Daily Life

Summer “Camp” and County Fairs

This summer has been busy. And weird. I don’t need to explain that part. Everyone’s summer is weird this year.

On Sunday I took my kids to my parents’ house. It is kind of an annual tradition that they spend a week there every summer. I am sure it wears my parents out but they get to know their grandchildren better. We only live a couple hours away but we only see eachother a couple times a year. It would be nice to live closer but it is what it is. Maybe we’ll move someday.

While the kids have been having summer camp at the grandparents- swimming, doing crafts and playing with cousins- Evangeline (who is too young to go away for that long) and I have been keeping busy. The morning after the kids had gone I looked at the house and saw what a disaster it was. Such a big disaster. I’ve been chipping away at the mess for hours each day and I am almost done with the laundry. Hahaha. But the silver lining is that the vacuum lines stayed on the carpet for a couple days. That has never happened.

The day before I dropped the kids off we all gathered our projects and took them to the county fair. As I mentioned before, the house was a disaster and Gideon couldn’t find his painting. He grabbed a piece of paper and on the way drew a picture and we turned that in. It was pretty good. Alex and I have spent the last three nights going over to the fair and checking out all the entries. It is a small county fair and everyone gets a ribbon. It is so fun to see all the projects and art. This year was the second time that I had entered anything in and it was a good year. But what Alex and I are pretty proud of is our cabbages.

This year we planted a lot of cabbages. Two rows because we eat a lot of cabbage. It is so good! This year a few of our cabbages took off. They were giant. (We think the chicken poop fertilizer did the trick.) I measured the vegetables and we had three that were 28 inches around. We needed to turn in two

The ones on the right are your regular size cabbage. Good stuff. I just thought I’d show the comparison. A big one feeds my family for two or three meals.

I am just a bit excited because we won the grand prize!

I was really excited for the kids, too. They all won ribbons and Michael placed second in his category and Lauren got first in hers.

It has been a fun experience and I think the kids will probably put more effort and time into more projects this coming year for the next fair since there are no limits to how many entries one can do.

This morning before wrote this I realize that school is on the horizon and I am not ready! All my Arizona friends started this week online and it made me realize I need to get with it.

But I’ll leave that for another day. It is still summer here and I want to enjoy it.

Daily Life, Remodel

Things are Starting

The last few days I got serious about the house project. All the papers were done and appraisal was good and done so there is only waiting for the bank’s process to get finished.

Since it was inevitable I got a move on and started taking stuff from the upstairs kitchen to the basement kitchenette. Let me tell you, it won’t all fit. When cooking is a big part of my job (as a parent) and baking is a hobby I tend to collect a lot of tools.

Yesterday Alex moved the basement oven up to the garage and the upstairs oven to the basement. The oven we took to the garage was a “vintage” oven from the 70’s. The oven stopped working and finding parts for it is detective work I don’t think is worth it to me. I’ll sell it to someone who wouldn’t mind the work.

When I went to plug the oven in to make rice krispie treats the kids have been begging for I realized that the oven plug didn’t match the outlet. Great. First thing this morning I got the tools out and looked up how to switch the plugs on YouTube. I got it figured out and did it! The stove works!

I also weeded the front flower garden. I needed to fertilize it and I wasn’t about to fertilize the weeds. That is the last thing I need is more weeds. This spring when my tulips came up they were pretty but I didn’t like how they were planted so I dug all the bulbs up this morning so I can replant them this fall in a different arrangement.

Then it was back to the house project. I think moving would be less work. I made lots of trips up and down the stairs and had to find a new home for all the stuff. Alex came home and he was so good and got right to work pulling the cabinets off the upstairs kitchen wall and putting them in the basement kitchen. I was wondering where I was going to put all the stuff because there weren’t any upper cabinets in the basement. Alex saved the day and we reused the old stuff.

I did take a break in the middle of the day. Gideon and Sam had coupons for free sundaes from McDonald’s and we finally went and used them. I needed a few things for the “new” kitchen anyways so we made a quick trip for ice cream cones. It was a fun time with the kids. On the way home Michael and Benjamin spent the entire ride home trying to figure out the chemical sign meant that was on the outside of Walmart. It made me laugh how much they wanted to know and how they went about searching for it on the phone.

I need to finish the kitchen and fridge tomorrow and hopefully move on to the laundry room and bathroom. And I need to see about getting a permit. That is an ordeal I will write about tomorrow. For now I am exhausted and need to get to sleep.

Daily Life, Dating My Sweetheart

Saturday Stuff

Alex and I try to make it a point to go on a weekly date now that the kids can all be left at home. For years and years the only date we could manage was a movie for us after the kids were asleep.

Yesterday we told the kids we were going on a date. They cheered. I think they just didn’t want to do anything and if we are gone they can play with wild abandon. Fine.

We always end up running errands on dates (we usually do lunch dates) and this time was no exception. Before the errands we decided to just get Subway sandwiches and as we were walking in to get them three airplanes flew overhead. It looked like they were practicing dogfighting. Alex loves watching that so we thought we’d head over to the airport to watch. We changed our mind and thought maybe we could see them from the park.

We got to the park and there was a lot going on there. A food size crowd of men and boys were gathered to LARP (live action role play). Oh good! Dinner and a show. Haha. Imagine an incredibly cheap version of Medieval Times. Alex and I sat and watched the battle. It looked a little unorganized but they were having such fun. They had their swords, mace, arrows, sticks, and shields. Most weapons made from wood and pool noodles for safety. Some had on kilts, some arrayed in metal armor and some just in tshirts and basketball shorts. They would divide themselves into groups and the battle cry would split the air and they would charge.

I think I’ve watched more fights than they have because I am pretty sure you aren’t supposed to turn your back to your opponent and run. And way to many people were hit in the back. Only a coward would get a man in the back. Luckily though they had a resident magician that could heal all the injured and dead.

Once a warrior’s toddler ran onto the field and the mom had to quickly scoop him up out of harm’s way.

It was fun to watch. I am not into LARPing but I could see how it could be fun. They were enjoying it. Plus we got free entertainment out of the deal. We never heard the planes fly over again so the park turned out to be a better choice than the airport.

When we got home we took the kids to an activity at the park. An ice cream social. They ate their ice cream and played with a few of their friends. (For those worried about covid, we are lucky. There have only been a couple cases in our area and that was months ago.) It was nice to be able to visit and catch up after months of not seeing friends.

When we got home the kids immediately asked to go swimming. The water is still cold but the kids have fun anyways. The weather is taking a cold and wet turn for the next few days so they might as well take advantage of the warm days. A storm system moved in a few hours later and we went to sleep with lightning dancing about and thunder rattling the house. I watching lightning storms so I get disappointed when they happen at night when I’m tired and can’t keep my eyes open enough to watch them.

It was a good fairly productive day. There’s always going to be more work to do. I sat on the front steps after the swimming and was holding Evangeline when Noah came up and asked what I was doing. I said I was just enjoying the day. “Because it is gorgeous outside?” Yes, because it is gorgeous outside. I told him he made it all even better.

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

Our Current Reality and Regular Life

It is an interesting time we live in. I’m not panicking, just trying to figure everything out. No one knows what the future will bring. My mom said she feels like it is 9/11 all over again and that she’s having trouble grasping the situation. Me, too. I remember that day and those following. It was like being in a fog. Just shocked. This, though, is different. Nothing has really happened in our country. It feels like we are toddlers overreacting to some imagined fear. Only it isn’t imagined. We are reacting with fear to a possibility. We are reacting instinctively and going into survival mode. Hunting at Walmart, my mom said.

Growing up I was always taught to have a supply of food and necessities on hand. A month or a year- whatever you could afford and store. It always looked extreme to those who weren’t taught that. Our church leaders taught it for years. I tried to do the best I could, I think. I usually had enough on hand to last for a month or so. The parable of the ten virgins comes to mind.

Yesterday I asked Alex to go to the store down where he works and see if supplies were low there. There is still food on the shelves, so I am not worried, but I needed my usual groceries and some stuff to supplement my storage. We were in luck. He was able to get everything on my list. When people are saying there is nothing on the shelves the only thing that was really out that I seen is toilet paper, cleaning supplies and soap/sanitizer. The stores aren’t empty yet. No one has gotten desperate enough. If there isn’t exactly what they want then they just do without. It will be in stock later. We haven’t reached desperation stage yet and I hope we never do.

We did do normal stuff yesterday. It was beautiful weather and so the little kids and I went outside to sit and play in the sun. There is still a lot of snow on the ground here and it is frustrating but it is what it is. It was marvelous to be outside and not freezing. The kids rode their bikes around the block and had fun together.

After school my kids went to their friend’s house. I have been friends with the girl’s mom since before she was born. We were pregnant at the same time and had our babies two days apart. I normally would have just gone to pick them up real quick and headed to the store to get the salad stuff I needed for the family get together last night but I had a feeling to change the order of my errands. I went to the store and then headed to my friends. The kids were being loud and after knocking several times I let myself in. I hope she doesn’t minds. I would be fine if she did the same. I found her in the kitchen and there were kids everywhere. My kids. Haha. Okay, just three of mine and two of hers. And a kitchen full of dirty dishes. She has been sick lately and her one year old daughter has been clingy and that makes for a really hard time getting things done. I know because I am in that situation pretty much every single day. I told her that we are doing dishes, that I am washing her dishes, right now. The usual, “oh, don’t worry about it, I got it,” excuses every single woman lies about every time someone offers to help came spilling out. I have learned that you ignore it and roll your sleeves up and get to work. This is true in all cases. People have done it to me and it has been a life saver. We got it done quickly and then I had to leave.

I don’t write this experience to toot my own horn. Far from it. God gave me the opportunity to help so he gets the credit. I felt the prompting from the Spirit to alter my schedule. Alex was home holding my sleeping baby so I could help my friend without worrying about taking care of my kids. I heeded the prompting to insist and ignore the excuses. I am so grateful that I was able to have the chance to help someone after all the times others have helped me. I always feel guilty, as I am sure most women do, that we are indebted to someone when they render service to us. I don’t think that feeling ever goes away. But when we are able to help someone and get that warm fuzzy feeling, for lack of a better term, we feel like we paid a small fraction of that debt, paid it forward in a sense. I am grateful that I had to opportunity to set an example for my children. Lauren was able to watch the baby so we could get more done.  I don’t take the opportunity to help as much as I should because I am busy worrying about my family and life so I am grateful when something comes up that I can do.

That experience yesterday was in stark contrast to my attitude later that night, I am afraid. I am human and I am still learning. I have so, so much left to learn. We went to a family function that night and I didn’t handle it well. I don’t know how to handle it, actually. I can’t give any details and it most likely isn’t what you think. I have figured that it is my trial and I don’t know how to overcome it. I have been dealing with it for years and years and I am still reacting the same way and it isn’t good. It is mostly an attitude that I need to correct but it is so hard!

I won’t end on such a sour note. Last night as we were driving home the kids in the back of the van started to sing The Rattlin’ Bog. It is a fun song and pretty soon we all joined in. For years we didn’t have a radio in our car (the speakers blew out owing to an unfortunate incident) and so we’ve had to make our own music, so to speak. The van we have now has a radio and speakers that work but I rarely turn it on because I am used to not having it. It was a half an hour drive home and we came up with all the old songs and taught the kids a couple new ones. Just the little kid songs like BINGO, The Ants Go Marching, This Old Man, etc. We all had fun singing and then as we entered town I told the kids to close their eyes and I tried to confuse them driving all around town to see if they could guess where we were. Benjamin was either cheating or he really knows the town. If he wasn’t cheating then it is creepy how well he knew where we were. It was a fun end to the day.

 

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

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

Mom Fail

No matter how many successes you have there will always be those failures that stand out in your mind.

Like this morning.

Parenting is hard!

We had a snow day yesterday and that caused a three-day-weekend. Three-day-weekends are great. It is the day after that is not so great in my house. It means that one of my children will put up a fight, have a meltdown and I will have to struggle to get the child out of the house and off to school. All of my kids love school except this one. He is like me. It is so frustrating. Once I grew up and was in college I liked school. I love learning. I just hated getting up in the morning and going to the anxiety inducing middle and high school. I would get stomach aches every single morning. Why? It wasn’t that bad. Okay, it really was sometimes.

This morning he had a meltdown. A curled-up-crying-sobbing-mess of a meltdown. I had an anger meltdown. It was -10 degrees when the kids left for school. So. Cold. But they left anyways. Except one. He stood outside the door crying. Do I just leave him out there until he decides to go to school or do I drive him? This seems like a no brainer, drive him. He will not go to school on his own. He will freeze to death before he would walk to school on his own. He has spent hours in the garage not going to school before. He has sneaked back into the house through an unlocked window and sat in his room all day in trying to make me think he has gone to school. We have trust issues because of it. I’m not trying to paint him as a bad person, he isn’t. He just really really really hates school and is very determined not to go on those days he thinks he can’t handle it. So I drove him to school. It isn’t fair that all the other kids had to brave the oh so cold morning and he gets a ride. I am ashamed to admit it but that kid got a lecture all the way to school. I am not a screamer at all but man, I can lecture.

I feel bad about the way it was handled, but I am really so tired of dealing with this same issue after 7.5 years. Is it bad to be on the countdown until school is out? Not just summer, but 5.5 years left until graduation and then schooling is his choice? I don’t wish away his childhood. He is so funny, and cute and sensitive and he can be helpful but the stress from this issue is ridiculous. It makes me wonder if I am doing the right thing. Every single choice every single time. Is it going to mess him up? Is it going to have lasting damage? I do the best I can, it is all any of us can really do.

The rest of the day was just kind of blah. I got a lot of laundry done, dishes, baking, cooking, etc. But the in between time I was having a rough day. I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I am on my diet still (day 7) and I wanted to emotionally eat so bad. Cinnamon rolls anyone? I did it though, I stuck to my goal and I made it through another day. My hobby is baking and that doesn’t go so well with a sugar addict on a diet. Kinda messes it all up. I have other hobbies but I haven’t done them in ages. I guess I should pull some of them out and get to it. Reading is the easiest hobby.

I wasn’t complaining today but was talking to my family about how I didn’t know what to do with myself. Years ago I would go out and about shopping or do home improvement projects but I am trying to save money and that means staying home. If it was summer I would garden or just sit with my kids in the hammock and enjoy the weather. I really don’t like the cold and so there is no way you could get me to go outside. So I was at a loss of what to do today. I just had a thought that I need to have a back up plan, something I do when I don’t know what to do. I think I will read some books to the kids tomorrow. I am always reading, I might as well read to them.

For dinner I used up the leftovers from Sunday and turned them into pork enchiladas with beans and rice. I also made some squash for me. It was so good. None of the kids would eat the enchiladas because they did look a little weird because I didn’t fry the tortillas first and they fell apart. I liked the texture. It was kind of like a cornbread stuffing texture. So I have leftovers of that for later. It gets so annoying making food they won’t eat. They are getting used to rice and beans, I guess.

I took the boys to their youth activity tonight and the rest of us at home watched an exterminator show on Amazon Prime. The kids all like it. Then we caught the tail end of the State of the Union address. It was so sweet when the soldier surprised his family. Political stunt or not, I know how the little kids felt and it was touching to watch.

Today was my parent’s 43rd wedding anniversary. They spent the day driving to all their old haunts. They went to the church they got married in, the dorms where they met, the hospital my mom worked, etc. What a fun way to spend the day. They are good parents and I am glad they got married and had my siblings and I (there are 8 of us). Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Dating My Sweetheart, Uncategorized

Anniversary Day

It was my husband and my 15th anniversary was this weekend. Alex and I trade off planning our anniversary and Valentine’s day. As I was thinking of something we could do I was thinking that we could take our camera and take pictures of each other. Then I thought I’d have someone else do it because we haven’t had our pictures taken since we got married. That is too long.

In the past 15 years we have moved 9 times, gone to 3 colleges, had 15 jobs, 7 vehicles, and 8 children. Yes, we are older, chubbier, and our hair is changing color but it’s been a fun ride and I am looking forward to spending eternity with my best friend.

Here is a few of the pictures we took. We had a great time taking them and I would like to do it again. Alex, not so much. But even he admits it was fun. He gets to plan the next one and he said it is going to be something manly. Let’s see what he comes up with.

I’ll do a little tribute here. This man I married is my best friend. I would spend 24/7 with him and never get bored and never want to leave. We rarely argue; if we do it is about the same stupid thing but it never lasts long because it really isn’t worth it and we either work it out or forget about it. He helps me so much and is a great dad and does so much for us. He does things that I ask him to, even if he is tired. He lets me be myself and helps me to be better. I love him more everyday.

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Uncategorized

I Still Have So Much to Learn

I have a choice to make: I have a bunch of de-cluttering to do or I can write. I think I’ll write because right now it is the least frustrating choice.

I usually write right before I go to bed and I’m kind of in a hurry because the baby is starting to get fussy or the kids need my attention because they have ignored me all day and all of a sudden need me when the day is over. Or I am just tired. But something happened the other day that I just felt like I needed to get out.

The other day one of my boys was on the computer all day. Not a good thing for him. It messes with his brain too much. It does for all of them, really. All day long while the one son was on the computer another son was bugging him to let him have a turn. I should have stepped in earlier and put limits on it. (I have some new years goals pertaining to it.) What happened though was unexpected and I learned a lot from it.

We had the kids switch late in the day and the one who bugged the other all day finally got a turn. He was on for about two minutes and was done. The computer was then turned off for the night. For two hours afterwards he cried and walked around the house repeating, “He didn’t even use it!” Sobbing and repeating. I let him get it out of his system. I don’t think I will do that again. The whole situation could have been handled better. In hindsight he was like a hamster on a wheel. He needed someone or something to knock him off. When I use stuff to bribe him I am not really bribing him, I am using something to knock him off the hamster wheel. I think his brain just gets stuck and it takes something drastic or rewarding to get him off. I have so much to learn.

Then other day I had gone to a family member’s house for my girls to play with their cousins. One of the nieces was crying and hiding under a coat. She struggles with Autism as well. Her grandmother was asking her why she was crying, getting frustrated in the process. I could see myself in that position because I have done the same thing. So. Many. Times. I can’t read their mind, I can’t figure out what is going on. But I learned in watching my son and then niece that you can ask until you are blue in the face and it won’t do any good. They need to be distracted- to get off the wheel. I looked at my niece, hiding under her coat crying, and I said, “I bet you are upset because I showed up.” She moved the coat and brushed her hair out of her face, “What?” I had to repeat it a couple times. She got off the wheel. I asked her to come sit by me. She did and we talked for about 15 minutes and she was ready to go have fun with her cousins. Success!

The hard thing is to get out of the frustrated mentality. It is so hard when you have so much going on and other people to take care of and a time schedule to keep but still have to stop everything to help the one person who can’t help themselves. Some times it feels impossible and you just want to give up and move on. But you can’t.

I still have so much to learn.