff are more his jam.

We’ll see. I’ll update later tonight whether we managed to pull it off or not.

Daily Life

More Prep and Saturday Stuff

Well, I went out into the world again today. It was the older boys’ turn to spend time with me. There were no good movies out so I took the boys to Walmart so they could see the craziness for themselves. It was worse than even when the college students come back to start a semester. The produce was all stocked and looked great but I’d estimate the food was down by half or more. I had a few more things to get and now I am done. For reals this time.

(The junk food was still on the shelves.)

Then we went to the local farming store. We have had the same four chickens for at least three years. Chickens live a really long time but don’t lay really good for that whole time. We planned on getting more chickens this year and so I went to see if the chicks were in the store. They had bantam pullets and turkey chicks. Are turkey babies called chicks? Turkeylings? Whatever. I am too squeamish to butcher my own birds (we’ve done it before and it is not pleasant) so I am not raising turkeys. Bantams are small chickens and I need big, hardy birds. I might just order some online. Benjamin was shocked you could order live chickens and have them come in the mail. Yep. You can. That should be an experience.

When we got home we quick cleaned the house and since I didn’t take the boys to the movies I bought a couple $5 movies from the bin at Walmart. Even better. They loved it and spent the snowy rainy afternoon watching both Spongebob movies. I spent the time reading the book Educated by Tara Westover for my book club next week. It is a good book but a hard read due to the subject.

Since going to church has been canceled for the time being (large crowds and all) we have been given the go ahead to have church at home. It should be an interesting experience. It is going to be like this for awhile so we have to set the standard for how it will continue. The kids are asking if they can just wear jammies. Um, no. That is disrespectful. So I’ll let you know how that goes tomorrow.

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.

Daily Life

Another Weekend is Over. It was a Good One.

I was busy, as you’ll read, so you get a weekend post.

Friday:

This morning I got up and after my daily planning and stuff I went to the basement to spend time with my kids. There was a huge stack of boxes sitting by the wood stove. Today is the day, I told myself. Oh my goodness. That cardboard put off a ton of heat. The basement is now toasty warm and I am struggling to get the last boxes burned because the space around the stove is insanely hot! The heat has even made it upstairs. One time I had a friend that said I should recycle the cardboard. I am, I said. I used it to warm my house up to keep my kids warm.

As I was putting my shoes on my dog came and stood in front of me, as usual. I can’t make a move without her being 2 feet away from me at all times. I was thinking that her love language is touch and words of affirmation. Hahaha. Oh, and an update on our limping cat. She isn’t limping anymore but Benjamin found shes had broken a claw on another of her paws. What is this cat doing to get injured? She fine though so no worries there.

After school Alex and Benjamin met Michael at the school to work on the cardboard piano they are making for the play. Benjamin had fun and said he’d go next week to help also.

After they were done we all piled into the van to go to the cousins house but first we needed to get the foot of snow off the roof. I thought it might be a bit dangerous to have it fly off as we drive down the highway. I was going to go to the end of my street (which is a dead end) and have the boys shovel the snow off into the plowed pile. Alex told me to drive and stop fast. That did the trick. Twice. It is a long van and a lot of snow. It’s always fun to watch snow slide off the car onto the windshield.

We then drove to the cousins house for the monthly cousins/family movie night. We had tacos and they were so good. My sister-in-law did a good job planning it. The kids watched the live action Dora movie and the live action Lion King. The adults watched the movie Belle. It was a good movie. Michael was exhausted (teenager) and slept on my shoulder the whole time. Evangeline fell asleep on me, too. I didn’t realize it was as late as it was until we got in the van to go home and it was 10:30! It takes us about 30 minutes to get home so it was a late night. But before we could go home we had to get the van unstuck. We got stuck in the snow. It took 5 people to push the 15 passenger van out of the ice rut the tires had created. I am so over winter.

Saturday:

We slept in! Saturday is the only day we get to. We all got up, made german pancakes, and then cleaned the house. Michael had friends coming over to work on a history project for school and didn’t want to be embarrassed. I don’t blame him!

Alex and I then left for our weekly date. We left the baby asleep and Lauren watching her. Lauren said she woke up after 10 minutes. Not possible. She normally sleeps for hours! Lauren said, “Okay, it could have been an hour, I wasn’t watching the clock.”

Alex and I stopped at the local thrift store. Michael needed a suit jacket for the play and he also needed some longer church pants. We found both! I do have to hem up the pants but they will work.

Then we went out to eat. We decided to try the Mongolian Grill. The first time we went there it was their soft opening. It was crowded and chaotic and the restaurants system was still being worked out. This time it was empty and slow (still early-ish on a Saturday). The food was okay but I won’t be going there again. Not nearly good enough food for the price. The Mongolian Grill in the town where Alex works, though it is a hole in the wall, is so much better.

And, as usual, we had to top the date off with a trip to Walmart to get essentials. Lame, but that is life. We came home, made pizza for dinner and then went to bed early.

Sunday:

I was up early today! Well, early for a Sunday. 5:30. I planned on serving beef stew for lunch for the family gathering we were having. I got it cooking and then we got everyone up and ready for church on time.

Edgar spoke in church about his experience with joining the church and how it has changed his life for the better. He said had he kept hanging out with the friends he had before he joined the church he would be doing the same thing they are which is drugs, drinking, and prayer. He is such a good kid so it is good that he made the good choices he did. I can’t imagine him living a life like he said he would have been.

After church all the cousins and in-laws came over for lunch. There was plenty of food and plenty of dessert. I was a bit upset because the stew wasn’t cooked enough. I’ve made better. It needed more time but everyone was “starving” so whatever, go ahead and eat. Later Alex brought home an assortment of cookies from Edgar’s mission farewell open house that a friend had thrown for him. The cookies along with the cheesecake and brownies from lunch sorely tested my willpower. I didn’t eat any though. I am determined this time to lose all the weight so I can move on to getting something else done. I hit 20 pounds lost on Saturday and I am not going to ruin all that progress for a cookie.

This afternoon as we were just sitting around, Noah came up to me and said, “My nose hurts. I ‘bless-youd’ too hard. I need a bandaid.”  Hahahaha. He kept saying that the rest of the day. I love little kid words.

Before bed we read scriptures and the kids had turned on the google chrome so we cast my phone to the tv and looked at all the old pictures and videos on my phone. That was fun way to spend the evening. We need to do that more often.

Well, that was the weekend in a nutshell. It was a good weekend.