Daily Life


Last night and this morning were stressful. There is a holiday around here where we celebrate our pioneer heritage and some celebrate with fireworks. I didn’t use fireworks and never saw any but we sure heard them. For over two hours. Boom! Boom! Boom! I am half deaf and didn’t know they were going on until later.

After prayer we sent the kids to bed and the dog wasn’t sleeping where she normally does. We’d left her out back to go do her thing. We looked all over inside the house. Called outside. Walked around the neighborhood. Drove around the neighborhood. She was nowhere to be found. I told the kids she’d probably be home by morning.

I was wrong.

I had gotten up several times in the night to check and see if she was outside the front door. She wasn’t. I prayed and worried myself sick. At just before six as the sun was about to peek over the horizon I got up and dressed and got Michael up and had him come with me to drive around and look for our dog. No sign of her. We figured the fireworks scared her away. We always put her in the house during fireworks. This year all the festivities were canceled due to covid so I didn’t think about it.

When we came home from the first drive of looking I put a notice out on Facebook about what happened and a picture. A friend suggested I call the police. I did. They didn’t have her but would let me know if she was brought in.

I was restless and teary the whole morning. I had done all I could. It was a waiting game now. I sat at the table making rolls and Benjamin came up behind me and gave me a hug. He said it would all be okay and that she would be home soon. It was so sweet of him and I really hoped for the kids’ sake that it was true.

A few hours later a friend commented on my post that a woman on another Facebook page had found my dog. Yes! My stomach had been clenched tight for hours and it finally relaxed. The woman called me and we confirmed that it was indeed Skylar, my dog. I kept crying but this time tears of gratitude and happiness. We went and picked up Skylar. The people who found her said they found her in the back corner of their yard just shaking. She had managed to get herself over a mile away through lots of fields to where she ended up. When we got to her and saw her we were so happy. She jumped in the van right away. The kids were petting her and talking to her. Lauren and I were crying. I think the dog was relieved, too. She doesn’t do well when we’re gone and to be lost probably put her over the edge. She stuck closer to me than usual the rest of the day.

The kids think that I don’t like the dog. I really do and I hope they realize it now. She is with me pretty much all day and though I sometimes need a break, I do care about her.

When we got home we said prayers of gratitude. Gratitude that she was returned to us so quickly. Gratitude that she was alive and unharmed. Gratitude for the help of others in finding her.

I really hope she never goes missing again. She will definitely be inside on all firework holidays and days surrounding them from now on.

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.


Ice, Ice. Babies.

My son has anxiety. So bad sometimes it has him curled up on the ground sobbing. He feels things to the extreme. I think that is part of his autism. It’s just him and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s just learning to deal with it that tries my patience.

This morning he came into the kitchen asking if school was cancelled. Nope. He argued that it was cold. Yes. Yes it is. But people can still safely get to school. I ended up driving him to school and telling him that we have to do things that aren’t fun for the rest of our lives. He got out of the van and said he hated me. I said, “Good.” I know he doesn’t mean it. That kid loves me so much. He just hates that I made him go to school.

This past summer we bought a 15 passenger van. An OLD van. 1999. Old for a car anyways. This is a no frills van. Like only has a radio- no CD player bluetooth, nothing. No cruise control. Manual windows. Manual locks. It’s basic. I love that it has vinyl floors and vinyl seats. You know how messy 8 kids can be? I can sweep and mop this whole vehicle. That’s what sold me on it. That and it was in our budget. The A/C doesn’t work but we lived. And I found out this morning that it really hates the cold. Like brakes don’t like to work well in the cold. It’s going to be a go to church once a week vehicle in the winter, if even that. Great.

When I said my windows are old and cold I wasn’t joking. The first two years we lived in the basement of this house while my sister-in-law’s family lived upstairs. (That is a tale for another day.) In the winter we’d have at least 2 inches of ice on the windows. This morning I went in to straighten up my daughters room and opened the curtain for light and found this…

So beautiful! I took these pictures with my cheap phone. I got my camera out and took some good ones. I think I’ll enter one or two into the fair next year.

I managed to keep up with the kitchen today. And I got all the laundry separated into the kids baskets for them to fold and put away. Will they do it? That is yet to be seen.

We got a dump truck load of wood last week. My husband’s cousin, who lives with us, works for a guy who was clearing it off of his land. We got it for free. Well, when they dropped it off we were about to head out so we just cleared the sidewalk off and left with the intention of putting it to rights this week. Edgar, the cousin, is one of those people who doesn’t wait for anything. He has to be busy every second of the day and everything must be done right now. There is nothing wrong with that. I just don’t operate like that. Maybe I do, but I have so much going on in my head I don’t know what to get to first and so I am everywhere or overwhelmed and do nothing. I do think about the best way to do it and get to it eventually. Anyways, last week he stacked all the wood up against the house. Then this week he un-stacked it and split it so he could stack it again. Double the work which is what would have avoided. I was going to leave it in a pile, split it, then stack it. But if that is how he wants to spend his time– twice– then okay. I feel bad he works so hard at my house but Alex said that is how he pays rent. We don’t charge him anything to live here. Just labor when he wants to pitch in. I am grateful for the wood though, especially if this last week is a precursor to how this winter will be. Alex helped out when he got home from work.

I made a possible mistake. In wanting to make an after school snack for my kiddos I made muddy buddies but I was lazy and just threw what I had together. Peanut butter, white chocolate chips, Chex, and powdered sugar. They taste like Reese’s Pieces. I love Reese’s Pieces. I just took a lick. I’m on day 9 of my new eating and so I grabbed a handful of almonds and went to the basement where I wouldn’t be tempted. They ate it all so I didn’t really have to worry about it. Unless I licked the bowl. I didn’t do that.

These past few days I have been thinking that I don’t spend nearly enough time with my kids. I am great with babies. Teenagers I can do because I just talk to them like I would an adult. The kids in the middle is an issue for me. I have forgotten how to play. It is sad. And it is also kind of boring. Sorry, not sorry. I am an idea person. I let them execute it and I watch. So today, in an effort to play with them because I had the three littlest kids glommed onto me and I decided I needed to take advantage of it. I had them all giggling when singing I’m a Little Teapot and John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt while being ridiculous and tickling them. They thought it was hilarious. My favorite sound in the world is little kids giggling.

The other day we had sung Speckled Frogs in the car on the way home trying to keep the baby happy and quiet (it didn’t work) and the song stuck with Noah. Last week when I was shopping for a present for Michael I had Noah in the cart and as I pushed him through the store he was singing Speckled Frogs. It was so cute!

Now they are all playing hide ‘n seek when they should be getting ready for bed. Gideon just found an amazing hiding spot. Now if he could just get into it in time. He’s under the Lego table behind the chair. He’s telling Noah he isn’t ready yet and to keep counting. “You didn’t count to 50 yet, Noah!” I don’t know if the 3 year old can count to 50. I’ve only heard him go to 20. “I’ll tell you when I’m ready! Noah, I’m done!” I don’t think he’ll ever be found. Sam hid under the couch. At least they are creative. As long as no one jumps on the couch with kids hiding in it we should be good. No guarantees.

Kids don’t come with guarantees.