Saturday, May 30, 2009

Think About It

We are a little behind in our movie watching. Erica and I were at the library this afternoon and while she picked out books I flipped through the movies and came across "Akeelah and the Bee". I'd heard of the movie, but never seen it, so checked it out and watched it tonight. The following quote was one of my favorite parts.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talents, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Online, the quote is attributed to Marianne Williamson in her book A Return to Love. I loved it. We mere mortals, you and I, have the potential to be and become something quite amazing. It's there inside you. The trick is to find it and let it out.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Oh, What Do You Do In The Summer Time?

Today is one of those double sided days. School is out. That means time with the kiddos, no more getting up and out the door every morning or stopping in the middle of my day to pick anyone up, the freedom to stay up a little later at night, no more homework, free time, field trips, and warm sunny weather. It also means time with the kiddos, no more getting up and out the door every morning or stopping in the middle of my day to pick anyone up, the freedom to stay up a little later, no more homework, free time, field trips, and warm sunny weather. No, you didn't read it funny and I didn't just repeat myself on accident. All of those things are GREAT! And, all of those things are not so great. Another interesting phenomenon is that those things are more GREAT in, say, June, than they are in, say, August. Summer vacation is definitely one of those things that should be had in moderation.

Normally, I'd have several things planned to do by now. This summer has kind of snuck up on me as I've been getting ready for camp and spending an huge proportion of the last month sitting in the doctors office for one reason or another. What's that scripture? "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." I think my lack of preparation is causing a bit more apprehension than normal. Of course, the abnormal has been more the norm for the last little while. We've moved the last two summers right as school got out. That's pretty much negated most of the "free time" and "field trip" portions of the summer. Though, I guess a cross country drive could be considered one huge field trip. Maybe I just feel out of "practice" for summer. Either way, so far this year I have temple times planned with the kids and I know we're going to the Museum of Art (MOA) next week. That's it. The MOA has an exhibit made entirely of things around the house. We actually saw one of them the last time we were there, not realizing it was part of a larger exhibit. It's a hanging sculpture made from dry cleaning hangars. I've heard there's a glass case filled with styrofoam peanuts blown around by a fan. Should be interesting. It's also close to home and guaranteed to be short- so I can get on with camp preparations. I can already hear the moaning, which is why none of the kids know we're going, yet. Summer isn't all fun and games! Camp is the following week. After that, who knows what's going to happen.

So, what do you do in the summer time? That Primary song is perfect right now. Should we "swim in a pool", "swing un a tree up high", "march in parades", "drink lemonade", "count all the stars in the sky"? "Is that what you do? So do I", maybe. Only 81 days left to figure it all out.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Educational Expenses



My Dad always says that education is expensive. In this case, the poor garden is bearing the "expense" of my gardening "education". After two weeks of watering by hand and nothing growing- except two of our 6 raspberries, a couple of zucchini sprouts, and, so far, all of the strawberry plants, it gently rained all weekend. We've had zucchini sprout, live, and produce edible food before. I've been told that it's almost impossible to not be able to grow zucchini, so I'm not sure how good a gardener gauge that is. I think I was kindly being taught by the Master Gardener that I wasn't watering enough. The ground was certainly soggier than it had previously been, at any rate. We now suddenly have 8 zucchini plants, 48 corn plants, a new plant that I think is a weed masquerading as a cantaloupe plant, and lots of baby grass and weed sprouts to add to our plant total.

On Monday, Greg very kindly fixed the sprinkler head that was shooting a fountain into the air. The automatic sprinklers apparently do a much better watering job than the manual (me). We'll see if any of the rest of the seeds have survived my education. I'm hoping at least a few tomatoes grow, but if all we get is 48 corn plants that actually grow and produce edible corn, we'll have far surpassed any previous records- which up to this point is 0 corn plants that produce edible corn. So, at least the corn plants seem to be benefiting from the expense paid by the seeds in our previous attempts as well as the mercy of the Master Gardener. Either way, I'm having fun trying to improve (or maybe I should say "find") a talent and that's probably just as important as the actual produce.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Disaster Averted

Ryan left his dirty clothes in my bathroom after his shower and Greg found a couple of dish towels in the kitchen. They are all now in the basket on top of the dryer. The sky is safe for another day. Whew!

Be Careful

I've done 5 loads of laundry today. It's all folded and in bed rooms waiting for owners to put away. The baskets in the laundry room are empty. The sky will fall tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hero Of My Day

The chemical you are currently viewing is my hero of the day. It is fluticasone proprionate. It stops runny noses, sneezing, itching, and watery eyes and is saving my sanity, the cartilage and skin at the end of my shnoz (is that really how you spell it?), and the soft palate at the back of my throat. Pretty amazing for one little chemical compound, don't you think! Just one beautiful, uneventful breath after another. The person(s) who came up with this lovely combination deserves a plate of cookies, a bunch of polleny flowers (just for symbolism), a Nobel prize (for the newly refound peace in my life!) and the $1,000,000 that comes with it. He/she/they certainly have my vote. Twice if I can swing it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Simple Math

Tonight is one of the top favorite nights of the year if you are female at our house. The level of favoritism if you're male probably depends on who you are and your age bracket, but enjoyment is usually expressed by all (especially if it's not cold and everyone sleeps!). It's Father & Sons campout weekend. Know why it's the female favorite? It's very simple math, really.

Normally it looks something like this:
1 father+1 mother+1 daughter+4 sons = Our Family Most Of The Time (and I'm glad)

However, during Father & Sons campout it's more like this:
Our Family Most Of The Time-1 father-4 sons=1 mother + 1 daughter (and it's fun!)

See, simple.

I love my family dearly but sometimes it's nice to have a change of scenery. The males have a new sleeping arrangement for the night and the scenery at home changes a bit. Erica and I have a fun evening together and I don't have to pack a bag or sleep on the ground. What's not to love?!

We'll return the favor for the second year in a row when Erica and I head of to girl's camp later this summer, only we'll have to pack a BIG bag and sleep on the ground for 5 days instead of just one. Last year the males had a great week and Dad was the fun-meister. I don't see that changing at all this year.

Tonight we took it easy. Since camp is so close to home (we can pretty much see the canyon from the front yard) Greg thought it would be better to just eat dinner at home and not haul it all to camp. I agreed because I didn't have to shop for anything extra and then help pack it all. So, Erica and I didn't go out for dinner, but we did go get ice cream and stay up late watching movies. Just to let you know how wild and crazy we are- we stayed up late watching "Nativity" and "Mobsters and Mormons". Whew, bet you could hear the noise all the way at your house!

Now, I'm writing this post and Erica fell asleep on my bed. She can stay as long as she stays on her own side. Sleeping soundly and comfortably in my own bed is one of the perks of this particular night, after all, and I'm not giving it up. Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Rest of Life

I happened to scroll down through my last several posts and realized that, proportionally, way too many of them were about gardening. Contrary to what this may indicate, there really are other things going on in life and I thought I'd illustrate a little more balance in my life. So, in the last week...

1) ...on Wednesday I bought tons of strawberries because they were on sale for $.88 everywhere I went while grocery shopping. They were beautiful, too. The plan was to make lots of smoothies to increase the fruit intake of certain family members. I broke the blender on the first batch of the week. Now we have tons of strawberries sitting in the freezer and I have to go blender shopping. Good thing there's nothing else to do!

2) ...on Thursday mailed my sister's birthday card and all my Mother's Day cards late, but at least they got mailed! I look at it as spreading out the celebration.

3) ...on Friday took Spencer to the doctor for strep throat and then to the pharmacy for a prescription. He'd rather take pills for 10 days than have one shot.

Friday also happened to be Ward Temple Night (our first since living here) and we met several people early in the cafeteria for the best prime rib I've had in a long time. The poor kids were stuck at home with fish sticks and a movie, but they were happy so it's all good.

4)...on Saturday took Erica to viola lessons, shopped for a gift for Ryan to take to a birthday party, wrapped said gift, and took Ryan to said party. After all the tilling (see previous posts) I took Erica to the Mercado Latina to buy empanada shells and stopped at the library to pick up some books on hold and a movie to watch. We settled on Hercules and had a little family movie night.

5)...on Sunday had a fun Mother's Day. The kids got up early and on their own to make me breakfast in bed. Several of them also offered to give me massages. Nice! All our meetings (except church, of course!) were canceled, so I had some home time on a Sunday. Very Nice! Greg gave me several John Bytheway talks on CD. My favorite part of the whole day was listening to the kids listen to the talks. They loved them and listened to all 5 of them on Sunday- and one of them twice.

It was also my turn to teach Laurels on Sunday and we had a really reasonably good lesson about the Melchizedek Priesthood. There's a fun correlation between motherhood/priesthood and the space program (we used Apollo 13 as our example). (Yes, dear brother Dave, it made me think of you all weekend!) If nothing else, the girls paid attention and participated. Success!

6) ...on Monday Greg and I talked with a mortgage guy about a refinance in the morning. The day was spent in the garden, then I made dinner and served as a resource while Spencer made cookies for an afternoon snack and Family Home Evening treats and Erica made empanadas for her Spanish class. Dinner was late and then it was my turn to give the lesson in FHE.

7) took Erica the empanadas at school for her Spanish presentation. I reheated them and dropped them off in time for her class today. Wow, did the car smell fabulous! (Little side note- I left them reheating in the oven while I walked the boys to school and asked Ryan to turn off the oven when I called. It took WAY too many calls before he finally answered. I was afraid they'd be burned to a crisp when I got home, but they were perfect. Whew!)

After going to the high school, I took Ryan to the doctor for what we thought was either a broken or infected thumb. Turns out it was just a good (or is that bad) sprain. I was worried about the infected part because we've had strep at home, he had a small cut on his hand, and his thumb was beginning to turn pink. It is just a sprain and the pink is from the swelling. He didn't want a splint and spent the day walking around with his hand on his head to keep the swelling down and protect it a little bit. I should take a picture, now that I think about it.

So, there are other things in my life besides a garden. I told Greg that I think I like gardens so much because, in general, what gets done, stays done. I only have to plant once (I hope) and, other than evaporation, the water doesn't jump back out of the ground after I put it there so I only have to water once a day. All the other "life" things have to get done, too, but the quiet and order of the garden are a very nice break.

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's All In, Hope It Lives!

The kids had the day off today for a teacher quality day. There are only 13 days left in the school year, so I'm not sure why. Turns out it was a good thing. We got the garden tilled on Saturday, but nothing planted. The kids were home and wanted to help, and I was glad to let them.

This little terraced section was full of rocks. Amazingly, they were excited to help move them all over a corner of the yard. Erica taught the boys about shot puts, so they used the time for shot put practice.

They did a fairly decent job of hitting the general area, but it's probably a good thing no one was over there. The tall vegetation is our bakyard neighbors yard. Good thing they don't have a fence, because that way our yard gets lots of sun.

We planted lettuce, onions (red and yellow), corn- hope it grows because we've never had much luck with it before, tomatoes, cantaloup, watermelon, pumpkin, and my favorite- strawberries.

Tonight the little boys from next door came running around back while we were having Family Home Evening. After explaining that we couldn't play, we talked to them about only walking on the bricks or grass. They seemed to understand. We went upstairs for refreshments (Spencer made chocolate chip cookies by himself and the were awesome) , walked out on the deck to look down on our work, and saw where little footprints jumped from one row of planted seeds to another. It will be interesting to see who's tougher- plants or little boys! If the plants live long enough to produce food, they should be able to survive anything!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


For the last week I've wanted to write about something, but didn't know what. I spent two days last week at Women's Conference and thought I should post something about what I learned. Life all week has been busy, like normal, but nothing specific has stood out. There's have been several little teaching moments, I just haven't been sure how to put all my thoughts into words. I'm still pondering on some, but I'll share a few.

1) I sang in a choir that taught me that my voice doesn't have to be the biggest or best, it just needs to be there. All of us combined together create a beautiful sound. Other aspects of life are the same.

2) Many hands make light work. Even if you don't feel like your efforts make a difference or that anyone notices them, they are missed when they are suddenly not there.

3) Looking out for the happiness of others will bring as much, but probably more, joy and satisfaction as making sure your own wants and needs are met.

4) Life gives us experiences that enlarge our souls and create the capacity to hold more JOY. I always thought it was just to help me grow up, I never really thought that it was to make me happier. If I do this life right (in general, anyway), my ability to find joy should increase at least a little bit everyday because the container can hold that much more.

5) Heavenly Father will let us know things we need to do. It's up to us to ask, listen, and then act. He's waiting to bless us and happy to do so, but will wait for us to do our part.

6) If I was the only person on earth, Christ would have still come and performed the Atonement. That's important.

7) Being a mother, and the willingness to do so, is one of the most important jobs in the entire Plan. The men hold the Priesthood that gives us the ordinances and covenants to help us return Home. Mothers hold the power to bring spirits to earth and teach them to accept those blessings in the first place.

8) "It's not what he doesn't know that bothers me, it's what he knows for sure that just ain't so." -Will Rogers

9) Joy and gratitude can be both found and expressed in the most difficult of circumstances.

10) Though both are good, working together will strengthen your family in a way that just doing fun things together can't.

A Little Help, Please!

Greg brought this plant home on Friday. There wasn't a plant ID tag inside it, so I'm not sure what to do with it. Does anyone happen to know what it's called so I can look it up online? Thanks!

Before...or During...or After

Apparently Mother's Day weekend is "the" time to plant a garden in Utah. As our garden is replacing a yard there's been a bit of work to get ready. This week has been pretty busy and today was the big push. Greg picked up 4-1/2 cubic yards of compost, deposited it in the driveway, and then we spent the better part of the day moving it to the backyard and tilling it in. Monday will be spent putting seeds in the ground. I wish I'd remembered to take a "before" picture, but I didn't until we were about 1/2 way finished, so I didn't bother. Instead, I'm posting this as both an ending, middle, and beginning- end of today's work, middle of the planting process, and beginning of the hopefully fruitful garden.

Below is a little more towards the beginning phase. The top dirt part used to be a pit that contained a fountain that was filled with slimy water, trash, and bugs when we moved in. Pumpkins and watermelons will hopefully inhabit that space soon. The rocks on the next terrace down still need to be removed. We're planning to put bell peppers and maybe a couple of zucchini plants or lettuce there instead. That's next week's project.