Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Three Things I'm Grateful For, and It's Barely 9:00 in the AM

I think sometimes I get so caught up in my hectic life that I forget to look around me and see what great blessings are every where. I've enjoyed this morning so much, that I thought I'd write about what was so great so that I cement it in my brain a little bit better.

1) We learn from our children all the time. Erica has set a new goal (not even for Personal Progress, just because) to go to the temple every week. Now, that's definitely a goal that a parent would want their child to have, but as she can't drive alone, yet, this particular goal would involve a parent, most likely me. When she first told me, I heaved a sigh, and said we'd figure it out, not sure where I'd find the time to get her there. What kind of parents feels that way?! We decided that since she has a late start almost every Wednesday and since the baptistry opens every morning at 6:00, that Wednesday would be the day. We've gone twice, now- last week just her and I, this week we added Spencer (mostly willingly) and Rachael (a fabulous YW in our ward). We leave about 5:30-ish (to be dressed and ready to go at 6:00) and are finished and at school by 7:00. Yes, that requires me to be up and looking nice that early in the morning, but can I just say that after only two weeks it has become a favorite weekly experience and I wouldn't willingly give it up for anything (well, maybe a blizzard or deathly illness). What makes it even better is that Greg and the three other boys go to school early for Chess Club Wednesday mornings. Last week I went grocery shopping. Today, after getting Erica, Spencer, and Rachael to school, I went back to the temple to do initiatories. I was done and on my way home by 8:15. What a great way to start a day! Isn't it amazing. What I initially took to be one more of those "Parental Obligations" has turned out to be a marvelous blessing and some great non-tv, non-computer, non-homework time with my children. Dumb thing is, I knew it would be and still chose to be a little grumpy about it at first. Good thing Erica is patient with me and wants to do good things with her life. Life is all about choices. I will do better.

2) I've lived here for 6 months now, and every time I walk out the door the mountains still take my breath away. Their appearance changes with the light during the day and with every season. We've had a little snow this week, so everything looks like it's covered in powdered sugar. When you add the pink sunrise glowing off that snow this morning it was a view that made my heart sing. Beautiful!

3) This is something I was going to post earlier this week, but never got around to it. It is a blatant, non-apologetic product endorsement. Sorry, in advance, if it offends you, but I am very grateful for it (the cleaner, not offending you) so it fits into this post instead. Go to this website and order a bottle of Advanage. (I have green because it smells like apples and I liked it, but get whatever you like.) I never buy anything from door-to-door salesmen, but one came around last fall selling Advanage. I was polite, but in the process of telling him "no", when he sprayed some on the chrome on the van tire rims. They hadn't actually looked like chrome since our first winter in NH (2004). Nothing, I repeat, nothing (including my brothers power washer) could get the gunk off. I assumed we'd ruined the finish somehow. Nope. One spray, a couple of scrubs and there was a gleaming chrome streak in the middle of all the grunginess. Sold. The cleaner was cheaper than new rims, plus it came with a promise to remain streak free (on the chrome, but also windows, mirrors, etc.) for at least three weeks. Hello! I have a son who feels it is his responsibility to keep the glass on our china cabinet smudgy so we don't accidentally get horrible glares in our eyes from the reflected light. Guess what. I fooled him. He could rub his hands down the glass and leave not a single mark. (Disclaimer, it would probably not work if he had, say, peanut butter or spaghetti sauce on his hands. This just keeps off regular old fingerprints.) It also keeps bathroom mirrors from getting steamy during showers for, yes, up to three weeks. It has also removed green paint, spaghetti sauce , strawberry jam (that sat there for the entire weekend), and melted chocolate from our white carpet with no more than a spray and then rubbing with a rag as well as a rust stain from the front porch with a spray and scrubbing with a brush. And, for all you defenders of planet earth, it is natural and biodegradable (At least that's what the salesman told me and he was backed up by the claim on the bottle. Take that for what it's worth to you.) So, until I can replace my white carpet with something a little more child/spill friendly and find floors, windows, and mirrors that repel dirt and smudges, I am grateful to have a bottle of Advanage sitting in the laundry room.

That's it for now. Had a great start to the day, and the rest of it is coming on fast. Time to get off the computer and greet it. Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Am I Blessed or What?!

Can I just mention how good I've got it here? This has been one of the craziest church days I've had in a long time- up at 6:30 to get stuff ready for the day, out the door at 9:30, go non-stop until a 20 minute nap at 6:00 and then back for a fireside until 8:30. Guess what my awesome husband did.
1) Got the children out the door to church and was there early.
2) Played games with the kiddos while I made dinner in the relative peace and quite.
3) Let me take a nap while he did the dishes- the entire days worth- and cleaned up the kitchen.
4) Got the 3 youngest children to bed while I was gone.
5) Made tapioca pudding. From scratch. Just for the two of us. (I think he's trying to get me to like him!) Yum!
6) And, he just brought me the calendar and a pen so we can go over the week and I didn't have to get up.

How lucky can a girl get? If I was on the other computer, I would totally put a picture of this fantastic man right here.

However, this computer doesn't have any pictures on it (except some random nature shots that came with it and the YW logo that I downloaded earlier this week. None of them would exactly work here, though) and I don't have any online. Maybe after our calendaring, I'll get up and add one. For now, just know that I got the best deal EVER when he asked me to marry him.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

One of These Things is not Like the Others- and Someday Will it Really Matter?

I have been trying to think of something to post about all day and nothing hit me until just a few minutes ago. This is my bed. (Apparently my camera has a few dried droplets on it. It's not raining or snowing in my room!) I sleep in it every night and I make it every morning. It used to have more pillows, but we took them with us on our trip over Christmas and accidentally left them at the Grand Canyon Railroad Hotel in Williams, AZ. (It was sad, but not worth the drive to go back and get them.) I love my bed. It is very comfy and I like the bedspread because it reminds me of being out in the woods. Greg, or I, makes the bed every morning. Not a big deal- just pull up the covers and throw the pillows back on. 60 seconds, tops. I am not a "hospital corners" kind of person. I just like it neat and tidy. To be honest, Greg is better at the neat and tidy thing than I am.

Every person in my family also has a bed. Every person in my family also has the assignment to make their bed every day. I like having my bed made, but I also feel that if I am going to ask my family to make their beds, I should set an example. I was told this morning, as I am most mornings, that all the beds were made. This afternoon at about 4:30 I happened to be downstairs in one of the bedrooms and realized that someone(s) either had a different definition of "made" or had not been completely honest with me. (Not the first time, I know, nor will it be the last.) I visited other rooms and found that the same circumstances applied there as well.

I will leave the pictures random and somewhat anonymous, though dear daughter will probably be discovered as she is the only one with "girl" colors.

I must cut a teeny bit of slack because it has been cold at night, so there are extra blankets out. I also must admit that all the covers are actually on the beds and not on the floor. Taking those things into account, picture #2 did pretty well.

This reminded me of a class I attended with Greg yesterday on optimism. An optimist is not one that always find life 100% rosey, but is realistic in a situation without forgetting that hardships are not here to stay. As the Book of Mormon says, "It came to pass...". So, I am letting go of the frustration that I felt. Someday these little (and not so little) bodies will be grown and making (or not) their beds somewhere else. I will go down to a guest room with a bed that is made everyday and picture the toys and the blankets and have a happy little "memory moment". Then I will probably call a child or two and just say "Hi", maybe ask if they made their bed that morning, and tell them that I love them. Then I will go back downstairs and look at the still-made bed and smile. Maybe someday those children will bring little ones of their own and I can listen to them try to convince said grandchild that it really is important to make the bed, and most likely, it won't bother me one bit because it won't be my job to teach that anymore. After they leave, I'll make that bed with clean sheets (and no hospital corners) where it will stand ready to welcome the next guest to grace its' room. And I will smile again.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Let's Hear it for Spontaneity

Today, out of the blue, I had a call from a friend I haven't seen in something like 5 years. She and her family lived on the street behind me in the Lehi 7th ward in Mesa. We served in Relief Society together, our kids (my sons, her daughters) were in Primary together, and Steven and M even attended Joy School together. She introduced me to Flylady and helped me gain some semblance of control in the crazy life of a young mom with young kiddos, though you wouldn't know it to see the house at this particular moment. Their family lives in UT now, as well, about 1-1/2 hours from our house. We've kept up through Christmas cards and the occasional email over the years, but haven't managed to be able to do much more than that.

So, this morning N called. Their kiddos had the day off like ours and she wondered if we minded if they drove down to see us for the day. Why not?! I had already gone visiting teaching and was contemplating giving the boys haircuts, though not really up to the "encouragement" that would be required for such a project. Her timing was perfect to save the boys from a perceived fate worse than death and me from the frustration involved. She and her kiddos arrived in the early afternoon. The kids didn't remember each other at all, but they watched a little tv and played the Wii and DS while N and I visited. It was such a nice afternoon. I'm so glad she called and was willing to make the drive. There is just something about a good friend that can make all the distance and years evaporate like the fog in the morning. Why don't we do this sort of thing more often?

Friday, January 16, 2009

What now?!

Alright, so what did I do that, on my computer at least, everything after the video is wacky? It's centered and spread out the width of the screen. Can I fix it? I should have gotten a degree in computer science. I don't like feeling unintelligent!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Good Night!

Hey, what do you know- it worked! Don't know why there is code above the frame, but I think it works. Good Night!

Learning Something New

Thanks for the instructions, Cabesh. Let's see how good a student I am in the video embedding department. If this works, you should be able to watch the Brian Regan video I have a link to in the previous post. If it works, I get to go to bed because I've learned something new (and it's that time anyway.) If it doesn't, I'll probably still go to bed and try to learn something new tomorrow and take a nap or something as a reward. Cross your fingers!


So, I'm tired of the Chess/Twilight background and The Cutest Blog on the Block website is down except for Valentine's stuff. I figured my sons would not be impressed as we looked through them tonight. Lo and behold, I was wrong, though we , once again, are taking a slight twist on the meaning. The current layout shows lots of O's and X's, which Joseph immediately recognized as the word "ox" which reminded him and all the boys of "oxen" in Brian Regans' comedy routine about school and spelling. So, in honor of Valentine's Day and Oxen, enjoy the link.

Also, if anyone knows how, I'd love to just post the video. I apparently haven't learned how to do a link to YouTube like I thought I had. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I finally downloaded my camera this evening and thought I'd put up a few pictures from our trip. There were 275 pictures in the camera, some good, some not. I will spare you most of them. Enjoy.

Taking the train to the Grand Canyon for the day

Joseph (who can't just smile for once) and Spencer (at least someone cooperated!)

My Crew: Living Life on the Edge
(and no one fell in despite the ice and no guard rail what-so-ever)

Erica and Greg
(much better spot to hang out, notice the guard rail!)

Erica, Joseph (he's fine, the ham), Shan, and Spence

Phoenix Zoo

Ryan and Steven and the Big Mouth Frog

Joseph avoiding proof that he was there

Greg obtaining proof that Joseph was there, so sneaky

Steven, Shan, Erica, Ryan

Madde, Erica, Katelyn

Greg and Spence (and cousin Sara in the stroller)

This One's for Ryan

Ryan has been sick all night and gets to stay home from school today. It's just a fever and a headache. Mom wants to keep an eye on that combo. So far it doesn't hurt him to move his head around, so my tired, middle-of-the-night, paranoid self is beginning to stop worrying about meningitis in light of the sun shining this morning (after 40 hours of snow). The saddest part for Ryan is that today is Chess Club day and he has to miss his favorite activity of the week. So, in honor of chess club and for something fun to do, we're having a chess themed layout for today (or however long it takes me to change it back!). Yes, for those of you who read Twilight, it is a Twilight theme, but for us, today, it's all about chess. Ryan also just informed me that today is PE, too. Bummer. Can't have two layouts, so we'll stick with chess.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Two New Faces in Washington...and it's not Obama or Biden (since they're not really new faces there anyway)

Hello.... Anyone still out there? I just noticed the date of my last post and realized I have been blissfully unaware of the days whizzing by. Between Christmas, New Year's, and a fantastic family reunion in AZ, I've not really thought much about posting anything. In fact, this one will have no pictures because I haven't downloaded my camera yet and I'm too lazy to get up and get the disk of pictures my sister-in-law made for us. Yes, we had a fabulous time visiting with family and, no, in some ways it just wasn't long enough. We were, however, happy to arrive safely home, unpack our suitcases, sleep in our own beds, and go back to school today (I was, anyway, the kids, not so much!). I'll post a few pictures of the trip after I finish some grocery shopping, catch up on regular life, put Christmas away, and jump back into Young Womens activities and New Beginnings. That ought to be sometime at the end of March. Check back then.

So, about the title. My parents put in their mission papers the week before Thanksgiving and they finally received their call the day after Christmas. Finally. We were just outside of Kingman, AZ on our way to the Phoenix area when we got the call. Lucky Washington D.C. Just a few short weeks after our new president-elect is sworn in, our fair capitol gets to welcome and become the home for my parents for the next couple of years. Their arrival probably won't make the news, nor will it be accompanied by any fanfare, dinners, or balls (MUCH to Dads delight!), but we'll be watching closely and anxiously awaiting any news on their new adventures. For those that know the area, they'll be in the Washingtin D.C. North mission which mainly covers the Maryland portion of that metropolitan area (north and east of the Potomac).

Ok, that's it for today. New Year's resolution #1 says "Get to bed between 9:00 and 10:00". It's now 10:05, so I'm already late in the first week. That doesn't bode well for the rest of the year. Off to repent and do better. Good night!