Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday School Special & a note

Today we went to a branch (congregation way smaller than a ward) far away in Western Oklahoma. (Our stake - larger congregation made up of many wards & a couple of branches - is really big.)
We drove and drove and had a great time on our way there.
The boys deleted miss s's phone/toy battery at lightening speed on the way there.
my mr. and I had a nice two hour plus conversation with our other adult traveling companion.
miss h arrived home from college last night, so she came along.
She and miss s slept most of the way there.
(We left a little after 7am because we had to pick up our traveling companion. And there was a little confusion as to which street that traveling companion lived on, so we lost a little bit of time.)

When we got there right before 10am, I had something pressing to deal with - even though the meeting was about to start.

So I dealt with it.

And my mr. made faces at me when I came in during the opening hymn and didn't come sit with him and miss h and little mr. b at the front of the congregation. I chose to sit with the congregation with miss s and little mr. j because sometimes those two can really push each other's buttons and I didn't want any of that silliness during the meeting and probably really because I didn't want to sit up front and have people looking at me.

Anyway, I am glad I sat with my kids with the congregation.
I was kind of hoping that maybe because my son, my daughter, my husband, and our traveling companion were all speaking that maybe I could get out of it. But, when the man conducting the meeting announced the speakers and read my name I waved to let him know I was actually there.

I kept it short and because my talk was about living a Christ like life, I told my crazy gym lady/substitute teacher story and said that I was glad that I acted in a kind way. (And used some quotes from this wonderful message.)

All the other talks were awesome of course. Our traveling companion concluded the meeting by asking us to remember the first time we really, really felt the Spirit and told a wonderful story of a childhood Christmas when he first remembers feeling that wonderful thing.

But the part I liked best about the meeting was what happened next.  When he asked that question, little mr. j nodded his head yes. So I leaned over and asked him if he would tell me when he'd felt the Spirit.  He said, "Last Sunday at the Cantata."  (Last Sunday we attended our Stake's annual Cantata - an hour of inspiring music and words about Christmas.  There was also a huge display of over 600 nativities & a children's room where little mr. j got to make his own precious manger and baby Jesus with a styrofoam cup, crinkled up paper and a tiny piece of wood & fabric.) I could tell his heart was touched that night & we had talked about what that warm, peaceful feeling in his heart meant last Sunday. 

Then on a little notebook I had given him to draw in during the meeting, he wrote,

"I do not theke Flute crsmets .is .ubat santa it is ubat Jesus."

And I did not cry, but oh did  that sweet message warm my heart.
He knows.
He really knows, at his young age, what Christmas is really all about.


I asked him to please read me his note and he said,
"I do not think that Christmas is about Santa. It is about Jesus."
I'm so glad I sat in the congregation.


________________________________________________________________________


Note: miss h is graciously letting me use her computer. (Thank you, miss h!) Mine is very, very ill. I am planning on taking it to the computer doctor tomorrow, but have no idea what the diagnosis will be. You might not be reading anything new here for a short while & sadly, I have fallen off the photo challenge. Hopefully my old machine and I will be back at it very soon. Thanks for your understanding!
 







Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Days 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, & 13

This is where you get to see how awesome creativity can be:

Day 7: 7 Things
(7 white stripes - yes, there is a 7th - look very, very closely screen left one third down)
Day 8: Close up
(Can you guess what it is?)
Day 9: Black and White
(I heart instagram.)
Day 10: Someone I love
(Did you guess what it is? If not, here's a hint - it's being worn by someone I love)
Day 11: Body Part
(to cover up a body part)
Day 12: Skipping it for now
Day 13: Something Orange


Here's the lesson:
It's good to do the things you want to do.
Sometimes you will accept 6 days in a row of substituting jobs
and not get any of your 'wants' accomplished.
But, if you are creative, you can try.

Two more lessons:
It is very advantageous to get 'things' done ahead of time
and
dry shampoo rocks.

Friday, December 9, 2011

School Days, School Days & Sunday School: Remember Who You Are

I've been having school days.
Six in fact.
In a row.
And wow, what an education.

I have learned that the "word" in 6th grade is "freaking."
I used to say that word for a brief moment somewhere early in my middle aged life.
I don't like that word, it's just a substitute for the real "f" word.
At least now I know why my son is saying it sometimes.

The fifth grade girls are totally into knitting.
And one named little miss m said that if I brought the supplies in next time I substituted, she'd be happy to teach me how to make her way awesome scarves.
There were a lot of little knitted headbands and fingers about to fall off because of misguided finger knitting.
Thankfully none fell off.

The girls liked my boots and even the boys admired the colorful beads on the one colorful bead necklace I own. Some sweet child told me I looked like I was 30 years old.

And the rest is all turning into a blur because I met so many new faces in such a short amount of time.
But there was one exchange that I will never forget.

(Just to help you understand this story I am going to give you a short prologue. Facts of which many of you already know -but just in case- here it is.  I serve as the youth leader for the young women (ages 12-18) in our congregation.  That means most Wednesday evenings, I am at the church with our very many in number young women. We share our building with three other congregations. Three other congregations whose youth groups meet on Wednesday evenings as well. Three groups that meet and in theory have set times and places where they are supposed to be so that we can all fit. Then we get to add in everybody's cub scouts & 11 year old scouts, the activity day girls and various other people who decide Wednesday night is a convenient night to meet because everyone's at the church already so it's no big deal. Well, guess what- it is a big deal. There's no space and dealing with the chaos of all those people takes a quarter of our time before we can even begin. I've become a bit obsessive about and protective of our time and space.)

(Oh, you also need to know that I am substituting at our neighborhood school. The neighborhood school and it's district is in our congregation's boundaries. If there is a child at our school that attends our church, I know or know of them.)

At the beginning of one of my 5th grade classes, a friendly whistling boy came in and asked my name.
I told him and as greeted the other kids in the class he said, "Hey, I know you."
And I said, "How?" because I certainly didn't know him.
And a few minutes went by and he said, "What church do you go to?"
And I said, "I don't think you know me from church, because I know most all the kids at our church."
And he said, "Really, what church do you go to?"
So I told him and he said, "I knew it."
"Oh - no," as it dawns on me, "I'm the crazy lady who kicked you out of the gym aren't I?"
And he said, "Yes."
"But you did it in a real nice way."

(He'd gone to scouts with a friend of his from a different congregation.)

So I guess I never know who's watching, so I better always remember who I am & act accordingly.
This new week, I know I am not a substitute.
I will act accordingly.
Thank goodness.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 6 Photo Challenge

Day 6: Vehicle
(plus a little Oklahoma Merry Christmas ala jingle bells, shotgun shells)
(you can't see it, but they were rigged to light up)
(awesome)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Photo Challenge Days 3, 4, and 5

Day 3: Landscape


Day 4 & 5: Animal & Toy

Ok, so days 4 & 5 are kind of a cop out,
but the picture is one of my favorites.
You can find the original here.

Here's a link to the photo challenge, if you'd like to join: Photokapi.com

I've been spending a lot of time somewhere near that landscape picture
with lots of loud kids.
I am finding my inner 'listen to me voice'
and testing it out on unsuspecting sixth and seventh graders.
But most of them are much louder than me.
And I can't compete.
So I charge them a debt of silence
and after it is repaid
we go on with our day.

I won't do that to you.
See you tomorrow!
Bye.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dreamy


*Day 2

The alarm woke me mid dreams of silverware.
little mr. j woke up saying, "I had the best, best, best, best, best, best, best dream ever."

I had to ask, "little mr. j, what was the best, best, best, best, best, best dream ever about?"
He was smiling and animated and told us (the whole family was together in the living room because we get up at an horrible hour weekday mornings to have family prayer).

Fast cars. Lots of them. "And I mean lots, like lots lots of super fast ones."
What kinds of cars? I can't remember all he said, but Porsche was one of them.
No Ferrari.
Which is weird because that boy used to want to change his name to Red Ferrari.

I'm trying to figure out why no Ferrari.
I think maybe it's because a few times the last few weeks, I have used the word practical.

He wanted to know why more people don't drive Ferrari's.
So I told him the weren't practical.
And he has asked what that word means.
And I have tried to explain to him that it means something useful or that is helpful or needed.
And he said he just didn't get it.
So I said that
a Ferrari wouldn't be a practical car for me to have.
It could go fast, but it couldn't carry many groceries or people.
He decided that the car I have is practical but it sure would be nice if we had a Ferrari.

I fear that our practical conversations have impeded upon his dreams.
I sure hope not. I hope his dream Ferrari was just hiding out, waiting to appear on a night it's truly needed.

And I'm a little bit perturbed about the dream & the dream conversation & the happenings after the prayer and the second dream conversation.

When I asked him to please tell me all about the dream again - this time in front of a camera (because my brain loses things and this is a cute memory I want to replay) - he decided it wasn't practical and that it was plain embarassing.

So I said, "go back to bed."
And he did.

It's amazing how things can become impediments on our dreams.
Bye for now- I need to get some kitchen work done.

_____________________________________________________

*The photo above is part of a photography challenge  that my husband's cousin's husband is hosting.
 Day 2: Something blue.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Getting Called Out

My husband's cousin's husband called me out on facebook today.
Well, me and another woman named Corrie. Who, by my reading way into the comments she left on his comment to us, is kind of thinking the same thing that I'm thinking about how in the world can I do this at this time right now with all I've got going.
Well, I don't know if that's what she really was thinking, but I put it into my version of life right now.
Anyway, Mr. Photokapi, I will accept your challenge and probably fail,
but it will be a nice distraction from all the necessities of life that have been keeping me away from here of late. (And when I say of late, I mean all this summer, fall and now into winter. Blech.)
Thanks for the challenge.
Today's is a self portrait.
I am not taking a self portrait today.
My breath is bad and I need to wash my hair.
I did let miss s take a video of me last night singing/chanting the "way up in the sky, the little birds fly, way down in the nest, the little birds rest,........." song.
By the way she was laughing, I guess I did a pretty awesome job.
But I will not be posting that because she taped it, not me.
So, here is an oldy but a goody:

First Day of Advent



my mr. showed me this.
Now I'm sharing with you.
It reminds of two young boys I know.
I wish we could all have hearts like like his.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Doo not ete me!


We did not eat the chalk turkey.
We ate a different turkey.
And it was the best roasted 'herb' turkey I've ever cooked/eaten.
Found the recipe here.



I also have a new phone/camera/life enhancer that I am learning and playing
around with and found an app that little mr. b, my comic lover especially likes.
(I really did love my old dumb phone, but it stopped speaking to me & I had to move on.)
I've also been taught by that young man how to make a screen shot,
so you can see what I used to alter that beautiful 'herb' turkey picture.
Here's that for you now:


I have one last screen shot for you.  I took it the old fashioned way.
We paused the screen, I walked up to the television and took a picture.
Because with all this 'herb' turkey talk,
I had to laugh when the following popped up.

(25 seconds - I rock in the running to get the camera category!)

Apparently, followers of a certain cartoon will all soon be speaking Ferb Latin.
And adding 'erb' to  many of our words.

Hi guys. Whatcha doin'?
Erb-ferb Atin-Lerb.


image from here

We heart Phineas & Ferb. We also love Candace, who totally reminds us of one of our children,
who is taking Latin right now. She's worried about her grade in that class.
Maybe she'd do better with Ferb-Latin. It might seem more familiar to her.

This year I am thankful for:
emerging readers & writers
technology
the ability to laugh
my family
my friends
good 'herbs'
and that our turkey wasn't one bit chalky.

Ok, so I am very thankful for oh so much more than just that list. You need to know that. Also, you need to know that I am especially grateful for you. Thanks for spending a little of your precious time here with me.
Happy Thanksgiving {weekend}!

__________________________________________
PS- I forgot to show you the Thanksgiving pepper miss s caught for us.
It had disguised itself as a little turkey, but miss s is clever - she found it and carved it up.
yum, yum, yum.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Hunting at the School



Every Thanksgiving, our school has a traditional feast that the children invite their grandparents and parents to. It's pretty amazing. Here's a link to where I wrote about last year's event and explained more about it.
I still think it's awesome. And after substituting a few times, I am thinking it's an especially ingenious way for the teachers and administrators to have the opportunity to send those kiddos home with their parents after the feast and get a little time to themselves to get things done before their holiday.

I heard that they were expecting over 1200 folks this year. Our lunch ladies rock.

This year, I attended wearing a beautiful indian corn brooch 

(that little mr. j wanted to give to his big brother instead of me,
but we asked his brother if he would wear it and he said no, so yay, I got it)

and an agenda.

I came to hunt turkey.
Because next year, we won't only be doing this:


We'll be needing to make a turkey.
On my subbing days the past couple of weeks, I had been watching the first grade tables to see what came in.
(FYI- Crafty things give me the willies and projects like the one coming up next year scare me. I've been concerned since seeing our neighbor's cute turkey last year. Situations such as these require stealthy reconnaissance to prevent a project panic attack.)
They all were awesome, but there were a couple that really stood out.
And they were my prey.

But, when little mr. j was still picking at our feast and the rest of us were finished, I pulled little mr. b aside and said, "Ok, there's a turkey in here that looks like........ please help me find it."

But, apparently most all the first graders and their families eat a whole lot faster than us because when we started looking down the rows of table tops, many of those turkeys had been taken home already.

So we hit the halls.
Out of the two basketball themed ones I had my eyes on, I caught one:


(the little shoes were painted blue!!!)

The other one used an actual basketball and net. I couldn't catch it and, after walking quite awhile with my older son, gave up on finding the one I most wanted to get.

Our family gathered our things and headed toward the main doors to begin our trek home.

Guess what walked right in front of us!
Yes!
The turkey!
(And the human family it belonged to.)
And I said, "Hey, wait, can I please get a picture of your turkey. You know- word at the school is that your Then the mom said, "Oh, so you're going to copy it next year."
And I said, "No, I'm not that good, but I want to show it to the world."
(Now, hopefully the world will come here and see it, because it is pretty cool.)

Anyway, without any further ado, I give you the prize turkey that I hunted down at the school today:



(Incredible little plastic army/cowboy/indian guy turkey - I hope they keep it forever and bring it out every year. I know I would-that's the kind of decorator I am.)

Happy day before Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shoot


Guess what I did last Thursday?
Ohhhhh, it was so fun.
my mr.'s has been talking to me about joining him in golf,
but this was way better than golf.

I went with this lovely lady,
who happens to be someone I go to church with.
And, I am thinking that maybe besides book clubs and play groups,
the shooting sisters would be an awesome excuse to spend some time together.
That and provident living.

And just so you know- if you need me to come hunt your skeet, I am 15 (or 16) for 50 and I hit them better when they are coming towards me or rolling across the ground pretending to be a rabbit.
And that the rifle I have access to is not as nice as the one we were shooting with,
but I could still probably do ok with it.

And apparently, my going on this outing surprised and brought great joy to my mr., who has gone on a couple of pheasant hunting trips the last couple of years and probably will not be going on any more.  When I was reading my friend's post about our outing, he kept bringing out items related to our outing -one at a time- and explaining how I could use them next time. I stopped him at the padded shoulder vest that has a lined pocket in the back to hold the day's victims. That just grossed me out. Just imagince those poor little skeet stuck riding on my back. Eewww. (Just kidding - I know that it's very unsafe and against the rules to walk out past the stands to retreive the little skeets.)

Then he started going on about how we could take up different hobbys together- I tuned him out for a little while, but then he just got silly....

He said, "Then we can do scouts together and wear matching shorts and ........."

I just laughed.
Me and scouting are like me and pheasant cooking.
And golf.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Has anyone seen the turkey?


No.
Good.
Because that was our Kindergarten assignment.
Disguise it to prevent it's early demise.
I think we did a fantastic job.
Yay little mr. j and me.



(Can you see the turkey now?)

Happy almost Thanksgiving!

(And FYI- I did not do most of this project. I did buy the red feathers, nag him to cut out the white paper feathers, figure out how to do the face, purchase fun foam for the pupils & brows (sketch, cut out, and prepare those and the beak to be glued on), ask him to color the feet black & explained why I thought he should do that, bought clear washable liquid glue, helped with face placement, and didn't get worked up when he glued the feathers on in the direction I thought they should not go- he will hand it in tomorrow. Phew.)
(And FYI again- the instructions clearly stated that this was a 'family' project. Next year, in first grade, 'he' gets to build a turkey from scratch. We have already had one preproject planning meeting.)

Oh, and another FYI - Last week a real, live turkey walked through our yard, across the street, and between my two across the street neighbors' homes. The next day, my mr. saw it in our behind our house neighbor's yard. It jumped their fence.
Incredible and timely.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Benefit of having children....


Cheap Entertainment.

(This one's from the archives, way before little mr. j arrived.
We had the best day. It still makes me cry laughing tears.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Life vs. Life Blogging

Before you read this post, I have a note for Geoffry & Anita - Thank you for your comments on the prior post. (Thanks to all who commented!) I am planning on moving forward with both your comments. Geoffrey, I am a big slow poke, so please have patience with me. Thanks!
--the mrs.

On to the post:
__________________________________________________________________________
The last few months have been quite interesting.
I had my little breakdown.
There's been employment adventures for my mr.
Let go from one position and on to a new one in one month.

He's calling it his 'one month non-voluntary vacation.'
His humble, grateful attitude through it all taught me much.
I sure appreciate him.
He's now working in a whole different industry that looks to be much more stable than his past.
(He's moving from banking/insurance to energy.)
The first week or so was a little disconcerting for me.
It was hard to have him home.
The middle weeks allowed a res bit,
and by the last week we were thankfully out of limbo.
We totally recognize God's hand through this trial.
The timing of it all.
The miracle of a position that fit.
The incredible option to jump industries.
It's amazing and humbling.

I had been toying with the idea of applying to be a substitute teacher at my sons' school.
After my husband's release, I went ahead with that.
And I've been having some adventures.

Yesterday, I got to read with 7th graders about duck-billed platypus' mammary glands.
FYI- they are in the skin.
That got a rousing EWWWW.
So I said, "Well, I bet if the platypus heard how human babies get their milk, that would gross them out, just like you are getting grossed out about them."
And then some kid mentioned milk being for sale on ebay and I told him that I had never heard of platypus milk being for sale anywhere and he said he meant human milk and I said we are not talking about human milk.
And then I told them, "You all better not go home and talk about your crazy substitute
that was talking about selling breast milk on ebay. I'm talking about platypus milk.
Let's get back to the book."
I think I handled that well.
Word from the hall (via my son) is that I'm a pretty awesome substitute.
Hope so.

Church stuff has been kicking my tukas.
I am very grateful for the women I work with. They do so much.
It is 'Evening of Excellence' season and my wonderful counselor, Sister A, took charge & we had a most wonderful event.

(Details on this one will have to come later--
but it was awesome & every youth group should do something similar.)

Fall sports.
They are over.
Phew.
Enough said.
Updates, analysis, and pictures to follow.

Basically, I've been off living life and not writing about it.
I like living life, but I love it more when I can write about it.
That and going to the gym.
Which I haven't done for months
and I am turning into a grump
because those are the two things that keep me sane and happy.
And I think sane and happy is important.

See you soon!
the mrs.





Thursday, November 3, 2011

Coupon Lesson Learnt


You can get to groupon if you click here.


Ha- did you know that learnt is really a word?
I thought when I typed it that I might be going crazy and maybe have been living in the land of y'all for a bit too long for my own English Language lovers good.
Please click here for proof of my ok-ness.

Anyway.
Stupid me.
I bought a Groupon for an online art site
and wasted too much time decide what I wanted to adorn my naked living room wall.
It expired one day before I thought it did.
Lesson to me:
If you buy a Groupon, use it quickly.
Do not sit on it.
Because that is how they make their money.
And why you will have a naked wall for a while longer.

Got it, the mrs.?
No more Groupon unless you move on it quick.
Please remember.
Thanks.

(PS- just so you know, I wish I could be a couponer. I just can never remember to use them. Looks like this little flaw of mine lives on in the online realm as well.)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday School

little mr. j gets to give a talk tomorrow in Primary.
(Primary is the children's organization at my church.)
Yes, they get public speaking experience at a very young age.
Thankfully, he's got the courage to do it.
I had one little boy who liked to hide his face in my side
when I used to stand up there and give his talk for him.
I think he's gotten over that.
Although I secretly loved it when he did that, it might be really embarrassing for him (and me) to have me up with him when he gives his first 'youth' speaking assignment.
(When they turn twelve, they are asked to speak sometimes in Sacrament Meeting - our main meeting with the whole congregation.)

So to prove to you that I am writing.
That I haven't disappeared.
I give you his talk.
It's probably not written well for its intended audience (3 to 7 year olds),
but it's done.
Happy Sunday School.
Happy Primary.
Happy reading:

My talk today is about how prayer is reverent communication between God and me.

First I want to tell you what prayer is.
Prayer is personal communication to Heavenly Father.
It’s how we tell God our thoughts, feelings and ideas.
When we are reverent, we are showing our respect to Heavenly Father.
We do that to show that we know that He is in charge and to show our love for him.

The neat thing is that we can pray to Heavenly Father anytime we need to.
It doesn’t just have to be before we eat or in the morning or at bedtime or at church.
I can pray if I am scared or hurt.
I can pray if I am learning something new and need help.
I can pray if I am doing something hard or in a difficult situation.

The other night, I had a very bad dream and I could not go back to sleep.
I went and told my mom.
She asked me if I would like to say a prayer.
We were sitting on the couch. We didn’t kneel down, but we did close our eyes, fold our arms, and talk in a respectful, quiet way.
I said my prayer out loud, but sometimes I might have to just think a prayer in my mind.
We usually do that when it wouldn’t be appropriate to say it out loud – like maybe when we are taking a test at school.
Just as long as we are talking nice and not being silly or goofy (that’s not showing respect), we can pray anywhere about anything at anytime.

Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to communicate with Him.
He hears and answers my prayers. I am thankful for that and I always remember to tell Him in my prayers.
I hope you can remember to pray always and be reverent when you do.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday School



So I've been gone for a while. Well not really gone, because I have been here.
Just not here on the computer.
Anyway....

Today we had a lesson that I needed and I am going to share it with you.
Because if I needed it, chances are someone else needs it to.
And yes, it was a lesson geared to young women.
But what is a forty something year old woman if not a young woman in an older woman's body and brain?

Lesson 39: Recognizing our Individual Worth

Yes, I know I have worth.
Yes, I know you have worth.
But, sometimes the world can be a bit harsh and it's good to have a reminder.

And the lesson might not have meant so much if I had not read an article yesterday about young women in India whose parents had given them a name that meant 'unwanted' having a huge renaming ceremony and choosing what their new names would be.

And the lesson might not have meant so much had I not read this, ""Why don't more of us reach our true potential? When we are young and innocent, anything and everything seems possible. We dream of being great athletes, or great singers, or a successful businessperson, or raising great children with patience and kindness. Do dreams become a reality, or are they just thoughts and images that exist only in the movies?"
(Craig Manning, The Fearless Mind, CFI, 2009, p24)

It was the 'raising great children' phrase that caught me. I'm in that dream. I've had to work at it, but I think I am there. So if I am there, what else can I do?

Our cute teacher started the lesson off by taping a bunch of descriptive words like musical, thoughtful, fun serious, intelligent, happy, athletic, etc, etc.  on the board. She picked one, put it on her shirt like a badge and told us she was going to 'own' that trait of hers and that she wasn't going to apologize for 'owning' that trait because God gave it to her. She went on to say that it's ok to 'own' who you are. To not feel like you are being prideful or arrogant or to be embarrassed or ashamed. (You know, now that I think of it-I am not sure if that is really what she said, but that is the message that I heard and something clicked in me.)

Then she had each young woman pick a badge off the board and wear it (including me).
I loved watching what my girls picked.
I loved the little insight I got into who they think they are.
I picked a badge that I have not previously claimed.
I am claiming it.
And I look forward to see what they and I will do.

Post Edit (10-26-2011)
Intelligent.
(see the comments below)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Saturday is a Special Day

It's the day I will try not to go CRAZY.

We have one church program practice,
one football game,
two soccer games,
one trip to the lego store
for one birthday boy
who's kind grandparents are in town,
a picnic lunch somewhere in there
because we won't have time for stopping,
two church meetings,
a sweet friend in town from Texas visiting her dad
whom we'd love to see
but I fear our day may not allow (boo hoo hoo),
one youth dinner and dance
that I don't have to watch over
because of the kindness of other youth leaders
that my miss s will be attending
after she speaks at that second meeting
mentioned above.

It's a little overwhelming.
But - it's also mapped out on a purple piece of paper.
So we're going to be fine.
Right?
I'm a little nervous.
Tonight, ten minutes before tomorrow, I had the thought that maybe if I don't go to sleep, maybe tomorrow won't come. I know it's faulty thinking and we got ourselves into this whole over scheduled mess, but really for a moment I had that thought.

Sometimes, wouldn't it be nice to just hit a life pause?
Because really- Saturday is a special day.
And I need to remember to get ready for Sunday.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Marriage Advice & a Recipe



You know you're getting old when.....
A friend from high school writes and asks for something for her daughter - who is getting married!
This is where I am.
And this is what I said:

Dear C,

I know you don’t know me. I am one of your mom’s friends from high school. Your mom sent an email asking for a favorite family recipe and marriage advice.

While I don’t claim to be a marriage expert in any way, my husband and I are well into our 21st year and going strong. We’ve had some wonderful years together along with some very rocky and unpleasant ones. The wonderful ones are much more enjoyable. I hope you have many of those.

Here are a couple of the most important things I’ve learned along the way:

Let your spouse grow & change. Allow yourself to do the same. We got married pretty young. I would say that we are both probably on the third or fourth incarnation of ‘who’ we are. I’ve found time and experience changes people. If you don’t fight it, treat each other with respect and compassion, you will look back together and be amazed at how far you’ve both come as both individuals and a couple.

I hope you are marrying your best friend. Keep him number one in your heart & life. After you make that marriage promise, no other man belongs there (with exception, of course your own father and God –who isn’t really a man). We all have acquaintances and associations with other men, but for me, defining and keeping healthy personal, professional and social relationship boundaries has kept my most important relationship strong.

And last, you have no idea what you are getting yourself into. It’s like one of those totally dark roller coasters. You think you know what will come, but really life together brings lots of surprises. Hang on and enjoy the ride. Enjoy the nice times and don’t let the really bad parts scare you away from each other. (Hopefully you two won’t ever have any bad parts.)

Wishing you the very best!
the mrs.


A very vague Stew recipe
(from the the mrs.- originally from her dad)

about a pound of stew meat
2 medium potatoes (about 2 cups worth)
carrots (about 3 or 4 cups worth when they are cut up)
onion
one can tomato soup
½ a can of water (sometimes-makes it more soupy)
salt & pepper

Cut the veggies up about the same size as the meat.
Put it all in a roasting pan.

Here’s the weird part:
Pour in some pickle juice (we use dill). I think I end up pouring in about a cup or less.

Then, if you have it and you want to, add a 2 or 3 beef bullion cubes.
Cook it in the oven at 275 degrees for about 3 hours.

**I like to add different vegetables. You can really just add whatever & it will taste pretty good. The veggies below usually don’t need to get put in until about an hour before it’s done-but if it’s in the oven while we are at church, I just add the zucchini & squash at the beginning with everything else. Then I’ll just microwave the corn & peas and stir them in before we eat.

zucchini
summer squash
corn
peas
sometimes I throw in a can of tomatoes (makes it less thick, more soupy)

Make this a couple of times & you’ll see what works for you—sorry it’s so vague, it’s really just something I learned from my dad.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday School mixed with a little politics of the day

Mormons = a nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

We are Christian. Look at our name. Look at our people.
If you don't believe it after that, do some investigating.
Don't just believe the people around you, find out for yourself.
Go to the source.
(You can start here.)
Learn our history.
Learn what we believe.
Then pray about it.
And listen for your answer.

(ps-so not a cult.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another Big Life Lesson

Image from here.

Some days are awesome.
Some days aren't.
Some days feel like
you've been hit in the face
with a frying pan.
That's just life.

Frying pans! Who knew? Right?
--Flynn Rider

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My waterballoon lesson from today


Image from here.

Water balloons are made to hold water
not air.

Random, you say?
Why yes it's random - unless it's something you never knew
and you are in charge of an activity at the church tonight
that involves balloons and darts and all you have are water balloons.

No worries, though.
Problem was discovered in enough time to visit a merchant and procure the proper inflatable devices
and one young son
with tuba trained lungs
said he will use his talents
to help blow them all up.

Yay.

The additional lesson:
Early prepping. 
I am so glad I was preparing early for this activity, or it might have blown up.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sight Words

little mr. j  has a growing stack sight word flash cards for his kindergarten class.
(Words he is supposed to know when he sees them instead of sounding them out.)
He knows them already (thanks to the awesome mom that I am), but I still think we need to practice those sight words.
Last night while I was doing something on the computer, I gave him his cards and asked him to please go through them.
I was kind of listening and had to laugh when he read these cards - in order - one quickly after the other:

green
and
go

What are we teaching these kids?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Why I don't like football so much

video of practice fall 2010

This video shows some of the reasons.
I know they're all normal football things.
But, sheesh.
(I have more reasons, fyi.)

little mr.b's
first official game
(this season)
 is today.
Season lasts through November.

Hmmm.
Wish me luck.



Thursday, September 8, 2011

I might be having an identity crisis, but the purses are all Misty's fault


You need to know that I do not often buy things for myself.
I'm not a 'things' type of gal.
In fact, even when I need 'things,' it's torture for me to find 'things' that I like.
So when I receive birthday money, quite often it sits in a drawer in an envelope with my name on it and waits.
Sometimes for a very long time and then I decide that we need a basketball hoop and it goes towards that.
(I like the basketball hoop.)

A week ago last Monday (which reminds me that I still need to tell you our week ago last year story from the DMV that still makes me want to throw up when I think about it-anyway...), I decided that my pity party was over (in part, and in thanks, to you wonderful women who sent wonderful support and advice here and on FB-I am very grateful) and it was time for me to do something instead of moping around home. I had two items 'to do' on my list. One involved visiting the school and one the items pictured above.

That morning, after I couldn't get little mr. j's pictures printed off the computer before the bus came (he was student of the week and needed photos Monday morning to hang on the bulletin board and I procrastinated forgot), I knew I was going to have to go have to go out of the house.

I ended up going to the school at lunch time, gave his teacher the pictures and surprised little mr. j in the cafeteria. Then, the 'lunch buddy' couldn't stay to handle the second hour of duties, so I got to be the hero and stay to assist the kids as needed. It was great- I made some third grader laugh at a comment regarding my gratitude that whatever that wet thing was that he flung on me, I was thankful it wasn't snot.

Sunday, at church, Misty had a purse that I thought was very cute (see pic above- it was like the one with the design, but with a different design). She told me where she got it.

After not being snotted, I went to the place where she got it and found one similar and found another that I liked, and another, and another. Then I walked around the store with four bags on my arm trying to choose one and finding other nonessential items that I wanted.

I sent her a text and said, "Thanks a lot, Misty. I can never find a purse that I really like and now I've found four and I can't choose."
She sent a text back.
And then I think I called her.
I can't remember if the rest of the conversation was via text or if we were talking. I think we were talking.

Anyway, she said, "Get 'em all."

And my universe shifted.
I was out of the house. I was by myself. And I could buy four purses if I wanted.
So I did and it's all Misty's fault.
S'not mine.
__________________________________________________________________________________

Disclaimer: I was at a discount store! There's no way I would buy four bags full retail, even if they were on sale!

And: miss s and my mother are coveting the blue ruffled one, you may as well.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My final note to my college girl this summer




In honor of all the back-to-schoolness
and the many, many "kids" we know heading off to college,
I give you the words I left my daughter this past June
as I dropped her off to begin her university experience.

It brings joy to my heart to know they meant so much to her that she memorialized them on facebook.
Thank you miss h.
(And aren't you so impressed with my skills using the photo messing with tools
that I used to hide your name? I am.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just wanting you to know


Image from here.

After almost 19 years of always having a little person by my side daily, I am on day 4 of not having any of my people around during the day. I know lots of people have gone through this before and I know my days will get full, I'm just having a hard time with the change right now.

How have you learned to deal with big life changes?

(I know that there's not too many of you out there reading this and I know not many folks like to respond-but if any of you have any wisdom to share, my tissue box and I would be very grateful)

And,

if you're new around this blog, you can visit this post. It might explain a lot.

Friday, August 19, 2011

What I learned today - lesson in genetics & a message to my sister's in law

Image from here.

I took the boys to the eye doctor today.
Our eye doctor has the same last name as a guy I was friends with in high school.
And who (whom?) took our engagement photos.
But I don't think they're related.
High school was Idaho.
Eye doctor is Oklahoma.
And there's a lot of years in between the two.

Anyway, one of the tests he did on the boys was a "color deficiency" test.
I was corrected when I called it the old school name.
Apparently it's offensive.

But not to the eye doctor, because he laughed after seeing the look on my face after the reprimand.
Our eye doctor has some color deficiencies.
He told us a tragic story about junior high and the color of corduroy pants he wore on the first day.
It was very traumatic for him, apparently what he saw as brown looked like purple to most everyone else.
Not good for a junior high young man.

I told him that experience probably defined the course of his life's work,
though he probably didn't even know it.

Then I told him that my father in law is color bli deficient.
At least I think he is. At least I think I've been told that a couple of times.
The man gave me a little lesson in genetics.

So, I have a message for my mr.'s sister who has sons.
And for his sister who hasn't sons, but might someday have some sons.

The gene for color deficiencies runs from father to daughter to son
who becomes a father who passes it on to his daughter
who passes it on to her sons.

You might want to get my cute nephew's color spectrum checked before middle school.
_________________________________________________________________________

(I believe he also told me that it doesn't present in the daughters so that's probably why you two sisters have such great style and color sense. But I am a bit confused because I found out a week or two ago that our PTO President has some color deficiencies - especially with purple. And she's a she- so I guess either I will always wonder or I will just put it out of my mind and someday I will find the answer to that question.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer's over = First Day of School = My last day of mommyness

I am just fresh back from dropping off my two youngest children to their first day of school.
One's starting middle school
(in our tiny little middle school pod of our PreK-8th school-I have a funny story, but will tell it later).
One's starting Kindergarten. All day Kindergarten.
He told me he doesn't need me to come meet him at lunch today.
Insert my tears hear.

His teacher had play-doh set up in each child's little table area. She asked the children to make play-doh snakes and trace the letters with the snakes on a little laminated place mat she had at each child's spot. 
He had yellow play-doh.
The empty seat next to him had red play-doh.
His favorite color is red.
I asked him if he would like me to swap his yellow for the red.
Using his little wise eyes to infer so much more than just his words, this is what he said:
"Mom, I'm in kindergarten now."
He doesn't always have to have his favorite color.
Again, tears.

One child in Kindergarten.
One child in Middle School (which really isn't like a real middle school at all)
One child in the midst of High School.
One child in her first year of College.

I believe that I am officially not a mommy anymore.
There are no little, little children in our home.
I don't mourn that.
I think I am mourning the end of my mommy era.
I've done my mommy job (I believe pretty well).
It's time for me to move on to full on mom.
Tears drying up.

Which is probably going to be a little overwhelming for the two teenage young ladies who are still asleep in their beds at this very moment. (miss h is home for a week)
Because now I can focus my momness on them.
Insert evil laugh.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Ok, now the funny story.
Our school is really little. The middle school pod consists of a bunch (maybe 10 at the most) classrooms around a commons area. There is one math teacher for all the grades, one English teacher for all the grades, etc.
After I had dropped off little mr. j, I walked down to check on little mr. b (whose name I am going to have to change because he is almost as tall as me now and his feet are bigger than mine by almost two sizes).
The middle schoolers were already in their classrooms, so I didn't get to see him one last time this morning- but, I did see & hear two boys in his grade who were obviously late and walking through the commons.
"Oh, man I don't know where Mrs. _____'s class is."
"Dude, I think it's over there."
"Man, I'm never going to find my way around here."
At which point I busted up laughing very loudly on the inside.
It's a big room with all the classrooms surrounding the outside edges.
They are going to be very lost in three years when they move on the high school.
At that point a young lady from little mr. b's grade came out of one of the classrooms and told the boy,
"Hey, Mrs. _____'s called your name like three times. You better get in there."

I laughed and then I came home and cried and now I've typed this and feel kind of better so now I think I will go catch up on some laundry and probably cry a little bit more.

Bye.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hi All-

I would please like to refer you to last year's summer disclaimer.
I am giving myself a big 'fail' this summer for not posting much & for not submitting a 2011 summer disclaimer.

For your kindness & patience with my not-being-around-in-the-virtual-worldness (and this little blog's birthday-which might have already passed-I need to check), I will be bringing a treat to your screen soon.

And to my dear Mildred, she whom I used to speak to everyday, school will start soon and maybe we'll get a chance to visit then.  But - maybe not, because I am kind of very jealous that you ran off to cooler weather Wyoming to hang out for the summer.

Bye,
the mrs.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday School



I know, finally a post!
I have to.
It's Sunday.
And it's Pioneer Day.
That's a pretty important day in my culture :).

Today we trekked to Woodward, OK and attended services there at their precious branch (very small congregation). Very nice people in Woodward. Very nice.
my mr. had a speaking assignment and he asked me and miss s to speak with him.
So my husband, I and our three children still living with us, made it there.
(miss h is having a very fun pioneer weekend in Utah!)
We left very early this morning with a picnic (to be eaten in the car) breakfast and lunch.
At about 154 miles, it took us about 2 1/2 hours.
If we were handcarting it, and we were going at a super good pace of 20 miles a day, that would have taken us over a week.
Isn't that incredible?

I would have melted.
I am thankful that we drove.
And I am thankful for air conditioning.
And I am thankful for the pioneers that went before me.
Very thankful.
Amen.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Can someone please give me kickstart?

I would be very grateful.
I've stayed up wayyy too late tonight in honor of the good old nights of last weekend.
This time it's Jerry Maguire's fault.
Dang tv.

And of course I didn't power down the machine and
kept telling myself, it's on the DVR-
but I was enjoying that Toyota facebook commercial with the girl who "mostly read an article" too much.

And then I walked by the office and the fan was on
and instead of turning it and the computer off,
I told myself that I could check just one thing online.

So here I am.
I checked more than one thing.
Dumb choice.

I have not been able to get myself into doing what I need to since end of the busyness of the past month.
I am hoping tomorrow will be the day.
I doubt it will, but it's good to hope.
Please kick me if you can.
Thanks.
And goodnight.

Tomorrow's to do list includes:
Picking up a prescription for miss s. (she's fine without it-it would make her life better if she had it, but I am totally acting like our tooth fairy with this errand-so sad.)
Picking up a picture I finally got framed from our trip to Hawaii in December (2010).
Picking up some transparency film.
Not going grocery shopping (because I did that today).
As always: laundry, cleaning, and the bills because those things just will not leave me alone, even though I have been doing my very, very best to avoid them.
Help my mr. with a couple of things.
Cleaning out this computer's hard drive so I can get this summer's (so far) pictures off my camera.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday School - not really Sunday School - Just some Sunday ramblings

All right, so I am very tardy to Sunday School tonight.
But I wanted to check in with you and let you know that this weekend was a screaming success on all fronts.
The kids from our congregation rock. They had a great youth conference. I am so proud of them.
And my mr. hosted a most wonderful family reunion in another state.
My college girl talked to me on the phone for quite a long time tonight.
She chose to not go to a concert with her friends when she found out the ticket she bought was for a Sunday.
Good choice, miss h. I'm proud of you!
My high school girl's been hanging out and wanting to visit with me much.
She was sad that she didn't get a prominent part in Friday's production, but something better came up and I am so thankful.
I get to see my man and my boys at midnight Monday night-well, really Tuesday morning.
I slept over 12 hours (miss s says it was more like 13 or 14) last night and took a 3 hour nap today.
(There wasn't much sleeping Thurs & Fri nights.)
It's a very good day.

The only bummer is that - apparently - my old computer here is getting old and tired and needs a clean out.
I have to make space to download all the many pictures I have from this summer so far.
I really wanted to put some pics on here. They will come, I promise!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

This Summer

Calendar image from here - it doesn't match what we have had going on, I just liked the visual.

The last week of May I started my first summer PACE (brain training) client.
T-ball started.
The first week of June I went to girls' camp with the awesome young women
and leaders from our ward.
The second week of June little mr. b, my mr. and a bunch of their scouting friends
went to scout camp.
And swim team started.
The third week of June my mr. went out of town for a bit.
And then the boys, miss h and I started out road trip.
At the end of that week,
miss h became an independent university girl.
And the boys and I went to a family reunion in Rupert, Id.
And they went back to Boise with my parents.
And I went back to Utah.
By myself.
And had a great time.
The forth week in June I drove to Colorado Springs for PACE Advanced training.
I'm glad I went.
On the last Saturday in June, I drove home.

The next Monday, I started with another very cute PACE client.
The last week of June, my mr. went out of town for work.
This first week of July, I will go to Youth Conference with the youth in our ward.
The second weekend of July, my mr will host
 family reunion in Boise.
He will pick up the boys.
Who have been having an incredible time in Idaho with both sets of grandparents.
On Thursday, July 14th, we are in charge of the treats and drinks after the t-ball game.
Someone gets to go to golf camp the third week of July.
And there's a swim meet.
The last week of July, miss s gets to go to San Antonio (lucky)
with a super fun friend to attend EFY.
And I think there is another swim meet and couple of t-ball games in there.
The first week of August little mr. b goes to soccer camp.
The second week of August brings "back to school" information day and
hopefully a visit from the university girl herself, miss h-
but only if that job she gets will allow her the time off,
right, miss h?
The third week of August brings eye doctor visits
and the first days back to school.

miss s has a full time "nanny type" position with two
very cute young ladies.
miss h was their "nanny type" last summer.
I think being a "nanny type" gives wonderful life lessons.
miss s has greatly enjoyed her one on one time with
both her father and me.
And so have we.

also if you are part of this group:
his "cousins' on his mom's side,"
please don't be alarmed.
my mr. has the reunion all under control.
We set the date for the reunion before we knew about the Youth Conference.
We didn't want to change it.
And lunch is fried chicken.
Yum!
But miss s will not be there to do the kids' events like we hoped.
(miss h gets to be there thanks to some wonderful "cousins' on his mom's side's" kindness.)
mr mr. was going to delegate, but I don't know if he did.
If he didn't, he might need some help in that department.
I am sorry.
But I know you all will have fun.
And I will miss seeing you.
Very much.

Happy Summer!