photo of little mr. j eating a cookie that he and miss s made
in the shirt he wore to church
What a week.
Here's what went down in Sunday School today. (And I say Sunday School in a very general way- really I mean, here's my take on today. What went down, what I thought, whatever comes to mind as I am typing this up at this hour that I really should be using to get ready for bed.)
We will begin in the morning when it was discovered that I didn't do much laundry this week.
The young men in our house went to church looking like a couple of urchins. Well, not really urchins, but there were no clean dress shirts for the little one and the only polo that would match the dress shorts-and I use the word dress very loosely-was in the dirty pile as well. And it was wrinkly and probably smelled, so he wore the same shirt he wear to "rodeo day" at school a couple of weeks ago. On the ride home, my mr. said he should have loaned him his bolo tie. That would have really complimented his "Cars" socks my mr. bought him from the dollar section of a store last night and the navy cargo shorts and the brown belt and slip on dress shoes. His hair was combed nice. It looked like something from my dad's old year books.
little mr. b faired better. He tried to get away with a white dress shirt from "the pile." Later he walked out with a blue striped number that had many less wrinkles. The green patterned tie didn't really match and was too short, but I wasn't going to say anything because I was just happy he found something clean. He got a haircut last week and this was the first Sunday in a long time that he didn't use any "product." For some reason, that was a big deal. I do think he put on deoderant, though. Yes. He has started that, but I don't think he smells and I have a sensitive schnoz. Walking through a middle school in rush hour is definately an adventure for me. I would know if he needed it. He's bowing to the peers.
The rest of us looked decent, but after sitting by my mr., I think it is time to take all his suits to the cleaner.
His suit (not him) did smell.
miss h and the rest of the lovely graduate young women spoke in sacrament meeting. They did a wonderful job. They were all dressed beautifully and did not smell.
miss s said something stinky and rude to me and my mr right before our third hour meeting (we all met together because it is the 5th Sunday of the month and our ward uses that 5th Sunday as a time to speak the whole congregation -minus the little kids). She got in trouble, but got it worse when we got home. I believe she will refrain from telling her parents to "chill" from here on out. She is looking forward to a very sad, electronic & friendless month.
Our 5th Sunday meeting was about gaining, nurturing, & keeping a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our ward has had 4 families decide to "leave" the church. I don't know if they've really left. They just have decided to not come anymore. Sad. We miss them. I am thankful that rather on dwelling on what these folks have decided to do, that our leaders are helping us fortify what we know & reminding us how to stay strong.
After that meeting we (the young women leaders) had another short meeting to clarify this week's camp details. Here are the details: we are going to camp, some meany leader has decided that she would like to have the girls put their cell phones away for the week (all two days of it- guess who that meany is), drop your gear off and the G family's house by 6pm Tuesday, and we need help with transportation for the girls home.
Note to me: next year have the YCLs (youth camp leaders) do waaayyyy more, have deadlines for knowing exactly which leaders and girls are attending, start planning and have our camp director (and an assistant) called (meaning asked to serve) in November for the next summer, and there's more but I will stop here.
There's a monster youth conference coming up as well. It is eating our lives. I spent an hour and a half tonight typing in information and sending emails about it. That's ok. It's going to be awesome-but I am a little worried about the smell that might come forth.
I found out today, from a gentleman that dropped 2500 or so tickets (for the production the kids are putting on as part of the conference) off at our house to be distributed to the stake, that there is a non-member (not belonging to the LDS church) related to him, who would like to attend with us. Pretty cool. miss s knows her from choir at school. Looks like she might get to be a little social after all.
Would it surprise you to know that my prayers of late have mostly consisted of the words "please bless everything to work out"? I know they will. I know who's in charge, because if I've learned anything over the last few weeks, it's that I am not.
So, we have tickets to the show and I will be doing laundry tomorrow.
As for all the rest,
I will continue to pray and know everything will be ok and that I will be able to handle the smell.
But she wasn't asking about the weather the first time.
After she checked the weather, she called a few times.
The problem is that the television channel she was watching from so many miles away is a national channel and they don't give as detailed information as our local channels do.
Our local news gives very detailed information about when the storms should arrive and what their paths will probably be.
Tuesday late afternoon & evening the storms rolled in. From what I've gathered living here, tornados and the severe weather are caused by two very different weather patterns colliding. Tuesday was a hot, muggy, grey day. Wednesday & Thursday-after the storms blew by-was beautiful. The temperature was mild and it was sunny & bright (except for a couple of little storms that passed quickly through Wedsnesday evening).
I can not believe the power those storms hold.
This is what happened at our house on Tuesday:
-around 3:15pm opened our storm shelter, swept out the cobwebs & a couple of spiders, put bottled water & some chairs in it, left it open, went and checked on immediate neighbors
-around 3:30pm the calls canceling piano lessons started (miss s teaching and our teacher coming)
-around 3:45pm my mr calling to let me know their office was shutting down and he was on his way home
-later-quick early dinner
-then the gathering of our 72 hour emergency kit with a bit of additional food & I told the kids to get their shoes (which is a big deal, because we don't ususally wear shoes in the house) on and be ready to go when we gave the word
-little mr. j was looking bewildered, so I told him to go pick one toy that he loves to bring with him if we were getting in the shelter.
-the girls gathered their "stuff"
-little mr. b grabbed one item
-the tornado sirens went off
-a couple of different times
-my mr. kept talking to the boys about what was the worst that could happen
That's when it really feels real. The sirens and the almost ready to get in the ground-ness.
Those sirens go off every Saturday at noon. If they go off any other time, that means somethings going on.
It means that a tornado has touched down in our county. Now our county is quite large, so it doesn't mean the tornado is right by us, but it does mean "stop-pay attention-something is going on."
We use a small satalite for our television. We've been really fortunate with our reception. It only goes out when the rain/wind/wild weather is really bad. When it goes out, we use laptops or radio to get our information about the path of the storms.
-I told the kids to use the bathroom (if we were going to be stuck in that hole for any amount of time, it would be nice to not have to deal with that issue-I think I know what's next in our emergency prep. supply purchaces).
Our shelter is in the floor of our garage-between two car stalls. Basically it is a concrete and steel cellar. Our door hinges up and has large pins we can push in to hold the door tight. I can stand up in it, but I think my. mr would have to hunch over. Our friends (who live way north of us) had 10 people in theirs Tuesday. It would be tight, but I think we could fit that many in ours.
It's best to get below ground if possible-they tell us & after watching the news, I totally beleive them. For people who don't have below ground shelters or safe rooms (rooms above ground that are fortified to withstand the storms), they are counseled to go to a room at the inside most of their home-preferably without windows. Lots of people take pillows or mattresses to put on top of them. It seems like some are joking when they say put on helmets if you have them, but they do. Some folks have to hide in the bathtub.
Even with those precautions, there were still a few fatalities this week. It's heart wrenching and sad.
I think I saw a report that only 3% of houses in the USA have storm shelters. I hope (& think) that number is much higher around here. (Our "fraidy hole" has only been used one time by our builder while the house was still under construction. It's been open and ready a few times & I am glad we have it.)
There are community shelters available. A friend of mine (cute newlywed) & her husband went to a school near their apartment. Many schools and some other places open their doors for people who don't have shelters in their homes. I think the scary thing with that is getting there before the storms come.
In our Family Home Evening Monday night, we had talked about what we should do in emergencies. I think we were all well prepared (that's the one blessing we have-we know the storm is coming). They all handled it very well.
But, one thing my mr. kept saying really got my attention. He kept telling the kids, "It's just a house, it's just things, we can replace things. What's most important is our family." "It's just a house. It's just a house. It's just a house." It seemed odd to me that he would keep saying that to them & I later asked him why he kept saying that. He told me that they were worried about our home being destroyed. I asked him if he knew that's what they were worried about. If he had asked them what scared them the most. He hadn't but he was convinced that was what they were most scared about.
my mr.'s family lost their home in a fire when he was about little mr. b's age. He was the one that woke up and discovered it and had to wake the rest of the family so they could all get out of the house.
I think I know what worried my mr. the most.
He was right.
It's only a house. It can be replaced.
Our most valuable item is our family.
And we were together.
And we were safe.
Quite some time ago, I thought I wanted to try to write for a commercial blog. I was wrong, but I did write something to submit in the process. Since we are very close to the three year anniversary of selling our San Antonio home, I'm going to share this with you. And later in the month tell you the real story of buying and selling that house. (Oh my word. It's just silly.) Here's the prompt I used:
"Write a 500 word or less piece about falling in love with a home that you can't afford."
My husband got a new job, in a new city, in a new state. It was time for our family to move.
We had three days in our new town to find a home. We must have looked at a bazillion houses. It was overwhelming and exhausting. The one we really, really liked was so much more than we ever thought we could have. It was light and airy and open. It had a big yard. It was on a cul-de-sac. It had a game room. It was in the right school district. The commute time for work was very short.
We stood in the street looking at it, trying to see ourselves living there. One of the neighbors came up to us and said, “You’ll love it here. The neighbors are great.” And we believed her.
But it was out of our price range.
That was when our realtor did what she did so very well. She made a chart showing our list of wants and a list of the houses we liked and how they fit our wants. Guess which house had the most matches? She showed us how an extra $20,000 on the price would mean about an extra $100 a month in payments.
But even adding that extra $20,000 to what we could afford kept us way under the asking price. We were nervous. What if the seller rejected our offer? What if they just laughed and turned our offer away?
A few hours before we were supposed to be at the airport, our hunting trip over, we were sitting in our realtor’s car listening to her bargain with the seller. I can’t even describe the feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Finally, after a few compromises on both our parts, we reached an agreement. We were able to get them down to what we could afford (ok, kind of afford-we’d have to stretch the budget a bit, but it was worth it.)
Then I cried. What a huge relief.
We moved in and loved it. Loved the house. Loved the schools. Loved the commute. Loved the neighbors.
A few years later, another change came-another relocation. And we had to sell our wonderful home.
Sadly, we cleaned & painted, fixed up the landscaping, decorated & staged. While doing all that, I relaxed. I started to feel that the wonderful building that had been our home wasn’t ours anymore. It was waiting for someone else.
We put it on the market.
I got a call one day letting me know I had a showing in 15 minutes. My three year old and I went out for a walk. A long walk.
When we came home, we met the family looking at the house. I said hello and, “You’ll love it here. The neighbors are great.”
It's storming big time right now.
There's a towel at the bottom of the front door to catch the sideways rain that threatens my wood floor.
I keep jumping at the booms shaking the window.
Thankfully we are not on a tornado watch.
It Thundered in Dallas tonight.
I have a theory.
We moved to Seattle.
The Sonics had a great few seasons.
We moved to San Antonio.
The Spurs had a great few seasons.
We moved to Oklahoma City.
The team formerly known as the Sonics followed us and are having a great season.
We like them.
They seem like nice guys.
And one of them geekily wears his backpack clipped in front on his chest during the post game press conferences and it is endearing and awesome.
Basketball likes us.
And if we move (which we are NOT), you can bet on our new city's team to be winners in the next couple of years.
I'm just sayin'.
The following is from The Onion Sports Network. (Just in case you don't know, The Onion is parody "news." It is not real. It is most times funny, except they use foul language they don't really need to & some of their stories are really inappropriate and I don't visit them often, but a friend sent us this link and I love it.)
Oklahoma City Thunder Wander Town Aimlessly Looking For Place To Celebrate Big Win
May 17, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY—Following their Game 7 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday, Thunder players spent several hours wandering the streets of Oklahoma City in search of a decent bar or nightclub to celebrate the organization's first Western Conference Finals appearance. "We figured we'd eventually find something, but every place we saw was either closed, pretty empty, or really sad-looking," Thunder guard Russell Westbrook told reporters, adding that Yelp searches on his phone found mostly "nasty cigar lounges and bowling alleys." "You'd think there'd be at least one 24-hour diner or something. You guys just want to go back to the arena and play some more basketball?" After Thunder players spent approximately 45 minutes standing on a street corner asking one another if they were still up for celebrating—and trying to determine if Kevin Durant was serious when he suggested they all drive to Tulsa—the team eventually decided to just go home.
I love our quiet city. It sure beats riots & weird traffic jams of flag waving cars trying to get downtown to "celebrate" the win.
The weather is celebrating. Loudly.
(Ok, I am going to go now, because I am tired of jumping every 10 seconds over the booms that are right outside my window. Bye.)
Friday morning I talked to my friend who was planning to do something very brave (& did).
Because of something that had happened in one of her teenage son's classes, she was impressed to let the folks at the school know more about our LDS youth. She shared our church's For the Strength of Youth guidebook with our school administrators. She hope that it would help them understand where the LDS kids are coming from when they are making different choices than the majority of the students at their school.
(Here's a PDF link to that same guidebook. In it, you will find the standards that LDS youth strive to follow.)
I think it will. It gives me hope.
I think she is very brave & I am thankful that she had the courage to pass that information along.
Friday night we celebrated the four young ladies from our congregation that are graduating (or did on Saturday) this year. The first part of the party was for families and close friends. At one point, I realized that almost all the adult women there had served these beautiful young ladies at some point in the past years.
The kids got to kick us all out and have "friends" party that lasted into the night. I think they had fun.
Saturday morning, I wanted to wake up early & take breakfast and a special little gift to those girls, but I overslept so I just took them something little-not breakfast. Hopefully they will know I hoped their day would be special, that I love them and hope the very best for them.
Then miss s and I went to the baptism of a precious young lady (who always gives the sweetest hugs). I used to be her Primary teacher.
There was an open house for a couple of the boys in our ward who were graduating.
And then-it was time to take miss h downtown to graduate.
Graduate from high school.
So we did. And it was wonderful to see her smile and see the hope and energy in those maroon and grey gown wearing kids' eyes.
Their principal talked about hope. I believe it is the theme of the season. I believe we need it more now than ever. The many, many seniors walked happily across that stage. You could see it in the way they moved. Hope. Possibilities.
My daughter's friend (not LDS) was hosting an anti-party graduation party in response to the rumored "field party" that some kids had spoken of. I am thankful for her friend. She gives me hope.
(And I am thankful that miss h wanted to go out to dinner and hang out with us instead of going out. That made me very happy.)
These kids are our future. They are our hope. And I know they will fare well. And I am greatful for that.
And I want them to know that they have an army of adults behind them to support them and fortify that hope.
I am thankful to be a part of it.
Not, really-I'm not going to do that to you :).
What a crazy day. I'm glad they only happen once in a while.
All I can say is thank heavens for vehicles that run & teenagers that I trust who have driver's licenses.
(Which reminds me-I still need to tell you that story of "two weeks ago Monday" that is now half a year old.)
I will tell you that at 11:15am ish, I tipped over on the couch and fell asleep.
little mr. j woke me up a few times.
I regained consciousness, made him a peanut butter & honey sandwich, gave him a cup of milk and a banana as well. He is a very patient child. He was on time for school.
Thank you to Shari, Becky, Susie, & my kind mother-in-law (via email) - who all sent kind messages.
Being a mom is a wonderful job.
It's especially honed my patience and endurance.
Now, a change in subject:
Someone sent something oh-so-kind.
She kindly awarded me (drumroll & great big woo hoo):
So-there are a few rules that go with this wonderful award:
1. Thank the person who awarded you.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 discovered bloggers.
But, I am aloser having to creatively handle my time of late, so I'm going to make a choice to bend those rules and cut myself a little slack, because-well, you read that last post & even though all my days aren't like that, there's always too many other things waiting for me to get to.
So, if I pass this on to you, you can do what you will with it-but know that in my becoming versed life, I have learned that you have to take care of the real life you before you can take care of the online you, so just know I think you're great & I enjoy your work. (I have chosen to only do a few smaller blogs that I have ties to.)
1 . "Check"-but thanks again!!! (I need to get on your fly routine!!)
2. *The steroids I was on to help a badly bruised muscle and the sugar I've been consuming and the sleep I've been missing have all contributed to a regain of 5 pounds and I'm not happy about it. *I think those little solid chocolate Cadbury eggs are the devil. *If I don't exercise for a day during the week, I turn into a very unhappy woman. *I am not that into watching movies, but when I do want to watch one, I like the unusual ones. The latest one I liked (and I watched it twice-which says something, because I never do that-ever) was "The Tourist" with Johnny Depp & Angleina (sp?) Jolie.
3. Here are the folks I would like share this award with (in alphabetical order): A Christian Mormon's Mission - Elder-you're awesome & the fact that you are spreading the news in the cyberworld is great. I know you don't have time to pass the love on with the little award-so don't do it! But know that I think you're awesome. I Sing I Dream I Love, Anyway - A friend with a beautiful smile (I've got lots of those-lucky me) . Messy Mind - A very brave woman, living with MS . Mother Flippin - Compassion, roller derby, & children that make me laugh. Pintucks and Ruffles - One of these cute sisters, I had the privilege of getting to know through
the Young Women program at church years ago. They have an incredibly talented family. Simply Fit With Webly - Please see the first 'personal' item I "wrote" for you ;). Strawberry Pearl Studios - one of miss h & s's very first babysitters and an awesome 'vinyl' crafter and the only website where I won a giveaway-woohoo.
"Check" (kind of).
I know it's not as many as I am supposed to have, but the kids just got back from school & we've got a graduation party to prepare for and someone wants the computer.
(Winners, I'm going to be late in letting you know I've 'tagged' you. But I think it's good that I am stopping typing right now, because I am noticing a severe overuse of parentheses.)
(Maybe I shouldn't. Once in junior high a girl told me to "quit acting like that, you are fishing for compliments." What a hardened 9th grader. Sheesh. Ever since, I've tried not to fish or phish or whatever, but sometimes it just happens & besides this post won't be about fishing for compliments, it'll be about fishing for sympathy or empathy or a few "you poor thing"s. But don't fall for it, because really it's ok. I got a nap and we had ice cream and my favorite little video of all time -and the one I predicted would win- won the grand prize on America's Funniest Home Videos, so life is good. I am sorry there is no link to it, but I couldn't find one and I am too lazy to look anymore, but it was the one where the little kid had a video camera and was sledding and dropped the camera and thought he lost it and was saying all the things I would have said if I had been him and it recorded a conversation between him and his sister and she eventually found the camera and it was precious.)
You know what?
I just decided to delete my list.
Here's the new one:
I attended a funeral. A beautiful funeral full of hope and love and a celebration of a wonderful young man.
I rode a roller coaster with little mr. b.
I recieved great news.
I did not stress when my car died in the Sonic parking lot after a very long day and would not start.
I got the groceries.
I prayed for health and strength in putting into words all the thoughts that were swimming in my head about the talk was to give in church on Sunday. And He gave it to me. (I know. I now have one point.)
I encouraged a child to solve a major problem on her own. (And she did.)
I hugged my kids.