Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Today I got to share the gift.

It's no secret that I haven't been around lately as my life has become consumed by my wonderful family and a bunch of sweet little first graders.

Those firsties are sharing so much with me. Today it's laryngitis.  Can you imagine working with a bunch of 6-7 year olds and not being able to talk to them! Crazy. Thankfully, they behaved pretty well - at least in the morning.

We are doing a "Christmas Around the World" unit this week and I get to present Christmas in Mexico to all four classes.

When I was giving my presentation for the first time today (to my own class),  I became so emotional. You see, in Mexico (at least in what we are presenting to our first graders), Christmas is much more of a time to celebrate Christ. We talked about Los Posadas, luminarias, families being together and the traditions of putting out a nativity set and putting baby Jesus in on Christmas Eve.

Did you catch that? I got to talk to my sweet little ones (who I pray for every day that they might feel His love through me) about Him!

I got to tell them them how much I this time of year means to me and how I love my collection of nativities and I cried. 

But I don't think they noticed. My voice had been crazy all day, the lights were out because the bulb in our projector for the presentation is super dim, and my heart was humbled by how my accident of getting to "do Mexico" showed me in such an incredible way that God wants all His children to know.

It's an incredible gift.
I'm humbled and in awe of how I stumbled into sharing it today.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Two Weeks - Unbelievable Picture Catch Up :)

  Late night plan run.
 The reason for the late night plan run. Glad we checked, because that floor vent might be too tempting a target to little boys using a certain fixture to the right.
 The innards.
 My incredible panoramic picture taking skills.
 Our beautiful weeds that need to be cut down before they take over the property again.
 Electric's coming (see little white flags). 
It turned out to be just a little bit more moola to put in underground. Yay!
 Our builder teasing me.
 Beautiful sky. Beautiful roof line.
 Big beams that will support our family. That's my watch put there for size reference.

 We will be safe in the storm! That's a big deal. We want our home to be a haven.

Stairway to...
My someday room that I keep calling "the grandkids' sleeping porch," but since we don't have grandchildren and since I walked up there today and had an epiphany that really - this room is going to be my sanctuary. I'll be nice and share, but it's mine.
It will remain unfinished until we can get the house paid off.
Great motivation, don't you think?

I get to stop by here on my way home from work when time allows. Tonight, I just wanted to stay.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday School - little mr. j's Primary talk that we wrote together

little mr. j gave a talk today in Primary.
We wrote it together.
He spoke very clearly and enunciated his words and didn't look up the whole time and maybe didn't breath either.
But it was great and I think we are a good team.
Here you go:

Living the Gospel Blesses My Family
J. E.
21 Sept 2014

The Gospel teaches me to be a good person and be like Jesus and when I do that, it helps my family. A good person, who follows Jesus, makes choices every day that makes family life nice.

For example, the Gospel teaches us to serve. Some ways I serve my family are: making my bed in the morning, helping unload the dishwasher, and helping clean the house. When I do these things, this gives the other people in my family a chance to get their responsibilities done and then we have time for fun. Sometimes I don’t feel like doing my chores, but I know I can sacrifice and play later.

The Gospel also teaches us to be kind. Sometimes I don’t feel like being kind to my brother and sisters. Sometimes they make me mad. I try to be kind and forgive them and I try not to be annoying. It’s more fun when we all get along and are kind to each other. Some kind things my siblings do for me are: share, play with me, and listen to me when I talk to them about things that are important to me.

We learn to be grateful in the Gospel. We focus on the blessings we have and not the wants we don’t have. We have a lot to be thankful for.
Doctrine & Covenants 59: 7 says, “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.” In our prayers, we should always talk to Heavenly Father about what we are thankful for before we ask for anything. This helps me remember that I have so much and have a better attitude and not want so many things.

I can be like Jesus and bless my family by serving, being kind and being grateful. I am thankful that living the Gospel will get me to our family’s ultimate goal - being a family through eternity.

In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Update. Again.

Oh I miss writing.
I was looking at the little thingy down there in the bottom right that lists the number of posts published each month/year. It's easy for me to correlate the slower pace of posting with what was happening in my/our life/lives given those particular months and years. Good things going on.
A lot of "becoming versed" in situations that required privacy.
A lot of prioritized activities and a lot of growing.
So where we are now.
We are still here.
miss h is now a Mrs. M. and we've added a son-in-law that will get a blog name soon. They are living in a state near but not adjacent to us.
miss s is a resident of another state and studying music therapy.
little mr. b is quite a lot taller than me and in high school.
little mr. j is happily reminding me that his birthday is very soon and I keep telling him, "Be quiet, you are not allowed to have your birthday this year or to grow up." He is happily ignoring me.
my mr. ran a marathon today and has blisters on his feet. 
I have been taking pictures of our building progress, but the big news is:
I've started a new adventure.
I'm learning a lot.
A lot, lot.
And I'm tired and busy and happy.

(Picture from late July - trying to get room together)

I am in 1st grade again and I love it.
Now I get to help a bunch of little ones on their life journey of becoming versed.
And it's awesome.

There you have it.
An update.
Again. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Confident Concrete

Apparently an overconfident concrete/cement (?) truck spent some extra time out at the property.
Wish I could've seen it being pulled out. Heard it was quite an ordeal.
Glad our builder warned them not to go where they went, because their extra time did not turn into our extra time. And in the concrete world, time is money.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Yesterday & Today Ap"pier"ances

The soil on our property is quite "loamy." Really it's like very fine river sand. There are also a few spots with natural springs. They discovered this while clearing the lot. It was HOT, HOT, HOT and there were spots that stayed muddy for days. At first the builder thought that we might just have some water pockets - water trapped in the sand because of the clay below - but when they didn't evaporate over time, he knew we had springs. Our friends a few hundred feet away confirmed this when they started telling stories about getting stuck in soft spots on their yard equipment.

For a firm foundation - something very, very important - it was decided that we needed to put some piers in.  It's not going to  have piers all the way around, just mostly on the East side. Our driveway will be (is) gravel to make the moisture issues less of a problem.

Boy oh boy, do those holes bring joy to my heart! It's so very exciting! I was out there doing a very quick happy dance when I snapped these pictures.

Here is yesterday (first two pics) with today following:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Manners - found & lost

I came across this picture from months ago - taken at a banquet honoring all the new eagle scouts in our district. Guess why we were there? :)

Our little cub scout came along to honor someone he looks up to very much.

While we were eating, I looked over and saw him cutting his meat European style.

We do not know where he learned this, but he is very proficient.

At dinner tonight he was sitting like a monkey with his food in his hands and sloshing milk onto his chair.

Maybe we should make all our meals be banquets.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

From yesterday

The Oklahoma wind was kind to us.
The wild fires from a few summers ago ran through this property.
Sadly, a lot of trees died.
But there are some beautiful ones left
and our builder 
and hardworking dozer man
are uncovering them in the overgrown mess.
 There was one huge dead beauty that had to come down.
 I would've loved to have seen her alive.

 Here's what I've learned in the past couple of days:
1. The wind has to be 10mph or less in order to get a go ahead (permit) on the burn
also, there has to be enough space around the big pile and the fire has to be babysat.
We are very, very fortunate the Oklahoma hot wind was/is taking a bit of a break.
2. I need to wear different clothes/shoes when I'm walking out there.

 Today's dirty feet brought to you by:


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Best Birthday Week Ever

Once for my birthday, my mr. built some beautiful shutters.
Best birthday gift ever.
I'm a tough one to gift.

But, I believe his gift has been topped.
I am so excited.

Pictures from yesterday.

8:10am ish

9:30am ish

 2:00pm ish

2:30pm ish

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


So little mr. b (who is now a lot taller than me) went on a 'trek' with his youth group (girls, too!!!) and a bunch of other congregation's youth groups. They were outside the whole time and needed some protection from the little critters. So I bought him this:

I thought, "Earth smell. Well, they're all going to stink anyway. Might as well smell a little earthy rather than chemically." 

Then I came home and tested a little out on my arm.

I failed to acknowledge the big yellow letters right above 'earth scent.'

Do you know what hunters use to smell like the earth?
It doesn't smell like earth.
And it totally would keep the critters, big and small, and especially feminine away.

I almost sent it with him.
But I didn't.

He had fun.
And didn't stink.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Guess what has two buttons.

My shirt.
It has two buttons.
Two buttons has my shirt.
And had it not two buttons,
It still would be my shirt.

And my fatty arm would've been wayyyyy more comfortable for the last, ummmmm, five (?) years.

(Loving this year's lost and found theme.  Seriously. I really could've 'let out' these sleeves long ago. Very glad to have finally noticed. Especially since I've not exercised or eaten well the past 10 months. Oh well, at least the sleeves looked good for miss H's wedding festivities.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

But it smelled of death and bacon.

The big garbage bin smelled of death and bacon.
So I sprayed it out, left some water in there and poured in some bleach.
And let it sit.
For a few days.

Then I sprayed it out some more.
And emptied it down the drive into the grass.

I should not have emptied it into the grass
but I thought sending death and bacon into the grass 
was a better idea 
than sending death and bacon into the street.

I didn't think about the bleach.

Don't send death and bacon and bleach to the grass.
It would go better down the drive.

(PS- please don't feel bad for the grass. It's not really grass. It's weeds and it'll come back just fine. At least I'm pretty sure it will. If it doesn't, I've got a great new product that brings death to weeds & smells funky clean to patent.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Today was 8th Grade Day

It was not 2nd grade breakfast day.

And at 8th grade day, I got to go see a movie.

And while standing in the quiet 10:30am movie theater foyer talking with another mom and waiting for some 8th grader to buy something unnecessary, I heard this comment from a lone young man- who was not with our group and definately not an 8th grader.

"Woo Hoo, I'm not alone today."

And I thought,
"I am glad it is 8th grade day and my life is my life and that I don't normally go see movies in the morning and that I won't miss the 2nd grade breakfast because I mixed my days up and that I have friends to stand around and talk to while waiting for some 8th grader to buy something unnecessary and most importantly - I'm glad we brought that young man some joy."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Not Cool

If you get an email from me, you will get my automatic sign off that says something like, "I write, come visit if you'd like."
(As I just typed it out, I think I will change it to, "I write, come read.")
But today and yesterday, I deleted my little auto link off a few emails.
I'm embarrassed I haven't written anything of substance for a very long time.
I'm shy to share the feelings I've had over the last couple of years or so as the people associated with said feelings have feelings of their own.
I'm shy to share the lessons I've learned through experiences with them and on my own.
I haven't wanted many visitors around.
There haven't been many visitors around.
That needs to change.
The sign off needs to change.
I need to change.

School gets out for me this Thursday.
I will see you after then.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What I learned in the last 10 minutes

Posting this more for me than for you.
I'm 5 minutes 49 seconds into this podcast & already I've had quite a few moments of
insight and clarity that I've been missing regarding personal revelation.

Apparently for years.
It's looking that that's my 2014 theme.

Here's the link to what I was listening to and what I will be listening to again tomorrow when it's my quiet time:
conversation by Julie Beck on Mormon Messages

I'm off to read D & C 11.
(Click here for an explanation of 'D&C.')

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Today's lesson will change my life!

We've had my car since 2003. 
This afternoon, mr. b found a button that releases the glass upper part of the back hatch. 
The one that we thought only opened with the key fob. 
That would've been nice to know about a million frustrating trips back to get my keys so we could get in the hatch open ago. 
Eleven years. 
My life will never be the same. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


After many incarnations, our 'final plan' is in the works.  And no- the one pictured is not it.

After so many years of thinking about what a forever (or 40 year) home would be for us, we had a surprisingly difficult time deciding what we wanted. You know the pictures we tear from magazines. The samples we put in a file somewhere. They just didn't work for us anymore, so we started from scratch.

We had five or six meetings with our home planner & after the fourth one I thought we would be in the planning stage forever. We couldn't really find a plan we liked online for him to work from. We couldn't even draw what we wanted. We just knew what rooms we wanted and kind of where in the lay out we wanted them, but couldn't seem to make it work.

We finally found an online floor plan that had the rooms where we liked, but it was a french country style with a lot of set backs on the front and back of the house. We do not want a french country style house with a lot of set backs. We've had enough set backs. We don't need any on our house.

So we worked with the designer and were finally able to get the footprint squared (or rectangled to be literal) up but were left with a renegade bedroom 'wing' that was causing all kind of design problems.
Like a few weeks of problems and some just make a decision problems and the square footage is really too much problems and could we please get moving on this - it's giving me a worry tummy ache - problems.

Until a very wise woman who is working with us mentioned in passing, 'Why don't you move one of the bedrooms over to the other side of the house?'

And that thought sat in the back of my mind and popped out a couple of days later.

And boom.

Problems fixed. Plan designed. Few tweaks made. Final drawings now in process so we can get this baby out to builder to see how much it will all cost.

The solutions came in passing. She didn't even remember saying it. But it made all the difference.
I wonder how many solutions we come by like that? I bet more than we know.
I wonder if that's part of the plan?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fail to Sell

Treading life.
Not a recommended way to live.
Because things happen to say-
Hey, it's not working for you.
See - you failed.

Like we already didn't know.
Head smack.

These came about a year ago. We chose a realtor who didn't really market our home. Just put it on the list and that was about it.
Put the house on the market in November.
Bad timing.
We knew better, but oh well- people were moving to OKC- chance to sell! Let's move on it.


Failed to sell.

Found a new realtor.
Big suggestions.
Marathon house prepping days.
Back on Market in March.
Offer in April (I think).
Weirdness ensued.

If I ever go through that again,
No will be my new answer.
No, it's not convenient for you to show the house 14 times (exaggerated a bit) in a week to all your people and then after a dozen inspections threaten to pull out of the deal a week before close because you just realized something wasn't the way you wanted.

Old pushy realtors shouldn't bully young new realtors.
It's just wrong.

But, after the fail, came the sale.
Glad to be over this stage & letting go of the negative feelings that went along with those few weeks.

But, the USPS didn't forward our mail like they were supposed to.
Gave new owners email address & was a regular visitor to our old home for "pick up."
And all the church boxes that were sent to old address were quite a joy to  pick up - especially the entire 2014 curriculum. Joy. Just glad it wasn't storming that day or we'd have some soggy spiritual lessons this year.

And then sometime before Christmas, we got and email from our realtor the 2nd and calls from friends asking if we'd been by the house lately.
And then I went.
And there was a great big monstrous for sale sign in the front yard.

So that bring us to now.
A new month in a new year.
And that house has a new set of new owners.

Our buyers put it on the market in November last year.
They closed with their buyer in January.
They didn't fail to sell.

So now I think I will take a bunch on "please forward to..." labels over to the new, new people living there and finally let go.

Feeling angsty tonight.
Went through all that with a smile on my face, but for some reason, it's really bugging me now. Maybe getting it out will help heal.
That and moving on with our new project!
That makes me happy.

Deliver Me From Donut Day

Again, I haven't written in a while, but I don't want to forget this one. It's a doozy. I work in an elementary school. I teach ...