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, 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

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.

Sunday, Uncategorized

It was a Good Sunday

Sunday was a good day. I got up and went for a walk. I only did a half mile but it was Sunday and I needed rest. I only walked for the length of one conference talk. It was a good one- they all are.

You will one day stand aside and look at your difficult times, and you will realize that [Christ] was always there beside you.

-President Thomas Monson

It is true. I’ve seen it in my life.

We did church at home and Evangeline was fussy as usual. Every week she picks church time to be tired. Her normal nap time is two hours later but apparently not on Sunday. So Alex went and put her in her bed while I did singing time with the kids. He was back in less than 5 minutes. She must have been really tired.

For church Alex talked about not just hearing the word, the gospel, but internalizing it and doing it. With the little kids we discussed baptism. Lauren and Sam talked about what they remember about their baptism and Alex and I said what we remember about ours. Gideon is looking forward to his this December when he turns eight.

With the older two boys we talked about the plan of happiness. Our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. We went over a few things, they had a couple questions, but it all boiled down to making good choices, being kind and serving those around us- including our family.

Alex’s sister had a few questions about gardening so we decided to go see her and help her out with a few pointers. She has never gardened before and so it will be an experience for her family. Gardens are hard to mess up for the most part. Pulling the plant out when weeding or forgetting to water is about the only way to really mess it up. As long as the plants don’t freeze, they get watered and get some fertilizer (over fertilizing is not good either) they can do their thing. It really is fun. To me at least. I love watching it all grow.

Speaking of gardening, one of our apple trees only had 9 apples last year. This year it has at least 100 blossoms on it. Our plum tree only had 6 plums last year and this year has at least 100 blossoms. It should be a good crop. The apple tree isn’t big enough to hold all the apples that will grow so we’ll have to play it by ear and see what we canet grow. But we’ll have our own apes this year!

Growing up my mom planted peach trees in our backyard. We bottled 90 quarts of peaches one year. A lot of work but so good for a dinner of toast and peaches in the winter. The 90 quarts was just what we canned. We would go out and eat peaches off the tree until we were ready to burst. And the peaches and ice cream! My favorite. I guess I better move back to Utah so I can grow peaches. That is the only thing about living where I do that I don’t like. All the peaches have to be shipped in and they aren’t nearly as good. Nothing beats the taste of fresh off the tree.

Now that I am hungry for peaches, the rest of the day was good. After lunch we sat out on the front steps and enjoyed the sunshine. The kids blew bubbles and that morphed into them playing with the hose and getting wet. It was Evangeline’s first time playing in the hose since it was finally warm enough. She loved it .

For scripture time before bed we watched a video and the kids loved it. They wanted to watch it over and over. I told them how to find it on YouTube. It is called “The Goal: A Story of Faith, Friendship and Forgiveness “. It is super cute and has such a relatable and good message. We had read the scripture it was about with the kids earlier during church and it was great that the video applied it in a way the kids could understand it better.

That was Sunday.

Daily Life

Rainy Monday

The weather is starting to warm up here in Idaho. We took a drive tonight and we could smell potatoes as we passed the fields. It was dark so we didn’t know if they’d planted yet or just plowed the fields. Either way, it is a good smell. The rain probably strengthened the scent.

I sat down with the kids this morning and we attempted to do some schoolwork. One of Lauren’s teachers informed us that the teachers had been advised to not give anymore new curriculum but to just have review information from here on out. I don’t mind teaching new stuff, it is just the sheer amount that I struggled with. So this will help. I was teaching Lauren about gallon, quart, pint, and cup measuring for math. That I knew and was able to teach. I pulled out a gallon pitcher and canning jars and she figured it out that way pretty quickly. We also finished studying the Civil War and moved on to westward expansion.

I read a blog post today by Kim Holderness. She talked about how introverts thought that this quarantine would be a cake walk. It isn’t and she explained why- its because we never get any alone time to recharge, everyone is home and around us. So this quarantine is hard on everyone in one way or another. We just learn how to deal with it.

I had promised the kids donuts yesterday but we didn’t have time and didn’t need more food. So I made them tonight for Family Home Evening. They were amazing! The kids finished them off really fast.

For our lesson/scripture study tonight we talked about what Easter is and why we celebrate it. We are going to focus on Easter and the atonement and crucifixion and especially resurrection this week leading up to Easter Sunday.

Also, this Friday, Good Friday, we will be participating in a worldwide fast (skipping two meals and praying). We will be fasting for this covid virus to end, the economy and life to normalize and for comfort to all who are suffering from the effects of it all. You are more than welcome to join us.

I’ll end here because it is late and Evangeline, who isn’t a normal sleeper (more about that tomorrow if I remember) needs my attention, apparently.

Daily Life

Homeschool Day 2

I woke up and for a glorious 30 seconds everything was “normal”. Then I hit full conciousness and realized that there was a new normal. My spirit flagged for a second but then I got up to make the best of it.

I made breakfast burritos and after breakfast we set up school. This school thing works great at school because the kids listen and never pull out the behavior they do at home. One of my grade school children decided to be the one who had the last whine. Not word- whine. He wouldn’t stop. All he had to do was shut his mouth. Couldn’t do it. I’d say be quiet and he’d not be quite. This went on for what seemed like forever but was probably more like three minutes. I sent him to another room until he could zip it. We did this process twice.

Eventually it all settled down and the little kids got a bunch of math and English papers done. If they finish it all early next week I won’t be sad.

The older boys are a bit more difficult. All their assignments are emailed to them and they are pretty much on their own. I ask them what they got done and remind them that when school starts up again they best not be behind. Plus with the ability to turn in assignments by email the grading of work is still happening.

I have been inside for months now. Since about mid- October and I’m getting a little stir crazy. Yesterday I had enough and bundled the kids up and made them all go for a walk around the block. It was sunny but the cold north wind was blowing. I was not a fan of that. Later I went to take out the trash and the wind had died down and it was warm! (46° F) We took another walk and then I let the little kids just play in the front walkway (the grass is wet and mostly buried in snow. But the roof is finally snow free and Gideon’s soccer ball that had been callously flung onto the snowy roof by an older brother finally melted free after 4 months.

Michael had taken the dog for a quick walk and then put her in the back yard. As soon as she saw the kids and I walk by she was upset. This dog is literally my shadow and hates when I leave without her. She saw us walk by the fence and I could see the wheels turning in her head. She stood there for a second and then turned around and bolted to the other end of the yard where we have a short fence. In her desperation this winter to get to the front yard where we were working she jumped the fence. Years before she had tried jumping the fence but her toe got twisted up and caught in the fence and it was painful. I got her untwisted and out but she didn’t jump fences after that until this winter. I saw where she was headed so I went back and put her in the house; I don’t like walking her and pushing a stroller simultaneously. By the way, it is funny that she could jump the fence anywhere in the yard but doesn’t know it and I’m not going to teach her either (it’s a four foot fence).

So later, the cookie dough I made the day before? I baked them before dinner. Cookies take soooooo long! I made dinner simultaneously and it was done before the cookies. It was a good snack but I won’t be doing that for another few weeks. They make a quick breakfast though- don’t judge.

We ended the night pretty early by watching a video based on the scriptures we had read earlier in the week, had prayer and tucked the kids into bed. Evangeline was not tired. At all. Okay, actually she was but she wasn’t going to admit it.

That was pretty much the day. Hopefully the next day is better.

Daily Life

The Days Blend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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