Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Where I'm At

I haven't had the easiest year.  I have definitely had some rough patches, but I have come through them and things have settled down.  It is amazing to me that good can come from the worst experiences.  I had no idea what I was supposed to be learning in August in September, but here's some of the lessons that are fresh in my mind.

  • I have lots of things that I like at least as well as and maybe more than teaching music.
  • My kids need my attention.  I tend to be a little selfish with my time and what I want to do, but right now I need to focus on them.
  • Honesty is always best in the long run.
  • I have more compassion towards those in pain.  I get it. . . sometimes your head can't make your heart stop hurting.
  • Some people do not deserve my time or trust.  Life is too short to read Facebook posts that are rude or to cajole people who stab you in the back every chance they get.  I can forgive them, but I don't have to keep doing things the way I have been.
  • Happiness is truly a choice.  And happiness and pain CAN co-exist in a weird way.
There's more to learn, but I am grateful that I am where I am at.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Yesterday a letter came for me from the Church.  Ed brought it in and handed it to me.

"This looks interesting," he said as he leaned on the counter, waiting for me to open it.

"Hmmm.  The Church wants me to take some surveys.  I apparently got selected randomly," I sneered as I handed him the letter to read.

"This is actually kind of cool, you know."

"Do you have any idea how many surveys I get every single week because I serve on City Council?"

He laughed and said, "Well, it's not every day the Lord asks your opinion."

Point, Ed.  I took the survey this morning and I am on the panel for the next 18 months.  And it was pretty cool.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mom's Fashion Rules

I don't know about you, but my mother taught me the rules of fashion.  Here they are:

  • Don't wear horizontal stripes.  They make you look fat.  Solids are good.
  • Shoes should match your pants.
  • Matching is good.  As in "wear matching separates."
  • Never, and I mean NEVER, wear white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.

I never said I was a good listener.

#1- As I type this post I am wearing a horizonally striped dress.  Oh well.  It is comfortable and stylish and I am fat, so what the heck?
Here's me today.
  Here's Mom with Senator Margaret Chase Smith.  I bet she was wearing maroon shoes.

#2-  I only wear Birkenstocks because of my Plantar Fasciitis, so in the winter I have black and brown and a wierd shade of grayish-green.  Basically my shoes never match my pants.  Honestly, I think this rule ws so that Mom could buy green shoes whenever she saw them.

My collection of Birkenstocks.  Smiley shoes.  Not fashionable, but comfortable.
Check out those matching blue shoes. 

#3- Matching is no longer in.  Heck, you can buy mismatched socks on QVC!  My mom would be horrified.

On occasion I do match.  And on occasion I wear real shoes- for no more than 3-4 hours, once or twice a week.  Like today I was wearing cute matchy shoes with my dress, but despite repeated instructions to Reed, he still cut off my feet in the above photo.  So. . . here's what they looked like.

#4-  I bet you all think I break this one, huh?  But no.  This is an inviolable law of fashion.  My mother would haunt me if I wore white today- even though it is 90 degree out.  The day after Labor Day I packed away my white skirts, capris, and sandals.   (I dug the sandals out for the shoe photo.  Notice that they are two years old and the least worn.)

I thought this was a universal law, but apparenly not.  At Church today there were many women wearing white skirts (*gasp*) and even more wearing white sandals (*horrors*)!  As for me and my daughters (Non-Existent Category) we will follow the rule. 

And you thought I was dis-obedient.  Hah.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chicks Gone Wild!

Kathie Lee, Tiara, and Oprah
In March we went to CAL Ranch.  Probably to buy some work gloves.  While we were there we were beguiled by the tiny chicks peeping and running around their enclosures.  Reed asked if we could get some and I hemmed and hawed about how it didn't go so well the last time we had chickens.  (We were poor. . .  didn't get a coop in time. . . eggs all over the yard. . . chickens eaten by the Bichon Frise. . .)  He looked at me with a blank face.  "When was that?"  I began to laugh because he had been so little that he didn't even remember the chickens.  He was probably only two at the time!

Kathie Lee
 Big Red would not come out of the nesting box.
This is Izzy.  She is our meanest chicken- and the smallest, too!
Since he had never had the experience, how could I say no?  To be totally honest I wanted to bring them home as much or worse than he did- I just needed him to be the excuse when Ed looked at me in wonderment.  We decided we should look around first.  We drove to IFA and left with 6 chicks.  Three Americaunas and three Rhode Island Reds. 

We rigged up a brooding box in the laundry room and had a blast watching our chicks.  Sadly, a couple of days later the smallest, weakest chick died.  Reed wanted a replacement chick, so while he was at school I went to get another.  The lovely gentleman at the store would not sell one alone, so I had to get two.  I got a white leghorn and a Plymouth Rock hen.  Reed was thrilled.  Everyday we held each chick and started naming them.  Everyday a couple of chicks participated in dog training so that Lewis and Clark would learn that they could not touch or hurt the chicks.  I didn't think it would work, but it was worth a try.  As it happens, it DID work.  My two bird dogs bark at every sparrow and robin, but they wander among the chickens with no issues and are quite protective of them.

 Lewis watching the free-rangers

Now it is August.  The ladies outgrew the brooding box and moved into their first coop the first week of May.  After a couple of weeks in the garage, they moved outside into a dogrun- coop and all.  Last week they moved into new luxury coop that is on the outside of the run, but they have full access.  We are getting 4-6 eggs a day.
The new coop.  Colby helped me paint and shingle it.
The coop and run.  Our mini farm.  Reed's domain!
What?  You're leaving?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back 2 School

Summer was much too short this year.  I guess it was all the marching band rehearsals, but it just seemed like there was no time to just chill.  We did have a fabulous vacation, though.  *sigh*

Anyway, time marches on and the Alpine School District is the Master of our Calendar.  School began last Tuesday for Parker and Reed and today for Colby. 

It is hard to believe, but Parker is a Junior this year.  He is 16, 6 feet tall, and loves driving this stylin' white Ranger.  The cab is decked out with camo gear to reflect PDog's personality.  The best part is the sticker on the back window that states "Don't Tread on Me."  So Parker.  This year Parker is taking English, Geometry, Physics, Adult Roles/Financial Literacy, Foods/Nutrition, Choir, Fitness, and LDS Seminary.  His Seminary teachers are a pretty funny bunch.  Check out the "Welcome Back" video that they made! 
Reed is a mighty 9th grader this year.  He is 14 and a half and is about 5'3".  In our school district freshmen are in the junior highs which is a little awkward.  Because he is in the marching band and plans to wrestle, he actually has two classes at the high school.  Every B day Reed goes to LHS for a 6:00am rehearsal that lasts until about 9:00 (through first period) and then the junior high kids are bussed back to their schools for the rest of their classes.  Wrestling will be A4, so that requires either Parker or Mom to go to LJHS and pick him up.  Reed is taking Band, Earth Science, PE, Secondary Math 1, Computer Technology, Wold Civilizations, English 9, and LDS Seminary.

Colby is starting his second year of college at Utah Valley University, but he doesn't have quite enough credits from last year to be considered a Sophomore.  He has dropped all his music classes, and is focusing on generals this year.  He has an ugly 5 credit English class, World Geography, American Government, and an online Health class.  He has all his classes on Tuesday and Thursday, so hopefully he will find a job soon that will allow him to work on the other days.  He saved a LOT of money this summer by working about 80 hours a week in Williston, North Dakota, so he isn't feeling too pressured to get a job.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Reed's Commercial

Link to the video of Reed's commercial for Rocky Mountain Power:

One thing that happened this summer that was really fun for our family was Reed being chosen to "star" in a commercial.  We got a random call from one of our friends asking if Reed played the tuba.  I replied that he really played the baritone, but that he could play a little on the tuba. . . and that we just happened to own one.  She told me that she had already shown his photo to the director (thanks to Facebook) and that they wanted to audition him. 

The following day we packed the tuba into the Prius and headed up to the audition site.  They were waiting for us and we passed by all sorts of kids with 8 x 10 glossy headshots.  The actual audition was about a minute and a half long.  Then we were on the road back home.  We just laughed about the audition and thought we would never hear anything. 

The following Monday I got a phone call saying that they wanted him . . . and me!  He was picked to be "Tuba Boy" and they wanted me as an extra.  When they called Reed was on TREK with our ward, so I was imagining him coming home with a horrible sunburn and a zillion bug bites.  Luckily he actually wore sunscreen and there weren't many bugs, so he looked great when he got home Wednesday afternoon.

On Friday morning we headed to Salt Lake to find the house where we were filming.  As soon as we got there they did his make up and chose an outfit from all the items we had brought.  The clothing was a little tricky becuase they didn't want any logo wear. . . and that's about all Reed wears!  We had a little shopping trip to Kohl's.

The filming took about six and a half hours.  Reed did exciting things like turn off a lamp 25 times and flipping a light switch 30 times!  The longest shot was of a fan.  Yup.  A ceiling fan.  They shot it from two different angles and that took about 2 hours.  That included cleaning the fan and after the shot was done, some panic while all the company people feverishly tried to determine if the fan that they had just spent two hours filming was Energy Star approved. I laughed.  Out loud.

One funny moment was when they were filming Reed unplugging an iPod.  It was staged in the boy's room.  His name was Nate and on his bulletin board there was a poster that some girl had made for him of doodles of his name.  I was watching the monitor in another room and I said, "Isn't the boy's name Steve in the commercial?"  I got told that it was.  I innocently said, "Wouldn't it be a little creepy for Steve to have a Nate poster on his bulletin board?"  All of a sudden a hand came into the shot and took the Nate Doodles off the buletin board.  Too funny.

Reed's favorite part of the day was the catering table.  There were lots of treats and cookies and drinks.  I think he cleaned out the gummy bear container.

So, now Reed is semi-famous.  At first he was VERY embarrassed when anyone brought it up, but now he loves it.  Especially when the junior high age girls recognize him and squeal.  It has been a fun experience.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I wrote a couple of months ago about my frustrations with finding a job and trying to trust in God's Plan for my life.  I really was doing pretty well despite the fact that things were getting exponentially worse. . . until the last couple of weeks.  To make a long story short, four jobs in my area have opened and closed.  I got an interview for only one which was a job that I have actually had twice before.  I did not get that job and I am confident that I was the best qualified applicant.  When being told that I was not being hired, it was made clear that the school district could not or would not pay for my experience and education.  That made me really mad.  And I am still mad.

It may not sound like a big deal.  So. . . I didn't get a job that I really don't need anyway.  But here's the problem.  If I am "overqualified" or perhaps "blackballed" and I can't teach music in my local school district, there is no way that my back-up plan of getting certified in English is going to work out.  Now I have lost my first and second job choices.  Unfortunately, I only had two.

Now what?

I have lost my career.  At least in Alpine School District.

I have lost friends because I can't trust people who aren't straight with me.  (There have been some downright nasty comments made by some and total silence from others in my circle of musical colleagues.)

I have lost hope because the doors keep slamming and I can't find a damn window.

But worst of all. . . I feel my faith slipping.

The strangest, most miniscule things sometimes hurt the most.  In this situation it was a Facebook post by the wife of the gentleman who got this last job.  (BTW, he is a very nice man and I wish him no ill will.)  She posted a thanks to people for their prayers that he would get the job.  Most people would not even think about it, but to me it was a stab in the heart.

What about my prayers?  What about the inspirations that I had received?  Why was it more important for him to get a "yes" than me? 

I have always struggled with the notion of my divine nature and individual worth and this has been a set back on that journey.  For the first time ever, I was mad at God.  I think I still am a little.  I can hardly even pray because the silence is deafening. 

I want to be still and know that God has everything in contol, but it sure doesn't feel that way.  I want to make a difference in the world. . . somehow. . . but I am thwarted at every turn.  I want to walk away from this situation and bury it, but that just means that it will happen to someone else and I should probably care about that.   I want to be busy, but nobody needs me to do anything- at least nothing that remotely interests me.  I want to be a great mom, but a depressed mom is not a great mom.

This is not how I envisioned my life.  And not what I want for my future.

So, I know what I don't want, but I have yet to figure out what I do want.  I hope I figure it out soon.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Distant View

Right now I am cruising at about 35,000 feet in a Delta airplane but I have no idea where we are because the air is so smoky that I can't see the ground. We had a great view of the fires in Pocatello and could see the plume from the Colorado fires. From this height they just look like large puffy clouds, but I know that the experience at ground level is much different.

Just yesterday a fire broke out in the neighboring community of Harriman that quickly destroyed several homes. Although this morning we could see on the news that the fire was still burning, from our vantage point about 20 miles away, the air was clear and it was a beautiful day.

Isn't that like life in general? We can be in a mighty struggle and feel like we are holding on to the last knot in the rope, but to other people, it appears that things are fine and that we have smooth sailing. The distant view tends to soften the hard edges of reality. That's why it is easy to get so wrapped up in our own life struggles that we neglect to notice the challenges that others are facing.

I don't know about you, but I get overwhelmed when I pay too much attention to those world issues that I can only see in the distant view. Poverty. Hunger. War. What can I do about problems that are so huge? I assist when asked, but I will admit that I don't really go out of my way to find ways to be involved.

I am interested in affecting change, but I have to do it on a smaller scale. I can help teenagers learn and grow. I can help neighbors who are facing challenges. I can stand up for community members who need their voices heard. I can donate money and clothes to those who have lost their homes to these crazy fires.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lehi Cattle Drive

It hasn't happened for 75 years, but it happened this week.  A cattle drive.  Down Lehi's Main Street.

There was quite a bit of concern about safety.  I mean, we have all seen the videos of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, but in the end no one was gored or trampled.  Phew.  I hear that there were some issues. . . some of the longhorns were not interested in the whole idea of a parade and they ended up staying at the rodeo grounds.  Others wanted nothing to do with the railroad tracks and tried to turn back.  And rumor has it that someone let some of the bulls out overnight which made for an interesting morning.

Now you can't celebrate a cattle drive without parade, so we had the Lehi High School Band and the Lehi Silver Band, the City Council, a County Commissioner, and various rodeo queens. It was short, but it was appreciated by the surprisingly ample crowd. A pretty cool event for our fair city.

 Council Member Kaye in her fringed shirt

Cattle turning off Main Street

 A rare sight

Lehi Silver Band

Monday, June 25, 2012

He's Losing It.

I am so proud of my amazing husband.  At the beginning of 2012 he decided that he was going to lose weight and on Saturday he hit the 100 pound mark.  I have been really impressed with his tenacity and positive attitude.  Check out his blog- he just made it public on Saturday.


He looks so good that maybe I'll even get going again!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


The last few weeks have been pretty tough. I have been really busy finishing up my British Lit class, going through the system to get recertified, helping with marching band, and applying for jobs. I wish that I had been busy having interviews, but I've only had two.

It is really frustrating to have such a hard time finding a job. I know that lots of people have been going through the same thing, but I guess it is different when it's you!

This week everything kind of came crashing together. I did not handle it all very well. I just could not stop crying for about 2 hours. I decided to write out my wants, needs, and finally, my goals. How interesting to discover that the things I was really upset about were not only totally out of my control, but also had no bearing on my reaching my life goals. All of a sudden I wasn't so upset.

Now I am back to my mantra. The words "be still and know that I am God" go through my mind on a frighteningly regular basis. I am overall confident in God's plan for my life. I just falter every once in a while. Like this week. But now I am back on track! Que sera sera .

Monday, February 27, 2012

Snap Judgements

This morning I needed to run into my local grocery store to grab a few items.  I had the items, had checked out and was headed out of the store in about 5 minutes flat.  On my way out the door I saw a lady coming in wearing jeans, and black turtleneck, and a sweater comprised of silver sequins.  Completely covered, not just a few sequins.

My first thought was "What the heck?  Why is she wearing that sweater here?"

But just as quickly the next thought came.  It was "Why not?  Life is too short to not wear things that you love!"

I'm disappointed in myself that my first impulse was so negative and judgemental.  All I can do is try to do better next time.  I have a yellow scarf that I haven't worn yet because I know someone will make a snide comment. 

So, wear those crazy shoes, that yellow scarf, the sequins!  Live it up and let your joy show.  I think I'll wear my huge sparkly bracelet to Council tomorrow. . .just for kicks!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Meet and Greet

This evening I talked DiAnna into attending the:
We cruised down there in the awesome orange Challenger.  At first we couldn't find Soel, but then we spotted the HUGE crowd of people and knew we had found the spot.  Soel is a cute shop with some beautiful items, but I probably only saw about 25% of what they had because the place was packed with bloggers!  It was so loud from everyone talking at once!  Crazy.  Just crazy. 

I actually saw some friends there, but I didn't get to talk to any of the people that I follow.  I spotted one or two, but then they disappeared into the crowd.  Here are our observations about bloggers and current trends:

1.  Bloggers are young.  I think I was easily the oldest person there!

2.  Bright colors are in.  A pop of color is a must now.

3.  We are glad that we do not have newborns.  DiAnna is so happy about that that she's ready to get that IUD replaced for another 5-10 years of safety!!!

4.  It's all about hair.  It has to be stylish, which seems to mean long and curly or short and spunky.  There were a few shoulder length bobs but they were usually somewhat assymetrical.

5.  Bloggers are friendly. . .and loud! 

It was crazy and fun, but after a little while we headed out and walked every aisle of JoAnn Fabric.  Now, THAT was awesome!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

An insidious intruder. . .

Sometimes things just creep up on you. You know what I mean. I'm not talking about Zombie Apocalypse or the end of the Mayan Calendar. This is much worse, because it is real. I am almost afraid to admit it, but

Ed and I have gotten old!

Tonight we went out for our Valentine' s dinner since I will be at City Council on Tuesday night. We were seated and given menus.

And neither of us could read them!

Ed thought it was too dark and I knew that I needed my reading glasses, so after a good dig through all the pockets of my purse, I found them, put them on, and started a dramatic reading of the menu. I soon found what I wanted and set my glasses down on the table. And then came the moment we all dread. . .

Ed picked up my glasses, put them on, and started reading the menu. Ok. That may not sound like a big deal, but that is a serious clue that we are old! I almost laughed out loud, but I didn't want to deter Ed until he had figured out what he wanted.

We had a lovely dinner, sat and chatted for a few minutes (sans glasses), and then paid the bill and left the restaurant. And that's when the next clue came. We looked at the clock in our so-awesome-but-I'm-having-a-mid-life-crisis car and realized that it was 7:17. PM.

It's bad enough that we can't see the menu, but to have your evening grinding to a halt at 7:17 in the evening is just sad. We managed to stretch it out with a trip up to Sandy to the Ulta store so I could get some foundation to hid my blotchy skin and wrinkles. When we got home at the more respectable hour of 8:30, Colby told us that he and Danaca were going to the movies- for the 10:10 show.

Can you say, "Rub it in?"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My boys survived!

We did something crazy this past weekend.

Truly crazy.

We left two teenagers home alone for a weekend.  Boys 18 and 15.  For four nights.

They survived!

The dogs had been fed! The house was not full of garbage! The Challenger was not crumpled! (Or any of the other cars. . .) 

And better than all the other things. . . they were happy and getting along. 


Life is good.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Staying in the Game

I surprised a lot of people by showing up at the Utah Music Educators Conference this weekend. I listed myself as a private instructor. Hey! I have a student- even on my main instrument! I only take students who actually practice and want to learn. Jo fits in that category!

Anyway, I really enjoyed all the classes that I attended. Apparently you CAN teach on old dog new tricks. I learned quite a few new ideas. I loved a performance by the Alpine Wind Quintet which is made up of professors from UVU. I went to classes on fixing flute and brass embouchures which were great. Being the geek that I am, I really loved the class on using technology in the classroom. I had used Audacity and Band in a Box before but learned some new features that make them more valuable.

One of the high points of the weekend was hearing the Utah AllState Jazz Band perform. Erik Sherman, one of my students from last year, was playing bari sax, so that was pretty cool. I don't really understand why these clinicians come and feel that they have to have the kids play only music that they have written, but that's what has gone on for the past two years. Odd.

So, I don't have a teaching gig, and I'm not sure that there will be any open that I will apply for, but during this retirement I am going to stay active and keep myself in the game. Cause I'm boss like that!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In Threes

Well, it took a while, but Parker's shoulder finally got healed up enough to go back to wrestling in practice. Then, on the 16th he came home from practice saying that he thought his finger was broken.  I figured it was a new excuse to get him out of the next Dual, so I wasn't too concerned.  Until the next morning when his joints were black and swollen.

Bad mom.

An x ray confirmed a fracture and he go put into a hard splint.

Fast forward one week.  It was an early out day, so I took Reed to the Legacy Center to play basketball.  Soon I received a text that her had hurt his finger.  Yeah.  The same finger- left pinky.  He already had a doctor's appointment scheduled for the next day to deal with his allergies/asthma, so he had an x-ray.  No break, but torn ligaments. 

At that point I was ready to come home and break Colby's pinky to get it over with since I am kinda superstitious about how things come in threes.  Colby is glad I restrained myself.

Fast forward three days.  I was cleaning the bathrooms and needed some cleaner from the linen closet.  I grabbed it and headed back to the bathroom with both dogs following me.  Clark yelped and I didn't know why.  I put down the cleaner and glanced back into the hall where I saw a lot of blood on the floor.  This whole event took about 5 seconds.  In an instant I knew what had happened- Clark's tail had been cut in the grate of the hallway nightlight.  I followed the trail of blood and trapped him under my desk.  Since I could see the bone of his tail, I knew it was bad.  I called Ed and the vet and tried to stop the bleeding.  Ed and I carted Clarkie to the vet where he got 6 stitches and a big tail bandage.  We are hoping that everything grows back together, because if it doesn't, they will have to cut off his tail above the injury.  That would make us all really sad because Lewis and Clark have awesome tails.

So, anyway.  That was number three.  Colby is safe. . . for now.  At least from me breaking his finger!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

This is a holiday that I have only recently begun to celebrate. As far as I am concerned, there can't be too many holidays!  I have some items on display that were gifts.  I love this red box and the horse it protects.

Here are some things that we will do to celebrate-

Wear red!  It is the color of good luck!

Make lanterns.  There are all sorts of ways to make them, but this technique is really easy.  Just fold your paper in half and cut 1/2 inch strips beginning on the folded side, leaving about two inches intact at the top.  Unfold, glue or tape together, and add some light on the inside.

Eat Chinese food.  Yup.  Panda Express is ok if you aren't adventurous!

Have Ming Kung Cakes.  These little cookies are individually wrapped and are like a shortbread.  They are very dry and crumbly, but a fun addition to a celebration.

Attend a festival. Lehi High School has a great Chinese program and they do a festival every year. We are planning to attend.

Give red envelopes.  Any red envelope will do, although you can get special ones that are red with gold imprint at any Chinese market.  Put some money in them and give them to children.

from about.com

"Red envelopes are handed out to younger generations by their parents, grandparents, relatives, and even close neighbors and friends during Chinese New Year. At some companies, workers may also receive a year-end cash bonus tucked inside a red envelope. Red envelopes are also popular gifts for weddings and birthdays. When giving someone a red envelope, use both hands to present the red envelope to the recipient. Giving and receiving red envelopes, gifts, and even business cards is a solemn act. Therefore, red envelopes, gifts and name cards are always presented with both hands and also received with both hands.

The recipient of a red envelope at Chinese New Year or on his or her birthday should not open it in front of the giver."
And if you need a little laugh, I found these on Pinterest, but they were a little raunchy, so here is the cleaned up version.
printable term list

Welcome to the Year of the Dragon!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Success! and Hard Work. . .

Here's the Success part:

I have been writing this blog for almost four years now.  It's not flashy or exciting but it the story of us.  I kind of consider it to be my journal or at least my personal history.  It's always been my hope that someday one of my kids or grandkids will read it and think it's cool to have the stories and the pictures.

Every two years I have enough posts to print a book.  I use www.blog2print.com because it is so amazingly easy.  This year I decided to print two copies of the book.  I ordered it on January 1 and the books just arrived.

Colby found the box and I let him and Parker open it.  They each grabbed one and have been reading them for the last half hour!  Clearly they know that I have a blog, but apparently they didn't realize that they were a huge part of it.  So, success.  The purpose is a good one.

Here's the Hard Work part: 
Yup.  I actually need these stylin' reading glasses.  I have them everywhere!

I am taking a lit class from BYU Online.  You know those reports that say brain function starts to decrease in your forties?  Well, they are true.  Holy heck.  I was having a really hard time getting back into the swing of critiquing and writing.  The first lesson took me about 40 hours to complete.  There are 21 lessons and I have to be done by February 28!  Here's the good news. . . I have finished 7 lessons now so in about 2 weeks I have done 7 lessons.  And I am reading my two novels for lesson 8.  It's getting easier so that must mean that I am getting smarter again.  Hey!  Another success!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Why did I wait???

Why do I wait so long?  It's not like it's hard!!!  I can't even remember the last time I had it done. . .

I am talking about having my carpets cleaned, of course. 

Every 6 months or so I see the ZEROREZ truck at my neighbor Laura's house and I feel guilty that I am so neglectful of my carpets.  That all changed on Christmas day when my silly pups opened and ate a box of brownie mix on my beautiful purple carpet.  What a mess.  I was able to vacuum most of it out once it dried from the licking, but it clearly needed to be cleaned.

I used to have a Bissell carpet cleaner.  It was handy to have when the kids were younger.  I was never sure that it really worked all that well, but it at least spread the stains out.  After watching my cleaning guy today, I am not going to buy a new one.

For $114 I got my Family Room, Living/Dining Rooms and Master Bedroom cleaned.  Honestly, I don't think the MB had EVER been cleaned.  What an amazing difference!  In addition to the carpets being clean, I washed down the walls and the baseboards, so everything is super clean and shiny.  Ahhhh. . . I can breathe! 

Since it was about 50 degrees out today, can I count this as spring cleaning?

* (not a paid advertisement)  My cleaning guy, Dallin, did a great job and was polite and professional.  I highly recommend Zerorez.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The W's and the L's

I just had a heartbreaking conversation with my middle son.  He's been a little "off" all day.  Probably tired because he has 6am practices for his sport.  But not like most days.  Ed and I both noticed it and were walking on eggshells.

Tonight the bomb detonated.  It was 7:30pm and I announced that it was time for FHE.  One of my goals for 2012 is to make sure that I am teaching my children the things they need to survive happily in this world.  One of those things is to have a relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that sticks in good times or bad.  I want my children to know that I have a testimony of the Gospel and I hope that I can help them along the path of gaining their own.

Anyway, long story short, I was ready for FHE.  Handouts and everything.  One son was gone at his FHE group, and the other three our of four of us were ready to dig in.  But first we had a battle.  It was ugly.  It was hurtful.  It was frustrating.  For all of us.  Finally things calmed down and the three of us discussed prayer while the one listened. 

There was still some storming after our discussion was over, but once it settled, I was able to stand quietly in my son's room and ask if there was anything I could do to help.  The answers were not all that welcoming, but I stayed. 

Finally, a discussion.  My son was injured in his first match in December.  Despite his pain, he has not missed one practice.  He has had a great attitude.  He's worked hard.  But now he wants to quit.  He is frustrated that he isn't getting any better and that time is running out and that he is a liability to the team and it's not really woth continuing and what does it matter if you are an Iron Man if you can't win a mthc.  That's about how the concerns tumbled out.  The thing he said that really bothered me was that nothing matters except the W's and L's.  (Wins and Losses, for those of you who are not immersed in sports like I am. . .)  I HATE that whole sports mentality.  It is so NOT true.  But how do you explain that to a teenager who is hurting physically and mentally?

I tried to explain that there are all sorts of circumstances that hinder athletes and teams from reaching their full potentials.  Injuries, bad coaching, bad draws, physical size and many other factors all have part in winning and losing.  The one thing that can give you an advantage is a good attitude.  My examples were lost because he was just too upset to listen and think.

I didn't talk much, but I hung around for a long time.  I guess I did OK because while I was writing this he came out of his room.  I made some Muddy Buddies and we hung out for a little while.  Later, when this day is behind us, we will revisit this topic. With a Gospel twist.

I am so grateful that life is NOT all about the W's and the L's.  If it really was that way, I think we would all give up.  What a blessing that we only have to do our best and give our all- and the Savior makes up the difference.  I hope I can help my son understand that blessing. . .

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Year End Wrap Up

2011 was a pretty good year for us.  Today we reflected on some of the highlights of 2011 and some of our plans for 2012.  Tonight I'll just post the retrospective!


Favorite Colors: Orange, Brown, Purple
Favorite Food:  "Ed's Burrito" at Winger's
Hobbies:  Fairview! and LHS Boosters

Best Event of the Year:  Our summer trip to Illinois and Indy


Favorite Colors: Bright Apple Green, Orange
Hobbies:  Photoshop, Blogging

Best Events of the Year:  Watching Colby march in Lucas Oil Stadium,  Parker earning his Eagle, the LHS Band getting picked to go to Washington, DC,  Getting a new Dodge Challenger

Worst Event of the Year:  Losing my wedding and engagement rings


Age- 18
Favorite Color:  Blue
Favorite Food:  Mexican
Best Friends:  Danaca Moore, Paul Struthers, Brayden Roberts
Hobbies:  Band!

Best Event of the Year:  Marching with The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps


Age:  15
Favorite Color:  Green
Favorite Food:  Cinnamon Rolls
Favorite Movie:  Warrior
Best Friends:  Max Inman, Chandler, Dalton Rice
Hobbies:  Hunting, Wrestling

Best Event of the Year:  Trip to Pecatonica, IL,  Earning my Eagle,  Getting my Driver's Permit

Worst Event of the Year:  Separated Shoulder


Age:  14
Favorite Color:  Purple
Favorite Food: Tepanyaki Noodles
Favorite Movie:  War Horse
Favorite Book: Hunger Games
Best Friend:  Spencer Yates
Hobbies:  Baseball and Gaming

Best Events of the Year:  Being on the Red Sox for Baseball Season,  Mom being at home

Worst Event of the Year:  My team was pretty crappy

I Want to Remember:  Turning 14 and getting ordained as a Teacher on Christmas Day