Remodel

Demo Time

This is what we’ve been up to this week. So much work! I spent the week cleaning out all the cupboards and moving back into the basement kitchen and then Friday and Saturday was spent ripping it all apart. The more we tear into the house the more we see how much it needed it. Wood that has seen better days, mismatched paneling, paneling, plastic trim, wood trim, fiberboard trim, moldy subflooring, non-working electrical outlets, burned out outlets, worn out cabinets, mismatched cabinets, and so much more. My son’s friend was over and asked why we were taking it out (before we’d done any demo) and I drew a blank. I couldn’t remember why we were doing this whole thing. Oh yeah, electrical issues. The rest was livable but when some outlets just stopped working we got worried the house would burn down.

As we planned I thought it would be funny to put a plastic skeleton in the walls when we put them back up. I’d leave a note on it but it made me laugh. While we were taking the walls down we actually found skeletons. Mouse skeletons. Lots of them. Ugh. You can guarantee it that I am going to make the walls mouse tight.

Alex and I didn’t do it alone. We gave the kids gloves, chisels, hammers, screwdrivers, and drills and told them to get to work. It was a “fun” family activity. It was good to work together and I hope that they, like me, will be proud of their work and when it is done they can say what parts they did and helped with. Turns out Lauren is lot like me. Give her a task and she will keep going until it is done. Alex had to tell us we needed to stop to go and eat.

I am going to call the electrician on Monday and get the electricity all fixed so the walls can go back up in the next week or so because it is difficult to live in a construction zone with exposed studs, insulation and wiring.

One thing that came to mind as Michael and I were dismantling a 70’s decorative fixture is that trends and decorative fashion doesn’t last forever. It was a big pain to remove. Luckily it was just nailed in (with 100 giant thick decorative nails). I look at the farmhouse shiplap walls that are so in style right now and I cringe. I love the way they look, don’t get me wrong, but I can see how big of a pain it will be to remove years down the road when it is no longer the style and everyone tries to remove the glued on boards. I guess everything is like that. Styles come and go and eventually stuff wears out and needs to be replaced. But I would rather just change paint color and curtains than rip off shiplap and wallpaper. Just sayin’.

We’ll see how long the style I pick holds up.

Daily Life

It’s Been a Couple Days With A Lot of (Little) Miracles

I’ve said this before and I will say it again (and again)- if you look for them, miracles happen all the time.

Earlier this week Michael said that he needed $10 so he could go out and eat lunch with his friend. I gave him a pickax and a spot of ground and he got to work digging. It was a patch of weeds that I wanted to plant grass in- grass os easier to take care of than controlling weeds. It took him a couple hours over a few days. He gained $10 and some muscles to boot. We all won.

I spent several hours weeding this patch of dirt. Two 5-gallom buckets full of weeds and rocks were pulled out of this patch. My plan was to get it prepped to plant grass seed. It would be a weeks long process growing grass from seed. Then one night I was done working on the yard when I checked my Facebook feed. A man in my church had posted that he had extra sod from a project. Free to whomever got there first. I grabbed two of the kids and we jumped into the van and headed over. It was still there. Over 60 square feet of sod. It really was a blessing. Saved me so much time. A miracle because it showed up right when I could use it.

I still have some work to do on it but that work was cut down significantly.

Next miracle. I have wanted some nightstands to match my dresser I got last year. I finally had the money saved up and I was planning on buying them and picking them up this weekend. I just couldn’t make it feel right. I tried and tried and tried. It just felt wrong. I kept trying to make it feel right because I wanted them and I couldn’t see a logical reason to not get them. But I finally gave into the feeling and like a petulant child said to Heavenly Father “Fine, I’ll do it your way though I don’t understand why.”

(As a quick aside, the store, IKEA, is in Salt Lake City, hours from my house and shipping is ridiculous but I would be nearby when visiting my family over the weekend so picking them up wouldn’t be a big deal.)

When I got home Saturday night I finally checked the news. Rioting and vehicles set on fire in Salt Lake City last night. I might have or might not have been in the area when all the chaos broke out. I’m sure I wouldn’t have been in harm’s way but I am grateful that I was able to avoid all of it.

Another miracle happened on the way home. As we left my parents house the weather that had been hot and pleasant all day turned into thunderstorms. About halfway home in the fading light and the worst part of the drive for it to happen, the storms let loose. I have a hard time seeing the road at dusk and the rain didn’t help. The winds picked up and I was having a hard time keeping the van driving straight as the big gusts would push the van violently. I told the kids to pray. I was praying and putting all my concentration into keeping us from crashing. There was literally nowhere to pull over and wait it out as we were in a canyon. It seemed as though as soon as the prayers were uttered the windshield wipers worked better, the headlights seemed brighter, the winds let up, the rain let up and I was able to see where we were going. Lauren said she noticed it too as she prayed. It was scary. The rest of the drive was still rainey, some parts a heavy downpour, but I was able to see well enough without panicking. The lighting flashing around us was amazing and we were able to enjoy the rest of the ride.

There were more, too, as I sit here thinking about it and though they seem small and possibly insignificant and some people would explain them away as mere coincidences or imagined threats, I choose to see them for what they are- God’s hand in my life, evidence that he cares for us and that he cares about the little things- the details. All we have to do is look.

Daily Life, Thoughts

The Days Go By

The day started out okay. Up early and got my walk in. I was thinking about stuff and such, planning things. One thing I was looking forward to just felt wrong. I couldn’t make it feel right even with a bunch of justification. The Spirit was telling me no.

Fine. I gave in, a little petulantly. It threw off my mood and I headed into a bit of depression. It is so silly. I still have a lot of things I need to do today and all I could seem to do was sit there in my doldrums. What I really wanted to do was just go window shopping: Home Depot, Kohl’s, TJMaxx. Not really buy anything. I think I need a change of scene. It is one of the drawbacks of country living- everything is a drive away. I saw a meme that said, “Now I understand why Laura Ingalls was so excited to go to town with Pa.” For real.

The gas line in my neighborhood is being replaced/repaired and they had to dig up the road. It was fun to watch. The little kids and I sat on the front steps eating popsicles and watching the trucks and tractors and such do their thing. It was nerve wracking as well because trying to keep the kids from getting in the way was not something I thought id have to do. Sit on the steps, stay out of the way. Not hard, right? Wrong. Eventually the hubbub had moved down the street a ways and I was able to convince the kids to come in so they wouldn’t be run over or sunburned.

Michael asked for $10 to go out with his friends on Friday. I told him he could earn it. He reluctantly agreed. He went and got the pickax as instructed and I had him tear up a section of the yard that was very uneven, choked with weeds and very ugly. He did a good half an hour before blisters started to form and his back started hurting. Hard to go from video games building virtual worlds to building stuff in reality. He said he’d finish the next day. He’ll use gloves this time and work on his form. The plan is to pull the weeds now that the dirt is turned over and then sift out the rocks, level it and plant grass. There are two more spots of similar size I have plans to do the same thing to.

While Michael was digging I was weeding in the garden. I pulled a bunch of morning glory out of the strawberry patch and discovered a sprout of peppermint plant. I had dug the main plant out years ago and put it out front. This straggler had survived. I carefully dug it out and put it in a pot. My friend had said she wanted a peppermint plant last year. So I saved it for her and asked if she wanted some strawberry and raspberry plants. They all grow like weeds sending shoots and runners all over. Raspberries are coming up in the middle of my yard and the strawberries are in the walkway. My friend and her husband came over last night and we dug up all the rogue plants and they took them home. It’s a good cycle. I got berry starts from one friend and passed some on to another.

After a late dinner (we had to visit with our friends for awhile) I made the kids clean the house. Yes, it was late. Did I care? Nope. If they are going to sit all day then they can work at night.

I was telling Alex that I am doing this parenting thing- I was going to say wrong, but that’s not true, more like not how I want to. I want a certain outcome but the things I am doing aren’t going to get me to that goal. Know what I mean? I don’t think a clean house is the be all end all but i focus on it because it is tied in with work and responsibility (and I can’t think in a messy house). I told the boys that it seemed to me that life was the opposite of what you would think: the harder you work the easier life is not the opposite which is the less you work the easier it is. I don’t think they believe me. Who wants to work harder?

So I am trying to find a balance. I have never been very disciplined or consistent and that has been a problem. In fact it is the problem. I’m working on getting better at saying no and having the kids get work done first then play later but it is an uphill battle. But I can always try again tomorrow. Though the tomorrows are running out. My oldest has only 4 more years at home then they all start leaving. Have I taught them enough? Will they do okay? Will they succeed? This parenting thing- tough.

Well, I guess I better stop writing about it for now and get up and do something about it.

Daily Life

Yesterday

A business on Facebook was doing a giveaway and asked the question what is you least favorite thing to clean. I had to think hard. I do like to clean. Honestly. I love seeing things go from dusty to shiny. I have collected hints and tried tricks and all that in an effort to do it better and faster. I did decide on bathrooms though. I think it is the awkwardness of the space. And having boys. That’s just gross sometimes.

I found this Instagrammer the other day who cleans for a living. (I would consider doing that in the future when my kids are all in school.) She has tutorials and the like and I love watching the cleaning videos. I learned a ton. If you are interested look her up. She’s on gocleanco. I tried a couple of the things last night. Wow! Game changer! I felt slightly stupid for not knowing some of the stuff before and rolled my eyes at myself. But now I can teach my kids and they will be that much better off.

The thing that got me interested in her was laundry stripping. I stripped a load of laundry last night. I didn’t do it for the full length of time but it still worked. Stripping laundry means taking perfectly clean clothes and stripping the residue and hard water deposits and everyday oils and junk off them. It works and it is disgusting. Even if you think your clothes are clean you should try it, they probably aren’t.

Anyways, I spent yesterday studying budgeting and cleaning. Literally watching videos and taking notes. Homemaking school if you will. This I did in between taking kids to the dentist, helping with schoolwork and grocery shopping, picking up vehicles from the mechanic, and general everyday life with kids. Anything that will make my life run smoother I am all over.

I love that we have a world’s worth of knowledge in our pocket. There really is no reason to not know something. Have a question? Look it up. Growing up if we had a question the only options were to ask an adult and hope they knew (it was hit and miss) or go to the library (which was again hit and miss and so much work).

By the way, yesterday Sam finished school. He buckled down and did all the work and we turned it in. Yay! Only four more kids to go.

And the van I picked up from the mechanic? The air conditioner works, the blowers in the back work! When we go to see family in a couple weeks the kids won’t be sweating in the back and I won’t be windblown and none of us will get out with sweat dripping down and staining the back of our shirts. That was last summer and it was awful. We thought it would be a several thousand dollar repair so we just dealt with the heat. I couldn’t do it again. It was about $300. Um, kick myself much? Sometimes it is better to know reality that to guess. But we got a feel for what it was like pre-air conditioner and that was a pretty bad place to be.

Today we can hopefully check off a few more subject and a few more kids can be done with school. I hope because I know I am not the only parent on the brink of insanity.

Daily Life

Monday and Tuesday

I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times: I am not good at this school from home thing. Rumors are that school in the fall will be a continuation of the same. Please no.

Both days I spent hours upon hours working with each child individually. One subject at a time we finished all their work for the year. We are almost done. A few more subjects, a few more tears, a few more threats, a few more meltdowns. That’s all. We can handle it. Right? We have to. My sister told her kids that summer school will be open so they better get their work done so they don’t have to go. We are all getting desperate.

On Monday I had a bunch of energy. I even managed to get the kids to help me weed the dandelions from the front yard. We got several buckets filled. We have about a fifth of the front yard to go. They didn’t mind the work for the most part.

We stayed busy all both monday and Tuesday with school, weeding, cleaning and of course the kids played. I am tired at the end of the day. It is a good thing.

So I have to laugh. My neighbors are all retired and apparently keeping tabs on what’s going on is what they like to do. Saturday Alex and I went on a morning walk and we were stopped by one neighbor who was looking at another neighbor’s yard. A sprinkling system was being put in and he had no qualms about inspecting it. As he finished showing us the spectacle he said we better get to our two mile walk. Shows how close he watches, I usually only walk a mile. Haha.

Then yesterday as I was weeding another neighbor came over to talk. We talked about weeds but then before he left he asked how far I walk every morning. I told him as much as I have time for. See, nothing gets past these people but it can be a good thing. Nothing gets by them so I get the extra eyes on my house and kids.

Tonight though we had a bit of a tragedy with the chicks. Turns out the big chickens are bullies of the worst kind. We had a chick die. Lauren discovered it and it was hers that died. Poor thing. There were tears shed. It is unfortunate. Alex spent two hours building a separate yard and shelter for the little chicks to stay in until they can better defend themselves- get bigger. It is upsetting to put time effort and money into something only to have it die. I feel bad every time we lose one.

Today Lauren made a toy for the cats. That’s all well and good but she insisted the cat be in her room while she made it. I told her it was a bad idea but let her make her own choices. She is allergic to cats; most animals, actually. She paid for it tonight. Itchy eyes and all that comes with it. Now we have to wash everything in her room tomorrow. I don’t think she’ll make that choice again.

Tomorrow I have to take Elizabeth to the dentist. She’s been worried and crying all week. We’ll see how she does. I’ll give an update tomorrow. Until then though, I’ve got to get some sleep.

Daily Life, Dating My Sweetheart

Tuesday

Tuesday was a good day. Monday had been a struggle in the fact that the house was a disaster. I told myself I would keep this blog real and this is real. I had been meaning to get the kitchen/ dining room portion of the basement cleaned for days. We’d cleaned the carpeted/living area daily but beyond the couch the kids didn’t recognize as being part of the basement. They didn’t consider their rooms to be part of it, truth be known. It had gotten bad and one reason or another it had slipped off the to do list. Out of sight out of mind. I’d walk by and say that I’d get to it in a minute and then get distracted by something. My ADD (I swear I have it) would pull me in a million different directions but not to that one thing. Moldy bowls of food were hiding out of sight, sticky spills on the floor and table, pudding splattered on the counters, garbage that didn’t make it to the can. It was looking like a mild case of hoarders. I hadn’t gone into that room, just walked by on my way to do other stuff. I knew I needed to get to it.

I got up and went for a walk. I took the time to pray and I asked for help because I needed help focusing. Sometimes I can focus with laser ability but most of the time I’m like a pinball bouncing around without any clue which direction I’m going to go next. I prayed to be able to find solutions and for help to get done what I needed to get done. As I was praying, I could see in my mind’s eye exactly what needed to be done and in what order and even how to do it. Little miracles. I got everything done that I was needing to do. The kids helped and the mess was cleaned really fast. They even cleaned their rooms quickly. I was shocked because we’d been nagging them for weeks to clean their rooms all the way.

One of the things that I saw to do was a school schedule and a chore chart. I have a couple charts of things the kids need to do and they are fairly good at getting them done but they needed a little more direction. I’ll implement it today and see if I can get the ball rolling.

(It’s true.)

I’ll tell you about another miracle. This is a big one and it is not mine. My sister-in-law moved to be closer to her work this past week. She moved into a rental and cleaned out her house to rent or sell. It is a large townhouse, newer, and thus it isn’t cheap. The economy going down wasn’t going to help matters. She asked for her family to pray that it would sell because she needed it sold this week. We all prayed and y’all, it sold. In less than a week. She signed the papers tonight. An investor happened to be in town today looking for property and bought it right there and then for asking price! God answers some prayers really fast!

Alex and I went on a date tonight. We needed an outing. I told him I wanted a date that didn’t include Walmart. We went and got Taco Time and the guy taking our order didn’t hear half our order. Oh well, we didn’t need it anyways. We drove to a local park and the place was packed! It is a college town and it was all room mates and newlyweds all over. The whole town looks like nothing has changed except you have to do take-out for everything. Social distancing at its finest. Not.

We sat and people watched while we ate in our car. One guy had a gun in the back of his pants. We thought it was a bit odd. Did he really need protection while playing lacrosse with his girlfriend?

The date idea Alex came up with was to find properties for sale that had at least an acre of land and go see them. There were quite a few but only one I would have bought because the view is what I’ve been wanting since I moved here. A view of the Teton mountains. Look it up and tell me you wouldn’t want that outside your window. It was a fun date. We talked and dreamed and didn’t go grocery shopping. And dinner was only $15. Not bad. It is so nice having kids who are old enough to babysit so we can go on a date whenever we need to.

That was pretty much it. Bring on the next day.

Daily Life

Trying to Get Back on Track

Ugh. The health saga continues. Why are (most) humans so short sighted? I threw myself off the strict health wagon awhile back. I have maintained within 5 lbs. It is frustrating to fail all the time. But I decided that I need to just get back to it.

My baby is a good sleeper now and that means I can go for walks before my kids wake up. I checked the temperature this morning and even though I am a complete wimp when it comes to cold I braved the 36° F temperature outside this morning. It was above freezing so I figured I’d just do it. I got 1.25-ish miles in. Later in the afternoon I needed a break from sitting and encouraging kids to do schoolwork so I took the dog and went for another walk. If I do that a couple times a day then I should make progress. Just need to be serious and say no to sugar.

It was whine fest at my house today. Most of the kids were just crying and whining all day and I was ready to lose it. I had to quickly correct two of them. One (3 year old) was just being rude and I told him so and he learned to say “please” again today. Another thought he could raise his voice to me. Nope, you don’t get to do that. Another one actually had to be told that as well but his voice didn’t get nearly as loud but he still needed a course correction. The first child got the hint and wrote an apology note to me. His second one of the week. He said he was stressed. Yeah, kid, aren’t we all.

Speaking of stress, I was going to make cookies because I was stressed and thought I would just eat healthy when school was done and the stress was gone. But I realized that it really is never gone. There is always something going on just at varying levels. We can’t always be in survival mode- we just have to learn how to live with the curve balls. Expect the unexpected. Learn how to cope in a healthy way. Eating junk food really just exacerbates the problems anyways. Will I screw that up again? Yep. Will I try to do better? Yep. That’s life.

Lauren, after having a rough few minutes tonight, wrote me a note. It said that she was sorry (she’d spilled nail polish remover on her bed) and that she hates herself right now. On the back of the note she wrote “I have so many regrets.” I giggled at the dramatics. I wrote back that I love her and she needs to not be so hard on herself. Mistakes happen. Get up, dust yourself off and move on. She then asked why life is so hard. (I am so grateful that her hard isn’t actually hard.) I told her it is so we can learn and grow. She’s always been so hard on herself and trying to teach her to be kind to herself has been a tough row to hoe.

I did have the kids clean up the house quickly before bed. I realized that I want then to love waking up to a clean house. We’ll see how that actually goes. I was working with the older boys trying to get them to understand that just because an assignment isn’t due yet that they could very it done now and not wait, or break it down into daily manageable tasks so they aren’t doing it all the night or hour before. We’ll see if they get the hint.

That was pretty much the day. Nothing really exciting- thankfully.

Daily Life

Moving and Immobilized

As a mom I tend to be too soft with my kids. Not that it is a bad thing. I am more like Nemo’s dad. “You think you can do these things Nemo but you can’t.” This weekend the plan was to move all the beds and stuff to the basement. These are bunk beds that we have apart so it’s just a bed frame. They are ridiculous to move. It’s better to take them apart. I wanted Alex to do it. I took the girls out for the afternoon and when I came home the boys wanted to show me something. They had taken the beds apart and moved them by themselves. The 9 and 7 years old. They took the bunk beds apart and put them back together. Say what?!! I am way to easy on these kids. I need to give them more and harder tasks. I’ve underestimated their abilities. Alex, on the other hand does not. We balance each other out, I guess.

Update on Michael’s broken finger. The doctor said that we could get surgery on it if we wanted to make it look better but it wasn’t necessary. The doctor showed us his finger. He’d done the same thing years ago to his finger. Mallet finger, he called it. Michael just has to wear a splint to hold his finger hyperextended for the next 6 weeks. Uncomfortable. It will always look a little bumped, because it will be, but he’s a guy, they always have scars and such all over. Michael is fine with it.

I did end up cleaning out the boys old room so I can start prep for popcorn ceiling removal wall paint. I just realized I will have to texture the ceiling as well. Alex came home and was looking at the carpet. It is nasty. I had it cleaned last year or so and it didn’t make any difference in the look. It is so old and stained. He said we should just rip it out. I said we should replace it. He said no, just rip it out and have the wood. Maybe paint it, I said. By the way, I will not buy a fixer upper again. All the rooms in this house have a different carpet. Slowly we’ve changed several rooms and put in the same flooring but we still have so far to go.

Tonight for Family Home Evening we were actually prepared. Last night we made assignments. The ones that were in the room on time got first dibs. So tonight it went pretty smoothly. We had the song and prayer then Alex did the lesson on faith. It was delayed for a few minutes because Noah started the lesson and was so cute answering questions the kids asked him. It was all good and everyone participated. Michael had the activity which he chose hide-and-seek because he was feeling tired and planned on just sitting there. Backfired. The kids said they wouldn’t play if he didn’t. They played three rounds and then we had ice cream cones.

Of course at the very end of the day I had to go to the store because a couple kids remembered they needed stuff for school projects. I think school projects should be banned. It’s too cold and dark at night. Mostly too cold. I doing like leaving my warm house unless I really need to. Not even then.

I’m going to have to do so much tomorrow. I have to get the boys’ room all set up and organized. I tried to let them do it but they have no idea what they are doing. That on top of the usual chores. Sounds like loads of fun, huh.

Daily Life

Kids Don’t Know What They Want

Well, the yogurt worked! Just another thing to add to my to do list. It really was less than 10 minutes active work and it costs way less. Probably healthier too because it doesn’t have any additives. The carigeenan that is added to a lot of food (comes from red seaweed and is used to thicken foods) is okay I guess. My sister is allergic to it. So since I dont have that, my yogurt is not thick like the stores, but it is going in a smoothie so it really doesn’t have to be. Btw, the smoothie I made with it (frozen banana, frozen blueberry/raspberry/strawberry mix, pineapple juice, and plain yogurt) was the best I have ever tasted. I licked the spoon. It might have been more incredible because I haven eaten anything sweetened in over 2 weeks. You decide.

Lauren gave me her science fair project work packet this morning and ashe asked what she should do her science project on. I told her I’d think about it, I couldn’t come up with something that fast. Then I immediately said yogurt. Haha. She said what? Then she stryed to ask how it works. I told her that it would be a fun thing for her to find out, so that is her science project now.

I couldn’t get the Roku (internet issues) or the dvd player to work today and after listening to two kids fight for a few minutes I took all electronics from them. I then got to listen to uncontrollable sobs for 10 minutes. Then they went on to play something else. Fickle children.

The little kids had fun playing and oddly enough made just as big of a mess with or without the electronics available. I don’t understand that at all. But they wanted to watch a movie later and I told them if they cleaned the room up I’d put the movie on. Noah asked me to put music on so they could clean to it. I turned on Ed Sheeran’s song Nancy Mulligan and Noah happily proclaimed, this is my favorite song!” They got the room cleaned but there was also a lot of dancing.

Later after dinner the boys were off to their youth activities and when they we done there were texts going about and I had no idea which texts were for which group and I found out the are two Michaels and I was in the wrong location and my other son called and asked for a ride home when I got the head gown a ride from someone else. Driving all over the neighborhood for nothing. Ridiculous.

Tonight was day 2 of the “15 minutes with Mom.” I had fun but at the end the kid was sad because he hadn’t known what he wanted to do so he felt cheated. Smh. They’ll get the hang of it soon. I’ll just have to keep at it.

I’ll try it all again tomorrow.

Uncategorized

Parenting and Trying to Get on a Plan

The last couple days have been an interesting shift. Benjamin has somewhat of a mercurial nature. Somewhat, who am I kidding- he is very mercurial. I’m guessing part of it has to do with being on the autism spectrum. What does that even mean? He is just him and just like everyone does life the best he can.At scripture time every night he is a reluctant participant. The last few days though he asks if he can read the whole chapter where normally we have to beg and threaten (with stuff like no video games). He’s been asking to spend time with me- he made cookies the other night and wanted me to stay in the kitchen with him because he didn’t want to cook alone. Boy I know how that feels.He came home from school the other day and I asked how the day went. “They had an assembly. What a waste of my time.” Welcome to school buddy. I think he’s more like me than either of us will admit.I look at my kids and they are all so different. None of them are a carbon copy of me or Alex but they all have a collection of traits and character quirks that are like us. Benjamin gets his eye-rolling impatience from me but I’m better at hiding it. Lauren gets her emotional mess from me but amplified and I’ve learned to control it better. They all get their artistic abilities from both Alex and I. I could go on and on but I’ll spare you.I have to remember when I deal with my children that they are just beginning. They haven’t been tempered by time and experience. I expect them to be able to deal with situations the way someone would who has had experience but they aren’t capable of that yet.Those were my thoughts this morning. I managed to sleep in and have a lazy-ish morning.We got up eventually and after getting ready for the day we made “breakfast”. It was eleven by the time we sat down to eat. Eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Something for everyone. Lauren picked the bacon ot off her eggs (what’s wrong with her!) And Elizabeth was so busy eating pranks she didn’t get any eggs. I told her I’d make her one. I turned the stove on and turned around and she had disappeared. I didn’t make an egg for her because she forgot about it. Alex and I left to go grocery shopping and I remembered that it was Saturday. Saturday at Walmart is madness! We survived and got more than we should have but it will all get eaten. It always does.It felt so warm outside today. We could almost imagine spring. It was 38°. Heat wave! The snow was melting so I took the opportunity to shovel the remaining chunks and tracks of snow off the driveway. I roped the boys into it and Edgar pitched in as well. Its supposed to snow several inches tomorrow (we’ll see about that) so the driveway is ready to be shoveled, again.I spent the rest of the day reading, cleaning, and taking care of baby.(Here she is reading while I type this.)I also bought a new dot journal notebook for this year’s planner and I spend an inordinate amount of time drawing out what I hope will work. If I can get it functioning the way I want then I’ll have Alex help me make it on the computer and then I can get it printed so I won’t have to draw it anymore. But the drawing is pretty relaxing. I listened to some information on the chapters of scripture I studied this week as I was drawing the planner and supervising the kids as they got cleaned up for the night. Multitasking folks. Actually, I was tired of everything else and the thought of actively watching the kids just sounded so boring. I had to do something else. They had fun doing what kids do so it was a win win.Now I’m exhausted and can hardly keep my eyes open and I’ve got to get up early. So goodnight.