Tuesday, November 19, 2013

For Brian

For Brian

this should be better:

Sassy First Sounds Book Set and Cube
 

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Complete

After Saturday's post, I went to change the background and general look of this blog, but the way I was feeling from the things I wrote, I decided that this is the perfect time to end this blog and start a new one.  I don't think it will end up being any different than this one, which might make starting fresh seem silly, but I think that even though it may not end up being any different, it will at least  feel different to me.  I based the title and web address off of my new favorite scripture, as a reminder to me that I want to be living my life in a way that will make both my family and me happy. 

Brian has suggested that I might want to make my blog private, but I don't know if I'll do that or not. Obviously, I will let the few of you still here know if that happens.

Here is the new address:

http://never-ending-happiness.blogspot.com/

I'm still playing around with fonts and gadgets and things.  The first post (my New Year's Resolutions post) is already up, and I'll be adding more soon.  I'm excited about this!  I hope that it will get me blogging more and help me to keep a better record of this generation of our family's history.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Summing Up 2012

 1. Just before Thanksgiving, we welcomed two little kittens into our home.  We had been talking about getting one kitten off and on for a couple of months, mostly for Alyssa to have a special furry friend and all of the responsibilities that go along with it.  We looked at a couple of kittens from the Humane Society and Craigslist, then Brian and I went to Petco after a doctor appointment (No, I'm not pregnant, I've got crazy back problems.) to see what they had, and we found two cute little sisters that had been born in the wild and taken in by the adoption agency that is housed by Petco.  Brian and I each held one, and they both snuggled into us, and he wanted to get the one he was holding, and I wanted to get the one I was holding, and since they were sisters, we didn't want to split them up, so we brought them both home.

The kids were so excited.  We named them Dinah and Ginger.  A couple days later, I was holding one and said to Brian, "You know, this looks like a little boy cat to me."  Since thy had both been fixed, and we didn't know how that changed the outside appearance, we decided to trust the adoption people.  Then Brian took them in to the vet, because the colds they had when we got them didn't go away, and he was told there that they are indeed boys.  At this point we don't even know if they rally are brothers.  It took almost a week to decided on their new, more manly names, and now the gray one is Domino and the orange one is Julius.  Julius' full name is actually Mandarin Orange Julius Caesar Salad Fork.  Brian and I came up with it one morning, and the kids think it's hilarious.  (See, each pair of words make sense: mandarin orange, orange julius, etc., but together they don't make any sense at all.  Fun.)

They are both very sweet cats, who are all about giving love, sitting on laps, letting Becca carry them around, sometimes upside down, by their skin, and loving Brian so much that they sometimes (Julius especially) grab his face and lick the inside of his nostrils while he's sleeping.



when we first brought them home

a couple weeks later

2. Brian loves crullers so much that he looked up a recipe and we learned how to make them.  We've done them a couple of times now, and they've gotten a lot prettier than this first attempt.  And I think they taste better than the doughnut shop ones, too.



 3. We had my family over for Thanksgiving on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Everyone brought yummy food, and we had a good time.



4. Becca went through a phase for a couple of weeks where she liked to pull one arm out of her shirt.  We don't know why, but my mom thinks it might be from when we had to do funny things with her shirt when she had her cast on?  Whatever it was, it was cute.


5. It didn't take long after decorating for our tree to just have the ornaments start at three and a half feet up.   The kids and I decorated it after Alyssa and Ethan got home from MCP just after Thanksgiving.  I put the garland on and let the kids do all the rest.






6. We almost missed the Cousin Christmas Talent Show, because our home teachers came a half hour late and ended up staying a quite a while.  It was probably the best Home Teaching lesson we've ever gotten, though.  When we finally got to my sister's house, we had missed everyone's performances, and we had to gather all the kids together so Alyssa could play "Away in a Manger" and Ethan could play "Jingle Bells" on the piano.  Marcus was supposed to read a Rubric nativity story with me, but he refused and ended up break dancing without music instead.



7. Rebecca loves apples, and you can see by the fact that she has one in her hands and one discarded beside her, she especially loves to steal apples from her brothers and sister.




8. She also didn't get a nap one day before Christmas and ended up falling asleep on the family room floor.



9. Decorating sugar cookies on Christmas Eve.




And 10. Everyone waiting to go see what Santa brought on Christmas morning.  I didn't take very many pictures of Christmas, but it was a good one.  We enjoyed our Santa presents for a bit, then Brian's parents came over for our now traditional crepe breakfast, with Brian in charge, which is my favorite part.  Then we opened all the other presents, and I loved it, because we spent time in between each opening to take things out of boxes and play with them before going on to the next round.  It made for a longer, more relaxed morning, and I hope we can keep that going every year.


Oops, I forgot to add the pictures from my phone.

11. Brian and I participated in a Murder Mystery type skit for a fundraiser for a local Autism foundation.  We were asked to do it because of my involvement in Tombstone Tales, and we ended up having so much fun.  Before we went to the first rehearsal Brian was saying that he really didn't want to do it, but even he ended up having a great time.  The story was that we were all actors and actresses or directors, casting directors, agents, etc. and we were at a party after a huge awards ceremony.  We were all waiting for Hobart Hughes to  tell us who would be starring in his next major film, and we all hoped the leading lady wouldn't be Angel (the Autism director) for varius different reasons, then someone ended up killing Angel, and the audience had to guess which of us did it.

My niece, Megan, played a young pop star named Barbie Doll, and she did a fabulous job while looking incredibly beautiful.  Brian and I played Mario Star and Lola Star, and I was afraid the whole night that Angel was trying to steal him away from me.  During the mingling session, I would sometimes go up to a group of people and ask if they had seen my husband, complain about that darn Angel, and then, depending on if we found him close to her or away from her, either go into hysterics or praise my husband for keeping his distance from her.



 12. Alyssa performed in the Mid Columbia Ballet's production of the Nutcracker for the first time.  Obviously, she was a soldier.  We weren't supposed to take pictures of them in their make up, but all the other moms were doing it (I know, not a valid excuse) and I really wanted something to put on the blog.  She was a cute little soldier, and we ended up finding a new friend in a girl who goes to MCP (but on a different day) and did Kindergarten twice, just like Alyssa, because her mom felt she wasn't ready for first grade because he birthday is in the summer, just like Alyssa.  I was actually surprised to find out that there were at least three kids in the soldier group that were home schooled.  I guess it's not so uncommon anymore?


building a tower with a few other girls - this is also proof at what a bad Nutcracker mom I was.  I stood there granting their request to take pictures and told them how cool they were, just before we heard a yell to get off the table.  It was only then that I realized, "Oh yeah, I guess it's not that safe."
 12.  And here's Marcus with Julius, most likely when he was still named Ginger.

11.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sleep Deprived Rambling

It is currently around 6:50 am.  I don't know the exact time, because I'm feeling too lazy to look closely at the clock on the wall, and a few weeks ago Marcus had a grand time messing with the clock on the computer, so it's all messed up.  Glance at the wall clock = 6:50ish...clock on the bottom right corner of my computer screen = 1:51 pm.

I woke up this morning at 3:44.  (Apparently I did a good job of looking at the clock then.)  I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep, because my mind wouldn't quiet down, so I decided to get on the computer to look up a few things I've been wanting to research and hadn't had time for.  I've been wanting to plan some good Family Home Evenings for a while now, because our FHE's have gone completely downhill over the past year or so.  With our busy kids, we've never had fabulous lessons with coordinating games and activities, and now we've worked our way from short lessons and a dessert to meaningful family activities usually accompanied by dessert to "at least we're hanging out together eating yummy food."

Have you ever heard the saying, "You can do anything, but you can't do everything"?  Our family is pretty good at that last part.  We used to be great at Family Home Evening, but horrible at family scripture study.  Now, after working on it, we're fabulous at family scripture study (at having it, not at always making it wonderful and spiritual and everyone is paying attention) but we're not having real Family Home Evenings anymore.  I miss it.  So now that scripture study has become a staple in our nightly routine, it's time to start working on Home Evening again.  Since I haven't had a chance to make some plans during the day, and I couldn't get back to sleep a few hours ago, I decided to just get up and do it.

I've ended up going with an already planned schedule for Family Home Evening from A Year of Family Home Evenings.  I actually wanted to follow this schedule last year, but never got around to it.  I've decided to follow the plans for 2010.  I think it's a good place to start, and I think our family will benefit from the ideas from those lessons. 

While researching, I came across something I'd like to start using for home school.  Up until now, Alyssa has been reading one chapter of the Book of Mormon each day for her first lesson, and Ethan has been reading five verses, but now we're going to switch to the Discover the Scriptures lessons instead, and I'm excited about that.  I think it will turn their daily scripture reading into daily scripture study, and they'll get more out of it.  I'm also looking into ways of getting more out of my personal scripture study, because right now it's just scripture reading, too, and I think that now that Becca is older, I need to put more effort into it.

Mini Rant:  But how do I do that?  I want to do better.  I want to make it work, but it feels overwhelming.  There's so much I want to schedule in: my neglected blog, scripture study, writing my book, more time to unwind (both by myself and with Brian) or to just relax and have fun.  And those goals need to be squeezed in to my normal day.  5:30 running that hasn't been happening very often over the last month and a half, shower and get the kids ready and breakfast'd, home school and laundry, lunch, a bit more home school, kids' activities that involve keeping Marcus and Rebecca entertained while we wait, dinner, family time, get kids ready for bed, scripture study, tuck kids in, make lesson plans for school, hang out with Brian for a bit, go to sleep.  Just to let you know, right now my personal scripture study is reading out loud while rocking Rebecca for her naps, and you know, maybe it will have to stay that way for a little while longer until I can come up with something better.  I also sometimes listen to the scriptures while running.  I just feel so busy, but when I map out my schedule or think of things I can cut from the schedule, I don't want to take anything out, because I really feel that each activity is important.  Stop home schooling?  Now way!  I love it, and I truly feel that it is the best choice for our family.  Don't do laundry?  I would love that, but eventually we would run out of clean clothes, and I really wouldn't feel comfortable with sending our laundry to a cleaner, even if we had the money to spend like that.  Running?  I can't let that slip, because I've found that exercising is necessary to both my physical and emotional well-being.  I guess it's not even that I'm busy, but more that the things I'm doing are very involved.  But maybe that's just typical of life with young children.  My sister told me that once she told her stake president during a temple recommend interview that she struggled to find time for scripture study, and he told her that there were years when his kids were young that his wife's scripture study was simply choosing one verse to hang on her mirror and read through while she brushed her teeth each morning.  And I guess that's all we can do sometimes.  Anyway, that doesn't mean I'm giving up.  I do want to do better, but I think I need to also be patient in the process.  I feel like I'm an organized person, but I know I can still take a look at things at a time when I'm not feeling so overwhelmed at be able to come up with a solution.

That rant turned out longer than I expected.  Sorry 'bout that.

One thing that's happened through our family scripture study is that I've found my favorite scripture.  Up until now I haven't had a favorite scripture.  I've had scripture stories and verses that I've liked or that have had special meaning to me, but I never had a moment where one verse jumped out and made me feel like, "This is me!  This is what I want my life to be all about!"  But last week while reading to the kids while Brian was at church meetings, this one verse jumped out at me in that exact same way.  It's Mosiah 2:41.

"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God.  For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness."

I love this scripture.  The whole point of keeping the commandments is so that we can be happy, both in this life and in the next life.  Loving Heavenly Father makes me happy.  Loving others and treating them with love makes me happy.  Following the Word of Wisdom makes me happy.  Serving others makes me happy.  All of these things make me happy now, and by doing these things, I can return to live with my Heavenly Father someday to dwell in a "state of never-ending happiness."  It can't get any better than that.  This is now my scripture.

It is now both 7:45 am and 2:46 pm, depending on where I look.  Ethan woke up once he heard me typing, and he is now downstairs quietly watching TV.  Everyone else is still asleep, and I think I'm going to go lie down a bit before it's too late.  Or maybe I'll catch up on reading everyone else's blog posts, which I haven't done for a long time.  Yep, that sounds good.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Insert Title Here

When I first meant to write this post last week, a whole bunch of titles kept going through my mind.  There was, "Third Time's A Charm," refencing the fact that this is the third post containing something stupid that I have done.  Other titles along those lines were, "Not Too Bright," a sarcastic "Fun Times!" and my personal favorite, "I OD'ed on Baking Soda."  See, that's the one that really get's people wondering.

I woke up last Monday morning feeling the start of a urinary tract infection.  The kids were home for the second week in a row of vacation from MCP, so I was both trying to catch up with laundry and housework and do home school with them, which basically translates to - I did not have time to go to the doctor.   Plus, my mom had a doctor's appointment of her own to go to, Brian's mom was helping someone who was having surgery on her hand that day, and when lunch time rolled around and things were really starting to hurt down there, I knew that Tallia was going grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner, Christina was taking her daughter to Seminary, and Erin had to be home for her girls to come home on the bus from school.  I didn't want to bother anyone, especially since every other experience I've had with the urgent care here involved a six hour wait.

I started the morning by just trying to flush it through my system by drinking lots of water. I hoped that I was wrong in my suspicions, and didn't really have a UTI, and that by drinking lots of water, I would end up feeling better.  Then, when it started to hurt, and then hurt worse, I was just looking for a way to help me make it through the day until Brian came home so I could head over to urgent care at that point.  Looking up, "home remedies uninary tract infection" on Google brought up cranberry juice (didn't have any) and baking soda water.  I decided to give the baking soda water a try.  While the kids had lunch, I mixed up a cup of water with a teaspoon of baking soda, drank it, then had one more glass of it while cleaning up after lunch.  Without really thinking things through, I was still thinking along the lines of "flush it out," so I went ahead and made up a mason jar with three cups of water and three teaspoons of baking soda, put a movie on for the kids, and went upstairs to take a warm bath.

I made it through about 3/4 of an episode of "Vampire Diaries," which I wasn't too impressed with, before I started to feel incredibly ill.  Incredibly ill.  I looked down and noticed that my belly looked to be about four months pregnant - no exaggeration.  I felt extremely nauseated, but I was never able to throw up, and soon the diarrhea started.  Yes, I do realize that I'm full if TMI on this blog.

So I ended up on the toilet, with a towel spread out in front of me to catch the throw up that never came.  Oh, it was horrible, and it kept getting worse and worse.  Seriously.  Like twenty times worse than any flu or food poisoning I've ever had.  Added to the nausea and diarrhea was tingling fingers and lips, and my whole body was shaking.  This was when I thought that no matter what was going on in their lives, I should call one of my sisters to come help.  It took me a few minutes to come to this realization, because I had no clothes on, and I was at the point where I didn't want anything to touch my skin, and at first I wondered how I would let anyone help me if I didn't want them to see me naked.  Then it got bad enough that I didn't care.

While getting off the toilet and heading across the bathroom to get my phone, everything started to spin and move side to side, and get all wonky.  I grabbed my phone, thought, "What if I pass out, and there's no one here but my kids?" and called 911.

Now, this wasn't my first time calling 911.  Remember I called 911 early one morning when Alyssa went with me on her bike while I ran and I lost her and couldn't find her anywhere?  That was the first time, and even though I was scared to death, and we had only lived in our house for a week or two, I was able to correctly give our address to the dispatcher.  This time, the second time,  I gave him about three variations of our address, with the numbers all mixed up and crazy, and even when I said, "Yes, that's it, I'm sure," I wasn't really sure.  After a few minutes of talking to the dispatcher, I could feel that surge of energy that came with this sickness all of a sudden start to leave my body.  I told him that it seemed to be going away.  "Yeah, I think I'm getting better," I said.  He told me that help was on its way, and we got off the phone.

This is when I got around to calling Christina.  I think I said, "Hi, I need you.  There's an ambulance coming, but I need you.  It's not that big of a deal though."  Of course, she said that she would be there right away, and she even beat the ambulance to my house.

When Christina arrived I was feeling better, but I was still very shaky.  I had put on a robe by that time, and it was uncomfortable and clingy since I never really dried off from the bath, and I was walking about the kitchen and family room, because I couldn't sit still.   Christina started cleaning up the goldfish crackers that Marcus had apparently dumped out in the family room, and I decided to at least go put some pajamas on.

So the ambulance came, four or five guys came in to check me, which took a while, because I kept having to rush to the bathroom.  They called poison control, and the lady there said that for my weight, six teaspoons is toxic.  I never got the exact definition of toxic.  Five teaspoons felt pretty toxic to me.  She kept asking me what kind of teaspoons they were, and when she started talking about how some people grab a spoon and do heaping teaspoonfuls and other people actually use a teaspoon and level it off like they're baking a cake, I said, "Oh, I make cake all the time.  I would never not level off my teaspoon."

It was decided that I was well enough to not have to go to the hospital.  Instead, I spent about a half hour telling Christina how stupid I felt while she swept my kitchen and straightened up the family room.  Then, I went to urgent care and was indeed diagnosed with a UTI.  And apparently the baking soda did help a little, because I was able to wait in the urgent care waiting room for a couple of hours without being too uncomfortable.  All in all, though, it wasn't a very good way of putting off going to the doctors office.

My favorite parts in all of this - When the EMT's were making sure I was okay, Marcus kept trying to give them glasses of ice water.  Before I called Brian's office to let him know everything, I sent him a text that said, "The ambulance just left.  Everything is fine," just to see what he would say back, but I don't think he saw it until after I called him.

I've run out of time to write about all the other things I wanted to say, so the other news will have to wait for its own post.  With so much time passing since last week, I almost decided to just skip this blog post, but I feel that leaving this story out, no matter how embarrassing and stupid it was, would almost leave an untrue history.  Plus there were so many lessons I learned.  Ask for help when you need it.  Don't rely on the internet to be your doctor.  And clean your house before calling 911, because if you don't, and you tell them you're sick because you drank five glasses of baking soda water in less than an hour, it makes you look like even more of a crazy person.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Grapes, Grapes, Grapes

note:  I am normally adverse to the word, "butt," but when you need a word paired with, "crack," I do believe there is no other option.  "Bum crack" just doesn't have the same kick.

 On Monday Erin brought over 200 pounds of concord grapes, which we turned into juice and then turned some of that into jelly.  You might think I'm exaggerating when I say 200 pounds, but I promise I'm not.  she brought a lot of grapes.  I guess one of her neighbors had to pick them real fast because of the frost.  We didn't use them all, mostly because after a full day of juicing, we were all graped out. 
the beautiful and slightly sarcastic Megan
the lovely and/or demonic Erin
Kenna and Emma singing and playing the piano

We don't know why, but Asher, who is as boy as boys can be, loves that yellow tutu.
In other news:

1. I gave a talk in sacrament meeting on Sunday.  It turned out to be a great talk.  At the very least, I learned a lot preparing for it.  A lot of people from the congregation told me I did a good job.  The people behind the pulpit though...had a different view of my talk.  You see, Brian told me after church that my dress was stuck, not only in my butt crack, but under my cheeks as well.  I've seen people before that have had their dresses stuck in their cracks, and I've wondered, "How could they not know that it's there?  Why don't they just pull it out?"  Well, in this case, I was wearing my one piece garments, and sometimes when I stand up, they get a little stuck.  (Don't complain about too much information, this whole paragraph is all about too much information.)  When that happens, I give a little tug on the leg, and everything is fine.  While I was speaking, I could feel it in there, but I assumed that it was just my underwear, and since I was concentrating on my talk, I decided to deal with it afterward.  I never dreamed that it was both my underwear and my dress.


2. Marcus' birthday was last week.  I made a big round cake for a Beyblade stadium, and we put two "beys" (as the kids call them) on top for his present.