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, Remodel

More Demo

What a day. I started it out with helping a friend with something and then I was planning on fixing the outside of the house. Alex had other plans. I came into the kitchen to find him poised to take down the ceiling. The kitchen ceiling in our house was lower than the rest of the house by about 10 inches to accommodate for a fluorescent light fixture. Problem was that above that ceiling was a lot of blown in insulation. A lot.

We pulled the ceiling down and most of it fell down in a big fluffy, dusty mess. Luckily, due to covid, we have “masks”. Bandanas, we have bandanas. We used giant 42 gallon garbage bags and a snow shovel to contain the mess. We ended up with 15 bags full. And I am glad we had masks but after wearing them for several hours I had had my fill and don’t have to wear one for quite a while.

This is one of the smaller piles we shoveled up.

Alex and I were both covered in insulation dust. We had nowhere to store all the bags except to put them back up in the attic. Michael and Benjamin were small enough to get up there and help move the bags around and they had fun getting up there. Once we get the sheetrock up we will have them get back up and spread the insulation around.

The kitchen looks so much bigger now that the ceiling is the right height and the closets have been taken out. Alex asked if I wanted to draw the cupboard lines on the wall so I can see what it looks like. I said no because I can see the whole finished kitchen in my mind. It is just a matter of making it a reality. I don’t necessarily mind the work but I will be so glad to have it done and over with so I can enjoy it and get back to normal life and not spend every spare minute working on this project. There will always be a project but I don’t think I will do this big of one for a long time

Daily Life, Sunday

Gardens and Family

The weekend was so busy!

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

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

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

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

Enough garden talk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.